Nikon Series E 100mm f2.8 Lens Review

Introduced in 1979 to accompany the Nikon EM and updated with a chrome ring in 1981 (mine is the earlier type).

The 100mm E Series makes a cheap alternative to the highly regarded 105 2.5. Whilst the rings are plastic the barrel is metal and focusing is smooth and precise with the lovely viscosity of classic manual Nikkors - it's far better than the shorter E Series primes. Aperture stops are easily found, but the ring is a little sloppy in feel. Usual colour hyperfocal distance marks and IR mark are present.
The lens is extremely compact and lightweight, only a little deeper than non-pancake standard lenses. My example isn't multi-coated, I've yet to establish whether later versions were.


Fact Sheet

Vendor name Type Product year
Series E
Focal Min(mm) Focal Max(mm) Focus Min(cm)
Aperture Max Aperture Min. Barrel length(mm)
Elements In Group Diaphragm action Weight (g)
4 in 4
auto 215g
Filter Size (mm) Push on diameter (mm) Angular field
Quality Rate Rarity Rate
DSLR compatible

User Comments

For those of us who actually shoot with an open eye, the 100mm Series E is a great lens. It's far better then the disrespect the geeky collectors give it. They don't shoot..

(Ken Rockwell)

If there is just measurable distortion I've been unable to detect it and I've not managed to produce chromatic abberation/fringing. On a 1.5 crop sensored body, I can detect no visible light fall off even wide open.

Sharpness wide open is very good, stopped down to f4 it's superb. Out of focus areas are rendered fairly smoothly at f4. Flare resistant isn't great - If the sun is near the subject the otherwise very good contrast drops. Colour saturation is good but not astounding.

Fairly robust feeling despite the use of plastics, and flare resistance aside this is a very nice performer. Seems to be increasing in price on the secondhand market, but still available relatively cheaply, it's a great low cost addition to the kit bag.

(Richard D.) 




Comments (2)
100mm f/2.8 Series E -excellent bokeh as well
2Monday, 05 May 2014 01:07
Harry Lavo
I've done some controlled tests on this lens, and the bokeh is wonderful between f2.8 and f/4. Blur is continuous and smooth; out-of-focus highlights are round within this range and with minimal ringing.
100mm f/2.8 Series E
1Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:06
Kim A.
I have this lens, and can confirm your findings! My sample is as sharp as my 70-200 VR in center, and sharper in the corners! Contrast is NOT as godd though. Especially in backlit situastions.
A fantastic lens! Tiny and light as a 50mm, and decent tele for portraits and candid street etc.

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