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Nikon SP with 21 mm Zeiss Biogon Wide Angle Lens
Nikon F with Vivitar 90-180 Zoom Lens
Nikon EM with Nikkor 18 mm f3.5 Lens
Nikon FG with Nikkor 105 mm f1.8 Lens
I've owned a lot of Nikon cameras over the years, and have long been a major fan of the brand. Many of them have passed through my hands, and I still own quite a few of them.
This page is dedicated to Nikons past...
Nikor 85 mm f1.8Before I owned a Nikon body, I was given a water-damaged Nikkor lens, 85 mm f 1.8, a great piece of glass. At the time I was still using the Miranda system, and there was an adaptor that would permit Nikon F mount lenses to be mounted onto the Miranda body.
My water job 85 had hopelessly wrecked diaphragm blades, but I was able to get the glass cleaned up and the focus to work, so I could use it wide open, and it was great for "available darkness" shooting.
Somewhat later, after acquiring a Nikkormat body, I was able to order a new set of diaphragm blades for it and restore it to full functionality.
This was my primary lens for bicycle racing photography, which I was pretty serious about in the late '70s.
A few years ago I gave this lens to my sister, and she still has it.
Nikkormat FTnI don't recall where I bought the Nikkormat, but I gave it a lot of use. Those old Nikkormats were great cameras, and the all-metal Copal Square shutter was really superior to the cloth roller curtain shutters used on most contemporary SLRs.
Nikkormat ELThis was my first auto-exposure camera, it worked very well but could be expensive to run. It used a costly 6 volt (PX28) silver-oxide battery, and it was all too easy to forget to turn it off, which would kill the battery in a few hours.
I used to service these, which was quite a challenge, because almost any repair required removal of the printed circuit that sat atop the pentaprism...as I recall, there were some 21 tiny wires to de-solder then re-solder on reassembly!
Nikon FE/MD12The Nikon FE was a successor model to the Nikkormat EL, with a body similar to the manual-only FM. Being deep into the bicycle racing stuff, I had been greatly lusting for a motor driven camera, and when the FE came out I wound up trading my Linhof Technika 2x3 for it...not a good deal in retrospect.
Nikon 2020Our house was burglarized and the FE/MD12 were stolen. Homeowners insurance replaced it with the 2020. The 2020 has a built-in motor drive, and was also one of Nikon's first autofocus SLRs.
The autofocus was pretty useless, because it's realllllly sloooooow. However the camera is otherwise really nice, and it was a nice upgrade from the FE.
I liked this model so much that I later bought a second 2020. These were my main cameras until I went over to the digital Dark Side.
18 mm f3.5 NikkorA very nice lens despite the flaky blacking on the elements, but really kinda too wide for general use.
18-70 Nikkor ZoomBought this lens with my D-70 body. A very nice lens, but only for the digital cameras...not intended to cover the full 24 x 36 mm frame of 35 mm film.
24 mm f2.8 NikkorThis was my favorite lens for several years. I had one that I made up from two junkers:
The mechanicals came from a very well worn lens that formerly belonged to the Boston Associated Press office. It was really beat up and ugly, but focussed smoothly, thought he glass was in quite poor condition.
- The glass was much newer than the AP lens, with very nice multi-coating. I don't recall what misfortune had befallen the focus mount that came with this lens.
In any case, the result was a really ugly lens with great optics. I used this for quite a few years, before finally giving it to a good friend in France.
24 mm f 2.8 Sigma AFThis was a replacement for the lens above, one of my first autofocus lenses.
28-85 Nikkor ZoomMy first autofocus lens, not a huge range but a useful range.
50 mm f1.4 NikkorI've actually got a couple of these, also a 50 mm f 1.8 "E" series lens.
One of the 1.4s is a quite old one that I did a home-made AI conversion to.
55 mm f2.8 Micro Nikkor
60 mm f2.8 Micro Nikkor AFI got this after buying the D70, because it was more compatible with the electronics.
70-300 Nikkor Zoom AutofocusI got this after buying the D70, it is not intended for full frame use, but it is an autofocus and focusses very fast. Surprisingly inexpensive, with excellent performance.
90 mm f2.8 Vivitar Series 1 MacroThe Vivitar Series 1 lenses have a well deserved reputation for high performance and versatility.
90-180 mm f4.5 Vivitar Series 1 "Flat Field" ZoomThe legendary Vivitar Series I "flat field" 90-180 zoom. The zoom range was never very impressive, but this is a very high perfomrance lens, intended mainly for macro use. It's big and heavy, and has a tripod mount built onto a collar near the middle of the lens.
The tripod mount turns out to be a super feature. When I was doing a lot of product photoghraphy in 35, this gave some of the versatility of a large format camera, because I could have a couple of bodies loaded with different emulsions, say one with Tri-x and another with Kodacrhome, and once I had a shot set up I could just switch from one body to the other, much as a large format camera changes backs.
105 mm f1.8 NikkorNikon's reputation was built, to a large extent on the excellence of their 105 mm f2.5, which many photographers consider the ideal lens for portraits. I've never owned one of those, though I've used them on occasion.
The 1.8 combines this versatile focal length with enough speed to make it quite useful in low light situations. I bought this particularly for theatre/concert use, and have been quite well pleased with the results.
200 mm f3.0 Vivitar Series 1 TeleThis is a slightly upsized version of the legendary "Olympic Sonnar" 180/2.8 that Zeiss developed for the 1936 Olympics. A very good performing lens, quite a lot better than the Nikkor 200/4.
300 f5.6 Mirror Lens
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