login info join!
Forums > Photography Talk > Older Nikkor Lenses Search   Reply
12last
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


I have the chance to pick up 3 older Nikkor non ais lenses for a great deal. As is, they won't do me any good. Anyone have any idea what the cost is to have a lens converted to ais, and where a good place is to have it done? Also, does anyone own any of these lenses and are these older versions sharp. I own the newer versions of all of them and they are indeed very sharp.

Nikkor 105 2.5 - Nikkor 35 2.8 - Nikkor 50 1.4 

http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa406/marty644/cff5df65.jpg
Sep 16 12 09:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
T Brown
Posts: 2,136
Traverse City, Michigan, US


Sep 16 12 09:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Albertex Photography
Posts: 14,614
Mansfield, Texas, US


Awesome.  I remember in the back of Popular Photo they had ads for the AIS upgrades.  I am sure there are some old school camera repairs that still do it.  These guys are in Dallas.  Never hurts to ask.  http://www.cameraandrepair.com/repairs/
I recently got an old 28 2.0 and 20 3.5 to add to my 28 2.8 that I still use on my IR converted D70.  Love using the older Nikkor lenses since I do not AF focus them, I use the depth of field gauge.  Happy shooting, love your work.
Sep 16 12 09:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R.EYE.R
Posts: 2,717
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan


I personally like both 105/2.5 and 50/1.4 - extremely sharp with beautiful colour rendition and pleasant bokeh.
Make sure they haven't got fungi or oil on aperture blades.

Here is 105/2.5 shot btw:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110704/05/4e11b5fed7350_m.jpg
Sep 16 12 09:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Albertex Photography wrote:
Awesome.  I remember in the back of Popular Photo they had ads for the AIS upgrades.  I am sure there are some old school camera repairs that still do it.  These guys are in Dallas.  Never hurts to ask.  http://www.cameraandrepair.com/repairs/
I recently got an old 28 2.0 and 20 3.5 to add to my 28 2.8 that I still use on my IR converted D70.  Love using the older Nikkor lenses since I do not AF focus them, I use the depth of field gauge.  Happy shooting, love your work.

I have a bunch of older lenses, but nothing quite this old, and thanks!

Sep 16 12 09:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


R.EYE.R wrote:
I personally like both 105/2.5 and 50/1.4 - extremely sharp with beautiful colour rendition and pleasant bokeh.
Make sure they haven't got fungi or oil on aperture blades.

Here is 105/2.5 shot btw:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110704/05/4e11b5fed7350_m.jpg

I have all three of them in the newer ais versions. The lenses are in incredible shape...I'll have to check for oil on the blades, didn't think of that!

Sep 16 12 09:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SAG Photography
Posts: 2,797
Valencia, California, US


I find that the older lenses have a look that is quite different from todays glass. I find this in the PL mount film industry lenses also.  The coatings, design were different, thus the look is quite retro.  I have all my old Nikkor lenses and do use the.  I also have a few custom adapters to use my Zeiss PL mounts..

For Large Format I have lenses going back to the 30's.

I would spend the money and start having fun.
Sep 16 12 09:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Don Olson Imagery
Posts: 291
Eugene, Oregon, US


It's very easy to do yourself.
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-107.html

I have a mandrel and chuck it in a milling machine but anyone can do it with a file.
Sep 16 12 09:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Forbes Photo
Posts: 22
Phoenix, Arizona, US


http://www.aiconversions.com/images/AIflyer011026.pdf

Has done all of mine with great results.
Sep 16 12 09:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Forbes Photo wrote:
http://www.aiconversions.com/images/AIflyer011026.pdf

Has done all of mine with great results.

This looks like a great deal!

Sep 16 12 10:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,263
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


I own a 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor-P and it's pin-sharp - maybe not quite as sharp as the 105mm f/2 DC-Nikkor which I also own, but not bad for a lens manufactured in 1968.

I use it a lot in the studio where the 'entry-level' lens coatings aren't so much of an issue...
Sep 16 12 10:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Creative Digital Imagez
Posts: 178
Yucaipa, California, US


Marty McBride wrote:
I have the chance to pick up 3 older Nikkor non ais lenses for a great deal. As is, they won't do me any good. Anyone have any idea what the cost is to have a lens converted to ais, and where a good place is to have it done? Also, does anyone own any of these lenses and are these older versions sharp. I own the newer versions of all of them and they are indeed very sharp.

