AF-Nikkor 80mm f/2.8 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! Anybody rocked a mullet several decades ago? I once had a mullet and even had it quite recently. It’s considered ugly today, and you’ll get images of MacGyver in your mind whenever you see somebody who has it. That was the 1980s for you. But mind you, not all things from that time is ugly. There are things that were made back then that made plenty of sense, some of the most beautiful things were made during that time, too. Today, I will show you something that stuck-out amongst the rest. Compared to what the other manufacturers were making, this is pretty in a sea of ugliness.

Introduction:

The AF-Nikkor 80mm f/2.8 Ai-S is an odd lens today. Many people do not see or even knew about it but it has attained cult status amongst people who do and that all has to do with a special characteristic of this lens which you will see later in this article. This was made to compliment the Nikon F3AF, that’s the first professional autofocus Nikon that entered production. Without any lenses that could autofocus that camera would have been useless. Back then the servos and motors needed for this were relatively huge and fitting them to a small lens was challenging but Nikon did it and in an elegant way, too.

It’s a familiar-looking shape but back then many AF lenses have unusual or even out-of-place form like what Pentax and Canon had for example. Those were ugly, Nikon thankfully had better sense and taste! The engineers did a lot of work just so that the barrel is cylindrical as it should be. That made it easier to grip and it doesn’t feel odd in your hands. This may sound trivial, I don’t think anybody realized how difficult it was until they consider that it was the early 1980s and miniaturization wasn’t as good as it is today. Do you remember how ugly the old handy-cams were? That’s just the result of what technology could offer us back then.

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Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! I went to the $1 shop to buy some supplies. It’s incredible what you could buy for just $1, it’s surely helpful for my savings. What can you buy for $1? Not much, a burger from McDonald’s, perhaps? Cigarettes? I don’t think so, too. Well, maybe a loaf of cheap bread? How about a lens? Yes, a lens. I was lucky enough to find one for $1! It was sold as junk and the state was utterly poor so it was sold for just that much. I didn’t even have a second thought and I just caught it as soon as it was placed in the basket by the shop owner. Today, I will share with you my lucky find and I will show you what makes it even more special.

Introduction:

The Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Ai-S was introduced in 1983. It’s one of the new designs from Nikon to accompany their then-new flagship camera, the Nikon F3. Designing this was difficult since it had to use 52mm filters, it was important since it was conceived to be a lens for daily use. It had to be compact, too. Through great hardships, the designers eventually produced a lens that would define a new class of Zoom-Nikkors.

This is a lovely, little lens. It’s not as compact as a prime lens but for a zoom it is quite small specially considering its focal-range. It’s the first Nikkor for this genre, a general-purpose zoom-lens with a focal-range that’s more-than double, most of these lenses have the now-familiar variable-aperture. It was important to have a fixed-aperture for zooms back then, it affects metering but that’s not such a big deal in the 1980s when TTL metering became more reliable. Of course, professional lenses will mostly have a fixed-aperture but most won’t mind this at all, the most important thing is that it zooms and it takes decent photos.

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Repair: Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 Ai-P

Hello, everybody! I was looking at reviews of The Ten Commandments. This movie is one of my favorites, it’s the original movie that will make you pee at the seat because it’s too long! What many don’t realize is that this movie is a remake, a re-imagination of an earlier film with the same title. It was so good that people forgot about the original movie. This is rare because many remakes these days pale in comparison to the originals like Ghostbusters. It is such an entertaining film that I never get tired of watching it. Since we’re talking about remakes, I’ll show you a lens that’s a re-imagination of an old design, a modern remake of a real classic, and it’s better in many ways.

Introduction:

The Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 Ai-P is a modern take on a classic lens design. It was sold from 2001-2006 to compliment the Nikon FM3A. When this debuted, it kind of confused and excited the market since both it and the Nikon FM3A are re-imagination of old, manual equipment. People were used to seeing a new, modern design coming out each month at that time, but this? It has an appeal that and many people fell-in-love with this combo that they will not part with their setup. This was making a big statement, film isn’t dead. This was a time when people were selling all of their film cameras to buy digital cameras. Could it get any bolder? Hats-off to Nikon and the engineers!

It’s a really tiny lens, so-tiny that it can be annoying to use at times. Cameras with large, over-hanging prisms can be problematic since it can obstruct the view and you can’t see the aperture scale well. You can also get confused, its rings are so-thin and spaced closely-together you can accidentally turn any of them. These are sacrifices that we all have to make just so we can use the tiniest F-mount Nikkor.

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Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! I was watching some old basketball matches and I saw a familiar face, Muggsy Bogues. He’s tiny by NBA standards, certainly not the typical player in this league. I always admired him since he held his own in a game dominated by giants. He showed determination and drive, that was his biggest asset and that made him very entertaining to watch. There were many people who were surprised back then at his performance and he was and still is an inspiration for a lot of people who play ball. Today, I will show you a lens that’s tiny but it packs a huge punch. It’s unassuming and people poo-poo’d it on the internet but I’ll demonstrate just how nice it is specially considering its humble origins as a “kit-lens”.

