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New lens for my F90x?
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
George Mann
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New lens for my F90x?

Hi again. I am debating over what lens to replace my current zoom with. It is a Nikkor AF 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 Macro (second version). It has 2 F-stops that it is usable at. F/8 for general photos, and F/5.6 for closeups.

I am looking for a better performing option, with a few more usable F-stops. So far, I am looking at the Nikkor 28-85mm series, or a 50mm F/2 AI, which will be used along with my Nikkor 28mm F/3.5 AI

I already have a well used, unconverted 50mm H.C. Auto (which I love) that I use with my Nikkormat. But I want a newer lens (aesthetically) for the F90x, and I loath the rendition (and build quality) of modern glass.

I am currently leaning in the direction of getting the AI version of the 50mm F/2 since it has been my favorite mainstay.

I am looking for affordable options. Any suggestions?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
peterm1
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For a consumer grade lens the AF 35-70mm f3.3-4.5 performs surprisingly well especially when stopped down (as is usual with such lenses). I have the first AF version of this lens and while I do not much like its appearance its performance is pretty good at those apertures. I got it for a "song" to try it out.

But if you want to get a really top performing lens and can afford a few bucks more why not buy the AF 35-70mm f2.8? I have seen pixel peeping comparisons to the later 24-70mm f2.8 AF which showed the lens is very close to its later cousin, in terms of performance. This was THE go-to lens for pros who were willing to use that, admittedly, short zoom range back in the day and it would work well on an F90x given it is pretty much contemporary. D or not D version - it does not matter. It costs more than the f3.3 -4.5 version, admittedly, but these days not that much more in absolute $ terms, so these lenses are well worth it given their superb performance. If I am traveling by air, where baggage allowance is an issue - going on holidays for example - I tend to carry the 35-70mm f2.8 in preference to the 24-70mm f2.8 which is a back breaker to carry. I have never regretted it in terms of the images it provides though it less flexible at the zoom end (I am happy to carry a 24mm AI prime to sort that out).

I can personally vouch for the Nikkor AF 28-85mm f3.5-4.5 as well. It was the lens I used extensively on my f801s when I shot film regularly. It is a greatly under-rated lens (and probably always was) but its only real negative in my view (apart from its slowish aperture) is that it is notorious for having a tendency to flare quite badly in adverse light, so I would advise the use of a lens hood at least to help minimize this - though still expect it to happen in some adverse lighting. It is a lens that in my view has few other flaws than the flare issue, it being quite sharp at most apertures. I would suggest buying the second AF version (there was no third "D"" version). PS some barrel distortion at wider settings but what apart from highly expensive pro lenses do not have this. It is usually not an issue.

By all means get a 50mm f2 AI. I cannot speak highly enough of any of the versions of this lens made by Nikon. I also have the old pre AI one (now converted using a factory made ring) and love its rendering. My personal view is anyone using a zoom also needs to supplement this with at least one standard prime for those instances when something faster (with narrower DOF) is required. Was this lens redesigned in latter years? It was redesigned back in the mid 1960's from 7/5 to 6/4 configuration) when the H version was introduced (the version I own) but I but I believe was not updated again at a later date except for coating changes . Others may know for certain but if in any event it approaches the rendering of its older sibling it's worth having.

EDIT: Another lens I like and use even now is the Nikkor AF 35-105mm f3.5-4.5 D. First thing to be aware of is if you buy this lens you must get the D version which was redesigned optically and is acknowledged as being far and away the best AF version by Nikon in this specific range. It is widely rumored amongst pro reviewers (i.e. not the rabble like me )to have an aspherical element - if so, almost certainly a molded composite (though Nikon never traded in this selling point) and as a result it is very small for this class of lens - not much bigger than your 35-70mm existing zoom. The earlier versions had 16 elements in 12 groups but this one had 13 elements in 10 groups which possibly supports the aspherical "theory" as new aspherics technology in zooms can be used to reduce manufacturing complexity, cost and ultimately lens weight rather than adding significantly to image quality per se.

