Additional Information on
135mm f/2.8 Nikkor-Q Auto & 13.5cm f/3.5 Nikkor-Q Auto

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135mm f/2.8 Nikkor-Q Auto (non-Ai) As early as the rangefinder camera days when Nikon decisively introduced their own camera under the Nippon Kokagu label, a 135mm lens with an f/4.0 lens speed was also being introduced among a few other lenses back in 1948 when Nikon 1 was eventually debuted. A faster equivalent, 13.5cm f/3.5 Nikkor-Q was only being introduced later in 1950.

Credit: Image of this Nippon Kogaku Tokyo, f=13.5cm, NIKKOR-Q.C (Serial #: 253631) is provided by a gentleman, Mr RAY <> who generously granted permission for me to use his images. Picture has been re-edited and scaled for broadcasting.

So, when the reflex camera Nikon F eventually was released in 1959, Nikkor 135mm f/3.5 was among the earliest batch of original Nikkor lenses made for the reflex Nikon cameras. The first 135mm lens in a F-bayonet mount was believed to be released in February, 1959.

NOTE:- Refer to the Rangefinder Nikkor lenses section for more info

: Image of this screw mount Nippon Kogaku Tokyo, f=13.5cm, NIKKOR-has a larger aperture at f/3.5 courtesy of Mr Micheal M Garay<> Picture has been re-edited and scaled for broadcasting.

135mmbellownew.jpg 135mmbellow.jpg
Credit: Roland Vink has two images in his site displayed two early and later versions of the 4 elements in 3 groups design 135mm f/4.0 Bellow-Nikkor lens. Please take note although this series of lenses carry a similar 135mm focal length, but there were two Bellows-Nikkor lenses are specifically designed to work with early Nikon bellow unit such as Nikon Bellow Unit Model I for macro photography but these lenses cannot be mounted directly onto any Nikon SLR body.

Michael Liu stated this in his site:
13.5cm f/3.5-32 Nikkor-Q Auto
o 4 elements in 3 groups
18 degrees angle of view
focusses to 1.5m
accepts hoods HN-8, HS-4, lens case CL-33, bubble case CP-2
52mm accessory size
66mm diam by 93.5mm length
Lens Hood $5.25 list (1967)
Lens Case $10.50 list (1967)
$179.50 list (1961)

Early version of Nikkor 13.5cm f/3.5-32 Nikkor-Q Auto lens has no click stops. They are usually have a metallic silver front lens barrel and the lens mounting ring. A red alphabet "R" to indicate infrared index and a plain, but ridged aperture ring with uniform fine textured was a typical design used in these first generation of Nikkor lenses. Many of these early lens features were being either replaced by a more functional features or totally being eliminated. The first version has a scalloped type aperture ring design and a f/22 minimum aperture. Some versions that followed after the initial batch introduced a few years later may have a "C" to indicate Nikon improved lens coating process may have been applied. One major cosmetic change to its physical appearance could have happened between 1974-1975 where the scalloped focusing ring has been changed to a hard rubberized grip with tiny diamond patterned texture. Further, "135mm" was being used in lens data engraved instead of 13.5cm (e.g. Nikkor-Q C 135mm f/2.8). A significant changed in its design of this version was a built-in, lockable lens hood design which can also be retractable. This design may have been short lived too as the
next pre-Ai version introduced between 1975-1976, a modern Nikkor lens appearance started to take shape at this version while the telescopic lens hood has a much improved design in functionality. Equally, that version was also quickly being replaced by another update which was more like a revamp than an update which occurred 1977, coincided with adoption of an Ai lens coupling system.

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Among the many of Nikkor lenses, focal length at 35mm, 105mm and 135mm Nikkor lenses easily have the most frequent lens updating process. As far as the 135mm lenses are concerned, other than the version introduced in 1976-1977 which involved a radical change to its optical design, most of the updates found in the series were only confined to cosmetic changes but optically, the original 135mm f/3.5 lens has remained literally unchanged in a classic 4 elements in 3 group design. So, which means even within the non-Ai Nikkor 135mm f/2.8, there were actually two versions, an early design which has a 4 elements in 4 groups design and another version that came with a revised version that has 5 elements in 4 groups design. Despite all the changes it went through, these older non-AI Nikkor lenses performs exceptionally well in performance. They were very well being corrected for common optical aberrations and produces excellent resolution and high contrast images - factors probably contributing to their great popularity. Although the 135mm Nikkor lenses were not as well known as comparing Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 which introduced almost at the same period, but most of these optic are equally treasured by many Nikon collectors.

Older Nikkor lenses has a scalloped lens hood which you can pull out, turn and lock the hood in place. I bought this 135mm f/2.8 Nikkor-Q Auto lens primarily because it has been converted into an AI and I am just curious during that time but not knowing it finally serves it purpose help to illustrate here.


Focal length: 135mm
Maximum aperture: 1:2.8
Lens construction: 4 elements in 4 groups
Picture angle: 18°
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 1.5m and 5ft



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Aperture scale: f/2.8 - f/22
Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Attachment size
: 52mm (P=0.75)
Lens Hood: Built-in telescopic type
Filter: 52mm screw-in

<<< -- A typical Nikkor lens that went through the AI modification (far left).

