Nikon 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E: The poor man’s Pro tele zoom from Nikon

Nikon 75-150 Series ENikon 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E lens was first produced by NIKON in the 1980s. It’s a E series lens where the E stands for Economy. But when you hold the lens and observe that it is full metal and glass, it does not feel cheap.

It is still available used and if you know where to look, you can find one for around USD 200.00 ( Indian Rupees 11,000.00 ) or even less.  

I wanted to buy a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 but could not afford one. And after reading a few positive reviews in the web about this lens I got one myself, used and for about USD 150.00.

I had read about the problem of zoom creep with this lens just like the Nikon 18-200 VR when that first came out. Fortunately I found my copy to be without this problem.  

It’s a smaller lens if you compare it to similar zooms. It’s about 125 mm long and half a kilogram in weight. Nikon 70-200 mm 2.8 VR II weighs  one and a half kilogram and more than 200 mm long. And Nikon 70-200 mm 4G weighs almost 850 grams and around 180 mm long. I find this lens very easy to carry around. 

If you are a Nikon user and you are comfortable with manual focus, then it is no brainer that you should try to get one while its available. But you should have a camera model that has options to meter with lenses without built in CPU. Like Nikon D4, Nikon D3/S, Nikon D800/E, Nikon D600, Nikon D700, Nikon D300/S, Nikon D200, Nikon D7000 etc.

In these cameras, you can save the lens details specifying maximum aperture and the camera will meter with a relevant manual focus lens and you can use aperture priority mode and as you set the aperture by turning the aperture ring of the lens, the camera will take care of the shutter speed for a correct exposure. All you have to do is focus. Lets see some images now and why not with one from the wonderful Taj Mahal.

Nikon D-800, f/8, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/8, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
Nikon D-800, f/3.5, 1/250s, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/3.5, 1/250s, Aperture Priority, ISO 100

So what is so good about this lens ? It’s sharp even at the maximum aperture. Actually I use this lens mostly at f/3.5 or f/4.0. It is even sharper at f/5.6 and f/8.0. Also it is very lightweight and so easy to carry  around. You can fix a 52 mm neutral clear filter to protect the front element which I do always. I came to know that this lens works great with Nikon 3T close up lens but I have not tried that. Maybe I will do that in the near future. Now here are some more photos below with this lens. These are taken at Lodi Garden, New Delhi last December. You can click on any image to see larger version if you want.

Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/11, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 800
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/11, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 800
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/8, 1/500s, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/8, 1/500s, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/11, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 800
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/11, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 800
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/5.6, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 450
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/5.6, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 450

Let us now see some Black and whites done with this lens. Color images from Camera Raw were converted to B&W in Photoshop.

Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/11, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 2000
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/11, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 2000
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/4.0, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 1100
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/4.0, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 1100
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/5.6, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 2200
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/5.6, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 2200
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/4.0, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 1100
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/4.0, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 1100

The first one is also from Lodi Garden, New Delhi while the rest are from Agra Fort which is near the Taj Mahal. You can click on the images to see the details recorded by this amazing lens.

Before signing off today, I leave you with one of my Favorite photographs taken at the Taj Mahal.

Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/8.0, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 125
Nikon D-800, Nikon 75-150mm 3.5 AI-s Series E, f/8.0, 1/160s, Aperture Priority, ISO 125

See you soon. Keep shooting …

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Larry Miller says:

    It might be a “poor man’s” lens but it shoots like a pro. The detail in those pictures shows that. That’s why I’ve always like this lens. Regarding the “lens creep” on the lens, you can fix that by putting some black electrical tape on the inside barrel and it works very, very well. :-). This lens shoots as well my 80-200Mmm ED F2.8AF. And only a half stop slower.

    Like

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