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  1. #1
    derekh's Avatar
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    Opinions on Non-AI Nikkor Kogaku Lenses?

    I'm thinking of buying an older Non-AI Nikkor Kogaku 35mm f2.8 "S" lens. The price is right, but I'm not sure about the quality. Has anyone used this lens? How good is it in terms of contrast, sharpness, chromatic aberration etc? Are these lenses multicoated or not? I am wondering how it would compare to the more modern Nikkor lenses.

  2. #2

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    Can your camera mount it?

  3. #3
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    I personally prefer the non ai lenses to the ai versions. But I generally prefer a more old school look. Havn't tried the 35mm f2.8, but I can say that the 35mm f2 "0" lens, is absolutely amazing. I would definately spend the extra cash and go for that one instead.
    Just remember to have a body that will accept them (I use my nikon F3) and that metering is always stop down unless the lenses have been ai'd.
    Best Regards
    Mads Hartmann

  4. #4
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    I’ve used the 35mm f2.0 Nikkor-O of the same era, and it performed fine. Most non-AI lenses are single coated, not multi-coated. A multi-coated lens should have a “C” in the name, such as Nikkor-S-C. And like the others have said, check that your camera body can mount the non-AI lens.
    —Eric

  5. #5

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    I bought a 50/1.4 new in 1970. There are better normal lenses in F mount, and the newer 50/1.4s are better too. I bought a 24/2.8 new in '72, since AI converted by Nikon, and am still happy with it.

  6. #6

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    I have a very old Nikkor 35mm f2.8 shift lens. Probably very different optically, though likely similar coating. When I have used it as a straight unshifted lens, the performance has been quite good. A lenshood is suggested for older lenses, to avoid flare intruding upon your results.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio

  7. #7
    marsbars's Avatar
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    I have the 35-mm f2.8 and it is a nice lens but I will second the lens hood and making sure that the camera you have will mount it.
    "There is something about the mystery
    of what is on a roll of film that keeps
    me shooting, none of that digital
    instant gratification for me."

  8. #8
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    I recently purchased a Nikon non-AI 50mm 1.4 S-C for an F I have and I must say I am impressed. The rest of my lenses are AIS versions or newer AF lenses. This older non AI is amazing. I now understand how Nikon acquired its reputation for superb optics! This has to be one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used.

    I also have a Nikon manual focus 35mm 2.0 AIS. I believe that it is a very sharp lens as well. Very comparable with a manual focus 24mm 2.8 AIS I have as well.

    As others have mentioned, make sure your Nikon body will accept the non AI version. Many non AI lenses have been modified or "AI'd" but you have to be sure before you mount it on your camera. If you have an old Nikon F there should be no problem.

  9. #9
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    I shoot with non-AI Nikons so all my Nikkors are pre-ai lenses. I have the Nikkor O 35 f2 and its a bad ass lens, one of my favourites along with the 24 f2.8. I too love the retro look of single coated lenses.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  10. #10

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    I too use older Nikons that require the metering prong, so I have pre-AI lenses for them. I've been pretty happy with the results I've been getting from the 35mm f/2--in fact, it's essentially replaced the 50mm as my "normal" lens.

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