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Nikon 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E

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29 replies to this topic

Poll: Rate this lens (45 member(s) have cast votes)

Rate this lens

  1. 1 Star (appalling) (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. 2 Stars (below par) (1 votes [2.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.17%

  3. 3 Stars (average) (2 votes [4.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.35%

  4. Voted 4 Stars (above average) (25 votes [54.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 54.35%

  5. Voted 5 Stars (outstanding) (18 votes [39.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 39.13%

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#1 Dallas


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Posted 20 January 2009 - 17:10

Have you used this lens? If so, please share your experiences with other users by replying to this thread. Please keep all comments on topic.

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#2 rmena


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Posted 21 January 2009 - 19:10

This lens is too inexpensive to be true, I bought it for 60 Euros in Ebay Germany. It is a robust lens made of metal and glass. With D200 camera at around 135mm and between f/5.6 and f/11, this lens produces images with high contrast and sharpness and very smooth out of focus rendition, f/35 is usable if speed or thin depth of field is required but with the evident though decent softness and chromatic aberration. I do combine this lens with extension rings of different sizes and 4T close up lens turning it out in a very versatile micro zoom lens (the poor man 70-180mm). Here some of my images, not securely of high originality or artistic value, but I do only want to show you some images that this lens helps me to create.

With 12mm extension ring, 1/180s f/11.0
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With 4T close up lens, 1/60s f/8.0
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1/320s f/3.5

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#3 fks


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Posted 22 January 2009 - 08:15

it's a tiny lens, with above average IQ. sharpness is good and so is contrast, even wide open. focusing is smooth. i've had my copy for many years now, going back to my nikon EM days.

since it's an old lens, most any copy you can find will suffer from zoom creep (unless it's been modified).

this lens shines on my D3 and sees more use now than when i had only DX bodies.


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[img width=1000 height=666]http://ottosphotos.com/gallery/albums/080614_pescadero/DSC9952.jpg[/img]

[img width=1000 height=666]http://ottosphotos.com/gallery/albums/080816_sm_county_fair/DSD1274.jpg[/img]

#4 bovk



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Posted 20 February 2009 - 13:05

I just got it (EX+ at KEH) and it is so cute! So I keep testing - first some landscape - great infinity sharpness, so  I test it against my 60 mm AFS (and I thought that is the best) and this small thing matches it on my brick wall, so I try it against the sun and it draws the detail and I cannot make it loose contrast. So it it now in my main collection: 14-24, 60 afs and 75-150. I have several other lenses but this trio is IT!

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 21:22

I really think someone at Nikon goofed when this lens came out with the rest of the "E" lenses for use mainly with the Nikon EM body. The second version maybe ahould have been a Nikkor with the chrome ring but it is classed as a Nikon E ?? I have shot with this lens side by side with my 105 2.5 and can't tell the difference with both at 105 f:5.6. The second one is built just like the Nikkors which kind of makes me think it wasn't supposed to be. A great lens for holidays or backpacking ,,what a gem this is for sure,,,I have two of them just in case I lose one or whatever. Got them for 40 bucks each "Mint"!

#6 RKPhotog


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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:10

I wouldn't trade mine for anything. Love the bokeh and the smooth tonal gradations. You can make small modifications to prevent zoom creep. Works great with 3T/4T for close-ups. It always puzzled me why Nikon didn't re-release this a two ring MC Nikkor. Could have been an Ai-P to keep it small and light. Oh well.

#7 nfoto


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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:08

Put a chip inside it to get the Ai-P you crave for  >:D (done that with my 75-150).

This lens is nice on the D3X, too.

#8 Millirehm


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Posted 21 March 2009 - 18:25

It was sold on Ebay recently for 30,5 € (lost the auction  :'( ;D). Not badly needing another lens of this range (already have got the 70-180 and the 4/80-200 40€ on Ebay one of my cheapest lenses so far!). But after reading your experiences I might give it another try to get one cheap.

#9 nfoto


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Posted 21 March 2009 - 19:05

In fact, your chip is already making its Atlantic crossing as of now, James.

An IX-Nikkor is usually the cheapest way of getting the necessary contact block. Typically one-fifth of the price you have to pay Nikon to get the factory spare parts for a contact block (and they only sell in lots of 10)

#10 BourbonCowboy


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Posted 23 March 2009 - 09:21

I found one on ebay for $30/shipped.  The photo was kinda blurry, but I took a chance.  Turns out, it was in mint condition.  To top things off, the seller actually refunded $3 of the shipping costs...total ended up being $27.

