Author Topic: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!  (Read 598 times)

richardHaw

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360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« on: December 19, 2020, 03:40:59 »
https://richardhaw.com/2020/12/19/repair-zoom-nikkor-ed-360-1200mm-f-11-ai-s/

the name is too long...i lose my breath just saying it :o :o :o

Akira

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2020, 04:24:16 »
Wow, that’s phenomenal!  Marvelously done, starting from locating the real thing!
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

richardHaw

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2020, 04:57:04 »
Wow, that’s phenomenal!  Marvelously done, starting from locating the real thing!

unfortunately or forunately, its not mine :o :o :o

Nasos Kosmas

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2020, 05:57:17 »
Very big  with very good performance!
Thank you!

Birna Rørslett

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2020, 13:20:34 »
I'm the proud owner of one of these 360-1200mm  Zoom-Nikkors, in fact the Ai version. Got it for a song (USD  500 incl. shipping from Japan if memory serves) because the seller advertised it as "junk lens". The lens itself was pristine, but had obviously been stored in a cellar for decades as it looked terribly infested with fungus. All white inside :(, oh dear.  It turned out that only the front of the second group was infected and the fungal hyphae disappeared by washing with a window cleaning liquid.

The AI version has aperture linkage, only the few "K" samples preceding it had stop-down aperture. My lens, however, had the most pitiful tripod mount ever imaginable. Just a small 1/4" screw on a small platform at the very end of the long cantilevered foot was deemed sufficient to keep this heavy monster lens in position. Which of course is a joke. I inserted a solid slab of aluminium to which a Sachtler video head plate could be permanently fastened by 3/8" bolts. Put the lens on a beefy Sachtler fluid head and the associated heavy-duty tripod and you are in business.

Here is the improved foot of the 360-1200, and below a snapshot across the riparian forest of the Nordre Øyeren delta immediately before spring leafing. The birches rise the sap all the way to the tree crowns which attain a strong reddish hue, to make for a really nice subject for a long lens. The depth of this scene is approx. 5 km. The black speck to the upper left middle is a fishing eagle, by the way, not sensor dirt!

MILLIREHM

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2020, 18:12:06 »
A very spectacular lens that was advertised for the purpose of photographing volcano eruptions from safe distances. Interesting repair story - and it is well known that Birna has aqurired and adapted one of these.
I prefer not to associate Supertelelenses with artillery weapons though.
Wolfgang Rehm

Birna Rørslett

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2020, 18:27:13 »
Just out of curiosity, I hooked up my Z7 to the 360-1200 @1200mm setting, shooting from my porch onto the surrounding forest floor. Identifying the various species of moss is a breeze ... This was with f/11, ISO 800 and 1/13s using the Sachtler Video 20 fluid head and the Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD tripod. Having the lens CPU-enabled makes for easier note keeping.

I freely admit this is not an easy lens to use, and it deserves the best support one can muster. Still, unbeatable for landscapes once you overcome difficulties of atmospheric turbulence and (for us here in the high North, at least in a normal winter) the effects of air density layering. It is also perfect for IR as there is no focus shift at all. Very few Nikkors can boast of a similar feat; besides the 360-1200, only 180-600/8 comes to mind, plus the 200-400ED (non-IF) has a constant IR focus shift so small it can be ignored.

Oops - just noticed the file is named as shot with Z6; this should be Z7. My bad.

richardHaw

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2020, 00:58:44 »
Hello, Birna.

Do you have a photo of the lens? I would like to add them and your samples to the article :o :o :o

Birna Rørslett

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2020, 11:49:01 »
My pleasure, just forge ahead as long as due credit is paid :)

Here is the 360-1200mm f/11 Zoom-Nikkor ED AI, complete with the designated hood and the bespoke tripod mount for my Sachtler Fluid Head. Also shown is the "little" brother, the Zoom-Nikkor 180-600mm f/8 ED AI and a Df to illustrate the scale.

The 370-1200 was pristine and hardly ever used, it came in its original blue box with all the paperwork, and the reason it was sold as "junk" for cheap was a bad fungus infestation. Which turned out affected only a single lens surface and could easily be removed after judicious scrubbing with a windows cleaning liquid. The main effort was spent in redesigning the pitiful tripod mounting surface that was horribly under-dimensioned. I cannot imagine what the engineers at Nikon had in mind when they decided upon that design.

The 180-600 likewise was sold as "junk" for a pittance (USD 200 incl. shipping) and in this case, the description was apt. The zoom lens had been badly damaged by an incompetent repair tech who amongst other atrocities had destroyed the tripod mounting flange, got the focusing frozen stuck solid, and the lens could not form a coherent image at all. No fungus this time, though.

The tripod mounting issue was solved by drilling a beefy 5/8" hole to the remains of the foot and permanently affixing an Arca plate to it. Disassembling the lens indicated the lack of any image formation was due to a flipped lens element deep inside (if memory serves, no. 8 or 9) and the stuck focus was caused by the helicoids being put together in a slap-stick fashion. All that fixed and the lens was as good as new. It arrived without the correct lens hood, but I found a replacement that fitted exactly and had similar finish.

Adding CPUs to both lenses was my finishing touch.


mxbianco

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2020, 08:45:23 »
A huge lens, surpassed in size (in Nikon lens panoply) by only three lenses:
  • The Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm/6.3
  • The Reflex-Nikkor 2000mm/11
  • ...and the HUGE 1100-1700mm f:5.6-8, which weighs 17 kilos, and of which only 17 pieces were built

Still, not an EDC lens for street photography...

I really appreciated seeing the insides of that lens, an almost unique experience!

Ciao from Massimo
Since evolution has given us TWO ears and ONE mouth, we are supposed (me included) to be doing more listening than talking.

richardHaw

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2020, 09:28:06 »
its been almost 3 years since i serviced this...but i still dont know what that HUGE spring inside the barrel is for :o :o :o

maybe its for the floating group? ::)

Erik Lund

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2020, 10:01:40 »
Wonderful lens!  So nice to see these old zooms getting good user - And deliver ;)Thank you sharing.
Erik Lund

richardHaw

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2020, 10:33:45 »
Wonderful lens!  So nice to see these old zooms getting good user - And deliver ;)Thank you sharing.

still waiting for my own copy :o :o :o

but to be honest, i really dont know what to do with it, its too huge and i dont have the space for it. the 50-300 is already taking up a lot of space in the workshop...

it will be a problem if i finally make the move to Christchurch  ::)

Birna Rørslett

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2020, 23:19:51 »
I knew this had been posted somewhere in cyberspace before ... OK, so this was an earlier version of yours truly, starting to lose the hair, and the 360-1200 is seen before the final update of its tripod foot. However, one gets the general idea of how this behemoth looks in the wild.

richardHaw

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Re: 360-1200/11 ai-s!!!
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2020, 01:09:40 »
ok, going to add that now :o :o :o