Cult and Legend lenses?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by clive_murray_white, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. When I moved over from Leica to Nikon members of this forum gave me some fabulous advice about the lenses I should look at, and more importantly they were mindful of budget - I have a nice bunch of primes that suit what I do but after driving myself mad on a holiday with a truck load of gear I got some advice (again from here) for a handy "holiday/general purpose" zoom for my D800 a 24-85/3.5-4.5 G.
    Now this cheap little plastic lens has completely blown me away, particularly when corrected in Lightroom with the simple press of a default button. I can clearly see by the number of these lenses being sold cheaply second hand on that auction site that people don't share my enthusiasm for it while I think of it in the class of "cult or legend".
    I think there must be many other contenders for "cult or legend" status now that lens correction software is so easily available, what do you reckon? Here's a quick snap taken of a dinner party on Saturday night with it ISO 3200.
  2. I think a lot of the reason it's so cheap on eBay has to do with specials Nikon ran on D600 kits after the D600 got a bad
    reputation because of sensor spots. They were pretty much giving the lenses away, so eBay got flooded with lenses from
    people who bought the kit but didn't need the lens. The used price never came back. I had one for a while and found it
    quite capable.

    Not sure what sorts of lenses you're in the market for, but there are definitely some cult ones out there. The 105mm f/2.5
    and the 28mm f/2.8 AIS, for example. Some current ones that really impress are the 50mm and 85mm 1.8G lenses-
    they're both amazingly good and not very expensive.
  3. Hi Andy - I'm just on a general fishing trip, I've got both the 50mm & 85mm 1.8G and I agree that for the price they are amazing though I think the 85 is a cut above the 50. I have 180/2.8 brilliant lens on many occasions, a Voigtlander 58/1.4 (has a classy look to the pics it takes) a 75-150/3.5, a PC-E 45 (perfect for my main work pictures) 24/2.8 very nice. And just to cover extra wide a Sigma 15-30/3.5-4.5, I have a bit of love hate relationship with this one, it can take fabulously sharp pics but flare is either great or very nasty.
    Although I'm covered quite well between 85 and 180, 105s and 135s do appeal.
  4. Surely it should be a "legendary lens", as there are legends about the lens - it's an adjectival description. Likewise a cult is a small group who believe something considered unusual, so a chunk of glass and plastic cannot be a cult. It can, however, be the object admired or worshipped etc by a cult. Carry on.
  5. I was expecting to be blown away by the 135 DC, but it turned out to be too fickle for me. While it doesn't really hold up on a D800, I'm still very fond of my 28-200 f/3.5-5.6 G, at least for D700 use. A bit of post-processing helps. The 200 f/2 (VR 1, in my case) is epic, but you'd expect it to be. I'm much more impressed by the 150mm OS Sigma macro than I might have expected to be (and it's had more use than the non-VC 90mm Tamron I've owned for longer). The Nikkor 135 f/2.8 AI-S is pretty small, cheap and good. The 300 f/4 AF-S is great, but everyone expects that. I'm much more impressed by the 85 f/1.8 G than the 50mm - but the latter is visibly more usable than the AF-D version. The 85 f/1.8's main problem is its LoCA, but so long as you like green backdrops, it's fine. The 500 f/4 AI-P is very competent, but a bit of a pain to use (Santa, a 400 f/2.8 VR, please).

