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Thread: The Nikkor 300mm f2.8 AI-s

  1. #1
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    The Nikkor 300mm f2.8 AI-s

    Mongo purchased a lens he has wanted for a very long time - a Nikkor 300mm f2.8 AI-s in mint condition with its original box and everything else. Mongo got it from the world famous “Matsuiyastore” in Japan. These guys only keep mint condition used lenses.

    This lens once seemed quit unaffordable in its day (unless you were a pro) but have become much more affordable with their older age now. The AI-s was made between 1982 and 2005 and came in 2 versions. The first (1982-1985) had a min. focus distance of 4m and weighed 2.5kgs. The second version (1986-2005) had a min. Focus distance of 3m and was a fraction lighter (2.4 kgs). Except for a built-in hood –v- a removable hood and the latter lens having a factory built-in protective front element, they are otherwise almost identical.

    Mongo bought his for a couple of reasons – it was a bargain price and , from the serial number , Mongo worked out that this lens is amongst the last 350 of this lens ever made (in approx. 2005).

    The first of the auto focus versions commenced selling from as early as late 1986 through about 4 version changes to about 1992. In 1992, the AF-I version commenced and continued until 1996. In 1996, the first of the AF-S models was launched and continued through version II of that model and then to the first of the AF-S VR models which sold until 2005. Interestingly, All the while, the AI-s manual version was still made and sold until 2005 side side with all the fancy AF versions !!

    From Mongo's knowledge, the AI-s version is sharper than the AF version and many stuck with the AI-s model or went back to it until the AF-I version came along which could match the sharpness of the AI-s. Like many excellent primes, it likes converters.

    Below are some images of Mongo’s new baby and a couple of quick shots. The shots do it no justice as it is not intended as a macro lens. Soon , Mongo will try it out properly on more distant subjects.

    Hope this quick rant has been of interest to some.

    300 f2.8 -1.jpg
    300 f2.8 -2.jpg
    300 f2.8-4.jpg
    flower-1.jpg
    flower-2.jpg
    Nikon and Pentax user



  2. #2
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    It looks as if it's hardly been out of its box, but that would be partly due to the wonderful finish on Nikon lenses of that era, whidh are damned hard to scuff.

    Built like a tank and superb optics too from all accounts.

    Your first image is a nifty capture of a hoverfly in flight, very good effort for a manual focus lens.

  3. #3
    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    nice purchase Mongo..im lusting after a 300mm F2.8...but id need a af version, as I cant focus these crop sensor cameras to save my life..Id need a FF body with a split matt screen .....

    your new lens looks a beauty ....I look forward to see your shots with the lens

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    geee real nice....well done

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommo1965 View Post
    nice purchase Mongo..im lusting after a 300mm F2.8...but id need a af version, as I cant focus these crop sensor cameras to save my life..Id need a FF body with a split matt screen .....

    your new lens looks a beauty ....I look forward to see your shots with the lens
    Thanks for your comments Tommo1965.

    Mongo too wonders how much longer he has before his vet pronounces the need for glasses. In the meantime, Mongo will use it as much as he can.

    If you do get an AF version, recommend you try for a AF-I or more recent. The older AF versions are OK but not as sharp and a little slow focusing depending on the camera body. For that matter, even the AF-I has not got the best reputation for fast focusing.

    Can Mongo suggest that you not rely on your eyes for the focusing. In more recent times, Mongo has started using the viewfinder just to frame the subject. For focusing, he relies almost entirely on the little light at the bottom of your view finder which tells you are in focus. Some cameras even have a convenient “beep” when you hit focus. Try it – you may find it very helpful !!

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    Very nice momgo, how fast is the focus ?
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Photographer Extraordinaire jgknight's Avatar
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    Hi Mongo, I'm impressed already. When they say mint condition, they aren't joking. What an impressive piece of glass.
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Noddy (John)
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    http://jgknight.smugmug.com

    If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

  8. #8
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Very nice momgo, how fast is the focus ?
    Thanks Kiwi – good to see you back

    The focus is as fast as Mongo polishing off a free (or stolen ) meal – now that’s blinding !!!!

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    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongo View Post
    Thanks for your comments Tommo1965.

    Mongo too wonders how much longer he has before his vet pronounces the need for glasses. In the meantime, Mongo will use it as much as he can.

