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Old 06-15-2016   #81
flavio81
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flavio81 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 133
My favorite Nikkors are the pre-AI series and all the classics have already been mentioned. Particularly if you value "bokeh" and a look full of "character", Nikkor pre-AI is what you want.

Now, my selections for pre-AI would be:

Normal: the 50/2 "H" or "HC" might be the best normal nikon ever. It has everything you want in a normal lens.
I also have the 58/1.4 "S" and the look is amazingly beautiful...
The 50/1.4 "S" is a good all-around lens but the 50/2 is more practical.
None of these f1.4 lenses is really very sharp wide open, if you value sharpness at f1.4 you'll have to switch to the Canon FD system and get the 50/1.4.

Tele: I don't like the 105 focal length too much, the 105mm is a legend, but i like 135mm(and longer) lenses better. The 135/3.5 "Q" is excellent in all regards, and i owned the 200/4 "Nikkor-Q" and it has fantastic out-of-focus rendering. It is not the sharpest lens, though. The more modern 200/4 AI version is an extremely sharp lens.

Wides: The 24/2.8 Nikkor-N is a legend but i don't own it. I have the 35/3.5 PC-Nikkor which I like a lot. The 28/3.5 you might either like or hate. It is very hard to focus, has poor corners, strong vignetting (can be a good thing sometimes) but then it has great contrast, great flare resistance, low distortion, sharp center at all apertures, and nice sunstars.

Pre-AI nikkors probably have the best build quality of all lens systems except perhaps the Zeiss lenses for the Contarex. And i'm not even a Nikon fan.

If i had to sell all my Nikon lenses, i would keep the 35/3.5 PC-nikkor, because it's small and versatile, and the 58/1.4 because it has a strong character.
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