A few minutes ago I bought me a second major lens for the "KANATA" project. A Nikkor Apo 1780mm (70 inch) F14. This lens is a modern lens in fair condition and also very rare. The Nikkor is almost as rare as my my 100 year old brass Carl Zeis Jena Apochromat Tessar 16/180cm.
The Brass Zeiss Tessar 180cm
My new online friend Kurt M in Italy looked two years for this same lens and said he knew personally of only 5 in existence, not sure if this is one of the 5 or not. The lens is in fair condition with "LIGHT ABRASIONS ON THE FRONT ELEMENT" (see photo). I am a little worried about the abrasions thing, but I believe it will not cause a problem, I hope not anyway!
On eBay this very unique lens was bid up to $1700 USD with 10 seconds remaining, then 4 other people and myself put in aggressive bids at the very end, I won out at a price of $3857 USD. I expected it to sell for a bit more, closer to $5000 USD. So even thou it is still a very high dollar number, paying in the high $3000s was difficult but acceptable.
Wow!!, 5 bidders in the last 10 seconds, my new lens was highly sought after. Who knows how many years will pass before another one comes up for auction on eBay. This also speaks well to the resale value of the Nikkor Apo 1780mm f 14. I should be able to get my money back when I eventually resell it. Heck I might even make a profit on the resale, especially if it is used to create an important ambrotype project (at least that is the hope!). "This wonderful lens was used in the ground breaking "KANATA" wet plate project by internationally acclaimed artist, and generally nice dude, Gerry (Mr. Camera Gear) Yaum ", :)), haha, that sort of sales pitch thingy.
I knew the bidding was going to be hard and fast at the end and I desperately wanted the lens for my 35x35 camera so I went all in on it. I will also need to pay for Fed Ex shipping, brokerage and taxes. A very expensive item but one of those necessary steps in the process of making mammoth ambrotyes. This lens will cover a 35x35 inch negative at infinity quite easily (not 100% sure the Zeiss Tessar will). It was basically a must buy for me. I now own 2 lens for "KANATA" and a 35x35 camera, about 4 years 10 months before I planned to start the project! Heck I might start this thing earlier while I am younger and stronger. I will have all the gear, so why not!
This Nikkor has a huge flange/base plate that measures in at 10 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches and weighs in at 18lb 6oz (8.35kg), with the box it weighs 26lb 14oz (12.2 kg). Filip my HF3535 camera maker is building me a enhanced front standard to handle the weight of this lens (bigger metal parts and new design), I am also going to rig up a separate tripod support of some kind for it. I do not want my beauty lens to rip its way free of the camera body, smash onto the ground and break into a thousand pieces! When I got the lens I will send the the 1780mm flange to Filip in the Czech Republic to get special lens board adapter made for the camera.
Note* This will be my last major buy for a long time. I need to pay off the 1780mm Nikkor, the other 100 year old Zeiss Tessar brass lens and the HF3535 camera and then save as much money as I can before I go to Thailand. I have so much to do there. I need to start concentrating on the "Families of the Dump" film , the photos I will make in Asia and the donation work for the families which is extremely important.
Here are photos of my new FAIR condition lens. With the eBay description from the seller (San Francisco, USA).