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help with nikon rf era large format lens 30cm f4
Old 08-09-2014   #1
enasniearth
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help with nikon rf era large format lens 30cm f4

any help appreciated with this lens
nippon kogaku tokyo 30cm f4 nikkor qc #6126
the pictures show it next to a 5cm f1.4 for nikon rf
i found a similiar one in an european auction #612xx
612 may be the design or production date december 1946
6 may be the 6th one made
covers 8x10 sheet film
black laquer paint over brass and steel?
its heavy
anyone know what this was produced for ?
cap has nikko and japenese characters in classic nippon kogaku symbol
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Old 08-09-2014   #2
goamules
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A 300 MM lens is considered a normal focal length on an 8x10. Like you found. That's what it was "for", with large format you buy a camera without a lens, then decide what type and length lenses you want. So it would go on any 8x10 or wholeplate camera and would be a good portrait lens.
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Old 08-09-2014   #3
enasniearth
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Goamules , thanks for your insights , a f4 lens is perhaps a good choice for portraits

The lens looks like a prewar German barrel lens for large format , voightlander , Zeiss , Schneider , all had a very similar 30cm lens for
8x10
I'm interested in
Was the lens in production prior to the war ?
Was this one of the earliest lenses made postwar by Nippon kogaku ?
Any listings in production books , sales fliers or price lists ?
The apo nikkor was announced in 1949 .
So not sure when this was produced .
Thanks again
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Old 08-09-2014   #4
Phil_F_NM
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Lenses like this were often used for aerial reconnaissance. I have a fast 10" Wollensak lens that looks a bit like your 300mm but was really designed to shoot an image onto a high speed roll of film, not be set on the front standard of a LF camera. Really, if you look at contemporary lenses for non-military of similar focal length, they are much smaller and don't have very high speed apertures like f/4. I'm willing to wager that lens was never intended for use on a tripod mounted LF camera. If you can adapt it to a shutter or have a focal plane shutter in your camera, do post some photos you make with it!

Phil Forrest
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Old 08-10-2014   #5
NIKON KIU
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Anything with those engravings would normally be made right after the war during the occupation era, The "C" after the Nikkor-Q is a perfect example of that. They also numbered them just a little different before 1945.
The Tokyo markings was used during the occupation, later on, they were all marked Japan and the C for coating disappeared.
Since you made the comment about the apo lens being produced in 1949, this must pre-date that one. So my guess is 1945-1949
The trick is most stuff produced during that era were marked MIOJ, do you see that anywhere on the mount or the inner parts of the mount?

What mount is it?

May be Wes Loder can chime in?

Kiu
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Old 08-10-2014   #6
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Lenses like this were often used for aerial reconnaissance. I have a fast 10" Wollensak lens that looks a bit like your 300mm but was really designed to shoot an image onto a high speed roll of film, not be set on the front standard of a LF camera. Really, if you look at contemporary lenses for non-military of similar focal length, they are much smaller and don't have very high speed apertures like f/4. I'm willing to wager that lens was never intended for use on a tripod mounted LF camera. If you can adapt it to a shutter or have a focal plane shutter in your camera, do post some photos you make with it!

Phil Forrest
Dear Phil,

Oh, I dunno. I have a 300/3.5 Tessar, and they were made for years. I prefer longer lenses though: my standard portrait lens on 8x10 inch is a 21 inch (533 mm) f/7.7 Ross. Had to make special lens panels for both...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-10-2014   #7
Nokton48
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I was going to say that it sure looks like a process lens. But that would be a Dialyte type, usually F9 or thereabouts in max aperture. The Apo-Nikkors I have seen as they are more modern.
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Old 08-10-2014   #8
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It's a threaded section on the rear right? The "mount" is screw, all large format lenses were screwed into a flange, which is screwed unto a lens board.

Large format lenses were indeed faster than F5.6, the most common speed being F4.5 from the 1920s until the 1950s. Tessars. Today, the Planar type doesn't do well that fast, so it's kept at 5.6.

Process lenses not usually this fast. They need to be very flat and sharp to the edges, a design challenge for fast lenses. Process lenses (Nikkor made a Nikkor-Q version) are usually F9 or F11.

