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