Andrew L (gryphon1911)

A new Rabbit Hole - Manual Focus Lenses

28 posts in this topic

I've dabbled a little with adapted lenses on my mirrorless cameras.  Those lenses have always been of the modern type.

 

Bumbling into one of the local camera shops here in town, I started looking through the old Nikon lenses (AI/AIS).  With Nikon Df and adapted PEN-F in hand...I walked out of there with a Nikon 105/2.5

 

The lens is just so much fun and easy to use on either camera.  That same day, even with the weather being as "meh" as it was, I got some good results and can see a lot more use of it for me.  Perhaps some additional dedicated manual focus lenses are in my future.

 

Here is the lens.  Well worn on the outside, but the glass is in very good shape considering.  Focus ring is very smooth and aperture ring is tight and clicks nicely.

00001IMG_00001_BURST20170315082326-01.jpeg

 

 

IMG_20170315_082340-01.jpeg

 

A few samples from a walk around my neighborhood.  These are from a Fotodiox adapted PEN-F.

 

03-13-2017_PEN-F_MF_tests_P3130031.jpg

 

03-13-2017_PEN-F_MF_tests_P3130029.jpg

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This was definitely one of my favourite lenses (in AI-s form) in my latter years of using Nikon gear, but much to my distress, and despite swearing I'd never part with it, it turned into just a so-so lens when adapted to the Fuji-X (either with a Kipon adapter or Metabones Speedbooster).

 

In the end I begrudgingly sold it to help pay for more Fuji glass (which meant a 90/2 for the Fuji, which thankfully turned out to be a painless sacrifice as the 90/2 is definitely one of the best prime lenses I have ever used).

 

If it's working for you on the Pen-F, then I'm truly envious!

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Nice find, that 105 is a true Nikon classic. It's one of three AIs lenses (the others being the 28mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.2) I hesitate to sell for two reasons. One the resale value is not that high and two I'm sure if I sell them the next day Nikon will finally announce a full frame mirrorless camera.

 

The 105mm performs quite ok on a M43 sensor. Andrew, if you don't mind I'll add this E-M10 + 105mm f2.5 image as further proof.

 

15303484191_35778650e5_o.jpg

 

 

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I agree with Alan. I also had 2 versions of this lens, the pre-AI and the AI-S and they were very good, but the new glass (from Olympus in my case) was just so much better. And having greased lightning like auto focus in better glass just makes using MF lenses a bit of a hobby thing instead of something I would actually use in the field. 

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Also have my three AI lenses that I haven't parted with; a 75-150 (bought for nothing, virtually worthless but a really nice lens), a 16/3.5 and a NOCT. These were the favorites out of a dozen Nikkor and Voigtländer AIS lenses acquired over 20 years shooting Nikon. 

The two latter lenses are still unique enough as to warrant the wait for a mirrorless F or a Sony a* that I care to actually buy (hasn't happened yet).

In the meantime, they remain in use on the FM2 every now and again.

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9 hours ago, DDFZ said:

I agree with Alan. I also had 2 versions of this lens, the pre-AI and the AI-S and they were very good, but the new glass (from Olympus in my case) was just so much better. And having greased lightning like auto focus in better glass just makes using MF lenses a bit of a hobby thing instead of something I would actually use in the field. 

 

Agreed, for business use, I would not pick this as my first choice.  However, for my personal, fun walk about times, I am really enjoying it.

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Well done Andrew - a most desireable optic. 

 

This is the "K" version of the 105mm f/2.5 and it has had its original non-Ai aperture ring replaced by a factory Ai ring.  Has a longer focus throw than the AiS lens (170 Deg versus 140 Deg) and it is the last version to have an f/32 aperture.  Otherwise pretty much the same as the Ai version that succeeded it.

 

Mine is a little older than yours - Serial No.68291X.

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that's a gem of a lens ... it performs very well and has that certain character that modern lenses often lack...

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A few from today.  I just cannot seem to get enough of this lens!!

 

PEN-F with Fotodiox Adapter

 

03-18-2017_PEN-F_MF_tests_P3180005.jpg

 

03-18-2017_PEN-F_MF_tests_P3180008-Edit.jpg

 

03-18-2017_PEN-F_MF_tests_P3180009.jpg

 

03-18-2017_PEN-F_MF_tests_P3180014.jpg

 

03-18-2017_PEN-F_MF_tests_P3180036.jpg

 

03-18-2017_PEN-F_MF_tests_P3180038.jpg

 

 

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Excellent Andrew, are you using focus peaking ? 