It is usually a bargain to buy as it is a kind of sleeper which was not long lasting as the market moved in a different direction not long after its release.

https://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/35-105mm-afd.htm

https://www.mir.com.my/rb/photograph...5mm/index2.htm
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
Chriscrawfordphoto
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Why is your current lens only usable at two f-stops? That lens you have is not a pro zoom, but it is not a bad lens, either. If yours is that bad, you have a bad example.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
George Mann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
Why is your current lens only usable at two f-stops? That lens you have is not a pro zoom, but it is not a bad lens, either. If yours is that bad, you have a bad example.
Its actually a good sample that performs to expectations for this particular model and vintage of consumer zoom lens (well documented).
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
George Mann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
For a consumer grade lens the AF 35mm f3.3-4.5 performs surprisingly well especially when stopped down a bit.
Yes, but a bit "flat" looking in its rendition compared to my primes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
But if you want to get a really top performing lens and can afford a few bucks more why not buy the AF 35-70mm f2.8?.
I find its size and weight to be a bit cumbersome when wheeling around in my wheelchair. But I like its performance, so perhaps (at the right price).

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
By all means get a 50mm f2 AI. I cannot speak highly enough of any of the versions of this lens made by Nikon. I also have the old pre AI one (now converted using a factory made ring) and love its rendering.
It has been my primary lens since I was a kid.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
jamin-b
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I personally love the old school 25_50mm f4 zoom, if you don't mind big and heavy. this is a lens you feel was made with love to take great photos on film.

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Nikkor Normal
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
randy stewart
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Nikkor Normal

The 50mm 2.0 AI is something of a sleeper, in that is origin lens from around 1959 was a "budget" normal and a decent (only) lens. However this last version if the lens, I think updated a number of times over 25 years, is excellent; it is also cheap and fairly easy to find. As for a zoom, I'll second the suggestion of the last version of the 35-105mm 3.5-4.5, the D version, which is a complete redesign of the prior non-D zoom of the same focal length. Not finding a test report on this lens, I bought one for my F100 (My first Nikkor zoom lens.) Early on I was shooting a photo with a brick building wall in the background and noticed a significant barrel distortion in the viewfinder. I immediately started to regret by lens purchase, thinking that's why it was so cheap. However, on examining the negatives, I was relieved to find that the distortion is in the F100 viewfinder, not the lens. For its modest price, I think this is a terrific bargain and a very good lens.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
George Mann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin-b View Post
I personally love the old school 25_50mm f4 zoom, if you don't mind big and heavy. this is a lens you feel was made with love to take great photos on film.
I use to use one of these on my old FA. An absolute bear of a lens.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
Nickon51
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I am using a 28-85 on my F90. It's a good lens with a good zoom range, albeit a heavier and bulkier lens than the 30-70. Another consumer lens is the 28-70. I don't use it much, for no good reason.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
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The 50/1.8G is plainly awesome.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
The 50/1.8G is plainly awesome.



The G lenses won't work on the OP's camera. The old Nikon N90/F90 is a 1990s camera that requires lenses with an aperture ring.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
George Mann
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I had forgotten about the Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5 AiS, which may be a more "convenient" solution.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
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I only use primes nowadays but I do have the AF 28-70 f/3.5-4.5 D. It is a good lens in terms of sharpness but can flare without a hood.
Have a look here it is my blog. I compare it to a scratched 28f2.8 Ais
http://pansfilmcameras.blogspot.com/...-lens.html?m=0

Personally, I would go for a cheap AF 50f/1.8 D but that's just me.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
santino
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So I‘d suggest the D version of the 50mm 1.8
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
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I have an AI'ed Nikkor-H 2.8cm f/3.5 which I pair with an AI-s 50 f/1.2 and
when traveling I throw the AI-s 105mm f/2.8 Micro into the bag...