Introduction:

The Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 Ai-S was made from 1984-2005. It’s what Nikon had to counter what its competitors were making at the time. It was a time when cheap, compact and competitive zoom-lenses were replacing the normal 50mm prime lens as part of a beginner’s kit. They have to be cheap, small and good in order to attract would-be photographers. Consider these as entry-level drugs to photography the same way as 18-55mm zooms were for photographers from the mid-2000s up to this day.

This is a really cheap-looking Nikkor, even the grip is plastic. Despite that, it can handle a lot of abuse as you can see from my sample. I got this for a low price because of its condition. I wouldn’t bother with it if it costs more. This is one of the bottom-shelf Nikkors that were made for the budget-conscious. Many people confuse this with the Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5-4.8 Ai-S, the names sound similar and they look nearly-identical, too. The latter is what many people use to reference with this lens, they may have been confused, too. And that also contributes to this lens’ bad reputation.

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Review: Kodak Gold 200

Hello, everybody! Does anybody here enjoy a McDonald’s burger? I used to think that they’re terrible since my gold-standard is always Burger King. It’s something that I used to eat a lot to save money but I didn’t recall loving it. I always thought that it’s bland, mediocre and small but it gets the job done. I came to realize lately that they’re better than how I remembered them to be and they can be quite tasty, too. There are some things that are worth a look after not having them for a long time. We’re probably attached to the image or taste of something that it made our opinion biased. Today, I’ll show you a good example of something that many of us take for granted but it really is a decent product that’s worth another look.

Introduction:

Everyone knows that my favorite cheap film is the Fujifilm Industrial 100. It was the best bang-for-buck film available locally but Fujifilm decided to end its production so prices went up to unreasonable levels. I was faced with no other choice but to make-peace with a film that I hated, the Kodak Gold 200. I never had any great experiences with it before but I also did not hate it so much that I won’t ever use it unlike Mitsubishi’s cheap version that I used to buy a very long time ago. I hated it because it didn’t give me the qualities of the Fujifilm Industrial 100 and I hated shooting with ISO200. It’s a weird ISO and I preferred ISO100 for slower films and ISO400 for moderate ones. This is a weird in-between ISO that I have not much use for. With ISO100 I could calculate my exposure within my mind but ISO200 throws things off.

This film is still priced reasonably-well despite not being cheap at all. I am a cheap photographer and I would never use expensive stocks unless the lens I used demands it. For taking mundane photos of daily things I prefer cheap films. Having said that, I bought many rolls of this to give it another chance. I was surprised by what I saw, it wasn’t as bad as I remembered it to be! It’s quite decent to be honest, maybe my photography skills have improved or I was just shooting with cheap equipment back then (a Canon T80 and zoom).

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Repair: Nikkor 135mm f/3.5 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! I’m currently tired of what’s happening at work, life and the world. Things aren’t going smoothly and I have to deal with difficult and unreasonable people. Hopefully, that will all change as it’s driving me to my physical, mental and emotional limits. There’s always closure to everything, nothing is permanent. Speaking about closures, I’ll show you the last lens in one of Nikon’s longest-selling lens family. It marked the end of an era and it is a worthy lens to end it all.

Introduction:

The Nikkor 135mm f/3.5 Ai-S was sold from 1981 to 1983, a very short period as far as Nikkors go. It’s the last lens in the 135/3.5 family which began with the Nikkor-Q•C 13.5cm f/3.5 from the early days of Nikon. That lens family is known for being reliable, sharp and practical. With the arrival of autofocus and other technologies and trends, this lens family became redundant. The market demanded something else and that made it difficult to sell this lens.

It’s similar to the older Nikkor 135mm f/3.5 Ai in terms of dimensions but it’s lighter because it was made with fewer parts. It’s an elegant lens with clean lines and is a joy to hold in your hands.

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Repair: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S (Long-Nose)

Hello, everybody! I was craving for some Dunkin’ Donuts but we only have Mister Donut here. Their doughnuts look, taste and priced similarly so that will do. I personally don’t think that one is better than the other but there’s a few things on the menu that can make you decide better and one of them is the coffee. I always love Mister Donut’s coffee, it just tastes better. It offers better value than the hipster cafés’ offerings and it’s real coffee unlike what many kids like these days which are closer to confectionary than coffee. The taste and aroma should be clean. Today, I’m going to show you 2 lenses and let you decide which one is better. They’re nearly-identical like my example with the 2 doughnut companies, choosing which one is better is personal, it is something that only you can decide and I’ll help guide you through it.

Introduction:

The Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S replaced the older Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai during the time when Nikon was in full-swing to replace older Nikkors for the then-new Nikon F3. The version we’re going to talk about is the older “long-nose” model. This was sold from 1981 to 1985, a short time for a Nikkor. It was not sold domestically in Japan where the newer, compact Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S was sold instead of this. It can be very confusing talking about both lenses in the same article so I’ll refer to both lenses using adjectives.

