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Nikon manual telephoto lenses - any suggestions?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 sneeds

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Posted Yesterday, 10:29 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I'm looking for a decent telephoto lens for a D5300 in the range of 150 mm - 300 mm.  I prefer the older Nikon lenses mostly due to the price and it would likely be a dedicated lens for astro.  I've got the wide angles covered so this would just be for bigger deep sky stuff like M31, etc.

 

I had great success when I was shooting Canon with a 70-200 mm f4 L.  Sadly, I regrettably sold it.  I've recently acquired the D5300 with an 18-140 which can be nasty wide open at 140 in terms of CA and coma, which surprised me a bit although it is a 'super-zoom' lens (I'll try stopping it down as well and see).  I can't afford the Nikon equivalent to the Canon, so thought some older manual lenses might fit the bill.

 

Any suggestions?  Primes or zooms, doesn't matter.  (And yes I know that primes are generally simpler in construction and have less compromises = potentially better image quality...).  Does anyone use a nice old Nikon lens and enjoy it?

 

Thanks!



#2 the Elf

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Posted Yesterday, 11:07 AM

Not a Nikon but old, cheap and in the focal range: Ashai Pentax Super Takumar 200mm. If there is an M42 adapter for your Nikon it should work. I did a few shots with it but replaced it by the askar 180mm.

I got my Takumar for Eur 50 on e-bay. For the price the quality is good, compared to modern glass not so much.


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#3 sneeds

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Posted Yesterday, 11:20 AM

Not a Nikon but old, cheap and in the focal range: Ashai Pentax Super Takumar 200mm. If there is an M42 adapter for your Nikon it should work. I did a few shots with it but replaced it by the askar 180mm.

I got my Takumar for Eur 50 on e-bay. For the price the quality is good, compared to modern glass not so much.

Thanks for the suggestion!  It was my understanding that the focal flange distance for M42 screw mount is less than Nikon F - so there shouldn't be an adapter without more 'optical' glass in the way to achieve infinity focus.

 

That's the problem with Nikon, you can't really adapt many lenses from other mounts as most (other than a couple like adaptall) have focal flange distances < 46.5 mm (Nikon).  But you can mount a ton of the old Nikon lenses on new bodies (unlike Canon).



#4 haleakala

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Posted Yesterday, 01:56 PM

Nikkor 180mm F2.8 ED MF

https://www.kenrockw...ikon/180f28.htm

 

This is considered the sharpest Nikon lens of all time and definitely on my shopping list. Lots on ebay.


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#5 KLWalsh

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Posted Yesterday, 02:03 PM

Nikkor 180mm F2.8 ED MF
https://www.kenrockw...ikon/180f28.htm

This is considered the sharpest Nikon lens of all time and definitely on my shopping list. Lots on ebay.


👍
I was going to suggest checking the Ken Rockwell website. It’s a treasure trove of info.
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#6 Christopher Erickson

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Posted Yesterday, 10:29 PM

Just some FWIW notes...

 

* Fixed-focal length lenses are just about always sharper than zooms.

 

* Generally, film-era lenses are not as sharp as modern lenses. We have better glass and design software now. And modern megapixel cams have higher resolution than any film ever had.

 

* Most fast film-era lenses are a lot sharper and show less optical defects when stopped down about two stops. Even Nikkors.

 

* Check out the Irix 150mm f2.8 macro lens for Nikon, Canon and Pentax mounts. It is STUNNING for astro. And affordable.

 

https://irixlens.com...to-lenses/150mm



#7 whwang

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Posted Today, 12:40 PM

I had an AIS 180/2.8 ED. It was an excellent lens in the film era. Used correctly, it can produce images that rival some from medium format cameras.

Unfortunately, it can’t keep up with digital sensors. It’s just ok to be used on APS-C cameras, but not quite so on FF because of its mediocre corner sharpness and lateral color aberration. I sold mine and switched to Sigma 180/2.8, and never look back.

If you are on a tight budget and if you can find a reasonably priced, good copy of the AIS 180/2.8, then I can still recommend it to you, since you are using an APS-C camera.

#8 Iamhondo

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Posted Today, 03:24 PM

I'll reiterate the recommendation of the Nikkor AI-S 180mm f/2.8 ED MF. At f/4 or higher, it's wonderful.

 

I like the Nikkor AI-S 50mm f/1.4 for wide field work. (Some people link the related f/1.8 version has better glass.)

The other easy recommendation is the Nikkor AI-S 28mm f/2.8.

 

Realize you'll need to stop these lenses down for better sharpness and color. I think a lot of people give up on the old MF lenses after shooting wide open.

 

I have Nikkor 105mm and 135mm lenses, too. The optics are great. But the FOV is always a little to small or large. 

Happy wide-fielding.



#9 the Elf

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Posted Today, 03:41 PM

Are you looking for a lens as opposed to a telescope for some reason? When it is about finding a reasonable priced way to image at a short focal length the askar FMA 180 or 135 might be the best deal for you.

The 135 is CAD 355  here:

https://www.ontariot...com/fma135.html

The 180mm is CAD 490. In both cases the flattener is included.

I assume the 135 delivers a similar image quality but I can't say for sure because I own the 180mm only. Technically the construction should be similar. Find my review of the 180mm here:

https://www.elf-of-l...Art_FMA180.html

Example image:

https://www.elf-of-l...ti2021_full.jpg


Edited by the Elf, Today, 03:45 PM.



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