Super-wide manual focus zoom for Nikon, any recommendation?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by LunoLuno, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. LunoLuno

    LunoLuno Member

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    I'm thinking of adding a super-wide zoom to my Nikon F-mount system (Nikon F & Nikomat FTn). This idea didn't occured to me until I realized there were some third party manual focus super-wide zooms like Sigma 21-35mm F3.5-4.0 (or F3.5-4.2). I had long thought I had to select from AF zooms if I want a super-wide zoom for my MF Nikon bodies. Now I'm wondering if there's any other manual focus super-wide zoom other than the Sigams. Is there any other decent manual focus super-wide zoom? Are they worth looking for, or should I just stick to using primes for my old Nikons? I know AF zooms can be used with MF Nikons as long as they have aperture rings, but I'm looking for a manual focus zoom this time, and I'm looking for those which goes wider than 21mm.

    Thanks in advance!

    LunoLuno
     
  2. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    All I can think of is get a Leica 21-35mm and a mount conversion kit.

    +
    The lens is supposed to be one of the best, if not the absolute best, of its kind.

    -
    $$$$$$.
    You have a completely manual diaphragm.
    You need to change the mount (or have it changed - reversible if you want to resell later).
    21mm might not be "wider than 21mm".... :wink: But then some "20mm" FLs might actually be longer (many manufacturers declare optimistic figures).
     
  3. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    I'm not aware of any MF, superwide zoom. The better superwide zooms arrived after AF was firmly established. I use the Nikon 17-35/2.8 with a metering prong on various pre-AI bodies and would recommend the same. How soon might it be before you gravitate toward wanting an AF superwide? Two birds, one stone.
     
  4. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv Member

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  5. Chayelle

    Chayelle Member

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    An AF lens that is super wide...Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM, perhaps? :confused:
     
  6. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Samyang 18-28 f4-4.5. MF only.
    Great lens, usually either very inexpensive unless the seller does their research.
     
  7. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I think there is a 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 model, in manual focus mount, with the Vivitar Series 1 label on it. Not sure when it was made but I remember seeing it in camera magazine dealer ads.
     
  8. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    The widest I have in manual focus are 24mm lenses, ultimately anything wider than that and you dont have to worry to much about focusing as much of everything is already in focus with a very short throw.

    I have a Tokina 19-35 3.5-4.5 AF, it's in a ton of mounts. It is a good performer and super inexpensive. I got mine for about $35 as a rebranded quantaray(ritz) model. It goes for about $70 on the bay as the tokina model. There are a ton of reviews about it online.

    The other superwide I have is the Sigma 14mm 3.5 AF. It is a bit slower than the newer 2.8 model, but its not a big deal. You have to cut your own filters and slot them in the back. It is a rectilinear and one of the widest you can get. It goes for about $200 on the bay.
     
  9. LunoLuno

    LunoLuno Member

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    Sorry for my bad English. By "wide than 21mm" I meant 21mm is included, so 21-35mm focal length is perfectly OK for me. I sometimes heard about good reputations about the Vario-Elmar, but non-auto diaphram is kind of a problem I suppose..... But thanks anyway, the idea of adapting a Leica lens with a mount conversion kit had never occured to me before asking in here.

    It seems I don't have much choice if I stick to the manual focus zooms. I believe those 19-35/3.5-4.5 from Tokina and Vivitar are both Cosina made, am I correct? And Cosina itself once made MF 19-35/3.5-4.5, but many reviews claim the sample from Cosina is somehow not as good as Tokina's. Many say it's kind of hit or miss.....
     
  10. jochen

    jochen Member

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    Hello,
    the AF 2,8/20 - 35 D mm Zoom Nikkor is an excellent lens, a little bit large, but lighter and smaller and cheaper than the 2,8/17 - 35 mm which is even a little bit better. It is a professional lens made mainly from metal and not plastic. You can focus it manually quite well. Unfortunately it has no coupling for the exposure meter of your Nikon F or Nikkormat Ftn. This could be your biggest problem for all other more modern zooms from other manufactureres. Really good extreme wide angle zooms were offered only in the Autofocus era.
     
  11. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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  12. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    I just comfort myself with my simple Nikon Nikkor 18-35 AF ED
     
  13. macrorie

    macrorie Member

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    Can AF lenses be fitted with AI/AIS aperture setting ears? I am sure John White, aiconversions.com, would know and would do the work if it is possible. I also immediately thought of the 20-25mm lens as a solution: I know many people who used them on manual focus cameras such as the F3.
     
  14. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    Sorry, technical difficulties above.

    Yes, quite easily, once you acquire the two tiny screws and prong. AF lenses, at least those with an aperture ring, have two very small indentations (just left of f4 and f8) to mark the precise location of where holes should be drilled in order to affix screws through a metering prong. I can't recall bit size. The aperture rings are plastic so I don't feel it's imperative to tap the holes. Not tapping has not posed problems.

