Kick Ass OIder Nikon lenses that put the latest consumer lenses to shame ( and cost less!) by Keith Hunniford

Another opinion piece!

I've been in and out of photography my whole life as a hobby but I got seriously back into photography in 2015 and yearned for the "good old days" of having a 50mm equivalent lens.  I'd just got married and money was tight, so I got creative.

$15,000 of spend on eBay and craigslist later, I'm still being creative.  With a buy low / sell high attitude I'm barely out of pocket and have about $15,000 worth of equipment.  I've tried just about every vintage Nikon lens out there.. many of the cheapo kit lenses from early DSLRs and Film Cameras, and many many prime lenses.

Along the way, I've found some real gems and some real clunkers.  I've discovered lenses that shouldn't be good - but are, and stripped down lenses to their very last part to bring them back to life.

Here are some real gems.  I'm going to blog about them too - so I'll keep a growing list of links below the video with reviews on lenses including pictures (because what's the use of talking about a lens, saying it's great and then not trying to prove it!)

If you have Nikon D3xxx or D5xxx then sorry - you're out of luck with some of these as I explain in this post

Mentioned Lenses (a growing list:) 

Don't buy an Entry Level Nikon DSLR. Bad Idea. So Sad! by Keith Hunniford

Well I said I was opinionated.

I think Nikon has done the world a massive disservice with the Nikon D3000 and D5000 series cameras.. even flagship D5600.

These cameras are well made, excellent in low light,  and in many scenarios can take photos that rival those coming out of the $6,000 D5.. but that's not the point.

What's the point?  Here's a little Nikon history lesson and my thoughts on these entry level cameras - and why the cameras I recommend to people on a budget are the D90, D7100, D700 and D3s.

Film era Auto Focus Nikon 70-210 f4 - Hidden Gem Lens for under $100 by Keith Hunniford

Something I love about Nikons is that their modern DSLRs work to varying degrees with Nikon lenses that go waaaay back.  Higher end Nikons (not the D3xxx and D5xxx series - don't get me started) work seamlessly with everything but the earliest manual focus lenses.

Not everyone wants a manual focus lens though.. and the good news is that in the 80s and 90s Nikon made some KILLER constant aperture lenses for the early auto focus Nikon film cameras.

Here's a great example, the Nikon 70-210 f4D.  This constant f4 lens (maximum aperture doesn't change through the zoom range) has recently been replaced with a new f4 VR lens that is of course better, but costs $1,500!

Is this lens good?  Yes - it's great, and it's kicking around for under $200 on eBay, and as low as $100 if you're lucky (which I was).

I love my twin ring Nikon 80-200 f2.8 but I gotta tell you, there are definitely times I don't want to lug it around, and this cheap little f4 performs well enough that I'm not going to kick myself if that's all I've got with me.  If I'm travelling, then this is going along for the ride (with the 85mm f1.8G,  50mm f1.8G and vintage 20mm f4.

Here's a size comparison with the f2.8D and a very nice beer.

 

 

.. and hey - there's no point talking about a lens and not posting some photos taken with it.   Here's a sample taken in evening light near home that illustrating sharpness, available depth of field control and general handling.  All shot on Nikon D3s.