Which older Nikon 50mm F1.4?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by waynecrider, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I'm looking to start shopping for a replacement for my AFD 50mm F1.8 for a more period 50mm F1.4. This to be matched to my not quite recently acquired Nikkormat FT3 that is getting the once over at Essex. Not shot it yet but am waiting with baited breath. Would like to get something with personality like on the order of a pre ASPH version of a Leica M lens. Specifically bokeh is of importance. Will shoot mostly b&w film with just an occasional roll of color. Appreciate any insights. Thanks
     
  2. skahde

    skahde Member

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    With an F-mount Nikon 1,4/50mm? :confused: Having used the Cron for several years and still owning and using Nikon gear, let me know if you find a Nikon lens which remotely resembles the footprint of the 2/35mm pre-Asph. The 2.8/55mm and 2.5/100mm Ai are among the better lenses with respect to bokeh but...

    Stefan
     
  3. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Thanks Stefan; I'm probably asking for a little too much in retrospect, so lets just ask for some bokeh. I'm sure there's lot's of other lenses I could have asked for a comparison to, I just don't know them. Overall I think personality on the order of say a vintage LF lens might be more appropriate. The 50mm is not really my most used lens and when I do use it I prefer to use it for people shots instead of landscapes.
     
  4. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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    There are probably more "improvements" and variations in the Nikkor 50 1.4 lens than any other Nikkor. Many are undocumented. As a general rule, as with all lenses, the older ones aren't as good as the newer ones. For example the earliest 50 f1.4 had no lens coating, other early ones had limited coating, and only the ones from the 1980's and later had multicoating.

    My 48088831 is a late AI lens, is multi-coated, and has hard rubber focussing ring. It doesn't have the romanticism of the earlier lenses but looks good on my F2A and is definitely a better performer than older lenses. I've had three or four 50 f1.4 lenses and its clearly the best.
     
  5. jbj

    jbj Member

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    50 1.4 Ai or Ais are both good, the 50 f/2 Ai or non-ai (H, I think) are supposed to be excellent lenses. 50 1.2 Ai or ais also supposed to be good. Maybe I misunderstood your question.

    In terms of bokeh I've heard F/2 > f1.2 > f1.4 = f1.8
     
  6. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Member

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    Don't forget the Nikkor 50mm F2. If it's 'character' you're looking for, it had it, particularly wide open.
     
  7. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Basically I'm looking for a signature or personality; Bokeh, contrast, resolution.

    The single coated lenses may be worth looking into. Voigtlander came out with a single coated and multi-coated version of their 40mm F1.4 Nokton for the Leica M mount. The single coated for b&w photography.... Maybe a Nikon lens won't emulate a Leica lens; So the question.
     
  8. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Which version? Ai, Ais etc.
     
  9. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    The Nikkor f2 H, is non ai. Nikon made an ai version for a very short period, but quickly replaced it with the f1.8. I'm using a f2 nikkor H, and I really, really like it. Much more than the nikkor ai f1.4 I used to have. Also the build quality is better. The 50mm Nikkor f2 H, is definately vintage like, but if you really want vintage, you're in the wrong system.
     
  10. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    I'm sorry, there are absolutely no uncoated Nikon SLR lenses. Closest 50mm Nikkor with a "Germanic look" to the results is the older 50/2. The latest AI version would be a good match for your Nikkormat.
     
  11. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    Another vote here for the 50mm f/2 H. Mine is actually an HC which I believe is multicoated. The one I have was AI'd and I use it on an F2AS. It's a very nice lens, has a classic look to it, and is much nicer than the couple of f/1.4's that I've tried. Of course if you really need 1.4, f/2 doesn't quite work.

    Richard Wasserman
     
  12. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    I once had a 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor S•C, an older single-coated lens with the scalloped metal focusing ring. Absolutely the nicest-looking 50mm I've shot with on B&W film. Great look to it - I preferred it to the 50mm f/1.4 Summilux I had for a little bit. I shoot with the 50/1.2 AIS now for the sake of speed and DOF, but I still want the S•C again for B&W work.
     
  13. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Dave from what I understand the S was single coated and the SC multi coated?
     
  14. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    Hmmmm....it appears you may be right. I could have sworn it was single-coated. In any case, though, it's beautiful with B&W film.
     
  15. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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  16. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Nikkors S*C is a sweet 50, fantastic with color in soft even light.
     
  17. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I think I've read that the K version Non Ai is the same as the S*C but in comparison, they didn't render the same to me, but my K version might have had some 'issues' that skewed my result. I think the K version on is different than the S series.
     
  18. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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    We're picking at nits as to the difference between "coated" and "not coated" with the former meaning a late 1960's Nikkor which is *multi* coated and preferable to early "coated" lenses which had a single coating on only one element. To say, for example, that a 1959 TICK lens is "coated" is to say little or nothing. The original poster would be well advised to seek an older lens (say an early AI) but would, IMHO, be best off choosing one of the multi-coated, later versions, especially when shooting in strongly backlit conditions.

    Early TICK lenses are believed to have no coating, single yellow coat, or single blue coat (all on one of the elements), but not all had a single coating of yellow or blue.

    Source, per http://cameraquest.com/nftick.htm

    "The early 3.5, 5.0, and 13.5 lenses have a deep blue lens coating. At least the earlier 10.5's have an amber lens coating."

    The latest 50mm f1.4 AI lens, as like mine has a rubber focussing ring and is not exactly a "period lens" for a Nikkormat. An early AI lens would be more appropriate and will have a better appearance plus be multi-coated in most instances.
     
  19. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Thanks everyone. I'm going to shop for one of the SC lenses.
     
  20. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    When I checked a few days ago, KEH had a couple in stock.
     
  21. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    I've had probably over a dozen different Nikkor f:1.4/50mm lenses, and none of them were particularly good, when compared with the slower f:1.8 or f:2.0 lenses. For the Tessar look and great Bokeh try one of the f:2.8/45mm GN lenses.