Nikon 35mm f/1.4 Ai vs Ai-S

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Phillip S
Regular MemberPosts: 133
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Re: Nikon 35mm f/1.4 Ai vs Ai-S
In reply to Lift Off, Apr 24, 2013

Lift Off wrote:

I'd like to know if someone has made some comparison between these two versions.

Apparently, there are some differences: not only physically (at the front), but they also have different focus throw and, most importantly, the Ai has 7 aperture blades, whereas the Ai-S as 9.

Anyway, I was looking into a deal on a 35 1.4, but then discovered that it was the Ai version (serial #402xxx). And since pretty much all the internet reviews and samples of this lens are from the Ai-S version, I was wondering if someone has compared the two. Or, at least, has some samples taken with the Ai version - I just want to know if it is as good as the Ai-S version.

(Here, you can find the differences I'm talking about: http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/lenses.html#35)

Thanks in advance.

Likely, I am no help to you, but I have owned the 35mm f/1.4 Ai-s for around 30 years. I was not crazy about it on film SLR, and it did not impress me unless I stopped down to f/5.6. Then came the Nikon D300 (which I purchased in January of 2008), and this lens really shines. Wide open it is terrible (as just about every f/1.4 lens), but even at f/2.0 on the D300, it is wonderful.

I have only taken a few shots with it on the D600, but it really looks great on that camera as well — And it is really easy to manually focus on the D600.

I don't know what it is, but it seems that this lens was waiting for digital. My copy is like new (yes, I have cared for it well) and I would never sell it — But I might have in the film days. Yep, strange and I cannot explain.

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