105mm AI f/2.5

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jonathan_ventura, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. was this a good lens? someone here has it for $200. he says it is in excellent condition. i have been looking to buy the 105mm Af f/2.8D is this AI version comparable? is this version also considered a "macro" lens? is it worth buy for that price? what would this lens best be used for? will this AF on a D80? thanks!
  2. It's a wonderful lens. I dreamed to have it for years, since I bought my Nikon FM, and finally got one in 2003: an AI converted lens with original hood and caps.

    It was, and hope still is, highly regarded as a portrait lens.
    It is not a macro lens.

    The only thing you should consider is that this one is notan AI lens. It's the immediately previous lens, with all the features, coating of the AI lenses but stopping down to f32, but withoutthe indexing tab you need for your D80.

    Also, the price is peculiar: I spent USD179,00 from B&H, with a guarantee. 200 dollars seems a bit high to me.
  3. And it is NOT an autofocus lens- so no, it won't autofocus on your D80
  4. can the lens be mounted on a d40? i have both a D80 and D40.
    i am guessing it will be manual focus on both cameras...
  5. A manual focus lens will not autofocus on any camera, it's manual focus only. It will mount on the D40 but won't meter, either. It could damage your D80 being it's non-AI. $200 is too much. If you wan't macro get the 105mm Micro f/2.8 AFD, but it won't autofocus on your D40. You need AF-S lenses for that.
  6. thank you everyone- very helpful. i am gonna pass on this one.
    there is some guy selling a 24mm f/2.8D AF for $150 i think ill get that one instead.
  7. That appears to be in approximately the same serial number range as mine. My sample is extraordinary, possibly the sharpest lens I've ever owned. Based on experience with the lens I'd say it's worth $200, especially if it comes with the original lens hood and front and rear Nikon caps. But it depends on whether you're shopping for a price or for a lens. A comparable Zeiss lens in Nikon mount would cost that much and would probably not be noticeably sharper.
  8. hmmm that is very good point. i think i will at least go an look at the lens.
    tho the 24mm at $150 is very tempting...
    i need/ want both lenses...ugh i wish i had a money tree!
  9. I have the same edition, I had a Nikon AI ring fitted to it shortly after I bought it. Found it MINT on ebay for $49.99. Thrilling bargain. Bought another 105mm (the P.C. Auto) version that had the AI ring, sent both lenses to my technician, and he swapped them out for me and I resold the 105mm P.C. Auto with the non-AI ring on it for a small profit.

    I recently tested this 105mm against my Nikon 70-300mm ED zoom, and in the center of the frame, they are about identical in performance. But get down to the bottom or the right side, and the 70-300mm just falls to pieces where the 105 f2.5 is still sharp as a pin.
  10. It would be a mistake to pass up adding this lens to your system. It is one of the few older lenses that I didn't upgrade when I went to digital. It's so good there is no purple fringing. Excellent color rendition and bokeh. I wouldn't sell mine for anything.
  11. It's not a good lens. It's a great lens.

    A PITA on the D70, but pain I can live with. I won't be selling my copy to anyone. Picked it up in mint condition (everyone seems to get their copies mint these days) for 135 Euros, so you are not too far off the mark. However, mine is AIS but I think it's the same as the AI.
  12. 200 bucks is alright I guess depending on the condition. It's a short tele lens, so you are the only one who can decide whether you want this or not.

    Used Tamron 90mm 2.8 is also another good option for you, and it's a real macro lens, but it's also an excellent portrait lens. And I mean excellent portrait lens, not excellent portrait lens considering it's a macro.
  13. The 105mm f2.5 is a wonderful lens. You may enjoy this tale of its history and the engineer who designed it.


    But contrary to what has been posted here, this particular lens is not a good deal. Even if the lens were in "excellent" condition, to an acutal shooter, instead of a collector, it is worth no more than $160. The 704xxx you are looking at, as has been pointed out, is a pre-AI. It won't mount safely on a modern autofocus body, without putting the AF contact block at risk. The modification to correct this is about $35, plus shipping, say another $5.

    $200 is what KEH charges for an EX condition AI version. Neither the optical design nor the build quality of this lens has changed noticeably from the 4 group pre-AI (1971-1977) to the AI (1977-1981). Hence, the $160 for an "actual" EX specimine of the lens. While KEH ratings are on the conservative side of realistic, photo.net member ratings tend to be rather "optimistic" (although not as bad as theBay). Without lens in hand, and having seen other lens deals here (like a "mint condition" lens with fungus), I'd say $140 is a reasonable counter offer. Not a penny over $150.
  14. "It is not a macro lens."

