Information on early Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor-P 55mm f/3.5 Auto

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Michael Liu's site reported a 55mm f/3.5-32 Micro-Nikkor-P Auto lens was produced by Nikon in 1963. It carries the following basic specification and useful information pertaining on some of its related lens accessories.

o Optical Construction: 5 elements in 4 groups* (?)
Angle of View: 43 degrees angle of view
focusses to 0.24m
Accessories: accepts hood HN-3, lens case CL-33, and bubble case CP-2
Attachment Size: 52mm accessory size
Dimension: 65.5mm diam by 64.5mm length
Weight: 235g

Note: two versions, one with compensating diaphragm ("P") and one without (no "P" suffix) Lens Hood $5.25 list (1967); Case $10.50 list (1967); $189.50 list with M-ring (1965); $179.50 list w/ M-ring (1967)

But according to Peter Braczko's "Nikon Handbook", he has reported an even earlier version which has an entirely different version with preset apertures as early as August, 1961(also see an image below). That early reflex close-up Nikkor lens has a more resembling look and feel of earlier collapsible design rangefinder MICRO-NIKKOR 5cm f/3.5 lens. It has a 5 elements in 4 groups design. The focal length of Micro-Nikkor has been increased to 55mm instead of 50mm from here onwards. The lens can reach 1:1 reproduction ratio and with a minimum focus distance of 8.3" (21cm). It has a very unique feature at its front section where it can be easily distinguish from other micro-Nikkor lenses as there are two rotating rings for aperture control and filter attachment.

There was no meter coupling prong and thus, aperture has to be preset. The aperture scale was actually at the front silver chrome section of the lens while a narrow scalloped focusing grip is at the mid-rear section. An interesting aspect is the two colourful depth of field scales were provided on the lens barrel where the first that locates near the front was indicators for the aperture used and the latter was meant to indicate for focusing. This rare piece of early Micro-Nikkor glass is highly collectible and it has a subsequent version with an improved, broader focusing grip. According to Peter Braczko, the starting serial number began from 171529 and ended in 1963 with 173845.

NOTE:- Refer to the Rangefinder Nikkor lenses section for more info
<<< ---- Enlarged VIEW (55k Jpeg) Credit: A beautiful image of this rare old NON-AI 55mm f/3.5 MICRO-NIKKOR lens with preset aperture courtesy of "John and Linda Montayne" <> Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.

old55mmf35AdoramaAsml.jpg old55mmf35AdoramaBsml..jpg old55mmf35AdoramaCsml.jpg

Credit: Images courtesy of Adorama® Inc. "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> Webisite URL:, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Two years later, the preset aperture lens design on the early Micro-Nikkor was revised in a straight forward lens design in 1963, the new version came with an automatic diaphragm within. The main difference as compared to the earlier preset lens design is, unlike the earlier one, this lens has an infinite variable focusing mechanism which uses double helical system to enable it to reach physically with a reproduction ratio of only 1:2. However, with a matching Nikon M1 Extension Ring, this can even reach a 1:1 life size magnification. The lens has a wider focusing grip in scalloped design but the aperture ring remained a ridged type.
Pacific Camera.jpg (23k) Loading ... Nikon F with Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 AUTO
The lens has an auto compensating diaphragm as when focus nearer, the aperture compensates automatically. Exposure compensation scales and reproduction ratio indications are imprinted for easy reference too.
<<< --- This NON-AI 55mm f/3.5 MICRO-NIKKOR, was believed to be the first version. It has a CHROME front filter rim while later version was supplied in black finish. Also please note the flat but ridged aperture ring which is difficult to change apertures. Serial number may have been started from 171513 for this version. Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Mike <> from Pacific Rim Camera <>Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.

Various technical data for the Auto Micro-Nikkor  55mm f/3.5
Micro55mmnonAIearlymidwest.jpg Micro55mmnonAIearlymidwest4.jpg Micro55mmnonAIe%C9lymidwest.2.jpg
Credit: Three images of this early Non-Ai 55mm Micro-Nikkor lense coutesy of: Midwest Photo Exchange <> Webisite URL: Midwest Photo Exchange, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. Midwest Photo Exchange also can be contact at: 3313 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio 43202 614-261-1264

Incidentally, other than the Micro-Nikkor featured here, there were actually three lenses in the Nikon lens family during this era., that also specifically being designed to work in close-up photography. Featuring a ringlight and a focusing light, the 200mm f/5.6 Medical-Nikkor is especially suited for close-up work in surgery, dentistry and for other scientific and industrial applications. While the 105mm f/4 Bellows-Nikkor, was designed exclusively for use with the Bellows Focusing Attachments, enables the photographer to obtain sharp images in close-ups with ample working distances.

Many subsequent versions introduced were more confined to cosmetic changes and practicality where, for an instance, a black finish version to replace the chrome front filter ring to minimize chances of internal reflection was introduced later. The aperture ring was another area where the ridged design was replaced with a scallop version for improved handling and grip. While optical construction for these version remained at a simple 5 elements in 3 groups design.

