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Nikkor HC 50mm F2... Wow, I am impressed
Old 05-14-2010   #1
hipsterdufus
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Nikkor HC 50mm F2... Wow, I am impressed

So, my deal-hunting finally paid off on the auction site and I found a nice Nikkor HC. This lens has exactly the right OOF areas that I am looking for and has absolutely wonderful ergonomics. I took the following picture with my Bessa R2 a 1/500th of a second wide open with the Nikkor lens. It was shot on Fuji Superia 200. While I don't consider myself a particularly good nature photographer, I still love this picture:



And for those who are interested in how it looks on my recently reskinned Bessa R2:



Does anyone else have some examples from this great little lens?
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Old 05-14-2010   #2
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I have two Nikkors 50f2.0 and one 50f1.4. I love the shots with all three and I am tired of the haze, soft glass of Leica LTM lenses. I have been lucky to get the Nikkor lenses on Ebay with moderate bids.
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Old 07-06-2010   #3
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I have one just like this with a serial number a couple hundred off from yours. a great little lens. I like the bokeh of the f1.4 better because it's smoother and not as harsh. But this lens is still very sharp and good. One of my favorites.
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Old 07-06-2010   #4
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These are supposed to be Sonnar type lenses. Do they have the focus shift as you stop down like the modern Zeiss C-Sonnar 50/1.5 ?? I'd love to have a C-Sonnar but the focus shift puts me off. And, yes it is real, I've seen plenty of proof that it is not an 'internet myth' as some have dubbed it. Plus, the Nikon's are a hell of a lot cheaper than the Zeiss.
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Old 08-11-2010   #5
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yeah it's a great lens for the money. Well made too.
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Old 08-12-2010   #6
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Sonnars all shift Chris. For the ZM Sonnar it was very obvious, since it was optimized for f2.8, originally, and the contrast is much higher than with classic lenses.

The Nikkors 50/1.4 and 50/2 have lower contrast, are optimized for close up and wide open, and shift gets hidden behind the DOF when closing down. Meaning, at infinity and closing down, you'll get a little less resolution, even in the center, than an equivalent Planar type lens of the same period (like the DR Summicron). But hardly noticeable. We've done tests here, with a friend, and even the modern Nikkor 50/1.4 Millenium behaves like this at infinity, when compared to say, a Summilux or Noctilux (both a tiny bit sharper at infinity, but lower performance close up).

Other benefits of Sonnars are the small size, typically low distortion and flare resistance (few glass surfaces). Which is why they were so popular, IMO.

That's my take on it anyways. I've owned (and tested against each other) Nikkor 50/1.4 (different vintages), Nikkor 50/2, ZM 50/1.5, Canon 50/1.5, ZM 50/1.5 (early Jupiter 3). The only one I've kept is the Nikkor 50/1.4 NKT.

The Nikkor 50/2 is an outstanding lens. Unfortunately not as cheap anymore as it used to be.

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Roland.

Last edited by ferider : 08-12-2010 at 07:14.
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Old 08-12-2010   #7
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I used to own a Nikkor 50/2 LTM. In my first 50mm lens comparisons at RFF, it stood out as the top performer in the comparison. Too bad that the cost for such a lens has gone up.
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Old 08-12-2010   #8
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Very nice bokeh. Not quite my personal taste, with the "ring of light" bokeh, but, very nice.
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Old 08-12-2010   #9
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This is my one and only Sonnar type lens that I got from Roland a while back. I usually use slower, even smaller 50s but this is quite small for F2.0 and I like how it renders especially for portraits.



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Old 08-12-2010   #10
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Wow, it's been awhile since I started this thread. Since buying this lens, I still feel that it was a great value for the money. I have not noticed any "focus shift"; then again, I have not tested for it, since I am only using the lens on film. I do have out of focus pictures every now and then, but I usually assume that it is my error, paired with the short EBL of the R2. Overall, the number of hits vs. misses has been phenomenal, so I don't feel that it really warrants further testing on my part.
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Old 09-26-2010   #11
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ooh I ove my HC, nursed back to usability...checking the mail every day
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Old 09-26-2010   #12
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I now finally understand what "ugly bokeh" means.
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Old 09-26-2010   #13
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I prefer the bokeh of the Nikkor-H 5cm f/2 over its faster and more famous big brother, the Nikkor-S 5cm f/1.4. Big brother gets a lot funkier wide open.
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Old 09-26-2010   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
I prefer the bokeh of the Nikkor-H 5cm f/2 over its faster and more famous big brother, the Nikkor-S 5cm f/1.4. Big brother gets a lot funkier wide open.
Really? I love the Nikkor-S. I consider it to be one of the best 50's, to my taste.
Don't take my comment seriously though (even though it's true - I do find bokeh on most of these shots not very pleasing to my eyes, but then again, what is "pleasing bokeh"?)
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Old 09-26-2010   #15
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Millennium Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4 (gauss formula) or Nikkor-S 5cm f/1.4 (sonnar formula)?
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Old 09-26-2010   #16
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Millenium formula. But I agree, it's all subjective.
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Old 09-26-2010   #17
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I love it's lgiht blue coated lens : )

Small but quite nice performer, I think overall performances are better than Nikkor-S.C 5cm F1.4 except the aperture.

Here are first 2 shots when I got the lens from her seller.






Nikon SP / Nikkor-HC 5cm F2 (f2.0) / Fuji Superia 200







Nikon SP / Nikkor-HC 5cm F2 (f2.0) / Fuji Superia 200
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Old 10-17-2010   #18
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Fixed! Thanks to Brian's nimble fingers.
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Old 10-17-2010   #19
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Truly FABULOUS !!!!
what a lens...what a Great EYE !