    The optics aren't great, but maybe a shout out to the (adapted) TC-16A as a cheap and special piece of kit?
  6. A dose of semantics never goes astray Robin, but words regularly have their meanings changed through misuse, "visitations" when used to mean numbers of visitors irks me, equally the use of the word iconic to describe just about everyhing........... but do you have any suggestions for rather nice Nikon glass that has benefited from "click of a button" Lightroom strategies.
  7. Second the 105mm f2.5. I had one and loved it when I shot Nikon.
    but the lens I KEPT to shoot all manually on my new ยต43 rig is the 55mm f3.5. Really, I think all the 55mm micro lenses are pretty amazing.
  8. Is the OP referring to the original 24-85G or the VR version? We wouldn't want a prospective cult member to get the wrong idea.
    Robin, I think our culture has decided "cult" is an accepted term in this context. The usual definitions don't quite fit. I think the common usage (when we are talking about a camera, or TV show) is intended to mean something like a small group of people with an unusually strong devotion to a thing. Bonus points for when the "thing" is sort of off the beaten path. You don't hear a lot about "cult followers" of Seinfeld or "the Camry is a cult hit in America."
    By my own definition, the 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor might have a tough time with "cult" credentials because it is almost universally praised and it is supposed to be good. The Series E 75-150mm is considered a cult-lens by some, I think because it is a Series E lens and should not be so good.
  9. Chip - on the lens it reads Nikon ED/AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm 1:3.5-4.5G/ VR (on 3 separate lines)
    Andrew - I've noticed that there quite a few devotees for both the 135/2.8 and 3.5. Though just looking at pictures on the net the 135/3.5 looks hard to my eyes at least.
  10. Sorry Peter - missed that one, I used to shoot 43s and loved old 50's on it, mainly Leica R and Zeiss CY, I've always been a bit disappointed with Nikon 50s since my F3 + 50/1.4, maybe the reason I got the Voigtlander 58/1.4 was that I just couldn't see a really good Nikon 50. The Nikkor PC-E 45 is another story all together though not cheap!
  11. Of course there are some old familiar lenses that have always been favorites like the 105, but as I think I've mentioned before, one of the greatest surprises in the old lens department is the ancient (mine from around 1962, and not AI convertible) 28/3.5, which was never all that interesting on film, but looks really nice on digital DX. I think that one may be gaining some late cult status, as I gather aside from being sharp and rather good about flare, it's apparently very good for IR as well.
  12. The 75-150/3.5E might be the nearest to a cult classic. It has all the elements of having a stunningly beautiful quality and an impossibly low price used. It is everything that was not expected of a series E lens. It's mechanically rock solid, optically beautiful, and has fine bokeh. All you have to do is decide on a fix for the floppy one-touch zoom/focus ring that all share.
    I'm a big fan of the 28/2 AI. It has a rounded, cinematic look. I kept it even after buying the 28/1.8g, and use it at least as much.
    The 105/2.5 AIs is a lens that all Nikon users need to own, and that's never been a secret.
    The 135/2DC is a quirky phenom, with bokeh as beautiful as any lens ever made.
    The 180/2.8D ED-IF is a solid, light, compact, fast tele. It's sharp wide open, and has a beautiful look with wonderful bokeh. And it's a fraction of the price of a 200/2.
  13. Matthew - thanks for that re: the 28 you talk about so fondly, sounds like a few of us should be looking at it, can you point us towards some pictures that capture what you feel are its strong points?
    I guess my 75-150 sort of spoils me from getting too serious about 105s which are always a lot more expensive. The sliding zoom hasn't annoyed me yet, must be the way I intuitively use it or something. And yes Luke, the 180/2.8 is one of the best bits of advice that members on this forum recommended that I get, very happy with it.
    It's strange that no slowish/cheapish auto focus zooms other than my own suggestion, seem to have cracked it for this little list,surely there must be some sleeping giants that have been liberated by a bit of Lightroom fixing.
  14. My vote for a "cult classic" (sorry Robin) goes to the 105mm f/1.8 Ai-S Nikkor lens. I've put my copy head-to-head against the legendary, but common-as-muck, 105mm f/2.5 and it equals that lens in image quality at every like aperture - and then offers you a whole stop extra with accompanying shallow DoF!
    WRT the Series E 75-150mm f/3.5; I agree whole-heartedly that its image quality punches well above its weight. However I can't agree that all copies have a sloppy zoom collar. I have a silver ring version that has a non slipping zoom ring, with no sign of it becoming sloppy either. OTOH I bought a black plastic ring version that slipped all over the place. It was quite a simple task to remove the zoom collar and pack out the felt rings with small strips of thin card. Sorted! It now feels as good as you could expect any trombone-style zoom to feel.
    I also Dandelion chipped the silver ring version; making it an extremely handy little zoom to use.
    +1 to the 28mm f/2 being a great lens. The 20mm f/3.5 Ai Nikkor is also quite nice, from the point of view of being very small and lightweight for its focal length, and taking what were once Nikon's standard 52mm filters. The 80-200mm f/4 Ai-S Zoom-Nikkor can also hold its own on a modern DSLR, but isn't quite good enough to rate as legendary IMO.
    My vote for 3rd party classic goes to Tamron's SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 zoom. Best Lens Bargain Ever IMHO. It shows that a constant aperture f/2.8 standard zoom with excellent IQ doesn't have to break your back or your bank balance. And it doesn't have to take 82mm filters either Sigma!
  15. Clive: Well, I'm standing by the 28-200, but mostly if you've got a D3 or D700. I guess it might be okay on a Df... I really must give my 28-80 f/3.3-5.6 G a better test. Does the 70-180mm Micro count as a "slowish zoom"?

