I'm slowly building a set of prime lenses around a Nikon F3hp.What would you consider to be "The Essential" lenses to focus on.(Pardon the pun).Money Is An Object.
Wide: 24 or 28
Tele: 85 or 105 or 135, depends on what kind shots you are after
24-50-105 would be a good starting point.
If money is an object, try AI 50mm f/2 or 1.8, 28mm f/3.5 and 135mm f/3.5. You should be able to get those lenses for not a lot of cash. I've used them all and they're great; Try to find a later model of the 28mm f/3.5 as the early ones tend to vignette with filters.
Of course, with the F3 you *could* save more money buying non-AI lenses (trading the savings for the need to use stop-down metering). Just remember to flip the metering lever out of the way before you mount those. Note that the F3 doesn't specifically need AIs lenses, but they will fit just as well as AI; you may find the AI lenses slightly less expensive (and better built, IMHO).
Last edited by rthomas; 02-07-2009 at 06:34 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Added a note...
Some of my essentials are: 24 2.8 AI, 35 F2 O Ai'd, 85 f2 Ai, 135 f2 Ai. 180 2.8 Ai (pre ED).
The Nikkor AF 50/1.8 has always been a great performer for me. Used it on an F80 and a FM.
Those who know, shoot film
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28 2.8, 50 1.4 or 2.0 or 1.8 (not the E), 105 2.5, 200 4.0... The 50 2.0 is sharpest, the 1.8 next, 1.4 close behind on the "normals". The others are considered by many, the sharpest Nikon has to offer in those focal lengths. The 180 2.8 ED is excellent also but expensive. I have an old user that focuses a little beyond inf if I don't be careful, I guess someone had it apart and left a shim out. LOVE the lens, VG optics, paid 160.00 for it, so they ARE out there.
I'm using 35mm mostly for handheld available light stuff, so...
24/2.8, 50/1.2, 105/1.8.
It'd not be unusual to have a few different 50s in your kit, eventually. Also the 105 "micro" is a very good and versatile choice.
For Nikon, I'd say:
Wide: 24/2.8 or /2, 28/2/8 (AI-S) or /2, 35/2 or /1.4 (pick one or two based on your shooting habits)
Normal: any Nikon 50 is alright. The 50/2 is the sleeper. A 50/1.4 is useful for lower light.
Tele: 85/1.8, 105/2.5 - these are legendary Nikon lenses. You really need to own one - or both! For longer tele, 135/2.8 (if needed), 200/4 (the AI-S is especially nice)
There are other choices (Keith mentions the 105/1.8, which is a pretty sweet lens).
My favourite of all of these: probably the 105/2.5. I love the results I get with it. And you get the joy of knowing that you have the descendant of the Leica-mount 105/2.5 Nikkor-P that started the whole Nikon revolution after the Second World War.
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?
If you like macro work at all, consider a 55mm Micro-NIKKOR. Mine is limited to f3.5 so there will be some low light limitations, otherwise, a great little lens all around.
PhotoJim mentioned that the 50/2.0 AI is the sleeper. I concur but will go further - it is the sharpest of any of the 50 lenses Nikon ever made. And how often do you need the extra stop anyway?
My choices: 28/2.8 AIS; 50 (any, but 2.0 if you can find one in good condition); 105/2.5. The 105/2.5 is the most incredible lens I have ever had the joy to play with.