nikon on nikon?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by chaim, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. chaim

    chaim Member

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    Hi all,
    I recently got a nice used nikon f3 with a 50mm lens. (I'm woefully underinformed about lenses, as you may realize as you read this.) Anyway, it was suggested to me to find zoom lens with a built-in macro. In particular, I've been offered a used Vivitar nikon-mount used lens 70-200 mm with macro for $85 from a reliable local repair shop.
    Questions:
    --does this sort of lens configuration make sense as an add-on to this camera--add telescopic plus close-up capability to the standard lens.
    --are nikon lenses significantly better than the competition?
    --where would I go looking for an equivalent nikon lens, if I decided on finding one?
    Thanks--
     
  2. roteague

    roteague Member

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    The Vivital lenses were pretty common back during the time the F3 was selling new. I still have one myself, with a Nikon mount, which I also used an an F3. It won't match the quality of a modern lens, but it is a pretty good combination. I would take them up on the offer, I don't think you will be able to tell the difference between the Vivitar and the Nikon lens.
     
  3. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Vivitar 70-200 macro?
    Are you sure? I have one 70-200/4-5.6 macro (1:4) in Nikon AIS and it's a pretty decent lens. Doen;t flare up too much, color rendition is accurate and there is no light fallout.
    I'll double check any other details on it since I don;t have it with me.

    Most vivitars were good, and the Series 1 were outstanding lenses for the time. Vivitar never caught with AF.

    Now your questions:
    --does this sort of lens configuration make sense as an add-on to this camera--add telescopic plus close-up capability to the standard lens.
    70-200 is a very handy zoom lens to have, from small tele to tele. The close-up capability is something that maybe useful to you.

    --are nikon lenses significantly better than the competition?
    In most cases yes. But Vivitar "consumer" zooms are of comparable quality. The Nikons had better coatings IIRC.
    Othe rband to consider IMHO is Tokina, excellent quality both optical and construction wise.

    --where would I go looking for an equivalent nikon lens, if I decided on finding one?
    eBay
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2005
  4. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    If the Vivitar is a series 1 I would take it. Series 1s were (are) excellent even by today's standards. If not ask if can run a roll off color film though it, have it process at a mimi lab then have a 8X10 made to see if it will meet your needs.

    Paul
     
  5. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Just my opinion, but...

    I bought Nikon cameras because of the lenses, not the body. Why $pend money on a great body and then buy use cheap lenses?

    YMMV
     
  6. mark

    mark Member

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    Zooms are convienient(sp) that is for sure but I like the speed, feel, and look of my primes. I only use Nikon lenses on my Nikon. Not because I am a snob, but because the lenses are the reason I bought a Nikon. Using another brand just never crossed my mind.
     
  7. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I would check and see if it has a fixed aperture or if the maximum aperture changes over the range of the zoom

    i.e. at 70mm it is f/4, but at 200mm it is f/5.6

    On a manual camera like the F3 this is a real pain in the @%%!
     
  8. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    You'll likely get lots of differing opinions on this. While zooms have improved greatly in the last few years, older models were usually considered to suffer from too many compromises in optical design. As a result, many folks prefered to shoot only primes back then. But, if the unit you're considering would work well for what you're doing, and the price is consistent with what that model is currently going for on eBay, it might be a good choice for you - at least as an interim lens.

    As you gain experience, however, you may find that investing in the best glass you can stretch the budget to afford will result in better images. Note that Kikon, like most current leading manufacturers offer "consumer-grade" and "pro" lenses, the former being good, and the latter being superb. But, be prepared to sell off the first born son. :wink:
     
  9. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I would second (or third!) the advice regarding Vivitar Series 1. I would add that if it is not a Series 1, it is kind of high. Check out KEH, http://www.keh.com, to see what they offer. They have great prices and I have always been happy with their service. They currently have Nikon zooms in that range for a similar price. Just make sure you get the AI version for your F3. They also have a Vivitar Series 1 70-210 for about $50 and a non Series 1 80-200 for $15!

    Good luck!

    Paul.
     
  10. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Another thing to consider is the zooming method.

    It can be either by pulling-pushing the lens or by turning a ring. I prefer the second, since I've found that the push-pull lenses "slip" after a while when you point them up-/downwards
     
  11. roteague

    roteague Member

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    The Vivitar Series 1 lenses are "push-pull" type of zooms with a variable fstop. A bit on the heavy side, but a good lens.
     
  12. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    I am with Bob and Mark: I use only Nikon lenses on my Nikon bodies. I just haven't thought about buying lenses by another brand because Nikon's lenses are the main reason why I use the Nikon system.
     
  13. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    As was suggested in another thread, pass on the zoom and any other lens and shoot the one you have until you feel it limiting your ability to get the shot you visualize.
     
  14. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I need to learn more about this stuff...

    Jeremy--so which should I be looking for in the lens, the fixed or changing aperture?
     
