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Old April 22nd, 2011, 09:40 AM   #1
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Nikkor primes

My friend bought a Brevis flip, for his XHA1...

Since we both have the same camera, i was going to buy some Nikkor primes, to compliment the purchase.
There's plenty of older lenses on the market.
That being said, i'm afraid of potentially buying the wrong ones..

I guess my biggest concern would be AI (auto indexing). It seems that the prices come down on these lenses without AI..This would be of concern to still photography of course.
Can sombebody explain that AI does, and how it would affect me?

Can i foresee any problems buying a lens with or without this feature?
Does this effect mounting on a Brevis?

If not, it'll save me some money buying all non-indexing lenses..
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 11:37 AM   #2
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Re: Nikkor primes

AI or non AI, provided the lenses are Nikon F-mount, should be okay and will behave identically as manual aperture lenses. Older lenses have an overhanging aperture ring. On the older style mounts like on Nikon FM2 camera they are okay.

On a newer style of mount, which has a shallower shoulder and wider shoulder diameter, some older lenses will bind in the mount because the overhanging ring is no longer a clearance fit. The aperture ring may jam.

Dennis Woods' Brevis flavour of the Nikon F-mount should be fine. It has the 1.7mm shoulder depth and narrower shoulder outer diameter of the older lenses of about 56mm. Newer lenses should mount up fine.

Newer digital series lenses are not suitable although they will fit up. They have the same mount but do not have any iris ring at all, being fully automatic. They also typically project a smaller image area onto the focal plane and may vignette in the corners, especially wide-angle lenses.

If you can get f1.2 or f1.4 lenses, try to do so. They will be more expensive but will give that bit of extra headroom you need for the sweet spot of the lens to be broader across apertures wider than f5.6, which is the accepted limit of groundglass adaptors before artifacts become evident. The Brevis is apparently claimed to do better than f5.6.

Watch out for older Nikons. They may have elements made of thorium glass and deteriorate over time with a yellowish tint due to radioactivity which alters the glass.

On the eBay, some vendors will post a front-on image of their lenses with a bright white background so that you can see if the light it passes is pure. Less scrupulous vendors may fake this so take care.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: Nikkor primes

Thank you Bob..

I enjoy reading your postings. It seems like everybody's jumped onto the DSLR bandwagon, and it's hard to find anybody that uses the 35mm anymore, or has any knowledge of mixing/matching equipment needs...
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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Re: Nikkor primes

The DSLR bandwagon. Yes, there has been a jump but there are more people using adaptors than you might know. Call it a second tier of aspiring film-makers who are still enabled to the 35mm look as the used adaptors come on the market. Pickups for a short are going to be shot in my backyard this weekend using a SonyEX1/Letus Extreme.

"Dear Wendy", "Kandahar Break", "Merantau", "Monsters", all done with 35mm adaptors, the first three with P+S Pro35. The last one, with Sony EX3 and Letus Ultimate, looks dollars bigger than you would expect. It likely would not have been doable on the budget they had.

They all have the signature of groundglass relay if you know what you are looking for but average Joe Humble A Citizen would probably care less if the story is good. The behind-the-scenes material on the DVDs for all those titles is generous and informative for aspiring film-makers.

Dare I say it, a thank you to all the directors/DPs for sharing your tips.

I am still playing with the varifocal relay prototype. Dennis Woods is putting together a cinefuse groundglass which is more suited to the SI2K, so the experiments are not done just yet.

A TV feature drama from the UK, (unfortunately I forgot the name) and a TV documentary on Mary Queen of Scots also bore the signature. Again unless you are a groundglass relay shooter, you would not necessarily pick it. If the BBC was content to tack their name on as an entity, then it can't be too bad can it.

The future of course is going to be the new generation of small cameras like the Sony F3. Without projects like the SI2K, RED, 35mm groundglass adaptors of all flavours, the big players probably would not have moved from the standards of 1/3", for the homebody, 2/3" for the professional.

3D is the new gorilla. Commenters suggest that by the nature of how 3D should preferably be shot, we may well see a move away from accentuated selective focus back to deeper depths-of-field as the humble public begin to perceive, perhaps with a little marketing help, shallow depths-of-field as a past fad, an old style.

There was a time when the "reality" of deep depths-of-field and faster frame rates was being striven for against the limitations of the slower film stocks of the day.

I would like to think that for the low-budget film-maker, there is a broader palette of options to scribble all over. The real world dictates that there will always be a catch-up game going on. Traditional controlled action filmed drama may become as the operas and live theatre of yesterday, a benefacted niche.

Interactives and web based presentation is where it seems to be headed. There's going to be a lot of dross until the shakedown of a host of lesser aspirants sorts the gladiators down to a dominant few players.

If the world economy again goes into meltdown and socio-economic polarity becomes extreme across all nations, I suspect that live entertainment at a local level, may make a big comeback, be it pub bands, travelling minstrels or the like.

Last edited by Bob Hart; April 22nd, 2011 at 09:24 PM. Reason: error
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 10:46 PM   #5
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Re: Nikkor primes

Great post, Bob. Appreciate it.
Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to the Arri Alexa.
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