Weekly Nikon news flash #413

→ Steve Perry, a long time [NR] contributor (check out his videos if you haven't yet), released a new e-book called "Secrets To The Nikon AF system".

→ An interesting accessory: Vello rapid lens changer for Nikon F mount:

Equipped with two locking Nikon F-mounts and easily accessed release switches, photographers will be able to quickly swap out their lenses while on the go. The mounts are made of metal and are designed to ensure that the lenses will be held with confidence. /picture copyrighted by T.I.M. 🙂

→ Here is something we all missed on April Fools' Day: the rare Nikon Apo Nikkor 1780mm lens was listed for sale on eBay for $4,300. Here is the description:

Designed for the military in the 70's. One of the world's rarest large format lenses is on sale here. The Nikon Apo Nikkor 1780mm was produced in the 1970s in an edition of 8 pieces. Some say it were only 6. The half went to the military.
Today, 4 photographers
worldwide are known to own and use this lens. All ULF photographers, mostly for alternative processes and gigantic formats. This lens has an unbelieveable picture circle of 2310mm - 2 meters and 31 cm !!!!! The initial aperture is 14, the smallest aperture is 128. Picture angle is 36 ° Effective focal length is 1778mm. Weight 6.3 kilos. Flange 213 x 1,5

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR ($2,796.95) vs. Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 ($1,299) lens comparisons (check out also the Tamron lens review at Lens Rentals):

→ New firmware updates released for:

Nikon products received the "Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017". The KeyMission 360 was selected for the "Best of the Best".

→ The Nikon price increase in Canada I reported a while back in now a reality - from a reader: "Nikon just raised the price of the D750 in Canada on Saturday. They also raised the price of the D5600 and D7100 and D7200. I don't think the D810 went up but body only is still $3400 CAD". Check the latest Nikon prices at Amazon Canada.

→ It seems that Nikon will not be part of the 2017 NAB show.

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  • Spy Black

    “Vello rapid lens changer…”
    I can’t imagine the constant shift in weight with two lenses on that thing being any good for the mount on the lenses. An easy-access camera bag offers far greater protection without stressing the mount.

    • KnightPhoto

      Might be perfect for my TC14/TC17 teleconverters though, like T.I.M has shown here. I hate messing with those TC caps and I’m always trying to do it quickly cause something in front of me is happening in the way of action.

      • T.I.M

        I think $80 is over priced, you may want to wait it goes on sale for $40 again.
        Quality is OK but not like Nikon standards.
        I don’t use the strap (nice strap by the way) but you can use the 2 hooks with your thumbs to make the lens (conveters) exchange easier.

      • billslatteryjr

        Yes it’d work great for even 2 TCs I’d bet. I use mine to hold a 70-300 AF-P for close ups when shooting a game with the 150-600mm. Keep a cap on the open side and be sure the locking pin engages. Strap is fine for holding such little weight.

    • Captain Megaton

      You only have one lens on it at a time typically. The unused mount receives the lens from the camera during the switch.

      I haven’t used it but I saw photog using it in the field 1 body with two zoom lenses, standard and tele, covering an event. I was impressed how easily he was able to change lenses on the fly.

      • Aldo

        The unused port stays open and gathers dust no? Im considering one of these but I’m still a little skeptical

        • Spy Black

          It’s sealed in the center.

          • Captain Megaton

            And you could put a body cap on the unused flange if it bothered you that much.

            • Aldo

              Its not that it bothers me… I mean it would theoretically gather dust… not a matter of bother but a matter of fact

            • Sawyerspadre

              And it would rub against your clothing. Fleece, wool, etc.

            • Aldo

              That too. I mean the only reason I’m scrutinizing the thing is because I was considering buying one.

            • KnightPhoto

              I ended up scratching off the multicoat from a ½ dime sized area near the centre of the rear element of my TC14E III

              I had tossed the teleconverter in my pocket sans caps and it must have rubbed against something else. I sent it in to see if Nikon would warranty fix it, but no. I just authorized a $211 repair job.

              I actually shot with it for about 6-9 months in this condition, but lately I seemed to be getting ghosting on edges, especially in crappy overcast light, and I suspect this may be why.

            • Aldo

              I think for teleconverters it may be just perfect

          • Aldo

            Well the thing is that one has to stay free under the ‘rapid change’ theory… in which case it stays open and gathers dust… and if you put a cap then that defeats the purpose.

            • Spy Black

              If you look at this pic, you can see that the center “walls off” each side of the unit. So if you have a lens dangling, it’s rear side is sealed off.

