Recently I was having a bit of a think.
The think I thought was about ditching old manual focus wide angle lenses and replacing them with auto-focus optics. It wouldn't be for "improving" image quality. I know there is nothing to be gained in terms of "sharpness" by going with modern lenses.
No. My think I thought had to do with ease of use. Hit a button and the lens focuses itself. Just like with my APS-C Sony mirrorless cameras and lenses. Only this time it would be for my Full Frame Sony mirrorless bodies.
That's where I stopped.
Why duplicate what I already have in the smaller, equally capable format?
So, instead of selling my old Nikkors to make way for new Sony/Tamron/Sigma, I brought out the lenses I was thinking of kicking to the curb and took their picture. Silly, I know.
From left to right -
Nikon Nikkor UD 20mm f/3.5
Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Ai
Nikon Nikkor-N 28mm f/2 (Ai adapted)
Nikon Nikkor-O 35mm f/2
One of the Games I've played over the past four or five years is to find the best lenses I can for less then 50Euro/50USD. I've hit upon some wonderful "finds" in playing this game.
The single coated Nikon Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 UD came to me by way of a friend. He gifted it to me and I don't count this toward my Game Play. It's a wonderfully sharp lens, but it's also a little heavy. There's loads of glass and metal in it. This has stalled me from reaching for it when heading out. Though I've promised myself that I _will_ use it for the next automobile event I attend. I really shouldn't leave it at home as much as I do.
On the other hand, the lens I've used quite often is the Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Ai. It's small, light, and supremely sharp from wide open with gentle out of focus rendering in the rare cases where the depth of field narrows. I picked this up for more than my Game Limit. To my credit, however, this was purchased well before I started playing this silly Game.
Coming to the Nikon Nikkor-N 28mm f/2, this lens busted my Game Limit quite handily. For some reason I just had to have it. I couldn't get the thought of owning a 28mm f/2 out of my head. As all too often happens when I start thinking this way, a nice little example showed up on my favorite auction site. The price I paid was ultimately less than what they typically go for. So there is that.
The last lens in the lineup is a pretty little Nikon Nikkor-O 35mm f/2. I'd foolishly sold a mint Ai version some years back. I can't remember why it left the Toy Box, but it did and the sale was quickly regretted. There were a few images I'd made with it where I felt the rendering was second to none. So when I scored this early single-coated pre-AI version coming in well below my Game Limit there was nothing but joy Throughout the Land, or something similar.
Which leaves me with this - the tools I use must make me happy or out the door they go. For some reason old Nikon manual focus lenses still, after all these years, make me happy to own, to think about, and, best of all, use.