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Wide-open weekend with the 5cm f/1.4
Old 08-08-2005   #1
VinceC
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Wide-open weekend with the 5cm f/1.4

In a previous thread we discussed whether the Nikkor SC 5cm f/1.4 was actually optimized for shooting wide open and close up. Thus inspired, I spent Saturday and Sunday shooting a 24-exposure roll of film exclusively at f/1.4.

The results actually surprised me quite a bit. I expected the images to be flatter and softer. I tend to shoot my 2.8cm, 8.5cm and 13.5cm lenses wide open, but I've always stopped down my 5cm 1.4 a bit, to say 1.5, in order to improve contrast and reduce chance of flare. (Same with the 3.5cm f/1.8, which has an old-fashioned glow wide open, so I usually shoot it at f/2 and above). But the roll of film produced a bunch of really pleasing photos (pleasing to me, anyway). I've posted 11 samples in my VinceC gallery and will try to remember to attach two or three below. I'll also be a lot less skittish about cranking the lens wide open in the future.

FYI. the pictures were taken on Kodak consumer B+W ISO 400 film. I had the film processed at a one-hour lab, then scanned the 4x6 prints at 300 dpi. No image manipulation except to remove the worst dust spots.

The lens seems to perform equally well at close and middle distances. I only took one long shot, and this showed more vignetting than the close-ups and middle-distance photos. Depending on the light, some of the photos, notably the one of my daughter reading her Harry Potter book, do have that old-fashioned glow of a single-coated lens around some of the highlights. I'm not sure how well the scans captured it. The prints generally look sharper than the scans.

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Vince
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Last edited by VinceC : 08-08-2005 at 19:48.
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Old 08-09-2005   #2
Brian Sweeney
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Well, you've inspired me to spend some quality time with the Nikkor's. I've got a lot of scans off of negatives with the Nikkor wide-open, using an Epson 3170. Scanners and monitors do not do justice to a photo.
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Old 08-10-2005   #3
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I spent a bit of time pondering my scans from Monday. After some research, I worked with the Unsharp Mask in PhotoShop and made the pictures much more comparable to the actual photographs, but it was rather time consuming (the procedure turned up a lot more dust spots). I usually have the one-hour photo place scan my film onto a CD for an extra $5, and I think I'll keep doing that. The 200 dpi or so is fine for daily stuff, and my Epson 3200 can scan negatives for those shots that need more data oomph.

In the interest of not doing injustice to the lens, here a couple of the pictures of the Nikkor wide open, this time correctly scanned. I'm not going to have a chance to update my gallery yet. Busy week.
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Nikon S2, S3, S3-2000, SP, SP-2005 / Kiev 2a

Biogon 21/4.5; CV 21/4; CV 25/4; CV 85/3.5; the following Nikkors: 2.8cm/3.5; 3.5cm/1.8 (1956 and 2005 versions); 5cm/1.4; 8.5cm/2; 10.5cm/2.5; 13.5cm/3.5
Soviet lenses: Orion 28/6; Jupiter-12 35/2.8; Helios-103 50/1.8; Jupiter-8 50/2
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Old 08-10-2005   #4
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Those look MUCH better, and more like what I am used to getting. The others looked like the lens was defective.
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Old 08-10-2005   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceC
I spent a bit of time pondering my scans from Monday. After some research, I worked with the Unsharp Mask in PhotoShop and made the pictures much more comparable to the actual photographs,.
Vince ,
I just wanted to ask you if you added som USM to make the monitor look like the print when I saw you had done it already.

Especially the pic on the rhs looks great now, again I am surprised how fine a scanned print can look. I think for MF it works so fine that for a monitor presentation it is almost better than a (flatbed) scanned neg.

The lens looks great, there is a real "glow" visible , perfect look for this kind of photos.
Thanks for sharing !

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Bertram
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Old 08-12-2005   #6
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For those hearty few who venture into this far corner of the rangefinder universe, I just wanted to let you know that I've updated my album with the crisper scans of the 5cm Nikkor at it's wide-open f/1.4 aperature.
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Nikon S2, S3, S3-2000, SP, SP-2005 / Kiev 2a

Biogon 21/4.5; CV 21/4; CV 25/4; CV 85/3.5; the following Nikkors: 2.8cm/3.5; 3.5cm/1.8 (1956 and 2005 versions); 5cm/1.4; 8.5cm/2; 10.5cm/2.5; 13.5cm/3.5
Soviet lenses: Orion 28/6; Jupiter-12 35/2.8; Helios-103 50/1.8; Jupiter-8 50/2
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Old 08-13-2005   #7
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As Bertram says the one on the right now looks a lot sharper but the downside is that you can also see the dust pretty clearly. Its sharp though. Nice telescope BTW! (in one of your earlier shots)

I have a whole bunch of shots on film from a 50mm Summilux I got about a month ago, now you've made think about making a trip to the lab today...

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Old 08-13-2005   #8
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>>Nice telescope BTW! (in one of your earlier shots)<<

Thanks! It's a 4-inch refractor (I guess that'd make it a 1,020mm f/10 photo lens, though I haven't any camera adapters). In my early and middle teens, telescopes, not photography, were my obsession. Come to think of it, my dad got me my first camera (a Pentax ME) specifically to take pictures of a total solar eclipse. I still like to take the telescope out in the evenings every so often, to show my children that some of those brighter wandering stars are in reality planets, and just to marvel at the universe and our place within it.
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Nikon S2, S3, S3-2000, SP, SP-2005 / Kiev 2a

Biogon 21/4.5; CV 21/4; CV 25/4; CV 85/3.5; the following Nikkors: 2.8cm/3.5; 3.5cm/1.8 (1956 and 2005 versions); 5cm/1.4; 8.5cm/2; 10.5cm/2.5; 13.5cm/3.5
Soviet lenses: Orion 28/6; Jupiter-12 35/2.8; Helios-103 50/1.8; Jupiter-8 50/2
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