Nikon Nikkor-S(C) Auto 1:1.2 f=55mm fast speed Standard Lens
Nikon couldn't just observe the global competition in making the fastest lenses ever. Various lens makers showed their optical abilities by producing faster lenses. ‘Slow’ films (low ISO/ASA number = sensitivity) in the 1950's and 1960's made photographers calling for faster lenses. Coating and the introduction of computers made lens design a bit easier. Nikon managed to produce a fast Nikkor-N 1.1/5cm. for its range finder camera. For the SLR camera it became too difficult, as the rear lens shouldn't protrude into the camera, where it could be damaged by the swinging mirror. That's why Nikon came with a standard prime lens with a slightly longer focal length and a maximum aperture, resulting in the famous Nikkor-S 1.2/55mm., which was introduced in December 1965. All the details of this lens one can find in a special web site. After produced some 175,000 lenses production terminated in April 1978. Early versions may still stated as Nippon Kogaku and later versions simply just stated as "Nikon". There is also an interim Ai-spec 55mm f/1.2 but there was never an Ai-S version for this 55mm as Nikon replacement model was a 50mm f/1.2 which was introduced in July, 1978.
NOTE:- For More detailed info on specific 50~58mm f/1.2 Nikkor lenses, you may CLICK HERE directly to more such resources prepared by Nico van Dijk.
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Specifications for a typical early version Nikkor-S AUTO 55mm f/1.2 lens
Focal length: 55mm; Maximum aperture: 1:1.2
Lens construction: 7 elements in 5 groups
Picture angle: 43° at infinity
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 0.6m and 2 ft
<<<-- An Ai-Spec Nikkor 55mm f/1.2. Note the NIKKOR-S(C) was replaced with just a "Nikkor". Credit: Image at far left, Shutterblade team URL: Ebay Store, Images at left and the bottom courtesy of Adorama® Inc.@ Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2006 of the respective contributors. All rights reserved.
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PDF for its optical
construction as well
Aperture scale: f/1.2 - f/16; Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering); for the later Ai-spec version, meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai cameras; Cosmetic different
Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75); Filter: 52mm screw-in
Dimensions: 73.5mm dia. X 58.5mm length (2-29/32 in. x 2-9/32 in.); Weight: 420g (14.8 oz); Accessories: 52mm Snap-On front cap (108 - 00 - 400), rear cap type F (108 - 00-01), 52mm screw-in (108 - 00 - 204) or Snap-On (108 - 00 - 200) lens hood, leather case (108 - 01 - 307), plastic case type S (108 - 00 - 300), flexible pouch No. 51 (108 - 00 - 302). Solely acts as a general guide for a typical version, actual spec of respective model may be differed from what is listed herein.
Nikon Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 fast speed aspherical lens This very special lens was introduced in February 1977. It is the first Nikkor with a manual ground aspherical front lens. I have various versions of the 55mm/1.2 and the Noct-Nikkor of which two types exist: the AI-versions and the AIS-version. Both lenses are optically identical. Noct-Nikkor production started in February 1977. As the name of Noct-Nikkor implies, this lens was designed specifically for night shooting and low-light photography. The lens' ultra-fast speed contributes to a bright, easy-to-focus finder image even in dim light levels, and permits the use of faster shutter speeds - a definite advantage in handheld nighttime photography with low available light. To allow the fastest possible shutter speed, the Noct-Nikkor is specially corrected for use at full-aperture.
Historically, the appearance of comatic aberration has prevented the photographer from using a large aperture lens of this sort wide open, particularly under conditions such as night scenes which generally include a lot of bright, scattered lights in a dark background. Other photographic uses include available light shooting, snapshots, candid of people, landscapes, electronic flash photography, travel, photojournalism, and full-length portraits in the studio or on location.
<<< -- Size comparison of the NOCT-Nikkor 58mm with other Nikkor large diameter (f/1.2) standard lenses.
