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View Full Version : Legacy Lenses Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 and 180/2.8 AI



Godfrey
07-29-2007, 07:44 AM
I owned and used one of Nikkor 105/2.5AI-S lenses for 20 years with my Nikon FM/FE2/F3 system. It is without a doubt one of the classics in the Nikon range. The 180/2.8 was a lens I long wanted in the Nikon range but couldn't really afford in that day 20 years ago ...

Since my work today with the Panasonic L1 is primarily at the shorter end of the spectrum, I didn't want to spend the money for the Olympus 50-200 zoom and decided to try adapting these lenses as they proved to be available very inexpensively now. I bought a pair of Nikon to 4/3 adapters from fotodiox.com ... together with this pair of lenses from my local retailer amounted to about $250.

Both lenses function very well on the L1 body: I can focus them accurately with the optical viewfinder at lens openings down to f/8-f/11, the image quality is very good, and at least the 105 is quite easy to hand hold. A 180mm lens is a bit longer than I'm comfortable hand-holding, so the camera goes on the tripod for that one. Both produces excellent image quality and rendering performance center to edge on the 4/3 format, as you would expect from premium lenses designed for a larger format.

The inconveniences of using an adapted lens are well worth it to me for the few times I tend to shoot with such long focal lengths. These two perform very well and at a quarter the price of the Oly 50-200.

Godfrey

mozgj
07-29-2007, 08:48 AM
I have seen examples of some old premium Nikon telephoto primes exhibiting really bad purple fringing around objects with a bright background when they were used with a digital sensor. Did you notice any with yours?

snaarman
07-30-2007, 09:29 AM
Godfrey

Hi there. I am also an ex Nikon FE2 driver. I now use a cheap E-series 50mm 1.8 on an E-400 body and (given the usual limitations) I am well pleased with it.

I seem to remember the 105 f2.5 was one of Nikon's legendary lenses. Alas, I never owned one. Do you have any example shots you can post?

Pete

Godfrey
07-31-2007, 01:43 PM
I have seen examples of some old premium Nikon telephoto primes exhibiting really bad purple fringing around objects with a bright background when they were used with a digital sensor. Did you notice any with yours?

I haven't noticed any such fringing so far. I did a series of landscapes over water which has plenty of specular reflecting edges using the 180/2.8 and don't seen anything like this. I haven't used the 105/2.5 in conditions that would stress this kind of behavior, but those situations where I've used it it has proven to have very nice image quality.

Edge blooming and fringing is an issue that goes across a lot of lenses and sensors, nearly all show it in some circumstances. In many cases you simply have to know what to look for and avoid the conditions that cause it.

Godfrey

Godfrey
07-31-2007, 01:50 PM
I am also an ex Nikon FE2 driver. I now use a cheap E-series 50mm 1.8 on an E-400 body and (given the usual limitations) I am well pleased with it.

I seem to remember the 105 f2.5 was one of Nikon's legendary lenses. Alas, I never owned one. Do you have any example shots you can post?

I used one of those 50mm lenses for a long time, bought used at a flea market for $10 IIRC. It's a remarkably good lens for being one of the 'budget' series Nikkors of its day. It is only single coated, however, so use it with a lens hood for best results.

The Nikkor 105/2.5 was certainly one of Nikon's legends ... I think they made it through several generations and updates, but it was always one of the nicest rendering lenses they offered. I'll have to pull few photos I made with it and post them ... stay tuned. :-)

Godfrey

Den
08-03-2007, 10:32 AM
I love my 105mm f2.5 and have been eyeing up the 180mm f1.8. I have a 50-200mm as well, which is optically superior, but often far too big and heavy for my needs...

Here are a couple of random shots from my 105mm:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1142/541985373_412100f1d7.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1358/558386356_bdc0e44bbb.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/199/485717770_d6bbf7c5e4.jpg

Godfrey
08-03-2007, 11:32 AM
I love my 105mm f2.5 and have been eyeing up the 180mm f1.8. I have a 50-200mm as well, which is optically superior, but often far too big and heavy for my needs...


Lovely work, Den!

Yes, it's nice to get such great reach in a small, fast lens like the 105/2.5. The 180/2.8 is similarly very small and light for its speed and reach: it's about as bulky as the Leica 14-50 zoom and a bit heavier. One nice thing for my setup is that the Oly 11-22, Leica 14-50 and Nikkor 180/2.8 all take the same 72mm filter size, which saves if you use a polarizer or deep ND filter very often.

Godfrey - www.gdgphoto.com (http://www.gdgphoto.com)

Godfrey
08-12-2007, 03:21 PM
I just posted another one of a series I'm doing, "Ground Signs" to the Photos forum in "Others". It was taken with the Nikkor 105/2.5 lens.

Godfrey