A collector's overview of all standard prime Nikkor lenses in F-mount by a passionate collector for Nikkor lenses, Mr. Nico van Dijk from Holland. Nico van Dijk's own website can be accessed via http://home.planet.nl/~nicodijk/index.html
Nikon Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, introduced in February 1959 its first single lens reflex camera, the Nikon F, fitted with a Nikkor-S f2/5cm standard lens. In October that year Nikon introduced a - in those years - relatively fast Nikkor-S f1.4/5.8cm, which came available in March 1960. In January 1962 production of this lens terminated as, three months later, its successor, the Nikkor-S f1.4/50mm was put on the market. Mid 1965 Nikon introduced the even faster Nikkor-S f1.2/55mm, which lens was followed by the Nikkor f1.2/50mm in 1978. At the Photokina 1976 the - already legendary - Noct- Nikkor f1.2/58mm was shown to the public. The first Nikkor f2/5cm was succeeded by the Nikkor f1.8/50mm in 1978. For flash photography the GN-Nikkor f2.8/45mm was introduced mid 1969. Nikon surprised the world of photography in 2001 by introducing an almost identical manual focus lens, the Nikkor f/2.8/45mm-P !
The above mentioned 9 standard lenses, all produced by Nikon Corporation, are still ranking among the world's top optical instruments. Before going into details of each of these lenses, one have to know first:
What is a standard lens. In modern photography a standard lens is a lens with a focal length equal to the diagonal of the used film format/size. Nikon F cameras are making use of the 35mm. cinefilm (introduced in 1899 by Edison & Eastman), of which the diagonal is 43.3 mm. All lenses with a focal length of 45 - 58 mm. are regarded as standard lens.
What is a lens. A lens is a piece of found optical glass or molded synthetic material, used in a photographic objective.
What is an objective. An objective is a system of optical lenses.
It is thus the best lens with which to study basic photographic techniques. After the photographer has completely mastered this lens, he or she can safely move on to super wide-angle, wideangle, telephoto, super telephoto and macro lenses, already having a firm grasp on all the basics of good photography.
Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Robert Furnari. Image appeared herein are Copyright © 2006 All rights reserved.
What is aperture. Aperture of an optical system is the opening that determines the cone angle of a bundle of (light) rays that come to a focus in the image plane. The aperture stop is an extremely important element in most optical designs. Its most obvious feature is that it limits the amount of light that can reach the image plane. Each lens has a maximum aperture, which is indicated - in most cases in the front ring - as e.g. 1:1.2. This 1:1.2 means the relation of maximum width of the aperture and the focal length, noted in an arithmetical series: 0.7 - 1 - 1.4 - 2 - 2.8 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22 - 32 - 45 - 64 - 90. The lower the number the more light a lens can transmit.
Nikon's lens inscriptions. Since 1932 Nikon named its lenses ‘Nikkor’. Nikon has also given each lens a serial number. In some cases the serial number refers to the technical specifications of that particular lens, but in most cases numbering is enigmatic. Each lens carries the factory name ‘Nippon Kogaku Japan’, in 1970's replaced by ‘Nikon’. Furthermore the focal length and maximum aperture is engraved in the filter ring. Some lenses carry at the side of the lens barrel inscriptions like ‘lens made in Japan’ or ‘pat. pend.’ Older lenses have an additional ‘auto’ inside the filter ring, which refers to the fitted automatic aperture.
To indicate the number of lenses or elements in an objective or optical system Nikon uses a letter referring to the following Greek or Latin words:
Credit: Image courtesy of Mark Krauss, whose online PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
U Unus (Latin) = 1 lens element
B Bini (Latin) = 2 elements
T Tres (Latin) = 3 elements
Q Quattuor (Latin) = 4 elements
P Pente (Greek) = 5 elements
H Hex (Greek) = 6 elements
S Septem (Latin) = 7 elements
O Oct (Latin) = 8 elements
N Novem (Latin) = 9 elements
D Decem (Latin) = 10 elements
NOTE:- In the 1970's Nikon stops using these letters as well as the ‘C’ (in white, black or red), indicating that the particular lens has coated surfaces.
Nikon Auto Nikkor-S 1:2 f=5cm (50mm) standard lens As mentioned above this lens was introduced with Nikon's first single lens reflex camera, the Nikon F, in June 1959. It has 7 lenses in 5 groups, thus called Nikkor-S. Focal length is indicated in centimetre. Serial number range is 520001 - 584394 (last known serial number). Its production terminated in January 1964.
Optical design of the early Auto Nikkor-S 1:2 f=5cm
Nikon's first single lens reflex camera, the Nikon F, in June 1959. It has 7 lenses in 5 groups, thus called Nikkor-S. Focal length is indicated in centimetre. Serial number range is 520001 - 584394 (last known serial number). Its production terminated in January 1964.
Credit: Images courtesy of Adorama® Inc. "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> Website URL: Adorama.com, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2006 of the respective contributors. All rights reserved.
Nikon Auto Nikkor-H(C) 1:2 f=5cm (50mm) standard lens
By the end of 1963 the lens already had a successor, the Nikkor-H. This lens has 6 lenses in 4 groups and its lens data in millimetres. Until November 1972, when the production of this version was terminated, approx. 1.5 million lenses were produced.