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Nice ones Andrew, that cat doesn't half look pissed off. :D

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8 hours ago, armando_m said:

Excellent Andrew, are you using focus peaking ? 

 

Yes.  High intensity yellow.

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I'm not a cat person, but when I got there...kitty decided to try and be my best friend.  I'm not a cat person because I'm allergic, nothing a good sudafed wouldn't fix up in a few hours - cats seem to know this and want to be all up in my personal space.  Well...two young scamps came rambling by and the cat wanted nothing to do with them and their rough style of play.  Under the bench was the only place it could retreat.  This was a few seconds after the boys left for something else to get into. :D

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Posted (edited)

Andrew,

Welcome to my world.

I own and use a bunch of AI and AIS manual focus Nikkors ( primes: 24 f2, 35 1.4, 50 1.4, 85 f2, 105 2.5, 105 f4 micro, 180 2.8, 300 2.8, 35 3.5 perspective control, zooms: 35~70 3.5, 80~200 2.8 ED) as well as a bunch of Nikon S-mount rangefinder primes (35 1.8, 50 1.4, 85 f2, 105 2.5, 135 3.5).

Wonderfully rugged, reliable and most important, sharp lenses all complete with the now sadly gone depth of field scales.

Throwbacks to the days when manufacturers actually were concerned about producing the best quality equipment for loyal customers.

Outstanding.

Robert

 

 

Edited by rbsinto
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9 hours ago, rbsinto said:

Andrew,

Welcome to my world.

I own and use a bunch of AI and AIS manual focus Nikkors ( primes: 24 f2, 35 1.4, 50 1.4, 85 f2, 105 2.5, 105 f4 micro, 180 2.8, 300 2.8, 35 3.5 perspective control, zooms: 35~70 3.5, 80~200 2.8 ED) as well as a bunch of Nikon S-mount rangefinder primes (35 1.8, 50 1.4, 85 f2, 105 2.5, 135 3.5).

Wonderfully rugged, reliable and most important, sharp lenses all complete with the now sadly gone depth of field scales.

Throwbacks to the days when manufacturers actually were concerned about producing the best quality equipment for loyal customers.

Outstanding.

Robert

 

 

 

I'm really appreciating the feel and quality of the 105/2.5.   Another good side effect, if you will is how well the 105/2.5 works as a video lens.  With the longer focus throw, it makes racking focus a much smoother affair.

 

Now, my issue is which one to get next.  I really think I would benefit from a 24mm, but not sure if I should get the 24/2 or the 24/2.8....and a local store has a 55/1.2...but I alrrady have plenty of good lenses in that range...but the rendering is different enough that I might be able to justify it.   Then there are longer lenses perhaps a 180/2.8 or 200/4.    I think I'm going to stop into the camera store tomorrow and see what they have available.  I'm a kid in a candy shop all over again.

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15 hours ago, Andrew L (gryphon1911) said:

 

I'm really appreciating the feel and quality of the 105/2.5.   Another good side effect, if you will is how well the 105/2.5 works as a video lens.  With the longer focus throw, it makes racking focus a much smoother affair.

 

Now, my issue is which one to get next.  I really think I would benefit from a 24mm, but not sure if I should get the 24/2 or the 24/2.8....and a local store has a 55/1.2...but I alrrady have plenty of good lenses in that range...but the rendering is different enough that I might be able to justify it.   Then there are longer lenses perhaps a 180/2.8 or 200/4.    I think I'm going to stop into the camera store tomorrow and see what they have available.  I'm a kid in a candy shop all over again.

Andrew,

I'm not surprised, because the Nikkor 105 2.5 is one of the best portrait lenses ever produced by any manufacturer. I have both the rangefinder and SLR manual focus versions and they are outstanding.

I had the 24 2.8 AIS for many years and loved it, but traded it in and got the f2 version to get extra speed for low-light indoor shooting (as now-discontinued high-speed slide film is virtually impossible to get).

With respect to absolute image quality, probably not quite as nice a lens as the 2.8, but I'm not sorry I made the switch. Minimum focusing distance is about two meters so essentially everything on the street is always in focus.

180 2.8 ED AIS or 200 f4? 180 by a country mile. One of the few lenses I bought new, 30-odd years ago and worth every penny. One of Nikons best. Small, light, high speed with unbelievably great image quality and now, very inexpensive. One of the great bargains in photography today.

I hope this information helps.

