Who Has Info on Nikkor LF and Process Lenses

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I have a mixed variety of Nikkor LF and Process camera lenses. Some such as APO-NIKKOR 480 f9 and 600 f11 were extremely expensive process camera lenses. There are some other Nikkors such the Fax-Nikkor that turn up from time to time and a line of specialty Macro Lenses. You can imagine my surprise when I did a Web-Search on Nikkor and could find almost nothing about the technical specs and design points of the commercial Nikkors. All anyone seems to want to talk about are the 35mm format lenses. Anyone have a clue for me to where I can obtain info on these fine commercial lenses.



-- Paul van der Hoof (paul.vanderhoof@losangeles.af.mil), January 30, 2002


Paul, Yup, their is a difference. The few remaining brain cells still working from being a process cameraman in the 60's still (barely) function. A "Process" lens is a flat field lens. That is to say that it is designed to focus the colors of light on the same "flat" i.e. the negative, plane. Much as a slide projector lens is also a flat field lens. A process lens was designed to shoot a flat object (paper / art) and project the image on to a flat neg. I've heard of folks using these shutterless lenses successfully on LF. Now, let's see a 600mm would need a 23-1/2" bellow draw and about twice that for a marco close up and have a depth of filed of (maybe) 1/64" @ f64. And hope the wind doesn't blow! HHHHHMMMMMMMMM . . . . Have to try that some day.

-- Steve Feldman (steve@toprinting.com), January 30, 2002.


Thanks for your response. Yeah, I know what you are saying. I mean, I pretty much know what a process lens characteristics are. I used to shoot in a graphic arts environment. Since I will be using these lenses on a custom built Extremely Large Format Camera that will only be used inside a studio, I'm not much worried about bellows length or wind. As a matter of fact, I'm planning on a bellows length of about 20 feet -- yeah, you heard right. The bellows will be, essentially, a narrow light tight room made up of suspended blackout cloth material. The super-large negs will be held either by taping to a wall, or by vacuum board. The lens board will be supported by a wheeled dolly and the "bellows" will be able to slide back and forth on tensioned guy wires. Not exactly a "point-and-shoot". However, for my next project, I'm thinking about converting a entire travel trailer into a rolling Extremely Large Format Camera. I've already got some sketches going.

-- Paul van der Hoof (paul.vanderhoof@losangeles.af.mil), January 30, 2002.

To explain more: I am interested in finding out the usual specs on a number of Nikkor process lenses such as image circle (coverage)and all the other usual specs. These are usually easy to find either form the manufacturer or users who have gone to the trouble to make and record tests. Getting this myself from trail and error tests is a bit difficult right now and of course, I am interested in lenses that I don't acutally have. So I was asking for some help from whomever might know where more detailed Nikkor lens information could be found.



-- Paul van der Hoof (Paul.vanderhoof@losangeles.af.mil), January 30, 2002.

"That is to say that it is designed to focus the colors of light on the same "flat" i.e. the negative, plane. Much as a slide projector lens is also a flat field lens"

All large format lenses are designed to focus on a flat piece of film.

Granted most process camera have a vacuum easel to hold film flat but these are also currently or have been available for 45 cameras.

45 Aero Roll back from Linhof, Hoffman holders, Linhof vacuum sheet film holders, Schneider and Sinar sheet backs, etc.

A Process lens was designed to reproduce 2 dimensional objects on film at f22 or f32 at 1:1 or near 1:1.

-- Bob Salomon (bob@hpmarketingcorp.com), January 30, 2002.


I'm getting a lot of really good answers to questions I didn't ask. Again, my questions is:

Has any one got specs on Nikkor process and LF lens. Also possibly things like Fax-Nikkor and the macro line. I have looked on the web and can't find this info, not even on Nikon's own site. I know someone out there has their hands on commercial Nikkor specs and that is what I am looking for.

As far as lesson on what a process lens is, that I don't need. Most work just fine in LF and some very fine LF lenses like the Goetz Artars and Kodak Ektar 203 7.7 are basically process lens designs fitted to shutters for LF use. Rodenstock G-Clarons and AP0-Rodagons are also process lenses and have found their place in LF.

Vacuum backs are great -- when convient -- and probably should be used for 6x7 and larger when possible. For my purposes, it's very likely that I will use a vacuum back.

So ---- does any one have the info I'm looking for -- or know where to point me.



-- Paul van der Hoof (Paul.vanderhoof@losangeles.af.mil), January 30, 2002.

"Rodenstock G-Clarons and AP0-Rodagons are also process lenses"

G Clarons are Schneider lenses. Rodenstock process lenses are Apo Ronar and Apo Ronar CL, Apo Geragon, long er then 180mm Apo Rodagon, etc.

But not the Claron series.

-- Bob Salomon (bob@hpmarketingcorp.com), January 30, 2002.

DARN! Where the heck is MY brain today. Yes, of course, G-Clarons are Schneider. And I didn't really mean Rodagon -- the enlarging lens, but ronars and gerogons. Uhrrrrrrrf. Oh, well, it's already five and the brain is fried.


-- Paul van der hoof (paul.vanderhoof@losangeles.af.mil), January 30, 2002.

Rots of Ruck! Over the last 6 years I've purchased 4 or 5 Apo nikkors, a Packard #8 shutter and a Calumet 'green monster' as a hopeful project if the honeydo's ever slack up. The only written information I ever found was a one page blurb in a book listing the various focal lengths Nikon made the Apo Nikkor in. The longest ones were 1210mm and 1800mm. A 1210mm sold a couple of years ago for $8- 900 on ebay. Good luck.

-- Beau Schwarz (ejschwarzjr@hotmail.com), January 31, 2002.

The process Apo-Nikkors are shown in Cox's 'Photographic Optics' as being of Apo-Tessar construction, with an angle-of-view of 40 to 48 degrees.
If you want a process lens with a REALLY wide AoV, then search out a Konica Hexanon GRII process lens. I picked up 3 of these little gems in 150, 210, and 300 mm focal lengths. (Well, not-so-little gems really. The 300mm is about 4 inches across and weighs over a kilo.) The AoV starts at around 70 degrees @f/9, and inreases to almost 90 degrees fully stopped down, I estimate.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), January 31, 2002.


-- Andrey Vorobyov (AndreyVorobyov@yahoo.com), January 31, 2002.

From an auction on Ebay a month or two ago it appears that the English printing of their brochures were damaged by water in a basement and very few were ever distributed. Someone auctioned off originals of the normal and wideangle brochures - maybe you can check the usual suspects for documents.

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), January 31, 2002.

The previous post was pertaining to the APO Nikkor process lenses.

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), January 31, 2002.

Thanks all for all the great info. I'm sure that I'll get what I'm looking for now!


-- Paul van der Hoof (paul.vanderhoof@losangeles.af.mil), January 31, 2002.

A very kind Gentleman Dagor77 from e-bay contributed a one page tech. sheet on Fax-Nikkors. I purchased a 160mm to expierment shooting small objects. I'd be happy to forward this tech. sheet to anyone interesed.John Grunke

-- John Forrest Grunke (johngrunke@msn.com), February 02, 2002.

I'm not sure about the technical specs of these lenses, but I happen to have a couple gathering dust. They were originally part of an 11x14 process camera which has been decomissioned. I've got a 480/f9 and a large and lovely 760/f11. They're in immaculate condition with no marks on the glass or barrel. If anyone's interested, I'm open to trades or a modest amount of cash.

Thanks, Alex.

-- Alex Garant (alexgarant@hotmail.com), March 09, 2002.

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