    It is. It is my best macro for certain applications like that below (the hologram on a 50
    euro bill viewed obliquely).

    D3 + AI 105 mm 2.5 (at 2.5 and 1 m) + BR-2A + K-3 + pre-AI 50 mm 1.4 (at 1.4 and
    infinity) + BR-3

    The 50 mm is mounted reversed, therefore the two first two rings. The last one serves as a
  15. Just my experience, but... The 105mm f/2.5 has been in my top two Nikkors for over two decades. It is part of a two-lens kit (the other being the 35mm f/1.4) that has traveled all over the world with me and has never failed to get me good shots. It has just the right combination of tight framing, selective focus, and beautiful rendering of the parts of the scene that are not in focus. Operationally, the bright image in the finder along with the narrow DOF make manual focus quick and sure. It is a great lens. Now as I explore digital with Nikon DSLRs, I have not been able to make the 105mm f/2.5 work as I have enjoyed it for the last 20-plus years. The 1.5X crop of the digital capture has made it too long for my normal way of using it. It is not bad, just different. Maybe if I have not had so much experience with it, I could enjoy the "new" angle of view, but I have from years of experience been able to move to just the right spot to make the 105mm on full frame work without even having to look in the finder... I had my "105mm eyes" on when ever that lens was on my camera. In short, the 105mm f/2.5 that I had enjoyed for so long on full frame (film) is not the same lens when I put it on my DSLR... in my opinion. FWIW... I am still trying to find my medium telephoto for digital, one that gave me what the 105mm did on film. 70mm (on a zoom) gives the same field of view, but the DOF and Bokeh are not even close. My 85mm gives pretty good DOF selectivity, but it does not match the smoothness in the out-of-focus areas when compared to the 105mm f/2.5. Yep, the 105mm f/2.5 is a great lens. I am holding on to mine waiting for the day when a full frame DSLR is offered at a lower price.
  16. Semantics, Kari. Any lens can be used for closeups when combined with extension tubes or bellows, closeup diopters, or reverse mounted. But that doesn't make it a macro lens. Macro lenses are designed to produce flat field results and correct for optical errors peculiar to close focusing.

    Jonathan, I hadn't noticed that this is a non-AI lens. If that's the case it's not worth $200 unless it offers some particular collectible value (which is unlikely).

    Look for an AI or AI-S version. Mine is the AI version with HS-8 hood which reverses over the lens barrel as a sort of shroud. The AI-S version came with a sliding hood similar to that of the 180/2.8 AI and AI-S Nikkors. Mine included the original front and rear caps and L37c multicoated protective filter when I bought it for around $225-$250 in excellent condition several years ago. Having seen how well it performs I wouldn't sell it at any price as long as I continue to use Nikon gear. But I'd say $200 for a comparable lens with caps and hood (and filter, if possible, tho' I wouldn't count on it) would be reasonable. I doubt there's an equally sharp moderate telephoto or zoom out there for that price, manual or autofocus.
  17. Albert, which 85 are you shooting? I've not been impressed by the f1.8 versions, but have found the f1.4, either manual or AF, to be equal on digital to the 105 on film, albeit a bit longer at 128mm equivalent.

    Very prettiest one, if you can handle manual focus, shoot mostly in the f1.5 to f5.6 range, and have an SLR that can meter stopped down, is to find an old 75mm f1.5 "Zeiss" Jena Biotar in M42 (or maybe Exakta, Praktica, or Praktina) mount, and have it converted to Nikon mount.

    Or switch to Pentax and get the 77mm f1.8 limited.
  18. As an added bonus, an Ai-S will be, on average, 10 years newer than a pre-AI, which is 10 less years for the lubricants to gum up, fungus to grow, scratches to accumulate.
  19. "Neither the optical design nor the build quality of this lens has changed noticeably from the 4 group pre-AI (1971-1977) to the AI (1977-1981)"
    There were two optical versions of the 105 f/2.5: the early version is a Sonnar design, the late models were a modified Gauss design. The late models are better at close range than the early models.
  20. So far, we've only been talking about the "4 group" version in this thread (and not all of the 5 minor variations of that, even). Nikon refers to as a "Xenotar type", and I've never really gotten the reference to it as a Gauss type. That's just labeling anything with a Gauss section a "Gauss", which would make just about every modern zoom a "Gauss", because they all have a Gauss section or two. The 4 group Nikkor is a Gauss section followed by a non-Gauss positive group that shortens the lens and corrects a lot of aberrations of the single Gauss, without the massiveness of a second Gauss section. A Xenotar.

