Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,919   Posts: 1,556,489   Online: 1267
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    11

    Better nikon lenses for B & W...are there any?

    I was just wondering if there are any particular nikon mount lenses for SLRs that works particularly well with B & W film photography?

    It seems that with the rangefinders, there are lenses that works better with B & W imagery.

  2. #2
    Lukas_87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Prague, Czech Republic (Europe)
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    114
    Images
    2
    every nikkor / nikon lens works well with B&W film

    talking about lenses - high quality coatings is important (and makes difference) in colour photography
    as opposite - single coated or uncoated lens aren't so contrasty and therefore they are _sometimes_ better for taking BW pictures under extremely contrast lighting (but they are very prone to strong flare).

    so maybe you should look for older nikkor lens (single coated ones).

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,067
    Quote Originally Posted by fixbones View Post
    ...It seems that with the rangefinders, there are lenses that works better with B & W imagery.
    What makes you say that? I only ask this because I'm wondering if it may not be the lenses themselves that you're talking about, but rather a genre of B&W and practitioners of it that you admire.

    I'm a fan of a lot of Ralph Gibson's work and in looking at his work I decided that I just had to have a Leica RF. What I discovered was that what I really needed was Tri-X and Rodinal!

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    11
    Well, reason i asked is because i have been reading about rangefinders and found the design of the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5 creates a particularly pleasing B & W image akin to the photojournalistic image taken in the 50s 60s perhaps.

    i am aware that single coated lenses provides a better tone for B & W image but slightly less contrast. However, most nikon lenses are multicoated no?

    Also, i raised this question because rangefinder shooters seems to discuss a bit about lenses and their effects in B & W. So was just wondering if the same exists for 35mm SLRs.

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, OR, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    5,770
    Blog Entries
    3
    Images
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by BobNewYork View Post
    I'm a fan of a lot of Ralph Gibson's work and in looking at his work I decided that I just had to have a Leica RF. What I discovered was that what I really needed was Tri-X and Rodinal!

    Bob H
    Bob,

    This is a great point.

    I remember the seventies when I got my first "real" camera, a Canon AE1. I remember thinking "If I just had a Nikon", silly me.

    When I look for ideas on Flickr I'll search by Leica, Bessa, FM2, Rodinal, xtol and other terms that indicate "someone who cared" was the shooter.

    If I see something fun I try the easy stuff, film etcetera, and generally find that I'm close with out buying new lenses or a new system.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,067
    OK - I get you. It's the retro look that you want to recreate. I'm pretty sure that there aren't any Nikon SLR lenses that are single coated. I'm not sure that I'd agree that single coated lenses provide a better tone for B&W - they're far more prone to flair and hence reduced contrast and when I think of the old PJ images I think high contrast and punch - something the single coatings are not as good at.

    Make sure you're thinking of 35mm images too. In the fifties and into the sixties a lot of photojournalism was done with 4x5 speed graphics and the smooth tonal "flow" you get from a 4x5 can't be recreated in 35mm. One of my favorite "street shooting" rigs is an old FE with the 35mm f2.8. It's multicoated though - but I love it with Tri-X and Rodinal. I've also started using a new 17-35 AF on that same body which looks promising.

    You may well be right, the current, or even available range of SLR lenses won't give you the look you're after.

    Bob H

    P.S. - this was a response to fishbones - mark posted while I was "pondering" Just FYI
    Last edited by BobNewYork; 04-05-2009 at 07:34 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: clarity of response
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,067
    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Bob,

    This is a great point.

    I remember the seventies when I got my first "real" camera, a Canon AE1. I remember thinking "If I just had a Nikon", silly me......
    Yeah, kind of like "it's not the car - it's the nut behind the wheel"!!

    We're all informed by the work of others and some people just get a "feel" in their work that attracts us. There's a natural tendency to assume it's in the taking equipment, but more often than not it's the technique they use with their materials.

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Westminster, Maryland, USA
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,504
    Japanese lenses tend to be better tuned for color, in my opinion, and the German optics by Leica tend to be better for B&W. Leica glass has a way of rendering contrast better than the 'Rosy' character I find in Nikkor lenses.

    That said, I never hesitate shooting B&W with any Nikkor lens. But when I compare a B&W image from the Nikkor to my Leica rangefinder images, I prefer the was the Leica lens creates a distinct contrast look.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Live Free or Die
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,463
    Images
    90
    Nikon SLR lenses from before sometime in the mid to late 70's, perhaps early 80's will not be multicoated. Probably someone here can quote or point you to the exact dates. If you're using a recent body, however, it will need to support stopdown metering, or you will need to use a hand-held meter. Most of those lenses are from prior to the Auto Indexing (AI) system.

    That magic look you may be searching for comes from more than just the lens contrast, it's really a matter of the entire character of the lens, not to mention the film. One advantage that rangfinder shooters have is that you can take a brand-new Bessa, and put a Germain optic from the 30's on it, for example, and have a much more direct path to that look.

    Not something that's very feasible with any SLR.

  10. #10
    PhotoJim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Regina, SK, CA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,221
    There are lots of single-coated lenses, but they are all pre-about 1975. The way to identify them is that they will be labelled NIKKOR-x where x is a single or pair of letters. e.g. the single-coated 50/2 is labelled NIKKOR-H.

    Exception: if the lens is labelled NIKKOR-xC then it is multicoated. The 50/2 multicoated lens, before 1977, is labelled Nikkor-HC.

    These are all non-AI lenses. Some may have been converted to AI (and all of the rest can be, if you like). So ensure that if you get one of these, that it's AI-converted, or that your body can take non-AI lenses. (Some post-1977 bodies can take them, but you have to flip the meter coupling tab out of the way to avoid damaging it.)
    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?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin