Nikon primes.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike Kennedy, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I'm slowly building a set of prime lenses around a Nikon F3hp.What would you consider to be "The Essential" lenses to focus on.(Pardon the pun).Money Is An Object.

    Thanks
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Wide: 24 or 28
    Standard: 1.4/50mm
    Tele: 85 or 105 or 135, depends on what kind shots you are after
    Macro ?!

    24-50-105 would be a good starting point.

    Peter
     
  3. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    If money is an object, try AI 50mm f/2 or 1.8, 28mm f/3.5 and 135mm f/3.5. You should be able to get those lenses for not a lot of cash. I've used them all and they're great; Try to find a later model of the 28mm f/3.5 as the early ones tend to vignette with filters.

    Of course, with the F3 you *could* save more money buying non-AI lenses (trading the savings for the need to use stop-down metering). Just remember to flip the metering lever out of the way before you mount those. Note that the F3 doesn't specifically need AIs lenses, but they will fit just as well as AI; you may find the AI lenses slightly less expensive (and better built, IMHO).
     
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  4. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Some of my essentials are: 24 2.8 AI, 35 F2 O Ai'd, 85 f2 Ai, 135 f2 Ai. 180 2.8 Ai (pre ED).
     
  5. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    The Nikkor AF 50/1.8 has always been a great performer for me. Used it on an F80 and a FM.
     
  6. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    28 2.8, 50 1.4 or 2.0 or 1.8 (not the E), 105 2.5, 200 4.0... The 50 2.0 is sharpest, the 1.8 next, 1.4 close behind on the "normals". The others are considered by many, the sharpest Nikon has to offer in those focal lengths. The 180 2.8 ED is excellent also but expensive. I have an old user that focuses a little beyond inf if I don't be careful, I guess someone had it apart and left a shim out. LOVE the lens, VG optics, paid 160.00 for it, so they ARE out there.
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I'm using 35mm mostly for handheld available light stuff, so...

    24/2.8, 50/1.2, 105/1.8.

    It'd not be unusual to have a few different 50s in your kit, eventually. Also the 105 "micro" is a very good and versatile choice.
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    For Nikon, I'd say:

    Wide: 24/2.8 or /2, 28/2/8 (AI-S) or /2, 35/2 or /1.4 (pick one or two based on your shooting habits)
    Normal: any Nikon 50 is alright. The 50/2 is the sleeper. A 50/1.4 is useful for lower light.
    Tele: 85/1.8, 105/2.5 - these are legendary Nikon lenses. You really need to own one - or both! For longer tele, 135/2.8 (if needed), 200/4 (the AI-S is especially nice)

    There are other choices (Keith mentions the 105/1.8, which is a pretty sweet lens).

    My favourite of all of these: probably the 105/2.5. I love the results I get with it. And you get the joy of knowing that you have the descendant of the Leica-mount 105/2.5 Nikkor-P that started the whole Nikon revolution after the Second World War.
     
  9. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    If you like macro work at all, consider a 55mm Micro-NIKKOR. Mine is limited to f3.5 so there will be some low light limitations, otherwise, a great little lens all around.
     
  10. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    PhotoJim mentioned that the 50/2.0 AI is the sleeper. I concur but will go further - it is the sharpest of any of the 50 lenses Nikon ever made. And how often do you need the extra stop anyway?

    My choices: 28/2.8 AIS; 50 (any, but 2.0 if you can find one in good condition); 105/2.5. The 105/2.5 is the most incredible lens I have ever had the joy to play with.
     
  11. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    The 24mm f2.8 AI series is one of the best all around lenses ever made by anyone. When it first came out in the late 1960's every PJ jumped on the bandwagon including me. I still use one to this day.
    Any of the 50mm f2 will do.
    I opted for the 135mm 2.8 over the 105mm 2.5 because of the retractable fixed lens hood and still use one.
    Other than that its on to the tele lenses where I would purchase the ED series of which I have 300, 400 and lastly the 500 f8 mirror. The 500 f5 is simply to big and heavy and I only used it once to shoot a frontpage of back lit ice boats.
     
  12. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    There are 2 kinds of photographers:

    Those who consider the 50mm their "normal" lens and those who consider the 35mm as a "normal".

    I belong to the second, so here is my list (my experience of especially good Nikkors):

    A 20mm (don't have a 20mm Nikkor myself, ask around which suits your purposes best).

    24mm f/2.8 35mm f/2.0 105mm f/2.5 200mm f/4.0 (AI or AIS - one of Nikons most undderrated lenses)
    With these 5 lenses you have a really complete and good set-up to which you could add:

    Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 (excellent).

