Daily Archives: July 5, 2012
I’ve had a week to review images and look closely, that further examination has led me to believe that for certain circumstances the classic manual focus glass is a great choice! Especially for landscape and close-up work. In both of these fields you want to control depth-of-field closely, and the great depth markings on the old manual lenses is a great help. Also with the advent of the Live View, with magnification, precise focusing can really be achieved, like never before. I also noticed that the depth of color was also amazing. The shot below of rocks in the surf at Little Hunter’s Beach in Acadia N.P. was a good example.
In another close-up situation I wanted to capture the delicate colors in a flower at the Acadia Garden, the 105 Micro Nikkor f 2.8 did a sterling job. The color was spot on and the sharpness was great in the area of shallow focus. The tactile pleasure of working with old dissimilar metal racing’s in the helicoids makes the shooting process so much fun. It really takes you back to the “old” days. As I said before I don’t see the manual lenses so much as a replacement for current lenses, but just as a great way to vary the process.
Then there is the cost factor, many of these classic old lenses can be purchased used in very good condition for 1/4th to 1/3rd the cost of current glass. I’ve found mint condition 24mm f 2.8′s for around $150., 105 mm Micro Nikkor f 2.8′s for around $300. By-the-way if anyone ever finds a mint condition 25-50 f 4 AIS Nikkor zoom let me know, I’ve been looking for one, for some time and would love to add it to my classic collection!
As of today my manual lens collection consists of:
24mm f 2.8 Nikkor
55mm Micro Nikkor f 2.8
50-135 Nikkor f 3.5 zoom
105 mm f 2.5 Nikkor telephoto (the classic portrait lens)
105 mm Micro Nikkor f 2.8
80-200 Nikkor zooms (both the f 4.5 and f4)
300 mm IF-ED f 4.5 Nikkor telelphoto
400mm IF-ED f 3.5 Nikkor telephoto (One of my favorite lenses of all time!)
I’m still looking for the 25-50 and the 28 mm f 2.8 lens! I’ve got to stay out of camera stores that sell a lot of used glass!!!!!
Give one a try, I believe you will enjoy it!