    The Sonnar (3 group) variation is ancient history, manufactured from 1959 to 1971. It was only manufactured in the single coated version. There were two other versions of the Xenotar version before the one we're talking about. Fron 1971 to 1973 the Zenotar was produced with single coating, 1973 to 1975 in multicoating with the fat, knubby metal focusing ring. Then, from 1975 to 1977 the version that Jonathan was looking at, with the "modern" rubber ring.
  21. Joseph, thank you for the correction. The "Xenotar type" was descriped as a *modified* Gauss at its introduction.
  22. Joseph, I remember you stating in another thread that you're doing field macro with coupled
    lenses: 50 mm f1.4 or 20 mm f2.8 on 105 mm f2.5 or 200 mm f4. I'm curious to know how
    you set the aperture and focus of the frontmost lens and whether it is reversed or not.

    Are there differences in the usability among 50 mm f1.4 versions?

    Plus, how do you calculate the effective aperture for a combination like these.
  23. Or switch to Pentax and get the 77mm f1.8 limited.
    Don't laugh, but I have actually considered this option. Besides the 77mm f/1.8, Pentax makes a 70mm f/2.5 that has been reviewed as being quite good. The thing with the 70mm is that it is tiny, just like a pancake lens.
    My other thought is to wait for the 60mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor, which is said to have more rounded aperture blades for better bokeh and a 90mm (film) field of view.
  24. Hi Kari.

    Yes, I always reverse the front lens. I usually do this with a home made macro coupler. I make them by gluing Cokin P-rings together face to face. They jam much less than the off-the-shelf couplers at B&H or local camera stores. And I typically use either a BR-3 or a BR-6 on the reversed lens. Either of those will give you 52mm filter threads, to mount a UV filter. You're working very close to the subject, so rear element scratches are a very real danger, and rear element scratches are much worse for image quality than front element scratches are, especially for a wide angle (I sometimes reverse my 28mm f2.8 and 20mm f2.8).

    The BR-6 is nice because it gives you the ability to focus and compose with the reversed lens wide open, then use a double cable release to stop the reversed lens and trip the shutter.

    The effective aperture is easy as pie to calculate for a 50mm f1.4 on a 105mm or a 200mm. It's literally the f stop of the front lens * the ratio of the focal lengths. So a 50mm f1.4 wide open on a 105mm is 1.4*105/50 = f2.94. It's easier to just say 105mm/50mm = 2, and then we double the f stop, so call it f2.8. That means you're going to have to worry about diffraction with the front lens set to somewhere around f8-f11, which gets us effective aperture of f16-f22.

    It's living heck to calculate effective aperture on a 28mm or 20mm wide, because of the "pupillary magnification factor". In other words, the aperture of a retrofocus wide angle lens is only correct when you're looking at the front of the lens: the exit pupil (rear image of the aperture) is larger than the entrance pupil (front image of the aperture). The end result is a 20mm f2.8 acts a stop faster reversed.


    Don't worry too much about the version. The optical design of the 50mm f1.4 has remained essentially unchanged for half a century (a tribute to the strength of the design, or a sign of laziness among lens manufacturers? You decide). The only difference in 50mm f1.4 verions is the coating, and since stacking increases the number of elements, you want the better coating, say post 1973.

    And if you really want the least vignetting and the best image quality, the best place to stop down a coupled 105mm and 50mm is not at the aperture mechanism of the front lens, or that of the rear lens, but rather, right between the lenses, using a waterhouse stop. You can make a waterhouse stop holder surprisingly easy.
  25. And Douglas, thanks for the correction to my correction.

    Unfortunatley (or maybe fortunatley) I missed the introduction of the 105mm ;)
  26. Thanks, Joseph

    (This is going to deviate from the original topic. Jonathan, sorry for that.)

    I've also used Cokin rings but, instead of glue, I've used three small bolts to keep the rings
    together. You must, of course, drill the holes very precisely so that any pair of rings can be
    paired. This (or gluing) is also a handy way to mate lenses that have (slightly) different
    filter-thread diameters.

    Yep, BR-6 would be fine but how to couple it with a DSLR's shutter release?

    Maybe I 'll make, eventually, a waterhouse aperture between the two Cokin rings but for
    now I'm using the outer lens wide open (less vignetting - I think) and use the inner lens's
    aperture for DOF control.

    But what about focusing? Should the outer lens be set at its optimal focus and use the
    inner lens's ring only for actual focusing? I assume the optimal focus for a 50 mm normal
    lens is at infinity.

