Monday, 22 June 2020

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f3.5 AI - Shooting Fuji on the Cheap Lens #3 Option 1

Bee and Thistle
X-T1, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f3.5 AI

The third lens on the list is the mild telephoto. This is your everyday portrait, macro/flower and general use telephoto. I'll cover a few options here as this is one place where there are both many options and those options are somewhat specific to the sort of work you do.

This is a real classic of a lens and well known in the Nikon community for its excellent optical performance at all focus distances and low, low cost. It does 1:2 macro natively and 1:1 when paired with one of the various 27.5mm extension tubes like the PK-13.

They can be had on the used market for as little as $30USD, depending on version. Skip the non-AI preset version, it's collectible and thus wildly more expensive. The other versions are all pretty much the same in performance aside from the coating getting better with each variant.

Combined with a cheap eBay or Amazon sourced Nikon adapter the 55mm Micro-Nikkor makes an excellent do almost everything mild telephoto on APS-C. I've used this lens on Nikon bodies as an APS-C mild tele and a Full Frame normal with excellent results. The only real weakness is the f3.5 maximum aperture. If you want shallow depth of field or a lot of low light work, this isn't the lens for you.

The 55 has had a spot in my bag for the better part of 2 decades on APS-C and Full Frame and if you don't need the speed, it's hard to beat it as a macro & general purpose mild telephoto for the Fuji shooter.

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