    Luke: The far distant bokeh of the 135 f/2 DC is lovely. My problem was everything near the transition zone looking like traffic lights because of the colour fringing. It appears that not everyone has had the problems I had with it, though as far as I can tell this behaviour is actually part of the design. I'd prefer to achieve the same goal via something like the Fuji APD or Sony/Minolta STF lenses.

    I don't own a 180 f/2.8. Many people gush about it. However, looking at recent comparisons, the 180 isn't as sharp at any aperture as the 200 f/2 is wide open, doesn't match the 70-200 VR 2 for sharpness, has very slightly nervous bokeh and certainly has a lot of LoCA (despite being "ED"). For the money - and it's not that cheap, at least new - the main redeeming feature seems to be that it's half the weight of a 70-200. I'm not saying it's a bad lens, just that "good" is relative, and it's an old design. I'd take the 150mm Sigma OS macro for less money most of the time if I wanted to do the 180mm's job (and I do have that lens).
  16. I like the 85mm f/2.0 and the 50mm f/2.0 I am also a big fan of the 105mm f/1.8. I like it better then I like my 105mm f/2.5. I also use and love my 135mm f/2 DC. I use it for shooting sports when I want an ultra shallow DOF and supper smooth OOF backgrounds.
    For a look all it's own I really like the 58mm f/1.4 from the very early 60's as well as the 55mm f/1.2. Both of these lenses do something for an image that is almost magical.
    I have been very happy with the image quality I get from my 180mm f/2.8 AI-S.
    And while it is hard to make a photograph without a lens it really all boils down to using what you have to the best of your ability
  17. Ask 100 Nikon photographers this question, and you may receive 100 different responses. I do not really characterize the 105 2.5 as qualifying as "cult" status.
    My choices are-
    50mm Series E
    50-135 f/3.5 Macro
    28-50 f/3.5 Macro
    None were runaway successes, but all three can yield spectacular results.
  18. Oh, but the 105mm f/2.5 has all the necessary criteria for 'cult status':
    For example, in the Nikon Compendium it says
    The next in the line, the Nikkor
    105mm, f/2.5, can rightfully be called
    a Nikon legend, and many photographers
    consider it to be the finest
    lens Nikon has ever produced.​
  19. Michael: You're an example of "not everyone having the problems I had with" the 135 DC. I couldn't trust mine to focus accurately, for a start (the colour fringes threw the AF system). Anyway, it's gone now. As for taking shots with what we have, please don't tell my wife that until after I get a 400 f/2.8 (you may have a wait). Of course not having a particular lens won't stop a photographer from taking a good photo, but it might stop the photographer from taking a particular good photo. I've always bought a lens when there's a specific type of shot that I want to take with it. And "the best of my ability" is limited enough without an aberrant lens making things worse.

    Arthur: I've always been tempted by a 50mm f/1.8 series E. Not for the optics (I have the AF-D, and I'm not blown away) but because I like the idea of something that's nearly a pancake lens, and not as preposterously overpriced as the 45mm f/2.8 AI-P.

