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John Hennessy
3-Nov-2003, 21:07
The image circle on a Nikkor M 200mm I just got is listed as 210mm @ f/22 on all sources I know. That was a reason I hesitated buying the lens. But the lens actually has an image circle much bigger; I think it is about 300mm. Due, I suppose, to image degradation at the outer edge, lens manufacturers seem to be a little modest about published image circle sizes. For instance, the other two Nikkor M lenses I have exceed the published image circle by about 10-15 percent. But the M 200 exceeds by about 50%.

Has anyone else noticed this? Has anyone found the extra image circle to be useable? I am still subjectively testing but are there any known objective tests? None of the info I have on the 210mm image circle is from Nikon itself so maybe the number is just wrong.

Even with a 210mm image circle, it seems to be a great lens. And mounted on a technica board it fits in my pocket.

John Cook
4-Nov-2003, 03:07
I use a 200 and 300 Nikkor M for work outside the studio. Both use the same filters (along with a 150). No problems. But then I don't seem to require the camera movements necessary with studio products.

My personal theory (I'm just full of them) is that a smaller image circle projects less unused image light into the bellows, reducing internal flare and increasing contrast. I would think this would be more important with the small tapered bellows of a field or press camera. I once knew a photographer who used an 8x10 camera with a 4x5 reducing back just to reduce internal flare.

Mark Sampson
4-Nov-2003, 05:16
The M-Nikkors are Tessar formulas, and recently I've read posts from the experts- who say that Tessar-formula lenses run out of resolution before they run out of coverage. If true, this might explain the smaller listed image circle. I do like my 300mm Nikkor.