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Thread: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

  1. #1
    David J. Heinrich
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    575

    Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    There are auctions on eBay right now for both the Nikon Nikkor SW 90/8 and the 90/4.5. The lens resolution tests (at least in lpmm) show the 90/8 as being exceptional. Can I presume the same is true of the 4.5 at those stops?

    Fstop/cnt/mdl/edge
    f/11 80 80 60
    f/16 67 67 60
    f/22 60 54 54

  2. #2

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    Feb 2005
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    Re: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    I have the 90/8. I often shoot in dim locations and I find it bright enough. If you don't mind the weight go for the 90/4.5; I have not used it, but at f16 or f22 there is probably no difference between these lenses.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Flint, MI
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    Re: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    The final price difference will be smaller than one would think... so get the 4.5 if you don't need the smaller lens for hiking. The f/8 versions demand a premium for the reasons you've already stated and its small size.

    I currently have the Nikkor f/8 and used to have a 4.5 ... sharpest lens I ever owned.

  4. #4

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    Washington, D.C.
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    Re: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    I've also got the Nikkor 90mm SW f/8 and it's my sharpest lens, too. I've read some reports that the f/4.5 isn't quite as sharp--but nevertheless a great lens. I've really struggled with the f/8 in dim locations and I've considered trading it for the f/4.5, but it's hard to give up the light weight.


    Elmwood Farm, Virginia

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Cape town, S.A.
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    90

    Re: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    The F4.5 gets my vote for sharpness too, sharper than any of my other current or previous lenses (including a 90mm F8 Super angulon), so long as you don't stop down past F32. I certainly wouldn't mind a lighter lens though. The large aperture even makes composing without a dark cloth possible in some situations.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    IL
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    720

    Re: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    I have never used the f/8 version, but I use the f/4.5 version when shooting in low light situations, most recently at a balloon glow in September.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Olalla, WA
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    Re: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    I use the f/4.5 and it is razor sharp. It is heavier than the f/8, but is a great lens.

  8. #8
    David J. Heinrich
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    575

    Re: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    I had to pass on the 90/4.5, as it's price went way above $400 in the final hour, ended up selling for $600. IMHO, that is nuts, considering that mint ones sold for $400 in past eBay auctions.

    The f/8 version is still up for grabs though. Maybe that will fetch a more sane price.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    757

    Re: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    Quote Originally Posted by dh003i View Post
    I had to pass on the 90/4.5, as it's price went way above $400 in the final hour, ended up selling for $600. IMHO, that is nuts, considering that mint ones sold for $400 in past eBay auctions.

    The f/8 version is still up for grabs though. Maybe that will fetch a more sane price.
    Typical price for an F4.5 Nikkor 90mm is $600+. One sold a few weeks ago for $400 because no one else put in a bid. One also sold a week later for $800. For sub $600, it is a real bargain if the size and weight aren't an issue for you.

    I very much doubt you will see an F8 version for $400 either - they always seem to be in steady demand because of the great combination of small size and huge image circle, and the fact that there is some great info on the particular lens posted on the web by a reputable member of this forum.

    If you want a more budget lens, pick up an earlier single coated Schneider Super Angulon or a Caltar WII (same lens). If you're a newbie to LF, stop bothering with the resolution of various modern LF lenses - they are all way better than your technique is likely to be, so buy one within your budget and get shooting. As someone who has spent a heap of time testing and obsessing, I'll tell you first-hand, it's a waste of time - unless you actually enjoy the process, just forget it. A few years ago I bought and tested 10 modern 150mm lenses. I was astounded to find out how well all of them performed. There was a single 'dog', and I'm pretty sure that it was just a bad sample of the particular lens. To separate the top 3, I had to go up to about 15X magnification, which is simply way more than most LF shooters ever consider. Even an 8X, there was pretty much nothing in it with all 10 lenses.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    1,174

    Re: Nikon Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 vs. 90mm f/4.5?

    I have a Nikon 90 f8, great optics. The main reason I got it is it also covers 5x7.
    My packing camera is a 4x5 crown graphic, it won't close with the nikkor mounted,
    so for hikes, I use a tiny 90 f6.3 Angulon, also a great little lens.
    David Silva
    Modesto,Ca

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