    Incidentally, I'd probably distinguish "cult" from "legend". The 125mm APO-lanthar is kind of legendary; the Coastal Optics 60mm also, and the Otuses (Oti?) are getting there. I'd include oddballs like the 300 f/2, 1200-1700mm and 6mm f/2.8, too. But I think of "legendary" as "can do things that are way beyond what other lenses can do", whereas I'd define "cult" as "very good, but most people don't know it". At least in keen photographic circles, I don't think there's any danger of the Otus being unknown. Unless "cult" should mean "a lens that everyone should own" - but in that case we should talk about the 50mm f/1.8 lenses or the older 90mm Tamron instead.
  20. Thanks everyone - looks as if I've got a lot more homework to do, just a point though with something like the 180/2.8 and softness, the neat thing these days is how much tweaking you apply in Lightroom or better still Photoshop "smart sharpen". I think people simply got in the habit of looking at lenses with no processing but its much more interesting to accept that 'sliders' are a very useful part of our activity.
  21. Clive: That's true. However, there's always a trade-off. Sharpening accentuates noise (or concentrates sample error, depending on how you want to look at it) and tends to make bokeh look more intrusive. Distortion correction reduces sharpness. Radial/lateral chromatic aberration correction softens both because of stretching and because the captured image is typically not sampled at three pure wavelengths. Longitudinal/axial chromatic aberration correction is typically based on a colour range guess, and can introduce false colour shifts. You don't get anything for free, even though it's often worth it. I certainly usually apply a lot of corrections - and I usually start with DxO's raw conversion and lens correction, before doing some dynamic range adjustment - but there's still something to be said for getting it right in the glass. And, indeed, when taking the shot, but neither are always possible.
  22. I have three manual focus "legend or cult" Nikkors left in the bag/closet: 105/2.5 Ai, 28/2.8 Ai-S, and 75-150/3.5 Series E.
    Never owned the 105/1.8 Ai-S but for the price they go for, I would likely prefer the 85/1.8G AF-S (which I have and which gets about as much use as the 105/2.5 (i.e., very little)).
    The 28/2.8 AI-S will see less use now too - the Ricoh GR will takes it's place in many applications.
    And instead of the "sloppy" 75-150, I'd rather have the Kiron 70-150/4 (it's a lot smaller and allegedly optically as good) - it might see some use on a Sony A7 (on which the Nikon 75-150 already feels too big). Unfortunately, the Kiron I purchased recently developed some mechanical issue that killed it and I haven't found another one yet.
    I had a 20/4 Ai that was supposedly one of the better 20mm lenses - but when I finally got to use it on an FX camera, I wasn't impressed - the heavy vignetting in particular was too much for me and I sold it.
    55/2.8 Micro - never warmed up to it and sold it.
    Any 50mm - I have no use for any of them.

    180/2.8 - never owned one - but have a "legend" from another company adapted to F-mount instead: Leitz Apo-Telyt 180/3.4. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to really live up to its legendary status for me...
  23. Point taken Andrew - yes, like anything else PP does require a fine eye, and even an ability to comprehend anticipated results. The picture that I started this post with would make many people's flesh crawl if they got to see it at 100%, ISO 3200 from a D800 can look pretty nasty especially if you crank the LR sharpening up to 50, beyond that it really becomes unacceptable to my taste, but all the problems magically go away for a web post.
    And I totally agree that there is a lot in the "quality" of the glass as starting point. Like with anything "quality" can mean many things.
  24. RJ: I'm very envious that you have a 75-150 with a NON-floppy one-touch zoom ring. Mine is also a silver-ring, but it's as floppy as they come.
    Dieter: The Kiron 75-150 f/4 is reputedly the same optical design as the Nikon, just a bit slower. I've never been able to confirm the rumor that Kiron actually made these for Nikon.
    I've never found the 180/2.8D soft wide open, but surely it is not as sharp as the 200/2. It might not be cheap new, but for years there have been pristine used copies out there for under $500, as mine was.
  25. Informal comparison of two other 'legendary' or 'cult' lenses - the Zeiss Olympia Sonnar 180mm f/2.8 and the Nikkor-P 180mm f/2.8 at
    (pay no attention to the digressions about lens families - it's not significant to this issue of 'cult' status)
  26. The Kiron 75-150 f/4 is reputedly the same optical design as the Nikon, just a bit slower. I've never been able to confirm the rumor that Kiron actually made these for Nikon.​
    They are most certainly NOT the same optical design (the Kiron and the Vivitar 70-150/3.8 might be), but the optical formula for the Kiron and the Nikon are not identical (given that the Nikon is a bit longer, this should not come as a surprise). Regarding the production and/or design of the Nikon by Kino Precision, I can only find information by the same person but no independent confirmation.
  27. tokina 70-150 gives me better color using film compared to my Nikon 75-150...
  28. Ah, I had the 75-150/4 mixed up with the 75-150/3.8.
  29. 105/2.5 non-ai
    180/2.8 ED (manual focus)
  30. Cult lens for me: Nikkor 18mm/f2.8D-AF.[​IMG]
    Also, the 28-70mm/f3.5-4.5D-AF (asph) zoom from the N90s era.
  31. There is a clear distinction, IMHO, between a cult lens and a classic one. I have the 105 f/2.5, and while I do think it qualifies a legendary, I would not put it into cult status. My son has the 50 E Series, and it truly is a sweet little lens.
  32. mm Wheter you say cult or legend, all ok to me....
    For me one of the most "remarkable" lenses in my vision is my 100mm F/2.8 "E" lens..
    Such a small lens ( around the size of a 50mm , just a little longer in size) and still a fast and very sharp little lens with a smooth bokeh...
  33. JDM von Weinberg - I should have got back earlier about your post + link, but my partner just got elected mayor for our district (the same size as Jamaica) so I've been a little distracted - what struck me most, in terms of this topic, was the amount of CA in both lenses, which of course can be instantly fixed in Lightroom.
    Thanks Dan for the porn, Df with old lenses - most engaging.
  34. Which Nikkor or Nikon lenses qualify for legend or cult status depends on what era you have in mind, what kind of photography you have in mind, and who you talk to.

