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View Full Version : Clear Thinking on Nikon 450 F9?



Pawlowski6132
12-Feb-2018, 09:38
I bought this lens based on its reputation and was not disappointed on the quality of the images and the performance of my particular example's shutter.

However, I don't think I should keep it based on my shooting style and environmental constraints.

In summary, I don't shoot large format out of the house. I mainly shoot headshot portraits and still life, relatively up close at that.

I constantly struggle to find the required lens-to-subject distance and/or bellows extension to use this lens easily.

I can shoot 8x10, 5x7 and 4x5 and end up working with a 150mm lens on 8x10 and 5x7 regularly.

I am planning to sell this Nikon 450 lens to someone who can use it with more regularity.

From those who have more experience in LF and, more specifically, with this lens, am I coming to a reasonable conclusion?

I look forward to your input.

jrp

Pawlowski6132
12-Feb-2018, 10:01
Am considering the Nikkor-AM ED 210mm F5.6 to replace it.

Randy Moe
12-Feb-2018, 10:26
I was using this yesterday to explore possibilities in my new studio.

It worked great for an hour and then it timed out and they want you to buy.

But very cool for shifting all variables in any space. With superb visualization tools. Don't forget to rotate the subject. Doesn't have an iOS app which I find a big problem. Works best in Chrome on anything else. 11X14" to 1/6" sensor.

https://dofsimulator.net/en/

Pfsor
12-Feb-2018, 10:29
However, I don't think I should keep it based on my shooting style and environmental constraints.
...
From those who have more experience in LF and, more specifically, with this lens, am I coming to a reasonable conclusion?

I look forward to your input.

jrp

Who else than you, can know better if you need the lens or not? I wonder.

Pawlowski6132
12-Feb-2018, 12:24
Who else than you, can know better if you need the lens or not? I wonder.

You'd be surprised how little I know.

Pfsor
12-Feb-2018, 12:40
You'd be surprised how little I know.

Ok. Then keep the lens and use it, widen your horizons and surprise yourself. How's that?

Pawlowski6132
12-Feb-2018, 12:52
I'm not sure if that was a pun or if you meant that literally but, widening my horizons isn't an option. My camera, head, tripod weigh a TON and taking it out isn't really an option. Not to mention, I'm really committed to my current style.

I was really trying to understand if I was missing something regarding technique or in a technical nature in my decision process.

Pfsor
12-Feb-2018, 13:02
Once I was staying in a flat of my friend for his vacations. I took my 600C Fuji lens and put it on a camera - the tripod was in the kitchen. I was taking pics of high mountain tops out of the kitchen window. The scenery was changing constantly, each day was different. I was just cherry picking the best scenes. The pics were breathtaking. I wish I could stay in the flat every year. Just to say.

Alan9940
12-Feb-2018, 13:22
Based on your shooting parameters, I would think that using a 450mm (18") lens would be difficult and, perhaps, cumbersome. Think of it this way, to get a 1:1 relationship on film with this lens would require 36" of bellows draw! 3 feet!! That's a lot of bellows and maintaining stability at that extension would be difficult. How much bellows extension does your bellows allow? Will it go to, at least, 27"? That might provide a workable image on the film that you could crop into, as needed.

Pawlowski6132
12-Feb-2018, 13:29
Once I was staying in a flat of my friend for his vacations. I took my 600C Fuji lens and put it on a camera - the tripod was in the kitchen. I was taking pics of high mountain tops out of the kitchen window. The scenery was changing constantly, each day was different. I was just cherry picking the best scenes. The pics were breathtaking. I wish I could stay in the flat every year. Just to say.

I hear ya...

LabRat
12-Feb-2018, 13:31
More simply, use it or loose it...

Just ask yourself if there was any chance you might require a longer FL/a little narrower FOV in the future...

You can keep it, or sell it and buy another later (if required)...

The ??? to ask yourself is "Do I need it???"...

Steve K

Pawlowski6132
12-Feb-2018, 13:31
Based on your shooting parameters, I would think that using a 450mm (18") lens would be difficult and, perhaps, cumbersome. Think of it this way, to get a 1:1 relationship on film with this lens would require 36" of bellows draw! 3 feet!! That's a lot of bellows and maintaining stability at that extension would be difficult. How much bellows extension does your bellows allow? Will it go to, at least, 27"? That might provide a workable image on the film that you could crop into, as needed.

I have about 34" and yes, my math and practice force me to the same conclusion regarding cumbersome not to mention the BE factor and reciprocity calculations...

Pawlowski6132
12-Feb-2018, 13:33
More simply, use it or loose it...

Just ask yourself if there was any chance you might require a longer FL/a little narrower FOV in the future...

You can keep it, or sell it and buy another later (if required)...

The ??? to ask yourself is "Do I need it???"...

Steve K

Yup. I have other equipment that I use periodically that I keep around. However, I really think this is a great and valuable lens that I should not leave to sit on the shelf. But, before I sold and re-bought later, I just thought I bounced it off other like-minded folks.

That's what this forum is for right? Having these conversations??

thanx to those who took the time to give their $.02.