As for performance: I love it.  F/3.5 lenses aren't supposed to have such creamy bokeh.  It's also pretty sharp wide open on the D700.  I'm just now moving back into manual focus, but this little lens seems like a winner.  What's even better is that it's a helluva lot of fun to shoot.  For the $$$, you can't beat it.
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#11 bronto48


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Posted 01 April 2009 - 21:17

Here is another lens that proves it is not necessary to be expensive to be excellent.  A conservative design (2 to 1 zoom ratio) and modest speed are what do the trick in this case.  This one has superb contrast and resolution, even good wide open.  Flare is well controlled.  I am hard put to tell the difference between this lens and a quality prime.

Zoom creep is a drawback.  I also wish the mechanical construction was more rugged.  However, optical performance of this lens will not disappoint anybody.
Still a B&W and slide film shooter and lovin it.....large format and numerous Nikon F's, F2's, and F3's in use with a 40+ year accumulation of lenses from 7.5 to 1250mm.

#12 rotoghost


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Posted 03 May 2009 - 02:34

Despite the pedestrian lineage and dubious appearance, this lens is simply one of the best I've put my hands on.  I dare say I've never tried a lens with as good a performance wide open.  Sample variation?  Maybe, but there's something truly astonishing going on here.  Such a wonderful character, an instant favorite.

<img src=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3302/3495730600_1eb44ac026.jpg />

#13 wkulin


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Posted 03 May 2009 - 11:57

I'm very glad with it!

(D300, 75-150mm E lens, iso200, f8, 1/500 sec)


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#14 DougJGreen


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Posted 14 May 2009 - 17:39

I'm the contrarian who only gave this lens 3 stars.  Optically, it would surely deserve 4 stars at least, but it's mechanically so frustrating to use given the inability to find one that doesn't have TERRIBLE zoom creep, as well as catchy zoom & focus motion, that I simply had to sell mine and give up on it.

#15 aroundomaha



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Posted 10 June 2009 - 18:11

This lens is both a bargain and an optical gem. Don't worry about stopping down to get great resolution, its there right at f/3.5. I compared it to my monster 80-200 af-s and it is only *just* a little less capable with regard to resolution.

When I went to China and needed both portability and performance the 80-200 stayed home. I've also shot basketball, martial arts and such with the 75-150 (you need good manual focus technique though).

If you put a nikon diopter (3T or 4T I can't remember which I have) on it there is also a great macro capability to be found.

Weaknesses: zoom mechanism tends to be loose and if shooting at an angle it will move. Not a big deal for me.
Positives: Color, contrast, resolution and price

I believe I paid about $60 U.S. for mine and for it to be even close to my 80-200 AF-S speaks volumes in its favor in my opinion. They're so cheap that I can't imagine why everyone wouldn't have one handy.
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#16 liuto

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:14

Just tried mine on my D700 with a Sigma achromatic lens at f4 handheld. While I really love the pictural result, the zoom creep is a drawback for tripod use.

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  • petunia.jpg

#17 davepaterson



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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:59

In recent years I have owned three of these lenses, and I currently have two copies - one of which is on eBay. All three have been very sharp; the lens performs very well as a macro when used with the 3T and/or extension rings.
Dave Paterson

#18 Carolyn



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Posted 21 August 2009 - 14:30

Love mine! Recently made this:

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  • _CMG0811Emerge.jpg

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#19 FoveonRules


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Posted 16 October 2009 - 04:20

I've owned 7 of these lenses over the years.  I currently own three - one is for parts, one has the famous loose zoom ring (drives me nuts and renders the whole lens darned near worthless), BUT I have a perfect one with a tight zoom ring and no creep at all.  My creepless lens was a demo and I bought it last year - basically it's "new old stock".  I would not sell it ever, it's a gem.  I've shot it about 3 or 4 times a week for the last 6 months and the zoom ring is as tight as ever. 

The only thing that could be better on this lens is the colors that it produces.  My other lenses are Voightlanders and they produce very bright and vibrant colors.  The 75 - 150mm E's colors are more natural and subdued.

#20 rvink


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Posted 02 March 2010 - 22:42

Not a review, but an article from Nikon on the development of this lens:


In order to realize the goal of reducing costs, Nikon constructed the lenses using easily obtainable low-priced glass materials, as well as obviously minimizing the number of lens elements used in the construction of each lens.
Although the E 75–150mm f/3.5 was manufactured as a popular lens for use with the Nikon EM, the finished lens was, in fact, sufficiently well executed as to find favor with the experts. With a x2 zoom range covering a 75–150mm portrait area, the clarity of f/3.5, and an unchanged F-stop setting during zooming, the lens proved easy to use with cameras such as the F2 and F3, as well as with the EM, and was visually well-suited to them. It was also outstanding in terms of performance. The lens’s modest zoom ratio means that it images cleanly throughout its zoom range—from full wide-angle to full telephoto. Zoom lenses are often praised as being on a par with fixed-focal-length lenses, but this lens probably really is as good as a fixed-focal-length lens.

One can only imagine what the lens would have been if better glass materials had been used!

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