Just bought a beast from KEH

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rick_helmke|2, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Afternoon all,
    The other day while perusing the KEH website I found, as the last one in the category, an 85-250/4 manual focus Nikkor lens. I'd used one of these some years ago to cover sports including football and the Master's water skiing events at Callaway Gardens. Unfortunately, the guy who owned it wanted it back. This is a monster of a lens, much bigger than any other lens in this range and bigger than anything even close that's made today. Anyway, there it was listed in BGN condition and for $115 I couldn't leave it there. A phone call and a day later I had it in hand. I was impressed that it came with original lens caps and shade and even an 82mm UV filter. I put it on the camera and was immediately distressed that it would not focus to infinity. Scratched my head alittle and realized that the UV filter was actually a factory-included very weak close-up focus filter. It allowed the lens to focus down to about 6 feet instead of the normal 13. Once that came off it focused perfectly. Then I noticed the aperture blades didn't work at all and I was REALLY dissapointed. Gotta love KEH though because they paid for shipping, repaired it under the 6-month warranty and paid for shipping back in less than 10 days total. Now it works great! A little background on this monster from the 1969 Nikon handbook, it has 15 elements in 8 groups. Its about 20 inches long and weighs a whopping 4.5 pounds. With the motor driven F2 in the photos it comes out to just over 9 pounds. An interesting feature is the tripod collar. It is actually two mounting holes, one on the bottom and one on the left side. It doesn't rotate, you have to take it off, rotate the whole thing and re-mount it. There is absolutely no plastic on this lens at all and based on the weight, not much aluminum either. I see no practical way to make it an AI lens so I'll have to stop down or use Sunny 16. It's about as old-school as an slr lens can be and I love it. Although it was sold as a BGN lens there is hardly a mark on it. It was either well taken care of or more likely not often used. I'll attach a few photos and with any luck, the computer gods will allow this old analog piece to come through.

    Rick H.
  2. Rick, this is a bit of a monster but seems like an interesting purchase. You really need to post some of the results from your first shoot!
  3. Nice find Rick. Really impressive looking piece of glass. I buy all my stuff from KEH in bargain condition. Most of it looks like new unless you look really close. I'll echo Starvy in that I'm eager to see some pics taken with it.
  4. Waiting for the picts, but in the meantime, another example of KEH bargains. I find I have to ration my looking at their site, for fear that I will find more 'bargains' that are too good to pass up. :)
  5. OOOH! Thank goodness KEH is on the other side of the world...That's a magnificent monster, Rick, and I'm looking forward to seeing what it can do.
  6. mtk


    Wow Rick! I bought the 300 4.5 ED/IF and thought that looked impressive on my F3 with the MD-4 attached. You win hands down!
    Cant wait for pictures!
  7. Rick,
    Very impressive. Glad to see KEH come through with the fixes.
    I agree with JDM about spending too much time at the KEH website. This is one of those lenses that you just gotta have. It is not a rational thought for most of us.
    That you have used this lens in the past only makes it better. I too hope to see your results.
  8. That's awesome - I love 60's and 70's photo "tech"
  9. That thing....is freaking huge. (Thats what she said)
    You gotta admit, KEH is really great to do business with. Please, pictures from this beastie.
  10. Now the quest begins for an AI conversion ring<g>.
  11. I'll have it out tomorrow, will use it on the F2 and also on a D-something. I'll post photos shortly.
    Rick H.
  12. I like the red stripe around the big end.
    I once had a Canon FD 85-400mm f4.5 SSC, reminded me of a stick of stove wood.....no red stripe though.
  13. Nobody has corrected me yet.....it was an 85-300mm
    I don't think it was as long as this shiny Nikon monster.
  14. That is a real piece of photo gear. I liked the description; no plastic and very little aluminum. So glad that KEH fixed it all ...when you think about it, that was a great price!! I'm curious to see the pictures too, but I'm envious of getting to work with this thing. Maybe once would be enough! Bragging rights!!
  15. The red ring is actually an orange ring and is the weak close up filter I mentioned in the first post. It's stuck to the hood and until I can find a filter wrench I won't be able to use the hood. A quick trip to Cameragraphics should solve this problem. As for the F2, it's an F2AS, serial number dates it to '79. Came with the grip back that also stops the film from going back into the cassette. It's a fully optioned handful! Wish I could find an E screen for it though. It's a clean rig, got it at from C'graphics a few years ago for a song along with another black F2 with the DP-1 head and four MF primes for a total of about $400 I think. I've got newer more or less state of the art gear but find myself using film and these bodies unless I just am forced to shoot digital. On the other hand, I tested this lens last night on a bluegrass band. When my shoulder feels better, I'll post samples :)
    Rick H.
  16. Hi, how about the Nikon 50-300 f4.5... is it very good in comparison to the 80-400 VR? Or the Tamron 300 2.8?

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