Old, Cheap Nikon Glass. Part 1

Cheap lenses that are older than I am? WTF?

Photography | Oct. 15, 2017

With all of the camera systems you could go with, why go with a particular one? In the case of DSLRs, you are pretty much looking at the two giants. Canon and Nikon. Both have heavy hitters, both will get the job done. Both have a legacy that are forces to be reckoned with in their own right. 

That being said, this is not a Canon v. Nikon article. Though, this does lean toward the Nikon side. Nikon has a long history in optics dating back to 1917 (and their engineers probably have learned from masters of masters of masters). The cool thing about Nikon is the mount. The Nikon "F-mount" is the sexy connection between the glass and the body that hasn't had much of a change since it was introduced in 1959. In fact, you can pretty much attach any lens from Nikon made since then to ANY Nikon camera body (film, SLR, and DSLRs. Nikon 1 and mirrorless cameras do not apply). There are some caveats when it comes to the earlier lenses, but this gives Nikon users years of glass that can be used with almost any Nikon body. You may not have auto-focus or you may have to sacrifice exposure metering, but the glass can be razor sharp, cheap to get, and very useful. 

What I will touch on in the next few articles are the cheaper lenses that I have. Some that are older than I, some new ones that are eBay/Amazon "plastic fantastic" randoms, and all of them VERY useful. You would be surprised at the results you can get. I want to save you money and time, though, so I am going to do a review on these particular lenses that I have grown to love. Granted, they are not for everyone, and some I have pushed to the side to use specifically for video, but at least there is more info out there. The more you know, the better choices you can make. ;)


The Cheap Ones. 

(From left to right: Altura 8mm f/3.5 fisheye, Nikkor Series-E 50mm f/1.8, Nikkor Series-E 75-150 f/3.5, Opteka 85mm f/1.8)


The lenses listed above are just a few that I will do individual reviews on in the next few articles. In my quest to get my job done for the given scenario, I have had to search deep into Nikon's catalog to find the best tool for my budget. When first starting out, we can't all afford to get things like a D850 or a brand new 70-200 f/2.8 VR, but getting better tools to do the job when you need to will help. If you don't mind having to manual focus or take some test shots to get your exposure right (though half of these lenses will meter in manual mode. More on that later...), then you can really become a low-budget hero and come out with great results.

Just to tease you, here are a few shots I have taken with the lenses above. I will not go into detail now, as I will review each of these lenses in individual articles, but just know that even as a beginner on a very tight budget, you can get fantastic glass for very little dough if you are willing to forego some creature comforts.






Hi! I am Ronin Dusette. I have many passions; photography, technology, music, travel, martial arts, gaming, cooking... Just whatever tickles my fancy. When I am out on adventures, I have things I would like to share, which is why I created this blog. From visual art, cooking and tech tips, and pretty much anything else I can think of to write will be verbally and visually painted here on this canvas. I hope you enjoy following me on my journey through life. Engage in conversations with me, ask questions, share your thoughts and art. I hope you enjoy what you see here. Thanks for visiting!