Some Old Nikon Lenses

This motley looking crew of lenses is actually my set of Nikon AIS primes from the late ’70s and ’80s. I love using them on a modern digital camera such as the Black Magic, Canon C300 or even a Red.

It took me a few years to collect this kit, some were my Mum’s, lenses she bought new back in the day. Some I found in a camera shop in Taree, on the mid north coast of NSW and the rest I bought on line.

Ranging from the bulbous 15mm up to a chunky 200mm and everything in between, these lenses are strangely shaped and miss-matched in sizes but the glass is amazing, coming from a time when Nikon was the lens of choice for journos and fashion photographers alike.

There is the pocket sized, 20mm, 24mm and 28mm lenses, a wonderful little 35mm which works great on the small sensor Black Magic Cinema Camera. The fastest of these primes is a 50mm f1.2 and then there is the famous and highly coveted 85mm prime, one of the best photography lenses ever made. Ken Rockwell described it as “big, bright, sharp, fast, and has a fantastic ability to turn otherwise distracting backgrounds into soft washes of color.”

At the back are 3 zooms including my absolute favourite, the 80mm-200mm. This lens was my mum’s and was on the first camera I ever used, a Nikon F3 film camera. I remember shooting showjumping with it when I was a little kid and my parents would drag me to horse shows on the weekend. In high school I photographed my friends on their skateboards and a had a little dark room set up in the laundry. I once left photographic developer in a cordial bottle in the fridge and Dad accidentally drank it. Thankfully I didn’t kill him, it’s was weak from over use.

These lenses are chunky and heavy and built like little tanks, some are ridiculously small and others too big but they have a wonderful look and feel to them (even if they do focus backwards to Canon lenses). I’ve used them on shortfilms, video clips and docos, and they always look great.

Nicholas Price
DOP | Cinematographer

P. (02) 9427 4444

Nicholas Price is a Sydney based DOP | Producer who has made commercials, video clips, TV, documentary and short films. Nick is a Masters graduate of AFTRS and is always striving to bring a unique visual style to any project he works on.

Nicholas Price