NikonGear

Gear Talk => Lens Talk => Topic started by: Akira on September 17, 2020, 01:35:53

Title: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Akira on September 17, 2020, 01:35:53
Yesterday, I noticed that the all information of Ais Nikors had been moved from the current model section of the Japanese web catalog:

https://www.nikon-image.com/products/nikkor/fmount/

to its discontinued item section:

https://www.nikon-image.com/products/nikkor/discontinue_fmount/

Apparently, Nikon finally has put an end to the handling of Ais lenses.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Roland Vink on September 17, 2020, 02:05:20
The AF-S 12-24/4, AF-S 18-300 and all AF-D lenses are also discontinued.

As a user of AI-S lenses I am grateful that Nikon kept them in production as long as they did, but with the move to Z mount and the downturn in the photographic sales, it was only a matter of time...
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Erik Lund on September 17, 2020, 08:26:58
Truly remarkable they kept them for so long! Thanks for the heads up
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Jakov Minić on September 17, 2020, 08:43:27
That is very sad to hear. Thanks, Akira for letting us know.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Airy on September 17, 2020, 08:46:45
This would have been worth an official communication or celebration. Sad news, but there's nothing to be ashamed of. It's just the official or, should I say, administrative end of a brilliant era. There may be others in the future (but, given the way technology is driven, that's slightly less likely).
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: simsurace on September 17, 2020, 09:12:25
Strange that this would go so quietly given the large following that these lenses have among videographers and of course long-time Nikon photographers. Luckily I was able to acquire a good selection of Ais primes, many of which were already discontinued before. Maybe used market prices will now rise also for those lenses that were up to now available new, such as the 55/2.8? Or maybe there is still quite a bit of stock around to dampen the effect of this.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Didier Klein on September 17, 2020, 10:02:07
Sad news... they could have bee waiting 2021, to celebrate 40 years of Ais (1981-2021) !

But Nikon is probably the brand that respected his customers for the longest times...(with Leica M). Thanks Nikon ! And many digital bodies (Df and others) can use these good old Ai-Ais lenses !

The story of Ais has not ended yet, there are millions of Ai-Ais and older F lenses that continue to make brilliant images... and here at Nikon gear we see and share a lot of it !

Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Akira on September 17, 2020, 10:57:06
The AF-S 12-24/4, AF-S 18-300 and all AF-D lenses are also discontinued.

As a user of AI-S lenses I am grateful that Nikon kept them in production as long as they did, but with the move to Z mount and the downturn in the photographic sales, it was only a matter of time...

Thank you for the additional info on the discontinuation of AF lenses.  I also noticed AF-S 17-35/2.8 and 300/4.0 as well as DX 17-55/2.8 and DX Micro 85/3.5 have been discontinued.


Truly remarkable they kept them for so long! Thanks for the heads up

They also improved the coating from NIC to SIC during their productions.


That is very sad to hear. Thanks, Akira for letting us know.

Yes, it is somewhat sad.  I will miss the compactness of the MF lenses.


Some Ais Nikkors are used for the factory automation and special video cameras of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation): Ais 55/2.8 and 105/2.8 Micros on their high definition cameras and Ais 50/1.2 on the high-speed cameras.  There are cinematographers who fondly use MF Nikors.  There are still ways to go even after their discontinuation.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Akira on September 17, 2020, 11:10:28
This would have been worth an official communication or celebration. Sad news, but there's nothing to be ashamed of. It's just the official or, should I say, administrative end of a brilliant era. There may be others in the future (but, given the way technology is driven, that's slightly less likely).

Maybe the production of the lenses had been put to an end before, and Nikon jas just run out of the stock.  Some lenses may re-emerge for the industrial use from Tochigi Nikon, just like UV Nikkor 108/4.5 or EL Nikkors.


Strange that this would go so quietly given the large following that these lenses have among videographers and of course long-time Nikon photographers. Luckily I was able to acquire a good selection of Ais primes, many of which were already discontinued before. Maybe used market prices will now rise also for those lenses that were up to now available new, such as the 55/2.8? Or maybe there is still quite a bit of stock around to dampen the effect of this.

Because they have been in production for such a long time, the second-hand market should still be so full of items in various conditions that it would be no more profitable for the manufacturer itself.  Ifonically...
 

Sad news... they could have bee waiting 2021, to celebrate 40 years of Ais (1981-2021) !

But Nikon is probably the brand that respected his customers for the longest times...(with Leica M). Thanks Nikon ! And many digital bodies (Df and others) can use these good old Ai-Ais lenses !

The story of Ais has not ended yet, there are millions of Ai-Ais and older F lenses that continue to make brilliant images... and here at Nikon gear we see and share a lot of it !

Indeed, I also found there are MF Nikkors that perform admirably on the digital cameras of all brands and formats.  Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of mirrorless cameras, MF Nikkors can be used on any camera of any brand using adapters!
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Hugh_3170 on September 17, 2020, 11:52:10
I should not be too surprised to see the last of the AiS and D Series lenses to pop up in increased numbers on the grey market  in the very near future.

Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: olivierssd on September 17, 2020, 20:42:03

Thanks to NIKON for sustaining the production of these superb lenses for so long. This allowed me to buy a new 50 / 1.2 2 years ago. Many of the lenses in this series are optical and mechanical jewels and are very pleasant to use even on the D850.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Airy on September 17, 2020, 21:02:39
Now the next question is : how long will Zeiss and Voigtländer further spoil us with their manual focus lenses (AI-something) ?

By the way, among the oldies-but-goodies, do not neglect Leitax-mounted Leica R lenses. Some are disappointing (Elmar 180/4), others are exquisite (Summicron-R 50/2), and then some have even reached Noct-Nikkor pricing levels (Summilux-R 50/1.4 E60)...
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Akira on September 18, 2020, 01:58:55
I should not be too surprised to see the last of the AiS and D Series lenses to pop up in increased numbers on the grey market  in the very near future.

Let's ignore that until the sellers give up taking advantage of the NAS!


Thanks to NIKON for sustaining the production of these superb lenses for so long. This allowed me to buy a new 50 / 1.2 2 years ago. Many of the lenses in this series are optical and mechanical jewels and are very pleasant to use even on the D850.

It should be a good idea to get the necessary one now.  It's nice to be able to focus such a demanding lens on the OVF screen, which is no more my case...


Now the next question is : how long will Zeiss and Voigtländer further spoil us with their manual focus lenses (AI-something) ?

By the way, among the oldies-but-goodies, do not neglect Leitax-mounted Leica R lenses. Some are disappointing (Elmar 180/4), others are exquisite (Summicron-R 50/2), and then some have even reached Noct-Nikkor pricing levels (Summilux-R 50/1.4 E60)...

That's exactly what I thought when I finally purchased Nokton 58/1.4.  The Leitax modified lenses should be much more comfortable to use on mirrorless lenses.  Now they even offer conversion kits that allows these lenses to mount on the mirrorless bodies directly, although the modified lenses look a bit weird.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Bill De Jager on September 18, 2020, 02:48:36
I've been wondering how long they would continue to produce these old lenses.  It's been 14 years since they dropped all film cameras except for the FM10 and F6 which had very slow sales before and after.  At that time they also discontinued a number of AI-S lenses.  Once they had a (very nearly) full range of G-type lenses on the market, there was no need to produce the old AF-D lenses for digital use but they continued anyway. As others have noted there are very large numbers of the old AI-S and AF-D Nikkor lenses available on the used market.

It's sad, but it's also good that Nikon is rationalizing its produce lineup.  I was concerned that they were spending resources on markets of little business value.

I'm glad I bought a number of AI-S lenses back when people were dumping them on the market in large numbers, often in excellent condition.  I still have my Df and my manual-focus Nikon film cameras.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Bob.S on September 18, 2020, 16:11:42
Thank you to all for this 'heads up'....I showed it to my wife who has wanted the DX 18-300 for her D3300 and now she has one, just in the nick of time as it was quite hard to source here in the UK with stocks presumably being run down.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: beryllium10 on September 18, 2020, 17:39:41
Akira, thanks for noticing this.  I echo everything said above - astonishing that they survived in production as long as they did.  Based on years of Nikongear examples, I'd have liked to own a 35/1.4, but never committed (likewise the 50/1.2, though neither is really a focal length I commonly reach for).  Perhaps a decent used one will cross my path some time in future - they're built to last a hundred years! 
Sad but not at all surprised to know the 300/4 AF-S is also discontinued.  Amazing that it lasted so long, given the advent of the PF teles and everyone's overwhelming preference for compact, lightweight lenses (personally, I like the heft of the older AF-S).  Possibly my favourite and most used lens.
Cheers, John
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: MILLIREHM on September 18, 2020, 19:22:49
Somehwat sad to read.


The AF-S 12-24/4, AF-S 18-300 and all AF-D lenses are also discontinued.

As a user of AI-S lenses I am grateful that Nikon kept them in production as long as they did, but with the move to Z mount and the downturn in the photographic sales, it was only a matter of time...

If all AF-Dlenses are discontinued, this would also affect the two DC lenses. On the other hand NIkon is currently announcing (one ov several) articles that should trigger interest in lenses. THis is about special lenses and including the 105 and 135 mm DC (german site):

https://www.mynikon.de/inspiration/nikon-magazin/Objektiv-Kurs-Spezielle-Objektive-mit-besonderen-Eigenschaften
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Akira on September 19, 2020, 02:16:20
I've been wondering how long they would continue to produce these old lenses.  It's been 14 years since they dropped all film cameras except for the FM10 and F6 which had very slow sales before and after.  At that time they also discontinued a number of AI-S lenses.  Once they had a (very nearly) full range of G-type lenses on the market, there was no need to produce the old AF-D lenses for digital use but they continued anyway. As others have noted there are very large numbers of the old AI-S and AF-D Nikkor lenses available on the used market.

It's sad, but it's also good that Nikon is rationalizing its produce lineup.  I was concerned that they were spending resources on markets of little business value.

I'm glad I bought a number of AI-S lenses back when people were dumping them on the market in large numbers, often in excellent condition.  I still have my Df and my manual-focus Nikon film cameras.

I don't think Nikon has been producing Ais and AF-D lenses continuously.  I guess that they decided to produce another batch only when they were sure of further demand for these older lenses.  The discontinuation this time would indicate that they finally decided there would be no demand that makes the producing more items worthwhile.


Thank you to all for this 'heads up'....I showed it to my wife who has wanted the DX 18-300 for her D3300 and now she has one, just in the nick of time as it was quite hard to source here in the UK with stocks presumably being run down.

Glad to know that it was not too late!
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Akira on September 19, 2020, 02:27:27
Akira, thanks for noticing this.  I echo everything said above - astonishing that they survived in production as long as they did.  Based on years of Nikongear examples, I'd have liked to own a 35/1.4, but never committed (likewise the 50/1.2, though neither is really a focal length I commonly reach for).  Perhaps a decent used one will cross my path some time in future - they're built to last a hundred years! 
Sad but not at all surprised to know the 300/4 AF-S is also discontinued.  Amazing that it lasted so long, given the advent of the PF teles and everyone's overwhelming preference for compact, lightweight lenses (personally, I like the heft of the older AF-S).  Possibly my favourite and most used lens.
Cheers, John

What is good about the MF lenses in the mirrorless era is that they can be adapted to any camera bodies, and you can focus and set the aperture without depending on the proprietary electronic communication systems.  So long as the lenses functions properly on their own, they are hard to be obsolete!


If all AF-Dlenses are discontinued, this would also affect the two DC lenses. On the other hand NIkon is currently announcing (one ov several) articles that should trigger interest in lenses. THis is about special lenses and including the 105 and 135 mm DC (german site):

https://www.mynikon.de/inspiration/nikon-magazin/Objektiv-Kurs-Spezielle-Objektive-mit-besonderen-Eigenschaften

According to the Japanese Nikon website, 105DC had already been discontinued, and 135DC was discontinued along with the Ais lenses, sad to say.

https://www.nikon-image.com/products/nikkor/fmount/

The gray rectangular icons next to the products names indicate that they are legacy products.  The 105CD is not shown in the web page linked above, and the 135DC carries the icon now.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Bill De Jager on September 19, 2020, 04:15:11
I don't think Nikon has been producing Ais and AF-D lenses continuously.  I guess that they decided to produce another batch only when they were sure of further demand for these older lenses.  The discontinuation this time would indicate that they finally decided there would be no demand that makes the producing more items worthwhile.


Glad to know that it was not too late!

I agree that they were likely producing batches from time to time.  The point is that the lenses remained as active products, and Nikon retained production parts and equipment long enough to periodically produce more copies. I'll speculate that it may have been years since some of the lenses have been produced.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Akira on September 19, 2020, 04:36:48
I agree that they were likely producing batches from time to time.  The point is that the lenses remained as active products, and Nikon retained production parts and equipment long enough to periodically produce more copies. I'll speculate that it may have been years since some of the lenses have been produced.

I know what you mean.  Another merit of keeping the products current even they stopped producing is that their spare parts can be "officially" kept for the repair (like the replacement of damaged front element).
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: chambeshi on September 20, 2020, 10:44:40
In 2017, I was told by two different well known retailers in London that Nikon were manufacturing selected AIS and AFD lenses subject to demand: ie in a batch. This included the 70-180 Micro-Nikkor AFD, which was officially discontinued, and also the 105 AFD Micro-Nikkor. And this also included the few AIS primes still listed by Grays.

I don't think Nikon has been producing Ais and AF-D lenses continuously.  I guess that they decided to produce another batch only when they were sure of further demand for these older lenses.  The discontinuation this time would indicate that they finally decided there would be no demand that makes the producing more items worthwhile.


WRT optics, these Z system engineers are  fairly explicit about Nikon's priorities in this interview, published in March. The 2nd part is mainly about the 58 f0.95 Noct but includes a
couple of telling snippets. A couple of intriguing hints about extending the diversity of Z Nikkors, which exploit the optical advantages of the new mount.
https://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/interview/1239336.html

https://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/interview/1240053.html

Clearly, this younger generation of "lensigneers" have their act together (but a pity about Nikon marketing!).

Somehwat sad to read.


If all AF-Dlenses are discontinued, this would also affect the two DC lenses. On the other hand NIkon is currently announcing (one ov several) articles that should trigger interest in lenses. THis is about special lenses and including the 105 and 135 mm DC (german site):

https://www.mynikon.de/inspiration/nikon-magazin/Objektiv-Kurs-Spezielle-Objektive-mit-besonderen-Eigenschaften
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: MILLIREHM on September 20, 2020, 21:16:33
Fortunately I have already got the (Long discontinued) 70-180 Micro and the 135 and 105 mm DC - all second hand. A lot of special- lenses are waiting for replacement with AF-S Versions now for years, Nikon is setting other priorities - no Micro Nikkor longer than 105mm for instance
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Roland Vink on September 28, 2020, 08:44:31
I updated my site to show the newly discontinued lenses. Let me know if I missed anything.
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Imagelover on October 03, 2020, 21:45:18
In the autumn of 1980 I bought my first Nikon camera - the F3 - with the Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 f/4.5 AI and Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8. When the AI-S lenses came on the marked I also began to buy several of them. Since then I think I have more than 70 AI-S lenses (from Fisheye-Nikkor 8mm f/2.8 to 800mm f/5.6). Some of them I have two copies, and for the Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4 I have 8 (not joking). I think my AI and AI-S lenses will be with me until my death (or until I can't do photography anymore). Time will show...
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: MILLIREHM on October 03, 2020, 22:25:40
Some of them I have two copies, and for the Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4 I have 8 (not joking).

Now thats what I call redundancy :-)
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Erik Lund on October 05, 2020, 12:53:27
In the autumn of 1980 I bought my first Nikon camera - the F3 - with the Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 f/4.5 AI and Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8. When the AI-S lenses came on the marked I also began to buy several of them. Since then I think I have more than 70 AI-S lenses (from Fisheye-Nikkor 8mm f/2.8 to 800mm f/5.6). Some of them I have two copies, and for the Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4 I have 8 (not joking). I think my AI and AI-S lenses will be with me until my death (or until I can't do photography anymore). Time will show...
Now that is quite the collection! Wow
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Airy on October 05, 2020, 13:50:49
Now thats what I call redundancy :-)
The B-52 comes to mind...
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Mongo on October 18, 2020, 05:12:08
thanks Akira. Good to know - sad to find out. Mongo will not be parting with his A-IS lenses in any hurry !
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: Jacques Pochoy on October 18, 2020, 12:15:39
I guess there are enough lenses out there to fulfill one's need ! Though prices will go up for the"clean" ones :'(
I'll have a look at my usual photo fair in Bièvres in june (if the Covid goes away)...

Hi Mongo, been some time, glad to see you here  ;)
Title: Re: End of Ais NIkkor
Post by: MILLIREHM on October 18, 2020, 12:17:51
I am not purely relying on AI/AI-S lenses but  still approximately the half of my F- mount lenses are non CPU with AI/AI-S characteristics,  then seven screwdriver AF lenses (with or without D characteristics but with aperture ring) which also have AI-S characteristics plus 4 AF-S lenses with aperture ring, so in total this makes the majority.These wont become obsoilete whether the remaining few are now discontinued or not - a significant share was aquired second hand anyway.