    If you do get an AF version, recommend you try for a AF-I or more recent. The older AF versions are OK but not as sharp and a little slow focusing depending on the camera body. For that matter, even the AF-I has not got the best reputation for fast focusing.

    Can Mongo suggest that you not rely on your eyes for the focusing. In more recent times, Mongo has started using the viewfinder just to frame the subject. For focusing, he relies almost entirely on the little light at the bottom of your view finder which tells you are in focus. Some cameras even have a convenient “beep” when you hit focus. Try it – you may find it very helpful !!
    very good point..i forget that AF cameras have a in focus indicator...LOL...thanks for the tip

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    you are welcomeTommo

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    Very nice looking piece of kit Mongo and a very interesting rant. Lovely sharp, first up shots. Well done on all counts.
    Cheers, Paul.
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    Hi Mongo,

    This is one of the finest Nikon glasses. It's amazing to see such lens in an absolutely mint conditions.
    Two days ago, I finally found a lens that I've always wanted since the 80's : the Nikkor AI-S 50-300/4.5 ED, in mint conditions.
    Hope we could get together again one day...

    Cheers,
    Sar

  13. #13
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sar NOP View Post
    Hi Mongo,

    This is one of the finest Nikon glasses. It's amazing to see such lens in an absolutely mint conditions.
    Two days ago, I finally found a lens that I've always wanted since the 80's : the Nikkor AI-S 50-300/4.5 ED, in mint conditions.
    Hope we could get together again one day...

    Cheers,
    Sar
    Hi Sar and thanks.

    Mongo too has admired the 50-300mm ED for some years and has seen a few but not in mint condition.

    Would love to get together at some time soon in a convenient location - it will be a meeting of the vintage lenses ! Mongo is also feeling slightly vintage himself. Would love you to try out Mongo's toy and tell him where you think it rates with others. Would also like to try your new toy.

    Mongo is currently trying out a series of converters to see which suits this lens best. Looking at a Nikkor 16A next which Mongo has been told id brilliant with this lens.

    regards
    Mongo
    Last edited by mongo; 18-05-2011 at 1:14pm.

  14. #14
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new lens, mate. Looks like a real beauty and the results look very impressive! We'll have to compare 300's one day.

    I have also purchased from “Matsuiyastore” in Japan as well, a Pentax 50mm f1.2 new when I was using Pentax gear. Great to deal with.
    Last edited by Lance B; 18-05-2011 at 1:20pm.

  15. #15
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongo View Post
    Hi Sar and thanks.

    Mongo too has admired the 50-300mm ED for some years and has seen a few but not in mint condition.

    Would love to get together at some time soon in a convenient location - it will be a meeting of the vintage lenses ! Mongo is also feeling slightly vintage himself. Would love you to try out Mongo's toy and tell him where you think it rates with others. Would also like to try your new toy.

    Mongo is currently trying out a series of converters to see which suits this lens best. Looking at a Nikkor 16A next which Mongo has been told id brilliant with this lens.

    regards
    Mongo
    A meet up would be wonderful for we Nikon tragics.

  16. #16
    Amor fati!
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    indeed looks great mongo! congrats on your purchase!

    an extension tube on that would be great for chasing hoverflies like the photo you have taken

    lovely and sharp

  17. #17
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    A meet up would be wonderful for we Nikon tragics.
    thanks for your comments Lance and nice to see someone else not only knows the“Matsuiyastore” but has bought from it. They really are quite fanatical for the keeping only the most pristine equipment.

    More importantly, very soon after Mongo replied to Sar's post, he instantly thought of you as well and rest assured Mongo would have told you well in advance if an outing was on in the hope you would also come along. So , Mongo's apologies for what may seem an oversight but one which would not have ended up an oversight in any case.

    VING, thank you for your good wishes and splendid ideas( no matter how outlandish)

  18. #18
    are you serious? Shelley's Avatar
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    Congrats Mongo, that is some beast, which I hope Mongo can control
    Shelley
    (constructive criticism welcome)

    www.shelleypearsonphotography.com


  19. #19
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
    Congrats Mongo, that is some beast, which I hope Mongo can control
    Thanks Shelley - Mongo and beasts are synonymous. It would also have to be a hell of a beast to get anywhere near the standard of images you have been producing these days.

  20. #20
    Member richardb's Avatar
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    Nice to see a nice piece of optics. (posted May'09 )
    Rare on 2nd hand sites, and if, these items got sold quite soon.
    Last edited by richardb; 02-06-2011 at 8:46am.

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