Nikkor-M 450mm for ULF

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by John Snyder, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. John Snyder

    John Snyder Member

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    The Nikkor-M 450mm is nearly universally espoused as a lens for the 12X20 camera. I've owned one for a long time and used it often on 8X10. Putting it to use on the the 12X20, though, I'd say, yes, it covers, but the image degrades substanially at the edges--a natural effect of the Tessar design. So, I've started to wonder, do others who use this lens not notice or care, or is the prevailing opinion that when contact printing it doesn't really matter? I ran into the same characteristic using the Nikkor-M 300 for 8X10: the softness at the corners was noticeable--and, I felt, problematic--in the prints.

    Having asked these questions, which are mostly subjective, is there a lens in this focal length that will cover 12X20 and be sharp across the field?

    Thanks,

    John
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2007
  2. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    19" Dagor.....and 16 1/2" Dagor stopped down
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Member

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    My experience with the 19" Dagor is that it did not cover the 12X20 format on the edges any better than the 450mm Nikkor-M.

    Sandy King
     
  4. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    How about the 19" f:11 Series IV Dagor? I've used one on 8x20 but not on 12x20. Granted, lower contrast and center sharpness given its age and lack of coating.

    Steve
     
  5. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I haven't seen a dagor yet that was sharp across the field until after f32. But if razor sharpness is you goal then a dagor wouldn't be a good choice anyway.
     
  6. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    Folks,

    RobertP raises the essential question: What lenses cover 12 x 20 razor sharp to the edges at infinity? Not many below normal FL! Certainly many Dagors are sharp in the center, depending on how you define center. I have a 12" Gold Dot that's sublime on 8 x 10.

    My 19" f:11 Series IV Dagor is certainly not as sharp/contrasty as the 12" Gold Dot, but it allegedly (according to the former owner, a recognized ULF photographer), covers 20 x 24 wide open. The LCVM would seem to substantiate that claim. But still, not as sharp as a modern lens if there was one in this FL with this angle of coverage.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  7. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    f64...solves a lot of problems at the corners
     
  8. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    you may want to consider the schneider fine art 550 xxl. Although I have never used one and it is a tad longer than you are inquiring about, I've heard a lot of good reviews about them.
     
  9. John Snyder

    John Snyder Member

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    Thanks for the input. Would that I could give the 550 XXL a try, but it's a little out of my range now. The one thing I can't tell, and am curious about, is if others have been dissatified with the performance of the 450 Nikkor-M on 12X20 film.

    John
     
  10. garysamson

    garysamson Subscriber

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    John,
    I have been very happy with the performance of my 450 Nikkor-M lens on my 12x20 Wisner, but my subject matter often does not require absolute sharpness out to the corners since I am making mostly portraits and nude studies. I have shot some streetscapes and with careful composition the slightly soft corners in a contact print are not displeasing to me.
     
  11. Tri Tran

    Tri Tran Subscriber

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    John,
    I always have it on my 12x20 and never had a problem with sharpness between F45-64 corner to corner. Best lens for the money.
     
  12. John Snyder

    John Snyder Member

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    I'll try stopping it down more--my tendency is to try to shoot in the middle of the range. Thanks.
     
  13. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I have not shot with my 8x20 yet, bellows under construction, but I will be using a Gerogon 360mm lens and a Kodak Anastigmat 21 1/4" lens. I shoot landscapes and I think with this format or my 8x10 for that matter I'm always at f-45 to f-90. I think this is where you need to be for sharpness. Use T-Max 400 if you can as it may gain you some needed speed.

    Jim
     
  14. sanking

    sanking Member

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    My opinion also. But you must stop the lens down to at least f/32-f/45 for 12X20 format for good performance on the edges.

    Stopped down I have used the 450mm Nikkor-M on 20X24" format. Results were quite acceptable for contact printing.

    Sandy King