5 Small & Sharp Lenses for the Nikon FE10

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: April 12, 2020
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Best Nikon FE10 Cameras Lenses

The Nikon FE10 is a very good film SLR camera. This article will talk about the 5 best lenses for the Nikon FE10, plus a handful of alternative lenses.

Additional information below, but if you're limited on time, here is the list:

  1. Kit Lens - Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E
  2. Wide Angle Lens - Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Ai
  3. Portrait Lens - Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E
  4. Zoom Lens - Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5
  5. Macro Lens - Vivitar 90mm f/2.8

The top Nikon F-mount lenses are categorized by kind of photography and cost. There are lots of outstanding camera lenses to choose from that are in price ranges ideal for the value of a FE10.

Standard Prime Lens

A 50mm lens is a great choice for a vast array of photography. The areas of photography consist of street, everyday use, architecture, landscapes, portraits and travel. This is the most frequent focal length that is used on the Nikon FE10.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E

If you do not already have one, a good first lens for the FE10 is the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E. The 50mm f1.8 is readily available, has nice picture quality, is cheap, compact, and lightweight.

You'll want to buy the second version of the lens, which has a chrome ring around the body of the lens. It is made out of aluminum, whereas the first version has plastic parts.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E Lens

  • One of the best selling 50mm lenses Nikon ever made.
  • Terrific value.
  • Small, light and compact.
  • 52mm front filter threads.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The 50mm Series E lens is referred to as a pancake lens because of how thin it is. When mounted on the FE10 the lens will barely stick out. This is very useful for keeping the camera under a coat allowing you to keep a low profile.

Nikon also produced a variety of other 50mm manual focus lenses for the F-mount.

Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4

Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4

  • Superb optics.
  • Optical multi-coatings to improve performance.
  • Easy to find.
  • Comparatively inexpensive.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

At the added cost of size and weight, the Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 is 2/3 of a stop faster. It is a little bit higher priced than any of the f/1.8 or f/2 lenses.

Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II AI-S

Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 prime lens, 2nd version.

Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 Lens

  • Remarkable optics.
  • Has a Meter Coupling Prong.
  • CPU Contacts.
  • Available for purchase new.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

Nikon produced a 55mm f/1.2 and 50mm f/1.2, but the value is poor. Because of the age of the lenses, you ought to be wary of the grease in the focusing helicoid drying up, spoiling the experience of using the lens.

The Voightlander 58mm f/1.4 is an all around a superior option for a premium quality lens. It has the smoothest focusing ring I've ever used on a manual focus lens. It is a total joy to use.

Plus, the lens provides compatibility across all Nikon F-mount SLR cameras. It has a Meter Coupling Prong, Ai Meter Coupling Ridge, CPU contacts, and has a switch to allow for electronic control of the aperture. You can seamlessly swap the lens from a Nikon DSLR to a Nikon film SLR.

Alternative Standard Lenses

Listed below are other good lenses that are worth buying.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Nikon 50mm f/2AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Nikon 35mm f/2.5 Series EAmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series EAmazoneBayKEHAdorama

Wide Angle Lens

Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8

Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Ai Lens

  • Great paired with a 50mm lens.
  • Optical multi-coatings to reduce chromatic aberrations.
  • Easy to find.
  • Comparatively low-priced.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

An excellent selection for a wide-angle lens is the Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8. The lens is fantastic for landscape or architectural photography.

There is an abundance of wider focal lengths to select from, but they are commonly are way more expensive or have significant amounts of barrel distortion. Third-party lenses have clearly reduced image quality than lenses made by Nikon.

Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series E

Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

  • Great when paired with a 50mm lens.
  • Optical multi-coatings to improve performance.
  • Easy to find.
  • Comparatively cheap.

Also found at: eBay and KEH

A cheaper alternative, the Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series E, is on the border of being a wide-angle lens. It is appealing to use with the FE10 on account of the affordable price and ease at which the lens can be found.

Alternative Wide Angle Lenses

In terms of cost, the correlation is easy to understand. The larger the field of view, the costlier the lens ıs going to be. Faster versions also sell for noticeably more.

Nikon 8mm f/2.8 FisheyeNikkor 13mm f/5.6
Nikkor 15mm f/3.5Fisheye Nikkor 16mm f/2.8
Nikkor 18mm f/3.5Nikkor 20mm f/2.8
Nikkor 24mm f/2

Portrait & Telephoto Lens

Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

  • 85mm alternative.
  • Good price to performance.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Easy to find.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

85mm lenses weren't as commonly used as they are today compared to when the FE10 was originally released in 1996. 135mm or 100mm focal lengths were more common thanks to their more affordable price.

Like all the other Series E lenses listed, the 100mm f/2.8 hits an appropriate balance of usability, price, and performance. That's why it was favored when introduced and why so many copies are offered on the used market.

Nikon Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 Lens

Nikon Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 Lens

  • 85mm substitute.
  • "Vintage" portraiture rendering.
  • Many copies are available.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The "vintage" look of the Nikkor 135mm f2.8 stems from the focal length combined with the lens only containing 4 elements.

