Manual Focus Nikon Glass
/forum/topic/929565/2834

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leighton w
Registered: Nov 12, 2010
Total Posts: 12621
Country: United States

StonePhotog wrote:
Once again, there have been too many great shots posted since my last visit to comment on them all. Needless to say, there's some great talent and genuine love of photography being shown off in this thread. It's both humbling and enjoyable to stop in.

Now, if you all don't mind, can I get a quick opinion on two lenses? In one of my first posts in this thread I commented on my desire to get one of the 1.2 variants - either the 50 or the 55 - but I hadn't made up my mind. After doing some research, the 55 2.8 micro has started to look enticing (and cheaper!), so much so that I'm leaning towards this instead. Can anyone share their opinions on the 55 2.8 micro vs either, or both, of the 1.2 variants? The Noct is not an option due to the cost.

Thanks!


Jay, This is a tough one considering I like both the 55/2.8 and the 50/1.2 but for different reasons. I love how the 1.2 renders colors and contrast, not to mention a 3d look at open apertures. It's also VERY sharp closed down. But the 55/2.8 is no slouch either. It will focus a LOT closer than the 1.2 and it's very good at distance as well. If you do a lot of close-ups then the 55 may be the way to go. It can also do micros at 1:1 when used with the PK-13 tube. Here's some samples from both to help you.

50/1.2: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjEY6DfF

55/2.8 micro: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjFjEjcw



StonePhotog
Registered: Apr 23, 2013
Total Posts: 134
Country: United States

Thanks for the links Leighton! However, your pictures from both lenses are so good that it looks like one couldn't go wrong with either lens.

I do like getting up close and personal - hence the attractiveness of the 2.8 micro.

I've been using my AF 50 1.8D quite a bit as a walk-around lens, and while it's a good performer for the value, it's just not remarkable. Granted, that could be the limitations of the man behind the lens... I've seen some really interesting shots with both flavors of the 1.2, which, in turn, is what makes one of those attractive.

FWIW, do you - or anyone else - recommend the 50 1.2 over the 55 1.2?

Thanks again!



CGrindahl
Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Total Posts: 16784
Country: United States

leighton w wrote:
Mescalamba wrote:
Hi guys,

any advice on "basic" MF Nikkor zoom? Some good and "cheap"? I noticed 28-85 for reasonable price (somewhere around 300 USD).

I want it cause now I have Nikon F mount camera, but theres probability of using Canon EOS and MF Nikkors works on both. (like my C/Y lens)


My favorite Nikkor zoom is the 50-135mm f3.5 AI-s. You can usually pick one up from anywhere between 150 to 300 bucks. Watch out for the condition, the zoom/focus rings can get very loose.

Check-out my flickr set for this lens. http://flic.kr/s/aHsjEWXxSY


That is great Leighton... grouping photos by lens used. What a great resource when we're talking about lenses. I think you're setting the price a bit high but doubtless if one has to have a focus ring that stands up by itself, they will pay a premium IF they can find one at all.

Regardless, you know I'm a big fan of this lens as well. I was early to the party so I bought a very clean copy WITH lens creep for $95... Mmm, good...



CGrindahl
Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Total Posts: 16784
Country: United States

Ray, I love the panorama. Gorgeous colors and very nicely executed. Great work.



georgms
Registered: Jan 08, 2009
Total Posts: 4045
Country: Germany

Ray, I just wanna stop by to say how much I like your pano: excellent work, well done!
PS: I like the last of the gate-shots a lot too.



CGrindahl
Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Total Posts: 16784
Country: United States

So you're already at it Leighton. Very sweet.

Jay, all three of the lenses you're considering are fine lenses that would give you great performance. The knock on the 55 f/2.8 AI-s is that oil can appear on the aperture blades. I've not had that problem but it is both written about and Ron on this thread tore down his copy of that lens to clean the blades. He posted a couple of photos on the process. Of course, he's a person who for years restored cars, so I think he has above average confidence in himself to tackle a project like that. You can always send a lens out for cleaning and adjusting. But I think among micro shooters there is a preference for the 55 f/3.5 AI because it doesn't appear to have a problem.

Here is a photo of my 50 f/1.2 AI-s and the first 55 f/1.2 I owned, a late model AI. There is no AI-s version of the 55.



I haven't done an informal comparison of the two lenses but the bokeh of the 55 seems to please me a bit more than the 50. I've no intention of selling the 50 however. It is a great lens. But I tend to have the 55 f/1.2 S.C. AI'd in my camera bag, not the 50. That may be my recent enthusiasm for pre-AI lenses as much as anything else. But I've traveled with the 50 and been very happy with what it produced. It will likely be a bit more expensive than the 55 but I don't think you'd be disappointed in either lens.