: Image courtesy of "Jerry Ting" <> Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.

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A version of this Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm lens may has a "C" after the lens data Micro-Nikkor-P to indicate improved lens coating has been applied to the lens but rear section remained similar among these series.

Credit: Image courtesy of "Ralph Mcleod" <> Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.



Technical specification in a Sales Manual for an old Auto Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 lens in PDF files.

PDF - 247k
PDF - 377k
PDF - 993k high resolution

Design of such versions may fall between serial number from 211001 to 273153. Version from serial number 6xxxxxx which may have been introduced during early '70 could have more improvements done to both the focusing grip, aperture ring and choice of material used on the lens barrel. Most of the Micro-Nikkor lenses appeared during this time were believed to be single coated with its lens data indicating "Micro-Nikkor-P" and those where engraved with "Micro-Nikkor-P.C" to indicate improved lens coating process used was believed to have been introduced after 1973 where Nikon started to deploy lenses with NIC lens coating process started from the Nikkor-N 35mm f/1.4 Auto lens. (It coincides with serial number from 7300001 onwards).

Further, the macro accessory, Nikon M2 Extension Ring may have been introduced during this time to replace the earlier M1 Ring as the matching Extension Tube for 1:1 life size magnification with these series of 55mm Micro-Nikkor lenses.
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Credit: Image of this interesting scale of the three generations Micro-Nikkor lenses courtesy of Mr. "Todd Goodheart" <> Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. Another similar image with the lens extension can be accessed here.

55mm f/3.5 Micro-Nikkor-P Auto

The first significant change in the physical appearance of Micro-Nikkor lenses may have been occurred between 1974-1975. It was in line with a common Nikkor lens updating program which covered many other lenses as well. The most distinguish difference is the focusing grip where a
diamond-ridged design was adopted and a scalloped aperture was still retained. There are two scales for the reproduction ratio, one with the lens alone and another when an Extension Tube is used, were engraved on the distance ring. But above all, this lens has an entirely optical composition in a new 5 elements in 4 groups design instead of 5 elements in 3 groups design used on previous version.

The lens shows optimum resolving performance at 1:10 reproduction ratio, but since its superb resolution remains virtually unchanged throughout its entire focusing range, the lens can be used for general photography as well. The M2 Extension Ring is used in combination with the lens for close-up work of the 1:2 to 1 :1 reproduction ratios. The automatic diaphragm functions equally well with the M2 Ring. This lens exhibits excellent image quality, great flatness of image plane, high image contrast and fine color rendition which makes the lens especially ideal for photographing close-up subjects such as insects, flowers and other small objects or for critical copying of flat subjects such as documents, drawings, stamps, etc.

Reproduction ratios are marked on the lens barrel vis-a-vis the focused distance. When an image greater than 1:1 reproduction ratio is desired, various close-up accessories are available for use with this lens.

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For example, when Bellows Focusing Attachment Model PB-4 is used, the lens reproduction ratio extend from 1:1.3 to 3.4:1.For older version of the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f3.5 used with a M2 Extension ring for 1:1 reproduction ratio, this combination do not has a meter coupling pin to allow proper meter coupling, you must stopped the lens down to do meter reading (Closing down the diaphragm to shooting aperture to get a meter reading - but first you have to ensure your camera has a stopped down lever or button).

Copyright ©-free Images collection. 2001, leofoo (50 K Jpeg) Malaysian Internet Resources


Focal length: 55m
Maximum aperture: 1 :3.5
Lens construction: 5 elements in 4 groups
Picture angle: 43° at infinity
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 24.1 cm and 9-1 /2 in.
Aperture scale: f/3.5 - f/32

Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75)

<<< ----- Optical Construction of this lens in PDF File (57k)

Filter: 52mm screw-in Hood: HN-3
Dimensions: 65.5mm dia. X 64.5mm length (2-19/32 in. X 2-17/32 in.)
Weight: 245g (8.70z)
Accessories: 52mm Snap-On front-cap, rear cap type F, 52mm screw-in lens hood, leather case CL-8 (108 - 02 - 309)
* CL-33A, No.55, CP-2, plastic case type L (108-02-300); flexible pouch No. 52 (108 - 02 - 302) * Accepts the lens with M2-ring (108 - 03 - 604) attached.

oldN55M2a.jpg oldN55M2b.jpg

<<< ---- Credit: Images of this Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 auto lens with dual M2 Extension Ring courtesy of Bill & Sue <> Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.

| Previous | NEXT | MORE ....Subsequent Pre-Ai version that followed. 1/2

| Early AF Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8s | Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8s | Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 | Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 | Pre-Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 | Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor-P 55mm f/3.5 | Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor-P.C 55mm f/3.5 | Non-A Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 Preset | Special version Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 | RF Micro-Nikkor 50mm f/3.5 lens | N/F Tube

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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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