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Thread: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    I see lots of discussion on legacy lens for PEN to Hexanon to Leica. How would my legacy Nikon glass compare? A Nikon 35 f2 would seem like a good choice or even a 60 micro. These (the 35 in particular) seem to be right sized and of good quality. I suspect more than a few of us new (or in my case - waiting for delivery) EP-1 users have some of these in our closets?

    Is there a magic to the older Konica, Minota, etc glass not found in a Nikon lens?

    Jim

    **
    I forgot to add - I would be happy if you tell me there is a bit of magic to all of these legacy lens. Just help convince me why I should be buying them (grin).
    Last edited by JMaher; 15th July 2009 at 17:59.

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    It is 100% feasible to mount nikkor lens to m43 bodies. In fact, voitglander just announced F / K mount adapter.

    The main reason I am interested in adapting legacy lens is because :

    1. They are affordable.

    2. They are made out of metal.

    3. Adds veriaty to the mix.

    Unfortuntely newer nikon lens does not have A ring, so much for owning a nikon system .

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Hi Jim,

    I'm a frequent and happy user of Nikon AIS lenses on my G1.
    Currently using : 50/1.4 105/2.5 Micro55/2.8 and a Series E zoom 75-150/3.5

    A shoot-out with the 75-150 zoom can be found here :
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8699

    and I have a Reflex-Nikkor 500/8 on the road (actually at the customs).

    Adaptation via a M4/3 to 4/3 and a photodiox Nikon adapter.

    I experience no problem at all with this setup !

    C U,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Legacy Nikkors work better on micro 4/3 than they do on lower model Nikons! They won't meter on my D40x but they will on my G1, and of course the E-P1 as well.

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    I see lots of discussion on legacy lens for PEN to Hexanon to Leica. How would my legacy Nikon glass compare?
    I've used several AI series Nikkors to very good effect on FourThirds and micro-FourThirds: 20/3.5, 24/2.8, 28/2, 105/2.5, and 180/2.8. They all image very nicely and produce outstanding results. The Nikkor 20/3.5AI is a particularly sweet performer, a perfect wide-normal o the G1 or E-P1, the 105/2.5 is legendary still.

    I sold the 24 and 28 some time ago, when I bought the Summilux-D 25/1.4. 105mm is a bit long on FourThirds format, the 180 is way too long for a lens without a tripod mount; I sold those recently to a friend with Nikon FE2 as I'd gotten the Olympus ZD 50-200 (use it mostly with the SLRs and always on a tripod). I still have the Nikkor 20 and use it occasionally. The 35/2 would make for an excellent portrait lens, but I have other options there already.

    Go for it. :-)

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    Jim,

    How would my legacy Nikon glass compare?
    Jim,

    There is magic to the older Nikon glass not found in Konica, Minota, etc lenses. (Hope I do not start a flame war). Here some examples on the G1:

    Nikkor 20mm/4
    Nikkor 105mm/2.5

    The 20mm is one of my favorites, not only on the G1 but also on the Leica M8 and Nikon D700.

    Other Nikon lenses I have used are the Nikkor 50mm/1.8 (but I have too many 50mm lenses and prefer the Zeiss and Switar) and the 105mm Macro Kiron (longish, I prefer the 50mm Switar for macros): I would think the 55mm macro to be also a good lens in combination with the G1.

    Cheers
    Peter
    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    I own dozens of Nikon lenses. I have tried most. I do not use them on the G1.

    There are better, smaller and lighter weight alternates to every Nikon lens there is.

    No magic.

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    I see lots of discussion on legacy lens for PEN to Hexanon to Leica. How would my legacy Nikon glass compare? A Nikon 35 f2 would seem like a good choice or even a 60 micro. These (the 35 in particular) seem to be right sized and of good quality.....
    Donīt know if my (rather limited) experience with Nikons on the G1 is of any help, but Iīve tried a couple. The AF 60 D macro (pre-AFs; the latter is a G lens, and thus canīt be used on these adapters) works great as a macro, easy to focus, and quite sharp even wide open. When I got the adapter (I had the lens left since my D200 episode...), I thought it might work well for portraits, too. It doesnīt, however, at least for me: the focussing helicoid is far too steep, so even a tiny turn of the focus ring sends the plane of focus back to the ears of the model... very fussy.

