Monday, September 06, 2010

Nikon AI/AI-S Data

I'm a big fan of 20-30 year old Nikon AI/AI-S lenses on modern Digital SLRs*, choose wisely and you can get some excellent quality glass for very little money. These lenses offer:
  • Superb build quality
  • Lovely tactile focus (no AF here!)
  • Depth of field scales
All this suits landscape photography well, but may not be to everyone's taste. There's plenty of good examples of these lenses around, many are in excellent condition and prices seem very reasonable. Also, these are unlikely to depreciate very quickly, so if you do buy one on ebay or whatever, but then decide to sell it on, chances are you won't lose anything.

If you're tempted (be warned it's easy to turn into a collector of these gems!), here's a couple of really useful links:

For mini 'reviews' of almost the whole range, see here (scroll down to the bottom for links to lenses).

For a database of specifications, see here (includes serial no. ranges so you can estimate production date or confirm variant).

For Bjørn Rørslett's concise lens opinions see here.

One of my top recommendations would be a 55mm f/2.8 macro, you can pick one up for less then £150.

* NB You should check your camera manual for compatibility, as not all metering functions will be supported on all bodies.

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