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Thread: need a Nikkor M 300mm f/9

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2001

    need a Nikkor M 300mm f/9

    hey guys, just checking in with a field report. been out shooting mass quantities of 8x10 color negative film (Portra 160 NC) lately, with wonderful results. i just love the look of LF color negs-- smoother and more real looking than transparencies, and much easier to massage into prints than trannies. only major bummer is the extra ten bucks per shot for a contact sheet, so i know what i got (without a contact sheet the negative is greek to me; i can't even tell if i like the image at all).

    i chose Portra over the Fuji equivalents because all of my exposures are in the 1/4 of a second to 10 second range-- exactly the crossover point for the two different types of Fuji film (they have a short and long exposure film, totally different color balance, and the exposure cutoff is 1-second).

    Portra is far grainer than tranny film, which is a bummer when blown up huge (i print all my work at 50x40"), but the gains in tonal smoothness and complexity are worth the trade-off.

    i have decided after shooting for twelve years to get a second lens-- my workhorse 450mm is a little too narrow for some of my latest subjects and i need something wider. i am thinking of a Nikkor M 300mm, which matches the filter size as my current Nikkor 450M. before i go to the usual commercial places, does anyone out there happen to have one (or an equivalent lens) that they would like to unload?

    i also need a lensboard for my Calumet C-1 too...



  2. #2
    Robert A. Zeichner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Southfield, Michigan

    need a Nikkor M 300mm f/9

    "i am thinking of a Nikkor M 300mm, which matches the filter size as my current Nikkor 450M."

    Chris, FYI the 300mm M takes 52mm filters. I believe your 450mm M takes 67mm filters.

    As far as lens boards go, the C-1 will take an ordinary, everyday 6x6 Deardorff board (with rounded corners). You will find these to be a bit lighter than the cast metal C-1 boards and probably easier to find. Do you have used camera shows where you are? I'm going to one today here in the Detroit area and will probably run across a dozen of these. I'll also check and see if there are any 300 M's for sale and could email you with the specifics later on.

  3. #3
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    New Hampshire

    need a Nikkor M 300mm f/9


    You might also consider the Fuji 300 A if you are looking for expansive coverage. I has an image circle of 420mm which is a good bit larger than that of the Nikkor. While only available used it is a modern design EBC coated lens of superb performance. The price for the larger image circle is weight, it is moundted in a #1 shutter but weighs a good bit more than the Nikkor.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    need a Nikkor M 300mm f/9


    I have both lenses. The 300 M is a nice complement to my 450M. The only thing I would consider is that it's image circle is very different from the 450M. I use the 450 on my 12x20 and it allows for quite a bit of movement. The 300M on my 8x10, while a super lens, is a very tight fit: hardly any movement(but some, just very little.) I don't know if you routinely use lots of movements, but if so you might find the 300M a bit limitiing. Good Luck!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  5. #5

    need a Nikkor M 300mm f/9

    I also have both the Nikon 450M and 300M and do not use the 300M on my 8x10 for the reason stated by John. Not enough excess coverage for my requirements.

    I solved the problem with a 305 G Claron. Slightly bigger but still in a Copal #1 but it accepts the same 67mm filters as the 450M and the lens will cover 11x14 so 8x10 is a day at the beach. Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Los Angeles, CA

    need a Nikkor M 300mm f/9


    I use my 300 M on my 4x5, so I can't comment on its image circle for 8x10, but can confirm that it uses 52mm filters, and is much smaller than lighter than my old 450 M. (I sold my 450 M and replaced it with a Fujinon 450 C, which also uses 52mm filters.) The 300 M is a fine lens, and if the image circle is adequate I think you will like it. The Fujion C 300mm f/8.5 is also said to be a fine lens. According to the comparison chart on Tuan's site, the Fujinon has a 380mm image circle to the Nikkor's 325mm. However, I have read that people find that the Nikkor M's circle is much larger than claimed by Nikon, which makes sense, since 325mm is not enough to cover 8x10.

  7. #7

    need a Nikkor M 300mm f/9

    I also use the 300mm Nikkor M and haven't yet had a problem with image circle. The comments I've read say it's not as sharp in the corners but I haven't run into light fall off with it. The sharpness comments may be true, but for me that's been either sky or the ground nearest the camera, which would not be as sharp for depth of field reasons.

    I'd say it's a great lens because it's super sharp and also small to carry. The filters are cheap in that small size.

    I got mine new at a very good price from Robert White. I think B&H also sells the gray market version for less than the USA version. So if you want to treat yourself to a new one, go for it. I don't think I ever saw one for sale on Ebay. You'll probably have to wait for somebody to pass away.

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