But not Randy.

;^)

Mark Sampson
12-Feb-2018, 13:39
The Nikon 210 AM-ED is meant for macro work... wouldn't be my choice for portraits. The FL is good for 3/4 poses. If you want to do head-and-shoulders shots on 4x5 with any 210, the perspective may be unflattering- by needing to get too close to the subject.
A Nikkor-M 300/9 will give pleasing perspective for h&s framing. The portrait photographers will suggest that a 'portrait' lens will be even better, as the Nikkors may be too sharp. But those decisions are up to you. Sell the 450/9 to a ULF shooter.

AuditorOne
12-Feb-2018, 13:54
If it doesn't work for your photography then sell it and get something that does.

Neal Chaves
12-Feb-2018, 14:03
I have a 450/9 Nikkor and until recently when I also acquired a Nikkor 600/9 tele, I used it for portraits with a 67mm B+W .5 diopter close-up lens. Greatly reduces bellows extension with no loss in quality at portrait stops.

EdSawyer
12-Feb-2018, 14:19
I have the Nikkor-AM ED 210mm, it's a fantastic lens in general, agreed that it's optimized for 1:3 to 3:1 but it works fine on portraits too, as good as any 210 plasmat I have tried or other 8" lenses. Plenty sharp, nice bokeh wide open, well corrected.

Another worthwhile lens to consider is the Nikkor-T 360/500/720 tele. As sharp as the 450/9 (or better), faster aperture , faster shutter speeds, and smaller/lighter plus less bellows draw, and interchangeable focal lengths.

ic-racer
12-Feb-2018, 15:08
As you focus close with that lens, you angle of view gets dramatically smaller. Maybe to small for you. Either way, you already figured it out that you don't like it.

Also, for infrequent use or portriats, consider replacement with a convertible lens that gives something in the range of your 450 (368 or 476). Then you could come back to the "Long Focal Length Idea" later if you re-consider, but you are not tied to it permanently.

174646

Pere Casals
13-Feb-2018, 02:17
am I coming to a reasonable conclusion?


Well, not much, IMHO.

The M series are simpler designs (than plasmats) with less elements and lower optical performance: smaller circle, less aperture, and worse (8x10) corners if not well stopped, but ideal for hiking lightweight with gear in the back, and a superb lens anyway in landscape conditions.

I say "not much" because available plasmats in the 450-480 focal length are not as fast as in the 300 and 360mm version, circle of the M 450 may be enough, and corners are mostly irrelevant (or completely) for portraits.

For 8x10 (to me) a M 300 cannot compete with a plasmat (Sironar-N, Symmar-S) for portrait, at all, because circle, lens speed, and optical performance, but available gear in the 450mm-480mm and 8x10 circle requirements makes the M450 a possible choice for studio.

Karsh favourite focal was 360 or 14"... in that focal you have a lot of better choices and no M, but if you want 450mm then M is a choice.


IMHO it is false that the M 300 has better contrast or less flare than a Nikon W 300. Simply a W 300 has a larger circle illuminating bellows, and this delivers more flare if not using a front hud. Light reflected in the bellows is the single flare source in Multicoated plasmats.

chassis
18-Feb-2018, 17:58
If it feels like it doesn't fit your style, then it doesn't fit your style.

450 to me is a bit short for head and shoulders. Your choice of 150 on 8x10 and 5x7 seem to indicate you enjoy a wider perspective, is that right? If you enjoy a wider perspective, a 450 on 8x10 could give loose head and shoulders framing. Studio size plays into this as well. I recently did some portraits in a completely empty living room and it was joy to have all of that space.

John Kasaian
18-Feb-2018, 20:59
If the Nikon is not getting you where you want to be, what lens will?
I like 14" Commercial Ektar for my many of my 8x10 portraits---but you may prefer something else.
There is nothing wrong with selling the Nikon and getting something that allows you to pursue your vision.

Armin Seeholzer
20-Feb-2018, 08:18
For head and shoulder I would take a 360mm lens for some still live I would take a 210-240mm lens, just my 2 cts.

Armin

Ari
20-Feb-2018, 08:57
I constantly struggle to find the required lens-to-subject distance and/or bellows extension to use this lens easily.

This sums it up for me.
Gear is there to serve, not be a distraction or hindrance.
And if you're constantly having difficulty with this lens, it probably means you two aren't getting along.
Give it another chance, just to be sure, and while you're at it, swap out the 450 for a 300 (if you have one, or some other, shorter, FL) on one occasion.
If the 300 suddenly makes a lot more sense, then the 450 is not needed.

Personally, I would have bought the Nikkor 450 only if I were getting into something like 7x17; a format where this lens reputedly shines.
I like my 8x10 portraits with a 300, not longer.
But that's speaking personally.

Drew Wiley
21-Feb-2018, 10:51
If that 450 lens is really that lonely and underfed, I'd be willing to adopt it, even for free! No sense euthanizing the critter.

Pfsor
21-Feb-2018, 12:37
If that 450 lens is really that lonely and underfed, I'd be willing to adopt it, even for free!

For free I would not only adopt it - I would even feed it!