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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 03-22-2017   #41
Erik van Straten
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Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor-H-Auto 50mm f/2 single coated, 400-2TMY.

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Old 03-22-2017   #42
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Old 03-22-2017   #43
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IMHO: The 50mm f2.0 is probably the best lens in the pre-Ai. However, the 50mm f1.4 lets in more light and is easier to focus.
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Old 03-22-2017   #44
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Sharpest?
55 micro nikkor
40mm f/2 Voigtlander

The voigtlander is a fantastic combination of focal length, optical quality, size and ergonomics overall.
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Old 03-22-2017   #45
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At the moment I have-
pre ai f2 (two of)
pre ai f1.4
E series f1.8
Ai f1.2
ai f2 (two of)
and afd f1.4 and 1.8

But my favourite is my ai 55mm f3.5 fantastic lens super sharp works great on film and digital and only cost £15.
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Old 03-22-2017   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
Nikkor 50mm f/2 HC, or 50mm f/1.8 AI will do it for you.
Very nice standard lenses at inexpensive prices.
I like the 50mm f/2 HC. A bargain.
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Old 03-22-2017   #47
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As has been suggested, the 50mm Nikkor "S" F1.4 pre AI is an excellent lens I would think you would be happy with. I still have one I bought new in 1969 and I bought a second one of the same age that had an AI kit installed. I use this second lens on my D700. This particular lens excels on film and on digital.
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Old 03-22-2017   #48
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Best for what?

My favourites are:

58/1.4 ("look")

55/3.5 or better still /2.8 Micro Nikkor (sharpness)

50/2 (price)

50/1,2 (speed + sharpness + look).

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Just curious, why no AIS lenses?
Old 03-22-2017   #49
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Just curious, why no AIS lenses?

Dear Board,

Except for the 5.8 cm f1.4 Nikkor S lens I inherited from my Grandfather all of my manual focus Nikkor 50mm lenses are AIS versions.

I can recognize the point of using appropriate period pieces together but I scored a 50mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.4 AIS with purchased cameras.

I'm curious, does that this somehow lessen their value?

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Old 03-22-2017   #50
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I don't think the OP was saying NO AIs lenses. I also doubt he would be offended if anyone offered up an opinion or two about those vs. Pre-AI or AI.

AFs might be a horse of another colour.

What are your thoughts about the crop of AIs "Normal" glass?

B2 (;->
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They work as expected for me across the Nikon line
Old 03-22-2017   #51
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They work as expected for me across the Nikon line

Dear Bill,

All I can say is that my Nikkor AIS lenses work with the full expected compatibility on my Nikon F4S, Nikon 8008S, and D300. I only bought the F4S because it is the camera equivalent of a type AB blood recipient.

Every older Nikon lens, and even the 3rd party older type F, AI, and AIS lenses work on it and allow at least some degree of semi-automatic camera function via the light meter.

An added plus to the Nikkor branded AIS lenses is that they have the aperture coupling tab so they work on my inherited Nikon FTN.

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Old 03-22-2017   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreilly View Post
I have heard that the AI-S 50/1.2 is actually the sharpest of all the Nikon 50s, stopped down a bit. Do you have any sense of that?
In comparing the Nikon Ai-S 50 1.2 with the Voigtlander 58 1.4 wide open, I concluded that the 58 might have a slight advantage with OOF rendering (depending on subject) but that the aforementioned Nikon 50 had (IMHO) better definition (which, in my understanding, is not the same as sharpness).

My take on terminology: Acutance is how we talk about the transition at an edge (e.g. between black and white) and resolution is about being able to distinguish small details. It might be possible to adjust for poor acutance using the sharpening tool... resolution is fixed by the system (camera, lens, sensor/media...).

Base on the version of lenses in hand...
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Old 03-22-2017   #53
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I'm happy with the Nikkor S 50 f1.4, it's great for shooting portraits and urban environments. If I'm out in the country and/or weight is going to be an issue, the Nikkor-H(C) 50 f2 is my go to lens. I love them both, and yes, you are going to be buying more than one...
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Old 03-22-2017   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bill View Post
.... I love them both, and yes, you are going to be buying more than one...
A very positive aspect of 50's in general is they are a very affordable purchase.

B2 (;->
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Old 03-22-2017   #55
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Noct-Nikkor.

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Old 03-22-2017   #56
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Thanks to everyone for their input! I appreciate it

I've been looking around for a good copy of the 50mm 1.4 but the only thing that I've found so far is one in pretty good condition, aside from a good load of dust internally. After the seller provided me with a number of photos that he said were taken with the lens, it doesn't seem to be affecting the image, but I'm not sure I want to take a chance. It is only $55 which seems to be a fantastic price.

Question: How easy is the 1.4 disassembled and cleaned? Should I just go for it at that price and not worry about the dust?
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Old 03-22-2017   #57
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You can get so many good 50mm Nikkors for under $100, I'd be far more selective. Many more fish in the sea.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I really don't like Nikon's 50mm f/1.4 lenses at all.
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Old 03-22-2017   #58
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I have plain Nikor H 2.0 and 1.8 Ai. Both take very nice photos.

Never found a 1.4 I liked
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Old 03-23-2017   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
You can get so many good 50mm Nikkors for under $100, I'd be far more selective. Many more fish in the sea.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I really don't like Nikon's 50mm f/1.4 lenses at all.
Yeah I've decided against that particular 50. Based on a number of videos and articles that i've read, I think i'm going to go for the 50mm f/2.0 Nikkor-H.C. I've been offered one for $50 but i'm not sure what the condition is like, just waiting on the seller to send pictures.

