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nikkor vs. series e lens

joanne gonzalez , Aug 28, 2006; 05:16 p.m.

i'm planning on getting a nikon 135mm f2.8 lens. however, on KEH i see that there's a nikkor and a series E. is there a big difference between them? should i go with nikkor or the series E? thanks a lot.


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ben conover , Aug 28, 2006; 05:30 p.m.

Hi, I think series E have a lesser reputation overall.

What's the price difference? Do you need to save money or get a better lens? Is the series E also a 2.8 lens?


Shun Cheung , Aug 28, 2006; 05:31 p.m.

Series E was Nikon's "economy" line from the late 1970's to 1980's. In today's terms, those are consumer-grade lenses. I cannot comment on the specifics about the 135mm, but generally speaking, Series E lenses are not as well built compared to the Nikkor AI lenses from the same era. Optically, most Series E lenses are fine.

Yaron Kidron , Aug 28, 2006; 05:49 p.m.

Some E's were single coated, and therefore flared a little more, or were not as saturated. They were also not backward compatible with pre-AI bodies. Their build level is fine (they're better built than current consumer lenses, more or less the same a pro AF lenses are built today). Optically, some E's are stunning: the 75-150E and the 100E are steals.

Wayne Cornell , Aug 28, 2006; 05:52 p.m.

Although the optics of the Series E lenses are, in some cases on par with the regular Nikkors, the build of the lenses isn't as good. The E Series marked the beginning of the plastic era that eventually spilled over into the pro lenses.

The E series 75-150mm zoom received especially high marks as does the 100mm and the 50mm f1.8. But they aren't as durable.

Michael Axel , Aug 28, 2006; 06:11 p.m.

The build quality was not nearly what you might expect from a regular Nikkor - more plastic parts as opposed to metal.

Roland Vink , Aug 28, 2006; 06:15 p.m.

Regarding the series-E 135/2.8, it is a good lens but I would pay a little more for the AI or AIS version. They are more solid to handle, a shade sharper, and they focus closer - 1.3m (4ft) compared to 1.5m (5ft). That extra foot at close range is suprisingly useful.

The only reason I would go for the series-E lens is if you are on a very tight budget, or want a smal light lens for travel and hiking. Even then, the diffence is not great - I'd go for an AI or AIS lens.

Edward Ingold , Aug 28, 2006; 06:19 p.m.

Series E lenses were one of Nikon's early ventures into the low-end consumer market. The build quality and (some suspect) the optical quality was compromised too much to endure. The only E lens with current standing is the 50/1.8, which has a cult following in these pages. Series E lenses, like the ill-fated Nikorex F and the Nash Rambler are models the manufacturer would like to forget.

Lee Hamiel , Aug 28, 2006; 06:52 p.m.

Interestingly enough the series E lenses were probably built to a higher standard than any of the consumer grade Nikkors today.

I own none of the series E lenses but was around when they were available new - the finish & weights were well below the Nikkor line. However - some of them have acheived legendary status which would have surprised me years ago but not now.

For the prices of 135 f/2.8 nikkors I would simply get the better of the two - that being the nikkor - may want to consider a 105 f/2.5 instead as it's a great performer & is hard to beat value wise.

Good luck & have fun

Lee Hamiel , Aug 28, 2006; 06:55 p.m.

I forgot the reference to add:

75-150 mm f/3.5 Nikon Series E Zoom is very well regarded by a lot of people.

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