              Granted, each side can gather debris, and if it’s raining, well. The whole thing doesn’t strike me as practical. I’d rather use a quick-access bag where the lenses can be protected.


            • Aldo

              I get the middle is sealed… I mean the open slot would gather dust (as it would stay free to receive the incoming lens) then pour all the dust on your lens once you flip it when you swap.

            • Captain Megaton

              Pour all the dust? I detect paranoia. This little gadget only really comes into its own when you are switching lenses more than 4-5 times an hour. Event photography, principally. If your schedule involves changing lenses once or twice a day, there is no point using it.

            • Aldo

              I do sometimes switch that often for say a wedding ceremony… Im not really a neat freak with my lenses. I dont even put protective filters on them, but having that thing open to the air for even 5 minutes… thats like having the lens itself without a cap for that long. I try to keep lenses covered as much as I can. That way I dont have to clean them as much and avoid micro scratches. It also doesnt matter how often you switch as one slot will be open to the air at any given time (under the rapid switch principle).

            • Spy Black

              Yes, I agree, it just doesn’t strike me as practical.

    • ZoetMB
  • Wilson

    Key mission wins best of the best.. I don’t exactly know what that means but if feel like Red Dot was just fuckin with people on that one haha

    • Carmine

      I think Red Dot also ranked Nikon’s DL line as best in class also.

    • nwcs

      It’s like one of those “everyone who sends us money gets an award” type of thing.

  • animalsbybarry

    Large format apochromatic Nikon lenses such as the one shown in this article were not rare
    They were commonly used for large format ” process cameras” such as the Brown process cameras and were a staple of the printing industry

    The optical desighn was ” symmetrical apochromat” consisted of of 4 elements
    A doublet in front of the diaphragm and an identical doublet behind the diaphragm resulted in a high quality apochromatic image optimized for 1/1 magnification
    This desighn only utilized regular glass ( exotic glass was not available back then)

    This type of lens was primarily made by Goerz, Schneider, and Nikon with Nikon being less common than the others

    I have actually used these lenses

    • Hysz

      Would use this 1780mm with few speed boosters. Using one 2x would make 890mm f8, then one more to get 445mm f4, and one more to get ~223mm f2, lol. I am fully aware that it doesn’t work like that, still, I wonder what would be achieved if all that projected circle would be concentrated to FF coverage? Anyone here could do actual math or have an idea how to retrofit this to any camera currently on market [pref FF]?

      • animalsbybarry

        This is NOT a telephoto lens…. process cameras utilizing these lenses typically had belllws extensions exceeding 6′ and the cameras themselves typically took up 2 rooms

        It would also only be usefull for Macro photophobia at magnifications near 1/1

        Not very practical

        • Hysz

          As I understand optics, this is [very] large format lens. But if you would put adapter between lens and sensor/film that concentrates the beam of light onto smaller portion, that would produce image that is ‘enlarged’ but it would not be able to cover whole area [which is moot point, as I am trying to think of a way to use WHOLE light transmitted and end up with FF coverage circle]. We are only talking theory, I am aware what this lens does [produces about 2.5m radius circle at the sensor plane]. So about 5x5m image give or take, I understand that. I just would want to crop this baby somehow, yielding further ‘reach’, and thus becoming a telephoto [not true telephoto ofc]. Also, we would need to apply equivalence to know just how it compares to ‘normal’ lens. We could also check field of view, that generally gives a good estimation, this piece of glass produces 36 degree FoV, which translates to something like 65mm lens on FF.

          I am not trying to break any laws or anything, I understand the concept, I just want to have some fun with it 🙂

      • Michele Perillo

        you probably would catch fire – your camera shutter would, at least :-))

        • Hysz

          With that much light concentrated in small area, no doubt! But then again, I could use 1/100.000 shutter, heh.

    • Spy Black

      What medium was actually used? I used to work with giant, 2-room Robertson track cameras, but the largest film format I used was 11×14, and I tipically would work with 150 and 300mm optics.

      • animalsbybarry

        I used a lens like this with a 36″48″ back and 48″x 72″ copy board with 6 carbon arc lamps (Robertson)

        • Spy Black

          So we’re you using it for large sheet litho halftone sceening for newspaper page spreads?

          • animalsbybarry

            That particular job was a textile desighn studio, so we used a lot of film
            Mostly linework boy some screening

            We used film rolls up to 49″ wide and contact frames 8’x10′
            We used so much film we would buy entire emulsion runs

            Since each emulsion number was differrent we would test every emulsion umber to determine exposure and that exposure would be valid till the emulsion number was used up ( about a truckload of film for each emulsion number

            I have been in numerous industries but the Nikon lens I used was for that particular job…..I was in charge of the photo dept for a well known fashion desighner at that time

            • Spy Black

              Interesting concept, never thought of it being used in such a fashion (no pun intended).