If that one is in less than favourable shape, Keh has a 50 f/2 Nikkor-H in EX condition for $70.
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Old 03-23-2017   #60
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Decided to buy a 50mm f/2 Nikkor-H.C.! Thanks to everyone for their comments and thoughts.
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Old 03-23-2017   #61
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50mm f/2 HC: Great lens, good price.
You will not regret it.
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Old 03-23-2017   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
50mm f/2 HC: Great lens, good price.
You will not regret it.
If all of the great things that i've read are true, I can't see it!

Based on what the sellers pictures are telling me and what he said, the camera is in excellent condition with no scratches, haze, fungus, and very little dust. If that turns out to be true I'll be one happy camper! If not, it's only $50 bucks and I know a good Nikon repair specialist who can clean it up for me

Last edited by jrose125 : 03-23-2017 at 21:39. Reason: word
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Old 03-26-2017   #63
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How does the S/SC 1.4 render differently from the ai?
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Old 03-26-2017   #64
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Something to keep in mind with any review/purchase, there can be a wide range of variation between samples especially when you don't know the history of a 50+ year old lens.

B2 (;->
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Old 04-08-2017   #65
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I really like the Nikkor-H 50mm f/2 myself, I have one that super super clean but a bit dry on focusing so I'll get it relubed soon enough (same story with my 2.8cm f/3.5.

I also have the 55mm f/1.2 SC that I use from time to time which is definitely more of a character lens rather than performance, but what lives on my F most of the time is the Voigtlander 40mm f/2 (I have the first SL version). I just love that thing! It's the perfect balance of size / performance / ergonomics for an SLR (in my opinion).
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Old 04-08-2017   #66
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As I mentioned earlier, the 40mm Ultron cleared all the 35mm Nikkors off my shelf. It lives on my Nikon F with FTN meter head at the moment.

I also have the first version of the lens, so that it can interact with my FTN meter.

Too bad that Voigtlander has discontinued this lens now.
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Old 04-08-2017   #67
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Plus 1 too for the Nikkor-H 50mm F2 . Great lens.


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Old 04-13-2017   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
A very positive aspect of 50's in general is they are a very affordable purchase.

B2 (;->
I would generally agree Bill save for the Nikkor S 50 f12 lens, or any pre-Ai lens with tick marks which makes them early production from 1959 or 1960. I'm actually keeping an eye out for Nikkor S 50 f2 lens for my late dad's eye level prism F that was made in 1960.

Bill S.
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Old 04-13-2017   #69
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Nikor H 1.8. Not impressed with 1.4 at all. HC should be similar.

55 micro is superb.
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Old 04-23-2017   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarageBoy View Post
How does the S/SC 1.4 render differently from the ai?
It's softer and renders bokeh differently, rather the way of classic lenses.
Depending on the model (and year of production) it sports 7 lenses either in 5 or in 6 groups. Basically, it's a "Double-Gauss"-design and can be placed in with the enhanced Xenon-type category. The AI-version always has 7 elements in 6 groups. The first AI versions were nothing but cosmetical variations of the non-AI model. Small adjustments in the optical formula and improved coatings changed the overall behaviour of the design.
Still, the SC 1.4/50 is an amazing lens. Sometimes the more "vintage" look is what you want.
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Old 04-23-2017   #71
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This thread has made me go review prices on the old 50 Nikkor. The S 50/2 copies have tripled in price. That surprised me but then again it was the lens debutted with the F.
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Old 05-29-2017   #72
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The Non-AI 50/2 is an insanely good lens for the money used, but it will probably increase in price (and I think already is).
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Old 1 Week Ago   #73
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Is it safe to skip the 1.4 in ai? Mine is soft until f 2.8, especially up close - is mine not good? Was tempted to sell and pick up another in AF mount, but then I thought I could probably do an f1.2 and f2/1.8 instead...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #74
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IMHO The 50mm f2.0, which was the lens that came with my camera in 1969. Later I purchased a 50mm f1.4 which increased the viewfinder optics but not the image. The reviews of the 50mm f2.0 have risen over the years. I have always felt that it is the quality of the image that is primary, not necessarily the lens.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #75
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the best bokeh i've seen in a nikon f-mount normal lens is from the 58/1.4 voigtlander nokton, which admittedly is the next lens i'm going to get.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #76
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I was reading a Japanese blog (one of Tom A's friends I believe) last night that outlined four of the Nikkor 50's. Basically this is what he said...

1. 50/2 S Darkest of the four. Good resolution in the middle. Softer toward the edges. Few halos. Longest focal length of the four...said to exceed 50mm but not sure by how much.

2. 50/2 H Shorter focal length than the 7 element S. Resolution very good in the middle. Very good towards the edges. Overall resolution very good. More contrast than the 7 element S. Much easier to use than the 7 element S.

3. 50/2 New or Ai or K version pick your poison Basically the same as the H and all of the various versions of that lens except for better multi-coating and slight tweaking of the formula? Best resolution towards the edges of all four. Basically the same image produced with this one as the earlier versions of the 6 element formula.

4. 50/1.8 Ai long barrel version New design. Resolves very well from center and to the edges. Marginal light reduction compared to the earlier 7 element 50/2 versions. Seems to be somewhere between the earlier 6 and 7 element versions. He says the E and the pancake are probably the same. (I have found the 1.8 New pancake to be a tad better than the E myself - informal test pics below New on left E on right).

I have yet to acquire the H, HC, Long barrel Ai, the 1.2, the Noct, the long barrel Ai 1.8, the 50/2 K, any of the 1.4's, the 45 pancake, and the old 58...but just give me some more time. lol

I have found information on the net concerning the 50/2 S that launched with the F to be scarce much to my chagrin as I own a minty copy that I really like owning. I suppose it would be best as a daylight lens or maybe for some dark motif. I should probably test all of my 50's just for fun.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #77
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