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Thread: Differences between Nikkor lenses

  1. #1

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    Differences between Nikkor lenses

    I am new to LF photography. Can someone tell me the differences between the various Nikkor lenses, i.e. Nikkor, Nikkor M, Nikkor T, Nikkor SW and Nikkor W?

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Differences between Nikkor lenses

    Nikkor T = telephoto, i.e. you don't need as much lens to film plane extension as you would for a normal lens of the same focal length.
    Nikkor W = General purpose.
    Nikkor SW = Super wide. They have more coverage, i.e. they have a bigger image circle, than W lenses. They tend to be slower (and larger) than same focal length W lenses.
    Ms are more compact.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  3. #3

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    Re: Differences between Nikkor lenses

    Nikkor M = 4 elements (tessar or Apo-tessar type)
    Nikkor T = telelens
    Nikkor W = wide (plasmat type)
    Nikkor SW = Super Wide (biogon type)
    Nikkor AD = Macro (plasmat type)

  4. #4
    Ed Freniere
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    Re: Differences between Nikkor lenses

    SW - 105 degrees
    W - 70-73 degrees
    M - 50-55 degrees

    Reference: Nikon brochure at

    http://www.kennethleegallery.com/pdf...rmatLenses.pdf

  5. #5

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    Re: Differences between Nikkor lenses

    correction to the above: the Nikkor Macros are not plasmats, but more a unique formula similar to Apo El Nikkors (8/4). Their designation is Nikkor AM-ED.

  6. #6

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    Re: Differences between Nikkor lenses

    So, since you're new to LF, I will make an example of my own lens kit. I shoot 4x5, and have a 75/4.5 Nikkor-SW and a 90/8 Nikkor-SW as my wide-angle lenses. I use a 180/5.6 Nikkor-W as my 'normal' lens, and a 300/9 Nikkor-M as a long lens. Different lens designs for different purposes. I find them all to be excellent performers; in a more perfect world I might like a 120/8 Nikkor-SW and a 500/11 Nikkor-T to 'complete the set', but I'm doing fine with the ones I have.

  7. #7

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    Re: Differences between Nikkor lenses

    Thank you all for the information. I have been browsing, trying to get acquainted with what equipment is available. I saw the different Nikon lens series, but could not find an explanation of the differences. I checked Nikon's web site, but that is all 35mm, even in the "archived lenses" section.

  8. #8
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    Re: Differences between Nikkor lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by gbrockway View Post
    I checked Nikon's web site, but that is all 35mm, even in the "archived lenses" section.
    On Nikon's home-market website, a catalog of Nikkor large format lenses can still be found here, with links to detailed pages for each lens:

    http://www.nikon-image.com/products/...ue_other_lens/

    The pages are in Japanese but they are clearly structured, so if one is familiar with lens specifications it's not too hard to decipher the key points.

  9. #9

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    Re: Differences between Nikkor lenses

    For those of us who do not speak Japanese - http://members.iinet.net.au/~cbird/nikkor/niklf.html

  10. #10

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    Re: Differences between Nikkor lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by gbrockway View Post
    I am new to LF photography. Can someone tell me the differences between the various Nikkor lenses, i.e. Nikkor, Nikkor M, Nikkor T, Nikkor SW and Nikkor W?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    So, since you're new to LF, I will make an example of my own lens kit. I shoot 4x5, and have a 75/4.5 Nikkor-SW and a 90/8 Nikkor-SW as my wide-angle lenses. I use a 180/5.6 Nikkor-W as my 'normal' lens, and a 300/9 Nikkor-M as a long lens. Different lens designs for different purposes. I find them all to be excellent performers; in a more perfect world I might like a 120/8 Nikkor-SW and a 500/11 Nikkor-T to 'complete the set', but I'm doing fine with the ones I have.
    Take a look here if have not done it before:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...s/LF4x5in.html

    http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html This is not a completelly scientific guide, but it is extremly useful to understand that there are big diferences between units of the same model. Also it shows it is important to test things in person.


    Mark suggest a very nice set, this is a very good advice, also the 90/8 is an extremly sharp glass, not expensive (used) but it has an extraordinary performance.

    Also I'm new to LF and I've recently being gathering my lens kit. I've started using Nikkors of a friend, the W 210 and W 360. Very, very good glasses.


    One advice is to go slowly, take a lens and push it its limits, then learn what you want from the lenses. Today we are privileged, thanks to digital, because we can acquire very good glass on budget. It is important to avoid G.A.S. gear acquisition syndrome

    With the set Mark enumerates you can't go wrong, perhaps 90 is too far from 180, a 135 in the middle it could be added.


    The important thing is to know what kind of photography you are to shot. The W360 is a brick in a backpack, the M300 is a feather. Some lenses are studio oriented and some are backpacking oriented. Some have larger circles of image that alows extreme movements for architecture, and some are light and perhaps cheaper. And you can get all that at different extra sharpness preformance (that it can be useful or not), more or less flare (coatings)...


    As all, it depends on pocket one has, and want one wants, but selecting a lens kit has a problem: one has to know himself, and this is a challenge, more than one can suspect, IMHO.


    A possibility is to take a very good lens, like the SW90/8 and then adding some low price options, like old good convertible Symmar 150 and 210. These are single coated and can flare a bit if sun is i the field of view. Also both are convertible, removing the front cell you have a 265mm and a 370mm f/12. When converted those have drawbacks but are also specially suited for portrait, can make much better portraits that "perfect lenses".


    Then for under $200 you get 4 focals, so later you can decide better if you prefer having a 180-240-360 set or a 150-210-300. Also you'll learn difference from single coating age to what is manufactured now, and then you'll have 2 spare copal 1 shutters whe you upgrade in the future. Or perhaps you can use the shutters for next lens you buy, often people sell the cells.

    Anyway, by buying the kit Mark Sampson just enumerates you can go directly to the field with a very well selected glass armor, perhaps I'd add a 135mm...

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