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  1. #21
    katphood's Avatar
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    I have used three Nikkor / Nikon 50s. Not sure of the first cuz I was young and didn't think about such things. I believe it was the short throw, rabbit eared version of the 1.8 AIS. I have also used the Series E and I now have the 1.8 AIS early, long throw version. The latter is the sharpest and most resistant to flare of those I've had. The Series E is single coated and varies from sample to sample. My copy didn't handle flare well, though I include the sun in quite a few of my photos.

    I've recently compared my 50 1.8 AIS to the famous Pentax SMC TAKUMAR 50 f1.4 m42 mount. It's sharper than the Pentax in the center at larger apertures, but softer in the corners. The Nikkor has much better flare resistance and, perhaps a touch better contrast, and, subjectively for me, slightly better bokeh.

    As PhotoJim said, there are three versions of the 1.8. The AI version or the early AIS version (with serial numbers that begin with 3) are the ones to get. The production history for the 50mm f1.8 is Ai, AIS (serial numbers 3135429 - 3304551 made between Jul81 - Sep85), then three batches of Series E, then two batches of AIS again, and finally the AF versions. The details are here:

    http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/niko...no.html#50slow.

    I also have the 55mm f3.5 Micro AI -- sweet!
    Nikon FM2n (20/3.5, 28/3.5, 50/1.8, 55/3.5, 135/2.8), Pentax 645n (55/2.8), 3rd Eye Cameraworks 6x18 (on its way)

    http://kthompson.jalbum.net/KurtThompson/index.html

  2. #22

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    If I can remember all of them I have two 50/2 H lenses, two 50/2 HCs, a 50/2 AI, three 50/2 'K' lenses, a 50/1.8 AI and a 50/1.8 AIS - last model. My faster 50s are a pointy prong 50/1.4 Nikkor S, a Nikkor 50/1.4 Nikkor SC, a first version 50/1.4 'K', a second version 50/1.4 'K', a 50/1.4 AI and a 50/1.4 AIS. From the 50/2 HC and 50/1.4 SC on they all have very nice coating. My favorites are the 50/2 'K' and the 50/1.4 'K' first version. There was a round prong 50/1.4 Nikkor S which I would like to get and there were sub-versions of either or both of the 50/1.4 AI and AIS lenses. These sub-versions were not different optically or mechanically. They just had slightly different cosmetics. A pre-AI lens will fit on an FE but you must flip up the AI tab on the camera first and then you're left with stop-down metering. For about $30 you can get an E3 focusing screen which should brighten things up. With the other $60 I would look for a 50/1.8 AI or a 50/2 AI. I actually like the 50/2 AI better but it is something of a collector's item so you might have to look for a while. The 50 I use mosty is the old f/1.4 Nikkor S with the pointy prong. This is the 50 which made Nikon's reputation for f/1.4 SLR lenses. The E3 screen will require an exposure adjustment.

  3. #23
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Well...I ended up doing a BIN on Epay for a 35mm AIS pancake f/1.8. May also be picking up the 135mm f/2.8 AIS...that one hasn't ended yet. We'll see. I think I made the right choice. We'll see.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  4. #24
    Joe Grodis's Avatar
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    I picked up a 50mm F1.4 Non-Ai for my F4 at KEH for $89, it is a super nice lens with original metal clip-on hood, caps, & case.
    ------------------------------------
    -Joe
    RB67, ETR, ETRS, F4, F5, FM3a, A1, AE1,
    Bronica-S, Mamiya-7, Yashica TLR, & many many Range finders
    ------------------------------------

  5. #25
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    I can't edit my post...

    But anyway, I mean 50mm f/1.8, not 35mm f/1.8. I was tired. :P

    I'm happy with the purchase and will at least have a lens to use with the Nikon when it comes.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  6. #26

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    Another very enthusiastic vote for the 50 f/2 AI. It is sharper than my 1.8 and 1.4 AIS versions. Good luck.

  7. #27
    katphood's Avatar
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    One thing to look it: the 50 1.8 can focus at .45m and many others are around .6m. If you do much closeup work, this may matter to you.
    Nikon FM2n (20/3.5, 28/3.5, 50/1.8, 55/3.5, 135/2.8), Pentax 645n (55/2.8), 3rd Eye Cameraworks 6x18 (on its way)

    http://kthompson.jalbum.net/KurtThompson/index.html

  8. #28

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    Stephanie, I'm sure it will be a fantastic lens. I'm still looking for a Nikon lens I don't like - they've earned their fabled reputation (I've not tried Series E however).
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim View Post
    I can't edit my post...

    But anyway, I mean 50mm f/1.8, not 35mm f/1.8. I was tired. :P

    I'm happy with the purchase and will at least have a lens to use with the Nikon when it comes.

  9. #29
    katphood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firecracker View Post
    Yes, first class. But compared to the F2 or F1.4 lenses, F1.8 pancake lenses tend to flare more because of their designs in my own experience. I don't know about the non-pancake version of F1.8 lens, but because it looks more like the F2 version where the front element is not as big and not as closely showing, it's probably better and flare-resistant in a way.
    I had the Series E and it flared much more than my long throw AIS. I believe the Series E and the later pancakes were the same design, though different materials perhaps and single vs. multicoating.

    I killed my original 50mm 1.8 in the Sierras. I fell on granite and must have used my camera and elbow the break my fall. Smashed both my polarizer and my lens, not to mention my elbow and arse.
    Nikon FM2n (20/3.5, 28/3.5, 50/1.8, 55/3.5, 135/2.8), Pentax 645n (55/2.8), 3rd Eye Cameraworks 6x18 (on its way)

    http://kthompson.jalbum.net/KurtThompson/index.html

  10. #30
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    Be careful about the 50/1.8 AI-S. There are three versions:

    1) Original. Has the shoe that couples to the metering pin on meter-equipped non-AI cameras. Widely considered to be the best, other than...
    2) Japanese pancake lens. Hard to find, and expensive for a 50/1.8. I've never used one, but I read a lot of positive reviews about it.
    3) Last version. No meter coupling shoe. It's the same as the Series E lens, but with improved multicoating. It's a good lens, but not as good as the other two.

    Most 50/1.8 AI-S lenses on the market are version 3.

    I don't think there was a 50/1.8 AI. The slow 50 in the AI world was the 50/2, which is a fantastic lens.
    Jim,

    I've had at least three copies of the 50f1.8 AI. Nice lens, but I usually settled on the Nikkor-H 50f2, which is what is currently mounted to my F4. Seems to be as contrasty as the AI version and fairly flare-resistant, like the AI version, even though it's a single coated lens.

    With respect to 50f1.4's, the Nikkor-S version and the AI version have performed well in my experience. Probably not as well as the 1.8 and the 2.0, but well enough for me to shoot with it for quite some time. Never really shot with the 1.2, since I didn't need the extra light, and weight.

    -J
    APUG: F4, F2AS, F, Nikomat FTn
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    Nikkors: 18-70/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX (f/D200), 24/2.8 AI, 50/1.4 AI, 85/1.8 K, 180/2.8 ED AIS, 300/4.5 ED AI

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