Robert  

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Andrew, both the 24mm f/2.8 and f/2.0 are good lenses; however the f/2.0 has a reputation for having a lot of sample variance, so do make sure that you test the f/2.0 version before handing over your hard earned bucks/shekels etc or arrange a money back option for the deal in case you get a bad sample.  The 28mm f/2.0 does not seem to have this issue, but the 28mm focal length may not be what you are after.

 

I very much agree with Robert on the 180mm f/2.8 versus the 200mm f/4.0 (although the latter is still good and very light and inexpensive - it is just that the 180mm ED is so very much better).  The ED version of the 180mm lens is highly regarded for example by astronomers for its optical performance for wide sky astrophotography.  The AFD version of the lens is also very good and can still be had new on the gray market.  I personally do not regard either version of the 180mm ED lens as being exactly lightweight, so do be careful if mounting it on your Df or OMD camera bodies. Unfortunately it does not have its own tripod mount, so you may need to make up a cradle mount or similar for it and its camera body if you have tripod work in mind.

 

EDIT:  the 180mm AIS ED f/2.8 weighs in at 860g and the 200mm AIS f/4.0 weighs in at 535g.  In each case, this weight includes both lens caps and their built in lens hoods.

 

EDIT: Some lens adpaters do in fact have their own tripod mounts, so it pays to hunt one out if tripod work is envisaged.  Sorry I should have remembered this when I first posted.

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Hugh_3170 said:

Andrew, both the 24mm f/2.8 and f/2.0 are good lenses; however the f/2.0 has a reputation for having a lot of sample variance, so do make sure that you test the f/2.0 version before handing over your hard earned bucks/shekels etc or arrange a money back option for the deal in case you get a bad sample.  The 28mm f/2.0 does not seem to have this issue, but the 28mm focal length may not be what you are after.

 

I very much agree with Robert on the 180mm f/2.8 versus the 200mm f/4.0 (although the latter is still good and very light and inexpensive - it is just that the 180mm ED is so very much better).  The ED version of the 180mm lens is highly regarded for example by astronomers for its optical performance for wide sky astrophotography.  The AFD version of the lens is also very good and can still be had new on the gray market.  I personally do not regard either version of the 180mm ED lens as being exactly lightweight, so do be careful if mounting it on your Df or OMD camera bodies. Unfortunately it does not have its own tripod mount, so you may need to make up a cradle mount or similar for it and its camera body if you have tripod work in mind.

 

EDIT:  the 180mm AIS ED f/2.8 weighs in at 860g and the 200mm AIS f/4.0 weighs in at 535g.  In each case, this weight includes both lens caps and their built in lens hoods.

Hugh,

Despite its weight, I've never found the 180 to be problematic and never on the four times in 30-odd years that I've used it on a tripod was the lack of a built-in tripod mount a problem. I never even considered that it needed one. But then again most of my tripod work involves using it to balance a coffee cup on as I shoot hand-held.

My 180 is almost always used on my motorized, meterless, F as my reach lens when I'm also carrying rangefinder bodies with shorter focal lengths.

Robert 

Edited by rbsinto
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Hi Robert, with older style metal bodied Nikons, I too think that the 180mm ED is fine and especially for hand held use - as you have indeed pointed out. 

 

The poor Nikon Df, in spite of its rugged good looks, is a plastic camera underneath and a heavy lens could easily play havoc with the lens mount which is anchored into the underlying plastic body with five coarse pitched screws.  I am not saying don't, but I am saying treat the combination most carefully when handling and carrying it.  It is no Nikon FA/FM/FE or FE2/FM2/FM3a and it is certainly not a F, F2,............, D4 or a D5 etc

 

In the case of the Olympus OMDs, some are indeed thankfully metal bodied inside, but there is still a lot of leverage from a heavier lens on a light body, especially with the extra spacing due to the Nikon F to OMD lens adapter included in the overall length.

 

The 180mm ED lens itself is excellent. :)

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56 minutes ago, Hugh_3170 said:

Hi Robert, with older style metal bodied Nikons, I too think that the 180mm ED is fine and especially for hand held use - as you have indeed pointed out. 

 

The poor Nikon Df, in spite of its rugged good looks, is a plastic camera underneath and a heavy lens could easily play havoc with the lens mount which is anchored into the underlying plastic body with five coarse pitched screws.  I am not saying don't, but I am saying treat the combination most carefully when handling and carrying it.  It is no Nikon FA/FM/FE or FE2/FM2/FM3a and it is certainly not a F, F2,............, D4 or a D5 etc

 

In the case of the Olympus OMDs, some are indeed thankfully metal bodied inside, but there is still a lot of leverage from a heavier lens on a light body, especially with the extra spacing due to the Nikon F to OMD lens adapter included in the overall length.