I have other primes, but these three cover my needs.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
The G lenses won't work on the OP's camera. The old Nikon N90/F90 is a 1990s camera that requires lenses with an aperture ring.
The G lenses work on the N90s in S and P modes, and with the program shift and very wide exposure adjustment (+/- 5 stops) you can get by. But yes, it’s sub optimal.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
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Peterm1, I enjoyed reading your review of the AF 28-85 and AF 35-105. I had the AF-28-85 for a while, and I don't know why I ever sold it. I might get it back, and I might pick up a AF 35-105 to try out.

George Mann, I don't believe anyone suggested the AF 28-105 f/3.5-4.5. I have one, and even though I have many Nikons, my AF 28-105 is on my D700 much of the time. Although it is not one of the pro lenses with the fancy crinkle paint finish, it seems to me to perform like one. I can find nothing to complain about in its image quality. I picked up a AF 35-70 f/2.8 to try. good lens, very good, but not as handy for daylight shooting as my 28-105, and not really any better! Take a look at Bjorn Rorslett's review of it.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
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If you want a prime you won't do much better than the 50mm 1.8 AF-D. Cheap and great image quality. If you are ok with manual focusing on the F90x then the 50mm 1.8 series E is fantastic and also cheap. I have two of them and they are both very good. The F90 viewfinder is terrific for manual focus. I use mf lenses on it all the time with no issues and my eyesight isn't the greatest now that I'm into progressive bifocals.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santino View Post
So I‘d suggest the D version of the 50mm 1.8
Would second that option, cheap and cheerful. However build quality wise it isn't astounding.


I did take a look at the cheaper zoom options, as it's very convenient to have more than a prime for snapshooting and put my cameras into not very friendly situation (seashore). Prior to having a F90 I had an F80 that sadly failed. Looked at the 28-70 3.5-4.5 and 28-85 3.5-4.5. Both kit lenses which may mean the possibility of getting a kit with a body for cheap!
I however had a 50 1.8D and I just stuck with that.
The F80 came with the 28-80 3.5-5.6 which is decent for snapshooting and feels like made of air. I recall reading that Galen Rowell used it in lieu of the pro lenses, because of its light weight.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
........
But if you want to get a really top performing lens and can afford a few bucks more why not buy the AF 35-70mm f2.8? I have seen pixel peeping comparisons to the later 24-70mm f2.8 AF which showed the lens is very close to its later cousin, in terms of performance. This was THE go-to lens for pros who were willing to use that, admittedly, short zoom range back in the day and it would work well on an F90x given it is pretty much contemporary. D or not D version - it does not matter. It costs more than the f3.3 -4.5 version, admittedly, but these days not that much more in absolute $ terms, so these lenses are well worth it given their superb performance.....

Be aware that some (maybe not all) of the AF 35mm-70mm f/2.8 lenses have a tendency to become fogged. It was a favourite of mine for some years. It went to Camera Clinic Melbourne and they replaced the offending element with Nikon supplied part. It was great for a couple of years then it, too, went milky. I was very busy at the time and discarded the lens.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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Originally Posted by john_s View Post
Be aware that some (maybe not all) of the AF 35mm-70mm f/2.8 lenses have a tendency to become fogged. It was a favourite of mine for some years. It went to Camera Clinic Melbourne and they replaced the offending element with Nikon supplied part. It was great for a couple of years then it, too, went milky. I was very busy at the time and discarded the lens.

Interesting. I had never heard that before. I must check mine as I have not used it for the past year (too many lenses not enough time)
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Peterm1, I enjoyed reading your review of the AF 28-85 and AF 35-105. I had the AF-28-85 for a while, and I don't know why I ever sold it. I might get it back, and I might pick up a AF 35-105 to try out.

