Author Topic: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df  (Read 12200 times)

Les Olson

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Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« on: January 30, 2016, 19:55:36 »
Rorslett's Rule is the remark that you should have three primes, each at least twice the focal length of the next widest, so you never have to wonder about which to use. (There is a version for size as well: each camera you own should be at least twice the weight of the next lightest, so you never wonder about which to pick up). 

I like the rule: the focal lengths are clearly distinct, and the distinctiveness makes you think carefully about the picture you might take. 

With my FM3 I use a Voigtlander 20mm, a Nikkor AI-S 50mm f/1.4, and either a Nikon 100mm f/2.8 E series or the 135mm f/2.8 E series.  Rorslett's Rule satisfied.  If I get a Df for digital use there are the 20mm f/1.8 and the 50mm f/1.8, but there is no small, light, short telephoto except the 85mm among modern lenses - after that it is the DC lenses, which are big and expensive, or it is all the way to the 180mm f/2.8. 

So I have two questions:

What do people who use primes with the Df use for a short telephoto? 
If they use the E series lenses, how well do they perform on the Df? 

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2016, 20:15:36 »
You forgot the 105/2.5. It is synergetic with the Df and I am convinced the people designing that lens in its time had a visit from the future to put them straight. Thus it's better to start making up the kit from the 105. Leading to 50 and 24(-ish). Or 35 & 105 if you use the 3X factor instead of 2X.

The Nikon E lenses work well, but there are better alternatives.

Jakov Minić

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 20:34:57 »
Les, I use the 85/1.4D on my Df, but that has got more to do with the lens that has simply been my favorite the past 10 years than it has to do with synergy.
My two lens kit used to be 16/3.5 fish-eye + 85/1.4.
Now it's 24/1.4 and 85/1.4.
If I were to build up a new kit today I suppose the new AF-S f/1.8 lenses are the way to go.
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Les Olson

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2016, 21:12:30 »
You forgot the 105/2.5. It is synergetic with the Df and I am convinced the people designing that lens in its time had a visit from the future to put them straight.

Thank you.  I have been put off the 105/2.5 because the designers have written that it was optimised for portrait distances and widest aperture, which is not my normal use (http://www.nikkor.com/story/0005/).  Is it worth looking for the later NSIC versions? 

Tristin

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2016, 21:37:10 »
The 105mm f/1.8 is worth looking into as well.  Sharpness and contrast between the f/2.5 and the f/1.8 are the same unless at very close range where the f/1.8 is better.  The f/1.8 also has a very flat field curvature where-as the f/2.5 plunges in the corners.  The f/2.5 also exhibits much more CA than the f/1.8.  The f/1.8 also handles flare better, though it's built in hood is quite small annd while it mostly takes care of ghosting, is not enough to get rid of flare often.

If you are looking for a mostly portrait lens and you like using filters and don't want to carry an extra set in 62mm, the f/2.5 would be better.  The f/2.5 is certainly better if you are looking to carry as minimal a trio as possible in that regard. For landscapes or anything where corner to corner sharpness is desired, the f/1.8 is better by a hefty margin.  They are of similar length, the f/1.8 is wider and heavier by qiite a fair chunk.

Past difference I could think of, the f/2.5's focus ring is faster moving and more suited for quicker focusing, while the f1.8 is slower and better for precision.  Both feel great.
-Tristin

Thomas G

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2016, 21:53:06 »
I'm using either a 135mm f/3.5 Q.C (non AI) or a 105mm f/2.5 AI-s when going with primes for mid range.
The former is not universal, though, and I tend to vary the rules by adding my own preference parameters.
For example most selections come with some type of close focus or macro capability in at least one lens in the set.



Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2016, 21:55:02 »
The f/1.8 is more modern but has less character. They complement each other very well. It is often stated that the 'Sonnar' version of the  105/2.5 is better for landscapes, but frankly I don't see that much difference if the slightly lower contrast of the old model is taken care of. Still the mid '70s 105/2.5 continues to be my absolute favourite. Colours are rendered with a vibrant intensity that really are preserved well by the Df.

