Lens for F3

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by chatchai_phothimanomai, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. i've just gotten my F3 and i've never used Nikon before. I'm looking for a lens wide which fit to my F3. I've many choices.
    1. 35/2.8 NON-AI (quite old)
    2. 35/2.8 AIS
    3. 28/2.8 AIS
    4. 24/2.8 AF
    Which one do you think i should grab? i'm quite new about nikon. please suggest me. Actually i've no idea about how different between AI,AIS and NON-AI. i know it different just construction but i've no idea about their quality.
    kind regards.
  2. Forget the non-AI - it will only meter in stop-down mode with the F3 - a major pain. Similarly, why put an AF lens - usually with a crappy little focusing ring - on a manual focus camera? AI and AI-S lenses will operate perfectly and identically with the F3, AI-S lenses have an extra little "notch" in the mount that only a couple of Nikon cameras register, and the F3 isn't one of these, so AI and AI-S lenses are effectively identical as far as the F3 is concerned. So it boils down to a 28 or a 35. If you want a general shooting lens, the 35 is the way to go, in my opinion. If you want a specific wide angle, then the 28 would be the choice. If you go with the 35, you should consider going for a 35/2 - not only is it brighter, but from everying I have read, it is much better optically than the 2.8.
  3. I only have one from the above list. The 28/2.8 AIS. It is a very good lens.
  4. David already said it all - except that my choice would be the 28/2.8 AIS - a real gem. The 35/2.8 is not worth writing home about - so if you want 35, get the f2 instead.
  5. I use an F3 and love my wides. In 135 format, I hate the 50mm AoV and 35mm lens is my standard lens, however, in the Nikon mount I use a Voigtlander 40mm f/2 AIS lens for this focal length and don't find too much difference from a 35mm AoV. Its well made and sharp.
  6. What wide angle you wish to get will depend upon what lens you own now. I own both the 24 f/2.8 AI and the 35 f/1.4 AIS with my F3.
    I had the 35 f/2.8 initially, and I HATED it. That lens will give you a very, very bad impression of the quality of Nikkor lenses. It was mechanically fine, as they all are. It was just very fuzzy in its imaging.
    The 35 f/2 is very nice, but the 35 f/1.4 lets you really shoot in the dark. I'm still shooting Kodachrome for now, so the extra one stop in lens speed is helpful. Alas, poor K64... I knew him well.
    If you get a 35mm, then the 28 is about halfway in between the 35 and the 24. It wouldn't really be that useful unless you already have a 50mm lens, and you want the 28mm as your only wide angle lens. 35mm is a little close to 50mm, so some people skip the 35mm if they already own the 50mm.
    OTOH, I feel that if you want wide angle, you really want to go wide. You could go for the 24mm f/2.8, or find a nice used 20mm f/3.5 AIS or 20mm f/4 AIS. The optical formula of the 24 f/2.8 hasn't changed in moving from the AI/AIS to AF, so it's still the same lens optically in a different mechanical package.
    So, from your list I would bring the camera along and try the 28 and the 24, and see which one you seem to prefer. If you shoot interiors, then sometimes you can't back up any more to get more of the room into the frame. Then, the 24mm or 20mm is useful. However, the wider you get, the more difficult it can become to produce an effective composition. Usually, people try to "get everything" into the frame using a wide angle lens, with the result that they have a huge empty foreground and a bunch of tiny little subjects in the background. The solution is to find a prominent item that you can put quite up close to anchor the foreground. The 28 may be a little easier to compose with in this respect. However, only you can decide what works best for you.
  7. For film I have a F3 and a F100. I stay with AF-D prime lenses so I can use the same lens on both cameras. I have a 35mm f2 AF-D that I use on both and am very happy with the lens. My lense is very sharp stopped down one stop and fast enough for general shooting. The focusing ring is a little small in comparison to the AIS lenses. however the focusing ring is at the very end of the lens barrel and pretty heavily textured so I don' t have trouble finding it and focusing. The early 35 f2's had an excess lubricant problem from the factory. That was about 10 years age. Mine is a newer one and I've had no problems at all.
  8. Ai and AIS have a relevant difference. AI have a half turn focusing ring and the AIS have a quarter turn focusing ring. AIS are faster to focus in a rush. On the other hand AI lens are supposed to be better built that AIS. I have 2 AI lens and 4 AIS lens, and, although AI are older than AIS those are in a better shape mechanically.
    If theF3 is the only Nikon you are going to shoot then I would try to get only AI and AIS lens. AF are a bit unconfortable to use manually. Also, and this is my point of view, I would try to get lens that offer you thing not available from the current Nikon line-up. That is:

