View Full Version : Nikkor question

Fred Braakman
18-Jan-2007, 22:12
I have an opprtunity to purchase a Nikkor F4.5 90 mm lens, on a Copal 0 shutter. Right now I use a Rodenstock Grandagon N 90mm F4.5, on a Compur shutter. It is a large lens, and I like the idea of a smaller lens. But the lens tables on the Ebony web site indicate that the Nikkor has an image circle of 235 mm at F16. The Rodenstock has an image circle of 236 mm, but I don't know at what arpeture.
Can anyone recommend the Nikkor as a suitable replacement, or should I stick with the Grandagon? I do like this lens, but I am only considering the Nikkor because it is much smaller in size.


David Karp
18-Jan-2007, 22:26
I was under the impression that these lenses are close to the same size. Each takes 82mm filters. The 90mm f/8 Nikkor SW is smaller - It takes 67mm filters, and has the same image circle as the f/4.5 version.

The Grandagon is a great lens. Memory tells me that the specs for it are at given at f/22. I can't see any reason to switch to another lens the same size.

Sheldon N
18-Jan-2007, 22:30
I think by going with the Nikkor 90mm f/4.5 you'd save 100g of weight and get a Copal 0 shutter instead of a Copal 1. If you really are looking for weight savings, look to the Nikkor 90mm f/8 as recommended by David, which is half the weight of your Grandagon.

David Karp
18-Jan-2007, 23:19
Sheldon is right, you do get the smaller shutter. I feel that the weight difference, about 3.5 ounces, is pretty meaningless. I don't think that you would find the f/4.5 Nikkor SW a small lens. The difference between the f/8 Nikkor SW and the Grandagon N is about 3/4 of a pound.

andy bessette
18-Jan-2007, 23:20
The Nikkor-SW 90mm, f4.5 lens measures 3 5/8" dia X 3 7/8" long with caps.

best, andy


Jan Pedersen
19-Jan-2007, 07:23
If i were fortunate enough to have a 90 4.5 i would never consider going to a 90 8 no matter what the weight difference is. Focusing a 90 8 is so much a hassle if not in clear daylight. Enjoy having a 4.5 no matter which one you deside to keep.

Jack Flesher
19-Jan-2007, 07:36
I have owned the f4.5 Nikkor and the f8 Nikkor -- and currently own the f8 Schneider. FWIW, I can assure you that focussing is *not* much different between these 90's -- though weight certainly is. For field, get an f8 lens; for studio, keep the Grandagon.

My .02,

Bob Salomon
19-Jan-2007, 08:32
The 90mm 6.8 Grandagon N in Copal 0 weighs 16.2 oz and uses a 67mm filter and is faster and brighter then a Nikon 90mm f8. Why compare a 4.5 to an 8.0? Why not compare the 8.0 to the 6.8?

And why would you switch from an old Grandagon to a similar Nikon? You would get better performance by switching to the MC version of the Grandagon-N.

David Karp
19-Jan-2007, 13:33

The reason I think that many photographers like the 90mm f/8 Nikkor W is that it has the same size image circle as the f/4.5 lenses, in a smaller, lighter package, that takes smaller filters. If you need/want the larger image circle in a smaller lens, that lens is the one people look to.

Other than the Nikkor W's image circle, the f/6.8 max opening (and the larger image circle compared to those of the f/8.0 Fujinon SW, or f/8 or f/6.8 Super Angulons) make the smaller Grandagon-N is very attractive. I really like my 90 and 75mm f/4.5 Grandagon-Ns. I am sure that the 90mm f/6.8 is in the same class.


Its funny how different people see things differently. I have an f/4.5 Grandagon-N, and an f/8 Fujinon SW. I think that there is a noticeable difference between the brightness of the image on the groundglass between them, especially indoors or in dim light. I find it much easier to focus the f/4.5 lens in lower light conditions.

