Additional Information on
Nikkor 800mm Super telephoto lenses

 
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The ultimate objective of using a super telephoto lens is to capture subjects at great distances away with sharp definition throughout the entire image area in the picture frame. Super telephoto lenses are indispensable for shooting sports, wildlife and news events, and even for recording difficult-to-approach subjects or in surveillance Generally, lenses with focal lengths of 600mm or more, making operation and portability inconvenient. With the intensive use of computers in lens design, the ultimate objectives in aiming to reach such operational goals in reducing their sizes and improving portability have been achieved to certain extend in many of the modern Nikkor super telephoto lenses.

<<<--- - From a scale among a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8s; Nikkor 400mm f/2.8s and Nikkor 600mm f/4.0s, may be this can give you an idea relates to Nikkor 800mm f/5.6s' (bottom) huge size and weight.

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Today, with advancement in lense development, most super telephoto lenses usually offers high resolving power and superior image definition due to incorporation of various optical innovations to ensure all possible aberrations be minimized to absolute minimal level. For an instance, chromatic aberration, secondary spectrum and field curvature can be well controlled via computer aided design, use of rare earth glasses and ingenious Internal Focusing design to enable them remain compact and lightweight enough to be even used for handheld shootings..

<<< --- A powerful frame filling shot of this swimmer is only possible with such a long tele-lense. Commonwealth Games, 1998. Picture Courtesy of John Ishii®. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Nikkor 800mm focal length lenses has a very narrow 3-degree angle of view and its focal length enable even the distant subjects to be brought up close. On the other hand, these lenses exhibit high resolution, contrast in their superior optical character and color balance are outstanding and usually rank on a par with lenses much shorter in focal length. However, on a practical note, their narrow angles of view, weight, size and great magnifications restricts the number of photographic applications where you can use them effectively. With these lenses, you definitely would require a monopod/tripod or any other form of steady support. In most cases, these lenses will be used at their maximum apertures because most of the time, one would need the fastest possible shutter speed to stop the action and minimize the motion effect from the hands. generally, one effective way to offset such possible negative effect is combining lens support with a film type that has a higher film speed rating. There are two available options of Nikkor lenses at this specific 800mm focal length, a high speed f/5.6 and a slower f/8.0. Nikkor lenses with f/8.0 has a long development history which can be dated back to 1964 while the fast speed f/5.6 Nikkor telephoto lens was only being introduced during mid '80.

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The fastest Nikkor super telephoto lens speed at 800mm focal length is the MF Nikkor 800mm f/5.6s ED-IF lens. Along with a comparing Canon FDn 800mm f/5.6L, both of these lenses are the fastest lens of its class in the world.

The exotic Nikkor lens was introduced late in 1986, a year after the high speed MF Nikkor 400mm f/2.8s ED-IF lens was introduced and making it as an Ai-S lens version only. The Nikkor 800mm lens generously utilizes THREE Extra Low-Dispersion optical glass elements in its design to hold the secondary spectrum to a minimum and to prevent deterioration in picture quality from chromatic aberration. This remarkable Nikkor long tele-lens also incorporates Internal focusing system in which only the rearmost lens element moves internally for focusing. Despite its size, the weight distribution in its design maintains a good balance when using a tripod. A 360° rotatable L-shape tripod socket collar allows secure tripod mounting and with its revolving mechanism, quick change from horizontal- to vertical-format shooting is possible, besides, the collar can also be removed. It weights almost 5.4kg in weight and cost a bomb in its selling price*. *.Note: Nikkor 800mm f/5.6 IF-ED lens has a List Price of RM25,892.43 (US1-00 = RM3.80), Nikon Japan website features a suggested list price of 890,000 yen.

