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What is the best zoom lens for a Nikon F2?
Old 11-17-2019   #1
shorelineae
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What is the best zoom lens for a Nikon F2?

Can you recommend a good zoom lens for use with a Nikon F2. Im interested in the 50-200 mm range. Of course, as light as possible, as cheap as possible - if possible haha.

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What is the best zoom lens for a Nikon F2?
Old 11-17-2019   #2
maigo
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What is the best zoom lens for a Nikon F2?

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f3.5

520grams.

https://imaging.nikon.com/history/story/0042/index.htm

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...ls/36150mm.htm


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Old 11-17-2019   #3
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I'm with Maigo on this one. Very compact and lightweight. Image quality is EXCELLENT; a lot of those Ë"series lenses are absolute sleepers.
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Old 11-17-2019   #4
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If you can find a Nikkor 50-135mm f/3.5 they are very good (but quite scarce).

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Old 11-18-2019   #5
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Nikon Series E 75-150mm f3.5

520grams.
Thanks for the reply. Sounds very good, very well reviewed, although focus creep seems to be a problem...
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Old 11-18-2019   #6
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The Nikon F2 is my main 35mm film SLR. In my opinion, the best zoom in the 50-200mm range is the 80-200mm f/2.8.

When shooting in a hostile environment, I use the inexpensive 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E mounted on the inexpensive Nikon EM as a substitute for the more expensive 80-200mm f/2.8 mounted on a Nikon F2.

When I need a lightweight and inexpensive telephoto zoom on my F2, I will mount the 75-150 on my F2.


Nikon Zooms by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 11-18-2019   #7
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The obvious answer is the 80-200 f4.5, second version. Very light, very sharp, and inexpensive. The only down side is focus creep. With that lens, it's more of a focus race. Most are very loose and will slide easily unless you hold the zoom/focus ring. The other suggestions - the 75-150 and 50-135 are both excellent, but they don't reach the 200 range you were asking for. If you want a lens that doesn't creep, the above suggestion of a two-ring 80-200 AF lens is great. It is, however, much heavier than the 4.5.
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Vivitar Series 1 lenses are nice
Old 11-18-2019   #8
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Vivitar Series 1 lenses are nice

Dear shorelineae,

If you will look at 3rd party lenses I've been able to find several Vivitar Series 1 lenses in various ranges like 28-105 and 70-210 for relatively short money. I've bought a few for as little as $9.99 plus shipping through Shopgoodwill auctions. An expensive one might run $ 20.00, but you usually get a hard case with the expensive ones. There are also 28-70 and 35-80 lenses that are a constant f2.8 aperture but they tend to go over the $ 50.00 mark. They are worth looking into in my opinion, especially since most versions I've found have been Nikon AI or AI-S mount and they can often be used on newer Nikon film and digital bodies.

Regards,
Tim Murphy
Harrisburg, PA
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Old 11-18-2019   #9
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Better question is what is a bad telephoto zoom that I should shy away from. There are a ton of good Nikkor zooms and even some other brands.
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Old 11-18-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
Better question is what is a bad telephoto zoom that I should shy away from. There are a ton of good Nikkor zooms and even some other brands.
Two that have been disappointments to me are the 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 AIS and the 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 AIS.

They just produce softer images than I'm used to.

The 28-85 vignettes badly at 28mm with the proper (!) hood. Its zoom operation is done by a ring, which I don't like as much as push-pull.
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Old 11-18-2019   #11
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If you really want to fly under the radar, look for a Vivitar 70-150 3.8 Macro focusing zoom. Really sharp for such a cheap lens, not too heavy and doesn't have the 'theft' draw of a Nikon lens.
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Old 11-18-2019   #12
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It depends. How do you define “best?”. What are you going to use it for?

For my photography, people at weddings and portrait work; I use Canon stuff. My primary lens is the 24-70 f2,8.

Now that I’m retired, not as much.

The lens isn’t cheap but I’ve used it a fair amount. Never failed me and my Canon bodies never failed. Great products. Never worried about them performing as I had other items that kept my interest.

But Nikon makes great products.
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Old 11-18-2019   #13
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Here are four telephoto zooms that I like and use on my Nikon F2.


