View Full Version : Nikkor 260mm/f10 process lens...

Jeffrey Goggin
20-Nov-2003, 07:13
I recently acquired a Nikkor 260mm/F10 process camera lens via eBay to use with my 8x10 Toyo. Although it didn't come with a retaining ring (mind you, I paid just a little over $100 for it, so I'm not complaining!), I've successfully mounted it to a lensboard using the flange that adusts the aperture (it has four threaded holes) and so far, I'm very impressed by the quality of the images I've captured with it.

However, I have my doubts about whether this mounting method is really appropriate for a lens as heavy as this one. My question, then: Does anyone know what size of thread Nikon used for the retaining ring and, better still, a source where I might buy one so I don't have to have one machined? A call to Nikon's customer service department came up empty and as this was really a graphic arts lens, I'm not sure that blindly calling camera stores in search of one will prove to be productive.


Witold Grabiec
20-Nov-2003, 08:24
Try emailing Nikon directly. I've recently had a fast response from them on LF lenses. Here it is:


James Driscoll
20-Nov-2003, 16:33
Try www.skgrimes.com....I recently visited Adam in Woonsocket...and he gave me "the nickel tour". Wonderful shop....and they are willing to share info.

They mount a lot of those lenses into shutters....so they would have to know what size ring the lens needs....and they probably have a stack of them.

Michael S. Briggs
20-Nov-2003, 21:42
The size is 90 mm x 1 mm. I doubt this will help you much -- you could try another call to Nikon, but the most likely way to success is SK Grimes Co. or another machinist. If you have a custom part made, it would be best to send the lens to the machinist, that way the machinist can make their own measurements and test fit the flange to the lens. I won't pay the bill if the above dimensions are wrong :)

Since you bought the lens for a tiny fraction of its original price and of its cost of manufacture, don't be surprised when the cost of a flange for it is a significant fraction of the price that you paid for the lens.

Philippe Gauthier
21-Nov-2003, 10:59
Are you the Jeff Goggin that was active on Photo.net and Photopixel a year ago? If you, glad to see that you're still active - the two pictures you sent me are still hanging on my wall and I'm curious to see what you're doing ith your 8x10.

Jeffrey Goggin
21-Nov-2003, 16:21
Yes, Phillipe, I'm the one. I just moved into a new house and had to give up my mindspring.com email address because we're now too far from the central office to continue with Earthlink's DSL service.

As for my work with the 8x10 (well, it's actually an "8x8" since I shoot square almost exclusively), I'm still in the experimental stage and haven't produced anything of consequence yet. I have, however, seen enough potential that I'm seriously considering selling my medium-format and 4x5 gear, and shooting 8x10 from this point forward. Not only are the results beyond compare (especially if you're a sharpness/detail nut, as I am!) but it's proving much easier on my aging eyes to compose images on an 8x10 ground-glass than 4x5, not to mention 2x3. The only downside is the extra time, effort, and money it requires, but I'm fortunate that our finances have improved to the point where I can now afford (albeit grudgingly) to divert a little bit more money to my hobby.

For now, I've given up trying to sell any of my work (the gallery where I had been selling it closed in August ... sigh) and having just ended six months of professional hell (i.e., working a minimum of 12 hours a day, each and very day of the week!), I look forward to once again shooting just for the pleasure of it and not caring a whit about whether an image has any appeal to others.

I've forgotten which two photos I sent you, but I'm pleased to hear that they still hold your interest. Alas, the photo you sent me was damaged during the move -- it was dropped, which broke the glass and scuffed the paper -- but fortunately, it doesn't appear to be fatal. :^)

23-Nov-2003, 22:37
I have one of these I bought off of Ebay too. It really is a well made but big lens with it's custom metal caps and shade etc. Probably best to go to Grimes for a retaining ring and also have it put in a shutter, but this is very expensive at around $700.00 or so. It seems to work best for me in the close up range with it's knife biting sharpness and resolution. Mine does not stop down very far..maybe f32... and I could not justify spending the money for a shutter installation. It really needs to stop down more than the original iris is capable of.

Jeffrey Goggin
24-Nov-2003, 03:24
Emile is correct in pointing out that these lenses aren't for everyone. While a bargain relative to their performance when used as-is -- "knife biting sharpness and resoution" sums it up quite well -- once you factor in the cost of having it mounted in a shutter, there are definitely other options to be considered.

In my case, though, because I'm presently shooting Fuji CDU II duping film, with an effective daylight ISO of between 4 and 6, depending upon the color-balancing filter pack I use, my typical exposure hovers around two seconds. As such, having a shutter would be convenient, but it really isn't necessary. When I shoot Astia, I've had good luck using ND gels (also purchased new and inexpensively on eBay!) to cut the light another five or six stops and push the exposures out to two seconds or so.

As for stopping down to only f/32, I don't find this to be a hardship. For the sort of stuff I generally photograph (mostly urban abstracts and architecture), this provides plenty of depth of field. That said, I'm looking into having the aperture modified so that it stops down even further since there are times when this would be useful.

That said, though, this lens was well worth what I paid for it simply as an objet d'art to sit on a shelf in the living room. Those two large hunks of spherical glass definitely make for an impressive sight!

24-Nov-2003, 21:54
Jeffrey, Let me know when you alter the iris...I would be interested in how you did it! This would certainly make this fantastic lens more useful. I have often thought that Steve Grimes could cut a slot in the barrel so a metal thin plate aperture could be slid inside as a economical solution for this lens enabeling stopping way down. Good luck!

Jeffrey Goggin
25-Nov-2003, 08:51
Yes, Emile, should the aperture modification prove successful, I'll definitely spread the word. Unfortunately, the person I've talked to about doing this is quite busy at the moment, so it'll likely be a month or two before he has time to even investigate the project's feasibility let alone peform any of the work that may be necessary. Now that I think about it, though, perhaps I should see if the folks at S.K. Grimes are willing to tackle this project since I'm told they're pretty good at turning jobs around quickly. Hmmm...