Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Skeletons From The Closet - Nikomat FTn and 80-200 f4 AIS Lens

Growing Up, by Reed A. George
Nikomat FTn, Nikkor AIS 80-200mm f4 Lens
Kodak TMax 400 Film
I shot this with my Nikomat FTn, September's SFTC camera.
(Click Here) to read about the camera.
Shooting the Nikomat got me once again interested in older Nikons and lenses. As luck would have it, I met someone who had a nice Nikon F2 and 80-200mm f4 AIS lens for sale. These cameras are incredibly inexpensive these days, selling at ~10% of what they cost new. In any case, I thought I would not be interested in the zoom, until I saw it. The fixed f4 aperture is quite nice. This is one heavy, well-built piece of optics.
(Click Here) to read a comparison of several versions of Nikkor zooms in this focal range on JSV Foto, including the 80-200 f4 AIS. The old manual lens did pretty well against its younger cousins.
As you can see from the shot above, it's plenty sharp for this type of application. Older zooms were notoriously unsharp compared to primes, but the 80-400 AIS was a premium lens in its day. I think it renders perfectly for people shots like this.
So now I'll have to spend some time with the F2 body as well. My first brief experiences with it remind me of when I was a kid, and got to shadow a photojournalist for a day. They were shooting Nikon Fs and F2s. Lots of fun.