Nikon's new manual focus fixed-length lenses

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by 2F/2F, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hello,

    It is nice that Nikon still sells several manual focus lenses. Has anybody here bought the current models brand new? What versions of the lenses are these? Are they just AI-S lenses, or have they been redesigned? The prices certainly are attractive, compared to their autofocus stuff. If I ever seriously start using digital, I was thinking that these guys might be the way to go, as they will serve me with film as well. The prices really are not bad for brand spanking new lenses.
     
  2. Ihmemies

    Ihmemies Member

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    Nikon hasn't made any new MF designs except the new PC-E lenses. So they are the same lenses as in 80's, just upgraded with newest coatings (not nano coating though).

    My secret dream is that Nikon some day releases a new manual focus Ai-P lens collection using the newest optical designs used in 24/1.4, 35/1.4, 50/1.4, 85/1.4 etc.
     
  3. lns

    lns Member

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    Two words: Zeiss ZF. :smile:

    -Laura
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Nikon still sells a fm-10 film camera, so these lenses are probably to go with that, and for people like us looking to acquire more lenses that work with new and old hardware.

    I bought a new 50 1.2 about ten years ago and sold it for what I bought it for five years ago. Now you could have sold it for more than I paid for it.

    Earlier this year I bought a brand new Voigtlander 40mm SL2 for Nikon-F mount. It's a very nice new manual focus lens; nice to use and exceptional image qualities. Zeiss seems overpriced and brutally crisp at the expense of Bokeh.
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    What new lenses, apart from the new-ish PC models? What remains are new but the same 30+ year-old designs. The little 45/2.8 Ai-P I have was rolled out with the FM3A and was among the last "new" MF lenses. That was 2001.
     
  6. CGW

    CGW Member

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    They actually planned a line of "classic" chipped Ai-P lenses to follow the FM3A roll-out. But the FM3A was late to the party and the chipped 24/2.8, 28/2.8, and 105/2.5 lenses never happened.
     
  7. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Is ZF a word?:wink::wink:
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    This is what I assumed. I wonder how they do on digital. I will have to ask elsewhere. :D
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I doubt Nikon is putting much effort into manual focus lenses. Why should it? The bulk of Nikon's sales are in digital cameras and lenses.

    I agree that the Zeiss lenses are very nice, indeed. Or at least that's true of the ZM lenses that I have.
     
  10. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    That little 45 /2.8 lens might just be the same optical formula as the old 45 / 2.8 GN (guide number) lens. Both are Tessars. I have the GN lens, and it's pretty good.
     
  11. CGW

    CGW Member

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  12. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Tessar formula but a very different lens compared to the old GN.
     
  13. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    The only differences between the 1981-2005 AIS Nikkors and the 2006-current AIS Nikkors are the serial numbers, which were upped by either 100,000 or 1,000,000, depending on if the lenses had six or seven digit serial numbers, and the fact that they're made special order only. So, no new coatings.

    -J
     
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  15. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    the analogue market is so small compared to the professional dslr (and even bigger consumer digital camera) market that i'm not very surprised they don't pay attention...
     
  16. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    IMHO Canon is the way to go, option of M42, Contax C/Y, Olympus OM, Nikkor, and many other lens mouns to adapt to easily on both the digital SLRs and film SLRs

    Currently I just use a Olympus OM G.Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Super Takumar 200mm f/4, and Sigma 12-24mm on both 35mm film and APS-C digital.

    12mm on film with no distortion is unreal.
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    You may also want to invest in a new focus screen for your new digital SLR then. The plain screen does not work very well with manual focus lenses (including the ones from Carl Zeiss). Zeiss showed these screen at Photokina this year to go with their lenses. I forgot who makes them but they were from two US suppliesrs
     
  18. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I never understood why the camera manufacturers stopped using the split-prism in their standard screens.

    I'm starting to use my older AIS Nikon manual focus lenses on my Nikon D700, but I found it very hard to focus with the basic matt screen. So after a little research, I switched to a Katz Eye split-prism, and it is much better. In comparison, the Katz Eye screen is as good as, and maybe better than, my F3 for manual focus lenses.
     
  19. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    That was one of them! The plain screens are better with auto-focus lenses, in my opinion, because they are brighter and work with smaller apertures. Nevertheless, they don't work well with manual-focus lenses.
     
  20. CGW

    CGW Member

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    All my Nikon AF bodies have focus confirmation in the viewfinder display that makes the split-image focus aid irrelevant. Works nicely with MF lenses.
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Not for me. It's like trusting autofocus. Sometimes you want more control.
     
  22. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Getting a good focusing screen for fast lenses is something I do with any camera that allows it.

    New stock screens on AF cameras aren't bad because they are for autofocus lenses, but because they are for slow lenses. There are plenty of fast autofocus lenses which are just as hard to focus on the stock screens as manual focus lenses.
     
  23. Ihmemies

    Ihmemies Member

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    Nikon started to optimize screens for brightness starting from F4. From F4 onwards screens have displayed the depth of field by f/2 at maximum, even if you had a 1.2 lens plugged in. A nice shortcut for getting loads of OOF images :smile:

    It didn't matter since pro standard switched from 1.4 primes to 2.8 zooms. Consumers switched from 2.0-2.8 primes to 5.6 zooms.

    Also AF points are clustered in the middle, so you need to do some recomposing if you want to focus elsewhere. In fast moving situations paying attention to some tiny blinking lights in the edge of your vision is not optimal either.
     
  24. CGW

    CGW Member

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    With a manual lens you're always in control. The electronic rangefinders on my N90s bodies are a nice feature that's welcome in many situations--and they don't lie.
     
  25. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    The problem I have with autofocus - sometimes - is that it will pick the spot you don't want sharp focus on to focus on. The actual focus confirmation indicator is extraordinarily accurate if you point the pipper at your target. If it strays off target you miss. Wide area auto focus depends on the extra depth of field you realize at longer focusing distances, so that works ok; but you still need to put the pipper on the target.
     
  26. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    After take off, the pilot addresses the passengers over the intercom:

    Dear passengers, this is a computer-controlled aircraft without a real pilot. But there is no need to worry. The system is flawless.

    crackling sound followed by:

    The system is flawless.
    The system is flawless.
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    The system is flawless.
    The system is flawless...