Credit: Image(s) courtesy of 'Shutterblade team' (e-mail) who specializes trading of new, used collectable cameras. The Company also operates a popular Ebay Store. All image(s) appeared herein are Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Is it possible to use an old, non Ai Nikkor such as this Nikkor-H with an Autofocus SLR such as the illustrated Nikon F4 ? Possible (but NOT all modern AF SLR can be used). However while I am not questioning the wisdom why do you want to do that but it has many limitations. For an example, there will be Matrix metering and so forth, (stop down metering is possible though in manual mode). The shown Nikkor-H was originally mounted on a gold-plated Nikon FTn that I owned. The lens was also in gold plated but I am not sure if the entire setup was an original produce by Nikon. Hence, until I get some comfortable references, I don't intend to classify the lens as a variation. NOTE: Nikon strongly warned against usage of non-Ai Nikkor onto an AF SLR. Please handle this with utmost caution.
Specifications for a typical early version Nikkor 50mm f/2.0 lens
Focal length: 50mm; Maximum aperture: 1:2
Lens construction: 6 elements in 4 groups
Picture angle: 46° at infinity; Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 0.6m and 2 ft
Aperture scale: f/2.0 - f/16; Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75); Filter: 52mm screw-in
Dimensions: 64.5mm dia. X 48mm length (2-17/32 in. X 1-7/8 in)
Weight: 205g (7.20 oz); Accessories: 52mm Snap-On front cap (108 - 00 - 400), rear captype F (108 - 00 - 401), 52mm screw-in (108 - 00 - 203)' or Snap-On (108 - 00 - 202) lens hood, leather ease (108 - 00 - 305), plastic case type S (108 - 00 - 300), flexible pouch No. 51 (108 - 00 - 302) Product Code No. for this lens: 108-00-105. NOTE: Solely acts as a general guide for a typical version, actual spec of respective model may be differed from what is listed herein.
In October 1972 the Nikkor H.C came on the market. The additional ‘C’ stands for ‘coating’. Later versions lost the name ‘Nippon Kogaku Japan’ and ‘No.’ before the serial number. It was simply replaced by ‘Nikon’. The H.C-version was replaced in 1974 by a redesigned version with a straight barrel with rubber grip. In 1977 it was followed by an AI-version, by the end of 1978 replaced by the slightly faster Nikkor 1.8/50mm. Of all Nikkor 2/50mm. versions more than 2.5 million lenses were produced.
Credit: Image courtesy of John Terenzio, where John maintains his own online PORTFOLIO. Image copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Optical design of the early Auto Nikkor-H 1:2 f=5cm
Credit: Image at far left courtesy of Big Ben Video <Site: www.mts.net/~bbv Image at above courtesy of Tom Waters from Tom Thumb Sales, Hartstown, PA U.S.A. All image(s) appeared herein are Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
NOTE:- Similarly, the pre-Ai 50mm f/2.0 changes in their appearance as time went by in tandem with the Nikkor lens development. Shown with a double row focusing ridge on its manual focusing ring, along with other improvement in lens handling as well as a cleaner look. As a general reference, many of the Nikkor lenses appeared after debut of the Nikon F2 will have this outfit. The progress of changing the exterior gained momentum between 1975-1977. In the articles that followed, please be aware of the changes. As we may not be able to source all the respective lenses, the lens shown here serves as an example on the physical changes occurred during this period. Some Nikon photographers thought the lenses produced during this era have incredible built quality.
As most often, we may have individual knowledge and opinion on a single product, we have tried all our best in order to compile information relating to evolution of Nikkor lenses, there may be some missing elements in this new site. For those of you who may has a few extra feed to offer or intend to participate in this mini project of Nico, please submit your lens version NOT found herein for us to update the content. You can contact Nico via <E-mail:- nikon-nl (at) planet.nl>. Thank You.
| previous | NEXT | 2/10 - An introduction of a collector's overview of all standard prime Nikkor lenses in F-mount by a passionate collector for Nikkor lenses, Mr. Nico van Dijk from Holland. with featured Nikon Auto Nikkor-S 1:2 f=5cm (50mm) standard lens; Nikon Auto Nikkor-H(C) 1:2 f=5cm (50mm) standard lens
| Index Page | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IIIa | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X |
Intro. by Host
Non-Ai Nikkor Auto 5cm 1:2
Non-Ai Nikkor 5cm 1:1.4
Nikkor-S(C) Auto 1:1.2 f=5.5cm
Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2; Nikkor 50mm f/1.2
Special featured section
on Nikkor 50-55mm f/1.2 lens group by host, Nico
Ai-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, f/1.8
Ai-Nikkor 50mm f/2.0, Series E 50mm f/1.8s
Nikkor 50mm f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8 Ai-S,
AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4s, f/1.8s
AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D, f/1.8D
Nikkor 45mm lens group
Special 50mm Editions
NOTE:- A collector's overview of all standard prime Nikkor lenses in F-mount by a passionate collector for Nikkor lenses, Mr. Nico van Dijk from Holland. Nico van Dijk's own website can be accessed via http://home.planet.nl/~nicodijk/index.html
| Message Board | for your Nikkor Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for new/used Nikon/Nikkor photographic equipment
Nippon Kogaku Rangefinder Resources | Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM Series | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models
Nikon MF RF-Nikkor lenses for Rangefinder cameras:- Main Index Page
Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:-
Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |
Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm
MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm
Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E
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
Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses | about this photographic web site
| Back | Main Index Page of Nikkor Resources | Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs
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A Nikkor lens Resource site Co-developed with Nico van Dijk , Holland Email Nico via:-<firstname.lastname@example.org>; assisted by leofoo, Rick Oleson
Credit: To all the good people who has contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough granting us permission to use their images appeared in this site Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures, sales manuals or publications published by Nikon over the years 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.