This is a beautiful lens, the last of its kind. It’s the last 50/1.8 manual Nikkor that was made with a standard-sized barrel. This may not mean much but it can be a huge deciding factor for some. This is also the last 50/1.8 that has a pair of claws for use with older cameras.

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Repair: Nikon F part 3

Hello, everybody! Do you like Culture Club? I love Boy George a lot, his voice is unique and that adds a special something to their songs. One of their best songs is Time, it’s catchy and you can dance to it, too. It doesn’t sound old, it is a great example of how creative people were in the 1980s. People are not afraid of experimenting with different styles and express it. This is why I’m so in love with the decade, it’s a special part of my life. I’d love to go back in time and enjoy the decade all-over again for a day. While we’re on the topic of time, I will show you how time is handled in a Nikon. I’ll show you how it is controlled and how to make sure that your camera works flawlessly.

Introduction:

The Nikon F’s shutter is legendary not only because it’s reliable and tough. It is a very convenient design that allows you to turn it continuously. This was called the “endless shutter” by Nikon’s marketing a long time ago and it was coined during the Nikon SP’s debut. This was a huge step for Japan, this was something that no Japanese camera did, you could turn the dial “endlessly” without having to stop and turn the other way to get to the other end of the shutter-speed’s range. Since the Nikon F inherited the shutter mechanism of the Nikon SP you can treat its operation as fundamentally identical despite some minor differences in operation.

The Nikon F’s shutter is a joy to work with, it enables you to change it with a quick turn of a knob. This is beneficial when shooting street photography, it can mean a lost shot if you’re not quick enough. The perfect companion for this is a Nikkor-S 35mm f/2.8 Auto, street photography demands that you use a 35mm or 50mm lens.

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Repair: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai

Hello, everybody. It was my first time to taste Kingfisher last night. I liked it a lot, it’s refreshing, light and it has no disgusting aftertaste. Before I had it I was content with Asahi’s Super-Dry but Kingfisher is now my new favorite. I won’t be drinking it regularly since it’s difficult to source locally and it’s not cheap either. Today, I’ll show you something that changed my opinion. I was happy with some of the older lenses from its class but this one is now a new favorite and I even prefer this over all of its successors.

Introduction:

The Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai debuted in 1978 and it replaced the Nikkor 50mm f/2 Ai as Nikon’s “standard-lens”. It was made for only about 4 years which is quite short in my opinion so not a lot of people know about this, that’ why I call this the “forgotten Nikkor“. It was apparent that Nikon needed a lens in the 50/1.8 class in the mid-1970s since f/1.8 is starting to become the norm as far as maximum aperture goes for standard-lenses. Why a “standard-lens”? That name was coined since lenses of this class tend to be sold together with the manufacturer’s cameras, they’re called “kit-lenses” today and nearly-all of them are zoom-lenses but back-in-the day 50mm lenses played the role of the cheap plastic zooms that we’re used to see these days. They were easier to design and manufacture, too.

It handles pretty much the same as the older New-Nikkor 50mm f/2 so it will be familiar to your hands if you’re used to the older lens. I like this lens a lot because of its practical specs and build, it feels solid in your hands, you will definitely feel the legendary New-Nikkor build quality. The front lens is a bit recessed which helps in protecting the front element from fingers and light. That’s not an excuse for not using a hood and you should definitely get one.

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Repair: Nikon F part 2

Hello, everybody! Do you remember Disney’sSnow White“? There’s a scene there where the witch seeks confirmation of her beauty from an enchanted mirror. I found that deep, almost psychological. It’s an interesting scene, the witch can represent one’s ego seeking comfort from itself but the enchanted mirror said something which made her upset, that can represent insecurity. It’s like the mind is saying that there’s someone better. I never thought that a scene from a movie for children made during the pre-war years could be so profound. Speaking of mirrors, I will show you a magic mirror that never lies. It showed Japan, no, the world what the future is like. It’s the dawn of a new era and Nikon’s golden age where nobody could challenge her for 2-3 decades to come.

Introduction:

Before the Nikon F debuted SLR cameras were clumsy to use, the technology hadn’t matured yet so it became the template of what an SLR should be. The basic format stayed, you’ll see its influence to this day. Despite the ground-breaking design, Nikon did not pioneer the designs and mechanisms needed to create the Nikon F, much of its concepts were copied then improved from other manufacturers’ designs but it was Nikon who combined them all into a single, seamless design that worked together in harmony. It was a success and a lot of it can be attributed to its very reliable mirror-box which is very elegant in simplicity and function.

Not only is the Nikon F’s viewfinder large, offering 100% frame coverage, it also has 1:1 magnification which makes it easy for your eyes. You also have the option to change the focusing screen to whatever suits the situation. It’s something that made it a huge hit specially with sports photographers since it’s the first time something this elegant was made. It allows you to see what the lens sees and you can accurately frame your shot even with a telephoto lens that’s longer than 135mm, the limit for rangefinder-coupled cameras.

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