      • ZoetMB

        The Nikon GC (“ginormous camera”) pictured here: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ba90b03e997c28111a6a9c3e13f4fc6999a87089ce8673f18a6d52b129af34a9.jpg

        I have to admit, I thought that article was a late April Fools joke.

        • m35g35

          Is that Nikon GC use the F mount?

          • TwoStrayCats

            There is an F-mount adaptor.

            • T.I.M

              but no VR

  • Eric Calabros

    Thank You Steve.

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    No NAB for Nikon? Then what show is the D7500 release for?

    • ZoetMB

      NAB is a professional trade show. No broadcaster is going to be shooting video on the D7500 or any other Nikon camera for that matter. Nikon would look completely foolish at that show compared to what Canon, Sony or Panasonic demonstrates, which are complete systems. Canon makes 13 Cine lenses (with the zooms available in EF or PL mount) and about 32 Broadcast lenses. They also have 13 bodies designed for pro video. And Sony has tons of pro stuff as well as switchers and control room equipment. They all also market hi-res video projectors. What does Nikon have? Basically, they have nothing,

      Nikon doesn’t even seem serious about hobbyist video. If they were, there’d be gearing systems, racks, cages, microphone mounts, external recorders, etc., even if they purchased them from third parties and OEM’d them. At the very least they’d promote how to put together such a system, even with third-party gear.

      And product releases don’t need to be tied to shows, especially as physical retail declines. When the D7500 is released, do you think the retailers won’t know?

  • Shutterbug

    Funny, that e-book came out right after he started a huge thread on Fred Miranda about a non-existent D500 AF issue….quite the coincidence. Not falling for that bait.

    • Feel free to check out the top of page 9 on that thread where I detail the differences in Dynamic Mode behavior found in the D5/D500, how it reports AF points differently, and discuss how to use it. All at no charge 🙂

      The reason I started the thread in the first place was that I was seeing a difference in the behavior and I wanted to verify what I was experiencing before just blindly publishing that information in my book. I want people to know they can depend on the information the receive from me.

      Also, just as a side note, this difference in behavior has been shown over and over again and is very simple to test for yourself (see the first post in that thread). Even Nikon has acknowledged that Dynamic AF in the D5/D500 works differently than it did in previous cameras (and they even hinted at a possible firmware update).

      • Mac

        Great book, Steve, just like your wildlife photography e-book. Keep up the great work. Thanks, Mac

        • Thanks so much – greatly appreciated 🙂

      • Photobug

        Steve, I bought and downloaded your new eBook on Nikon AF Focus System. Have started reading it and have scanned sections. Well done and worth the money.

        • Thanks for the purchase and the kind words 🙂

      • Marco

        I also bought it, great value, a lot of useful information. When you think you know everything about Nikon systems…here comes Steve. Great job.

      • Padaung

        Just purchased the book too. Thanks for writing it, Steve. It looks like you answer many of the things about the Nikon AF system I’ve tried to understand for years – hence until now I’ve just leave it on single point AF-S! This has worked fine for me as 99% of my work involves portraits of static subjects. It is always good to educate oneself though, isn’t it? There may well be a better way of working available for me…

        • Thanks 🙂 Yup, I promise there’s a lot more to life than AF-S single point – although that’s a solid go-to for portraits!

  • DafOwen

    On the lens changer – I have one of these – since it’s clipped to my belt it’s a bit more solid : https://www.peakdesign.com/product/clips/capturelens/

  • br0xibear

    if you can’t get a hold of one of the 100th Anniversary Miniature Nikon Fs, these are available on eBay…


  • br0xibear

    Interesting article in Amateur Photographer magazine UK…

    Roger Kicks never dreamed he would forgo his beloved Leica for a Nikon DSLR ,but that’s exactly what happened…


    • Yes, I shared that on social media earlier. Retro is still popular…

  • TwoStrayCats

    TIM: do you have the APO 1780mm? Do you carry it in your backpack or do you make your wife and children pull it in a wagon?

    • T.I.M

      APO 1780mm ?

  • Fly Moon

    I bought @disqus_0pW4Pe1eTy:disqus ‘s latest e-book. I didn’t even think twice. I also got his wildlife photography e-book and it’s a great one. Highly recommended!

  • IronHeadSlim
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