Nikkor 120 SW f8 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Has anyone any experience of using a Nikkor 120 SW lens for 8x10? I am aware of the tight coverage but what about fall off at the corners. Is this particularly noticeable? Any other tips would be greatly appreciat

-- Tony McLean (, December 15, 1999


You might talk to the folks at; their Hobo 8x10 camera can be configured with the 120 SW....

-- Simon Gammelin (, December 15, 1999.

Hi, Tony

I've used the lens for my 8x10 and light fall off was really noticeable patrticulary when sky was included in the composition.

-- Shigehiro Ishii (, December 16, 1999.

Tony, I've seen guys with a 90 XL on an 8x10 using the fall off as an aesthetic element and it looked quite awesome.


-- Dave Anton (, December 16, 1999.

The Nikkor-SW series will have light falloff with a dependence on angle theta between lens center and position on the film between cos theta to the power of 3 and cos theta to the power of 4. This falloff is a fairly fundamental property and will not have much, if any, dependence on brand of wide-field lens (as long as the lens actually covers 8x10). If you want to use a 120 mm lens on 8x10 and find the falloff objectionable, the solution is to use a center filter. Nikon doesn't make center filters, but one from another manufacturer (Heliopan, Rodenstock, Schneider) should work. Before buying a center filter, use the lens and see if you need a center filter for the type of photographs you do.

-- Michael Briggs (, December 16, 1999.

I use one on 8x10 and light falloff is seldom a problem when I stop down to f/22 or so. Getting too much on the ground glass is more of a problem. Working with so wide a view is interesting & the lens is nice & sharp as well.

-- Dan Smith (, December 16, 1999.

Regarding Michael Biggs' comments about light falloff: The cos^4 rule is derived from thin-lens theory, and isn't necessarily a very good predictor of the behavior of real lenses. The Nikkor SW designs in particular seem to "swing" the entrance pupil around a bit, which reduces the light falloff to below what the cos^4 rule would predict. I measure between 1.5 and 2 stops of falloff at the edge of my SW 90/8, whilee cos^4 would predict a bit over 3.

-- Patrick

-- Patrick Chase (, December 17, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