View Full Version : image circle of Nikkor Apo 455mm f9 process lens

Herb Cunningham
25-Sep-2003, 16:44
I got a new in the box Nikkor lens, as above, and could not get Nikon to tell me how big the image circle is. It is a process (barrel) lens, and before I spend a ton getting it put into a copal #3 shutter, I need to find out the circle. Any help will be greatly appreciated I think the lens was bought by the original owner some years ago, and never used.


Robert Lawrence - Fivebyfour Commercial Photography, UK
25-Sep-2003, 18:05

John Downie
25-Sep-2003, 18:18
IC = 770mm

Dan Fromm
25-Sep-2003, 18:34
Yeah, yeah, yeah, but if that 770 mm is at 1:1 the circle at infinity will be 385 mm.



Sal Santamaura
25-Sep-2003, 18:59
From a 1982 "Nikon Photoengraving Lenses" brochure:

Apo Nikkor 455mm f/9

Focal length 455mm

4 elements in 4 groups

Minimum f-stop f/128

Standard magnification 1X

Usable magnification range --

Picture angle 46 degrees

Corrected wavelength range 380 - 750 nanometers

Subject area 770mm

Using trig on the actual focal length (some models varied slightly from their nameplate length; not this one) and picture angle specs results in an image circle at infinity of 386mm. Close enough to half the 770mm quoted for 1:1 use. Dan's correct.

David Vickery
25-Sep-2003, 22:20
I have one of these lenses and have found it satisfactoy (very sharp!) on 8x10 and ~11x14 at infinity. It actually has a very large image circle and I tried it on 12x20 but a large part of the image circle (at infinity) is not at all sharp and it is not useful on the 12x20, and really, 11x14 may be pushing it. Unless you have money sitting around everywhere I would suggest that you put the lens on a board and use a plastic roll film developing tank, cup, hat, or something similar as a shutter. Use it and see if you like it before spending money to put it in a shutter. You may be able to find the 450mm nikkor-m lens (it'll already be in a shutter and has big coverage--enough for 12x20) on auction or elswhere for about the same $$ (or less)to put your process lens in a shutter.

Bill Kantor
25-Sep-2003, 22:48
The actual image circle is much much bigger than the published specs which are for copy work. Unless that is your intended purpose, you will get a much larger usable image. I asked dagor77 this same question a while ago and he said that the differnece is the published specs are for a resolution of about 50 lppm. For LF landscape work, we can get by with 15. I don't recall the wider (landscape use) angle of coverage but I routinely use a 360 mm Ronar (same design) on 8x10 with plenty of movements. You can do the math to scale that to a 455mm lens.

BTW, for landscape work, most of my exposures are longer than 1 second so a shutter is not needed. (Though nice.)

25-Sep-2003, 22:55
Agree completel with David Vickery. The 450 f/9 Apo-Nikkor lens has a vey big circle of illumination, but on 12X20" the corners are *very* soft. But the lens should cover 7X17 nicely,

However, IMHO you should not waste your money having the 450mm Apo-Nikkor put in a Copal #3. Better by far to just buy the 450mm f/9 Nikkor-M, which has a far larger useful circle of good defnition. Going price for the 450mm f/9 Nikkor-M ranges from about $700-900, about the same price of a remount for the 455mm Apo-Nikkor.