Nikkor 105 2.5 - Nikkor 35 2.8 - Nikkor 50 1.4 

http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa406/marty644/cff5df65.jpg

My understanding is that as long as you shoot with NIKON that you may stay use the old glass, You just have to use without AIS.

Sep 16 12 10:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
You Can Call Me Pierre
Posts: 730
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Are these the ones that Canon 5DMII users mount for their video productions?
Sep 16 12 11:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,263
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


Creative Digital Imagez wrote:

My understanding is that as long as you shoot with NIKON that you may stay use the old glass, You just have to use without AIS.

If you get them Ai-converted then you can use them seamlessly on modern Pro-DSLR bodies with full light-meter functionality - you just have to turn the aperture ring manually. And the focus-ring, obviously...lol
Just go into the menu, manually input the max. aperture of the lens, save it and the camera will recognise it whenever you attach it. If you have more than one manual lens, you save each one seperately and select which one is attached.

Sep 16 12 11:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ELiffmann
Posts: 1,392
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US


Sorry for being off-topic but I'm guessing from your wonderfully sharp and contrasty portfolio you won't get much mileage out of those lenses.  They won't hold a candle to the top of the line nikkors which you're using.  I occasionally shoot with old lenses(Ai vintage) but given the choice I'd use the new ones.  As somebody mentioned, coatings have come a long way.
Sep 16 12 11:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ELiffmann
Posts: 1,392
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US


R.EYE.R wrote:
I personally like both 105/2.5 and 50/1.4 - extremely sharp with beautiful colour rendition and pleasant bokeh.
Make sure they haven't got fungi or oil on aperture blades.

Here is 105/2.5 shot btw:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110704/05/4e11b5fed7350_m.jpg

That IS nice... Maybe I shouldn't weigh in on this.

Sep 16 12 11:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Done and Gone
Posts: 7,650
Chiredzi, Masvingo, Zimbabwe


I have a copy of the 105 2.5 non-AI. I adapt it to my Canon T2i or use it on my Nikon FM2. Did yours come with the hood? I got lucky and have the Nikon metal hood, beauty.

It's a nice lens but I have not shot much with it yet.

I have the 35 2.8 in Ai and it is a good sharp lens but I haven't touched it since I found a 35 f2. Will probably sell it. Good lens though.
Sep 16 12 11:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Backstreet Photography2
Posts: 50
Salem, Oregon, US


I currently have the 50mm and 105 ~ they are FABULOUS on my D3.  JWhite @aiconversions.com did my conversion and has a bullet fast turn around time with QUALITY work.  Hope you pick them up and get to use them = i'm sure you'll cherish them ~ m'
Sep 16 12 11:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,022
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


I had a handful of pre-AI lenses converted to AI back in the 1970s and 1980s.

There was a machinist named John White somewhere in Pennsylvania who did AI conversions years after the conversion kits from Nikon ceased to be available. He machined the mount, replaced the old meter coupling prong with tne new style one and applied a second f/stop scale (printed on white paper tape) to the lens barrel. I don't recall the purpose of the second scale.

I wouldn't know where to find his contact info today. More to the point, the last time I talked to him, more than 10 years ago, he wasn't still doing the conversions.

No idea how to go about getting a lens converted for AI now, and the last time I tried to find a way to get it done I was unsuccessful.
Sep 16 12 12:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


ELiffmann wrote:
Sorry for being off-topic but I'm guessing from your wonderfully sharp and contrasty portfolio you won't get much mileage out of those lenses.  They won't hold a candle to the top of the line nikkors which you're using.  I occasionally shoot with old lenses(Ai vintage) but given the choice I'd use the new ones.  As somebody mentioned, coatings have come a long way.

I can get them all for $100.00 So I don't see where I can go wrong as long as I can get them converted!

Sep 16 12 12:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Creative Digital Imagez wrote:
My understanding is that as long as you shoot with NIKON that you may stay use the old glass, You just have to use without AIS.

My understanding from what I've read online since I started the post, is that attempting to mount them on my new cameras could result in damage. I think I will buy them and pay the $25-$35 each to have them converted, and if nothing else they will make beautiful desk ornaments! smile

Sep 16 12 12:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
r T p
Posts: 2,818
Los Angeles, California, US


Marty McBride wrote:

My understanding from what I've read online since I started the post, is that attempting to mount them on my new cameras could result in damage. I think I will buy them and pay the $25-$35 each to have them converted, and if nothing else they will make beautiful desk ornaments! smile

depends on the camera.  if the camera has an aperture index ring (all single and triple digit models do)...  the *fixed* aperture indexing tab/coupling lever on that ring is what you'll be breaking/damaging with an unmodified lens

Sep 16 12 01:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Done and Gone
Posts: 7,650
Chiredzi, Masvingo, Zimbabwe


Marty McBride wrote:

I can get them all for $100.00 So I don't see where I can go wrong as long as I can get them converted!