    In the early 1950s, the Nikkor 85mm f/2 in Leica thread mount (LTM) for rangefinder cameras was arguably the lens which made Nikon's international reputation as an optical manufacturer. Discovered by David Douglas Duncan, who used it to shoot combat photos for Life Magazine during the Korean War, it quickly earned a reputation for high optical quality. With a screw to bayonet adapter, it was also usable on Leica M rangefinder cameras when those came out. More than 60 years later, it's still a good lens, a little heavy (it's all brass and glass, no plastic anywhere), but eminently usable with LTM and M-mount rangefinder cameras. A few years later, Nikon also came out with a 105mm f/2.5 rangefinder lens which earned a good reputation for image quality.

    After Nikon came out with the Nikon F SLR, some of the pre-Ai Nikkor SLR lenses issued between the late 1950s and early 1970s developed reputations strong enough to qualify for cult status. Among them:
    • 6mm f/2.8 fisheye, a lens with a huge -- make that HUGE -- front element which dwarfed the camera, with an extraordinarily wide field of view, unusual perspective, great depth of field, and great sharpness, rather clumsy and inconvenient to use due to its size, weight, the vulnerability of that huge front element to accidental damage, and a propensity for pulling unintended and distracting details into the edges of the image if the photographer wasn't careful, and also unusually expensive, thus rare even though it took incredible pictures -- as an indication of its reputation, rarity, and cult status as a collector's item, one of these lenses was reportedly sold to a collector in 2012 for $160,000
    • 24mm f/2.8, the first lens with a close-focusing compensation system -- now commonplace, as this design worked well enough to influence the design of many other lenses, but a big deal when it first came out
    • 28mm f/3.5, used by many 1960s photojournalists during the Vietnam War because it was rugged, small, light, sharp, flare-resistant, and provided sufficient depth of field for shooting even when circumstances did not allow enough time or safety for precise focusing; a classic combat photographer's lens
    • 58mm f/1.4, which preceded the 50mm f/1.4 in the SLR line (there had been a previous 50mm f/1.4 in the rangefinder line), thought by some to yield images with an indefinable image quality of plasticity or 3-D dimensionality; a lens with a reputation (in some circles, at least) for "magic" image quality
    • 35mm f/1.4, known for being gauzy and dreamy at full aperture due to chromatic aberration, but becoming outstandingly sharp when stopped down just a couple of stops to f/2.8 or f/4; used by many 1970s photojournalists as their normal lens due to its speed, sharpness and depth of field; the original pre-Ai version used a radioactive Thorium glass element which tended to yellow with time, but could reportedly be restored to neutral transparency by leaving it in direct sunlight for a few days
    • 85mm f/1.8, the lens used by the fashion photographer played by David Hemmings in Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 movie Blow-Up, an excellent fashion and portrait lens with a reputation burnished by the movie
    • 105mm f/2.5, the mainstay of fashion and portrait photographers during the 1960s and into the 1970s; the pre-Ai version had essentially the same optical design as Nikon's previous 105mm f/2.5 rangefinder lens, which in turn was apparently derived from an earlier Zeiss Sonnar design for Contax cameras
    After Nikon shifted first to the Ai and then to the Ai-S lenses in the 1970s, revised versions of some of those lenses, and some new ones, developed cult reputations. Among them:
    • 35mm f/1.4, with much the same optical design but without the Thorium glass
    • 58mm f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor (a different lens than the ordinary 55mm f/1.2), Nikon's first lens with a hand-ground aspherical element, designed to deliver flare-free image quality at maximum aperture, and sometimes used for special purposes such as astrophotography; relatively rare these days, and thus expensive, typically going for more than $3,000 if you can find one -- a lens with enough of a cult status to have its own website,
