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Thread: Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

  1. #1

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    Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    I wanted to get my hands on something a little longer for my new 4x5 (I've just got a 150/5.6 for now), and while looking for just something in the 400-500mm range on eBay I realized I could get this entire set for a not completely unreasonable amount of money so I went for it. The box finally got here today, and the "4 piece set" I bought is missing the 720mm rear element. And the lens cap has a little sticker on it that says it's missing the 720mm element. And I looked back at the listing and realized there aren't actually any pictures of a 720mm rear element in there. So I'm pretty sure the store just screwed up listing it and I'm gonna have to send the daggum thing back.

    Which means it's gonna be at least a few more weeks until I've got some long lenses to play with, but on the bright side now I get a chance to do a little more research and reconsider that purchase after actually having seen the size of the lenses. Anyone have some experience with them and want to comment on the quality? Or have a favorite lens/lens set in that range that you'd recommend in its place?

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    Re: Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    Also, how do I figure out how far ahead of the lens board the nodal point is for them? The Nikon brochure for these said that because they're telephotos you shouldn't need a bellows extension for them, but I'm starting to suspect that's only really true for very far-off subjects. I just tried focusing an image of a light fixture across the room (maybe 15 feet-ish?) onto a wall with the 500mm lens, and I had to get it significantly more than a foot away to get that in focus.

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    Re: Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    Focal length is the distance from the rear node to the film plane when the lens is focused at infinity. The 360's flange focal distance is 261 mm so at infinity the rear node is 99 mm in front of the board. 500: 350, 150. 720: 469, 251.

    The usual relationship between the distance the front standard is moved forward from the infinity position and focused distance/magnification holds for telephoto lenses.

  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    They are good lenses. The 720mm even covers 8x10. I don't use long lenses that much but I jumped on a full set many years ago when it was offered to me at a stellar price. Considering the interchangeability, the size isn't terrible, but they are still kinda big and heavy.

    From the 360mm:



    From the 720mm:

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  5. #5

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    Re: Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    I rented a 500mm once, 20+ years ago (to shoot from the roof of a NYC skyscraper), and it was quite sharp. I've kinda wanted my own ever since...but without any real need I've never bought one. My long lens is 'only' a Nikkor-M 300/9.
    You'll want to have a solid camera and a very sturdy tripod, though. Magnification and atmospheric effects come into play when you use these lenses. I found, then, that the 500 was right at the effective limit for the Zone VI w/ Bogen-Manfrotto 3040 that I'd mounted it on. But don't let me discourage you- go for it! And have fun!

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    Re: Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    Ooh, neat samples. How close were you to that flower, and how far did you have to extend the bellows out to get it in focus?

    Also, is there such a thing as a fast-ish 300mm telephoto for 4x5? Now I'm kind of contemplating just getting like a 300/5.6 instead, but if it's just a regular long focus lens it'll eat up almost my entire rail length just to get to infinity focus

  7. #7
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    Quote Originally Posted by bieber View Post
    Ooh, neat samples. How close were you to that flower, and how far did you have to extend the bellows out to get it in focus?

    Also, is there such a thing as a fast-ish 300mm telephoto for 4x5? Now I'm kind of contemplating just getting like a 300/5.6 instead, but if it's just a regular long focus lens it'll eat up almost my entire rail length just to get to infinity focus
    I think just the 360 T f8 is a perfect long lens. I very rarely use my Fujinon C 450 on 4x5 and the fast plasmats at 300 or 360 are huge in a Copal 3 and heavy. Better to go for a Nikkor M 300 or a Fujinon C 300 IMHO.

  8. #8
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    I don't remember the focus distance or extension. If you want the lens, it should hold it's value well, so even if you sell it soon after you won't be out much cash. Nothing beats trying it out with your own subjects and aesthetic.
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  9. #9
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    I used the 600/800mm Nikkor pair for many years with 5x7. Good quality lens. No complaints there. Before that I used the Fujinon 400T on 4x5. I didn't like that lens. Didn't seem very sharp.

    I learned a couple of thing about these lenses and long focal lengths for me (YMMV). First, these lenses never got far from the car. They are big and heavy. I tended to use 450mm Fujinon C and crop, instead. Second, my vision is not with telephoto lenses. I prefer the wide to normal range.

  10. #10

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    Re: Thoughts on the Nikkor T 360/500/720 set?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    They are good lenses. The 720mm even covers 8x10. I don't use long lenses that much but I jumped on a full set many years ago when it was offered to me at a stellar price. Considering the interchangeability, the size isn't terrible, but they are still kinda big and heavy.
    Bryan, if catalog isn't wrong, the T ED 720 covers only 5x7 with no movements.

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

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