    The AF 35/2 didnīt make me happy at all; might be the copy, but it worked OK on the D200, and manually on an FM-2. Quite soft and bad corners wide open. A very old (pre-AI) 35/2 fared much better, and had better feel, too.

    However, except for macro, I prefer my Leica glass: 35/2 R is OK, 35/2 M (quite old one) soft. 50/2 R is great, 50/2 M is good. From 90, everything is great....

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    I appreciate the responses - interesting examples and points of view from "Magic" to "no magic". It seems I can try this out myself for only a little investment on a 4/3 body but apparently I may want to also look into other legacy lens choices. The information on those was helpful as well - I may have to seriously consider some of them.

    Any more convincing evidence of excellent but not unreasonably priced legacy choices would always be helpful as this is a new word of lens opportunities for me.

    Hoping my EP-1 arrives today so I can join in all the fun.

    Thanks again for feedback.
    Jim

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I own dozens of Nikon lenses. I have tried most. I do not use them on the G1.

    There are better, smaller and lighter weight alternates to every Nikon lens there is.

    No magic.
    Just going by some of the samples here, I fully agree with you regarding lack of magic, but how about Zeiss ZF lenses on G1?

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    David, I don't have any small ZF lenses (well the big 100/2 does not count ).

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    David, I don't have any small ZF lenses (well the big 100/2 does not count ).
    I thought that you had more of them Vivek, I guess I have to buy the adapter and find out for myself when the GH1 arrives, thanks.

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Vivek,

    Do you have any recommendations for small, fast, reasonably priced, alternatives that would be a good start into the process? Ones with magic - preferably.

    I see two Haxanon lens talked about occasionally - the 40 1.8 and the 57 1.2. I don't think I have seem any comments on the 57 1.4 but it's an inexpensive lens to try. Any thing else in the few hundred dollar price range?
    Jim

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    No magic.
    Hi, Vivek,

    I'm interested to know how you define "magic" in a lens ?

    C U,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    you can see the top hat!!

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    I started this but now can see why I want the smallest possible (but great) lens. My EP-1 just came in and is charging. In person I can really see why a smaller lens would be preferable.

    Not that you all don't know it, but it's a great looking camera in person.

    Jim

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Yeah, that (size) is the key!

    I have a near complete set of Pen F lenses (as well). So, why bother with the Nikkors? Besides, the c-mount 25mm fast lenses blow all the 24mm lenses away.

    FWIW, I close my eyes every time I come across a camera shop that has the E-P1. The camera is not useful for me but, man, this is one attractive camera!

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Well, this is one of the reasons I recently sprung for a G1: its ability to mount my MF Nikkors and use them effectively. That and the reduced size.

    I see little benefit in using AF Nikkors on the G1 for the most part as they typically have a poor manual focusing feel to them.

    I will be curious to see how some of the "classics" perform on the G1:

    105 f2.5
    35 f2 (superior to the AF version in terms of IQ)
    75-150 f3.5 series E
    28 f2

    I have others as well that I want to try. All of them fall in the smaller, more portable category, and all of them are 52mm filters just like the G1 lenses.

    My adapter is on the way

    Doug

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    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Hi Doug,

    the 75-150 series E zoom was included in my approx 150mm shoot-out, and it performed really well.

    Details here :

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8699

    Over the next weekend, and weather permitting, I plan a shoot-out with two other lenses, approx 105mm, being the 105/2.5 and the kitlens 45-200 @ 105mm, so stay tuned

    C U,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by f6cvalkyrie View Post
    Hi Doug,

    the 75-150 series E zoom was included in my approx 150mm shoot-out, and it performed really well.

    Details here :

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8699

    Over the next weekend, and weather permitting, I plan a shoot-out with two other lenses, approx 105mm, being the 105/2.5 and the kitlens 45-200 @ 105mm, so stay tuned

    C U,
    Rafael
    Rafael,
    Sorry, I should have mentioned that I already went through your posts on the 75-150. They were quite interesting. Thanks. Of course, I would have expected it to perform well; it has always been a little gem (I have two of them).

    What I am really looking forward to is being able to use my manual Nikkors successfully even with the 2x crop factor. I have never been fully satisfied with manual on my D200 (even though I have shot thousands of images with it and them), but I was never comfortable with getting a Katz-Eye to improve the experience.

    I think the G1 comes the closest so far to my desired (mythical) FM2D...

    Hope my adapter arrives soon.