    And, off-topic, I've also used the same logic when attaching a lens on bellows. Therefore,
    I've set a 55 macro at 1:10. But I really don't know what's the best procedure when a lens
    is reversed on bellows.
  27. Albert, the aperture shape has little or no effect on bokeh. Aperture shape primarily affects the shape of the out of focus highlights. Bokeh describes the overall aesthetics of the entire out of focus area of a photograph, not just the highlights.

    I've owned lenses with perfectly round diaphragm shapes yet only mediocre bokeh, nothing special. That includes medium format TLRs I've owned.

    I've used lenses with fewer diaphragm blades that produced obviously multi-sided highlights, yet had beautiful bokeh. And vice versa - lenses with both ugly highlights and harsh, doubling or tripling of edges, such as tree branches, flower stems, building edges, etc.

    If aperture shape and rounded highlights alone defined good bokeh, there would be universal agreement that mirror lenses offered perfect bokeh.
  28. There are only two optical versions; the older Sonnar and newer Gauss version that came out about 1971. There is single coating; multicoating; and later slighty altered multicoating. The lens came out in for rangefinder cameras in the 1950's; with mounts for Nikon RF; Exakta slr and Leica thread mount for rangefinders. The terminology of sonnar and gauss versions was used in the Nikon school when the newer version came out; and also in the photo magazines.<BR><BR>Sonnar single coated for Nikon RF/LTM & Exakta slr<BR><BR>Sonnar single coated fof Nikon F<BR><BR>Gauss design single coated<BR><BR>Gauss design multicoated<BR><BR>Gauss design enhanced multicoating.<BR><BR><BR>AI is a metering feature; it has nothing to do with the optical design or lens coating. <BR><BR>The lens at the top of the page is the LATEST optical design; with the first multicoating; with NO AI upgrade factory adapter. Xenotar is a trademark of Schneider; its abit goofy to rename the optical design that Nikon called it back in 1971; with a competitors name.
  29. Part of the 1970's trend was to follow Olympus; thus lenses were made lighter; with smaller parts; rubber rings added; the lense made smaller. Sometimes the newer versions were even glued instead of screwed. Some lenses got closer focusing distances such as the 50mm F1.4<BR><BR>The phrase "gauss type lens" is in Optical engineering textbooks from 1921.
  30. Here is a 1/2 century old Nikkor 10.5cm F2.5 on an Epson RD-1/S; the lens thats just single coated; an old Sonnar design; shot thru the 1/2 inch thick hockey plexiglass; iso 1600; about 1/125 second; @F4 ;manually focused; panned..<BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/105mm%20F25%20Nikkor/_EPS4278PENSACOLA28SULLIVANsmall105.jpg?t=1206419362"><BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/105mm%20F25%20Nikkor/_EPS4278PENSACOLA28SULLIVANmediu-1.jpg?t=1206419614"><BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/105mm%20F25%20Nikkor/_EPS4278PENSACOLA28SULLIVANlarge.jpg?t=1206419674"><BR><BR>Same 10.5cm F2.5 @F2.5; 1/250 second with superia 800 on Leica M3<BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/hockey/tripods-406.jpg?t=1206419884"><BR><BR>Here is a Pensacola player going down shot with the Rangefinder 13.5cm F3.5 at F3.5 with tri-x on an Leica M3<BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/hockey/tripods-456.jpg?t=1206419996"><BR><BR>The next two are hockey shots with cellphones<BR><BR> <img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/hockey/tripods-547.jpg?t=1206420160"><BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/hockey/tripods-361.jpg?t=1206420285"><BR><BR>OK; if you wonder why I still use manual focus for sports; I shot high school sports with an Exakta slr and also a TLR too.<BR><BR><bR><BR>1970's hockey shot with royal-x 1000 with a 80mm F2.8 Xenotar on a E3.<BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/hockey/tripods-452.jpg?t=1206420427">
  31. Hi Kari.

    I've also screwed rings together, but when teaching, I usually demonstrate epoxy, because there are some folks who can't, or won't drill.

    Once you're drilling holes, making provision for waterhouse stops is easy. I'm going to do a series of pics of how to cobble up an adapter with drilled holes and a spacer with a slot for the waterhouse stops. Give it a try, you'll find using the rear aperture for control really exagerrates aberrations. Remember, the front lens isn't just a strong "diopter", it's the lens doing the most work in this "partnership".

    And, on that note, back to our regularly scheduled program.

