44 years ago – Nikon Ai 20mm/3.5 Nikkor-UD Auto

I love old glass. Here is a special one for me. Introduced 1967 as the first ultra wideangle lens which could be normally operated on SLRs, the Ai 20mm/3.5 Nikkor-UD Auto. And now, 44 years later, it can be used on the latest generation of D-SLRs. That’s continuity.

Here is a short story.

Enjoy, Andy


Essay – Eiffeltower at Night

It is such an impressive monument. The Eiffel tower in Paris. Especially at night.
Earlier this year I had a chance to capture some night shots with the Nikon D700 and AFS 16-35mm/4G VR.

Here is the very short essay.


Nikon D5100 Review – Part 2

Hi out there,

I did add the next page to my Nikon D5100 review journey.

Covered topics today:

  1. Images of planes in flight with the AFS 55-300mm VR
  2. Some quick remarks about the performance of the AFS 18-200mm VR
  3. A night “shootout” between 7 different bodies. 52 high resolution ISO images to download for personal comparison. (D5100, D50, D90, D3100, D5000, D7000 and D3S)
    As allways, I welcome your remarks and comments.

enjoy, Andy

Two very long Nikkor lenses at 1200mm each

Many great lenses had been introduced by Nikon in the last 50+ years. Here is one of the stories long overdue and since a while in my pipeline to be written up.

Here is the story of the two 1200mm lenses.


Review Nikon D5100

I’ve been quite inactive on my blog for the last 2 months – apologies, but other duties had a higher priority.

Yesterday, my Nikon D5100 arrived. Like with the D7000 impressions posted in january, I’d like to share some of my initial impressions with the D5100 during the coming days.

The first day summary with the Nikon D5100 can be found here.

Let me know, if you find this useful,


Focus issues with fast lenses: Status = solved.

Due to other obligations, I hadn’t updated my blog for a while. Before I start with other stories I’d like to share, I thought to sum up the old story of the fast lenses I started in january.

About 3 months ago, I had this bad experience with the D7000 and the 3 new fast prime lenses (AFS 24mm/1.4, AFS 35mm/1.4 and AFS 85mm/1.4). Images were really bad, when shot wide open. Trying to narrow down the root causes, unfortunately other bodies displayed the same behavior as the D7000. Looked like, it was a bigger issue.

To cut a long story short, after 2 visits at the Nikon Service Point, the problem is now solved. The worst combination I had, was the D7000 with the AFS 24mm/1.4. Blurred images independent of aperture, distance and focus accuracy.

During the second visit, all 3 bodies (D7000, D3X and D3s) and all 3 lenses were adjusted properly. One could argue, that Nikon should have shipped perfect producst from the beginning. My answer to this is :Yes and No. Yes, it would be great to see all components in the image pipeline like AF accuracy, tolerances to progress as well. No, as complex systems are hard to come by, and usually, customers and suppliers are intertwined in their desire to solve issues.

Anyway, after the adjustement, there is no need for any AF finetuning and the lenses and bodies are smoothly working together with very pleasant results.

Thanks Nikon,


For Nikkor and Lens Geeks – Pierre Toscani’s Website

Once in a while, something really surprising happens. It happend to me a couple of days ago. In a discussion at Fredmiranda.com about 80-200mm/2.8 zoom lenses a new member (in his very first post) responded to my contribution and pointed in a very humble tone to his website. Indicating that he did some analysis on these Nikkor lenses. This person is Pierre Toscani.

Following his link, a website opens up, which can easily be considered the most beautifully made summary, description, explanation on lens design choices and the way the system works I have ever seen. On a more general note, an attempt to explain the concepts of focal length and magnification is there as well. A very successful one, imho.

Your assessment might vary, but in my view Pierre did a tremendous job in scanning through a range of Nikon patents, explain in easy terms the concepts Nikon engineers used in their design choices and put significant effort in creating a visually exciting presentation.

3 articles are available in english, and for those who are well versed in french some more articles are there as well.

  1. on focal length and magnification
  2. on telephoto zooms (80-200mm/2.8 range and 200-400mm/4 range)
  3. on fisheye lenses

I appreciated the work Bjorn Roslett did with all the tests on Nikkor lenses in the past, read Tom Hogan’s articles with interest in the early days. Together with Roland Vink’s Nikkor database, both are still considered solid pillars in any  Nikon oriented photo enthusiast’s journey for more information. From my POV, Pierre’s work deserves to be treated as another great authentic resource with original content (not a rehash) on the web for those who are interested in Nikkor lenses.

Pierre, many many thanks for sharing the results of your work on the web!

(and please continue this great series …..)