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Nikkor 24mm F/2.8 AI-S

Nikkor 24mm F/2.8 AI-S
Weight: 9oz
Filter Size: 52mm

   The Nikkor 24mm 2.8 has never been a go to lens for me. When I want wide, I grab the 20mm. For less distorted every day but still wide shots I prefer the 28mm field of view. That said I couldn't resist picking one of these up for $125. This is a nice compact lens, about the size but notably heavier than a 50mm 1.8 AF-D. The weight is all picked up in the construction, standard for the AI-S Nikkor era: superb. The lens is made from metal and glass, has incredibly smooth focusing and no slop at all. Handling one of these will show you why people complain about the build quality of new $1,500 AF-S Nikkors. There have been a few versions of the 24mm 2.8 but this design has been produced since 1977-1978 and can still be bought new for $530. Although it retails for the same price as the 20mm 2.8 AF-D the 24mm has been around a lot longer and is much cheaper on the used market.

Nikon D700, Nikkor 24mm F2.8 AIS @ 1/800 F5.6 ISO 100

Because the internet lies, a 100% crop, unsharpened. Sharp but not life changing.

Performance is remarkably similar but supposedly slightly better than its 20mm brethren.
Nice center sharpness at all apertures, but soft on the edges and corners until stopped down. In real world use I've never noticed a performance difference. On a DX camera the field of view will be right around 35mm, which by todays standards is not wide. 

Well marked distance scales on the old manual focus lenses, as well as a hard stop at infinity make them good for low light situations.

Tiny compared to the 70-300VR.

Wide open at F/2.8

This one just happens to be a rare bird too, however it was probably not used in space.

  Build: 10/10                   - Absolutely beautiful
  Handling: 10/10             - Not much to handle with no zoom, but the focus ring is buttery smooth and easy to turn with two fingers.
  Performance: 7/10         - Good center performance at all apertures, soft in the corners wide open and some distortion on FX.
  Value: 8/10                    - If it's your focal range of choice and you can get one used, the value is terrific. Not so much for $530 new.

  Overall: 8/10                 - The build quality and used market price makes this lens rate high.

Practcality for kayaking: 8/10

  If this is your focal length, this lens can be had for a great deal. The performance,  light weight, small size, ruggedness of construction and commonly used 52mm filter size are all highlights. It's a shame Nikon can't keep a standard filter size like they did on this old lenses! There isn't anything I don't like about this lens, but all the same it just doesn't often make it in my camera bag due to being inbetween the 20mm F/2.8 AF-D and the 28mm F2 AIS. With the wide angle of view nearly everything will be in focus if stopped down at all, so not having AF isn't too big of a deal.

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