Recommendations for a M/F Nikon zoom

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by stradibarrius, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I have a great selection of Nikon M/F primes and wondered if there is a really good M/F zoom. I am looking for something comparable to my 28-105 AF.
    Does anybody have any recommendations?
     
  2. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    I will start this off. There actually may be some decent M/F zooms, however, I have always found that if I want a real keeper, there is no substitute for the primes. I believe you will always get the best results from the primes.....there is no zoom equal.

    I will add that at times it is impossible to zoom my body closer or farther away when using a prime....such as any of the M/F 50mm lenses, they just take good pictures. I seem to always get a good photo when using the 50mm, as long as the subject isn't moving much!

    I think you will find as this discussion gets rolling, to get a reasonable performing M/F zoom as compared to the primes, you will have to put down some serious money. If you already have a great selection of M/F primes, why mess with zooms.......you already have a great treasure of glass, go out and use them!!

    Bob E.
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

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    The Series E 75-150/3.5 is light, sharp and usually very affordable. The 50-135/3.5 is harder to find but also sweet.
     
  4. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    I'm hard pressed to think of a manual focus Nikkor with that zoom range, particularly on the wide end. I agree with CGW's recommendations; those are both excellent. For a while I was pairing the 50-135 with the 28-50, but neither is easy to find. Or you could pair the 36-72 E with the 75-150 E, and get a 28.
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Zooms are only "really good" in comparison to other zooms. None are as good as prime lenses.
     
  6. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Sorry. Disagree. There are great zooms that are much better than some of the crappy primes. Overall most primes are better than most zooms but "none are as good as prime lenses" is not accurate nor makes much sense as a stand-alone statement.
     
  7. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Agree here. The 75-150/3.5 is a terrific zoom. Very sharp. Just find one that is not too loose.
     
  8. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Guess you never shot a AFS 80-200 mm f/2.8 ED-IF. Funny how so many abandoned primes for the various 80-200/2.8s. Wonder why?
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I have no clue. Perahaps you'd care to enlighten me?
     
  10. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I don't know why there is all this sarcastic discussion. Seriously, people, take a deep breath. :smile:

    All things equal, primes are sharper and better than zooms. The problem is that not all things are equal. If there were a larger market for top-quality prime lenses, then we would not be having this discussion because the primes would be superior. Even so, I expect you could find a prime lens somewhere by some company that would be better and sharper than a zoom at any given focal length.

    The problem is that if you have your 28 mm lens on your camera, and something happens suddenly in front of you that requires a 105 mm, you either lose the shot, you carry a second body with a 105 mm on it (and lose the shots that need 35, 50, 70 or 85) or you use a zoom and get the shot.

    To answer the original poster's question... there really isn't a good manual-focus wide-to-tele zoom that I've found. If you want a lens with that sort of range but good manual-focus feel, the professional AF zooms are awfully good. The 28-70/2.8 is not quite as long in range but will give you decent manual feel on a manual body. I routinely use my 80-200/2.8 and 17-35/2.8 on manual bodies and I don't find myself wanting for more "manual" quality.

    The 28-105/3.5-4.5 itself is pretty good too. The focus throw is fairly short, but one can get used to this.
     
  11. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv Member

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    Is the Vivitar Series 1 28-90 or 28-105 worth a crap? I have a 28-105 for OM but haven't ever shot it because I just use primes for this range. It seems to be built well enough though.
     
  12. jdsanika

    jdsanika Subscriber

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    Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5 Ai (72mm filter), an excellent mid range zoom for about $100
     
  13. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    Vivitar (Kiron) 75~150mm.
     
  14. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    In the mid 1980s, a manual focus Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5 to f/4.5 was produced.
     
  15. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    80/200 F4.0 works at all focal lengths and apertures. There is some distortion like ALL Nikkor zooms. This lens is reasonably small and not heavy and has Nikon build quality unlike the series E which are junk inside where you can not see it. 70/150 E suffers from or will suffer from zoom creep from the amateur construction.

    80/200 2.8 are bigger, heavier, higher priced, so don`t get one unless you need 2.8.

    Think about a three lens kit 85/135/180
     
  16. Robert Ley

    Robert Ley Subscriber

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    I have used for many years the 35-105 f:3.5-4.5 and find it the perfect zoom focal length for ME. I like the close focus ability and it includes all of my favorite focal lengths. If I have an image that I want to be of the best quality I will either shot with a prime lens such as my 35 f:2, 85 f:2 or my wonderful 105 f:2.5, but for a walking around lens the 35-105 is hard to beat. For the best image quality I will go for my Pentax 645 or my Wista 4x5.
     
  17. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    +1. While I have long maintained that my 85mm F1.4 AIS, 135mm F2 AI and 180mm F2.8 IF-ED AIS are three of the sharpest lenses I have ever used, my 80-200mm F2.8 D ED AFS is every bit their equal, substituting, without fear of compromise, whenever weight is an issue or speed and convenience are paramount .
     
  18. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    The 80-200mm F2.8 D ED AFS is no a MF lens. As I stated I have an 28-105 AF that is a pretty good lens. I also have a 28mm f.2.8 AIS, 35mm f/2.8 AIS, 50mm f1.8 AIS and the 105mm f/2.5 so I have great primes and if I were taking a shot that was really important the I would use a prime. If I want to walk around when I travel a zoom is much more practical.
     
  19. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Are you wanting manual focus lens feel or are you being a purist?

    The AF 80-200/2.8 ED (non-D) (and very likely the first D version too) has excellent manual focus feel and a one-touch zoom/focus ring that works great on manual-focus bodies. Your camera won't care if it's an AF lens but it's up to you if you care. I use mine on manual bodies routinely.
     
  20. OldBodyOldSoul

    OldBodyOldSoul Member

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    25-50/4 and 50-135/3.5 are great zooms

    Probably the best of all, though I've never had one in my hand or even seen it, is the 80-200/2.8. The legend (and spec sites) says that it weighs about 7 tons, is bigger than elephant and cuts through diamonds wide open. It is priced accordingly (>$1000).
     
  21. CGW

    CGW Member

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    This lens is reasonably small and not heavy and has Nikon build quality unlike the series E which are junk inside where you can not see it. 70/150 E suffers from or will suffer from zoom creep from the amateur construction.

    Funny but those E series like the 75-150/3.5 and 100/2.8 are some sharp "junk" lenses. The zoom creep on the 75-150 is very sample dependent--some are quite loose while others not so much. Nikon's longer one-touch tele zooms could develop the same problem.
     
  22. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I have an AI-converted 1974-ish 80-200/4.5 that has the same problem. It was a common eventuality for one-touch zooms of the day.

    It's easily corrected with an elastic band, if one needs to shoot on a tripod pointing up or down.
     
  23. kivis

    kivis Subscriber

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    I recommend a good 50mm lens and steady use of your feet. The ultimate zoom.
     
  24. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I picked up a 35-105 f/3.5-4.5 macro today in like new condition. I'll give it a try and see how I like it.
    I have heard that lots of folks who are using the new Canon mk5's like this lens to shoot video because the color rendition is so nice???Have any of you heard of this?
     
  25. psychfunk

    psychfunk Member

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    I picked one of these up for pennies as it's bruised and battered. The image quality is nothing to write home about but there's certainly nothing problematic... The fixed aperture is a great advantage too, and the range should cover everything provided you move towards your subject.

    Jake.