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Thread: Nikon MF Zoom

  1. #1
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    Nikon MF Zoom

    I'm thinking about getting a good, sharp zoom lens for my Nikon FE, but I really have no knowledge of them. Can someone recommend a good zoom in either the wide-to-short telephoto or normal-to-long telephoto range? It would mainly be used for snapshots...I have prime lenses for other purposes. I'd prefer nikon lenses, but would consider a 3rd party one as well. Thanks!

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    The 75-150 f/3.5 Series E zoom is reknowned for sharpness, even if the E-line build quality was not so hot. It is an AI-S lens. Make sure it's in good condition if you get one. Mine was great looking, but there was no stiffness at all in the zoom, if you tilted the lens without a firm grip on the zoom barrel it would slide in and out by itself. I had to take it to a good repair shop and have it worked on so that the zoom would stay put (I believe they put some thick grease in the zoom mechanism).

    The 35-70 f/3.5-4.8 AI-S zoom is also has an excellent reputation. I've had one of these since I got my late and lamented FM back in 1979. A very good lens with a very useful range IMHO.
    Benno Jones
    Seattle, WA

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    Jeremy's Avatar
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    Tokina ATX 80-200mm f/2.8 in manual focus is a great lens--used one for 2 years before I "upgraded" to auto focus for photojournalism.

    If you want a smaller lens the 75-150mm Nikon zoom is well spoken of, but I have never used this one.

    If you don't absolutley need the zoom, you can do great things with any one of the 180mm f/2.8 Nikon incarnations.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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    jd callow's Avatar
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    AIS or AI 80-200 f4(AIS) or4.5 (AI). My wife has the 80-200 AIS for her FE2 and it is very sharp and well built. It is a fare bit more manageble handheld than the f2.8.
    A freind has a Tokina f2.8 and speaks highly of it, but it is pretty gash darn big.

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    Silverpixels,
    You can use the current 28-105 or 70-300ED on your camera & have either very sharp lens. Both are versatile, sharp & contrasty. Neither are especially expensive. As the man says, "you pays your money & takes your choice".

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    Sanjay Sen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennoj
    The 75-150 f/3.5 Series E zoom is reknowned for sharpness, even if the E-line build quality was not so hot.
    The Series E lenses are highly underrated. I have the 50mm f/1.8 and the 135mm f/2.8 and both of these are very good lenses. If they had the same standards for the other lenses in the series, then the 75-150 zoom should also be good.

    Quote Originally Posted by bennoj
    The 35-70 f/3.5-4.8 AI-S zoom is also has an excellent reputation. I've had one of these since I got my late and lamented FM back in 1979. A very good lens with a very useful range IMHO.
    I have the 35-70 f/3.5-4.8 AIS zoom, but have not used it yet. However, the one I have looks and feels like very cheap plastic: it came with the FM10. I don't know if there are other versions of this lens though.


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    I'd recommend the 25-50mm and 50-135mm lenses. They are strange lengths but are both of excellent quality. A good pointer for many Nikon MF lenses can be found here;
    http://www.naturfotograf.com/

    Julian

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    jd callow's Avatar
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    My wife has the 36-72(?) f3.5 (I don't have it infront of me) zoom. It is handy and pretty good, but not great. She has a 28mm f2.8 E series that IS excellent.

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    roteague's Avatar
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    The Sigma lenses are pretty good, quite sharp. Just make sure you get the EX series. Watch out for the DG series, it is for digital cameras and won't cover 35mm.
    Robert M. Teague
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    I still have an 80-200/4 Zoom-Nikkor I used professionally years ago. It was a pretty sharp lens and I would recommend it if the focal length appeals to you. I don't use the one I have but it's in poor condition so I'll keep it as memorabilia.

    I also used the Nikon Series E 36-72/3.5 with the 80-200. It was pretty impressive optically, considering how cheap it was. I think Galen Rowell wrote about using this lens, which was a good enough reason to buy one. It doesn't have outstanding build quality--I remember it having a plastic barrel and the zoom being kind of loose. Still, it's no worse in build than the current standard Canon EF lenses I use.

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