I buy and sell camera lenses and I would jump at that price as long as condition is reasonable. The 50 should fetch that by itself and the 105 is a classic.

I would sell them as is for Canon shooters to play with but that is because I have them already. I would keep the 50, I use the 55 micro instead at this point.

Sep 16 12 01:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


cyberean wrote:

depends on the camera.  if the camera has an aperture index ring (all single and triple digit models do)...  the *fixed* aperture indexing tab/coupling lever on that ring is what you'll be breaking/damaging with an unmodified lens

F100, D70s, D200, D300s

Sep 16 12 01:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Michael L. wrote:

I buy and sell camera lenses and I would jump at that price as long as condition is reasonable. The 50 should fetch that by itself and the 105 is a classic.

I would sell them as is for Canon shooters to play with but that is because I have them already. I would keep the 50, I use the 55 micro instead at this point.

They are in incredible condition. They have been stored in hard clear containers made for them.

Sep 16 12 01:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 26,734
Dearborn, Michigan, US


I use my old Nikon lenses on my Canon with an adapter.
Sep 16 12 01:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vector One Photography
Posts: 2,589
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


The 105 and the 50 f/1.4 have always been incredibly sharp but these are the early, early versions with the chrome filter ring.  You might be better off buying a later model from eBay. The difference is the coatings and the coatings will aid in contrast making the lens appear sharper. The 105 with the built-in lens hood is already AIs.

Just a thought.
Sep 16 12 01:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
r T p
Posts: 2,818
Los Angeles, California, US


Marty McBride wrote:
F100, D70s, D200, D300s

in the case of the D70s, even though it doesn't have an aperture index ring... mounting unmodified lenses is still *not* recommended

Sep 16 12 01:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ELiffmann
Posts: 1,392
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US


i'm on aps-c too and I think these would be much more enjoyable on a full frame.  pain in the arse to manual focus on the small viewfinder.
Sep 16 12 01:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Barry Kidd Photography
Posts: 2,367
Red Lion, Pennsylvania, US


I use older glass almost exclusivity for field work where there is potential for a good deal of bashing and beating or just getting the camera knocked around.

My favorite is the 28mm f/3.5 Nikkor-H  manufactured in 1960 below. I do on the other hand buy all of mine already ai converted.

http://www.barrykidd.com/photos/d3.jpg

Below are a few images shot with it.

http://www.barrykidd.com/photos/138-West-High-St_3.jpg

http://www.barrykidd.com/photos/146_w_high_st-0024.jpg


http://www.barrykidd.com/photos/DC_March-27-2012_0008.jpg
Sep 16 12 02:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Vector One Photography wrote:
The 105 and the 50 f/1.4 have always been incredibly sharp but these are the early, early versions with the chrome filter ring.  You might be better off buying a later model from eBay. The difference is the coatings and the coatings will aid in contrast making the lens appear sharper. The 105 with the built-in lens hood is already AIs.

Just a thought.

I had mentioned above that I already own all of these lenses in newer ais versions. I just like these because of their great condition, and if they are noted for being really sharp, contrast is an easy fix!

Sep 16 12 02:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


I've gotten so tired of digital AF and its inadequacies that I've almost completely switched over to MF lenses. I've been loving the Nikkor 55 1.2 and 35 f2 on my 5D3.

I've been practicing zone focusing while walking and shooting street photos. It's far easier than I expected even wide open as long as the subject is at least 10 feet away. For things closer, when I can, I like to prefocus and then follow manually.
Sep 16 12 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


MC Photo wrote:
I've gotten so tired of digital AF and its inadequacies that I've almost completely switched over to MF lenses. I've been loving the Nikkor 55 1.2 and 35 f2 on my 5D3.

