Apo Nikkor Lenses

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I have seen several f9 and f11 Apo Nikkors in various lengths from 260mm to 890mm for sale on Ebay, Shutterbug and View Camera. For 4x5, how do they compare to the current tele. designs, ie. resolution, flare, etc? Other than installing a Packard shutter, and dealing with the bellows extension, it would seem they would be a reasonal low cost alternative to a new Tele Nikkor. Or am I missing something?

-- Beau Schwarz (schwarz@wt.net), February 01, 1999


I'm just guessing here, but I would bet that those lenses - they all seem to be barrel mount - are process lenses. Seems like everybody is junking such cameras and going digital, so there's something of a firesale on these lenses.

If this guess is correct, the lenses are probably corrected for 1:1 or similar magnifications. They probably aren't really wide field, but probably wide enough for 4x5 and generous movements. I would expect them to work well at normal distances also.

They would probably make great enlarging lenses, but who wants a 890mm enlarging lens?@:-)

-- mike rosenlof (mike_rosenlof@yahoo.com), February 01, 1999.

Beau, Mike's response is correct. These are process camera lenses and not suitable as normal taking lenses because they are flat field and will not be sharp in a curved field (the real world) environment.

-- fred deaton (fdeaton@airnet.net), February 05, 1999.

Process lenses may be less than ideal for ordinary photography simply because they're usually optimized around the 1:1 range rather than ordinary-usage range. It has nothing at all to do with them being flat-field etc.

-- John Hicks / John's Camera Shop (jbh@magicnet.net), February 05, 1999.

Have any of you seen a side by side comparison? If I showed you an image focussed at infinity made by several of my lenses could you tell me which was made with the process lens? I'm not saying you couldn't - I'm genuinely asking. What happens when you focus one of these lenses at infinity? The images I make with my process lenses look just fine to me. Am I missing something?

-- Erik Ryberg (ryberg@seanet.com), February 06, 1999.

I believe you could measure decreased performance compared to ordinary lenses at infinity but assuming you're not shooting at maximum aperture real on-film differences would be mighty difficult to see. At least I can't see it. If you're wondering, try it for yourself. Take one shot with an ordinary 135 or 150 lens, then another with a 135 or 150 enlarging lens (which is in effect a process lens). Or for maybe an easier comparison, take a shot with an ordinary 50mm lens on 35mm, then another with a macro lens.

-- John Hicks / John's Camera Shop (jbh@magicnet.net), February 06, 1999.

I just wanted to re-awaken this thread.

Someone out there must be using all of these APO Nikkor process lenses that are selling on Ebay each week. So, how are they working out? Will the 305mm cover 8x10? The 360mm?

Beau, did you ever buy one?


-- sheldon hambrick (shambric@us.oracle.com), April 06, 1999.

Has anyone tried the Apo-Nikkor 260mm f10 for image circle? I also read somewhere that it is a wide field design a la Metrogon - can anyone confirm please?

Thanks, Glenn

-- glenn holzer (glenn@shadow.net), February 09, 2002.

I own a nikkor f10 240 process wide angle and it will cover 8x10 with movements...11x14 straight on and 12x20 in closeup.Only stops down to f32 though.Expensive to put into shutter!

-- Emile de Leon (knightpeople@msn.com), February 10, 2002.

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