Quote Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
As usual "best" is very subjective. Most weenies want the sharpest, most contrasty, fastest lens they can get so they can take photos of their Corvettes using TechPan film stand-developed with Rodinal diluted 1:10,000 for the best acutance. Personally I like the older ones like the 50 mm f/2 Nikkor-H (AI) because of it's moderate contrast because that's what I want in my B&W work.
and speaking of contrast I want the latest, newest lens I can find so it has the most advanced coating on the optics and best manufacture quality.So that means AIS or at least factory AI.
also means I'm a weenie although I don't shoot B&W anymore, B&W is for luddites

If you like less contrast and flare on teles then get older lenses, I have a 50mm 1.4 Nikkor S that produces good results under controlled lighting.