Jack Flesher
19-Jan-2007, 17:58
Hi David:

I was in too much of a hurry this morning and worded my response above poorly. I can see where it might appear as argumentative to your post and that was not my intent -- my appologies! I understand the focusing situation may be different for some folks and certainly respect your POV ;)

FWIW, my more complete answer: I had heard that argument years ago and bought my first 90, the f4.5 Nikkor over the f8 version for that reason. Then a year later, after seeing how much smaller it was, I tried a friend's f8 Nikkor and saw virtually no difference on my GG in real world shooting -- and the weight difference was very noticeable... The next week I had the f8 version, sold the f4.5 version and never looked back.


Paul Droluk
19-Jan-2007, 18:12
David: I too originally had the f4.5 Nikkor... sold it and replaced it with the f8. A weeeee bit darker, but the 4.5 was not bright by any means. BTW: Nikon quotes it's image circle data @ f16... not f22 like S or R. Therefore at f22 the Nikon image circle will be larger.

19-Jan-2007, 18:46
I have the Nikkor SW 90mm f4.5, the Nikkor SW 90mm f8.0, the Rodenstock Grandagon N 90mm f 6.8 and the Schneider Super Angulon 90mm f8.0. IMHO, the Nikkor 90mm f8.0 is a good compromise between size, weight and performance. Unless you can drive your SUV to everything you want to photograph it is the best choice. If I were forced to decide among the four, it is the one I would pick.
Dave B.

Jan Pedersen
19-Jan-2007, 19:22
Dave, i think it would be fair to call your the 90 collector from now on :D
Just today received a 90mm 6.8 Grandagon and compared to my 90/8 SA there is enough difference to make that small difference in size and weight worth the extra drop of sweath hicking with it. Can not comment on the 4.5 since i have never had one in my hands.
Since you have a good collection of 90mm, how do you compare or rate the performance amongst them?


19-Jan-2007, 19:39
I personally like the Nikkors. For some reason the contrast and color rendition work for me. I realize it is subjective but I feel like I've given it my best shot when I use one. I usually shoot Velvia 50 or more recently 100. The other thing is that they seem to have the fewest cases of lens pathologies. I've never heard of nikkoritis on a lens. As I said earlier, I like the F8. I have a 55 year old, slightly dicey back and every ounce counts. When I backpack, I cut the handle off my toothbrush to save weight. YMMV but I would pick it again if I had to decide.
Dave B.

David Karp
19-Jan-2007, 20:51
. . . I can see where it might appear as argumentative to your post and that was not my intent -- my appologies! . . .


No need to apologize. I did not take it as an argument, and did not mean to be argumentative in return. I was just commenting on the difference between people's reaction to their experiences using similar tools. That is why it is good that there are so many of us who are willing to share their experiences/opinions. Ultimately, that is why it is best if you have a chance to try before you buy, or make sure you have return privileges.

Your experience makes me wonder why we see things differently. I wonder if it is in the groundglass itself. I have used a Bosscreen on my Cambos almost from the beginning, and I have never used the f/4.5 Grandagon-N on my Walker, which has the original Walker groundglass with Fresnel. The Bosscreen is really bright, and I wonder if the difference in max opening is more apparent on the Bosscreen than a standard GG or GG/Fresnel combo. What do you use for a screen?

Jack Flesher
20-Jan-2007, 07:54
Your experience makes me wonder why we see things differently. ~SNIP~
What do you use for a screen?

I don't know. I have used these lenses in a variety of cameras over the years, including a Linhoff "Brightscreen", Bosscreen and most recently a new style Arca-Swiss -- all of which are pretty bright, so I doubt that is it. In fact, the original comparison was done on my friend's Phillips with a Bosscreen and then repeated on my Technikardan with the Linhoff Brightscreen. My f8 lenses have only been the Nikkor and the Schneider so I have never viewed through a Fujinon f8 -- Maybe something going on there with the Fuji?