Love my nikons too!
It's nice to see there are people that like the old Nikon F as much as I do. I bought my first Nikon in 1971, a Ft/n, not a Ftn, but a Ft with the center weighted meter. Bought it used with a 50mm f2 lens at a local camera shop. (remember those?) When my wife had twins I decided I NEEDED! the 105mm 2.5 lens too. Bought one of the first ones with the new multicoating. Then I saw the film "Blow Up" which had been out for a few years, and decided I NEEDED! the F with the plain prism. I wanted some skinny models to shoot too, but my wife wasn't having it. So I took some great pictures of her and our new twins, and our older daughter. What a great lens! I really wanted a F2 also, but they were a little too rich for my wallet. I did end up getting a used one later on, and to be honest I actually like using the F2 better. It handled better, was easier to load the film and that was just the start of my Nikon collection. But I agree that having a simple camera with no information in the finder really gives me a feeling of freedom. Once I got used to the 100% viewing, it was a problem if I switched to another camera though, like a Nikkormat, because I forget that the stuff out of sight on the edge shows up on the film. Another simple camera that I like using from time to time is my Pentax H3, a very sweet handling camera. (I had to dig it out and run some film through it after seeing the film, "We'll Take Manhattan"; I'm sure you're seeing a trend here.) But those old F's are hard to beat, I've still got one made about 1964 and it still works great! Yeah, and I don't really get the "bokeh" thing either. I'll admit that out of focus backgrounds do look different from lens to lens, but don't really look for it, after all it's out of focus for a reason. The only out focus images the annoy me at all are the "donuts" caused by mirror lenses. I guess it's all subjective, use what you like, and what works for you.
The bokeh thing is certainly controversial. I had noticed long before Mike Johnston published the bokeh articles that some lenses just have a better look (to my eye) than others, not related just to sharpness. For me it was some Leica lenses vs. some Nikon lenses. I shoot a lot of available (low) light pictures, and the out of focus areas are necessarily an important part of the image, but I think there must be more to the differences than that so I just think of it generally as the look the lens gives.
I never bought a lens specifically for this "look" or bokeh, but I have sold a couple for that reason. Nikon lenses often get poor comments in this regard, but there are also some are very good, and the 105 you mention is the best of the lot in my opinion.
I just had a lovely F2 that I sold. When the cameras were new and I worked at newspapers, the F2's seemed a bit handier than F's. Now, I enjoy the F most. I actually even like the loading on the F, and prefer a straight prism on either, so that is not a factor. I think a lot of that is the classic simplicity. Those old Pentax's you mention sure had that too. I still remember a lovely black H-something that I saw at Midwest Photo years ago. In an uncharacteristic moment of restraint I managed to leave without it (and still think about it). I grew up on F's and M's and nothing has ever really seemed meaningfully better to me.\
Oh, and welcome aboard.
The release of the new 28mm f/1.8G prompted me to write a open letter to Nikon that I was going to post here.
"Dear Nikon, I want my aperture ring back, the gold plastic letters make my eyes bleed, I want to give you my money, why won't you let me give you my money, etc, etc...."
But then I thought about all the 28mm Nikkors that have already been made; I counted a dozen or so just from memory. Nikon has already made all the manual focus lenses I could ever want, from the 6mm f/2.8 to the 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8.0. Even if I limited myself to 1950's and early 60's vintage Nikkors, there's really nothing lacking.
I made the "irrational" choice a couple of years ago to make my primary body a non-ai F2. I still find myself lusting after modern Nikkors/Nikons that are of no use to me whatsoever, but all I have to do is take some real pictures with real equipment and I'm cured.
I'm currently saving up for an F and an S2; I bet I can get both for about the same price as the 28mm f/1.8G.
Speaking of Nikons Mr. Javins, You do remember you have one of ours. Please return it.
Originally Posted by Ralph Javins
tim in san jose (owner of "We all shoot one camera".
Where ever you are, there you be.
Where the "bokeh" is concerned; the Super-Multi Coated Takumars of old are the champions. I grant the Nikon Nikkor 105mm 2.5 has it too as does the Nikon Nikkor 55mm Auto-SC 1.2
" A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~
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Yes the 105/2.5 is perhaps the best lens I have ever used. I only have two lens for my FM2 and that is one of them.
Originally Posted by Pumalite
tim in san jose
Where ever you are, there you be.
Back in my camera store workdays, I bought a used very serviceable 105/2.5 Nikkor AI (just before AIS came out) for $100. (still have it). The day afterwards, a customer asked me if I wanted to buy his Ermanox with 105 f1.8 lens... Alas I had spent my mad money for a while....
That photo store is still in business largely due to the efforts of it's owner who anticipated the digital revolution and does large high end prints and technical stuff for people who need product but don't have time to do the learning curve. Kind of like how photography was before George Eastman.
As the starter of this growing thread, I thought it's time for an additional contribution: From a serious OM Zuikoholic, I went to selling my entire Olympus OM collection (including OM-3Ti, 250/2.0, etc...) with my Nikon F now being the only remaining 35mm SLR - I love it that much. This recent print from the silver-nosed Nikkor-P 105/2.5 - I can't get enough of this lens, and how nice it is to use on the F:
Boy and Horse
(Nikon F, 105/2.5, Kodak TMY400-2)
I was a Nikon F guy for 40+ yrs before going CanonDslr...selling off my Nikon gear to fund the transition...
...then finding out I could use the Nikkors on the Canon, I went and bought most of them back!
...though not the very early 24, 35 and 58 lenses...they don't hold up to the more modern versions
I did get others to add to my treassure chest of glass...a couple of 50s (1.4 and F2) to replace the 58, the 85/1.8K replacing the 85/2, and a 180ED and 300 I never had to add to the my rebought 105 (that I used to have and had replaced with the 85/2), and the 135 and 200 lenses I had kept...(too beat up to be loved by anyone but me!)
....this past week I found an Oly 24/2.8 (for the Canon) and just love it!!!
...much better than the 1st generation 24/2.8 Nikkor I had for those 40yrs...
Only thing I miss by going digital is the 35mm NIkon F VF...until I can afford a 'full-frame' 35mm size dSLR...
I'd say that was an interesting turn of events, going from OM to Nikon! And I can say the silver-nosed Nikkor-P is a truely wonderful lens. Some of my favourite prints come from that lens. The only niggle is that it is a bit heavy. It's one of the few lenses I am actually thinking of re-buying (last time, honest!). I am using an F2 (tried several F3/F4/F5 - nice, although...) but I still have the urge to at least try the F, just to see where the F2 comes from.
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu