Author Topic: Compact but Good Manual Focus Nikkors  (Read 1584 times)

Roland Vink

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Re: Compact but Good Manual Focus Nikkors
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2023, 22:45:53 »
In my earlier post I listed what I considered to be the best compact lenses for the Nikon FM. However, if you use AI and AI-S Nikkors with the standard 52mm filter thread, none of them are very big and all are more than good enough optically for film. Even the lenses with the fastest aperture in each focal length, such as the 28/2, 35/1.4 and 50/1.2 are relatively small. However, if you don't need the speed you can get slower lenses which are just as good, and a bit smaller, lighter and cheaper. There is a huge range of lenses with the standard 52mm filter, with focal length from 20mm - 200mm, including zooms, macro, PC, slow and fast aperture. You can easily choose whatever fits your requirements best, I think you will be happy with anything you choose. The only lenses I wouldn't recommend are some of the series-E lenses but even they do very well when stopped down. All the best!

Bernard Delley

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Re: Compact but Good Manual Focus Nikkors
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2023, 10:21:16 »
Finally, how about the 200mm f/4? It is surprisingly affordable and takes the common 52mm filters. I should take mine out more often to become more familiar with the angle of view.

The AI 200mm f/4 (52mm) is sharp across the image field wide open. My sample does not focus really to infinity unfortunately. And I have not dared to follow Richard Haw and disassemble it to the point for adjusting the infinity stop.
This lens has a very big working distance as closeup lens as the front principal plane is in front outside the lens. Here is an example with bellows near 1:1 reproduction ratio. The second picture illustrates  the working distance at max bellows extension with additional rings, about 1.5x magnification.

Bernard Delley

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Re: Compact but Good Manual Focus Nikkors
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2023, 10:31:48 »
The 52mm filter thread 20/3.5 is nice, however struggles with corners for landscape shooting. It is phenomenal for shooting straight into the sun for example

I did not notice far edge and corner weakness at landscape takes, using it at f/11 on a D800.
Due to is center sharpness even close up, it is also interesting for "high" magnification when used reversed on bellows:  A close look 15x magnified of a glossy computer screen with 115 micro meter pixels. The alignment of the camera with the screen is not prefect for this image. The third image illustrates the working distance on such bellows use with reverse lens. Roughly, it is the flange distance for Nikon F.

Vegebarian

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Re: Compact but Good Manual Focus Nikkors
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2023, 12:36:41 »
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. An absolute wealth of information in this thread.

Also thanks again to Richard Haw and his amazing website. I think I must have read over half of it over the last few days!

I like the idea of a small set of lightweight primes. So I bought the 50mm f2K that I had my eye on and an AI'd 135mm f3.5. I'm also looking at a 24mm f2.8 AI-S because they seem cheaper than the 20mm options and I'm hoping it will do the job of a 20 and 35... although that was my plan with my G primes and I now own a 20, 24 and 35 so we'll see ;D

Great dragonfly photo Bernard Delley. Looks like you got really close and I like the rendering of the out of focus areas. Reversed lens macro is a nice bonus that you don't get with the modern G lenses!

F2F3F6

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Re: Compact but Good Manual Focus Nikkors
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2023, 21:08:51 »
My personal selection of classics that I can suggest:

- 3,5/20 UD auto Ai modified for landscape (a bit heavy and not so compact)
- 3,5/20 Ai (52mm) for "sun-star" images (very compact)
- 2/28 N-C Ai'd or Ais (night and landscapes) (compact for a f/2,0)
- 2,8/28 Ais (0,20m) for near macro or "macro-landscape"
- 1,4/35 N-C Ai'dor Ais and 1,2/50 Ais for bokeh or dreamy rendering (full open). 1,2/50 @2,0 or 2,8 for lowlight and sharpness (compact for a f:1,4, compare with an AFS...)
- 2/50 H-C Ai'd for everyday and walk around (compact)
- 2,5/105 P-C Ai'd for everything (it's so good and has nice sharpness)
- 4/200 Ais or Apo Telyt R 3,4/180 (compact long lenses)
- and the only zoom: 3,5/75-150 Series E chrom ring (2nd model) very compact and nice minimum focus of 1m. Very good with Nikon 3T or 4T.