nikon 800mm f12 LF lens : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Anyone has any field experience with the Nikon 800mm /f12 LF lens? I tried to find any "real life" experience with it expressed on the net but seems to me, users are rare...

-- george jiri loun (, April 28, 2002



Until recently I had a Nikkor-T 600mm with 800mm rear section also. The lenses are incredibly sharp and display excellent coverage and contrast. The compression of perspective (I used mine for 4x5) opens opportunities for great impact and, of course, distant features are brought to within greater access, as you'd expect.

So what's the down side? Well, not only are the size and weight on a similar scale to the focal length but the weight and bulk of the ancillary gear you'll need. Whichever way you achieve it, by a second tripod, a monopod or a bracket clamped to a tripod leg and the camera, you will need a second support. Any breeze or other air movement will catch the 'sail' of that much bellows and set up internal vibration no matter how steady the camera support is so you might need a windbreak as well.

The ED glass, I believe, creates focus problems with the use of some filter materials - not that filter factors are all that desirable with a maximum apperture of f12.

A friend had the same lens with the 1200mm rear section also. He used it on a Toyo 810M MkII and even that camera had stability problems.

We've both sold our units - he now settles for a Fuji 600mm (C type I think) which has a far greater image circle for 8x10 and I go no further than a Nikkor-M 450mm on 4x5. I do toy with the idea of the Nikkor-T 750mm adaptation of the 360/500 lens. Smaller, lighter and a Copal 1 shutter.

If you can try it first I'd suggest that course of action. Sight unseen may end up proving daunting.

Walter Glover

-- Walter Glover (, April 28, 2002.

I have the Nikkor 600mm and 800mm ED lenses (rear cells to convert back and forth) are really love them. They are very sharp, with the 600mm the sharpest. Have not had problems in wind conditions when mounting on two tripods. Can count individual leaves on aspens or maples easily at 300 - 400 yards +. Large Copal shutter does not induce unsharpness to chromes.

-- John Burnley (, April 29, 2002.

Walter, I did toy with the idea of the 360/500/720 too but I'm now glad I missed on the deals. The 360 is sharp, the 500 is not bad but the 720 is unsatisfactory. It would perform poorly compared to the Fujinon C 600 or Nikkor M 450. I have heard only good things about the 600 and 800 Nikkor (yes, bulk...) but the 1200 seem to suffer from chromatic aberration.

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 29, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