View Full Version : Comparison between the 19" Dagor and 450 M for ULF
Hello---I've been curious about how the image circles between these two lenses compare. Both, its said, will cover 12x20 with movements. Which lens has the largest, sharpest image circle?(forgetting for now that the Nikkor M's multicoated)I was under the impression that tessars generally have smaller useable(is that the word?) image circles than double anastigmats---certainly the 300 M is substantially tighter than a 12" Dagor, but why does the 450 M seem to "go on and on" if it is the same lens as the 300M in just a different focal length?---------Thanks!
I have a 450mm Nikon that is wonderful for 12x20. I dont have the 19" Dagor but I do have a old 300mm Dagor that is also wonderful on 12x20 so I would assume the 19" would be great too. The 450 Nikon is crisp while the 300 Dagor is very smooth in rendition.
Stopped down to f/22 or beyond my 19" Dagor covers 20x24, the 450M will not. I don't know how much movement you'll get on 12x20 with the 450...more than enough with a 19" Dagor stopped down a little. The Dagor seems very sharp, but seems softer than the 450M I think, mostly because of the difference in contrast.
David A. Goldfarb
Another big difference is that you can obtain a 450M to take pictures with, while the search for a 19" Dagor will have you scouring the internet, camera fairs, and used camera shops possibly for years.
I used a 19" Dagor for several years on 12X20 but sold it when I bought the 450mm Nikkor-M. The Dagor was a very good lens with huge coverage but it probably weighed about three or four times as much as the Nikkor.
As for coverage, the 19" Dagor had a very large circle of illumination, perhaps as much as 35" in diameter, but even at f/64 it was quite soft at anything beyond a diamter of about 24".
I am suprised that Tracy reports that his 450mm Nikkor-M does not cover 20X24". Mine does, although performance is pretty soft at the corners of the image.
In any event for 12X20 work the 450mm Nikkor-M has it all over the Dagor, at least in my opinion. It is lighter, more contrasty, is sharper at the corners, and even allows a few inches of movement. And you can get one in very good to excellent condition in a modern #3 Copal shutter for 1/2 to 1/3 of what a 16" or 19" Dagor will cost.
Don't overlook the Fuji 450C either. I have one of those that will cover 12x20 easily, and is plenty sharp and contrasty. It is also in a #1 shutter, so it may be the lightest of the bunch. The only knock on it is that the maximum aperture is f/12.5. This really hasn't been a problem, IMO, however. Badger Graphics carries them.
450C at Badgergraphics (http://www.badgergraphic.com/search_product2.asp?x=1142)
The Fuji 450C is definitely the champ in turns of weight, but I tested one a year or so ago and found that the circle of illumination just made 12X20 with only about an inch to spare, and the corners were quite soft even when stopped down to f/45.
By contrast the 450mm Nikkor has a circle of illumination that covers 12X20 with lots to spare and when stopped down to f/45 the corners are quite sharp, even when using a couple of inches of movement.
But for 7X17 when weight is a factor the Fuji would be a real winner.
Thanks Sandy. Actually I have a 450 M. What I was curious about was why it has such a large, sharp image circle. Other tessars, at least on this forum, are considered to have rather small circles that quickly fall apart outside the "sweet spot" Even the 300 M on 8x10 seems to share this characteristic with it's fellow tessars. The 14" Commercial Ektar on the other hand, is one of those tessars, like the 450M, that seems to be an exception to the rule and has a generous, sharp image circle allowing for a lot of movement. Double Anastigmats have a reputation for having large circles, but why does the 450M---a tessar---perform so well in this respect when it seems like it shouldn't?
My guess is that in a particular series of lens type/design, there are anomalies. I have a 10 3/4 RD Artar that covers 8x10 with 2 inches of movement (the circle of illumination is actually larger, but becomes too soft beyond 2 inches or so). It's an F9.5 not the usual F9 or F11, maybe that has something to do with it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I have the 450M as a long lens for the 8x10 and after reading all this good stuff about it for ULF, I decided to get the lens mounted for a recently acquired 12x20.
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