Specifications of 800mm f/5.6s IF-ED

Focal length/Aperture: 800mm f/5.6
Lens construction: 8 elements in 6 groups with optical filter (3 x EDs)
Picture angle: 3°; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/5.6~f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras
Distance Scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 8m (26.2 ft.) to infinity (
OO)
Maximum Reproduction ratio: 1: 9.1; Weight: 5,400g; Dimensions: 163mm dia. x 546mm long (overall)
Filters: (Rear/Front) 52mm screw-in via slip-in filter holder/ 160mm front screw-in; dedicated gelatine filter holder
Front lens cap: Slip-on; Lens hood: Built-in telescopic type with Extension Hood HE-3
Lens case: CT-800 Aluminum Trunk case; Usable teleconverter: TC-200
* , TC-201*, TC-300** , TC-301** TC-14A* or TC-14B** * Not usable ** Usable, at aperture smaller than f/11 there may be occasionally uneven exposures. TC-300 may not be fully compatible with SLRs that provides other selective exposure modes. Note: Serial Number for this Ai-S only lens version started from 200001.

Nikkor 800 mm f/8.0s IF-ED

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The Nikkor 800mm f/8.0s ED-IF telephoto lens with internal focusing mechanism was officially debuted during Photokina in 1978. This Ai-S lens was only being introduced in 1982 where an Ai-S type lens coupling system was used to replace the earlier version.

This lens has a frame-filling 16X magnification of the subject when compared with a normal lens, and combining its lighter weight than the faster counterpart which weighs almost 70% heavier, making it an ideal lens for shooting sports, wildlife, astrophotography, etc. The main technical highlights was the use of Internal Focusing (IF) design makes focusing quick , smoother and positive in lens handling. The use of Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass in its optical design insures outstanding resolution, contrast, and color balance by controlling chromatic aberration to absolute minimal level. The lens has an automatic diaphragm which provides clear, positive full-aperture TTL metering with any AI Nikon SLR bodies. It has a built-in telescopic lens hood and a 360° rotatable tripod socket collar allows secure tripod mounting with quick change from horizontal- to vertical-format shooting; can also be removed.

The minimum aperture stops down to f/32 which is useful for additional depth of field control. Despite the use of ED glass in its design, the lens has a Infrared index provided. Besides, easy filter interchange is possible via a special slip-in filter holder which accepts 39mm screw-in filters; dedicated gelatine filter holder also supplied. The front section, has a 122mm filter thread. When Nikon eventually introduced the fast MF Nikkor 800mm f/5.6s ED-IF lens in 1986, which seemingly aimed to replace this remarkable Ai-S lens as subsequent Sales Manual has omitted this lens from the listing.

Specifications of 800mm f/8 IF-ED

Focal length/Aperture: 800mm f/8.0
Lens construction: 9 elements in 7 groups (2 X EDs)
Picture angle: 3°; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/8~f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales

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Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 10m (35 ft,) to infinity (
OO)
Weight: 3300g

Dimensions: 134mm dia. x 460mm long (overall); 452mm extension from lens flange
Filters (Rear/Front): 39mm screw-in via slip-in filter holder/ 122mm front screw-in; dedicated gelatin filter holder
Front lens cap: Slip-on; Lens hood: Built-in telescopic type
Lens case: CT-1203 aluminum trunk; Usable teleconverter: TC-300* , TC-301* or TC-14B**
Warning: Certain AE modes (Programmed AE and Shutter Priority AE) on selective Nikon SLRs will not work efficiently with older TC devices. Use an Ai-S version for better compatibility, read the respective Tele-Extender(s) sections. * Usable, but there is occasional vignetting ** Usable, at aperture smaller than f/11 there may be occasionally uneven exposure. Note: Serial Number for this Ai-S version Nikkor 800mm lens may has been started from 179001

| Nikkor 800mm f/5.6s ED-IF | Nikkor 800mm f/8.0s ED-IF | Nikkor 800mm f/8.0 ED | Non-Ai Nikkor 800mm f/8.0 ED | Non-Ai Nikkor-P 800mm f/8.0 Auto | Focusing Unit

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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/nikonfmount/lens2.htm
http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

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Credit: MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites; Lars Holst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; Ted Wengelaar, Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; Hiura Shinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. Lastly, to all the good people who has contributed their own expeience, resources or kind enough granted permission to use their images of their respective optic in this site. It is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets & brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification. "Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.