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Canon FD or Nikon Nikorr AIS or ?
  • I want to invest in collection of lenses. I wonder what would you suggest ? Canon FD or Nikon Nikorr AIS ? The price point is not important but the quality. Why would you choose particular type or is there any other make that can be made a good collection of ? I intend to use with GH2 ...

  • 16 Replies sorted by
  • Between AIS and FD, its purely a matter of what look you prefer. I personally have only one FD 28mm f2.8, but I've avoided buying more FD lenses, because I find it kinda "meh". I've played around with Nikons on a 5D, which I really liked the look of, and I might try to snag a 35mm at some point, but IDK. I'm sure those who have tried more of both will be able to help you better, but I say just grab one of each and see what you like best. All lenses from that era have some pros/cons. You will not really find a brand from which you can get a fast wide (in GH2 terms). I've been using Tamron Adaptall II lenses so far, but I might swap them out for Nikon just for a change of scenery.

    Try some, sell, try some more.

    I tried the Tamrons because I liked the flares on their 17mm, but the longer lenses are mostly "meh". They're very crisp. The Nikons in my experience are creamy. Not soft, but the OOF areas are really smooth, as is the color. FD seems to be pretty no-frills. Great glass, but not much unique flavor.

  • @B3Guy , thank you. I had Canon FD 50mm 1.2 and Nikon 50mm 1.4 but not at the same time in order to test properly. So i wonder which of them gives more, better a "Film look" like but not too soft ... Color and contrast rendition etc ...

    I plan 20mm f/2.8 or 2.0 , 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.2 ...

  • I think that Nikkor lenses are the best way to go. It's not only the exceptional build quality and the great images they produce (because Canon FD lenses are great, too) but they're also future-proof.

    You can use old Nikkor lenses on ANY camera mount out there - Unlike the FD lenses, which can't be adapted to Canon EF. Personally I'd like to have lenses which will work on almost anything I can get, and who knows - maybe someday I will be using a Canon DSLR again.

  • The Nikkor f2 24mm is incredible. Great color.

  • Love my Nikons: 24mm f/2, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4

  • I've been down the FD route, and they're good, very good. They have a nice flat and warm rendition, which counteracts some of the GH2s tendency to be oversharp and a bit cool.

    But, unless you're super talented, or have a large production team to help you, they can be cumbersome on set, even more so run and gun. They're a pain in the ass to use on a rig with a mattebox and/or follow focus. I imagine the same would be with any small photographic primes (Nikon, Olympus, etc...).

    So personally, I've forgone a stop (or two) in favour of a constant aperture Tokina AT-X Pro zooms, currently the 20-35/2.8 and the 28-80/2.8. They focus and zoom internally, so no shifting on the mattebox, and they're large enough to get a lens gear and follow focus on with ease. I'll be adding the 11-16/2.8 soon enough, although aperture control is a bit hit and hope, so light meter usage is a no-go.

    That's not to say I've give up on primes at all, just I think they won't be my go to lenses. The FD's render very differently to the Tokina, so I'm likely to let them all go and replace with a few primes that work well on a rig, such as Samyang 35/1.4 and 85/1.4. And then of course, there is the Voigtlander 25/0.95 :-)...which even if it didn't cut well, or mount on a rig very's going in the bag!

    So that's my 2c...or 2p over here.

  • if price aint a problem go for the nikkor cause fd is not compatible with all systems (only with corectional lens and only good adapter is 2000$ and hard to get by) as niGGo said.i stil got a kit of fd lenses from my dads old A-1 and they are all very nice (28mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4,70-210mm f4 ).thats why i decided to get a gh2,cause they wouldn't go on the 60D.thats before i knew of this wonderfull hack.thanks to all of you and thanks dad! hehe

  • The Nikon lenses have a cool color temperature which a lot of people like. Personally I like the FD's specifically the nFD's. One thing to consider is that FD's can be adapted to work on super35 sized sensors, but if you ever want to step up to a full frame camera the nikons will adapt the best (no additional optics required that would degrade the image.)

  • Thank you to all of you. I decided to go Nikon AIS route for my new collection, but also will have a Nokton 25mm 0.95 :-) Please keep up with your proposals, comments ... Om my list: 24mm 2.0, 35mm 2.0, 50mm 1.2 and perhaps 55mm 2.8 macro ... (don't know if there is 2.0 ?) or other good macro from Nikon (AIS) ...

  • Nikon AIS are the lenses I'm on the fence about, really. The only thing stopping me (pun in tended) is the lack of fast aperture on say, the 17mm. The challenge with GH2 will always be getting wide. I don't have much to spend anyhow, so I'm kinda just riding things out. I'm Holding out to see what Voigtlander does next, to be honest. They've got the to-have lenses for GH2. Another 0.95 model, and they'll have me hooked. Whatever I do, I want the lenses to match.

  • Absolutely love the look of the Nikon 50mm F1.4 AIS on the GH2. Best $100 I've spent in a long time. Went with it based on forward compatibility w/Nikon, Canon and m43 like many have already said. Looking at the Samyang 35mm now for intermediate range, it just looks insanely sharp without too much baked-in contrast.

  • Lumix lenses like 20mm 1.7, 14mm 2.5, 14-45, 14-42, 14-140 tend to be cool color and good match to Nikkor Ai-s.

    Lumix X lenses and Leica DG len tend to be warm color and good match to Nokton.

  • @Tron just get a Nikon Ai or AIS 35mm. I've tried the faster and slower ones, and they're all amazing, especially if you like your 50.

  • Sorry, a little new here to Nikon. Which Nikon lenses work w/ the GH2 with which adapters? I'm only familiar w/ FD lenses. Does the Novoflex all us to use all Nikkors?

  • Don't forget Pentax primes especially the SMC (Super Multi Coated) versions. Sharp but not clinical. Beautiful colours with slightly warm rendering. The SMC 50mm 1.4 is a classic. Dreamy wide open but tightens up at F2.0 and very sharp from F2.8.

  • And then there are Minolta Rokkors – some call them the poor man's Leicas…