Author Topic: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai!!!  (Read 70 times)

richardHaw

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Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai!!!
« on: May 24, 2020, 02:06:55 »
https://richardhaw.com/2020/05/23/repair-nikkor-50mm-f-1-8-ai/

Not much info about this lens, seems like a forgotten Nikkor :o :o :o

Roland Vink

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Re: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2020, 23:50:36 »
Quote
This is the first time we see a 50/1.8 Nikkor, it’s a totally-new design which is of the Gauss-type comprising of 6-elements-in-5-groups. The optical formula is one of Nikon’s most successful designs in terms of longevity and we’ll see this used in every succeeding Nikkor in the 50/1.8 family up until the recent AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D.

Hi Ric, the series-E 50/1.8 has a different optical design from the AI 50/1.8 featured here and the similar "long nose" AI-S 50/1.8. It was the series-E design which was used in the later AI-S and AF versions.

The original series-E lens was extremely compact with an all-plastic barrel. It was later upgraded with a slightly larger barrel with the chrome grab-ring. There was also a Japanese-only version featured here: https://imaging.nikon.com/history/story/0060/index.htm. The Japanese version looks similar to the chrome series-E version, but it has better coatings and can focus to 0.45m instead of 0.6m. The same optics were then used in the compact AI-S version (which is really a Series-E lens in all but name) and then the AF and AF-D versions. The AF-S version is a completely new design.

I use the AI 50/1.8 a lot, it is a good lens - nice and sharp, compact but not too small. The bokeh is nicer than most other 50mm Nikkors, fairly smooth in the center of the image but gets a little rougher towards the periphery.

richardHaw

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Re: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai!!!
« Reply #2 on: Today at 01:25:09 »
Hi Ric, the series-E 50/1.8 has a different optical design from the AI 50/1.8 featured here and the similar "long nose" AI-S 50/1.8. It was the series-E design which was used in the later AI-S and AF versions.

The original series-E lens was extremely compact with an all-plastic barrel. It was later upgraded with a slightly larger barrel with the chrome grab-ring. There was also a Japanese-only version featured here: https://imaging.nikon.com/history/story/0060/index.htm. The Japanese version looks similar to the chrome series-E version, but it has better coatings and can focus to 0.45m instead of 0.6m. The same optics were then used in the compact AI-S version (which is really a Series-E lens in all but name) and then the AF and AF-D versions. The AF-S version is a completely new design.

I use the AI 50/1.8 a lot, it is a good lens - nice and sharp, compact but not too small. The bokeh is nicer than most other 50mm Nikkors, fairly smooth in the center of the image but gets a little rougher towards the periphery.

Thanks, Roland. That's what I was thinking but the diagram looked the same. :o :o :o could it be that the tweaks were minimal?

Roland Vink

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Re: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai!!!
« Reply #3 on: Today at 02:40:20 »
The AI 50/1.8 and Series-E 50/1.8 are both double-gauss designs with 6 elements in 5 groups. You would certainly see similarities between the two optical designs, as you would with 50/1.8 lenses from most other manufacturers at the time. Maybe the design of the AI 50/1.8 was even adapted for the series-E lens, but I think it is going to far to say it is the same lens with some "tweaks".

The AI 50/1.8 (left) has a larger front element and different curvature of lens surfaces. The Series-E design (right, in AF version) was designed to be compact, as the 1001 nights article shows, with smaller gap between front and rear groups, so I think it is safe to say they are different designs.



Akira

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Re: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai!!!
« Reply #4 on: Today at 03:15:14 »
Roland, as you would probably know, the "Japanese-only" version of 50/1.8 is actually an Ais Nikkor without the prong and not the Series E.  I believe that the optics is identical to that of the "long-nose" Ais 50/1.8 which was the "export-only" version.
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