    Doug

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    I guess I should also say that my whole reason for doing this is not so much as a comparison to other lenses as it is to be able to experience (happily) shooting with my MF lenses. I have already found to my satisfaction that the kit lens and the 45-200 do fine for the AF experience.

    Just wanting to go retro :-).

    Doug

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    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I own dozens of Nikon lenses. I have tried most. I do not use them on the G1.

    There are better, smaller and lighter weight alternates to every Nikon lens there is.

    No magic.
    No lens I've used matches Nikon's 14-24mm f2.8. But then it is $2000.

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by RichA View Post
    No lens I've used matches Nikon's 14-24mm f2.8. But then it is $2000.
    At what focal length are we talking about, because at 18mm, 21mm and 25mm Zeiss ZF lenses have it easily beat, and at 14mm Nikon's own 14/2.8 is on par with the zoom at that fl, with quite a bit less distortion, though the zoom is sharper at outer edges, costs a lot less than the above collection and is still a great lens.

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    It's a nice lens (I have borrowed a friends) but if I were to pick a Nikon I might go with the 85 1.4 I had for a number of years. But alas I may be moving to the dark side - I have a Hexanon 40 1.8 on order modified to 4/3.

    Jim

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by RichA View Post
    No lens I've used matches Nikon's 14-24mm f2.8. But then it is $2000.
    ... and it doesn't have an aperture ring, so it wouldn't be very useable on 4/3 anyway.

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    At what focal length are we talking about, because at 18mm, 21mm and 25mm Zeiss ZF lenses have it easily beat, and at 14mm Nikon's own 14/2.8 is on par with the zoom at that fl, with quite a bit less distortion, though the zoom is sharper at outer edges, costs a lot less than the above collection and is still a great lens.
    Umm, even though I have a solid preference for primes, I'm afraid this statement is not strictly accurate. Nikon's 14 f2.8 is an older lens and doesn't hold up well. Nikon's 14-24 zoom is constantly reviewed as being one of those zooms that meets the best primes out there. And while there are those who would agree about the Zeiss lenses, there are many out there who will just as vehemently argue that the Nikon 14-24 easily is the best FF wide angle option out there in F mount. Go over to DPReview's Nikon Lens forum and make that statement ....

    Course as has been said elsewhere, it isn't a viable option for micro 4/3. No aperture ring, and waaayyyy too heavy, so this really is a moot discussion here. :sleep006:

    I would not use any of the modern AF nikkors on a G1 or EP-1. To what purpose? Generally too big and not optimized for a good MF feel.

    Doug

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by greypilgrim View Post
    Umm, even though I have a solid preference for primes, I'm afraid this statement is not strictly accurate. Nikon's 14 f2.8 is an older lens and doesn't hold up well. Nikon's 14-24 zoom is constantly reviewed as being one of those zooms that meets the best primes out there. And while there are those who would agree about the Zeiss lenses, there are many out there who will just as vehemently argue that the Nikon 14-24 easily is the best FF wide angle option out there in F mount. Go over to DPReview's Nikon Lens forum and make that statement ....
    Doug
    Older lens or not I don't see the relevance of age, specially when there are fine examples of old Nikkors that haven't been matched with new releases. The 14mm is not any less sharp than the 14-24 @ 14mm @ any fstop, except at the edges which I mentioned, the 14-24 is sharper in the corners and vignettes less.

    Talking about dpreview, when I first got the 14-24, at the time of its introduction, I did a whole series of comparisons between the Sigma 12-24, Nikon 14/2.8, and the Zeiss 25mm, at different fls and all apertures between f2.8 and f11 and posted full rez samples for people to download. Of course the masses on dpreview were incensed and declared that there was something wrong with my 14-24!

    As they say, you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink...

    (disclaimer, I'm not knocking the 14-24, its a great zoom just don't think that its the end all of everything.)

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Well, as I've stated, I prefer the older pre-AI, AI, AIS Nikkors for MF, so those are the ones I will use . I'll be ignoring my D lenses for sure as they have a horrible MF feel. And of course, why bother with the G lenses.

    I'll be curious to see which ones I really like on the G1.

    Doug

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    Re: Legacy Lens - why not Nikon?

    Quote Originally Posted by greypilgrim View Post
    I'll be curious to see which ones I really like on the G1.
    Doug
    My personal preference goes to the Micro55/2.8.
    A very fine macrolens !

    C U
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
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