Here's an old shot taken with the 50 at f/2 with a 20mm extension tube attached.


And here is a shot wide open with the 55.



jhinkey
Registered: Jan 08, 2010
Total Posts: 8411
Country: United States

MDoc9523 wrote:
Here's a 5 shot pano of the Smokys using the D7000 and 16mm 3.5. Not up to John's standard but the view was wonderful!





Totally up to my standards! Great color and nice framing (which can be tricky with the 16/3.5 even on DX).

- John



MDoc9523
Registered: Aug 13, 2006
Total Posts: 5115
Country: United States

Thank you Curtis, Georg and John. I found that with the 16mm I had to de-fish them first to get them match as well as they did.
Here is the link to my new Charleston folder. All were shot using the 16mm 3.5.
http://raysteele.zenfolio.com/p1064651749



StonePhotog
Registered: Apr 23, 2013
Total Posts: 134
Country: United States

Hi Curtis, thanks for your reply and opinion.

But I think among micro shooters there is a preference for the 55 f/3.5 AI because it doesn't appear to have a problem.

Hmm, yet another lens to research. I'll see what I can find, thanks!

Here's an old shot taken with the 50 at f/2 with a 20mm extension tube attached.
And here is a shot wide open with the 55.

Both are excellent in their own right. The second shot with the 55 definitely shows off the character of the bokeh, which I find appealing.

Leighton and Curtis, I appreciate reading your opinions and seeing your test shots. I have some more research to do before deciding but your posts have been very helpful. Thanks!



CGrindahl
Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Total Posts: 16784
Country: United States

This is one of the things we do especially well on this thread and certainly one reason we're accused from time to time with inciting folks to buy lenses. Frankly, I believe that is a worthy enterprise and I'm happy to be part of the process. After all, this thread came into being and continues to thrive because we are celebrating these outstanding lenses.

Here's a wide open shot taken with the 50 f/1.2 AI-s...


The lens gets in trouble in my estimation when the background is especially busy and the bokeh becomes agitated. That is not the case here, of course.



StonePhotog
Registered: Apr 23, 2013
Total Posts: 134
Country: United States

This is one of the things we do especially well on this thread and certainly one reason we're accused from time to time with inciting folks to buy lenses.

Indeed, I kind of want to buy all 4 of the lenses that have been mentioned, but I'll need to settle on just one for now. In fact, the 55 f3.5 may have replaced the 2.8 in my search...

Thanks again!



CGrindahl
Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Total Posts: 16784
Country: United States

Kit building is forever Jay... What you don't buy now will be waiting for you when you're ready. How do you think I found my way to 37 manual focus lenses? One lens at a time... except for the two sellers from whom I bought three lenses each...



StonePhotog
Registered: Apr 23, 2013
Total Posts: 134
Country: United States

How do you think I found my way to 37 manual focus lenses?

That's impressive! I'm itching for a shorter manual focus lens - I love the 180 and the 500 p, mind you - for street and market shots. And yes, this thread gives one the NMFAS something fierce!



zippy_monster
Registered: Jan 19, 2011
Total Posts: 158
Country: United States

StonePhotog wrote:
Thanks for the links Leighton! However, your pictures from both lenses are so good that it looks like one couldn't go wrong with either lens.

I do like getting up close and personal - hence the attractiveness of the 2.8 micro.

I've been using my AF 50 1.8D quite a bit as a walk-around lens, and while it's a good performer for the value, it's just not remarkable. Granted, that could be the limitations of the man behind the lens... I've seen some really interesting shots with both flavors of the 1.2, which, in turn, is what makes one of those attractive.

FWIW, do you - or anyone else - recommend the 50 1.2 over the 55 1.2?

Thanks again!


IMO there are plenty of lenses to consider, Nikon and non. The Sigma 50 is quite a nice lens if you're into portraiture, but it's huge and the corners never get sharp on FX. I found that on my D200 (and now my D600) the Cosina-Voigtlander 58/1.4 rarely comes off. It's a joy to use (perfectly damped focus ring) and, of course, I love the pictures I get with it. Back in Nikkor land, don't forget the 50/2.0.



StonePhotog
Registered: Apr 23, 2013
Total Posts: 134
Country: United States

Back in Nikkor land, don't forget the 50/2.0.

Yet another one to research!!!