 

The 180mm ED lens itself is excellent. :)

Hugh,

I don't own a Digital camera, but if I was interested in a DSLR, based on its analogue controls I would have considered the Df.

But owning as I do a number of relatively heavy lenses, (Nikkors, Zoom-Nikkors and third-party primes and zooms) and based on your comments regarding the Df lens-mount, I'd have to re-consider, assuming of course that I ever take leave of my senses and decide to go Digital.

Robert

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Sorry I should have remembered this when I first posted, but some lens adapters do in fact have their own tripod mounts, so it pays to hunt one out if tripod work is envisaged with a heavy lens and a light or plastic bodied camera. 

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On ‎16‎-‎03‎-‎2017 at 19:31, Andrew L (gryphon1911) said:

 

Agreed, for business use, I would not pick this as my first choice.  However, for my personal, fun walk about times, I am really enjoying it.

Andrew, interesting and some very good images.  I use many adapted lenses on the Sony a7xx but I have good lenses for the EM1's and Pen F.  I have only mounted a couple of Nikon Ai/Ais lenses on the Pen F but will now try the 105 2.5 Ai (preferred to the Ais) .  I have used the Leica Summarit M 75 f2.5 on the Pen F several times a good fit but the Oly 75 1.8 is a great lens.  I have a 5 day Photo trip to Varanasi coming up so will take the 105 2.5 Ai w/Kipon adapter with me.   I actually do not 'work' but do shoot events which I am responsible for the images and doesn't make sense to MF when I have good AF lens.  I finally got around to playing with the custom controls for the Pen's B&W Mode 2.  Fun, but not there yet .  My wife finally found a Panasonic 7-14 f4 at a good price so I will probably take the 9-18mm with me.

All the best

Tom

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Ah ha Robert you are a good halfway to being a digital photographer already what with your excellent film captures that are then scanned to digital and with the subsequent PP work being done on Photoshop. :D

 

When that mighty refrigerator of yours gives up its very last roll of film, I predict that as an already very competent film photographer that the transition for you will be much more straightforward than it was for many of us.

 

However I do agree that film does have a look all of its own, and it is interesting to me that interest in analogue photography (including Polaroid) seems to be picking up..

 

*************************************************************            

 

Yes it is very sad that the Df is not as robust as its FM/FM2/FE/FE2/FM3a forebears.

 

 

11 hours ago, rbsinto said:

Hugh,

I don't own a Digital camera, but if I was interested in a DSLR, based on its analogue controls I would have considered the Df.

But owning as I do a number of relatively heavy lenses, (Nikkors, Zoom-Nikkors and third-party primes and zooms) and based on your comments regarding the Df lens-mount, I'd have to re-consider, assuming of course that I ever take leave of my senses and decide to go Digital.

Robert

 

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Added a Nikon 55/3.5 Pre-AI lens to the mix.  Sub $100 for it used.   Nice to have the near macro feature.  Super sharp wide open, which is very nice.

 

It reached 75F here this weekend and I could just not stay inside.  Took the family out to our fav hippie-esque town, Yellow Springs, OH.  Here are a few with the 55/3.5 adapted on the Olympus PEN-F with a Fotodiox Nikon G to m43 adapter.

 

03-25-2017_PEN-F_worthington_P3250018-Edit.jpg

 

03-25-2017_PEN-F_worthington_P3250045-Edit.jpg

 

03-25-2017_PEN-F_worthington_P3250051-Edit.jpg

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Then, while picking up the Nikkor 55/3.5, stumbled across this interesting lens.  Price was right, so decided to take a chance.  The Zhongyi Mitakon Creator 85mm f/2.  Native Nikon mount and adapted with the same above Fotodiox adapter on the PEN-F.   A little dreamy at f/2, but that all goes away by f/2.8-4.  Surprising the all metal build of the lens and the smooth aperture and zoom ring.  My only complaint right now is the extremely long focus throw.  It takes 3 to turns to go from close focus to infinity and the zoom ring goes in the opposite direction of the Nikon lenses.

 

03-25-2017_PEN-F_worthington_P3250031-Edit.jpg

 

03-25-2017_PEN-F_worthington_P3250033.jpg

 

03-25-2017_PEN-F_worthington_P3250054.jpg

 

03-25-2017_PEN-F_worthington_P3250056-Edit.jpg

 

03-25-2017_PEN-F_worthington_P3250061.jpg

 

03-25-2017_PEN-F_worthington_P3250079-Edit.jpg

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