    For coupled lenses, it doesn't matter how you set a front 50mm, because that lens is unit focusing, the entire lens moves as one assembly, and if you're coupled to the filter ring, all adjusting focus does is slides the lens barrel back and fourth on a stationary lens. Some of the wides have "floating elements", aka "close range correction". Set those to infinity. You'll typically get the best image quality if you also set the rear lens to infinity, and focus by moving the camera using a focusing rail, or moving the subject using a focusing stage.

    The front lens is transforming a plane about 40mm from the rear element (where the film normally goes) to a plane very far from the front element. The rear lens is transforming the "very far" plane back to a plane 40mm from its rear element. Most lenses do this best at infinity. It's possible some lenses can "negotiate" a better compromise with the rear lens focused at a different distance.

    On a bellows, if the lens has some type of close focusing correction, and you have the lens mounted forward, set the lens to its closese focus distance. You're extending it past the range of correction it was designed for, it has the best chance with its correction turned "all the way up". The 55mm f2.8 has CRC, the f3.5 doesn't. The 60mm f2.8 has "CRC gone wild".

    Most macro lenses perform best reversed on a bellows. In that case, for a CRC lens, you set the lens's focus distance to the reciprocol of the magnification. (Of course, that means you have to either calculate, measure, or eyeball the magnification). So if you've got a 55mm f2.8 reversed and extended to 3x, set the lens to 1:3.

    Now, to fire the camera with a BR-6, I use a Nikon AR-10 dual cable release, with one mechanical release for the BR-6 and one electrical release for the camera. It has the old 2 pin (MD-15, N8008, etc) connector, so I use a Nikon MC-25 2 pin to 10 pin adapter for the D2X and D3.

    Definitely get these things used, they're insanely priced new ;)

    And Kelly, if you happen to be reading this, good points about the lenses, although I've never perceived the newer rubber collar designs as being cheaper, and never saw glue except in series E. But on a more serious note: there's no way the Klingons could oppress the Metrons. Besides, I like the way Klingochrome renders the reds, it's the very best film for battle.
  32. Thanks, Joseph, a lot.

    I'm looking forward seeing your pictures of waterhouse stops.

    I have a box full of broken Nikkors that I got for free. I tried to find one whose aperture
    system could be recycled but it seems they are so tightly integrated with the optical cores
    that this seems not the way to go.

    All waterhouse stops are circular? This means nicer OOF highlights?

    Thank for correcting me on setting the focus of the front lens. But, then, it can be used
    for focusing instead of or in addition to the back lens, right?

    I agree in that most lenses do best at infinity but maybe macros are different.

    I also have a box full of Nikon rings and stuff - but no BR-6, AR-10, MC-25...

  33. Ummm, this thread has sort of digressed. But on the original point: I found the 105/2.5 unusable on a D70 when I first went digital. But I've gone back to using it now that I've gotten a D300--on which it is actually possible to focus manually--for portraits, even if it is a bit long. It is stunningly sharp...once again. I can only imagine how spectacular it would be on a D3. For anything $200 or less, if the lens is in good shape (and it's one of the more modern versions), it's still a steal. Even if you may not be able to realise its value fully right away.
  34. Bernard, of course the tread has digressed. Digression is the better part of valour. This aside, I agree, a more modern 105mm f2.5 is a great lens to have, especially if you ave a large working space or work outdoors frequently.

    Kari, yes, traditional waterhouse stops are circular. This really doesn't help macro all that much, because circular stops only contribute a nice edge to specular (small, bright) highlights. The bigger problem in macro bokeh is the overall distribution of light between the center and edge of the out of focus circles, and that's purely a function of the design of the two lenses.

    You won't have much luck with the aperture mechanism of a scrap lens. Any lens that lets you focus wide open and stops down when you shoot has a "leaf shutter" aperture mechanism, and you will find that near impossible to move from one lens to another. Rangefinder lenses, certain old macro lenses (like the macro (not "micro") Nikkors, Zeiss Luminars, Leitz Photars) and the 28mm and 35mm PC Nikkors have a different mechanism, called an "iris diaphragm" stops down to a much nicer circle, and is a self contained unit, very easy to remove from the lens. You can get irises from Edmund Optics, but they're not cheap.


    The NT32-618 ($49, "standard" grade, with blue spring steel blades) or NT57-583 ($55, "high performance grade, with burnished steel blades) have a 53mm outer diameter, just right to sandwich between two P-rings, can open to a 37mm max diameter (a good match to the pupils of a 50mm f1.4 and 105mm f2.5) and have 16 blades, which is so close to round you won't be able to tell the difference. Modern lens companies brag about having 7 or 9 blades, which just shows you what we had to give up to get wide open metering.

