Nikon MF Zoom

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Silverpixels5, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    I'm thinking about getting a good, sharp zoom lens for my Nikon FE, but I really have no knowledge of them. Can someone recommend a good zoom in either the wide-to-short telephoto or normal-to-long telephoto range? It would mainly be used for snapshots...I have prime lenses for other purposes. I'd prefer nikon lenses, but would consider a 3rd party one as well. Thanks!
     
  2. bennoj

    bennoj Member

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    The 75-150 f/3.5 Series E zoom is reknowned for sharpness, even if the E-line build quality was not so hot. It is an AI-S lens. Make sure it's in good condition if you get one. Mine was great looking, but there was no stiffness at all in the zoom, if you tilted the lens without a firm grip on the zoom barrel it would slide in and out by itself. I had to take it to a good repair shop and have it worked on so that the zoom would stay put (I believe they put some thick grease in the zoom mechanism).

    The 35-70 f/3.5-4.8 AI-S zoom is also has an excellent reputation. I've had one of these since I got my late and lamented FM back in 1979. A very good lens with a very useful range IMHO.
     
  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Tokina ATX 80-200mm f/2.8 in manual focus is a great lens--used one for 2 years before I "upgraded" to auto focus for photojournalism.

    If you want a smaller lens the 75-150mm Nikon zoom is well spoken of, but I have never used this one.

    If you don't absolutley need the zoom, you can do great things with any one of the 180mm f/2.8 Nikon incarnations.
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    AIS or AI 80-200 f4(AIS) or4.5 (AI). My wife has the 80-200 AIS for her FE2 and it is very sharp and well built. It is a fare bit more manageble handheld than the f2.8.
    A freind has a Tokina f2.8 and speaks highly of it, but it is pretty gash darn big.
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Silverpixels,
    You can use the current 28-105 or 70-300ED on your camera & have either very sharp lens. Both are versatile, sharp & contrasty. Neither are especially expensive. As the man says, "you pays your money & takes your choice".
     
  6. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    The Series E lenses are highly underrated. I have the 50mm f/1.8 and the 135mm f/2.8 and both of these are very good lenses. If they had the same standards for the other lenses in the series, then the 75-150 zoom should also be good.

    I have the 35-70 f/3.5-4.8 AIS zoom, but have not used it yet. However, the one I have looks and feels like very cheap plastic: it came with the FM10. I don't know if there are other versions of this lens though.
     
  7. Julian Hart

    Julian Hart Member

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    I'd recommend the 25-50mm and 50-135mm lenses. They are strange lengths but are both of excellent quality. A good pointer for many Nikon MF lenses can be found here;
    http://www.naturfotograf.com/

    Julian
     
  8. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My wife has the 36-72(?) f3.5 (I don't have it infront of me) zoom. It is handy and pretty good, but not great. She has a 28mm f2.8 E series that IS excellent.
     
  9. roteague

    roteague Member

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    The Sigma lenses are pretty good, quite sharp. Just make sure you get the EX series. Watch out for the DG series, it is for digital cameras and won't cover 35mm.
     
  10. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I still have an 80-200/4 Zoom-Nikkor I used professionally years ago. It was a pretty sharp lens and I would recommend it if the focal length appeals to you. I don't use the one I have but it's in poor condition so I'll keep it as memorabilia.

    I also used the Nikon Series E 36-72/3.5 with the 80-200. It was pretty impressive optically, considering how cheap it was. I think Galen Rowell wrote about using this lens, which was a good enough reason to buy one. It doesn't have outstanding build quality--I remember it having a plastic barrel and the zoom being kind of loose. Still, it's no worse in build than the current standard Canon EF lenses I use.
     
  11. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    One of my old favorites was the 35-70 f/3.3-4.5 macro zoom. Small, well built, and about as sharp as any zoom was back in the days of manual focus. I beat mine up for years and have since passed it on to my nephew. He's taken some great shots with it as well. The obvious disadvantage is the speed, but for the price the image quality is pretty amazing, especially at f5.6-f11.
     
  12. vazquez

    vazquez Member

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    For the FE and FM* bodies, the old 80-200 f/4.5 AI zoom is an almost indestrutible and a great performer lens, but it is heavy and a little bulky in comparision with the Series E 75-150 f/3.5 zoom. This one seems to fit better to the FM* and FE bodies producing a small, light and balanced set.
     
  13. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I would put in another vote for the 75-150 series E. I got mine from KEH--they tend to note whether the zoom is loose or not. It was a "bargain" grade, cheap and looks and works great.

    I find I rarely use it though. I also have the 100mm Ser. E lens and this is my favorite lens in that range. Small, light, great images, fast.

    All this is on my FE.

    Matt
     
  14. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    What Julian said... I have both of these lenses and find them indispensable. They are my American Express Cards - I don't leave home without them! :smile:
     
  15. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    The Vivitar Series 1 28-90 f/2.8-3.5, is a very good lens. Also, the Kiron 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 is very good, built better, and is faster & sharper than the Nikon 28-105 offering. I'm not bashing the Nikkor's, I love them. But there are third party equivalents, that are as good or better, at a fraction of the Nikkor's cost.

    Kiron Kid
     
  16. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    We're you aware that the very good Nikkor "E" series 75-150, was made by Kiron, for Nikon. (Seriously) and as other's have said, "it's very good".

    Kiron Kid