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Author Topic: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO  (Read 30330 times)

Michael Erlewine

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In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« on: August 10, 2017, 03:26:15 AM »

In Praise of the APO-El Nikkor 105mm

I cannot say enough about the fine qualities of the APO-Nikkor 105mm enlarger lens. I would not even think of using a lens as slow as the APO-El Nikkor (f/5.6), but I have no problem using this lens and I do almost every day. It is that good. In fact, the more I use it, the more I want to use it. It has a style all its own, one that calls out for me to try this, that, and then some other thing with it.

The lens is very sharp, but in a very organic way that does not appear as cold or cut and dried. Its color is superb, perhaps because it is so very well corrected. And you donít want to confuse with its younger brother the APO-El Nikkor 105mm lens that is not APO (apochromatic). They are not in the same ballpark.

Perhaps every photographer finds one lens that just fits them to a ďTĒ and this may be mine. Itís not that I donít have (and love!) many other lenses, but for some reason this little gem is undeniable. And I have to use it on a bellows, with what that entails, so itís not a slam-dunk.

And while I love the Zeiss Otus lenses, the Voigtlander 125mm APO-Lanthar and on and on, Iíve yet to find a more compelling lens than the APO-El Nikkor 105mm. And I also took the time (years) to seek out its big brother the APO-El Nikkor 210mm lens and found one. It is just a much larger and heavier version of the APO-105mm. There is nothing better about the 210 than the 105mm. I decided to sell it because of its bulk, but I wish I had a backup copy of my APO-El Nikkor 105mm.

Photographers speak of certain lenses having a unique ďstyle.Ē IMO, the legendary Noct Nikkor is one of those or the Voigtlander 125mm APO-Lanthar. The APO-El Nikkor 105mm is one of those special lenses. I canít put my finger on what makes this lensís style so exceptional, but there it is. Perhaps one of you out there who have used this lens can explain it to me.

And it is so flexible. In fact, this lens caused me to get a much longer rail (and bellows) for my Cambo Mini-Actus, so that could pull back and get closer.

Here is a shot I took yesterday with the Nikon D810, using the APO-El Nikkor 105mm
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 07:01:54 AM by Michael Erlewine »
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Michael Erlewine
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henrikfoto

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Re: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 04:47:20 AM »

This photo is very nice!  How many pics are in the stack?
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 12:12:33 AM »

This photo is very nice!  How many pics are in the stack?

61 layers
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Michael Erlewine
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henrikfoto

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Re: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 10:45:23 AM »

Are those adjusten manually on the bellows or do you use some automated rail now?
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 11:09:30 AM »

Are those adjusten manually on the bellows or do you use some automated rail now?

I don't use automated rails, but do it by hand.... because, stacking does not always lend itself to automation. For example, if you are staking something spherical, like a globe, it requires much tighter steps than otherwise.
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Michael Erlewine
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henrikfoto

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Re: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 11:28:22 AM »

That is impressing. Dont you many times "touch" the camera a bit too hard and get it out of position?
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 11:39:27 AM »

That is impressing. Dont you many times "touch" the camera a bit too hard and get it out of position?

I try not too. I also have a focus whip for a more remote turning of the focus knob, if I need to use it.
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Michael Erlewine
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henrikfoto

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Re: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 03:33:03 PM »

Could you show us how your focus whip is used and how it is attached to the focus-system?
And do you move just thee back standard or also the front?
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 04:27:12 PM »

Could you show us how your focus whip is used and how it is attached to the focus-system?
And do you move just thee back standard or also the front?

I move only the rear standard to focus stack. I don't have time to document the whip, right now. I will get to it sometime, but here is a video that shows you all you need to know. If you know video focus pulling, the whip works the same way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFIq8thwwYw
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 04:31:48 PM by Michael Erlewine »
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Michael Erlewine
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henrikfoto

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Re: In Praise of the El Nikkor 105mm APO
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 05:08:41 PM »

Thank you!  This is very interesting. I have never seen it before.
A realy smart way to avoid touching the camera too much.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 05:14:02 PM by henrikfoto »
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