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Nikon Nikkor-M 300mm f/9 Test Review

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Nikon 300mm f/9 Nikkor-M

Nikon Nikkor-M 300mm f/9 on Linhof board. I'd get it here

Introduction

I bought mine new in 1994. It's excellent and tiny. I use this all the time. It's the proven Zeiss Tessar design.

Specifications

52mm filter thread.

Four elements, three groups (Zeiss Tessar)

Copal #1 shutter, T, B, 1 - 1/400.

Seven blade diaphragm stops down to a unnecessarily small f/128

57 degrees coverage.

325 mm image circle, enough coverage for 8 x 10!"

Rear cell outside diameter: 42.05mm.

Rear element clear diameter 31.0mm.

10 oz. or 290g, tiny!

Performance

No ghosting; feel free to shoot straight into the light.

No Distortion.

Extremely sharp. It astounds me that this lens is sharper (at the same 8x magnification on a light table) than any of the 300mm f/4 and f/4.5 lenses I have for 35mm. On the other hand, when I got it in 1994 Joseph Holmes told me this was a toy-store lens and to avoid it due to its curvature of field, so chacun son gout. That's what I mean about trying things for yourself: the tiny bit of field curvature it may have is completely invisible to me for real photography.

Never use f/128 since you'll lose all your sharpness to diffraction; use the calculator here to determine the optimum shooting aperture.

Recommendations

I use this lens all the time. This is the 300mm lens to get for 4 x 5," not a much heavier 300mm f/5.6 lens intended for use on 8 x 10. This lens also works great on 5 x 7" and even has enough coverage for just a little bit of movement on 8 x 10." get a huge f/5.6 lens for 8 x 10" for most work, though since of course you'll want movements.

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