First Impressions – Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 AI-P

Finally got this gem/dream lens after long deliberation regarding its ridiculous cost. Despite my hunt for a black version, silver will have to do for now as a workhorse.

This guy is a modern remake of the old Guide-Number Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 whose forte was being able to set the old flashes to the optimal output per focal distance using the guide numbers written on the opposite side of the focusing ring than the distance scale. Today, that was replaced with a CPU chip and better lens coating, but the old Zeiss Tessar design remained and made this the only true and smallest pancake lens in Nikon’s (and well, Canon’s) lineup to-date. Haven’t had a chance to really put this guy to work yet, but some snaps I took thus far were pretty smooth.

Package, being a collector’s, comes with the NC 52mm filter matching the lens’ color, its own special metal screw-on hood, special front cap, color-matched back cap (didn’t get this one), and its own soft pouch (eluded me as well).

Main highlights are the mostly metal build (minus the aperture ring), super-compact design, short throw of the focus ring (unlike most primes, though I prefer this for quicker re-focusing once you get the fine-focusing down using a shorter throw), unique hood and cap that fits right over it, and ability to use it on both film and digital bodies. Special note here- to use this on digital bodies via CPU, you have to set the aperture ring to the minimum 22 and control it via body; however, while you lose the ability to manually dial in classic Nikon full-stops, it allows 1/3 stops like any modern G lens via on-board controls. Pretty worthy trade off if you ask me.

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Main kicker- its SUPER compact/thin kinda lens-

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Fully extended focus doesn’t add too much either-

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And next to 35 f/1.8G-

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With NC filter and hood attached-

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And the cap is designed to fit over the hood!

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And a shot of my 24mm Sigma using the 45P-

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Today, this is almost purely a collectible lens, but that won’t stop me from going to a unique edge due to its design.

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And couple edits-

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All in all, extremely portable and fairly versatile street/general purpose lens. Not much fringing with this one thanks to the Tessar design, awesome quality, 1/3 stops for aperture, and a full-metal build that many modern lenses lack in favor of being lighter.

One thought on “First Impressions – Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 AI-P

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