View Full Version : Difference between two Nikkors

Diane Maher
9-Apr-2009, 09:34
I have a 450 Nikkor-M and a 455 APO-Nikkor. Besides the 5 mm difference in focal length, what is the difference (if any) between the performance of these two lenses?

I am trying to decide which lens I want to have mounted in shutter, either the 455 APO-Nikkor or the 12" Dagor f/6.8 (whose 300 mm competition is a Fujinon-C in shutter).

Gene McCluney
9-Apr-2009, 18:14
For pictorial photography you should be happy with the 450 Nikkor-M. If I were you I would mount the Dagor for dreamy photos.

Ralph Barker
10-Apr-2009, 07:30
You might check the S.K. Grimes site for info on mounting the APO Nikkor in a shutter, Diane. It's a fairly expensive proposition, as it requires machine work. The APO Nikkors, however, are extremely sharp lenses, albeit large and heavy.

John Kasaian
10-Apr-2009, 07:42
The 450 M is a great multi-coated tessar with loads of coverage---it will serve you all the way up to ULF if thats in your future. I don't know anything about the APO but in general APO lenses are very sharp. You might consider using the APO in the barrel if it is prohibitivly costly to have it mounted.

As for the Dagor, you really can't go wrong with one of those unless it is a post-war cobbled up job (in which case I'd proceed with caution---see if you like it's performance as a barrel lens first.)

Drew Wiley
10-Apr-2009, 09:16
The 'M' is a modern tessar taking lens in a #3 shutter. The Apo-Nikkor is a process
lens made for copy cameras - I use one for an enlarging lens in certain instances.
Extremely sharp, and has a virtually round multi-bladed aperture, but I don't know what the coverage would be on a view camera.

Dan Fromm
10-Apr-2009, 13:51
Diane, there's a lot of confusion about Apo Nikkors because Nikon made two types. "Symmetrical," in other words dialytes like Apo Artars, Apo Ronars, and Repro Clarons, and "asymmetrical," in other words tessars like, no surprise, Apotals, Apo Tessars, ...

My Nikon documentation reports an asymmetrical 450/9 Apo Nikkor that covers 37 degrees (300 mm at infinity). I think this has the same glass as the Nikkor-M you're contemplating.

My documentation, which is old, says nothing about a 455/9 Apo Nikkor but Akiyan's site (see http://homepage2.nifty.com/akiyanroom/redbook-e/apo/apo455.html) mentions it. He says it is a dialyte and covers 385 mm at infinity.

My documentation says very pointedly that tessar type Apo Nikkors have less coverage than dialyte types.

Based on what Kerry says about the 300 Fujinon-C (see http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/300-450.htm), I'd take it over a Dagor any day. If you search for Dagor here, you'll find threads in which the participants swear at, not by, them.

Hope this helps,


Drew Wiley
10-Apr-2009, 16:20
The 455/9 is in fact a four element airspaced dialyte. But if you want to compare apples to apples, the 450C Fuji is a dialyte which has much greater coverage in this
focal length, yet is not nearly as well corrected at close range, and not as critically sharp (though superb for general use). The Apo-Nikkor is a true apochromat designed for precise graphics color sep work. These lenses were designed for a different purposes. And we generally use our taking lenses at small apertures, whereas graphic
lenses were typically used at optimum apertures, around f/11 to f/16, where diffraction
is marginal. But you really need to get feedback from someone who actually shoots
with an Apo-Nikkor.

Mark Sawyer
10-Apr-2009, 23:16
"Re: Difference between two Nikkors"

There is no difference. All Nikkors are the same.