Quote Originally Posted by gorbas View Post
Interesting question! I got Nikkor-S 1.4/58mm and did Ai modification. First I tested it on digital body (D7000). It's total dog lens. The worst lenses I have ever seen. I can't believe that Nikon made name with this lens in 1960. The lens I own is in very nice shape with no signs of impact or modification (other than AId). It was so bad that I lost all interest to ever try it on film body. On other hand, Nikkor SC 1.4/50 and Ais 1.4/50 are way better lenses.

It's really important to bear in mind that the lens was not developed with digital sensors in mind. Because film tends to be much more forgiving, a lot of the "legendary" lenses from that period 50s and 60s, maybe early 70s -- basically the golden era of manual focus lenses -- perform pretty poorly on digital, while continuing to be incredibly charming on film.

I'm sure someone could offer you a correct and more in-depth explanation of the physics, but I know it has a lot to do with film having physical depth, as well as emulsions not requiring perfectly aligned photons to expose them. A good way to think of it would be the increased ease of hitting a paper plate with a baseball (film), in comparison to hitting the back of a bucket that was turned horizontally on its side (digital).

It's unfortunate that you were so discouraged...