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  1. #1
    Fragomeni's Avatar
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    Fastest Lens for Nikon F Mount?

    Hi all,

    Just kind of curious here and my searches haven't turned up a definitive answer. What is the fastest lens made for the Nikon F mount? To my knowledge, the fastest lens Nikon has made is the f1.2. Anything faster out there for this mount? Thanks!

    P.S. One more question. Is there a Nikon F metered prism that will fit the original Nikon F body? Thanks!
    Last edited by Fragomeni; 06-28-2011 at 06:29 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Forgot part of my question!
    Francesco Fragomeni
    www.FrancescoFragomeni.com

  2. #2

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    I believe the f1.2 is the fastest Nikkor lens.

    Metered prisms for the original F -> Nikon F Metering Prisms and Meters

  3. #3

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    And the f/1.2 Nikkor lens wasn't much to write home about.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

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

  4. #4
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinholemaster View Post
    And the f/1.2 Nikkor lens wasn't much to write home about.
    The Nikkor? There were three:

    55mm f/1.2 (non-AI)
    50mm f/1.2
    50mm f/1.2 NOCT

    The latter was stupendous, but horridly expensive.
    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?

  5. #5
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    The 55 1.2 is derided all over the net.
    I have one and like it for what it does.

    Contrast can suffer at large apertures but I don't find it to be "the dog" a lot of net experts claim.

    In it's defense most normal 1.4's (I own about 5 of various manufacture) aren't that great wide open either.



    btw the Noct Nikkor was a 58mm focal length
    Last edited by brucemuir; 06-28-2011 at 07:44 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucemuir View Post
    The 55 1.2 is derided all over the net.
    I have one and like it for what it does.

    Contrast can suffer at large apertures but I don't find it to be "the dog" a lot of net experts claim.

    In it's defense most normal 1.4's (I own about 5 of various manufacture) aren't that great wide open either.
    Agreed, sir.

    I still have the one I purchased new when I bought my F2 in the early 70s. I was in college and working at Disneyland for rent and food money. I wanted a lens that would allow photographs in very low light, since I was working night shifts and wanted to wander around after I was off. This lens did the trick nicely. And still does, as I still use the same camera/lens combination today.

    I think that if the choice is between a slightly less than optimum quality photo, or no photo at all, there is no argument to be made. And unfortunately a NOCT was light-years out of the question.

    Ken
    "Hate is an adolescent term used to stop discussion with people you disagree with. You can do better than that."
    —'blanksy', December 13, 2013

  7. #7
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    The 55 1.2 is the worst of the bunch...but it is still good IMO. If you need f/1.2, you more than likely have more to worry about than extreme edge-to-edge sharpness and lack of aberrations. I love my Canon 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C., and it performs similarly to the Nikkor 55 f/1.2. I like it's ability to go "dreamy" and "shaky" when wide open. I have borrowed the Nikon 55 1.2 many times from a friend, but never bought one for myself, since it is pretty much exactly like my Canon lens I mentioned.

    The 50mm f/1.2 AI-S (still sold brand spanking new for about $700) is notably "better." And once you stop down one stop, it is unbeaten by anything as fast and as affordable. Stop down past f/2.0, and it has no real advantage over the slower 50mm lenses.

    The 58mm f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor is incredible at f/1.2. But they cost thousands of dollars. And once you start stopping down, you won't see a difference between it and the AI-S, except maybe that the AI-S will be a bit "better" at your everyday f stops. Not worth the money for a one-trick pony, IMO.

    The 50mm AI-S is the best compromise in the world of Nikon f/1.2 lenses, the way I see it. You can get them new for $700, or used for $300 to $500 depending on condition. It is very good wide open, an as good or better than any other f/1.2 Nikkor when stopped down.

    My comments above relate only to the 1.2 lenses. The best 50mm lens in terms of all-around optical performance is the 50mm f/1.8 AI (not AI-S, which I believe used the Series E optics), by far. The f/1.2 AI-S beats the f/1.8 AI up to and including f/2.0. Past f/2.0, there is no difference that I can tell, except that the f/1.8 has no distortion worthy of mentioning (and is much smaller and lighter). And it is also the cheapest. Go figure. But if you need f/1.2, you need f/1.2. Just think about whether you really need it before you pass on the sub-$100 50mm f/1.8 AI. My two cents. YMMV.

    The 50mm f/1.4, while extremely popular, is kind of pointless IMO, given the choices on either side of it. It's optical performance is good, but not "stunning" like the f/1.8, and it does not give you that much more speed. It also can suffer from some focus shift at the wider apertures. That can kill you when shooting at close focusing distances. What good is a wide aperture if what you focused on doesn't come out in focus on the neg? This being said, if you come across one for cheap, go for it. They are fine all-around lenses, and they give you f/1.4 if you need it.

    The 50mm f/2.0 lenses are nearly as good as the f/1.8 ones, and can be had super cheaply. This would be my recommendation for the best "dirt cheap" Nikon 50mm. This or a Series E.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  8. #8
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinholemaster View Post
    And the f/1.2 Nikkor lens wasn't much to write home about.
    I have one and love it. Killer lens.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  9. #9
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Yea, my fav is a 50 f/2 H but the OP wants speed.

    I had the pancake 1.8 and an ai f/2 but was too green at that time to really form an opinion other than "woah".

  10. #10
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    P.S. Sorry that I did not really answer the question.

    AFAIK, f/1.2 is the fastest F mount lens.

    You can get metered prisms for the Fs. In fact, they are much more common than the standard prisms. And they came in at least four different types that I can think of (Photomic, Photomic T, Photomic TN, and Photomic FTn). Some are interchangeable and some are not. But due to the fact that they were designed for obsolete batteries, you will have to do some modifications to make the meter work properly.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 06-28-2011 at 10:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

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