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Thread: 28/2 AI vs AIS

  1. #11

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    Yes, But....
    The Ai series often had a what I've come to call in-between construction. WHat I mean is that with the Nikkor-F series most lenses were built exceptionally robust, thicker high quality turned aluminum helicoids, many screws etc. The Ai was the in-between, where Nikon started to aim at more of a larger market and the construction was modified to make it less costly to make and to save labor. This was not always successful, some lenses were overly complex and were clearly had assembly challenges which often led to quality control issues. Ais series fixed this, the aperture units and helicoids were more standardized and featured more high quality stamped steel rather than machined parts, less cost but also faster more precise assembly with less quality issues. Repair of AIs usually needed replacement of parts rather than adjustment like the Nikkor F, the Ai could usually be adjusted but is more challenging. Which is better? I'd take a lens with less wear over one with more wear, any series. The Nikkor F are serious tanks. A well working Ai lens is a good choice unless it needs work done on it, say rough/stiff focus, which can add more problems (stuck/stripped screws). Ais usually are in better shape due to age, plus actual spares might still be found. That said, I regularly use 30+ year old Nikkor's, have worn out Ais from hard use and have some Ai series that cannot stay in adjustment. Some Ai lenses (construction) are serious dogs, and I'd choose an AIs over an Ai for those Any Day for more money.

  2. #12
    Lukas_87's Avatar
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    I own 2/28 ais - great lens. it's imaging characteristics is somewhat discernible esp. at large apertures.
    it's bit soft on f/2, f/2.8 it gets better, at f/4 it's somewhat best-looking (IMHO - really sharp, no vignetting and still different from the other 28's), from f/5.6 up it's just like the 2.8/28 and it looks like "loosing" a bit of its look.

    my favourite shot: http://www.fstop.cz/e/12.kozesnik/untitled/ (shot on f/4 and about 1/30 sec.)

  3. #13

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    Wow, 2.5 years later the thread revives!

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrankyKraut View Post
    One change affecting picture quality in going from AI to AI-s was upgraded coatings. For example, I have used 24mm 2.8, 105mm 2.5 and 200mm 4.0 lenses in Ai and Ai-s versions, and the AI-s had better color contrast, which I believe is due to the improved coatings.
    I shot the Ai version for years, and loved the color rendition with the older coatings- especially in the woods.

  5. #15

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    In addition, I would like to point out that the cost reducing measures that Gandy mentions started with the Ai series, and IMO some didn't work very well, but the Ais series, while continuing to use cost-cutting, had a greatly improved mechanical engineering that made the lenses more durable and lens prone to falling out of adjustment. The Ai is much closer to the Ais than the Nikkor F, and if you want the finest mechanicals that Nikon made then get those tanks.

  6. #16

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    I've owned both the 28 F2.8 AIS and the F2 AIS (still have the F2). If you shoot any landscape pictures you probably would want the F2, because the F2 keeps everything sharp from near to infinity. The F2.8 keep everything sharp from near to mid-distances. Believe me, I've seen the difference. Also there's something regarding the colors that the F2 delivers. They're vibrant and they seem very saturated. I suppose that's why I sold the F2.8 and have never regretted it. I sort of prefer the focal length of the 24mm but the 28 F2 IMHO, kicks the 24's butt regarding flare & ghosting. I've been shooting Nikkors for over 30 years and I'm picky. The 28 F2 passes and exceeds the "picky" test.

  7. #17
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmal View Post
    Wow, 2.5 years later the thread revives!
    And again!
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

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  8. #18
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohawk51 View Post
    If you shoot any landscape pictures you probably would want the F2, because the F2 keeps everything sharp from near to infinity. The F2.8 keep everything sharp from near to mid-distances. Believe me, I've seen the difference.
    I'm confused....
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
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  9. #19
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohawk51 View Post
    I sort of prefer the focal length of the 24mm but the 28 F2 IMHO, kicks the 24's butt regarding flare & ghosting. I've been shooting Nikkors for over 30 years and I'm picky. The 28 F2 passes and exceeds the "picky" test.
    In my experience I've found the F2 versions more prone to flare than the F2.8 versions of the 24 and 28.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  10. #20
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I've got the 24 f2 ais and the 28 f2 ai both are great, though the oem hoods dont do much they are both very sharp and work amazingly well on the street.

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