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What Is It About Old Nikkors?

bobbill

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I must admit, I use/own a couple of splended Asahi Super-Taks, but never seem to be as satisfied. Also own and use a pair of very old Nikkors. (Asahi lenses are the 8-element 50x1.4; 6-element 135mm 2.0 and vs really ancient Nikkor 135mm/2.8 and the ubiquitous 50x1.4-S workhorse.

I know this stuff is very subjective.

Good lens productions are just that.

Still, the Nikkors keep drawing me in...a curse?

Is it old habits?

Me?

What?

Can happen with any lens, I guess.

Anyone else experience a similar quandary?
 
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AlwaysOnAuto

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I've read that Nikon used to make their own glass. Not sure if they still do or not now. My old Nikkors make me happy with the way they render, especially the 24mm's. When focused right they are just so sharp. Same with the Micro-Nikkor 55mm. Both versions of that lens are considered industry standards, or were, for sharpness.
 

bobbill

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Always..., I read that same info decades back.

Oh, I forgot about that micro 55 but likely did so because it sits...No 24mm but do use the 35x2OC...Me needs more discipline maybe. Digital in lots of ways is so tough but does allow convenient immediacy and no film waste.
 
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bobbill

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I suppose I am anal, but I own both a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 and an Asahi Optical Tak (8-element) 50mm 1.4 lenses. Both manual from the 1960s/early 70s.

Given the same subject/object, I honestly cannot define the production differnence, save maybe lens cost. The Nikkor does offer a tad more contrast character, but only a tad. The cost difference ups the less expensive Nikkor's worth-use...which is only a product of another "subjective," demand. To me, picking or put one over the other in their ultimate roles is too subjective also. (Just an observation derived from finding a recent invoice for the Asahi lens. (Nikkor was new, from "back in the day.")
 
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AlwaysOnAuto

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It's funny, I don't have a Nikkor 50 1.4 lens. I get to jonesing for one at times, but then I remember I have the 1.2 and a Series E 1.8 that don't get used already so why get one. Now days it would probably be easier for me to find a nice 1.4 attached to a camera I'd like to own, but then it wouldn't get used either since it'd probably be a film camera.
 

bobbill

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AOnA, we sorta think similarly in different places, together.

As noted, have the 50x1.4 from old days, and "had" to buy near pristine Asahi and now looking at another 50x1.4 NIkkor, but never do the same with the Asahis. Just Nikkors, Iconclude as you note and still go for it...figuring these gems are getting rare...as they do so well....must be genes. BTW older Nikkor 35x2 OC sits on camera now...little wider angle for snaps...landscapes.
 
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AlwaysOnAuto

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I have an older 35 1.4 but don't use it much as it renders yellow from the radioactive glass and I don't do that much PP to take out the coloring. It is incredibly sharp though.
 

bdbits

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AlwaysOnAuto - You may already know this, but assuming it is due to thorium, you can get rid of the yellow cast on the lens itself with copious amounts of exposure to the sun. As in weeks of exposure, which has its own hazards due to the heat. You could alternatively use a UV light. There is a lot of info about this out on the web if you are interested.
 

AlwaysOnAuto

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^^^ Yeah, I've left it out in the sun, and almost dropped it when I picked it up only to find out it's HOT!
Haven't pursued this 'clearing' nearly as much as I should, probably because the lens is HEAVY.
 

Ziggy99

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New Nikkors can be pretty sweet. I was delighted with the bird plumage and colour rendering of the 300 PF. Pity it was too short for most of my bird shooting needs.

FWIW the Nikon pro manager here Down Under says the 500 PF is no sharper than the 200-500, just different. Well, it's quite a difference.
 

bobbill

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Zig, dig! I just sort of hang with the old F manuals...35, 50 and 135 nikkors and the two slick Asahis. I sometimes have to leave them home and take the wee p&s with some trips out...
 
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bobbill

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Zig, just occurred to me...I had a similar problem with pics of high gargoyles (few people "look up or down!") and ended up using a cheap tele-converter that got me a "hair" closer and is far less expensive than new lens.
P3091685sm.jpg
E-P3       0mm    f/1.0    1/125s    ISO 400
 
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bobbill

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AoA, I forgot to mention. Is a 50x1.4 SC and in orig green foam in box...was used but is like new. Seem to be sucker for these things...Nikkors...have maybe 4 of them now...

Have to make up my mind and choose twixt Nikkors and using the single pristine Asahi 50x1.4x8-element. A "lens harem" (WNG) I do not need.
 

WNG

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:D

The SC is a nice rendering lens. You'll enjoy it for sure.

ILCE-6000       0mm    f/1.0    1/500s    ISO 125
 
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AlwaysOnAuto

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I was thinking about this thread as I was falling asleep last night (weird I know) and I remembered. I do have a Nikkor 50 1.4, it's a LTM lens and that is probably why I forgot about it. I don't usually associate LTM lenses with Nikkor's. Sheesh, old age....
 
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