Telephoto Zooms by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 11-18-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
Dear shorelineae,

If you will look at 3rd party lenses I've been able to find several Vivitar Series 1 lenses in various ranges like 28-105 and 70-210 for relatively short money. I've bought a few for as little as $9.99 plus shipping through Shopgoodwill auctions. An expensive one might run $ 20.00, but you usually get a hard case with the expensive ones. There are also 28-70 and 35-80 lenses that are a constant f2.8 aperture but they tend to go over the $ 50.00 mark. They are worth looking into in my opinion, especially since most versions I've found have been Nikon AI or AI-S mount and they can often be used on newer Nikon film and digital bodies.

Regards,
Tim Murphy
Harrisburg, PA
I agree with the Vivitar Series1 lenses...I bought the 35-85mm and 70-210 lenses for my Pentax MXs plus I have the Winders on them too...good balance.
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Old 11-18-2019   #15
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I agree with a others that the Nikon 80-200/2.8 AF lens has to be one of the best tele zooms ever. Unfortunately stop down metering with the F2 is sort of a PIA. I've often wondered if it is possible to add rabbit ears to the lens? There seems to be little dimples on the lens where the rabbit ear screws would go. Anybody ever done this?
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Old 11-18-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
I agree with a others that the Nikon 80-200/2.8 AF lens has to be one of the best tele zooms ever. Unfortunately stop down metering with the F2 is sort of a PIA. I've often wondered if it is possible to add rabbit ears to the lens? There seems to be little dimples on the lens where the rabbit ear screws would go. Anybody ever done this?
Chronologically:

If you have an F2 Photomic (DP-1 head), F2S, or F2SB, you can meter any lens wide open if the lens has rabbit ears. Without rabbit ears (e.g. AF lenses), you have to meter stopped-down

If you have an F2A or F2AS, you can meter an AI, AIS, AF lens wide open even if it doesn't have rabbit ears. The ridge on the rear of the lens will tell the meter what your aperture will be at the time of exposure. Pre-AI lenses (without ridge) have to be metered stopped down.

Nikon used to, maybe still does, place dimples near f/5.6 indicating where to tap and drill for affixing rabbit ears.
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Old 11-18-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pál_K View Post
Chronologically:

If you have an F2 Photomic (DP-1 head), F2S, or F2SB, you can meter any lens wide open if the lens has rabbit ears. Without rabbit ears (e.g. AF lenses), you have to meter stopped-down

If you have an F2A or F2AS, you can meter an AI, AIS, AF lens wide open even if it doesn't have rabbit ears. The ridge on the rear of the lens will tell the meter what your aperture will be at the time of exposure. Pre-AI lenses (without ridge) have to be metered stopped down.

Nikon used to, maybe still does, place dimples near f/5.6 indicating where to tap and drill for affixing rabbit ears.
.
Thanks, I forgot the F2A didn't need the rabbit ears (I have the F2 with DP1 finder). So my 80-200 lens has three dimples, one at f4, one at 5.6 and one at f8. Are they actual screw holes painted over or do they need to be drilled and tapped. And which holes? The f4 & f8? TIA
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Old 11-19-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
... So my 80-200 lens has three dimples, one at f4, one at 5.6 and one at f8. Are they actual screw holes painted over or do they need to be drilled and tapped. And which holes? The f4 & f8? TIA
Although I don't have that lens, a close examination of this 55/2.8 Micro-Nikkor shows screws at f/4 and f/8.
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Old 11-19-2019   #19
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They need to be drilled and tapped if the aperture ring is metal. If it is the AF lens, it is probably plastic which only needs to be drilled.
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Old 11-19-2019   #20
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Galen Rowell preferred using the 75-150 E zoom. Light. Sharp, Cheap.
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Old 11-19-2019   #21
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Has no-one mentioned the 80-200 mm f4? Whether or not it’s the best choice I wouldn’t know, as I have no experience of anything else. Big and heavy, as a proper Nikkor should be, but if it’s light and compact you want don’t start with an F2. The only Nikkor that covers the required 50-200 mm is the huge and slow 50-300 mm f4.5, so a telephoto zoom and 50 mm prime are probably the best choice.
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Old 11-19-2019   #22
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The 80-200 f/4 is a slightly better performer than the 75-150. Whether that is visible in standard use is debatable. It’s about 300g heavier.