    • 85mm f/1.4 Ai-S, a lens with a tremendous reputation for portrait photography due to its high image quality, shallow depth of field, and bokeh at or near maximum aperture, useful for presenting an in-focus subject against a blurred, out of focus background, giving an enhanced impression of dimensionality
    • 105mm f/2.5, with a revised Gauss optical formula rather than the previous version's Sonnar design, and with significantly improved coatings; offered better performance at the close ranges typically used in portraiture, and better flare resistance, while retaining excellent image quality at mid to long range; a classic portrait lens
    • 180mm f/2.8 ED, which used extra-low dispersion (ED) glass to reduce chromatic aberration and provide improved sharpness and contrast, often used by pro photographers at rock concerts, and by nature photographers at dawn and dusk, due to its combination of range, speed and image quality
    Once Nikon moved to autofocus, lenses developing exceptional reputations have included:
    • 24mm f/1.4G ED, a big, fast, relatively heavy (21.9 ounces), expensive (list $2,199.95) wide-angle lens with a reputation for very high image quality, especially given the large maximum aperture
    • 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens, a big, relatively heavy (31.7 ounces), fairly expensive (current list $1,889.95) lens used by many pros due to its relatively large maximum aperture and high image quality
    • AFS-DX 35mm f/1.8G, a small, light, affordable (list $199.95), fast, sharp, normal lens for DX cameras, fast enough for available light shooting, with a reputation for much higher optical quality than one might expect at the price -- not rare, expensive, or known only to a select few, so perhaps not a cult lens from that perspective, and a normal lens with roughly the same field of view as a 50mm lens in 35mm film or FX format, but an excellent lens with an unusually strong reputation for a DX lens just the same
    • 85mm f/1.4G, a big, fast, relatively heavy (21.0 ounces), fairly expensive (list $1,699.95), nano-coated lens with a reputation for even higher image quality than its Ai-S and D predecessors; a high-speed, shallow depth of field, high quality lens for portraiture and available-light shooting
    • 105mm f/2 DC, a reformulated 105mm lens with a large maximum aperture and the ability to shift internal elements in order to give the photographer some degree of control over the bokeh of out of focus backgrounds; a big, heavy, sturdy lens with exceptional image quality
    • 200mm f/2 VR and the later VR II, a very big (8 inches long, 4.9 inches diameter), very heavy (102.4 ounces!), and very expensive (current list $5,999.95) lens with multiple ED and Super ED elements, the VR II version also with nano coating, offering sports photographers a telephoto with large maximum aperture to allow action-stopping shutter speeds, shallow depth of field to isolate athletes and other subjects against an out of focus background, high image quality, and the advantages of autofocus and vibration reduction; a business investment for pros, but too big, heavy and expensive for most amateurs
    These Nikon lenses tend to get mentioned when the phrase "cult lens" comes up. As with many things, "your mileage may vary" in terms of whether these lenses have achieved, or deserve, cult status.
  35. Thank you very much indeed Peter, perfect example of this forum, a finely detailed in-depth piece that is bound to be very helpful for many people studying this topic. Thanks again, good on you, Clive
  36. A most expert, interesting and detailed list of great ("classic", "cult", "historic", etc...) lenses from Peter Shawhan, but with deep respect, I don't think Clive M-W's original question has been answered: which of these lenses, once leaders in their field but now perhaps obscured by the mists of time, have been, or are capable of being, restored to greatness by modern software? And the second part: which modern lenses do we sniffily disregard as being "cheap" or "kit", when, with the assistance of Lightroom or Photoshop or similar, turn out to be well worth the money?
    A fascinating discussion nonetheless, and I remain humbled by the depth of this forum's collective knowledge. Thanks to all.
  37. Does 'my' 400/3.5 count?
    And the 55mm 'micro's' ?

