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 Post subject: New old 1978 lens
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:33 pm
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Location: St. John's, NL, Canada
That's right, I went old school. When I first got into photography I figured this type would have been by my first lens. But after doing some research, I went with the Tamron that I currently use today. However, after being Inspired by a few photos on another forum I regularly visit, I started very casually looking around at some wide aperture primes.

I can't exactly remember how I stumbled across this lens, but I found that nikon made a 50mm f/1.8 in 1978 for a couple of years. After a quick ebay search I was delighted by the next to nothing price, so I looked a little further. Turns out back in the day this lens was of professional quality, equivalent to the cannon "L" designation. What you probably have already surmised is that the lens is manual focus.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/50f18E.htm

I've thought about this a lot and wondered would it be worth trying or not. I used my Tamron on manual for a few days to see how it felt. I'm not sure if this feature exists on all cameras, but there is a "in focus" indicator on my D200. It's based on the focal area selected and size of said focal area. A green dot appears when your camera thinks what is in the focal area is properly focused. Basically, it tells you "if I were in autofocus mode, I'd call this good".

Again, I really had to think about this because autofocus is a big big deal. Also, focusing a 2.8 aperture would be easier than a 1.8 since the DoF is larger - smaller margin for error. As previously stated, the lens cost next to nothing, and if I hate it and/or can't get used to it, then I'd just sell it again. It's already deprecated in value and owning it for a few months won't change it's value at all. So the only hassle would be to put it back up on ebay and mess around with selling it again.

I've tried to buy this lens about 6 times and lost the auction in the last minute or so because I'm not willing to pay a whole lot for it. I lucked out on the one I bought because the seller is based in Qu├ębec and was only willing to ship within Canada - this cut out 95% of the competition. This particular lens I bought happens to be still in the original packaging with both lens caps and the promise of mint 100% working condition. Apparently it was found from a canadian army surplus something or another. The seller is even offering a 1 year warranty which I don't really hold a lot of weight in.

So, there you have it. Shiny new 50mm f/1.8 is on it's way. Reviews are sure to come about 10 minutes after I open the box.

Trevor


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
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Looks like you've got a good little lens there - a little 'stubby'

I've been tempted by the 50 f1.2 - I may be brave and go for it at some point if I get a good deal and reasonable international shipping.

As for the focus indicator, that's a good guide but if you're shooting real close still try bracketing for focus until you get used to the lens. It may be tack sharp as soon as you get the green dot from infinity, or from min focal distance. There might be a little play there, and this will help you get used to it in controlled circumstances with a tripod.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:16 am 
Having the option to use older lenses is one of the major perks to investing in Nikon IMO. I have a Nikon 200mm f4 that's over 3 decade old and it works great on my D300. After I program in length and maximum aperture into the noncpu data I get metering, focus confirmation and exif data from a lens made over 3 decades ago!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:33 pm
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Location: St. John's, NL, Canada
I've had a look at the tutorial linked below. Seems to make sense to me in order for me to setup my lens. Having said this, is there a quick way to swap between lenses? I.e. if I use "method 2" and use my function button to enter the lens data, that takes about 10 seconds by the time I flick through all the options to land on 50mm f/1.8. When I go back to my Tamron, do I have to then go and change the settings back to -- f -- ? Or will the camera recognize the fact that I have a cup lens an ignore the inputted data?

http://www.nikonians.org/nikon/d200_and_non-cpu_lenses/


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:44 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
A CPU lens always overrides the manual lens entry, because that is only for non-CPU lenses :)

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I take pictures so quickly, my highschool was "Continuous High".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:11 pm 
I think it is what citruspers said. Its non CPU lens data so its not really a problem. Maybe you can save it in U1 or U2 memory, its for these kind of things you can store special user configurations, i.e. different settings for 2 special lenses, that require settings outside the normal realm of operation.

Not really sure if the D200 has such custom user settings, but if it has you can use it for that lens.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:31 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
I think the D200, like my D2H, features "memory banks", which keep those settings. I personally have only one non-cpu lens, so I've just entered the focal length and aperture and forgot about it. Works fine with cpu-lenses, no conflict there.

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I take pictures so quickly, my highschool was "Continuous High".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:10 pm
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Location: Washington, DC
Is this the same lense you are making mention of in the link below?

http://claz.org/classifieds.html?q=Niko ... 8+Series+E


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:33 am 
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Location: St. John's, NL, Canada
Indeed it is. I've had it for a while now (this post is a little aged). I really like it, great quality, etc... You must realize the limitations of manual focus, however. Don't expect to have a high hit/miss ratio if taking photos of the kids running around in the backyard.

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----------------
Trevor Harris

Nikon D200
SB-600
YN-560 II
YN RF 603 x 4
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:46 am 
Thats a nice flat, compact lens! I have an E-series 50mm/1.4. Manual focus is a pain though, with the razor thin DoF


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
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Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
Agreed about manual focusing being a bit of a pain, for certain situations it's fun to manual focus for the nostalgic feel, such as when I shoot with my fast 50 on a film body, or sometimes it's just more practical like with macro work. However, when I tried to shoot my dogs while manual focusing a while back it was nothing but a pain in the behind, and far from practical. That's what made me buy myself pick up a 35mm f/1.8 DX. My D7000 too has the "green dot" indicator for focusing, but it still doesn't excuse the fact that it's very difficult to track subjects. For telephoto work, I used to use a 200mm f/4 AI-S (it's currently broken, the front filter is cracked and needs to be pried off), and having to manual focus was difficult, autofocus would've just been a life saver and would've helped when I shot moving subjects at sporting events.

Anyways, I hope that you're enjoying your new lens!

_________________
-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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