CF for Nikon 65mm/4.0 - comments please? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi all,

I've just had the opportunity to purchase a near new Nikon 65mm/4.0 at a very attractive price, thanks to a kind friend. If I purchase a center filter for this lens what density would be best? Could anyone using CF's please comment on the Heliopans v Schneider v Rodenstock. I would imagine they are pretty similar in quality but is there any advantage in paying extra $$'s for the Schneider/Rodenstock?

Does a 67/86 thread have advantage over just a straight 67 thread?

I will be shooting 90% landscape - b&w and colour trans 6x9/6x12 & 4x5.

Thanks for any comments.

Kind regards

Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (, July 30, 2001


Peter, Just as a matter of interest, the distance between the heighest point on the front element of this lens is VERY close to the level of the filter thread (if this makes any sense - like the 110XL), in fact the Nikon literature states that there is only 1.5mm of clearance! From what I gather the pitch of the filter thread on the lens is 0.75mm ie the filter is getting mighty close to actually touching the glass!! I haven't used this lens but it would be interesting to get some feedback re this potential problem! You may have to resort to the "wide angle" type of filter if this offers any greater clearance! Don't want to appear negative, but IMHO it would be a worry!! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (, July 30, 2001.

"0.75mm ie the filter is getting mighty close to actually touching the glass!"


The pitch is how course or fine the threads are.

Not where they are positioned.

-- Bob Salomon (, July 30, 2001.


You most certainly will need a CF if you intend to shoot full frame 4x5 or 6x12, or even 6x9 with considerable movement.

I have it on good authority from a technical rep of Rodenstock that ALL CF filters are made by Heliopan and supplied in whatever mount is applicable.

As long as the filter glass clears the front element by even 1mm there is no problem.

The mount to the lens must, of course, be 67mm. The front mount of 86mm allows the use of additional filter(s) with reduced risk of vignetting.

For 65mm lens a CF with a density of 1.5 stops would be ideal.

I believe there is a Schneider CF for 65mm lens at ECS in Sydney (+61 02 9819 6000) - it's in a nice Schneider leather pouch, too ... unlike today's vinyl compact case.

Hope this helps,


-- Walter Glover (, July 30, 2001.

Peter, I disagree with Walter, and being a nikkor 65 mm user myself I can assure you you DON"T need a CF. As I undesrtand it nikkor designed this lens precisely so you odnt need a CF and is the only one in the market that has this property, if it was a SChinder or Rodenstock I would be the first one to tell you go get the CF. Anyways, proof is in the pudding, I have used my Nikkor 65 mm for years now, about 4 or 5 and I have never seen evidence of uneven exposure. Good luck and enjoy your lens it is a fun one.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, July 30, 2001.

Peter, Apologies if I have given you naff info, my misunderstanding on the term "pitch"! I just wanted to point out that there may be a problem, but stressed that I wasn't a user of the lens - Bob corrected my ignorance in his usual demeaning way!! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (, July 30, 2001.

Peter, I had been using this 65mm Nikkor for two years and definitely needed to use a CF for 4x5. Mine was a 2 stops Schneider. It worked very well and still works with the 55mm I'm now using.

-- Jean-Marie Solichon (, July 30, 2001.

Regarding the necessity of a center filter - Nikkor designers and lenses must obey the same laws of physics as those from Schneider, Rodenstock and Fujinon. Fall-off is a function of the angle of view and will be near the theoretical minimum for all brands of large format wide angles. There is nothing that Nikon has desgined into their lenses to make them special in this regard. A 65mm Nikkor will have pretty much exactly the same fall-off as a 65mm Schneider, Rodenstock or Fujinon and will benefit from a center filter just as much as the other brands.

That said, sensitivity to fall-off is subjective and varies from viewer to viewer. Some actually prefer the dark corners as it tends to lead the viewer "into" rather than out of the print (Adams mentions darkening the corners of his prints during the printing process for this very reason). Others find dark corners objectionable and distracting. It also depends somewhat on what materials you use and how you plan to make prints from thos materials. In black and white, the corners can be lightened during printing. Color transparency films tend to be higher in contrast and the fall-off more noticeable. If you make your color prints digitally, it's possible to create a "center filter mask" in Photoshop to even out the illumination after the fact.

Personally, I shoot landscapes with high contrast color transparency films and find any fall-off onjectionable. For me personally, I have found a center filter absolutely necessary for every lens I've ever used shorter than 90mm - on 4x5 regardless of brand (and that includes the 75mm f4.5 Nikkor SW). So, I'd definitely NEED a CF with the 65mm Nikkor on 4x5 and probably 6x12, but YMMV. Best to test it with and without and decide for yourself.


-- Kerry Thalmann (, July 30, 2001.

Thanks for everyone's input.

Paul, you don't need to apologise as you didn't steer me wrong and I understood what you were getting at. I think the 67/86 thread would be the best choice.

Walter, yes, I did see that ECS had a couple of Schneider CF's when I bought a Horseman reflex viewer from them last week. The price was a bit steep for a used filter but I suppose it depends on the condition. I'm up in Cairns so it's a bit difficult to check these things out, although they do have a good sale or return policy.

Everyone else, thanks for your comments. I personally don't mind the darkening of the corners (as long as it's not too bad) and I agree that it does have the tendancy to draw the viewer's eye into the image, in fact for B&W it can be a very nice effect IMHO. I think though for a film such as Velvia it may be a good idea to use the filter.

My friend, Paul Schilliger, also uses this lens and he has recently changed to the IIIC which requires two stops compensation but he finds this better than the 1.5 stop density he was using before. He has also used the PS technique which he told me had also worked quite well.

It seems to be a subjective question and I may have to try a few rolls to see if I feel I need one or not.

Thanks once again.

Kind regards

Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (, July 30, 2001.

Peter, yes I have used the IIIC from the 47 XL and it works perfectly with the 65 Nikkor. However, if you are planning to buy the 80 and 110 XL and not the 47XL, maybe the IIIB would be a better choice to suit them all. But Schneider and Rodenstock also say that their CF's do not fully correct the fallof of the lens they are designed for. So I think the IIIC should work quite well with the 80XL too. In fact I have used it with the 110XL one time I needed a lot of rise, and the image was good! I agree with Kerry, particularly when shooting on Velvia and for scans, the CF is indispensable for the full 4x5 frame with the 65mm. But I have shot on Provia II without it and it was fairly good. Jorge says he doesn't need one and he is certainly right if he shoots on low contrast film with a small aperture. Fallof is partly corrected when the lens is closed down. Anyhow, it's a great lens and will certainly suit the wide open spaces of the Australian outback very well!

-- Paul Schilliger (, July 31, 2001.


tell me more about this special lens.

-- adam friedberg (, July 31, 2001.

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