View Full Version : Nikon LF redivivus?

Nicholas F. Jones
31-May-2008, 08:10
In recent years we've seen a number of limited reissues of classic LF lenses. To the best of my knowledge, the manufacturers in question do not include Nikon. What would it take to induce Nikon to reissue some of *its* classics? I have in mind the 1200mm rear element for the 600/800/1200 T-ED set, a focal length for which there is no modern in-current-production substitute, certainly not at 8x10 image circle dimensions. Just a pipe dream. Thanks for reading.

Walter Calahan
31-May-2008, 09:19
Nikon is making too much money elsewhere in photography.

I'm glad I found my 600/800/1200 combo three years ago. If I sold it now, I could double my money. Funny how LF gear is appreciating.

Ralph Barker
31-May-2008, 13:02
. . . Just a pipe dream.

I've been told (but have no personal experience, of course) that the nature of the dream depends on what one puts in the pipe. ;)

I suspect that it would take too large a number of pre-paid orders to entice Nikon to crank up their LF lens production line again, even for a limited run.

Bob Salomon
31-May-2008, 14:05
To reissue a lens like the 135mm Planar or the 300mm Apo Sironar W someone gave the factory an order for an entire production run. If you would like to do that then you can approach Nikon and see if:
1: they still have the tools and glass types required to make the lens.
2: they have the production facility to still make the lens.
3: they are willing to make the lens.

In all probability the answer would be no unless they can make more money on the limited production then they can from their regular production.

Oren Grad
31-May-2008, 15:12
Nikon has to consider the econonic return on alternative uses of its production facilities. At the moment they can't keep up with demand for their lenses designed for Nikon-mount digital and 35mm camera use.

Unlike Nikon, Schneider and Linos/Rodenstock are still actively in the business of manufacturing lenses in barrel and shutter for photographic (LF, roll film and digital) and repro applications and responding to OEM commissions for lenses in barrel and shutter to meet special requirements.

Even Cooke, which clearly does still maintain the capability to manufacture view camera lenses, announced that it has temporarily suspended production of its own "revived" LF lenses because of demand in their main business of making high-performance lenses for professional movie and digital video cameras.

David A. Goldfarb
1-Jun-2008, 01:31
Nikon is a pretty big company that makes all kinds of optics for many different purposes. I'm fairly sure they still are in the business of OEM commissions, though those commissions aren't typically for LF lenses.

Brian Ellis
1-Jun-2008, 07:38
In my experience (admittedly limited) Nikon provided no support in the U.S. for its LF lenses even as far back as about six years ago (last time I called them), maybe longer. The people I talked with didn't seem to know that Nikon made such lenses and it was questionable whether they even knew what a LF lens was. Maybe I just didn't find the right people or maybe it's different in Japan but in the U.S. trying to get information about their LF lenses was a complete waste of time. Given this apparent lack of interest even when they were still in the LF lens business, I can't imagine there's anything that realistically could be done to induce them to get back into the LF lens business.

1-Jun-2008, 11:41
If you`re interested in buying one... photografica in copenhagen has a complete set (600-800-1200) in A condition for 16000 danish crowns, or aproximately 1600 pounds, or around 3200 dollars. I`m not affiliated with the shop, I`m just a happy customer.
Their website is:


They ship internationally of course.

Best Regards
Mads Hartmann

Mark Sawyer
1-Jun-2008, 12:35
Only slightly off-topic...

A friend of mine is the lead optical engineer for a high-end biomedical microscope company. He specs out very exacting lenses and prisms for $200-$300 each, uncoated, in runs of a dozen or so. We've talked about a small run of a rare and desireable old design, (P&S, Perscheid, Struss...) The hang up would be a large enough shutter.

Cooke's PS945 was only a 4x5 lens. There's no shutter made that's large enough to handle an f/4-ish 8x10/11x14 lens. One could only go the Packard shutter and Waterhouse stops route.