    There is a honking big iris, the NT57-585, with an 82mm outer diameter that will completely fill the area between two p-rings, can open up to a 60mm aperture, and is total overkill for this at $115. Watch the big irises, for reasons unknown at large sizes the "standard" costs more than the "high performance" series.

    The waterhouse stops, on the other hand, can be built almost free, they're just not as easy to adjust. To stop down, you slide out one card, slide in another.
  35. As far as focusing, no, the front lens will not focus, at all. Even when you have a lens with "close focusing correction", adjusting the focus won't change the focus distance, it will just correct the lens better to match the rear lens. So, if you have a 20mm f2.8 (with CRC) reversed on the 105mm f2.8 and you focus the 105mm to 6 feet, you'd also set the 20mm to 6 feet, just to get the additional correction.

    But you will find that focusing the rear lens really doesn't buy you much of anything, and the actual focusing should be done by moving the camera back and forth on a focusing rail.

    Let's go back to our 50mm example for a minute. When you focus a 105mm f2.5 Xenotar version from infinity to its closest focus of 1m, the lens (well, if you want to get picky, the "rear node") moves from 105mm from the image plane to 118.6mm from the image plane, a whopping 13.6mm. (1/(1/1000mm-1/105mm))

    The coupled 50mm and 105mm lens has an effective focal length of 33.9mm (1/(1/50mm+1/105mm)). This means the magnification of the coupled lens changes from 2.1x (105mm/33.9mm-1) to 2.5x (118.6mm/33.9mm-1). Hardly enough change in magnification to get excited about. The distance from camera to subject imcreases 11mm as you focus the 105mm from infinity to 1m, again, hardly useful.

    Read the focusing rail thread, here, and ignore the comments from "Mary, Mary, quite contrary".


    One of those $50 generic rails will get you started.

  36. "Part of the 1970's trend was to follow Olympus; thus lenses were made lighter; with smaller parts;..." (elipses mine)

    But this was not one of those cases. Roland Vink's lovely Nikon lens database (better than the tables in the "Nikon Compendium", the "System Handbook", and the "Master Handbook" all put together) paints a different picture.


    The Sonnar version (1959-1971) weighed in at 370g. All five versions of the Xenotar, from the lobed metal collar versions (1971-1975) to the rubber collar versions (1974-1981, including a few months of overlap with the lobed version), to the built in hood Ai-S (1981-2005) weigh in at 435g.
  37. Joseph,

    Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge on experimental photography!

    I'm ordering a 70 mm iris from Edmund Optics since I really like to have the 105+50
    combo for extraordinary shallow DOF macros with nice bokeh.

    But what about 200 mm Micro that has a 62 mm thread? The 82 mm iris has a 60 mm max
    aperture. But which (wide angle) lens should I use in front of that?

    Do you, by any means, know these lenses that I rescued from a litter bin of a hospital:

    Rodenstock-Heligon 1:1,4 f=70mm

    Schneider-Kreutznach Xenar 1:4,5(210

    De Oude Delft Rayxar E50/0,75

    P. Angenieux F 50 1:0.95 TYPE M1

    Are they of any use?

    The last one, only, has an aperture ring and none has any means fro focusing. The
    registering distance may be a serious problem for all with D3 or D300 but may I could
    offer one of my Olympus C5050Z's.

    Schneider-Kreutznach Componon 1:5,6/150 sits on my PB-4 but its seems to lack

    As for the focusing rails, I'd like to have one with an integrated Arca style dovetail on the
    bottom (and maybe a clamp on top). I think Novoflex once had such. Still available from


  38. I often use my 50mm f1.4 and 20mm f2.8 in front of the 200mm. The ratios on those (4:1 and 10:1) are so large you really can get by just controlling aperture on the front lens, adding a stop between the lenses is much more a trick you use for small ratios, like 2.1:1 with a 105mm and a 50mm, or whatever we get with an 85mm and a 50mm. That's when I use the BR-6, AR-10, MC-25 setup.

    I have three ways of setting up my camera bag. It only holds two "big things" (70-200mm f2.8, 200mm f4, and PB-4 bellows with 16, 25, 40, and 65mm Luminars and Photars) at a time. So there are missions that get the 200mm f4 and the bellows and lenses, and missions that don't get the bellows, but get the coupling gear to put the normal and wides on the teles. This involves a lot of changing stuff, but gets me from 1x (just the 200) to 2x (50 on 105), 4x (50 on 200 or 28 on 105), 5-6x (20 on 105 or 28 on 200), and 10x (20 on 200).