  15. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Oops, should have been more clear! I would go with a fixed aperture zoom before the variable aperture, a prime before the zoom, and if you don't need the telephoto then I would just stick with the 50mm until you have to pass over a lot of shots because you didn't have a longer lens.

    I have been shooting 35mm film with a 35mm fixed lens for the past 3 months (just recently got back into 35mm) and have only passed up 3 shots that I can think of because I needed a longer lens.
     
  16. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Just understand that fixed aperature zoom lenses are more expensive. I would go for the lens, the price isn't going to break the bank, and you will learn a lot from it.
     
  17. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Not necessarily, www.keh.com (a very reputable company that I have had many dealings with and they are also an Apug sponser) has these lenses:

    70-210 F3.5 VIVITAR SER 1 MACRO AI (62) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS $56.00

    This is the fixed aperture version of the Vivitar Series 1 70-210

    70-210 F4 KIRON MACRO AI (62) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS $35.00

    I have heard many espouse the Kiron lenses as being above reproach. Kiron also made many of Nikon's lenses (such as the 70-150 series E which is highly touted).

    If you are wanting a zoom lens then I suggest buying the Kiron lens from www.keh.com Even with 2-day UPS shipping it is cheaper than the Vivitar from the repair shop.
     
  18. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    Just to throw in an idle comment, but the Nikon 105/2.5 is famously sharp, a stop and a half faster, and probably lighter, than the zoom you're looking at. It's also relatively inexpensive on the used market. This is why I haven't bought another zoom for my cameras, though there are times I would appreciate not carrying a second lens in my pocket; primes are just faster for the weight, and sometimes you need that stop or two.

    Just for reference, KEH lists an AI/AIS 105/2.5 for ~ $100, or a 104/4 MicroNikkor for ~ $150.
     
  19. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I hate to say it, but eBay is a great tool - even if you do not buy, you will see what the items are really worth to people who know (adjust for the occasional abnormality in price for either a great deal or someone who "just had to have it"). Now, I don't know how relevant this is, being a Canon story, but here goes:
    I bought a camera, a very decent 50mm lense and a Canon 70-200 zoom with "macro" focus (note the parenthesis - you DO NOT have a true macro lense there, its just a bit of a convenient misnomer) for $100 CDN(+/_ $75 US). Now, the camerais irrelevant here, but the package is not - the Canon lense I got was very sharp and I doubt gave anything away to the Vivitar (and prices seem to confirm this...) So, I would keep looking - while $85 is not a rip-off, its not exactly a great deal. And as good as the Vivitars are said to be, I doubt the Nikon optics will not be better.
    I have to say that a 70-200mm lense is great to have - its really an all rounder and I have got good use out of mine (until I traded it to a unsuspecting pawn shop owner for a 80-200 "L" lense, but I digress :smile:). However, if prices are at all compareable, a Vivitar is just not worth the money - $85 will get you a consumer level lense by the manufacturer of your camera if you look hard enough. The Nikon optics are considered by many to be the best in the world, and almost everyone agrees that if not "the best", they are certainly outstanding. I would invest in them even if it meant paying a bit more (and I am a Canon guy..hehehehe). And that 50mm lense will be your best friend anyway! Cheers.

    PS. The F3 is a great purchase - its already a classic because simply, few cameras out there are any better - its a gem! You will love the 100% view finder too! I will someday have one fo my own, when money no longer dictates that I shouldonly have one "system" of lenses! :smile:
     
  20. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Chaim,
    Hey, you're in Wickford, I'm in Providence. I've got an F3 also (love it). Anyways, my opinion is you should stick to the 50mm (I'm assuming it's a Nikkor) and bypass that so called deal. I really don't think it's a deal considering I've never paid more than $180 on a Nikkor lens off eBay. If you're just returning to photography you should learn to use the 50mm and get on the forum as often as possible to learn, learn, learn. I guarantee within a few months you'll be saying "thank God, I didn't buy that Vivitar and I waited for a better lens". I agree with the comment about the 105mm 2.5 which I own and love. I personally only use prime lenses and have never missed an opportunity because I didn't have a zoom. Just my $.02.
    Ara
     
  21. roteague

    roteague Member

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    chaim,

    There are a lot of good suggestions here. I would first consider what type of photography interests you - that will determine whether you are better off with a fixed lens or a zoom lens. If you are doing landscapes or travel photography, you would probably be better off with the zoom, most of the "street" type of photography I have seen, seems to work better with a fixed lens. Think about what it is you want to shoot first, then decide.

    FWIW, When I do 35mm, which isn't often, I always use a 17-35mm Sigma zoom (which is a very sharp lens) or a 28-200 Nikkor (also sharp); I use a Nikon N80. However, my primary format is 4x5 in which I am limited to fixed lenses. I am primarily a landscape photographer, although I do some travel photography as well.