    24mm f/2
    28mm f/2
    35mm f/1.4
    50mm f/1.2
    105mm f/2.5
    AND important, what do you want to get? Just anything good? Do you have any special interest?
  9. AI have a half turn focusing ring and the AIS have a quarter turn focusing ring. AIS are faster to focus in a rush.​
    Depends on the lens. The focus throw isn't determined by whether it's AI or AIS. My 105/2.5 AI and 85/2 AIS both half half-turn focus throws from near to far. The 300/4.5 AIS ED does have a shorter focus throw than the 300/4.5 AI ED.
    The theory about some significant difference in build quality between AI and AIS is overstated. There were minor differences in a few lenses. Generally every AI and AIS Nikkor I've handled was of comparable quality. The main differences are cosmetic.
  10. As others have already said, if you're buying lenses to use on the F3, stick with AI and AI-S. I agree with Lex, the differences between AI and AI-S lenses are generally overstated. In practice I find very little difference between the two. Either will suit your needs.
    The older, Non-AI, lenses require you to use stop down metering. Some people don't mind doing it, but others (myself included) find stop down metering frustrating to do everytime you want to check the meter.
    And if you have any plans on buying more Nikons, keep in mind that many newer Nikon bodies do not support Non-AI lenses. In some cases a Non-AI lens can actually damage some of the newer bodies.
    Auto focus lenses will also work, though I wouldn't recommend them if you're only shooting the F3. The focus rings tend to be smaller and looser, so precise focusing requires a bit more care. But if you plan on buying an auto focus camera body in the future, it may make sense to buy an AF lens that will work on both. I shoot an F3, F100 and D80, and prefer to share one auto focus 50mm f/1.4 between the three of them. It just makes more logistical sense for me. But I'll admit, if I were only shooting an F3 I'd prefer an AI/AI-S 50mm.
  11. The theory about some significant difference in build quality between AI and AIS is overstated. There were minor differences in a few lenses. Generally every AI and AIS Nikkor I've handled was of comparable quality. The main differences are cosmetic.​
    Yes, I don't really have had a wide selection of AI/AIS lenses... I just read this statems in this forums and assumed them as true since they apply to my colletion. Thanks for the correction.
  12. 24mm f2.8 ai-s or the 28mm 2.8
    the 28mm has become permanently fixed to the front of my d700
  13. I would wait on the lens selection 'till you can get a Nikkor AI/AIS 50mm f/1.8 or f/2 lens to go with the F3. The 35mm f/2.8 isn't a great Nikkor (as mentioned), and the 28mm is alittle too wide as your only lens.
  14. I used a non-AI 28mm f3.5 lens with my Nikon FE2 for many years, and while it only worked with stop-down metering, I didn't mind it a bit, it was only a very minor annoyance. I would recommend the Nikon 35mm f2 AI or AIS over the f2.8 version though. It's one of my favorite Nikon lenses.
  15. thanks alot for your suggestion. it's very helpful.
  16. Hi Chatchai
    Both 35mm lenses are below average in performance. A 2/35mm or maybe the 1.4/35mm are the 35mm Nikon lenses to go for.
    If the 28mm goes down to 20cm minimal distance, get it. It's a marvel.
    If it doesn't: get the 24mm. Beware though: it is hard to focus precisely (out on the matte screen) and DOF will not cover all of your mistakes.
    I hope you never fell like motorizing your camera as the F3-motor is a monster in every respect.
    Have fun and shoot as much as you can afford!
  17. do you think 24/2.8 costs 120pounds, is it normal or expensive?
  18. That is a good price Chatchai if the lens is in good condition.
  19. Is cost a consideration? If so, would suggest the 35/2 and the 50/2. I have found very little difference between AI and AIS lenses that I have owned; Bjorn Rorslett notes any differences of consequence in his lens reviews on his site.
  20. The AI-S 28mm f2.8 having the close correction,plus the fact that it's a wide and delivers stunning images with good color is a lens that's hard to beat in my book.....I have the AI-S 18mm f3.5,20mm f2.8,24mmf2.8 & the 28mm f2.8....my favorite of those is the 28mm and have two copies....an old beat up and scarred 28mm on,a just as beat up F3 which is a regular shooter....and a pristine 28mm that is mint (saving for when the beater lens get's dropped once to many times and/or wears out) and occasionally gets used on one of my Canon bodies.....the 28mm usually stays on the F3 most of the time,and usually mount another lens on one of my FM2n's, FE's or other Nikon bodies.
  21. The latest prices for a good copy of any of the lens between 20mm and 28mm can go above $200 US...the 18mm can go in the high $300 range.The 35mm f2 can be had for $100+- picked one up for $89 and another for $119 both in excellent condition,although have seen the bidding go over $150 on the 35mm.

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