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Long Tom

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by nfoto, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Guess you could never have a long enough lens, but as far as refractive optics are concerned, this is about as long as you can get from the Nikkors,


    the pathetic, tiny one to the left is one of my 300/2.8 Nikkors. Just to show the scale of the 1200 mm f/11 Nikkor. And no, I haven't a big enough cupboard for this long Tom, but it does fit into my small red Peugeot :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2005
  2. Bjorn
    for another 2.00 you could have got a big lens :^)
  3. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  4. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    DOF is in fact quite acceptable, since you don't use this kind of lens at close range :biggrin: Apertures range from f/11 to f/32 but you hardly observe a real DOF difference, so I shoot mostly wide open.

    Sharpness and image contrast are both really excellent and there is less colour fringing with this monster than with most other long lenses I've used on my D2X bodies.

    However, it isn't easy to use unless you have good support for it [understatement if there ever was any], and can practise "long-lens" technique. If you have a sturdy tripod with a fluid head, or a ballhead allowing the lens to move but not freely, you can "float" the lens, hold the camera with your right hand and get quite sharp images down to 1/20 sec or so. Any longer than this needs two-point support, and using my "Penta-Pod" I obtained very sharp images at 1/4 to 1.3 sec. With light levels this low you have difficulties obtaining proper focus anyway.

    Given that I already own several 1000 mm mirror lenses, why did I purchase the 1200 Nikkor? The mirror lenses are nice on tripods since they are so short and they are great for shooting the sun, solar eclipses and suchlike things, but their contrast and colour saturation suffer from the mirror design. I consider ultrafast lenses being "abstractors" while long lenses are "extractors" of image detail, so I just wanted to see whether I could combine both in a very long lens, and at least get higher image quality than with my Reflex-Nikkors. Plus the 1200 mm had the alluring quality of not needing to be refocused for IR :biggrin: since it's so highly colour-corrected. And finally, I had some money left after finishing a few profitable assignments.
  5. Impressive! I guess the profits from your assignment where not sufficient for the 1200-1700, or do you need the remaining money to pay a caddy to carry this monster for you :biggrin:

  6. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    I couldn't locate a 1200-1700 :biggrin:
  7. So can you use a teleconverter with it? :rolleyes: 

    Look forward to seeing an image caught with that giant.
  8. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    The image below is taken at a distance slightly more than 2 km.This small homestead sits on the other side of a lake so I'm shooting through pretty turbulent air as well. It's just a 2 minutes drive from my house, by the way, so you can appreciate why I'm calling myself an "urban" nature photographer :smile:


    D2X, 1200 mm f/11 Nikkor ED-IF at f/11, 1/80 sec (entire frame shown)

    The arrow indicates the position of this small crop, which is enlarged 400% here just to enable details to be seen,


    You can see the external TV antenna in detail (shadows on wall). Given the distance this is pretty impressive. Just a test picture, but it shows the potential. And most of the images I've taken so far have been at fairly short range.

    With regards to using a teleconverter, the TC14E should mount and give good results, but in my country we are now entering the dark period (=long, then longer, shutter speeds), so I'm going to wait with any TC for next summer instead. I couldn't get faster than 1/80 sec today even with sunshine.

    Hopefully this example answers some of the questions asked by Paul et al.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2005
  9. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  10. Quite amazing.

    Now I know why they make $5,000 tripods!
  11. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    You're refering to the Sachtler, I presume? Yes, they are quite good :wink: , but at their asking price I think you have the right to expect that !

    (by the way, at the last tally I located 5 Sachtlers, but I thought there should be one more of them. Oh well, it surfaces some day)
  12. Yes sir. I saw a post of yours on that tripod, immediately thought I'd like one, then saw the price.

    Someday, when my eye deserves that much stability. :tongue:
  13. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    To round up the long lens vs tripod discussion, I submit the following shot of my workspace during the Venus Passage last year,

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The numbered items are as follows,

    1. Mirror Lens (1000 mm + 1.4x TC = 1400 mm), visible light
    2. Mirror Lens (1000 mm), infrared (IR)
    3. Mirror Lens (600 mm), ultraviolet (UV)
    4. Radio quartz controlled watch to keep accurate time
    5. Mineral water (more bottles in the car)
    6. A number of spare CF cards
    7. Bananas to get renewed energy during that 6 hour ordeal (tracking the sun and shooting with 3 cameras in 10 minute intervals)
    8. Director's chair, hardly used but I needed it towards the end of the shooting
    9. (outside the frame: my red Peugeot nearby, containing spare batteries for the cameras plus a stereo running on max. volume)

    I drove 500 km for those 2 - two - succesful shots of the Passage. Well worth the effort, nevertheless.

    Had I owned the 1200 Nikkor at that time, I would have pressed it into service for IR. There is an Eclipse coming up 3 October this year, so I have to prepare the lens with a Solar Filter for that event. Plus locate the missing Sachtler tripod :frown:
  14. I have been curious about this lens so it is great to see this thread, results look very impressive, but I'm afraid i cant afford a Sachtler tripod (Either) Do you think a Gitzo G1548 with a large ballhead or a Wimberley would work?

    Hope you in the future can post some more shots with it, I will be very interested to see the results
  15. That thing is a cannon Bjorn, you could get arrested just for carrying it around. Neat.
  16. Very very interesting! I would like to see a bunch more pics with it.

    So, did you buy that lens new? & where in the heck did you find it?

    Thanks for posting this beast!
  17. Oh my God Bjorn...we need to get you on a 12 step program...How the heck do you carry it??? Do you use a wheel barrow :) 
  18. yeah...
    Step 1: gather all your expensive and/or rare lenses
    Step 2: pack them up
    Steps 3-11: Take them to your local shipping outlet, several trips
    Step 12: Post them all to me!
    Talk about a monster lens! I hope you can find a 1200-1700 though, would be nice to see your review on it....
  19. I'm sure if Bjorn contacted Nikon, they'd make arrangements to get a 1200-1700 over to him. He's that good a customer!
  20. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
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