24 comments on “Nikon’s Series-E Lenses Compared

  1. Nice review man! I like your style of review. 🙂

    I was bought this lens, and sold my 75-150 F3.5 series E, sold my AF Tamron 70-300..

    I also was try many zoom for nikon lens :
    the series 1 Vivitar 70-210 f2.8-4, sigma 70-300, nikon af-d 70-300 f4-5.6, af-s 80-200 f2.8 VR,

    And This 70-210 F4 is More SHARP, more CONTRAST, more GREAT build, more SMOOTH bokeh, than the cheap and slower Nikon af 70-300 f4-5.6, Tamron 70-300, sigma 70-300…

    And this lens is “as SHARP as” and much LIGHTWEIGHT than the Hulkier AF-S 70-200 F2.8, with just 1 f-stop different.

    And GREATER than the faster Vivitar series 1

    The more I like than my 75-150 f3.5 is :
    -Macro function at 70mm.
    -more vivid color reproduction that my 75-150.
    -More zoomable.
    -MORE SHARP!
    – Anything is GREAT & MIRACLE! For just $120-$170 price

    • Many thanks Patrick, glad you liked them. And all good points you mention in the 70-210’s favor. It really is a fantastic lens by any standard. 🙂

  2. I used to have the 35, 50 and 100 series E lenses for film use. I bought an Nikon FM new in 1980 and it came with the 50. I was so impressed that I bought the other two and even later when I could afford an F3 and AIS lenses, I never replaced the 35, 50 and 100. There was no need to, they were (and are) every bit as good as the more expensive and faster Nikkors.

    • I agree with you mostly there. The Series-E lenses are quite high-performing lenses–at least on APS-C. Don’t have a full-frame digital body to try them on, nor do I know how to objectively judge detail on 35mm film (if I processed it! haha). That said, optical formulas between the lenses are at least similar, if not the same. Only real differences are build quality and flare control, with the AI-s Nikkors generally excelling more in both over the Series-E’s. There are a few times I go out and miss that 100mm f/2.8…don’t bring back the tears, Andrew. XD

  3. Thanks for this great write up, exactly what I was looking for. Looks like a great little set of lenses w/ some really great bargains in there too.

    • Hey there Andrew, glad the post helped! The adapter type you are looking for is Nikon F to Sony E. Many companies manufacture an adapter type of their own, but if you’re using just AI-s/manual focus lenses, look for a “dummy” adapter that doesn’t have any electronic contacts with the camera.

      I used to use the Fotodiox PRO adapter, for a solid 4 years in fact. Just picked up a Fotodiox DLX adapter and it’s even compatible with the “G” type lenses of today (if I ever need to mount them). The better parts of this adapter though, the tripod mount is a lot more secure, and the adapter itself has much less play/wiggle between the lens/adapter and adapter/camera.

  4. Merci pour cet analyse. Mise à part le 75-150 et le 35mm, je les possède tous et j’ai beaucoup de plaisir à faire des photos avec le 50mm ainsi que le 100.
    J’utilisais un Nikon FA en argentique et maintenant un NEX6 avec un adaptateur.

  5. Hi Matthew.
    This is a really fab review and is a great help to me. I inherited a Nikon EM at Christmas and was hoping to hunt down some more lenses that would be compatible and know the Nikon E series lenses should be compatible.
    I am looking forward to learning more about my new camera and trying out different techniques and lenses!
    Kind regards,
    Didi.

  6. This is great – thanks Matthew.

    I use the 50mm, 100mm, 70-150mm and 70-210mm on MFT cameras. All the first 3 together in a bag for less weight than any comparable zoom with reasonable quality – and for the price – cheaper x 5-20 than buying a current panasonic/olympus M4/3 equivalent with apertures of similar size (1.8 to 4.0).

    I agree the 70-210 is great – but it gets left behind because of its weight. Afterall – the aim of MFT photography is to go light and compact !

    Flare control means lens hoods at all times – and on a M4/3 body remember this means hoods twice as long as you expect for the 35mm “full frame” equivalent. So a 28mm lens needs a standard hood suitable for a 50-55mm full frame lens. A 50mm lens needs a telephoto hood suitable for a 100mm full frame lens. To manage this I have bought a set of rubber lens hoods – the ones that can fold out in 3 steps and cost only GBP £1/1.20 Euro from online shops. Each lens has one on at all times – enabliing the usual lens cap to be used and giving a ring of soft protection in the camera bag as a bonus!

    That just leaves what to do for a 400mm equivalent for M4/3 – because we agree to 70-210 is too heavy. So my suggestion is to switch loyalties and look for either the Olympus 200mm F5 or the Pentax SMC 200mm f4. Both are light and compact and have good optics. Both are well built so have stood up to 30 years of use before you buy them on ebay. Furthermore these lenses (Nikon Es, Olympus 200mm F5, Pentax 200mm f4) were all “amateur lenses” so mostly had sparing use – so are both relatively inexpensive and are often spotless desite their age on ebay. Not so the “professional quality” Nikkor 105mms, Pentax 200mm f2.8s, Olympus 200mm F4s etc on ebay that seem all to have been used by war correspondents!

    For those who worry that f5 is too small for a 200mm (400mm equivalent) remember why expensive fast lenses were sold in the 1970s-90s. Firstly – film was noisy (grainy) and lacked resolution after 400 ASA for colour negative and 100ASA for slides. Nowadays we all use 200-800ASA without a worry. Secondly, pentaprisms and mirrors sucked up light – and manual focus needed light for you to see the microprism. F5 lenses were DARK in the viewfinder. Now MFTs have electronic viewfinders – even F8 mirror lenses look as bright as F1.4 50mm’s when you compose and focus. Lastly – thoses expensive legacy f2.8 telephotos and zooms usually perform badly wide open. For the best image quality you will still be stopping down to F4.5 – F8. So in reality with a crop-format camera buying “amateur” “slow” lenses gets you kit that is less worn, smaller, lighter and cheaper — what’s not to like?

    What’s not to like?…..well – its just the matter of camera shake with telephotos in low light when even 800ASA won’t help. My solution with any portrait is to pop up the flash and use this to fill in. This gives central sharpness and contrast – and if the lens shake blurs the backgroud – well that’s creative photography for you !

    So – when “experts” tell you to buy fast, expensive, heavy lenses – just think again

    best wishes to you all – Paul C in the UK

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