Author Topic: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?  (Read 649 times)

Chris Bartleson

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Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« on: December 21, 2018, 18:21:24 »
I'm looking for a wide angle lens for my Nikon FM film camera, I'll be using it for landscapes, city skyline, and nature photography, so maybe something that works reasonably well at infinity. I don't have a ton of money to work with, so I'd like to try to keep the budget in around 200-300 USD, I might consider more if a compelling reason can be made for a more expensive lens.

Current lenses I'm looking at are the Nikkor 25-50mm f4 ais that I just found out about and the Nikkor 28mm f2 ai.

Any other recommendation?
Nikon D7100 - Nikkor 18-105mm VR | Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
Nikon FM - Nikkor 105mm f2.5 AI-s
Nikon EM - Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8 | Nikon MD-E Motor Drive

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2018, 18:42:34 »
Both your candidates are well-respected wide-angle lenses.

The 28/2 is the sharpest and the 25-50 the most versatile.

pluton

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2018, 19:40:15 »
I recently acquired a Nikon 28/2.8 K/Ai (the seven-element version) and can report that my used copy is a good all around lens and fine at infinity. This lens usually sells for less than the later 8-element 28/2.8 AiS.
I'm using it on a D800.
I remember all the various Nikon 24mm/2.8 lenses as being generally good on film.
Two notes about the 25-50/4: 
My one copy was super sharp at the wide end, but softened a small but noticeable amount at the 50mm end. 
If you get one, check the sharpness performance at different points along the zoom range.
I decided that my copy was more economical to sell than to repair.
Also, the close focus of the 25-50/4 is limited to 0.6m, not as close as any of the Nikon wide angle primes.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Chip Chipowski

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2018, 19:45:31 »
The 28mm f/3.5 K version is also nice, in my experience.

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2018, 20:51:58 »
Maybe it is just me, but I find that I like 24mm much more than 28mm.
24 f/2.8 AI or AIS will cost you about $100 for a working copy.
For this focal length, the AI and later lenses have CRC for close focus distance and reasonably good coatings.

I have the 28mm f/2 which is very nice, but also fairly large and heavy. Good for environmental portraits, and since you are using film it is nice that it is fairly fast.




Chris Bartleson

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2018, 21:43:44 »
I recently acquired a Nikon 28/2.8 K/Ai (the seven-element version) and can report that my used copy is a good all around lens and fine at infinity. This lens usually sells for less than the later 8-element 28/2.8 AiS.
I'm using it on a D800.
I remember all the various Nikon 24mm/2.8 lenses as being generally good on film.
Two notes about the 25-50/4: 
My one copy was super sharp at the wide end, but softened a small but noticeable amount at the 50mm end. 
If you get one, check the sharpness performance at different points along the zoom range.
I decided that my copy was more economical to sell than to repair.
Also, the close focus of the 25-50/4 is limited to 0.6m, not as close as any of the Nikon wide angle primes.

I'll keep that in mind for the 25-50mm f4. KEH has them in stock in excellent condition, so that might be a way to go.

Maybe it is just me, but I find that I like 24mm much more than 28mm.
24 f/2.8 AI or AIS will cost you about $100 for a working copy.
For this focal length, the AI and later lenses have CRC for close focus distance and reasonably good coatings.

I have the 28mm f/2 which is very nice, but also fairly large and heavy. Good for environmental portraits, and since you are using film it is nice that it is fairly fast.

Not sure where you are finding prices like that for a working Nikkor 24mm f2.8, everything I see is around 200 dollars for most wide angle lenses. But I will keep the Nikkor 24mm f2.8 ais in mind, it is hard to keep all the wide angle lens in line as there were so many of them made. I'm not reading any problems at infinity for this one, which is good.
Nikon D7100 - Nikkor 18-105mm VR | Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
Nikon FM - Nikkor 105mm f2.5 AI-s
Nikon EM - Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8 | Nikon MD-E Motor Drive

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2018, 21:48:42 »
very rare to find a good copy of but if, the 2/24 Ai can be had for 200€ and is a great performer closed plus a strange effect filter fully open.