With the Noct Nikkor, Nikon designers have employed an aspherical lens surface in its front element for optimum comatic correction at full-aperture, thus delivering the image of bright point objects as they are, without flaring away to the frame corners. Inner reflections are further corrected by the black-finished inner metal surfaces, and the application of Nikon Integrated Coating for reduction of flare and ghost images. Despite its high speed, the improved optical system of the Noct-Nikkor assures virtually distortion-free performance down to the closest focusing distance of 0.5m (17') as well as high-contrast images with optimum resolution. The compact size, on the other hand, allows the use of Nikon 52mm screw-on accessories -the standard for most Nikkor lenses from 20 - 200mm produced during the '70.
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The relatively long production time makes this lens expensive. At full opening it can be used in dim light or even at night. Stray light, internal reflexes and chromatic aberrations, like coma, are well contained to absilute minimal level. Until 1999, some 10,000 lenses were made, where year which saw the production terminated for this fabulous Nikkor classic standard lens.
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* Tremendously versatile.
* Large maximum aperture of f/1.2 provides bright and easy-to-focus images in the viewfinder and permits the use of faster shutter speeds - a definite advantage in holding the camera steady.
* Extremely well corrected for coma and spherical aberration - an aspherical front lens element assures optimum correction for coma, particularly at maximum aperture, thus making bright point sources of light near the edges of the picture frame appear as dots rather than comet-shaped blurs.
* Nikon Integrated Coating insures faithful color rendition, while reducing ghost images and flare.
* Improved optical system provides virtually distortion-free performance down to the closest focusing distance of 0.5m (1.7 ft.) as well as high contrast images.
* Extremely well corrected for internal reflections, due to a matte-black finish on all inner metal surfaces.
* Uses popular 52mm filters despite its large maximum aperture.
* Designed especially for dim-light photography, but can be used for any subject, such as candids, travel photography, sports, or weddings.
Specifications for NOCT-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 Aspherical lens
Focal length: 58mm Maximum aperture: 1:1.2
Lens construction: 7 elements in 6 groups
Picture angle: 40° 50' at infinity
Exposure measurement: Automatic
<<< -- Optically both Ai and Ai-S are similar. But I put both illustration of the Ai and Ai-S for comparison.
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters / feet closes at 0.5m and 1.7 ft to infinity (OO);
Aperture scale: f/1.2 - f/16; Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic;
Meter coupling prong: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai cameras;
Filter Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75); Filter: 52mm screw-in;
Dimensions: 74mm dia. x 63mm long (overall); 51.5mm extension from flange; Weight: 480g
Accessories: Snap-On Snap-On (HS-7); Rubber screw-in (HR-2); Lens case: CL-34A hard leatherette, No. 61 soft pouch, or CP-8 plastic
Usable teleconverter: TC-200*, TC-201S, TC-16A*, TC-14A
* Only usable with selective AF bodies such as F-801, F-501 etc. to convert manual lenses into a lens with AF function on those bodies. Focal length of the lens in used will also magnify 1.6 times from original. When used at Apertures smaller than f11 at fast shutter speeds, there is occasional uneven exposure. Solely acts as a general guide for a typical version, actual spec of respective model may be differed from what is listed herein.
In-lined with the development of the Ai-full aperture metering system deployed on all Nikon SLRs, by 1978/9, most of the Nikkor standard lenses have also went through one round of general lens dating program and hence, most of them have been converted as an Ai-spec Nikkor. There was actually four different Ai-50mm Nikkor standard lenses offered during this period, namely as 50mm f/1.2, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, a new Nikkor f/1.8 and an Ai-Nikkor 50mm f/2.0 which was converted from the old model but now it has a familiar Ai-dressing.
NOTE: the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 probably was introduced later as shown by missing link in this illustration scan of a 1978 Nikkor lens catalogue Similarly, I guess the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 was not being introduced at the time of print production (Shown is still the 55mm f/1.2 but also an Ai-spec version).
Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 (Ai-spec) standard lens. Officially introduced in July 1978 as the successor of the earlier 1.2-55mm. It is one of the brightest standard lens around as well as doubled as the Nikkor that has the fastest lens speed in the lens group. It entered the world market in a new outfit as well as internally with a 7 elements in 6 groups optical arrangement. Besides, the picture angle is 46°, , which is slightly wider than its predecessor's 40° 50. In all aspects this lens performs better than the 'old' 55mm. version. At full aperture it has a decent contrast and an acceptable sharpness. It is at its best at apertures from 1.4 - 5.6. Many photographers are ranking this lens among the best fast lenses in the world! More than 100,000 lenses were made in two versions. As Nico already has an excellent 50mm f/1.2 section where I strongly suggest you to refer at next page for more in-depth reports by him. We will just briefly go through this section on the f/1.2 and concentrate more on the 50mm alternatives.
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" ... The 50mm f/1.2 is the fastest of all Nikkor AI lenses. Although not an AI-s lens, this lens is compatible with any Nikon camera which can accept AI lenses. The only exceptions are the FA, N2000, N2020 and F4, which require the Ai-S mount for compatibility with certain programmed exposure modes...." -Jim-
A warmth moment in the kindy...
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As during this stage, Nikon offered a service to help Nikon users to convert their older lenses to Ai-spec, so, if you are not familiar with version history, chances an be high that you may purchase an older Nikkor where it can be difficult to identify if it is an original Ai-Nikkor or an Ai-d (a term invented by Nikon photographers to label those converted non-Ai Nikkor lenses.
The showcased units above of the respective Nikkor 50mm f/1.2, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 and the Nikkor 50mm f/2.0 (refer below) are all equipped with an Ai-specification. This permits the lenses to couple directly with the various Ai Nikon cameras for fully automatic exposure measurement. Each of them was provide with a meter coupling prong that also enables them to be used with previous series of Non-Ai Nikon SLRs.
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However, minus of what I said earlier, Ai-Nikkor has excellent built quality and its finishes are simply unrivaled Despite later years when Nikon updated their Nikkor lenses into Ai-S to enable newer Nikon SLRs to enjoy multi-modes auto exposure control (such as Program AE and in particularly, the Shutter Priority AE); many users of Nikon FG, Nikon FA or Nikon F301 (1984/5) which incorporated with the said AE faced no issue in operating the Ai Nikkor with these models. Note: however, the lens used MUST still set the aperture to its minimum aperture settings when use them with the Program and Shutter Priority AE. Ai-Nikkor was the first among all Nikkor that followed that incorporated with a secondary aperture scale that enable ADR (aperture direct readout scale) when using the lens with any Ai-spec Nikon model. This faciltatesdirect viewing inside the finder without taking off your concentration on change of aperture on the lens.
Even today, the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 is still being regarded as the Fastest Lens in the Nikkor Line
* Normal 46° picture coverage.
* Very large maximum aperture. Available light shooting capacity.
* Easy focusing and viewing in dim light.
* Takes 52mm filters the standard for most Nikkor lenses from 20 to 200mm during those days.
* Photographic uses include indoor and outdoor snapshots, landscapes, candid of people, electronic flash photography, travel, full-length portraits in the studio or on location, photojournalism, and available light shooting.
Focal length/Aperture: 50mm f/1.2; Lens construction: 7 elements in 6 groups
Picture angle: 46°; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/1.2 ~ f/16 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Ai cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-AI cameras
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.5m (1.7 ft) to infinity (oo)
Weight: 390g; Dimensions: 70.5mm dia. x 59mm long (overall); 47.5mm extension from flange
Attachment size: 52mm (P = 0.75); Front lens cap: Snap-On; Lens hood: Snap-On (HS-12), rubber screw-in (HR-2)
Lens case: CL-34A; No. 61; CP-1; Teleconverter(s): usable with TC-1 2X(based on Nikon models), TC-200, TC-201S but not advisable.
Credit: Image at left, courtesy of "neekon" (Joe Cabebe) from Hawaii, USA. image appeared herein are Copyright © 2006 of the contributor. All rights reserved.
| previous | NEXT | 4a/10 - A special Section prepared by Nico on version history on Nikkor 50-55mm FAST SPEED f/1.2 standard lenses
| 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
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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
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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.