Want to start collecting older lens.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:24 AM   #1
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Want to start collecting older lens.


I read an article about how older lens give certain effects when applied to digital cameras. I know that auto focusing won't mostly be available so learning to manual focus is something I want to learn. I know that I can't use non-AI lens or lens before 1977 according to the Nikon website with my D7000. The hardest part for me will be learning to tell when the picture is in focus or not. So the hunt begin for older AI or AI-s lens, my plan is to start off with the cheaper ones first. I'm not going to get too many as I'm sure they can start to get expensive and I don't need that much unless they are great. So far I have the not so old silver 28-80mm 3.3-5.6G lens.

Right now I'm looking at the El-Nikkor 50mm F/2.8 and doing research on it to make sure it will work and for the image quality. Can you share pictures or anything if some of you have older lens too?
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:36 PM   #2
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Congrats! It's nice to so someone else realize that they don't need to buy brand new lenses to get great quality, often its the opposite. If you can earn how to MF effectively Ai-s lenses are some of the highest quality lenses you can buy today.

The best overall value in old Nikon lenses are Macro lenses. I have a 55mm f/3.5 Micro Ai that cost me $75 used. Its one of the sharpest macro lenses ever made even wide open. It only does 2:1, but that's as close as you'll ever need for fish. If you decide you want to shoot fleas extension tubes can be had for a few bucks to get you 1:1. The same thing applies for the 100mm 2.8 as well, though its usually a bit over $200 that's still much cheaper than anything new. Macro are a good value because even with new ones the auto focus is useless when doing macro so you have to MF anyway.

You can also pick up 50mm 1.4's pretty cheap, sometimes even 1.2's though those are more rare and more expensive they have cool effects. Way too many to list really. Just make sure and stick with primes for the most part, old zoom lenses tend not to be very good. With one exception im aware of, the 80-200 F4 AIS is fantastic, but takes ALLOT of practice to MF properly.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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Thank you for listing those good lens. I will look it to them all. As with the El-Nikkor 50mm F/2.8 I found out that it isn't a DSLR lens. I found a good micro lens on ebay that I will buy today, it comes with the original box and instructions and mint condition. Is the 55mm 3.5 micro and 100mm 2.8 a Nikon or another brand? Brand doesn't matter to me, because I read that some other companies made some great lens back in the day. I just want to know that I'm looking for the right lens. I didn't have one of those 50's in my sight too, I believe a 1.4 would be enough, but if I see a 1.2 I'll take it.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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I have a question regarding using old lenses on new digital camera. I have a Canon 50D and when I was younger I had a Olympus film SLR. i have a couple of nice lenses for the Olympus and I recently picked up an adapter to use the lenses on my Canon DSLR. However, using the built in light meter in the DSLR, I am constatnly getting darker images. Is this an inherent problem with my situation?
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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I love old lenses!! Highly, highly recommend buying up old lenses, particularly Nikon lenses. The old Nikkors maintain value very, very well, can be found for a steal, and invariably can be sold for AT LEAST as much as you bought it for. If the value hasn't depreciated in the last 30 years, why would it change now? :P

When I just started a few years ago, it was all I could afford but once you learn how to manual focus, there's very little compromise with them as compared to the more 'modern' glass. Not to mention that solid metal construction makes them WAY more durable and lack of motors allow them to be much more compact than ever before.

Some of my personal favorites:

20mm f4 AIS: Super small and compact. With a K1 extension ring allows you take some really dramatic macros with a ridiculously wide-perspective.

50mm f2 AIS: I actually haven't owned and tried this one personally, but this is supposed to be one of the sharpest 50mm lenses ever made by Nikon by reputation. Also very affordable.

75-150mm f3.5 Series E: This is a superb lens. Great bokeh, the push-pull zoom is very easy to use, and so cheap that I bought two for myself!

Lester Dine or Vivitar Series 1 105mm f2.5 or f2.8 MACRO This is one of the best macro lenses I've ever had. I've owned both the Lester Dine and the Vivitar series 1 version of the lens. It's super sharp and with a long focusing throw so can be focused very precisely. Super solidly built lens.

As for macro photography, extension rings/tubes go a long way without having to spend all that much money. Just realize that you'll be losing light with everything that you add so in all likelihood you'll need some sort of off-camera flash/lighting to compensate.

Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them. A few years back I was buying and selling old Nikon on probably a weekly basis and am more than happy to share my experience

Oh, the "No metering lens" group on Flickr is also an excellent resource. I used them a lot when I was just starting!
http://www.flickr.com/groups/365610@N21/
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:10 PM   #6
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Just stay away from the radioactive lenses.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack25 View Post
I have a question regarding using old lenses on new digital camera. I have a Canon 50D and when I was younger I had a Olympus film SLR. i have a couple of nice lenses for the Olympus and I recently picked up an adapter to use the lenses on my Canon DSLR. However, using the built in light meter in the DSLR, I am constatnly getting darker images. Is this an inherent problem with my situation?
Im not an expert but I would guess so because the lens that you are using was made for a film camera that might have had a smaller sensor. That's just my guess, are they darker before or after you mess with the light meter? I guessing before.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot100% View Post
Im not an expert but I would guess so because the lens that you are using was made for a film camera that might have had a smaller sensor. That's just my guess, are they darker before or after you mess with the light meter? I guessing before.
Because there aren't any electronics built into the lens, the light meter is guessing, and it's getting it wrong. Don't use the light meter when using off brand glass on a Canon. Try making sure its on center spot metering, that can help, but ultimately you have to set it in Manual and shoot with the histogram.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinalJenemba View Post
Because there aren't any electronics built into the lens, the light meter is guessing, and it's getting it wrong. Don't use the light meter when using off brand glass on a Canon. Try making sure its on center spot metering, that can help, but ultimately you have to set it in Manual and shoot with the histogram.
If the error is consistent, you can have the camera do an exposure compensation when you're using those lenses on your camera. Alternatively, just shoot in full manual and chimp your shots like FinalJenemba says. I think ultimately you'll find you're exposure is a LOT more consistent if you're not dependent on the camera light meter to expose for you.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:33 PM   #10
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Every lens you listed Mr. Appleton is way out of my budget...lol I did fail at bidding on awesome lens on ebay

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:22 PM   #11
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Every lens you listed Mr. Appleton is way out of my budget...lol I did fail at bidding on awesome lens on ebay

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The key is to be patient and keep an eye out. Most of my deals were scored off Craigslist. Depending on where you are, it may be a viable option as well.

I got the 75-150mm for $25 shipped the first time, $75 shipped the second time.

You can get the 50mm f2 AIS on flea-bay right now for $80 BIN, shipped to your door which means you should be able to get it off craigslist in a cash transaction for probably around $50 if you're patient.

I've always operated on the principal that I don't need anything immediately and will wait for when the price is right. Sometimes it takes awhile... I'm still waiting for a 14-24mm f2.8 to show up for a decent price :P
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:21 AM   #12
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Well so far I have the Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 and the Nikon 50mm 1.8 E series on the way now. The hunt continues for more vintage lens if that the proper term. If you know of some more please let me know.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:49 AM   #13
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How about a cheap Russian lens Hellios 44-2. Focal length is 58mm f2. I got this lens for $20. Very nice bokeh, IMO

Cat at the cafe from work~ by Tea.H, on Flickr


Something orage in that swirliness by Tea.H, on Flickr
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:01 AM   #14
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I did see some Russian lens for cheap on ebay and other places. I will look into this lens and others from Russia. The country of origin doesn't matter so as long as it's good at what it does.
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