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  1. #31

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    A few thoughts.

    The 180 P, P.C and Ai versions are optically the same, the optical change was made with the Ais ED version.

    I'm under the impression that the lens with the 'poor bokeh' might have been the rangefinder 85mm f2, but I have no experience with Nikkor rangfinder lenses.

    My new favorite 135 is the 135mm f/3.5 Q.C (4 element 3 group). I'm doing a comparison of bokeh at portrait range between that and an Ai 135mm f3.5, (4 element 4 group, a subtle reworking of the 135mm f2.8 Q optical layout IMO). Those slower 135's are really really sharp mid aperture (film and Dig) and have decent bokeh at portrait distances wide open or nearly so, plus they are a stupid bargain! Got both for less than a 2.8.
    Next bokeh test will be the f/3.5 Q.C vs the Ai f/2.8 and the f/2 Ais.

  2. #32
    kivis's Avatar
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    Buy non AI(S) lenses because they are cheap then send to John White for conversion so that they work on newer bodies. The only downside is the older lenses tend to be bigger and heavier than their AI(S) successors.
    Akiva S.

    Nikkormat FTN, Nikon F, Nikon FE, Leica M3

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kshapero/

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  3. #33
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    At one time or another I've owned or used most of the early Nikkors, except for the 58mm f/1.4, the 21mm mirror-up lens, and the exotic fisheye and long lenses (all beyond my budget). My personal favorites are the later 105mm f/2.5, the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (great for flowers!), and the 24mm f/2.8. I could probably get by with just those three, in fact. The 135mm f/3.5 is also very nice and usually not expensive.

  4. #34
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    At one time or another I've owned or used most of the early Nikkors, except for the 58mm f/1.4, the 21mm mirror-up lens, and the exotic fisheye and long lenses (all beyond my budget). My personal favorites are the later 105mm f/2.5, the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (great for flowers!), and the 24mm f/2.8. I could probably get by with just those three, in fact. The 135mm f/3.5 is also very nice and usually not expensive.
    Good morning;

    OK; the comment about the NIKKOR 1.4/58 did get my attention, especially with the comment about the budget. Even when Nippon Kogaku K. K. (Nikon back then) announced that they were coming out with their first low light level lens in response to requests from many professional photographers, that lens was not all that expensive. Yes it was more expensive than the NIKKOR 2/50 that was the "normal" standard lens for the original Nikon F, but it was not that much more. It was not an "exotic" lens. One point to be considered is that it was made for only about two years, so there may not be that many samples around left for us to use. The NIKKOR 1.4/50 replaced it.

    Yes, the non-retrofocus NIKKOR 4/21 taken directly from the lens designed for the Nikon SP and similar rangefinders was more expensive, and the accessory viewfinder for it is probably more elusive. The NIKKOR 8/8 (yes, that is 8mm) original circular image fisheye lens also required MLU, and initially was normally recommended for scientific or weather observation, often being called "a full sky lens." I agree that the Reflex NIKKORs up to 2000mm were very expensive (and heavy!), and probably not many were sold to civilian photographers.

    And, the NIKKOR 1.4/58 is the "normal" lens that is included in The 1960s Nikon Project here, along with the NIKKOR 2.5/105 (still one of my favorite NIKKOR lenses).
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

  5. #35

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    I've used the 35/2.8, the 50/2, the 50/1.4, and the 28/3.5. These were all fantastic, although I'd prefer a later model 28/3.5 (AI or AIS). They are exceptionally well made too - most of them still work fine even when they've been abused. I can't say that for lenses from most other camera firms of the time that have survived to the present day (which is not to say other to say Nikon is necessarily the best optically, just that it is damned rugged on top of optical excellence).

  6. #36
    rthomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Javins View Post
    OK; the comment about the NIKKOR 1.4/58 did get my attention, especially with the comment about the budget.
    I've just never used one or even seen one in person; I'm sure it's not as pricey as the real exotics, though the serial numbers suggest it's fairly rare. I would like to have one!

  7. #37

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    My most used kit is 35/2 Nikkor O, 50/2 Nikkor H, and 105/2.5 Nikkor P (Sonnar). The 35 is great, the 50 and 105 are truly superb.
    The 20/3.5 Nikkor UD is surprisingly good, and the 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor another must-have.

