Test roll, Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by jcdeboever, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Nikon F, 43-86mm f/3.5 (11 element version). TriX. D76 1:9. Rapid fix. Epson V800. Test roll to see if this is really a horrible lens for architecture and/or just a horrible lens as so widely considered and reviewed. I bought very cheap from a trusted seller (he reached out to me because he couldn't move it) and he assured me that this particular lens is not bad at all. He said it was remarkably better than what he had ever seen in the past and wanted me to have it. He sent me some test shots. I took it off his hands. I created 10 images under various conditions. I like the lens. I have nothing bad to really say about it. It is built like a tank. Not a great test by any means. I just went out and made some shots with it using the sunny 16 rule. Little to no edit on these, just slight crops and some dust removal. @Derrel and @Gary A. may get a kick out of these. Maybe even @bulldurham

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  2. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You are definitely dialing in your exposure eye and development. Nice tonal range in all of these. I remember that lens as a real dog ... you most like got your hands on the only good one. Don't drop it.
     
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  3. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Wow, you made my weekend! I really was surprised by the results considering what I paid for it. You have been a big influence on my developing, I made a sign, "don't over agitate"!
     
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  4. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The 43-86mm's bad rep refers to the first version of the lens, not the later 11-element version which is a completely different design and quite decent.

    The original 43-86 was one of the first zoom lenses ever produced (the first in Japan) and was, at the time, the most compact and usable zoom vs. Voigtlander's huge and unwieldy Zoomar.

    So, within the context of the times, the original 43-86 Zoom Nikkor was a remarkable achievement in its day though for reasons other than optical quality (where it's not so hot).
     
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  5. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Yup. I read mostly bad reviews on the 11 element as well. It is pretty good from what I can tell.
     
  6. bulldurham

    bulldurham TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I never shot the 43-78 so cannot attest one way or the other as to it's acuity but it seems from what you've posted to have pretty decent linear qualities. I might suggest developing in Acufine or even Pyro for less grain and a better tonal range. Pyro is still the best developer for controlling contrast. You can use D76 but might I suggest building a long tank for development....and yes, you'll think I'm crazy but I made mine with a 3 1/2 foot tall piece of 4 inch diameter PVC pipe. Drill a hole just below the threading (all the way through) and insert a steel tube about 1/8 inch diameter and make sure it is well sealed (I used gaffers tape). Cap the base then fill with D76, attach a weighted clip to the top and bottom of the film and insert into the tank. Screw on the cap, seal with gaffer's tape and let sit overnight. DO NOT AGITATE. Rather than refilling the tank with stop bath, I simply roll it back and forth in a tray of stop, then fix pretty much the same way. NO GRAIN. Using Pyro this way will give you a tonal range like you've never seen before. I learned this technique from Al Weber and David Vestal. Look them up; they were among the early rock and rollers in the world of B&W photography.

    Formulary PMK Pyro Liquid Film Developer | Freestyle Photographic Supplies
     
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  7. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I used the original version of the 43-86 for about 10 years, until I replaced it with the 2nd version.
    I found the 43-86 lens to be a GREAT General Purpose DAY lens.
    However, with a min aperture of f/3.5, it was terribly handicapped when shooting indoor sports, compared to a 50mm f/1.4 lens. That 2-1/2 stops difference was too much for the slower films of the 1970s. Tri-X pushed to 1200, was about as high as we could go. And that was not consistent in results.
    But for outdoor day shooting like on vacation, it was GREAT.
    The optics of the version 1 lens was "good enough" for me.

    The zoom, even only 43mm, from 43mm to 86mm was good enough, for me, at the time. I shot a lot of slides, so getting the image framed in the camera was critical. What I shot was what was projected. There was no cropping of slides. The little zoom helped a lot with this.

    I have since replaced my 2nd 43-86 (the 2nd version) with a 35-105 f/3.5-4.5, for the extra range on both ends. With the 43-86, I often felt it was "just a bit" not wide and long enough. So I often carried a wide and short tele. I found the 35-105 to be just that wide and long enough, that I did not have to carry extra lenses. This reduced the carry weight of the kit and number of lens changes. I just wish it was a constant aperture lens, the even slower f/4.5 on the long end hurts.

    I recently bought another 43-86 (2nd version), just because I wanted another one, while I could still find one in good condition.

    BTW, the version 1 lens is great if you want to create the lens flare effect with the sun. You can't do this as easily with the later version, because of the improved coating. So it is for this odd reason, that I will not give up the old lens.
     
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  8. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The later 43-86/3.5 shows how the internet echo chamber works: repetitive, fact-free blather from posters who've never been in the same room with the product. It's still a good walk-around lens, not blindingly fast or sharp, but maybe a bit better than Nikon's other variable aperture zooms from the same period. Better on film cameras than Nikon DSLRs for me. YMMV, as always. Nice darkroom work!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  9. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    If I dropped it, it may break my foot
     
  10. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Interesting

    I won't be using it a lot but next step is to mount it on my Fuji .

    Yes sir. Thanks. I like working with film
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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  12. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    All versions of this lens seem to sell for very low prices.
     

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