Aerial reconnaissance lenses are sometimes this fast or faster. The Japanese didn't do a lot of military equipment post war. And this looks post war.

One reference says the Nikkor-Q was and early version of the Nikkor-M, an F4 Tessar type for large format.

Again, I would say it's an 8x10 large format camera lens, for consumers.
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Old 08-10-2014   #9
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If it's truly an F4 then perhaps it was intended as a large format portrait lens. I have a 300mm F4.5 Schneider Xenar in barrel, that is in that category. The Kodak Ektar portrait and commercial lenses are also in that range.

I have seen stunning 40"x60" prints from Kodak Ektars (these were framed portraits shot on 5"x7" by Philip Charis) that absolutely blew me away.
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Mystery Nikkor
Old 08-10-2014   #10
wes loder
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Mystery Nikkor

The February 1947 list of Nippon Kogaku products lists and includes a photograph of a 38cm Apo-Nikkor, but it is quite different in appearance to this lens. The 2/47 list does not include a 300mm Nikkor in either its post or pre-war products. So this might actually be later than 2/47, or a war-time product that NK did not want to acknowledge. The 2/47 list does include two lenses in barrel mount that are labeled "portrait lens," but they are 21cm f4 and 20cm f3.5.
The C mark would definitely mean a post-1945 optic. I would place its age between mid-1947 and mid-1948 when NK went to the more modern NKT mark and dropped the "Nikko" mark.
Does that help? WES
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MIOJ and this lens
Old 08-10-2014   #11
wes loder
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MIOJ and this lens

I might add that the MIOJ mark was not required until 1947, and then only on products for export. The lack of a MIOJ mark on this lens may simply mean that it was never intended for export. WES
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Old 08-10-2014   #12
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goamules View Post
It's a threaded section on the rear right? The "mount" is screw, all large format lenses were screwed into a flange, which is screwed unto a lens board.

Large format lenses were indeed faster than F5.6, the most common speed being F4.5 from the 1920s until the 1950s. Tessars. Today, the Planar type doesn't do well that fast, so it's kept at 5.6.

Process lenses not usually this fast. They need to be very flat and sharp to the edges, a design challenge for fast lenses. Process lenses (Nikkor made a Nikkor-Q version) are usually F9 or F11.

Aerial reconnaissance lenses are sometimes this fast or faster. The Japanese didn't do a lot of military equipment post war. And this looks post war.

One reference says the Nikkor-Q was and early version of the Nikkor-M, an F4 Tessar type for large format.

Again, I would say it's an 8x10 large format camera lens, for consumers.
Seconded, except that at 300mm, I'd say "process lenses are never this fast".

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-10-2014   #13
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Might be a very fun lens on a 4x5.

B2
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Old 08-10-2014   #14
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You'd probably not fit a 300mm F4 lens on a typical 4" lensboard on a 4x5. Just the apparent aperture would be 3", and with the barrel and flange, it's probably 4" around or more. Once again, it's a wholeplate or 8x10 lens.
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Old 08-11-2014   #15
enasniearth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wes loder View Post
The February 1947 list of Nippon Kogaku products lists and includes a photograph of a 38cm Apo-Nikkor, but it is quite different in appearance to this lens. The 2/47 list does not include a 300mm Nikkor in either its post or pre-war products. So this might actually be later than 2/47, or a war-time product that NK did not want to acknowledge. The 2/47 list does include two lenses in barrel mount that are labeled "portrait lens," but they are 21cm f4 and 20cm f3.5.
The C mark would definitely mean a post-1945 optic. I would place its age between mid-1947 and mid-1948 when NK went to the more modern NKT mark and dropped the "Nikko" mark.
Does that help? WES
Wes
Yes your summation of the period literature is very helpful , and thanks for your clarification of the made in occupied Japan mark and its use .

I'm thinking it is a tessar or protar type lens made with what glass was on hand for sale to raise capital .
So perhaps it was sold in Japan and didn't make the literature as an availible item .

Usually aerial lenses are in unusual mounts and process lenses are f8 or slower for maximum correction and resolution .