    Good God, those are some fun toys you found in the trash.

    If a Componon is lacking contrast that means it's either a really, really old uncoated one, it's full of fungus, chemically hazed, or just needs a good cleaning. You do have to mount it in a light-tight way (screw adapters together, not just hold it in place) and it may have a "light duct" for illuminating its aperture numbers that you need to block to use it for macro.

    The other lenses (from copiers, I'd guess) are useless at infinity, but can make some truly bizar macro lenses. The person you want to seek out on photo.net is Vivek Iyer, who has mounted many such lenses, with and without bellows.


    Do not worry about the lack of aperture adjustment, the only reason for playing with a CFL ("crazy fast lens") is for ultrashallow DOF, so you're always shooting it wide open. If you took that 50mm f0.75 and stopped it down to f2.8, it would not perform anywhere near as well as a Nikon 55mm f2.8 micro-Nikkor, and it probably would be beat by a plain old 50mm f1.4 stopped down to 2.8 and extended. Personally, I don't own any CFLs, for the few occasions I've needed that look I've coupled a pair of 50mm f1.4 (Nikon on the camera, Pentax Super Takumar in front).

    Novoflex still makes the "medium" rails Castle-L (which I have) and Castle-Q. Both of these have the entire length of the lower section of the rail machined in a precise Arca dovetail. The L has a Novoflex round quick release, which I attach to an Acratech "double speed" Arca clamp. The Q has a machined in Arca clamp, but it's set up for RRS style camera plates and is sideways to a lens plate so I can't use it with my 200mm f4 micro-Nikkor and PN-11 tube, hence the Acratech plate mounted the right way.

    Both are available from B&H, as is the heavy duty rail (also with lower Arca dovetail) and the mini (no dovetail, but very compact). They cost more now than when I ordered mine. Order now, before the US dollar drops even farther against the Euro and the prices go up even more.
  39. Abit off topic but worth mentioning; with our process camera we only used the waterhouse stop feature for NON CIRCULAR stops; since the lenses the apo ronars have an iris too. The square; diamond; or triangular stops are used for certain line screen work.<BR><BR>Here I have bought many dozens of 105mm F2.5 Nikkors; but only own less than a dozen now. The purchase were for a motion picture camera telephotos lens; where the lens guts were/are used. Here what matters is performance and only using what is required for retro fitting; thus newer lens with glue might not the easiest retrofit.<BR><BR>The Schneider-Kreutznach Componon 135mm F5.6 here is used with a phase one 4x5 scan back for artwork and has extreme contast.<BR><BR>The newer version of 105mm F2.5 i8s a modified gauss lens; not a xenotar. The xenotar is trademark thats not Nikon; but of a competitor. Gauss is a lens design; Xenotar is trademark. Hell what not call it a Hannah Montana lens and cause more confusion?; or many the Al Gore lens since he invented it?:)<BR><BR>In the Los Angeles area the cheaper rubber rings sometimes become a mess of goo when tthey finally get ruined by ozone; BUT it depend too on when built; like the rubber batches varied. Some I have used were like sticky candy; others still ok.<BR><BR>Due to feel good about the planet stuff some greases got changed over the decades; and sometimes some newer grease wandering issues than older lenses.
  40. Hey Kelly,

    The point I was trying to make is that there are hundreds of lens designs that have one or more Gauss groups in them. Some of them are quite distinctive. Refering to it as I did, as "Xenotar type" makes it easy to understand what the basic design is, and what the characteristics are.

    Nikon themselves frequently refer to it as a "Xenotar-type", in addition to describing it as a "Gauss type" in other places.


    "Gauss is a lens design; Xenotar is trademark"

    Sonnar is a trademark, you don't have any problem refering to the earlier 105 by that name.

    LA air melting the rubber rings? Yuk. Are you still on that coast?
  41. Josepho; I am just using the Sonnar term since thats what the first 105mm design has been called for the last 1/2 century. Its was called this too when the newer modified gauss version came out about 1971 also; and back in the Nikon school then. I really am no fan for reinventing new terms for old stuff. If you like the xenotar trademark for newer 105mm; why not go back 100 years and use carl ziess's Planar term then? In optics folks call Tessar design a tessar even if its not a zeiss product. I just thought it was odd to have used Nikon F since 1962 and never heard the newer 105mm called a xenotar. <BR><BR>The 100 and 105mm focal lengths for 35mm cameras are often good lenses; even with the aftermarket brands. The focal length is short enough that ED glass is not required; its also long enough that the angular coverage is not alot; thus off axis correction is often good. Even the ancient 105mm F4 Nikkor-T preset triplet works great here; its a great portrait lens too.<BR><BR>I live in the left quakey coast and deep south too. One has very dry air; the other abit swampish. The LA basin area still has a decent amount of smog alerts; ozone attacks rubber products. In thousand oaks there was a major traffic snarl the other day; a major mess; even the back way over the Conejo grade was a mess; but with no humidity like the deep south.
  42. Hi Joseph,

    I got yesterday a diaphragm from England and next week when I get the other necessary
    parts, I'll construct the 105 + 50 mm combo. Photos taken with a tape-together version
    showed that this is the way to go.

