Author Topic: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4  (Read 275 times)

PeterN

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 975
Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« on: March 14, 2020, 20:07:59 »
Hi all,
I saw a ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4 for sale. However, I could not find much info other than it industrial use. Has anyone used it for ‘regular’ (including larger than 1:1) macro, portrait and landscape photography? The price is 1600 euros so I guess not only the price is special.
I am curious what your thoughts/experiences are with this lens?
Peter

MEPER

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 90
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2020, 20:21:38 »
Red book Nikkor is a great place to search for Ultra micro nikkors.....

https://redbook-jp.com/redbook-e/ultra3/c010.html

I have always wanted one of the Ultra Micros......included the special wooden box…….but prices are quite high...….

Birna Rørslett

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2226
  • A lesser fierce bear of the North
Re: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2020, 21:29:26 »
The Ultra-Micro-Nikkors, in general, are collector's items. They are not designed for use with daylight.

I have two, UMN 28/1.8 and 55/2. The latter is somewhat useful, though, yet will not adequately cover the DX format.

PeterN

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 975
Re: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2020, 10:46:55 »
Thank you for sharing your experience and the link.
The price is indeed high!
I will pass the opportunity but the magnification intrigues me. It would be really cool to photograph watch movements with a lens like that.

Peter

Macro_Cosmos

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 292
  • The Macro Fanatic
    • Flickr
Re: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2020, 11:37:46 »
Unless you're a collector, it's nothing more than an ornamental piece or rather an expensive and heavy doorstop.

Toby

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 128
  • You ARE NikonGear
    • Toby Marshall
Re: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2020, 02:20:43 »
As an owner of the 165mm f4 UMN, I have to give it a very high score. It is a bit heavy, but my photos with it are wonderful. The longer ones, starting with the 135mm will easily cover 24x36mm, and the working distance of 1:25 is useful in relatively close work. But please be aware that that means 1/25 life size, not 25x life size!
My 165 is similar with a working distance of 1:20 or 1:40 with an additional front adaptor. It does not really make sense for general photography, but is quite amazing at working distances form about 5 meters to quite close, at least in my experience. The things I find noteworthy are the absolute lack of aberrations and vignetting, and the very high sharpness. There is some mild CA, but very limited. Here are some shots. Please note that the last shot is of a water drop just hitting the pool of the Japanese fountain pictured before. It is an enlargement of about 1/5 of the full frame, pretty convincingly demonstrating the quality of the lens.

I have not tried it with portraits, but imagine it would be pretty unforgiving. Nor have I tried it at 1:1, but I imagine it might be quite good close up. 1600 euros is a good price if it is in good condition, but you will have to figure out how to adapt it. I was lucky that Michiyo Akiyama, who wrote the Redbook, had a number of custom adapters made, and he had one that I could buy. There are general clamp adapters available, though, that would allow you to adapt it. Flange distance is long enough to use on a DSLR.

PeterN

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 975
Re: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2020, 10:01:56 »
As an owner of the 165mm f4 UMN, I have to give it a very high score. It is a bit heavy, but my photos with it are wonderful. The longer ones, starting with the 135mm will easily cover 24x36mm, and the working distance of 1:25 is useful in relatively close work. But please be aware that that means 1/25 life size, not 25x life size!
My 165 is similar with a working distance of 1:20 or 1:40 with an additional front adaptor. It does not really make sense for general photography, but is quite amazing at working distances form about 5 meters to quite close, at least in my experience. The things I find noteworthy are the absolute lack of aberrations and vignetting, and the very high sharpness. There is some mild CA, but very limited. Here are some shots. Please note that the last shot is of a water drop just hitting the pool of the Japanese fountain pictured before. It is an enlargement of about 1/5 of the full frame, pretty convincingly demonstrating the quality of the lens.

I have not tried it with portraits, but imagine it would be pretty unforgiving. Nor have I tried it at 1:1, but I imagine it might be quite good close up. 1600 euros is a good price if it is in good condition, but you will have to figure out how to adapt it. I was lucky that Michiyo Akiyama, who wrote the Redbook, had a number of custom adapters made, and he had one that I could buy. There are general clamp adapters available, though, that would allow you to adapt it. Flange distance is long enough to use on a DSLR.


Thank you for taking the time to share your view and photos, Toby. I am impressed by the rendering and bokeh as well as your ability to get those type of shots!.

I was really curious to learn more about these lenses but it would not make sense for me to buy one at this moment. 

Peter

Fons Baerken

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 6828
    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/fonsbaerken/
Re: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2020, 10:31:23 »
As an owner of the 165mm f4 UMN, I have to give it a very high score. It is a bit heavy, but my photos with it are wonderful. The longer ones, starting with the 135mm will easily cover 24x36mm, and the working distance of 1:25 is useful in relatively close work. But please be aware that that means 1/25 life size, not 25x life size!
My 165 is similar with a working distance of 1:20 or 1:40 with an additional front adaptor. It does not really make sense for general photography, but is quite amazing at working distances form about 5 meters to quite close, at least in my experience. The things I find noteworthy are the absolute lack of aberrations and vignetting, and the very high sharpness. There is some mild CA, but very limited. Here are some shots. Please note that the last shot is of a water drop just hitting the pool of the Japanese fountain pictured before. It is an enlargement of about 1/5 of the full frame, pretty convincingly demonstrating the quality of the lens.

I have not tried it with portraits, but imagine it would be pretty unforgiving. Nor have I tried it at 1:1, but I imagine it might be quite good close up. 1600 euros is a good price if it is in good condition, but you will have to figure out how to adapt it. I was lucky that Michiyo Akiyama, who wrote the Redbook, had a number of custom adapters made, and he had one that I could buy. There are general clamp adapters available, though, that would allow you to adapt it. Flange distance is long enough to use on a DSLR.

IMO these are stunning!

PeterN

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 975
Re: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2020, 11:53:17 »
IMO these are stunning!

That was what I also tried to say ;-)
Peter

Toby

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 128
  • You ARE NikonGear
    • Toby Marshall
Re: Your view on the ultra micro nikkor 135mm f4
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2020, 14:07:44 »
In all honesty, I sat at that fountain for quite a while. The UMNs are a very diverse group of lenses, designed for various applications. Most are for high magnification and have extremely small image circles. Even the 125mm only has an image circle of 28mm. I was just stupid lucky to stumble on the 165, which is usable generally. Considering that the lens' front diameter is 82mm, It must have an effective aperture around f2, but the maximum aperture of the iris is very small. This is obviously how they get a lens with 0% vignetting.