Is that or is there : a Screwmount / ltm Version ???
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Old 10-17-2010   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexnotalex View Post
Fixed! Thanks to Brian's nimble fingers.
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Now THAT picture makes a kitchen table hobbyist very proud. And who would have thought that the screws in an F-Mount Nikkor-Q 135/2.8 parts lens would fit a 1950 5cm F2 Nikkor-H...

Alex's lens is LTM.

Last edited by Brian Sweeney : 10-17-2010 at 13:32.
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Old 10-17-2010   #21
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I had a PreAI Nikkor H 5CM/2 on my Nikon F, a superb lens
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Old 10-17-2010   #22
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The F-Mount Nikkor-H 50/2 is a Planar formula lens, very different from the Sonnar formula RF lens. The first F-Mount "50" was the Nikkor-S 5cm F2, which was a planar formula lens with a negative element, slight retro-focus design. Very different rendition from the Sonnar.
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Old 10-17-2010   #23
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Thanks Helen and Brian for your kind words. It's LTM. Still learning how to use it and loving the results so far.
It's always set to f2.8. Lovely pop, great shadow details, tone and gentle fall from focus.
Can't decide if I prefer the HC or my Summar... but the HC is the current live-on lens.

Here's another


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Old 10-17-2010   #24
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Kick my butt. I had one of these welded to my Waltz Envoy in 1958and did not appreciate it. The film transport went, and the first camera became landfill.

Now have one for my Nikon D3 digital. Damn good digital lens too.
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Old 10-27-2010   #25
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Gets better and better...
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Old 11-15-2010   #26
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What is the filter thread of the Nikkor 50mm f2 H-C in ltm?

Thanks.
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Old 11-15-2010   #27
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40.5mm, same as the S-Mount version.
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Old 11-15-2010   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
Truly FABULOUS !!!!
what a lens...what a Great EYE !

Is that or is there : a Screwmount / ltm Version ???
Yes Helen, there are LTM/screwmount versions of the 50/2 and 50/1.4 RFer Nikkors. I just picked one up fo next to nothing--the 50/2 that is. I also have a Tanar Tanack Kogaku 50/2 similar to the Nikkor 50/2 in everyway, including sharpness.
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Old 11-15-2010   #29
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Helen, if I hadn't found the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 ltm I just found last night, I'd have bid on this one on the bayE. (the seller didn't list this as well as he should have)>

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT
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Old 11-15-2010   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney View Post
40.5mm, same as the S-Mount version.
Thanks Brian: I've got one 'on the way' and wanted to get a hood and a UV filter for it.
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Old 11-15-2010   #31
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In my experience, The Nikkor-HC is a faithful reincarnation of the Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm f2 Sonnar "T"- except in the proper focal length for a Leica and available in LTM. I remounted a wartime CZJ 5cm f2 Sonnar "T" in LTM, and have used both with film and with the M8. The coating on the Nikkor is harder and less prone to damage than the Zeiss, especially the inner surfaces. The threads used for the retaining ring of the Nikkor is the same as that used on the Zeiss optics module, also the same as the I-61. If I decide to remount the latest CZJ 5cm f2 Sonnar "T" in LTM, it will be with a Nikkor mount. Right now, it is shimmed for S-Mount and on the Nikon SP. I do not have a Collapsible S-Mount lens, my collapsible Nikkor is in Leica mount.
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Old 11-15-2010   #32
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Here are some BW shots - Kodak 400CN (C-41) - with the 'HC, hood and skylight filter.... great separation and pleasing backgrounds as usual... I think I need a yellow filter though.
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Old 11-25-2010   #33
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More HC-powered goodness. What would a 50 'cron bring to the party apart from a better f2?
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Old 11-30-2010   #34
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Now I find my Nikkor Sonnar GAS building again... most of my shots are indoor and up close. Would I get better mileage from the f1.4? or another Sonnar?
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Old 11-30-2010   #35
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The Nikkor 5cm F1.4 is a bit "harsher" in the out of focus areas than the F2. It is sharp.

The Canon 50/1.5 is probably closer in rendition to the original Sonnar and the F2 Nikkor.

Me- I'm hooked on the pre-war and wartime 5cm F1.5 Sonnars converted to LTM using a J-3. Usually, the focus is good enough to use past 10m even wide-open. Stop down a little for infinity.
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Old 11-30-2010   #36
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Wow, the prewar Sonnar is just amazing, I think it has the edge.
Thanks Brian, you're the Sonnar meister!
Here's another from the my copy you nursed back to health. Not sure if I missed the focus, or shot at f2, still happy with the result.
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Old 12-30-2010   #37
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oui, oui, oui!
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Old 12-30-2010   #38
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Saddly the secret of how well LTM Nikkors paint the light has been spread (I blame Kiu, Fred and Roland for this, perhaps Jon too) and the price continues to be strong. I loved them so much I switched to Nikon Rangefinders and loved it.

Alex great shots, wonderful subjects, you are a lucky man on so many fronts!

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-30-2010   #39
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Alex,

You might want to pick up an old 24/2.8 and 105/2.5 for your D40. You can find good examples in lots of places and you might find it a fun combo.

Getting back On Topic, either a 35/2.5 or 35/1.8 would go very well on your Canon P, though hard to find these days.

I do so love passing GAS......

Excuuuuussssssse Meeeeeeeeeeee

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Old 12-30-2010   #40
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Love mine, both on my M2 and my M8.








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