Same for the 1.4/35 Ai-S which is much more expensive around 450€ for a great copy and I guess even still made. Iirc the current optical formula remains basically unchanged since 1976...
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Robert Camfield

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 17:02:48 »
I share Frank's view regarding Nikon's 24mm F2.0 AI/AIS. A 24/F2 was recently listed by a dealer located in Tokyo. Initial impressions with this 24/F2 confirm the few reviews found on the web: at wider apertures, edge performance is compromised by what I interpret to be spherical aberrations. Contrast is limited. As with vintage Nikkor wide angles, resolution/contrast improves steadily at smaller apertures; by F4.0-5.6, performance is much improved. Resolution of the 24/2 nearly matches the 24/2.8 in the center 2/3 of the frame at comparable apertures.

Robert       

beryllium10

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 18:25:18 »
I'll put in a vote for the 28mm f/2.8 AiS, which was pretty firmly attached to my FM2 in the old days and still gets occasional use.   Very versatile - sharp, focuses close, great macro lens reversed, good on DX digital, still quite usable on FX except in the far corners.  By chance a local store here has a lot of the lenses mentioned above for price comparisons.  They're asking $179 for the 28/2.8 AiS, $179 for the 24/2.8 Ai and AiS, $229 for the 24/2 AiS, $89 for the 28/3.5 Ai, $199 for a non-Ai 24/2.8 NPK and $177.31 for the 25-50/4.  I'm not sure what condition these are in, but the comparison with KEH prices may help you decide whether it's worth waiting for something to turn up second-hand nearby. 
Cheers,  John

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 22:07:01 »
Regarding the 24/2: there is a huge sample variation among these lenses. I have owned several copies that were, to be frank, not very good due to image softness and internal veiling. Currently I use an AIS version which is excellent, but needs to be periodicalaly checked to see whether its CRC unit has come out of alignment. I have to tighten the rear group once in a while to maintain the good performance. Perhaps similar causes underlie the mixed-poor reputation this lens has.

24/2 on the Df.

pluton

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2018, 22:11:29 »
If considering a 28/2.8 AiS, which has the reputation of being the super-sharp, extra-close focusing one, try to test it first if possible.  My copy, which I have always assumed was properly functioning, has recently revealed itself to have an imaging defect visible only at infinity focus.  There is a substantial area of blur near the left side of the image.  This area (roughly about 5x15mm) is blurry at all stops, even f/16... but only at infinity. I've had this lens for over 20 years, but only saw this problem recently.
Possibly the CRC unit has been knocked out of alignment.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2018, 22:32:07 »
The 28mm Nikkors typically have CRC implemented in the front, which does make them more susceptible to knocks and bumps there. The 24 Nikkors have in contrast rear CRC, which would be considered more safe, but experiences with the 24/2 indicate this is not always the case. My 24/2.8 Nikkors on the other hand tend to behave better although lately one of them developed a tendency to misalignment.

I surmise even these robustly built optics can be affected by wear and tear over the passage of time.

Lorne

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2018, 23:46:55 »
You might also consider the AF-D 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ED as they seem to be in your price range on eBay. The focus ring is loose, typical of the AF-D series, it has a non-rotating front element which is handy when using a polarizer filter. It is light, especially as compared with the AF-D 20-35/2.8.

Otoh, you can't go wrong with a 28/2. My Ai'd NC copy is a lovely piece of kit.
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Robert Camfield

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2018, 01:06:36 »
Birna,

Thanks for the details regarding 24/2 and CRC...I've always viewed old Nikkors as bullet proof, more-or-less. The photo of rock you attached is sharp, certainly. But is this in infrared, and is has sharpening been applied.

Thanks, Robert

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Wide angle for my Nikon FM?
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2018, 09:20:18 »
Wong on both accounts. It is not infrared (captured by a standard Df)  ... and sharpening is for web presentation only. Unfortunately, not possible with the limitations of image sizes here to show the real sharpness.