  8. #38
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    I've just never used one or even seen one in person; I'm sure it's not as pricey as the real exotics, though the serial numbers suggest it's fairly rare. I would like to have one!
    Good morning;

    The NIKKOR 1.4/58 came out nine months after the introduction of the Nikon F in 1959 February. From the information available here, there were about 39,000 of them built from 1959 October to 1962 January, or two years three months. Compared with many of the other NIKKOR lenses, that is a fairly respectable number of lenses built. Keep watching; you probably will find one. Among other things, many of us are developing an excessive accumulation of years, and often our heirs do not share our appreciation for older quality glass, especially when it is intended for use on a camera that uses that old and obsolete film that requires a messy liquid development process.

    For me, the focal length of 58mm or 5.8cm is significant. Send a PM to me if you would like to hear my personal dissertation on this specific focal length. I do like it.
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

  9. #39
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Javins View Post
    Good morning;

    The NIKKOR 1.4/58 came out nine months after the introduction of the Nikon F in 1959 February. From the information available here, there were about 39,000 of them built from 1959 October to 1962 January, or two years three months. Compared with many of the other NIKKOR lenses, that is a fairly respectable number of lenses built. Keep watching; you probably will find one. Among other things, many of us are developing an excessive accumulation of years, and often our heirs do not share our appreciation for older quality glass, especially when it is intended for use on a camera that uses that old and obsolete film that requires a messy liquid development process.

    For me, the focal length of 58mm or 5.8cm is significant. Send a PM to me if you would like to hear my personal dissertation on this specific focal length. I do like it.
    It's a favorite focal length of mine. The old Rokkor 58/1.4 is the only reason a keep a couple of Minolta manual bodies. While 50mm is usually touted as being closest to what the eye sees, the 58mm is closer to WYSIWYG with both eye and viewfinder.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    It's a favorite focal length of mine. The old Rokkor 58/1.4 is the only reason a keep a couple of Minolta manual bodies. While 50mm is usually touted as being closest to what the eye sees, the 58mm is closer to WYSIWYG with both eye and viewfinder.
    Good morning, CGW;

    Yes, sir. You are exactly right.

    When we look at the history of the "double frame" 35mm film format of 24mm by 36mm for still cameras derived from the original 18mm by 24mm frame format on the film used for motion pictures, the 50mm "normal" lens focal length has been around for a long time from prior to World War II. The only sort of a "problem" is that it is slightly "wide angle." When the major camera makers started coming out with their larger diameter low light lenses for the professional photographer, there had to be a reason why they chose the odd focal length of 58mm. It was not just Nikon and Minolta; Topcon, Canon, and others, including the Russians with the Helios-44 for the Zenit, all had 58mm lenses. Yes, that reason is that 58mm provides the same true perspective through the lens as we see with our eyes. I still suggest that if we are interested in having a true "normal" lens on our 35mm still picture cameras, then it should be the 58mm focal length, and not the more common 50mm. Again, this is for exactly the reason you state of true perspective.

    Also, I agree with you that the MINOLTA AUTO ROKKOR-PF 1:1.4 f=58mm and the later MC ROKKOR-PF 1:1.4 f=58mm lenses are very useful lenses on Minolta SR mount cameras. The MC ROKKOR-PG 1:1.2 f=58mm lenses are nice, yes, especially when focusing in very low light levels with older eyes, but the optical characteristics of the f/1.4 lenses and the f/1.7, f/1.8, and f/2 lenses overall tend to be better than the f/1.2, at least up until we stop down to about f/5.6 when things begin to even out among them. The main reason for using one of the later MC variants or even the MD is the developments in lens coatings that Minolta constantly improved. Also, Minolta did not wait until the end of a production year or a model change to adopt the improved lens surface coatings. If the engineers decided they had a better way to do it, they implemented that change in the coatings as quickly as they could get the equipment on the production line adapted to the new process. And, the use of a close fitting lens hood or lens shade will make even more of a difference in our photographs.

    Am I drifting off topic?
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

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