It was *the* pro zoom back in the day.

I have had later versions of the 80-200/2.8 which are excellent but prefer the f/4 as it’s lighter and uses 52mm filters along with all my other Nikkors.
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Old 11-19-2019   #23
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Quote:
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The obvious answer is the 80-200 f4.5, second version. Very light, very sharp, and inexpensive. The only down side is focus creep. With that lens, it's more of a focus race. Most are very loose and will slide easily unless you hold the zoom/focus ring. The other suggestions - the 75-150 and 50-135 are both excellent, but they don't reach the 200 range you were asking for. If you want a lens that doesn't creep, the above suggestion of a two-ring 80-200 AF lens is great. It is, however, much heavier than the 4.5.
THIS

An amazingly underrated lens, with a smooth rendering that few lenses have. This and the 25-50mm are the hidden gems of mf zooms. Focus is indeed difficult so pair it with a good focus screen and a battery pack to shoot lots of film.
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Old 11-19-2019   #24
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I will second the 80-200 f4.5, second version. great lens, much smaller than my dads old 2.8 and takes 52mm filters. I got mine for $50 and could be my best low cost buys ever
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Old 11-19-2019   #25
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I still have the 80-200/4.5 Nikkor. It is an excellent lens optically.
Heavy. Zoom moves easily. By itself
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Old 11-19-2019   #26
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Great information, thanks everyone!
I like the sound of the 80-200 f4.5 N and the 75-135 E. I think one of those paired with my 50mm prime should be sufficient for my needs. I can live without the 200 focal length but it would be nice to have...

Now the challenge is to find a good version without the aforementioned creep issues... or I will consider the Vivitar or Tamron ones. It is possible I would use this on a tripod or monopod for a specific (outdoors) personal project. I have been using primes exclusively so this would be my first zoom.

I don't plan on using it on a digital camera at all.
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Old 11-20-2019   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shorelineae View Post
Great information, thanks everyone!
I like the sound of the 80-200 f4.5 N and the 75-135 E. I think one of those paired with my 50mm prime should be sufficient for my needs. I can live without the 200 focal length but it would be nice to have...

Now the challenge is to find a good version without the aforementioned creep issues... or I will consider the Vivitar or Tamron ones. It is possible I would use this on a tripod or monopod for a specific (outdoors) personal project. I have been using primes exclusively so this would be my first zoom.

I don't plan on using it on a digital camera at all.

when I spoke with the salesman at the used cameras dept and my former crack house (local camera store that had to close due to internet stores) as well as a former news person, the lens was designed to have the push pull zoom and focus creep, or move easily with a finger or two, for speed of use. So if you do find one that is stiffer, I would be careful of it needing a good cleaning. a friend uses a small piece of gaffers tape to keep it stiffer.
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Old 11-20-2019   #28
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Which screen are you using on your F2? If you have a central split-image screen, some situations may cause half the image to go dark with a f/4.5 aperture (though typically I don't see this until I mount an old f/5.6 or f/8 lens).
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Old 11-20-2019   #29
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I still have an 80-200 f/4. It's left over from my F2 outfit from the late 80's. I also used the Series E 36-72mm zoom. The little Series E lens was surprisingly sharp although it was so lightweight it was hard to take seriously compared to the other Nikon gear I was using at the time.
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Old 11-20-2019   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pál_K View Post
Which screen are you using on your F2? If you have a central split-image screen, some situations may cause half the image to go dark with a f/4.5 aperture (though typically I don't see this until I mount an old f/5.6 or f/8 lens).
A K screen and an E screen is also on the way... good tip thanks.
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Old 11-24-2019   #31
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Folks. Thanks everyone. I got both the series e 75-150mm and the 80-200mm f4.5 N.

The former is dusty and has fungus but I got it for a shocking price ($20) and having had great results from a fungusy lens, im not bothered.

The latter has slight dust and in great condition. Both have gentle zoom creep but I now realize it is to be expected.

I am now hunting for a Nikon F100 haha.
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Old 11-24-2019   #32
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Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
Better question is what is a bad telephoto zoom that I should shy away from. There are a ton of good Nikkor zooms and even some other brands.
f2.8 80-200, "pump zoom" version. barrel distortion on long end is noticeable. its that old lens that wont probably have correction profiles for LR et al.
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