Dimensions: 72.5mm dia. X 104mm length (2-27/32 in. X 4-3/32 in.)
Weight: 620g (21.9 oz)
Accessories: 52mm Snap-On front cap (108-00-400), rear cap type F (108-00- 401), leather case (108-02-307), plastic case type L (108-02-300), flexible pouch No. 52 (108-02-302)

Roland Vink has a very useful site outlined many of these older versions of the Nikkor 135mm telephoto lenses. Listed below were extracted from his latest listing in relation to version that has the older 4 elements in 4 groups for the non-AI Nikkor 135mm /2.8 lens:

A 135/2.8 Kogaku, no screws 135001 - 135390 - 143637 - ? 11/65 - ? 4/4
135/2.8 Kogaku, 5 screws ? - 163439 - 245212 - ? ? - ? 4/4
A 135/2.8 Nikon ? - 249193 - 353210 - 367229 ? - 1974 4/4
C 135/2.8 380001 - 394678 - 403410 - 421067 1974 - 03/75 4/4
135/2.8 430001 - 438613 - 465000 06/75 - 03/76 4/4

Although non-relative or applicable since the lens has long been discontinued, Product Code No. for this lens: 108-02-102; Serial number for this non-AI 135mm f/2.8 lens was believed to have started from 135001.

Non-Ai 135mm f/3.5 Nikkor-Q Auto telephoto lens

One of the earliest batch of Nikkor lenses introduced along with Nikon F in 1959 was a 13.5cm f/3.5 Nikkor-Q Auto telephoto lens.
Stephen Gandy at Cameraquest has a very detailed description of these lenses which he termed them as "Tick-Mark " (??) lenses. As I don't intend to duplicate resources on the network, if you are interested, you may use Stephen's site as the reference for those lenses. All these 135mm lenses have subsequently went through a few rounds of improvement rather than seeing any changes optically where it still stuck to a straight forward 4 elements in 3 groups optical construction.

The picture above was directly scanned from an early Nikon sales kit available during late ;60. An interesting aspect of this Nikkor telephoto lens is - The lens barrel is comparatively short for its focal length - only 93.5mm. The pictured lens is a "remodeled" lens with a new cosmetic in 1969. Nikon claimed the update of the lens has improved its performance, especially containing chromatic aberration at full lens opening. However, as indicated, there was no built-in lens hood yet being designed in this version, instead, a snap on lens hood is provided as standard accessory. As there are quite a few versions of the 135mm f/3.5 lens, you may also use Roland Vink's compilation to cross check your version of the 135mm f/3.5 lens (please note all lenses stated below have of 4 elements in 3 groups design):

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A 13.5cm/3.5 tick mark 720101 - 720125 - 721026 - ? 02/59 - ? 4/3
A 13.5cm/3.5 Kogaku, plain ap ring, no screws ? - 721215 - 751551 - ? ? - ? 4/3
135/3.5 Kogaku, plain ap ring, 5 screws ? - 756027 - 841709 - ? ? - ? 4/3
A 135/3.5 Kogaku, ribbed ap ring, 5 screws 831211 - 870972 - 901560 - 904080? ? - ? 4/3
135/3.5 Nikon, ribbed ap ring, 5 screws ? - 915844 - 980872 - ? ? - 05/69 4/3
C 135/3.5 111111 - 116727 - 133566 - 141500 05/69 - 06/75 4/3
135/3.5 158101 - 159571 - 180646 - ? 05/75 - 03/77 4/3

".... Nikon Nikkor-Q 13.5cm (135mm) f/3.5 telephoto lens in Non AI bayonet mount made in Japan. The front lens element has many small cleaning scratches in the lens coating. The lens will still work and take a picture it may come out little soft (UNTESTED with film). The lens f/stops are 3.5 to 32. The filter threads size are 52mm. Focuses from 1.5 to 20 meters or 5 to 60 feet to infinity. The focusing helical is smooth. ..."

Credit: A beautiful image of this Non-Ai Nikkor telelphoto lense contributed by Mr. Richard Griffin of <> © Image Copyright 2001. All rights reserved.


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The optical design during rangefinder days.

Focal length:
Maximum aperture: 1:3.5
Lens construction: 4 elements in 3 groups

Picture angle: 18°
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 1.5m and 5ft
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)
Filter: 52mm screw-in
Dimensions: 66mm dia. X 93.5mm length (2-19/32 in. X 3~11/16 in.)
Weight: 460g (16.2 oz)
Accessories: 52mm Snap-On front cap (108-00-400), rear cap type F (108-00-401), 52mm screw-in lens hood (108-02-200), 52mm Snap-On lens hood (108-02-202), leather case (108-02-309), plastic case type L (108-02-300), flexible pouch No. 52 (108-02-302). Although non-relative or applicable since the lens has long been discontinued, Product Code No. for this lens: 108-02-103

* NOTE: Serial Number(s) for this non-AI 135mm f/3.5 lens was believed to have been started with 290001

So, question is - sometimes you may get caught in situations such as - What if you have bought an used non-AI spec optic? First, do you still own a non-AI Nikon SLR camera ? If yes, just use it with the camera. if answer is a "NO" - Try your luck and cough out some hard earned cash, look around for repair centres that may still offer AI conversion OR use them with - if you have a non-AI Nikon body that can still accept non-AI lenses (But even then, stopped down metering mode should be used. Compatible Nikon SLRs such as Nikon F2A, F2AS, Nikon F3, Nikon F4, Nikon F5*; Nikkormat FT3, Nikon EL2, Nikon FM and Nikon FE have a retractable metering coupling tab on their lens mount to enable them to use non-AI lenses).

* may need justification for such a change as it requires modification to its lens mount.

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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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leofoo.Gif Co-developed with my web buddy, Rick Oleson® & LARs.Gif Denmark, Creator of the Nikon Repair Group Mailing-List; A contributing effort to Michael Liu's Classic Nikon SLRs and Nikkor optic site.

Credit: MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites; Lars Holst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; Ted Wengelaar, Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; Hiura Shinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. Lastly, to all the good people who has contributed their own expeience, resources or kind enough granted permission to use their images of their respective optic in this site. It is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets & brochures published by Nikon 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.