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LENS PORN: Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5
Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5



In the late 1970s, Nikon created their budget line of lenses under the label of 'Nikon Series E' (E = economy). These lenses were simply called 'Nikon', not 'Nikkor'. During this era, people were used to all metal lenses, and anything made of plastic was thought of as trash. So it was the case here.

However, as time passed, many in this series even outperformed the 'Nikkor' lenses, including this lens I'm feauturing here, the Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5. It was used by Galen Rowell to photograph the famous 'Rainbow Over The Patola Mountains', which made this lens soar in popularity.



Build Quality

It's a very tiny and light lens, which is the reason I regularly carry it in my bag even if I don't need it. It so light, you can easily mount it on the tripod without worrying about the weight.

Aside from portability, you will also greatly appreciate that it has a constant maximum aperture of f/3.5 across the whole zoom range. This lens is your affordable alternative to the more expensive and super huge/heavy 70-200mm f/2.8's out there.

There is no special macro range, but the minimum focusing distance is uniformly 1 meter across the whole range. This is close focusing already.

It's all metal construction except for the plastic aperture ring and the plastic grip ring. There were four versions of this lens (cosmetic in difference). The one I have is the first version, which is identified by the black grip ring.

It is a push-pull design, and the focus/zoom ring is super loose, which is what I want for fast action scenes. Zoom creep it has, but who cares, it's designed for handheld shooting!



Image Quailty

This is a 2x zoom (75mm to 150mm), so the smaller the zoom range, the less compromise in image quality, which is evidenced by the many high quality shots I got with this lens. The range of this lens is something that I won't use for wildlife or telephoto shooting, there's the Zoom-Nikkor 100-300mm f/5.6 Macro who does that job very well. But this lens is ideal for shooting at events, sports, indoor, and even great for portraiture.

I'm not the type of person to do pixel-peeping or shooting at test charts, because I believe the basis for measuring any lens' worth is through practical application. Color fringing? Chromatic abberation? Softness at the corners? -- I haven't noticed any of them at all. Period.

Sharpness, color saturation and tonality with this lens are incredible. The only way I could grab this lens was from ordering it abroad, and the cheapest copy I could find had lots of fungus -- before cleaning, this lens was already incredible, and the more incredible it became once it was already cleaned.



Summary

In summary, the Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5 is a great lens for FX and DX. Great image quality and you'll love using it for shooting portraiture too. Portability is another great advantage as well as the constant maximum of f/3.5 across the whole range.








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SPECS

Nikon Series E
75-150mm f/3.5

Manufactured By:
Kino Precision (Kiron)

Years Produced:
1980 - 1985

Focal Length:
FX = 75-150mm
DX = 115-225mm

Minimum Focusing Distance:
1 meter / 3 feet

Focus Throw: 180 degrees

Aperture Run:
f/3.5 - f/32 (7 blades)

There were 4 versions of this lens.
The copy I have now is the first version.
See this link for more info:


Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5








Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

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Samples


Nikon D5200
Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

75mm

150mm




Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5
150mm f/3.5





Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5
75mm

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5
150mm

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5
75mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5
150mm f/3.5

Nikon Series E 75-150mm f/3.5
75mm f/8


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Further Reading

Nikon Story #42: The Series E 75-150mm f/3.5

Bjorn's Review

Nikon Series E Library


Nikon Serial Number Lookup

My Photo Album - Nikon Series E 75-150/3.5

Photos from other users:


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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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