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  1. #1
    Tony-S's Avatar
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    Nikon 50mm f/2 AI

    I'm thinking about buying this lens for an old FM. I know very little about Nikon's systems from days past, so can anyone with experience with this lens comment about its performance? I am pretty sure it is fully compatible with the FM.

  2. #2

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    I really like mine. It will work on your FM just fine. Sharp and has pleasing out of focus bokeh. Often overlooked I think its one of the best deals out there. Takes 52mm filters which are inexpensive and easy to carry. My advice is don't pay too much as they can be found at bargain prices... $30 or less would seem appropriate.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony-S View Post
    I'm thinking about buying this lens for an old FM. I know very little about Nikon's systems from days past, so can anyone with experience with this lens comment about its performance? I am pretty sure it is fully compatible with the FM.
    It is a very fine lens and should work great on the FM. It is very sharp, but out of focus backgrounds are not its strong point. I believe the 50 1.4 is better in that regard.

    You can read about it here:
    http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_norm.html
    and
    http://imaging.nikon.com/products/im...kkor/n02_e.htm

  4. #4

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    Well, if you are not confused yet I would like try and confuse you by saying that the 50mm f/1.8 is also an excellent lens and can be had new for about $130 USD. The main advantage if this lens is that they are more readily available than either the f/2.0 or f/1.4 lenses. If you can pick up a f/2.0 for around $30 go for it, but if you buy the f/1.8 for around $130 new you are not going to feel like you paid too much for this fine lens, as an added bonus the new f/1.8 works great on any Nikon film body. All the advantages of the f/2.0 and a lower price than the f/1.4.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  5. #5
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by bblhed View Post
    Well, if you are not confused yet I would like try and confuse you by saying that the 50mm f/1.8 is also an excellent lens and can be had new for about $130 USD. The main advantage if this lens is that they are more readily available than either the f/2.0 or f/1.4 lenses. If you can pick up a f/2.0 for around $30 go for it, but if you buy the f/1.8 for around $130 new you are not going to feel like you paid too much for this fine lens, as an added bonus the new f/1.8 works great on any Nikon film body. All the advantages of the f/2.0 and a lower price than the f/1.4.
    Assume you're describing the 50/1.8AFD lens since it's been long unavailable as a MF. The AFD is a sweet little AF lens but is disturbingly flimsy with truly awful focus "feel" relative to manual focus 50mm Nikkors. I got a nice one used for a bit south of $130 but hesitated to pay full price.

    The 50/2 is a gem--usually easy to find and very affordable. I've picked up near-mint examples for 40-50 bucks over the past 2 years. Another option is the series E 50/1.8--pin-sharp and nowhere near as plasticky as some describe it(and positively rock-solid compared to the 50/1.8 AFD).

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by bblhed View Post
    If you can pick up a f/2.0 for around $30 go for it, ...
    I anyone can find one for $30 it will be a steal. On eBay they are 3x (or 4x) that.

  7. #7

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    I believe (but don't rely on this without confirmation) the the 50mm f/2 predates the 50mm 1.8. It certainly was made in pre-AI configuration (I have one). Not sure if it was available in AI version or not. It's also possible that the one you're considered was AI'd after the fact; Nikon offered this service for a while after they came out with AI lenses. If it's AI, or been AI'd, it should work fine with the FM.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  8. #8
    Paul VanAudenhove's Avatar
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    According to the Nikon System Handbood by "Moose" Peterson, the 50mm f/2 was introduced in 1959 and was offered as a factory AI lens. The 50mm f/1.8 came out in 1979.

  9. #9
    CGW
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    There's definitely a 50/2 Ai-- I have 2. All this can be cleared up with a visit to www.nikonlinks.com and Vink's sites listed under lenses.

  10. #10

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    The 50mm f2 AI is a very good lens, read the Nikon Thousand and One Nights post about it for more detail on its 'interesting' imaging traits. I use the slightly older H.C. version and while I am pretty convinced that they are the same optical formula I just seem to like the H.C over the 2 other Ai and K series. The color rendition is something that is seldom mentioned, it has really fantastic color. While it is very good close up, quite sharp, it does have a bit more distortion so I am either careful about close in portraits or I use the obviously better 1.8 Ai longnose, which even as the Nikon designer says has much lower distortion. I've modified my 50mm H.C f2 to have 1/3 F-stops up to F4, some of those in between F-stops have some pretty compelling bokeh. Wide open has its challenges.

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