    For those that have a Dremel with an appropriately tiny bit, it's straight forward. No need to remove the aperture ring from the lens. For those that don't have a Dremel or the ultra-tiny bit, take one of the screws and lens to a reputable watch repair shop and pay them the nominal fee to drill two holes, radially. They'll need the screw to ascertain bit-size. Before mounting the prong, place a very, very small droplet of Loctite on/in the holes and then tighten the screws. Here's a 17-35 f2.8 AF-S ready to serve the F2SB.
     

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  15. LunoLuno

    LunoLuno Member

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    Thanks for your input, everyone!

    I thought if Sigma managed to release their first super-wide zoom as early as 1981, then there could have been many other zooms with similar focal length before Nikon finally released their first super-wide in 1993, but things didn't go so easily it seems. Maybe I should alter my plan by going back to the original idea of using an AF Nikkor with my old Nikons. And with its constant aperture, the Nikkor 20-35/2.8 can be used much more comfortably compared to those with variable aperture at least... I usually use an incident light meter or just estimating light myself and am very good at it, but with variable aperture zooms, as there's no way to know the exact F-number corresponding to each focal length, I totally need to depend on the internal light meter, do I?

    I had some very bad experiences using AF zooms (standard zooms) with manual focus use (mainly with their short focusing throw), and am now wondering if the focusing throw of the 20-35/2.8 is capable enough for manual focus use. It seems some of you are using the 20-35 Nikkor here, and I'd really appreciate your opinion.:smile:

    LunoLuno
     
  16. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    I've used the 20-35mm Nikon zoom, but the fixed 20mm 2.8 is much better. Also beware of "barrel & pin-cushion distortion" with some wide angle zooms. I personaly would advise fixed focal lengths when going that wide. The wide angle zooms with a fixed 2.8 aperture tend to be very heavy, whereas the 20mm 2.8 is light and compact. The 3.5 20mm manual Nikon version is even smaller and lighter.
     
  17. Jamiebard

    Jamiebard Member

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    The widest I have in manual focus are 24mm lenses
     
  18. lesm

    lesm Member

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    The Sigma 15-30mm Ex aspherical IF can be used manually. Mine is a Pentax mount but I presume they made one with Nikon mount too. It's incredibly sharp, solid, no bad habits and not that expensive now. I think I paid about $350 Australian.
     
  19. Pumalite

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    +1
     
  20. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    Bear in mind Sigma lenses, to my recollection, focus to infinity in the opposite direction to Nikon ones, which can be a bit distracting if you're using both together.
     
  21. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    Look at Older Tokina lenses, too.

    While this is true for Nikon, as they came late to this, it is not true for Canon.
    So, your statement of The better superwide zooms arrived after AF was firmly established,
    is only partially accurate. Canon's FD 24 - 35 mm f 2.8 L lens being the first.
    I know that it's not adaptable to the Nikon, but I wanted to straighten the record.

    As far as MF only Wide Angle zooms, the old ones may not be up to current sharpness
    standards, but since the Nikon can mount any Non-G mount lenses, why worry if it's AF,
    or not. I hope that you are using an AI, or later camera, then NO Worries.

    Look at Older Tokina lenses, too.
     
  22. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I agree with the recommendations on the 20-35/2.8D ED and the 17-35/2.8D ED.

    Bear in mind that if you don't fit the meter coupling shoe, you can still meter in stop-down mode with non-AI bodies.
     
  23. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    I feel my statement is entirely accurate. I appreciate your concern for clarity but most familiar with the vernacular (e.g. pro's/avid shooters) generally don't consider 24mm to be 'superwide'. The original request is for a 'super-wide zoom...looking for those which goes wider than 21mm'. In the loose but generally agreed-upon world of 35mm format, 24 is considered to be 'wide' whereas 21 and 20 (to 17mm or thereabouts) is considered 'superwide'. I'm not suggesting a hard and steadfast rule. No dogma here but if a distinction must be drawn...

    I would also add that the highly regared Nikon 25-50mm f4 AI (1979) or AIS would merit strong consideration...except that it's not superwide. Probably released at about the same time as the Canon lens you mentioned.

    I know of a Canon FD 24-35/f3.5 L but not a f2.8 version...though I don't know Canon very well.

    Both the Nikon F and Nikomat FTn are pre-AI, hence the need for the all-important metering prong on the lens.
     
  24. LunoLuno

    LunoLuno Member

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    I do have (and did have) AI Nikon bodies actually, but I don't use them at all. I use the F and the Nikomat exclusively because I really like them. I believe there're many people out there who's like me. :wink:

    I don't get the point why you recommend an Ai body. Any Nikkor lens with an aperture ring can fit on a pre-Ai body, so where's the necessity of abondoning old Nikons that I really like and switching to newer Ai bodies, anyway? On the other hand, an Ai body cant accept pre-Ai lenses. So, if you recommend an pre-Ai body, and then say No Warries, I can understand that, but with an Ai body some worries does manifest, actually.....

    Regarding coupling prong, it's not a big issue for me. Of course I'd welcome if there's a prong on the aperture ring (or capability of attaching the prong), but not having constant aperture is way more troublesome than not having a coupling prong for me.