    The 300mm f/4.5 is so-so (lots of variation, from poor to decent), later, expensive f/4.0 should be good.

    400mm f/5.6 supposed to be superb (don't have one myself).
     
  13. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Thanks all for posting a reply.
    I did pick up a 55 micro-nikkor 2.8.Great walk about lens.My 100mm 2.8 series E (from fellow member) works great.The 28mm 3.5 is very nice.A tad slow ,but for $5.00 it was a steal.
    I've made up a list,checked it twice,now where's the dude in the red suit?
    I only wish that our Canadian dollar was worth more.Almost impossible to buy from the states.Oh well,time to get happy for what I do have.
     
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  15. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I agree with other posters here that the 200mm f/4 Nikkor is a great lens, and usually available for less than US$100. There is also an expensive 200mm micro that is supposed to be very good, but I wouldn't know having never used it...
     
  16. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Currently my favorite Nikon primes? 28mm F/2 AIS, 50mm F/1.2 AIS and 105mm F/2.5 AIS. All three are fantastic on my FM3A, F100, D700 and D3.

    I also have the Carl Zeiss ZF 35/2 and 85/1.4...those are incredible.
     
  17. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    I too use 35mm for available light hand held photographs. So, I wanted the fastest lenses I could find. They include 24 f2.8, 35 f2.0, 50 f1.2, 55 f2.8 Micro, 85 f1.4, 105 f1.8 and a 180 f2.8. I may not need all the speed to capture the image on film, but the extra lens speed sure makes it easier to focus in low light situations. :D

    The 85 f1.4 is always mounted to one of my FM3As. It is by far my favorite lens. Some of my favorite subjects are my friend's kids. We have a lake house and one of the best photo opportunities is to take the kids down to the dock (before the sun clears the horizon), hand the kids a bowl of dog food, and grab the camera while capturing the kids expressions as they "feed the fish." The kids have a wonderful time and I wind up with some "Kodak Moments" to present the parents come Xmas time.
     
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  18. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Add the 180mm F/2.8 ED AIS and you have my lens set.
     
  19. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Now that so many good replies have been posted, it's not so bad to go off-topic, i think. So here goes:

    "Primes" - short for primaries - are lenses that are used with an attachment lens (secondaries) like wide angle converters, anamorphotic converters, close-up diopters, and such.

    It is not (!) the correct term for fixed focal length lens. Not the opposite of zoom (zooms can be primes too).
     
  20. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I have the 180/2.8 ED, and I like it. Like... maybe even like a lot... but not love.

    What I really love among the long primes: the mamiya m645 200/2.8 apo. Works very well on the nikons with a little $20 adapter. I use it with the F100 and some other unmentionable Nikon bodies. It is an amazing lens, totally superb in every respect, and not much bigger than a 35mm counterpart would be. The only downside to using it is that it is off-white in colour, so you run the risk of being identified as a Canon user. :wink:

    Honestly the 180 just sits on a shelf now that I dual-purpose my 200/2.8.
     
  21. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    But it is in common usage in the Photographic community and has been so for at least thirty years.
     
  22. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    It comes and it goes.
    Hadn't heard or seen it for a while now, and thought it had gone away for good.

    Anyway, it is also common in the photographic community not to use the term incorrectly. From what i've seen the last couple of years, i'd even say most people do indeed not use the term incorrectly.
    And it's never too late for the ones who don't to start using terms properly.

    Next on the list of inpropery used terms is MLU.
    Rarely ever used to describe mirrors that are locked up.
    We'll get rid of that too! :wink:
     
  23. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    from my own experience (and experience of my friends):

    2/24 is bit better than 2.8/24 (not so much, but the images feel different)

    2/28 is better than 2.8/28 (there is a significant difference - not in sharpness, but in overal look and "plasticity")

    1.4/35 is far better than 2/35 (in every respect)

    in the 50mm range there aren't any big differences (and I'm not interested in this focal lenght actually)

    1.8/85 (pre-AI & early_AI) is FAR better than 2/85 (there is really big difference)
     
  24. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I'll just say, if shallow DOF is your groove then you might as well look into medium format slrs. There are plenty of inexpensive f/2.8 options in various 645 systems. Generally speaking, for very versatile DOF field control, you'll want to look into larger formats. The OOF transitions will be generally smoother IMHO.
     
  25. tomkatf

    tomkatf Member

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    20/3.5... the 52mm version
    28/2
    50/1.4
    105/2.5
    80-200/4 or 2.8 (the AF version used manually)
    300/4.5

    All AI or AI-S

    Love em all!

    Best,
    Tom
     
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  26. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    still the 2.8 is superb and the favorite among my lenses... When was the f/2 made?