View Full Version : Fall off solutions for Nikon 65mm f4

Eric James
5-May-2007, 10:45
I'm looking forward to the arrival of a Nikon 65mm f4 for use with 4X5 transparency film. The Heliopan 67mm 3x center filter is the one most often recommended for this lens but they are very expensive. I'd like to avoid juggling a center filter with a warming filter and graduated ND by finding a digital solution. Besides the lens vignetting filter in Adobe Camera Raw (with amount and midpoint adjustments), what software options are out there for correcting fall off? Does software correction compare favorably with the results obtained with a center filter? Thanks for your input.

Walter Calahan
5-May-2007, 11:59
A gradient curve created in a layer mask in PhotoShop will do the trick. Choose the style that darken all for corners and leaves the center clear.

Andy Eads
5-May-2007, 13:50
Try the lens first to see if you need a center weighted filter or not. I own one of these and the main reason I bought it was because it has little fall off due to a unique design. The need for a center weighted filter is less if you are using a film with a long exposure scale. Transparency film with its short scale may indeed need the filter. I shoot mostly black and white and color negative films and I have not felt the need for the filter.

As an aside, I had a job to photograph power plant control panels in some very cramped quarters. At the time I was using a 65mm Super Angulon f/8 and a 90mm Super Angulon f/5.6. I used a center weighted filter for both largely because I was at the extreems of their coverage and fall off was substantial. If you plan to push the Nikkor to the limits, a filter may be needed to extract the last bit of image.

I think you will be pleased with your lens. I sure like having an f/4-bright image to focus!

JW Dewdney
5-May-2007, 14:23
I think it would be much smarter to shoot it with the CF and do any 'warming' (why on earth are you using a 'warming' filter, if you're taking it into the computer anyway???) on the computer. Shooting without a CF GREATLY reduces your gamut and dynamic range available for scanning.

Eric James
7-May-2007, 14:28
I see your point about the advantage of using the CF up front, rather than a digital remedy - thanks for this. I use Adobe's Camera Raw and learned just recently that I can use it with TIFF files - is this how you adjust color temperature? (ie Is this how you avoid using warming filters?

I'm still open to suggestions for "digital center filters" - I'll probably invest in the !!!$340!!! CF eventually, but I'd like to see what's out there.

Thank you,

JW Dewdney
7-May-2007, 14:48
Eric - my argument against the whole 'digital center filter' issue is the same reason that people printing film by tradtional methods shoot with one in place instead of trying to 'fix it in the mix'. Basically - the perimeter is going to be around 3 stops (on film) underexposed compared to the center (which would be overexposed)... which MEANS - that once you adjust it in the computer - your dynamic range is going to be severely compromised at different places in your image, once scanned and corrected. It'll look like hell is what I'm really trying to say here.

What you want to do is to get as much quality information as you possibly can on the film - and THEN scan it. There certainly would be means of doing it IN photoshop. But if you don't have the dynamic range to start with... or the tonal information - then what's the point?

That's all I'm trying to say.

Ted Harris
7-May-2007, 14:57
What JWD says .... but before you makethe investment try the lens on a variety of your most common subjects. I use a CF almsot all the time on a 58, very seldom on a 75 and almost never on a 110. I suspect that you may find that your subject matter is not comprimised at all by the lack of a CF when shooting with a 65. Long ago I used to own a 65 Angulon and hardly ever used it with a CF either.

JW Dewdney
7-May-2007, 16:36
what ted says - and to expound on that a bit...

if you're just using it for casual shooting - i.e. not doing architectural interiors, say... you MAY find it very discouraging to use. I think many newcomers (not to suggest that you ARE - but just in case) tend to see images shot with a 120 or a 90 and think "wow - cool... I've got to get one of those" and then make the extrapolation that wider=better and then go a bit overboard in the WA department - ultimately finding out that they have an awful time with it. It's a very special-application lens, requiring (in general) that you are in VERY close proximity to your subject matter. Make sure it's for you before you go investing any more in it.

Eric James
7-May-2007, 17:09
Yes, I've run across these warnings before on this site and others - and I've offered the same advise to those thinking about going REALLY wide. I've been considering this purchase for some time and finally decided to pull the trigger as my departure from Alaska approaches and the landscape begins to glow. I wish that I had the 65mm yesterday when I returned to a favorite summit in the Chugach Mountains - the site where I first used my 90mm f8 begs for a wider lens.

I'll be using the lens infrequently for landscape work. My next widest lens is the Nikon 90mm f8 which I find quite wide, but on occasion I've wanted a very wide lens and settled on the 65mm for the spacing (65,90,110...) and the Nikon for the price.

Ed Richards
7-May-2007, 17:18
> Basically - the perimeter is going to be around 3 stops (on film) underexposed compared to the center

I just took a look at a negative from my Nikon 65. I do not see nearly that level of fall off. On a real landscape I think the falloff would enhance the picture - preburned corners. On an interior of a fancy house, grab the CF.

8-May-2007, 05:12
75 + 110 seems like a very nice combination of lenses. 65 + 90 works too, I just favor75 + 110 because then you could add a reaaly wide 58, and on the longer side you would have a 180.

10-May-2007, 04:57
I shoot interiors with that same Nikor 65 f4 with a digital Betterlight back. I needed the fast f4 because those backs want a lot of light. I only stop down maybe 3 stops at the most with the betterlight. The fall off got worse with shifts. It could benefit from a a CF but I do not have one. I used to use a 65 F8 JML lens on a Super wide Stainless steel Globoscope 4X5 and I never used a CF. I did find that with C41 Color negatives that it did not matter too much but with trannies it did. I bought the Nikor because I needed the extra light and I will loose light with the CF filters attached.
I am looking at a schneider CF. Any thoughts?