However, all the above really is a question of luxury as any of these 105 Nikkors will serve their users well.

John Geerts

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2016, 21:59:46 »
Another option to think about is the 85mm 1.8 (Pre AI),  it fits very well on the Df. It may be difficult to find a good sample, however. 

Andy

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2016, 22:26:16 »
Depending on your needs and wants:
You might take a look into the Zeiss 2/100mm and the 2/135mm.
Both are outstanding performers - the 135mm in particular.
The 2/100mm is smaller though.

rgds,
Andy

PS:
For a size and proportionality estimation: Both lenses mounted on a Df.

2/100mm


2/135mm





Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2016, 22:28:58 »
The Zeiss 100/2 is the one with axial colour issue (longitudinal chromatic aberration), isn't it?

The APO-Lanthar 125/2.5 is my normal upper limit for a kit for hand-holding a Df. Fits nicely in combination with the 58/1.2 Noct and a 28 mm Nikkor.

Harald

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2016, 22:35:11 »
Hi,

definitely the 105 2.5 Ai or Ai-s. Lightweight, superb colors, sharp and a nice bokeh. Another Option: Samyang 85 1.4. A monster in terms of bokeh and sharper then the 105. Both are too cheap and cost used between 150 and 200 Euros. I do not need more.

Harald
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Andy

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2016, 22:50:05 »
The APO-Lanthar 125/2.5 is my normal upper limit for a kit for hand-holding a Df.

The 2/135 is not too difficult to handhold. The focus ring is easy and precise to adjust.

For MF practice, I once traced a small - quite agile - model helicopter with the 135mm (this time mounted to the D800E). After some initial ohaha, it turned out to be quite manageable.



100% crop


Agree, if size counts, the Nikkor 105mm/2.5 is the better way to go.

rgds,
Andy



Andy

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2016, 23:33:13 »
The Zeiss 100/2 is the one with axial colour issue (longitudinal chromatic aberration), isn't it?

Yes, there is slight LCA.
I'd say below f2.8, LCA at the Zeiss is a bit more visible than on the Nikkor 105mm/2.5, above f4, it is the reverse.

Among other things I like, the Zeiss has a much smoother transition from the focal plane towards the foreground blur vs. the Nikkor.

rgds,
Andy

Roland Vink

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2016, 07:57:45 »
Quote
Among other things I like, the Zeiss has a much smoother transition from the focal plane towards the foreground blur vs. the Nikkor.
That usually means the transition from the focal plane to the background is less smooth, so the Nikkor would have smoother background bokeh.
Since background bokeh is usually more dominant in a picture, I give it much higher importance so the Nikkor wins here.
Or you can use a DC Nikkor, which allows you to adjust the bokeh either way :)

Quote
but there is no small, light, short telephoto except the 85mm among modern lenses
This does expose gap in the Nikon lineup. The smallest AF telephoto prime after 85mm is the 105/2.8 VR, which is hardly compact.

Andy

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2016, 08:47:54 »
That usually means the transition from the focal plane to the background is less smooth, so the Nikkor would have smoother background bokeh.
Since background bokeh is usually more dominant in a picture, I give it much higher importance so the Nikkor wins here.
Or you can use a DC Nikkor, which allows you to adjust the bokeh either way :)

Hi Roland,
I just arrived at the airport - will be away a bit.  So I can't create a few images for direct comparison. 

If interested, I can do some FG/BG bokeh comparision shots between the 4 lenses to share when back home (AiS 105mm/2.5, AFS 105mm/2.8 VR, Zeiss 2/100mm and the 105mm/2 DC). As said, it might be interesting.

BTW, imho the Zeiss is overall smoother than the Gauss, in the FG there is the larger visible difference.

rgds,
Andy