Best Nikon Pre-AI lenses for Nikon DF

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by iKokomo, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. iKokomo

    iKokomo TPF Noob!

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    I recently got a Nikon DF and I learned that it is the only DSLR that can use unmodified Nikon Pre-AI lenses. I am mainly a portrait photographer.

    I do have some manual AI lenses like the 50mm f/1.2, a 28mm, and a 105mm.

    I was wondering what the best Nikon Pre-AI (or even non-AI) lenses that I should look for portraits? I would prefer to stick with Nikon branded lenses.


     
  2. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog TPF Noob!

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    You already own it, the 105mm.

    That lens is a beast and other than its minimum f-stop of 2.5 and just a wee bit less sharp than the E model 105mm f1.4, it should prove to be a great performer on your DF.
     
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  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Ummm, no: the D40, D40x, D60, and all of the D3000 and D5000 series bodies can mount and shoot pre-Ai lenses with no modification to either the lenses or camera...however, you will have NO light metering, either for continuous light, or for flash.

    The 35mm f/2 O.C. Nikkor, and the 85mm f/1.8 H, and the 105mm f/2.5 would all be quite good. The 50mm f/1.4 and the 50mm f/2 would also be nice. The 55mm f/3.5 Micro~NIKKOR is also a pretty good pre-AI choice
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    "Pre-AI" and "non-AI' are generally considered to be the same thing, at least in lenses....non-meter-coupled accessories like the M2 extension tube sort of fall into a gray area. The Ai protocol was introduced in roughly 1977.
     
  5. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree TPF Noob!

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    I am a fan of Nikon manual focus glass. I install a chip on them so they can be used on all my later cameras in all modes. Some more difficult than others but few are truly hard. I have a 25-50 f4,28 f 2.8 and 50-135 f3.5 that have been done and they all perform well for me. The 28mm is the only Ai the other two are Ais. I have a 50 f1.4 Aos and 135 f2,8 pre Ai that are in line for the install soon.


    If you're interested in this and are handy with tools look here.
     
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  6. mjcmt

    mjcmt TPF Noob!

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    85mm f1.8
    I had AI version and know its very good so the non-AI is also good.
     
  7. cgw

    cgw TPF Noob!

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    You really should look through Bjorn Rorslett’s and Roland Vink’s sites for the lowdown on focal lengths that interest you. Might be more productive. Though way less a problem here, many other sites’ respondents tend to just echo fact-thin noise.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  8. Scott Murphy

    Scott Murphy TPF Noob!

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    I have the 105mm f/1.8 AIS but also the 10.5cm f/2.5 Nikkor P. It is a 1968 vintage according to the serial number. The AIS is sharper in the corners but there is just something about that 10.5cm when it comes to character. I love using it, even with my DSLR's. I used a Dremel and cut off wheel and cut a notch in the aperture ring so I can mount it and have metering.
     

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