I've only owned one Nikon, a FM2n, I believe, and one lens the 35 f1.4. It was actually a fairly awesome combination. Having used a Leica M since 1974, I couldn't get used to the noisy shutter. But again, what a lens!
Thanks all for your input (and please keep it coming). I'm very late coming to the Nikon party. After shooting mainly Pentax since about 1978, I bought an FM3a with the 50mm, f/1.8 AIS about a year ago. I've recently decided to treat myself to some brand new glass. Something of a luxury for me. Have lots of lenses but have only ever purchased two new....and both of those were relatively un-interesting (50mm, f/1.8).
Just glancing at the responses so far, the 24/2.8, 28/2.8 and the 105/2.5 look well favored. I must say, I am tempted by the 35/1.4 and the 85/2 too.
Sweet, you are correct Sir! The 70-210E is nice too.
Nikkor wide angle lenses tend to have a family trait...they all exhibit mild pincushion distortion, especially wide open. The reason so many of us mentioned the 28/2.8 AiS lens is that it's the Nikkor that comes closest to the ideal regarding distortion, while also being an extremely sharp lens. Luckily, the current AF version (28/2.8D - note the D) uses the same optical formula as the old 28/2.8 AiS lens, so it's equally excellent. Given that it's a wide angle lens, using the AF version as a manual focus lens is easy enough. If you decide to buy new, this would be the very first Nikkor I'd recommend. (Unless low-light shooting is your thing, in which case you'll have to put up with some distortion with a faster Nikkor wide angle lens.)
In the portrait focal lengths, you really can't go wrong with a Nikkor prime lens. They're all good, so it's more a matter of what length you like. I personally prefer the 105mm length, but Nikon has plenty of lenses to choose from in the 85 - 135mm range. I got great images with both the 105/2.5 and the 85/1.4, but I found myself reaching for the 105 most of the time so I eventually got rid of the 85 (and replaced it with a micro-Nikkor 105/4).
Best of luck with your decisions. Nikon makes some great glass.
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
My favorite MF lenses are 50/1.4 AIS for lowlight and 180/2.8 AI (i hope that counts too) very nice portraitlens with shallow DOF wide open.
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And here're are my favourites (in order of preference):
1. 105 f/2.5 (AIS): what can I say about this lens that hasn't been said already?
2. 200 f/4 (AI): good sharpness, I use it a lot for tightening the field and for portraits also sometimes
3. 50 f/2 (AI). Cheap and so versatile (I don't do too many low light shots...).
Placed an order for the 105/2.5 and the 28/2.8 this morning
Athough, I've never so much as fondled one, I like the 180/2.8 ED too. Boyd Norton seems to have made good use of one of these (see for example: The Art of Outdoor Photography). Maybe I can find a good used example of this one at KEH....
24mm 2.8, 55mm 2.8 and 105 mm 2.8 Micro Nikkors. Easy choice for me. In fact for $1200.00 I could probably but all three kenses and a very nice Nikon F2 on ebay.
I have a 50mm f1.4 that I love to death. The shallow depth of field has been the biggest creative advantage of this lens and I've utilized it plenty. I've had a 105mm f2.5 for years and I love that lens also. In fact, those are the only 2 lenses I own at the moment. I'm looking at a 24mm f2.8 right now and I think I'm sold on it. I wish I could justify buying the f2 version of that lens, but it's a little out of my range price-wise. Can anyone recommend the f2 over the f2.8 and why?
Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
I think that the extra stop makes the viewfinder image much crisper. This might not mean much outside in the glare of midday, but pays dividends when you are trying to focus precisely in low illumination situations. 24 is wide, but not so wide that inaccurate focus will not be noticed. This is especially true if you wish to make decent sized prints. I also felt that the f2 was a better lens overall than the 2.8 it replaced. (but that might simply have been my inner gear justification mechanism at work).
I just took a look at KEH. It looks like there an 24F2 is worth about 100.00$ more than a 2.8. That seems like a smaller difference than what separated them new. (I can't remember what they cost when I got the lens as that was c. '88) I remember the last new price on the 24F2 as being in excess of 800.00$. My feeling is that all this cool stuff seems to good to pass up. If I had scraped together the cash to by an "old" M2 20 years ago I would be quite pleased today. Perhaps if we snap up all this great gear we will have the last laugh when this pixel thing goes into the dustbin.
Hmm... well OK, perhaps that sounds nuts but stop and consider turntables for a moment. If you traded in your excellent, but not esoteric TT towards the purchase of brand spankin' new CD player in somewhere in the 80's that CD player is now a landfill problem and the turntable... well, it is for sale in the classified section of the audio equivalent of APUG and going to make someone very happy.
Who really (really) only wants a few more lenses. Really.