    Since this is rather old of a thread and our sub-theme is quite off-topic, I think I'll start a
    new thread when I have some results to show. Hope, you and others will find it!

  43. Josepho?

    Anyway, Kelly, I have no quibbles about calling the forst 105mm a "Sonnar type". It looks like a copy of a Zeiss Sonnar design, and Zeiss never really distorted the term "Sonnar" so you're not quite sure what it meant.

    I wouldn't call the later Nikon 105 a "Planar type", because that would be confusing for two reasons. First, Zeiss applies the label "Planar" to several dissimilar designs, so "Planar type" is a vague term, at best. Second, the Nikon 105 bears no resemblance to any of those Zeiss Planar variations.

    The original Rudolph "Planar" is a very specific configuration, a symmetrical pair of three element, non Gauss units. Since then, Zeiss has diluted the term, putting the Planar name on preturbed (slightly asymmetrical) versions of the original design with increased back focus, as well as pretty much any nearly symmetrical 6, 7, or 8 element design, whether the front and rear units are Randolph's original plano-convex, or Gauss's meniscus pairs. Pretty much every 50mm f2, 1.8, and 1.4 normal Nikon has ever made has "paid tribute" to one variation or another of a Zeiss Planar, but I typically don't refer to the Nikon normals as "Planar type". But someone could say "Planar type" to me, and I would have some idea what they were talking about. I would probably ask them to clarify, if it were important to the conversation.

    So, in general, just my personal interpretaions, I will say:

    "Gauss" for a single Gauss (a pair of meniscus groups, whether or not one or both groups are simple lenses or achromats).

    "Double Gauss" for an actual double Gauss, two symmetrical or nearly symmetrical Gauss units.

    For anything other than those two cases, I seek a more specific and descriptive term.

    "Planar" for a real, Zeiss branded Planar, regardless of whether it is fully symmetrical or preturbed, whether or not the groups are Gauss, and whether or not the original 3 element units have the first meniscus split into two lenses for the 7 or 8 element varients.

    "Xenotar type" for a lens that has a Gauss followed by a simple achromat, which may or may not be a Gauss.

    "Sonnar type", "Tessar type", etc. for lenses resembling those particular, distinctive designs.

    And I nevr say "Gauss type", because it's such a vague term. All it tells you is that, somewhere in the lens, there is a unit that corresponds to a Gauss. It's a huge umbrella: as I mentioned earlier, a real Zeiss Planar may or may not be a double Gauss, both versions of the Nikon 105 are technically Gauss designs (Nikon's version of a Sonnar is one big Gauss, the front being a meniscus triplet with the front element split, the rear a simple meniscus, their Xenotar has a more conventonal two element meniscus with a split front element) as well as half the normal lenses in existance. Most zoom lenses contain one or more Gauss elements, but we don't refer to them as "Gauss types", either. Basically, you can put all the lenses in the world into two bins, those that contain one or more Gauss units, and those that don't, and label the first bin "Gauss type", but this will tell you nothing useful.

    The 105 not only isn't symmetrical, but the rear unit isn't a Gauss, as the rear element is a double convex, not a meniscus lens. I don't think the rear unit qualifies as a split of a simple meniscus. So it's not a single Gauss, and it's not a double Gauss. But it does bear a striking resemblance to either a Xenotar or a Biometar, and the Xenotar is both a more common term and easier to pronounce.

    Now, maybe one could define "Gauss type" as a lens where the front unit is a Gauss, and the image characteristics of a Gauss design dominate the overall lens, instead of "any lens containing a Gauss unit anywhere in the lens". But even this interpretation of "Gauss type" doesn't apply too well to the later 105mm, since it doesn't draw like any common tuning of a single or double Gauss.

    Again, just my take, and I tend towards a precision that often matters only to me and annoys those around me.

    Take it easy.
  44. Kari,

    I'm looking forward to seeing your coupler with iris, and some of the shots.

Share This Page