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  1. #1
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Nikon 50mm manual focus lenses

    Before I decide completely on one, I figured that people may want to help.

    I put up a want to buy ad in the classifieds that I have a $90 budget for a normal 50mm lens for my Nikon FE that's on its way to me now. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase...and I no longer have any F glass.

    So here's the thing. I had an AI 50mm f/1.4 before. Twice. I loved that lens and was able to do some very nice things with it. My $90 budget, however, may not allow for that. I've been looking more and more into the older versions of the lenses and also the slower f/1.8 and f/2 versions. I don't know a lot about the other lenses. I've also been looking into the possibility of finding an older f/1.4 lens that's been AI'd.

    If you were wanting the best normal lens for your $90, what would you get?
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  2. #2

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    Stephanie,from my experience with various Nikkor 50's,
    my favourite is the 50/f2 Ai.
    My sample is better than my previous 50/1.4 at all wide f/stops.

  3. #3
    Vilk's Avatar
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    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...18_PCake_a.jpg

    this little guy served me well for two decades. sold it when i got the 1.4. soon bought it again, for exactly $90


  4. #4

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    You should be able to get the lens that Vilk linked to on eBay for $30 or less.

  5. #5

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    I always make the same comment on Nikkor 50mm lens that the AiS version of 50mm F1.8 pancake Japanese model is a real good one. If not, I bet the U.S version is as good if the price is good.

    I had a non Ai 50mm F1.4 lens once. I liked it but it was heavy and not pretty on my FM body at that time. And when I accidentally dropped it on the concrete surface, that was the end of the story...

    I also had a 50m F2 non Ai but looked more like an early Ai version once also. It simply came with a camera body (Nikkormat FT2) I bought at Ritz in the U.S. in 2000 or 2001 I think, and the price I paid was only for the body I thought. So, the lens was almost a giveaway, but it was still good.

    Anyway, for an Ai or AiS, 50mm F1.8 is good. For non Ai in case you change your mind, get 50mm F2 with "C" for multi coating. 50mm F2 H.C is a good one, and I have it as a backup for my 50mm F1.8 AiS pancake. Whichever you pick, it shouldn't cost that much and should fit in your budget, I think.

  6. #6
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firecracker View Post
    I had a non Ai 50mm F1.4 lens once. I liked it but it was heavy and not pretty on my FM body at that time. And when I accidentally dropped it on the concrete surface, that was the end of the story....
    No.. I'm sure you can get the concrete repaired!


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  7. #7

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    Hi Stephanie,
    I'm using a Nikon series E 1.8/50mm on my FE2 and really like it.The lens has some good reviews on the web.They are going fairly cheep on "the auction site".

    Mike

  8. #8

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    ***Anyway, for an Ai or AiS, 50mm F1.8 is good***

    HUH! just "good"? The Nikkor is a first class lens.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    No.. I'm sure you can get the concrete repaired!


    Steve.
    Well, I would've thought so, but in my case, the lens that weighed over 300grams(?) and it landed first before the camera body did. So, when I picked it up and saw the focus ring being totally bent and out of alignment, I had to let it go.

    I was on a date and I think I had a little too much beer before that incident I must admit.

    Anyway, to tell you more of the same kind of story, there was a time, again I was on a date with another girl, and this time I had a non Ai 35mm F2 Nikkor lens on my FM. And I dropped my camera again on the sidewalk, on asphalt, on the way out of the bar where I had a bit too much drink. I remember I thught I did it again, but the next day I checked the camera and the lens, the only damage I found was the UV filter (cheap Tiffen) that cracked in half, which absorbed the shock and protected the lens so perfectly! And that was a miracle.

    Maybe the asphalt on the sidewalk had more damage than the filter, but I didn't go back there so I don't know. It was too dark to see anyway...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur2 View Post
    ***Anyway, for an Ai or AiS, 50mm F1.8 is good***

    HUH! just "good"? The Nikkor is a first class lens.
    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.

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