Thanks for your reply and opinion zippy.



zippy_monster
Registered: Jan 19, 2011
Total Posts: 158
Country: United States

CGrindahl wrote:

Of course, with older DSLR cameras and with those typically that don't have a focusing motor which are Nikon's least expensive cameras there isn't a non-CPU register and the photographer is obliged to set ISO as well as shutter speed and aperture. And as Rafael notes, even those shooting with cameras that have the register have the freedom to make the selection themselves. But shooting with tubes does make that decision a bit trickier. Yes, you can look at the LCD to check exposure but if one has the register there is practically no price paid for using it. The one tricky part is if you're using spot metering because it will work with MF lenses ONLY when using the center focusing point.

I wouldn't dream of buying a camera that doesn't have a non-CPU register. I want my camera to meter for me.


Ah, the D600 (and presumably D7x00) has a non-CPU lens register. On the D200 this was stored in a custom setting bank, and you can easily switch between AF/CPU and MF lens settings banks. On the D600 the lens info is decoupled from the minimum shutter speed for auto ISO, making it a bit more tedious to switch between different focal lengths as you can assign a button shortcut to switch between non-CPU lens info... but not auto ISO settings. Nothing a dandelion chip wouldn't fix, but still a bit annoying.



CGrindahl
Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Total Posts: 16784
Country: United States

The Nikon 50 f/2 in all versions is a fine lens that can be bought for a song. I paid $56 for a 50 f/2 H.C. AI'd lens in pristine condition. You might want to pick one up just to see how you like the length. The 50 f/1.8 is considered a great lens. I paid $46 for an AI-s manual focus lens that performs beautifully. Here's a shot taken with the 50 f/1.8 AI-s. I bought an early version called the "long nose."



Mescalamba
Registered: Jul 06, 2011
Total Posts: 3731
Country: Czech Republic

leighton w wrote:
Mescalamba wrote:
Hi guys,

any advice on "basic" MF Nikkor zoom? Some good and "cheap"? I noticed 28-85 for reasonable price (somewhere around 300 USD).

I want it cause now I have Nikon F mount camera, but theres probability of using Canon EOS and MF Nikkors works on both. (like my C/Y lens)


My favorite Nikkor zoom is the 50-135mm f3.5 AI-s. You can usually pick one up from anywhere between 150 to 300 bucks. Watch out for the condition, the zoom/focus rings can get very loose.

Check-out my flickr set for this lens. http://flic.kr/s/aHsjEWXxSY


Very nice pics. I noticed this lens some time ago, tho I think someone was faster then me and grabbed it. I should say that I have APS-C so 50mm as start is tiny bit long. Something starting at 28 or 35 would be better probably..

Tokina AT-X 35-70/2,8 found this one.. worth something? I know its not Nikon.



CGrindahl
Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Total Posts: 16784
Country: United States

You won't get much information about lenses other than Nikon MF lenses celebrated on this thread.

If you're looking for a wider zoom there are a number of contenders. My favorite is the 25-50 f/4 AI-s. Obviously not a fast lens but it is sharp wide open and producers wonderful color and contrast. Here's a photo taken with the lens on the Bay in Sausalito.



I'd direct you to Bjorn Rorslett's comments about Nikon zoom lenses. He speaks about AF as well as MF but his comments have proved useful to many on this thread.

http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_zoom_00.html

He gives good grades to a slightly faster lens, the 28-50 f/3.5 AI-s, which is used by a couple of folks on this thread, including Leighton if I'm not mistaken. I've also shot with the 35-70 f/3.5 AI-s and was quite pleased with it. I prefer to color of the AI-s over the AI lens of the same range and aperture.

Happy shopping!

PS - I just noticed a 25-50 f/4 AI for sale on E-Bay from a seller in Hungary... That might work for you. Here is a link.

Nikon 25-50 f/4 AI



rafaelcasd
Registered: Jan 07, 2011
Total Posts: 2489
Country: United States

leighton w wrote:
leighton w wrote:
Thank you Georg and Jeff!

Rafael - I rather like the first B&W image of the steam tractor, you captured it well. Ever since I saw some images from you around a month ago with the 5.8, I've been very interested in it. You're right about the 3d rendering, which is the attractiveness of it. But I could have sworn it was the f2 version and not the 1.4 seen here, am I right? I believe the images I am referring to were of an old PU truck.

rafaelcasd wrote:
You remember well Leighton, the 5cm 2,0s at 2.0 does the best job I have seen so far in separating the subject plane from the background in a 3d like way, because the subjec plane t is well in focus and the background is just out of focus in a smooth way. The 5.8cm so far seems best at giving an effect of the center very sharp at 1.4 with the rest fading away, but the in focus area is smaller.


Would be interesting to compare with the 50/1.2 at the same aperture.


I am getting interested in running a comparison of images between all my 5X mm lenses at full aperture for depiction of portraits and large objects against the background. Part of the problem here is that there are so many combinations of subject size and distance, and background distance that no test can be truly conclusive...... but it would still be fun to do.



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