Eating my words — Valentine’s Day Gift from Dad!

Written by Jayvee Fernandez

Remember how my dad gave me his entire Cokin creative filter collection almost a year ago? Well, for Valentine’s he went over the top by giving me a little bit more of his hobby.

But first, let me eat my words. Despite the technical support supremacy of Canon, if all things were constant, I’d opt to go for Nikon’s color quality. So yeah, dad gave me his entire lens collection. These are old lenses – some are 1986 AF Nikkor lenses (I initially thought that all were manual. One or two are AF). I actually feel that the only people who would appreciate this post would be those who are really into old school photography.

So here are the 9 reasons why I shifted to adopted Nikon:

Nikon Lenses

Reasons 1, 2 and 3 from left to right:
Micro Nikkor 200mm Prime f/4
Nikkor 300mm Prime f/4.5
Nikkor 80-200mm f/4

The third zoom lens is rather interesting because since its fully manual, the zoom function works like cocking a shotgun. I can fully zoom in and out in less than a second. (at this point I’d like to apologize for my lack of knowledge on lenses — I’m trying my best to describe how they felt in my hands)

More Nikon Lenses

Reasons 4, 5 and 6 from left to right:
Nikkor 20mm f/3.5
Tamron 28-200 f/3.5-5.6 (It’s like a better kit lens – and hey, it’s a Tamron)
Tamron 28mm f/2.8 (!!!)

Nikon 500mm f/8

Reason 7:
Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex-Nikkor

OK let’s bring in the more interesting lenses. I’ve read reviews about this particular lens that comes in three different variations. The one I have is the best of the three. Despite the mixed feelings I’ve had, this is a perfect “spy lens” as its meant to shoot wildlife. I can zoom down the street to take a photo of a cat napping. Tripod is a must.

Another peculiar perk of this lens is that it produces a donut-shaped boke. Eccentric and unique.

16mm f/2.8 fish eye

Reason 8:
Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 fish eye

Holy smokes! Tried it and loved it. It needs a bit of cleaning though. Not a problem. Look at that lens! Isn’t she a beauty?

Nikon prime lenses

Reason 9 and 10:
Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 Prime (!!!)
Nikkor Micro PC 55mm f/3.5

The 105mm lens you see here is attached to a 27.5mm extension tube. I tried attaching it to the macro lens and apart from the huge shake, I can see the pimples on the garden ants.

It’s lonely at the top, originally uploaded by iPoint, iShoot.


Test shot using a Nikkor 105mm f/2.5mm

Lens Box

All of these old lenses are high grade METAL (read: not plastic) and my dad and I are glad they survived the times. Looks like we’re back in business. I’ve also unearthed a few Carl Zeiss lenses as well as some Konika-Minolta ones for the three other film SLR’s he gave me.

Okay okay I eat my words now with this whole Canon and Nikon thing. But really, both brands have their pros and cons which is why I’m still keeping my Canon kit for events since that’s the body with the speedlite. I doubt I’d need a flash for the Nikon.

Suspension, originally uploaded by iPoint, iShoot.


Test shot using a Nikkor Micro PC 55mm

As a result I’ve been shooting in full manual mode with a digital body. And to be honest, it still isn’t about the equipment – it’s the photographer! But hot damn, these lenses are fantastic. I guess Juned and Markku and Elber were right about how shooting in full manual is lots sexier (I usually shoot in manual mode but with autofocus on – this time its full throttle manual baby!). You can check some of the shots I took here.

Oh, thanks Dad! 🙂 (the things he does to get me to switch to Nikon…)

P.S. Many thanks to Phoebe for helping me test the lenses and to Juned and Markku for helping me decide on a body.

About the author

Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.