Nikon 50/1.4 LTM glow or flare problem

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by dan d. chang, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. I notied when I use Nikon 50/1.4 LTM wide open there is severe flare problem,
    the picture looks fuzzy and highlight glow. the same era Carl Zeiss 50/1.5 for
    Contax did much better at f1.5. and for Color the Zeiss looks vivid, Nikon is
    kind of dull. Any Nikon Zeiss user comments?
  2. Chris Chen sold me a used Nikon 1.4 lens hood which allmost eliminated any flare problem. Wide open, there is some tendency to flare, but not severe. Center was good, flare was around the edges. Stopped down,flare was never a problem. No highlight glow ever. My lens is clear with no internal haze, but I do try to avoid background that would induce flare. Very nice lens, but mine is not an LTM but a Contax mount. I don't know if there was any formula difference between the LTMs and Contax mounts. From your post, it reads as if your lens may have an internal problem if you are using a hood.
  3. Before you write off the Nikkor lens, shine a small flashlight through the lens towards your eye. You are looking for artifacts, fogging, fungus, oil. Really, it's a good lens when new.
  4. With old lenses, I think you're always going to get some sample variation, both because of manufacturing practices (on the whole, more lax back then than today) & the "life stories" of lenses bought used (some may have suffered damage, fungus, scratches, etc.). That said, all things being equal (optical condition of the lenses, lighting conditions, presence/absence of a hood, etc.), I don't believe that a 5cm/1.4 Nikkor-S @ f/1.4 should give you any more flare problems than the Carl Zeiss, Zeiss-Opton, or Carl Zeiss Jena 50/1.5 Sonnar from the same era @ f/1.5.
  5. Make sure you are shooting without a filter. I find older lenses can flare very badly if you shoot with a filter into strong light sources. Take the filter off, and the improvement can be amazing.
  6. See Dante Stella's commentary. Wide open, the lens has veiling flare. As he notes, the f/1.4 stop is optimized for close distances, in the dark.
  7. jja


    Dan, if you can post some photos, maybe we can judge better, but I have a feeling there is a problem with your lens. I have Nikkor 50/1.4 in LTM I recently acquired and I don't find the flare as extreme as you describe. The following examples are not into the sun, but they have bright backgrounds that may give you an idea of how the lens handles highlights. Both examples were shot without shade or filters.
  8. jja


    Another one:
  9. jja


    The second photo shows slight misfocus on my part. I have not shot mine a lot, but I like
    how the lens handles faces. If you can find a good sample or can have yours serviced, it
    would be worthwhile.
  10. Thanks guys, I will post some pictures tonight.
  11. Frederick Muller's comment about shooting with and without filters is accurate. I had been shooting with a UV filter and noticed the contrast improvement without the filter. From previous posts, Nikkors lens coatings are supposed to be superior to 1950's Leica coatings. One of the very best vintage 1.4 LTM 50's.
  12. Nikkor ltm 50/1.4 at f1.4 ASA400 Fuji color
  13. Maybe that's halation? More likely there's some slight haze in the lens, and a cleaning would help.
  14. I shin a flashlight from front and back there is no fogging or hazard. but when closed down to f2 it gets better.
  15. I reviewed my images taken at 1.4 @ 1/30 on EK 400 HD print and saw no evidence of veiling flare. Hood only, no filter. Although rare, John Morris' post on halation may be correct. Before you give up on the lens, you may wish to try another test series with the EK HD 400 as I thought the results were very good, especially on center.
  16. Thanks, I will try it without filter and put a hood on.
  17. Dan, I revisited my Nikon 1.4 shots and noticed that some image areas, especially at the edges, look somewhat like veiling flare, but under the loupe are just fuzzy out of focus image areas, not flare. Close up at 1.4 depth of field is very shallow so it is easy to get out of focus areas. For testing, you may wish to make sure at the selected distance that your rangefinder is accurately focusing the lens at 1.4. Setting up your camera at 45 degrees to a brick wall and 90 degrees straight on using a tripod and exposing at 1.4 will give you a pretty good idea where your main point of focus lies for the lens.
  18. good suggestion, I will try that, thanks

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