Bye bye reverse focus Nikon Mount Lenses…. Hello Samyang!

I’ve been using Nikon lenses on my F3’s since I first purchased them. I’ve been getting very good results and optically I have been perfectly happy with the lenses I have. I chose Nikon simply because they have ether manual iris rings or the small lever on the rear of the lens that allows adapters like the MTF adapters to control the iris manually. For bigger budget shoots and commercials I hire in PL mount lenses to suit the job. When I got the FS700 my plan was to continue to use the Nikon mount lenses. But I did also get a metabones adapter for the FS700 so I could use the few Canon lenses that I have for my DSLR’s. That’s when the problems started.

Every now and then it’s nice to have auto iris, even if all you use is the one push auto button to quickly set the exposure. With a Sony E mount lens or Canon lens on the FS700 I get this functionality and it’s nice to have. I don’t use it a lot but for some jobs it is nice. So suddenly I found myself alternating between Nikon and Canon mount lenses and thats a nightmare because most Nikon lenses focus in the opposite direction to every other lens I know. After spending most of my life turning a focus ring anti-clockwise for infinity it becomes instinctive. When I started using Nikon lenses I had to re learn how to focus, now I’m using Canon mount lenses again I’m going back to instinct again and it’s very confusing. You can use a follow focus with reversible gears to get around the problem, but it’s still not ideal.

Anyway, I’ve decided enough is enough and I’m selling off any lens that focusses back to front (clockwise for infinity, nikon style) and replacing them with lenses that focus the correct way.

This isn’t as simple as switching to Canon as I still need to be able to use the lenses on my PMW-F3, so I still need a manual iris ring. Most Sigma lenses focus in the correct direction, even Nikon fit ones. Some Sigma lenses still have manual iris rings, so my general purpose zoom for the F3 is now a Nikon fit Sigma 24-70mm EX-DG Macro lens which does have an iris ring and focusses the right way. Next I swapped out my reverse focussing Nikon fit Samyang 14mm f2.8 for a Canon fit Samyang 14mm. These lenses are really good value for the money and they do have manual iris rings. I also now have the Samyang 35mm f1.4 and I really like it a lot. I have my eyes on the 24mm and 85mm Samyang’s as well to complete my kit. In the mean time I also have some Sigma 20mm f1.8’s and again even though these are Nikon fit they do focus the correct way and do have manual iris rings.

If anyone is looking for some Nikon fit lenses I have a number for sale including a couple of Tokina 28-70mm f2.6 MK1 and Mk2 AT-X pro’s and a 20-30mm AT-X pro (love those lenses as they don’t telescope), and a couple of  50mm Nikkor AI-s f1.8’s.

3 thoughts on “Bye bye reverse focus Nikon Mount Lenses…. Hello Samyang!”

  1. I agree totally when it comes to Samyang – very good value for the money. I use the 35mm very often and it is very sharp even at full stop. But there is one thing to really watch out for – try to avoid getting a direct light source in the shot as these lenses don’t have enough multicoating. The drop in contrast is huge and the flare it produces is not pretty. Even the f-stop clics are a bit to distinct, they need to be removed, I believe.

  2. Are you still selling the Tokina 28-70s? Are they de-clicked? I bought one a few months ago and then had it serviced (and de-clicked) because there was a slight grinding/catching feel zooming from wide and the focus would shift slightly when zooming quickly in or out. The problems are still there so I’m looking for another. Do yours do this?
    Thanks. michael[at]

    1. The Tokinas are not par-focal so your focus will shift when you zoom. Neither of mine have any grinding or binding and they are de-clicked. I’m going to sell one of them.

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