Are you talking about this lens? I acquired this one free after purchasing a used AFS 17-35 2.8  The lens shows more body wear than my other 18 lenses combined, but the glass is spotless. It might be the sharpest lens I own wide open and the contrast is as nice at F2 as it is 5.6  I literally couldn't detect any gain in contrast or sharpness by stopping down. I wish my eyes were better for focusing it, and I'm sure once I make the move to full frame, a ton of dust collectors will start getting used again!

http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa406/marty644/8fedbae1.jpg

Sep 16 12 03:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cameron Pashak Photo
Posts: 1
Venice, California, US


i love the 50 1.4.  I shot for a magazine last year and shot the whole spread at 1.4 and the art director asked me if i did the effect in Photoshop.  Obviously a young'en that doesn't good glass and the effects.  But yes, do check for fungus.  Just hold the lens up and look at the inside ring and if it looks green/yellowish...its a problem.  You can get them cleaned but its expensive to open them up as they have to be done in the a clean room (zero dust environment).
Sep 16 12 03:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R.EYE.R
Posts: 2,717
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan


To be honest, I couldn't distinguish Nikkor 105/2.5 and Leica-R APO 100/2.8 results side by side. Nikkor'a colour rendition seem to drift somewhat more towards blue/green-ish hues while Leica accents red/yellows.

Can't comment on 28mm range, but as far as I know Nikkors are limping behind OM Zuiko and Zeiss equivalent in corner performance and CA control.
The 24mm Nikkors are great up close but suffer from extreme field curvature at infinity.

In any case, I think you will love them.
Sep 16 12 06:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,930
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


I have the 50mm f1.4 and the 35mm f2 and had them converted via a kit, that's available from Nikon Parts. You could do it yourself, it's easy, but the screws are extra small and you have to have that watchmaker touch in your hands.

If you use them for video, no need to convert, use them as is. With a $20 adapter, they can be used for all Micro 4/3 cameras for movies or stills. They can even be used on the Sony NEX and Nikon 1 systems via a cheap adapter.

.
Sep 16 12 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
I have the 50mm f1.4 and the 35mm f2 and had them converted via a kit, that's available from Nikon Parts. You could do it yourself, it's easy, but the screws are extra small and you have to have that watchmaker touch in your hands.

If you use them for video, no need to convert, use them as is. With a $20 adapter, they can be used for all Micro 4/3 cameras for movies or stills. They can even be used on the Sony NEX and Nikon 1 systems via a cheap adapter.

.

do you have the same 50 1.4 as above, and if so do think it is sharp compared to later versions?

Sep 16 12 08:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Marty McBride wrote:

Are you talking about this lens? I acquired this one free after purchasing a used AFS 17-35 2.8  The lens shows more body wear than my other 18 lenses combined, but the glass is spotless. It might be the sharpest lens I own wide open and the contrast is as nice at F2 as it is 5.6  I literally couldn't detect any gain in contrast or sharpness by stopping down. I wish my eyes were better for focusing it, and I'm sure once I make the move to full frame, a ton of dust collectors will start getting used again!

http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa406/marty644/8fedbae1.jpg

It's similar. The one I have is a little bit older than that one.

Sep 16 12 08:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,930
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Marty McBride wrote:
do you have the same 50 1.4 as above, and if so do think it is sharp compared to later versions?

I have the Nikkor S.C Auto 1:1.4 which is a later version with Super Coating on the lens (hence the S.C label)

Here is a sample of image of that lens on my Olympus Micro 4/3 camera:
http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/301904_281627638536305_1284256846_n.jpg

Blow up detail:
http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/302628_281628191869583_379872713_n.jpg

They are equally sharp but the Super Coating on the later lenses helps a lot to stop ghosting and flare.

This is how my lens look like:
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/50mmnikkor/Nikkor50mmf14_SC_A.JPG
(Image lifted from mir.com.my website)

.

Sep 17 12 12:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:

I have the Nikkor S.C Auto 1:1.4 which is a later version with Super Coating on the lens (hence the S.C label)


They are equally sharp but the Super Coating on the later lenses helps a lot to stop ghosting and flare.

This is how my lens look like:
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/50mmnikkor/Nikkor50mmf14_SC_A.JPG
(Image lifted from mir.com.my website)

.

Nice! I'm going to go pick them up today....I don't see how I could go wrong!

Sep 17 12 07:36 am  Link  Quote 
12last   Search   Reply



main | browse | casting/travel | forums | shout box | help | advertising | contests | share | join the mayhem

more modelmayhem on: | | | edu

©2006-2014 ModelMayhem.com. All Rights Reserved.
MODEL MAYHEM is a registered trademark.
Toggle Worksafe Mode: Off | On
Terms | Privacy | Careers