George Mann, I don't believe anyone suggested the AF 28-105 f/3.5-4.5. I have one, and even though I have many Nikons, my AF 28-105 is on my D700 much of the time. Although it is not one of the pro lenses with the fancy crinkle paint finish, it seems to me to perform like one. I can find nothing to complain about in its image quality. I picked up a AF 35-70 f/2.8 to try. good lens, very good, but not as handy for daylight shooting as my 28-105, and not really any better! Take a look at Bjorn Rorslett's review of it.
In relation to the 28-85mm - selling it and then buying one back. That is exactly what I did.

I do not even know why I sold it. I suspect it was because back then I had a D70s which was an cropped camera sensor and it mounted an 18-70mm kit lens which was excellent so the older one seldom got an outing. A few years later I had a D700 full frame camera so when another 28-85mm came up I grabbed it. The good thing was I sold mine for more than the cost of buying another a couple of years on. So that turned out to be a good deal. Now that I have one again I still use it when the mood takes me.

This is why seldom sell lenses unless I change systems (or the lens is a dog). I am subject to lens nostalgia and will often have seller's remorse.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
George Mann
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Well, I have decided that I will look for a 35-70mm f/3.5 Ai-S. Its the lightest of the pro zooms, and has excellent image quality.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Mann View Post
Well, I have decided that I will look for a 35-70mm f/3.5 Ai-S . Its the lightest of the pro zooms, and has excellent image quality.


Yes it is superb. I would have suggested it but thought that the zooms you were considering were AF ones for some reason, probably because you are looking to replace an another AF lens. I have the Ai version which I like very much. My only gripe is that the focus ring is a little too loose on my copy - I am not sure if this is limited to my copy or is a common issue. A little more resistance would make it nicer to use. It is commonly regarded as the "father" of the Nikkor AF 35-70mm f2.8 pro lens.I have not noticed that it is better than that lens as the quote below suggests but both are excellent lenses.

A review says this (of the AI version).

" The Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5 AI is an amazing piece of optics. Wide open it outperforms the AF 35-70mm f/2.8D with ease. To top it all of the IR performance is excellent as well. The sweet spot of the lens is f/4 to f/11. Diffraction starts kicking in about f/16 on the D3. The lens is more then useful at f/22 if you add a bit of sharpening to the images. If you like manual focus lenses I highly recommend trying out the Nikon 35-70 f3.5 AI"

http://www.momentcorp.com/review/index.html

Please note that this reviewer regards the AI version as better than the AIS version. I cannot comment but you may wish to enquire further before "hitting the button".

http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_zo...MF35-70f3.5(72)
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
George Mann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Please note that this reviewer regards the AI version as better than the AIS version. I cannot comment but you may wish to enquire further before "hitting the button".

http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_zo...MF35-70f3.5(72)
That's funny, because Ken Rockwell has a page dedicated to the pro zooms where he shows test images.

The Ai-S version clearly beat the Ai in every test.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Mann View Post
That's funny, because Ken Rockwell has a page dedicated to the pro zooms where he shows test images.

The Ai-S version clearly beat the Ai in every test.
Yep, noted. Truth is, I always take reviews with a grain of salt. Seldom are they really conducted in a rigorous, scientific way and people also have their own preferences and biases. Not even mentioning individual variations between lenses.

That's why I suggested you investigate further and make your own mind up. Its pretty much what I do based on the preponderance of evidence. In this specific case I do not know enough to say other than that I am happy enough with my AI one though I note that images will degrade due to flare when circumstances do not suit it. (But I "grew up" as a photographer using old Pentax screw mount lenses, the early samples of which were single coated, so I am used to that issue and just try to avoid situations which I know might be problematic).
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
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Maybe bit outside discussion, but I like Sigma 24-70 f2.8. First version even has aperture ring for older Nikon bodies. Latest third version is Art lens with latest wiz-bang technology that Sigma can make.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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28-70 3.5-4.5D is a great lens for f90.
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