Photomoof , I will try to send some pictures to the group in Japan to ask if they have seen one before .

Goamules , it does look like a large format 8x10 lens for a stationary camera , most field lenses are smaller and lighter . Perhaps it was part of a large format device that I haven't seen .

To everyone else , roger , phil ,nokton , Nikon kui , et all , many good thoughts on possible uses .

The lens came to me in a long very heavy brass tube with a 1 1/2" exit hole so someone was using it adapted as a telescope or high power telephoto for a 35 or 2 1/4 camera .the mount was well machined , however later production and probably not original .
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Old 08-14-2014   #16
NIKON KIU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
My guess is a process lens, I don't remember ever seeing one. Hoped to find some mention here: http://akiroom.com/redbook-e/kenkyukai/ but no luck.

My guess is the group in Tokyo has studied the lens!
You know, I looked in there before anything, couldn't find anything of this nature.

Although the original poster never confirmed it, I am assuming this is in screw mount. I sent a message to Bob, lets see what he thinks. I will update.

The interesting thing is, there may be at least 5 more of these out there, so this could have been a special order for someone or entity, I would doubt NK would tool up to make 5 lenses, there could be 10-20?
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Old 08-16-2014   #17
enasniearth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIKON KIU View Post
You know, I looked in there before anything, couldn't find anything of this nature.

Although the original poster never confirmed it, I am assuming this is in screw mount. I sent a message to Bob, lets see what he thinks. I will update.

The interesting thing is, there may be at least 5 more of these out there, so this could have been a special order for someone or entity, I would doubt NK would tool up to make 5 lenses, there could be 10-20?
Kiu,
The lens has a rather large screw mount .
Online I found one that sold in a European auction with another lens,
I think it's number was under 40 , perhaps there are 40 out there .
Al
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Nikkor 30cm
Old 08-17-2014   #18
enasniearth
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Nikkor 30cm

I was able to only locate one other reference to this lens ,
One sold in a LP FOTO AUKTIONER auction in a lot of two lenses .
It was listed under
NIKKOR-Q.C 4/30cm No.61239
So there may be 40 out there .
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Old 08-25-2014   #19
NIKON KIU
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I did get a reply from Bob, the consensus was that this is not an aero lens as all those are engraved as such.
But what was it made for?
Who knows?

Did Akiyan-san reply?

Could be a good subject to discuss in the convention.

Kiu
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Old 08-28-2014   #20
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I will answer, once more. It is a PORTRAIT LENS for 8x10! The size, parameters, speed, finish, engraving, screwmount - EVERYTHING about it is exactly like all multiple element portrait lenses from the 1920s to the 1950s. How do I know? I've had hundreds of them. If 5 or 6 different 1940s 300mm portrait lenses were on a table, you wouldn't be able to tell the OPs Nikkor apart from 10 feet away.



It's not an Aero lens, it's not spy stuff, it's not a WWII battleship gun camera lens. It's a standard Portrait lens for a studio camera, like an Eastman, Century, or Ansco. These had 9" lensboards, shown above (with a much faster, longer Vitax). Read my replies above if you haven't.

You don't see more of 300mm LF Nikons because studios started shooting first 5x7, then 4x5 before and during the war period. 8x10 became less common in studio use. So the market was not really there. Nikon by 1951 was set with a good business plan with their 35mm cameras and lenses, to make them the global photo equipment powerhouse they became. LF wasn't part of that plan, though they did and do still make LF lenses.

However, the Japanese revered the Voigtlander Heliar, and appreciated other similar LF lenses like the Wollensak F4 Verito, Cooke portrait lenses (F3.5, 4.5, and 5.6), etc. I would be interested in knowing the design of the lens. The purpose is crystal clear. Are there 2 or three groups? Can the OP count reflections to determine how many elements in each group? The early Nikkor work as we know copied known designs. The F4 speed is a little unusual, I'd like to know what the glass configuration is.
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Old 09-01-2014   #21
enasniearth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goamules View Post
I will answer, once more. It is a PORTRAIT LENS for 8x10! The size, parameters, speed, finish, engraving, screwmount - EVERYTHING about it is exactly like all multiple element portrait lenses from the 1920s to the 1950s. How do I know? I've had hundreds of them. If 5 or 6 different 1940s 300mm portrait lenses were on a table, you wouldn't be able to tell the OPs Nikkor apart from 10 feet away.



