Author Topic: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!  (Read 809 times)

richardHaw

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Airy

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 16:55:10 »
Triggering my NAS again.

I've been slightly disappointed by the 55/2.8 AIS because it is not good against the light, a situation I often encounter (pipe organs in churches...). Later, the Zeiss 50/2 became my go-around, multipurpose, know-it-all lens, the Milvus version being nearly flawless.

Recently, I started using the 55/2.8 again, with some precautions and less pipe organs involved, and I really appreciate it. It looks like the last 55/3.5 version might be even more attractive. Only issue is, I'm still using the Df with a clear ground glass (I hate split and microprism, finding them distracting, already from my film days) and a magnifying eyepiece, but f/3.5 might really become too dark, as my eyesight is not getting better. Maybe I should give it a try.

Anyway, a great review (as usual). I really appreciate your efforts to show what makes lenses special and interesting!
Airy Magnien

richardHaw

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 17:18:45 »
the usual screen should be perfect with this :o :o :o

split prism is not recommended with this as it gets dark ::)

Airy

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2020, 17:46:55 »
That's why I cannot stand them - even slightly moving the eye off-axis will make them look dark.
Of course, a Z5 could be a nice complement to that lens... ahem...
Airy Magnien

Øivind Tøien

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2020, 01:41:49 »

Very nice article about this lens Richard, reflecting my own feelings for it, particularly with respect to the rendering compared to the f/2.8 version, which I have only tried briefly. When I bought my first copy lightly used >40 years ago, It became the standard lens on my F2 and has remained one of the lenses that always comes along. I now have a second copy, both of the later version with serial numbers fairly close, but the scale for the reproduction ratio that is orange on my second copy is yellow-whitish on my first copy (could be just fading after long time use).
Øivind Tøien

pluton

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2020, 02:10:56 »
Allow me to fuel your N.A.S.
IMO, Everyone should own a copy of the 55/3.5. I'm most familiar with the last, NIC version.  At it's design-specified 1:10 repro ratio, it's an insanely high-resolution lens.  Outside that parameter, say at infinity and at 1:2 or 1:1, the decline of small detail rendition off of the 1:10 performance is noticeable on today's digital 100% zoom viewing, but was largely invisible when used casually on film, and may or may not work well for standard photos, depending on what 'look' you are looking for.  It is known for relatively low flare and ghost from the sun when compared to double-Gauss macros such as the
Micro-Nikkor 55/2.8 or the Zeiss ZF 50/2.
It also make a good macro focal length for APS-C cameras, like my Fujifilm XE-2.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Akira

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 04:23:13 »
I recently purchased the 55/3.5 from a reputable collector we all know here.  ;)  I've only tested it yet, but am very happy with the result.  Even at normal shooting distances, the images look sharp without being clinical.  Wide open, the corners looks a bit soft but not at all smeared.  I like the overall rounded rendition.

Ais 55/2.8 was my standard lens when I used Nikon F3 during the film days.  I liked the sharp image but found the bokeh rather quite busy.

I also like a bit longer focus throw of f3.5 version, especially between 3m and infinity, which makes its all-round use more comfortable.

My only complaint would be that the lens has six aperture blades instead of seven, although their curves are not as straight as those on the 50/2.0 Nikkors.
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richardHaw

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2020, 04:32:46 »
this is a much better lens artistically if you ask me :o :o :o

the 2.8 may be sharper but this one has better rendering.

some people say that the 3.5 is sharper than the 2.8, hard to confirm this.

golunvolo

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2020, 12:05:23 »
The article shows your love for the lens  :) Excellent and informative work, as always.
  I´ve got the compensating version and it is fantastic on the Z6.

Ian Watson

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2020, 04:11:29 »
At it's design-specified 1:10 repro ratio, it's an insanely high-resolution lens.  Outside that parameter, say at infinity and at 1:2 or 1:1, the decline of small detail rendition off of the 1:10 performance is noticeable on today's digital 100% zoom viewing, but was largely invisible when used casually on film, and may or may not work well for standard photos, depending on what 'look' you are looking for. 

Thank you, Keith. I have dabbled with using this lens at almost 1:1 to photograph my black-and-white negatives. Now I understand why the results are soft towards the corners. As you say, not necessarily unusable but definitely noticeable.

It is indeed amazing when closer to 1:10.

Roland Vink

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2020, 00:54:37 »
The focus throw of the 55/3.5 and 55/2.8 is the same at far distances. At close range the focus throw of the 55/2.8 is very slightly longer, because its total focus throw is longer (310° compared to 300°) and it does not focus as close (0.25m vs 0.241m)*  In practical terms it makes no difference in normal use. If you need a long focus throw for normal shooting, the AI 50/2 or AI 50/1.8 are much better :)

* Even though the 55/2.8 does not focus as close, the magnification at the closest distance is slightly higher because the focal length increases due to the floating elements.

I haven't compared the 55/3.5 and 55/2.8 in terms of sharpness, both are very sharp lenses. It is possible the 55/3.5 is better near 1:10 magnifications, but I expect the 55/2.8 does better across the entire focus range from infinity to 1:2 because it has close range correction.

John Geerts

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2020, 06:38:38 »
The article shows your love for the lens  :) Excellent and informative work, as always.
Yes, completely agree.

 
Quote
I´ve got the compensating version and it is fantastic on the Z6.
Yes, great version of the lens

Erik Lund

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2020, 09:02:13 »
Thank you for the writeup Rick! I have both lenses discussed here and they are among the sharpest lenses among the F-lenses and comparable to the 50mm 1.8 in Z-Mount
Erik Lund

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2020, 10:36:42 »
What Nikon (or Non-Nikon) lens of around 55mm focal length would you go for if best performance at 1:1 was desired?

TIA.

The focus throw of the 55/3.5 and 55/2.8 is the same at far distances. At close range the focus throw of the 55/2.8 is very slightly longer, because its total focus throw is longer (310° compared to 300°) and it does not focus as close (0.25m vs 0.241m)*  In practical terms it makes no difference in normal use. If you need a long focus throw for normal shooting, the AI 50/2 or AI 50/1.8 are much better :)

* Even though the 55/2.8 does not focus as close, the magnification at the closest distance is slightly higher because the focal length increases due to the floating elements.

I haven't compared the 55/3.5 and 55/2.8 in terms of sharpness, both are very sharp lenses. It is possible the 55/3.5 is better near 1:10 magnifications, but I expect the 55/2.8 does better across the entire focus range from infinity to 1:2 because it has close range correction.
Hugh Gunn

Akira

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Re: New-Nikkor 55/3.5!!!
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2020, 12:51:01 »
The focus throw of the 55/3.5 and 55/2.8 is the same at far distances. At close range the focus throw of the 55/2.8 is very slightly longer, because its total focus throw is longer (310° compared to 300°) and it does not focus as close (0.25m vs 0.241m)*  In practical terms it makes no difference in normal use. If you need a long focus throw for normal shooting, the AI 50/2 or AI 50/1.8 are much better :)

Wow, really?  My impression is that the f3.5 is easier to focus. although Ai 50s are definitely easier to focus than the Ais versions, f1.8 or f1.2.
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