    And what about the AFS 18-70/3.5-4.5 as 'classic' ?
  38. Chris thanks - You are probably right re: Peter's post in terms of my original question but by my way of thinking a lot can often be learned by loosening the boundaries around any topic, it is very interesting how passionate and misty eyed people can get when the older primes get discussed.
    Albin - Thanks, the reason why I started this thread was that I'm relatively new to Nikon, coming from Leica M and Olympus, to a D800, so FX is my main interest, so I'd be really interested to know if you think the lenses you've listed are really good, and why and maybe give us a few links to back up your reasoning
    ............or other forum members could chime in with stuff like the 55 micro is great/ is awful/would better if type comments.
  39. I have experience with the 400/3.5 and 55/3.5. . (And once a 28/3.5
    too! ..a nice combo)

    Admittedly, I would recommend them as 'classic' for the simple fact
    that they are very useable without hesitation (= they are good!) on
    modern FX camera's. But. . Are they 'above useable' .. as in
    posessing magical proporties .. giving them a deserved 'cult' or
    'legendary' status? Mwah.. Not by today's standards I feel. The 400
    is very compact considering what it is though.

    The 18-70 I mentioned is for DX. And most users see to agree that it
    is really good. Although there are frequent reports of mechanical
    failure after long-term use, and the range is limited, as well as it's
    largest apertures..

    I have to conclude that I do not posess 'magical' lenses.. :'(
  40. Thanks Albin, After your post I went looking at these lenses and was mightily impressed by the 55/3.5 from what I saw on Flickriver, here's a Photonet link discussing it.
    And here's one for the 400 also looks great.. that's if you've got a use for it
  41. I took this pic at a friend's daughter's wedding on the weekend with my 24-85 G VR (hand held no VR) - it got me thinking, in relation to this thread...............are there any FX super zooms that with a bit of Lightroom lens correction and tweaking that could become contenders for a one lens really does just about everything?
  42. are there any FX super zooms that with a bit of Lightroom lens correction and tweaking that could become contenders for a one lens really does just about everything?​
    Belatedly... Not for a D800, no. The 28-300 isn't terrible, and if you don't mind being a little less "super" the 24-120 f/4 is good enough for many, but the pro f/2.8 zooms (and the 70-200 f/4) with reduced range seem to have the edge on quality, and on the D800 you'll see the difference. On my D700, the little 28-200 f/3.5-5.6G was plenty good enough if treated gently and postprocessed, but the D800 really makes it look bad. Perhaps when Zeiss have finished with the Otus primes...
    I've not seen an optical test of this yet. I'm not hopeful, but you never know...
  43. Thanks Andrew - I appreciate your most amusing link I can just imagine a wedding photographer using something like a still version of that monster Fujinon 25-300mm T3.5 (after doing some serious body building at the gym).

    In truth I think Nikon "accidentally" made the 24-85 G VR a little too good, if you get my drift, a sort of repeat performance of "E" ? lenses. Just a pity that they didn't think of a super zoom lens for the 600D and again make it better than what they expecting to sell it for.
  44. Nikon Micro-nikkorAF 200mm f/4 ED
    Nikkor-P and all others 105mm f/2.5
    Nikkor 85mm f/1,4 AI-S
    Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S soft at f1.2 but sharp after thet 1.4-2.
    Nikkor 20mm f/4 AI
    Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED
    Nikkor 28-50 & 50-134mm f/3.5 AI-S excellet two lens set up.
    I like the 18mm f/4 AI too.
  45. Nice list Bela, thanks, you've just reminded me that I'd better bookmark this thread before it disappears off the bottom of the forum page.
  46. Correction; I misprinted the Nikon 50-135mm f/3.5 AI-S one of my all the time favorite.
    I didn't mentioned previously, but, the 200mm f/4 all of them, from the Q Q.C. to the AI-S, excellent sharp and contrasty lenses, which I have all the variation of them. Sharp, sharp, sharp.

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