It's not an Aero lens, it's not spy stuff, it's not a WWII battleship gun camera lens. It's a standard Portrait lens for a studio camera, like an Eastman, Century, or Ansco. These had 9" lensboards, shown above (with a much faster, longer Vitax). Read my replies above if you haven't.

You don't see more of 300mm LF Nikons because studios started shooting first 5x7, then 4x5 before and during the war period. 8x10 became less common in studio use. So the market was not really there. Nikon by 1951 was set with a good business plan with their 35mm cameras and lenses, to make them the global photo equipment powerhouse they became. LF wasn't part of that plan, though they did and do still make LF lenses.

However, the Japanese revered the Voigtlander Heliar, and appreciated other similar LF lenses like the Wollensak F4 Verito, Cooke portrait lenses (F3.5, 4.5, and 5.6), etc. I would be interested in knowing the design of the lens. The purpose is crystal clear. Are there 2 or three groups? Can the OP count reflections to determine how many elements in each group? The early Nikkor work as we know copied known designs. The F4 speed is a little unusual, I'd like to know what the glass configuration is.
Garret ,
As I mentioned earlier the lens is most likely a tessar or protar copy
After wwii the German patents were not valid and many copied German designs .
The number is low and there is no mention of it that I can find other than the other that sold .
I don't think that it is anything exotic just a large format lens of some type .
Earlier in the thread I stated that it looked like the barrel lenses German prewar .
I was interested if anyone had seen another in their travels .
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Old 09-01-2014   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIKON KIU View Post
I did get a reply from Bob, the consensus was that this is not an aero lens as all those are engraved as such.
But what was it made for?
Who knows?

Did Akiyan-san reply?

Could be a good subject to discuss in the convention.

Kiu
Kiu,
I have just now sent photos to Akiyan-San
The red book nikkor site and the meetings are very interesting reading .

The lens is probably a copy of a Zeiss tessar or protar produced
Immediately postwar ,
It is interesting as I can find only one other .
It is probably rare and unusual , but not exotic or special purpose .

There are probably a lot more interesting topics to present at the NHS
Convention .
Al
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Old 09-01-2014   #23
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Not portrait (that was a domain of rather funky off-brand tuplets, and much longer to boot) - it will be a Tessar type, everybody had one after WWII, when the Zeiss patents were placed in the public domain. It is not fast either, the CZJ Tessar came in f/2.8, f/3.5, f/4.5 and f/6.3 - Nikon probably decided to compromise towards the average rather than offer as many variations...
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Old 09-03-2014   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enasniearth View Post
Garret ,
As I mentioned earlier the lens is most likely a tessar or protar copy
After wwii the German patents were not valid and many copied German designs .
The number is low and there is no mention of it that I can find other than the other that sold .
I don't think that it is anything exotic just a large format lens of some type .
Earlier in the thread I stated that it looked like the barrel lenses German prewar .
I was interested if anyone had seen another in their travels .
I haven't seen another, but they are mentioned on the Internet. You have the lens in your hands right? Why don't you just count reflections, or otherwise tell me how many groups and elements there are? Guessing it's probably a Tessar or Protar is just a guess. How many elements are there? How many lenses in each element? It's highly doubtful it's a Protar VIIa, and no way a Protar V or IV. What Protar are you thinking? None look like that. Tessar, maybe. But also maybe a Triplet, or a Rapid Rectilinear, or perhaps a Dagor, Planar, or a unique design. The "Q" often meant 4 elements, but you can confirm that.

You have the lens, tell US what configuration it is, and we can tell you what it is. Many of the posts above were just guesses ("it's an Aero...it's a process lens....it's prewar...it's postwar...612 may be the design or production date december 1946 ....) and wrong. Guessing it's a Tessar is just a guess, it may be. But it could be anything, even a unique design.
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