1965 was the year the initial version of the lens was produced. There's a total of 6 versions of the lens, with only the last two versions being suitable for the FE10.

If you go looking for a copy of the lens, the compatible lenses will be listed as Ai-S or Ai.

Alternative Telephoto Lenses

There are plenty of additional telephoto lenses to select from. Lenses longer than 135mm and 85mm lenses will be pricey.

Nikkor 85mm f/2Nikkor 105mm f/1.8
Nikkor 105mm f/2.5Nikkor 135mm f/2
Nikkor 135mm f/2.8Nikon 135mm f/2.8 Series E
Nikkor 180mm f/2.8Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED
Nikkor 300mm f/2 IF-EDNikkor 300mm f/2.8
Nikkor 300mm f/4.5Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 IF-ED
Nikkor 500mm f/4 IF-ED PMirror Nikkor 500mm f/8
Nikkor 600mm f/4 IF-EDNikkor 800mm f/5.6 IF-ED

Nikon FE10 Zoom Lenses

Before cameras had autofocus, in the early 1980s, there were several lenses manufactured by third-party manufacturers that out-performed Nikkor lenses.

A large number of these lenses would be released with the Vivitar brand name. Lenses that have the Vivitar Series 1 branding will have terrific optics.

Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5

Vivitar 70-210mm f/3.5 Zoom Lens

Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 Zoom Lens

  • Covers a popular focal range.
  • Excellent for portrait or wildlife photography.
  • A rare time when a third-party lens is the better choice.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

Alternative Zoom Lenses

Unfortunately, shorter focal range zoom lenses have issues making them a bad choice to use with the Nikon FE10. Age along with wear and tear has caused many Nikon zooms to end up being borderline unusable.

The only lens I would suggest looking for is the Vivitar Series 1 VMC 35-85mm f/2.8 (Also found on KEH). Bear in mind, it can be hard to find.

Vintage Zoom Lens Problems

The lens that could have been the best choice, the Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5, is regrettably, a push-pull zoom. In place of having a zoom ring, the focus ring is pushed or pulled to select the zoom range.

The grease in almost all push-pull zooms has deteriorated to where the zoom mechanism cannot hold itself up. This means that the lens will have tiny changes in focal length when trying to focus the lens. This will be made worse if the lens is pointed up or down.

Nikon Macro Lenses

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 & Vivitar 55mm f/2.8

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens made by Komine

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

  • The best vintage macro lens I've used.
  • Available in lots of different lens mounts.
  • Awesome value.

Also found at: KEH, Adorama

Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens manufactured by Komine

Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

  • The second best vintage macro lens I've used.
  • A very good lens for close-up photography.
  • It does not need an extension tube to reach 1:1 magnification.

Also found at: KEH, Adorama

Komine manufactured the two recommended macro lenses in Japan. The lenses were also sold under numerous brand names. Spiratone, Elicar, Rokunar, Panagor, and Quantaray are brands that also released the lenses.

There is a Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review and a Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review.

For capturing images at 1x magnification, the 90mm lens will be the better pick because it has a larger working distance.

The 55mm macro lens is great for close-up and table-top photography.

Alternative Macro Lenses

Micro Nikkor 55mm f/3.5AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Lester A Dine 105mm f/2.8AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8AmazoneBayKEHAdorama

Used Nikon Camera Lens Prices

The prices of camera lenses change all the time as they are influenced by supply and interest in manual focus lenses. Over the past several years, film photography was going through an increase in interest, which has caused prices to increase.

Economic changes can quickly lead to large changes in prices. Even so, the difference in prices between lenses should stay similar.

Check several websites to get a good idea of what market prices currently look like. If you're fortunate enough to come across a good deal, be quick because the best deals do not last very long.

What Lens Mount Does the Nikon FE10 Use?

The Nikon FE10 uses the Nikon F lens mount. The Nikon F-mount has been in use since 1959. Over time changes have been made to add CPU contacts, electronic aperture control, metering information, and autofocus.

Use manual focus lenses described as either Ai or Ai-S with the FE10. The meter coupling ridge built into those lenses will allow the camera to correctly meter light.

For a complete explanation F-mount lenses, this page explains everything you should know Nikon F-mount lens and camera compatibility.

Standard Lens Cap Size

The standard filter ring thread and lens cap diameter for just about all vintage F-mount lenses is 52mm. However, lenses with big front elements will use larger lens caps and filters.

The benefit of having a standardized filter thread size is that you only need to get a single set of filters.

Non-Ai vs Ai & Ai-S Lenses

A Meter Coupling Prong was used on early Nikon F-mount cameras. The Nikon FE10 uses a Meter Coupling Ridge.

Some lenses have both styles of meter coupling as they were built when Nikon was transitioning to the Ai design.

Older lenses that only have a Meter Coupling Prong will most likely damage your FE10 if you attempt to mount one to the camera.

More Nikon FE10 Resources

There is no more info on the best Nikon FE10 lenses. When more information is added to the site, links can be found here.

Best Nikon FE10 Film

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