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Thread: Nikkor-T ED 1200mm f18 on 8x10

  1. #1

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    Dec 2020
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    Nikkor-T ED 1200mm f18 on 8x10

    The Nikkor T 1200mm has a 310mm Image Circle at f22. So its just a few mm less (?) then required for 8x10.
    Does anyone here used this lens on 8x10 and can talk about the performance of the lens at f45 - f64? When someone also wants to share some images would be really nice!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Re: Nikkor-T ED 1200mm f18 on 8x10

    I don't have a scanned image handy to post, but I can tell you this lens covers 8x10 with room to spare, even for enlargements. In my experience the biggest limiting factor in achieving sharp results was stabilizing my rig, which in field use proved to be a significant challenge. I used both Ebony and Arca Swiss 8x10's with this lens, and found that if I wanted to maximize my chances of a sharp shot, I needed two and preferably three tripods plus a beanbag draped over the front barrel to dampen the Copal 3 shutter kick. To improve my chances I typically would shoot several negatives in the hope that at least one would be acceptably sharp.

    At its best the 1200mm will definitely produce noticeably sharper results than, say, a cropped 800mm image (which otherwise would be easier to stabilize).

    Because depth of field is so limited at such a long focal length, I found that stopping down did not buy much additional depth of field as a practical matter. I generally selected distant subjects that required little depth of field, and shot at f/32 to f/45. I also tried to select clear days where atmospheric haze, convection currents, etc. did not impede image clarity.

    For me, super long lens photography with LF proved so challenging that I finally gave up and resorted to digital for these shots. Of course YMMV.

  3. #3
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
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    Re: Nikkor-T ED 1200mm f18 on 8x10

    1200mm on 8x10 is very good. BUT, you’ll never be able to tell unless it’s a windless day AND you have a beast of a tripod. The tripod head has to be a beast as well. I use an old Gitzo (with the largest diameter legs - I don’t know the model) with a bowl head. For landscape work you only need 5-10 degrees of motion, you’re not going to have any contorted setups. Some people use two tripods so there is no cantilever sticking out unsupported. The coverage of the 1200mm assembly is quite large, in spite of the number they quote. I’d say the uniformity of illumination is more of a problem than actual coverage. Any vibration will kill your image. The 600mm and 800mm versions have far less coverage (but still 8x10).

  4. #4

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    Re: Nikkor-T ED 1200mm f18 on 8x10

    Many years ago I was contacted to shoot an early morning shot of a building from atop a windy cliff. Was shooting 4x5 Chromes with a 1200mm Nikkor-T ED. First time with a Sinar P atop a medium weight Linhof tripod and a monopod attached to the front of the rail. The image on the GG wouldn't stop vibrating. Second try with the same Sinar P but the front of the rail was attached to the top of a medium weight Gitzo and my Heavy Duty Linhof tripod under the camera. Again the image still vibrated. Third attempt was with a 4x5 Sinar Norma (smaller profile) atop a Linhof Heavy Duty tripod under the camera with another borrowed Linhof Heavy Duty tripod securing the front of the rail. The bellows had several wooden spacers under it secured with gaffers tape. The third try worked like a charm. Didn't make a cent on that assignment, but would do it over again in the blink of an eye. The final image was used as a full page spread. The 1200mm gave me a very sharp image on the Chrome when I got everything all together.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    Re: Nikkor-T ED 1200mm f18 on 8x10

    Yes obviously Stabilizing will be hard with the 800mm+ bellows and the lens on the front of the camera. But I don't plan to use it in windy situations so hopefully it will work out. I want to use two tripods and I probably also need to stabilize the bellows on some way, as Greg described. Maybe it also makes sense to stabilize the lens itself since its fairly big.

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