Additional Information on
400mm f4.5 Nikkor-Q Auto Lens


400mm f/4.5 Nikkor-Q Auto

Prior to the availability of the Nikkor 400mm, there was a 350mm f/4.5-22 Nikkor-T Preset lens which was a product originally designed for the rangefinder Nikon with reflex housing and may be used on the reflex Nikon SLRs via N/F adapter. The lens came with the following specification:

o 3 elements in 3 groups
7 degrees angle of view
focusses to 3.3m
82mm accessory size (Series IX in hood)
Lens Hood $22.50 list (1967)
$398 list (1959)

After the reflex SLR F-mount 600mm f/5.6-22 Nikkor-P Auto, 880mm f/8-22/64 Nikkor-P Auto, 1200mm f/11-64 Nikkor-P Auto, Nikkor introduced the 400mm f/4.5 Nikkor-Q Auto sometime around 1964/65. It was meant to be the substitute for the 350mm f/4.5-22 Nikkor-T Preset specifically designed for the reflex Nikon SLRs. This two parts 400mm telephoto lens was considered as an ultimate lens for nature and sports action photography during those early days. Separate into two sections, comprising the lens head and the focusing unit. The lens head was consisting of 4 elements in 4 groups, provides outstanding resolution with high contrast and good color rendition. Since the lens itself contains only optics, it must be used with the accessory focusing unit (see below illustration OR click here for MORE INFO) for focusing and automatic diaphragm control.

400mmf56nonAib.JPG (43k) Loading ......
Nikon telephoto lens Nikkor-Q Auto 1:4,5 f=400mm (Nippon Kogaku). The lens consists of two parts, the lens head and the focusing unit. Technical specification (lens head plus focusing unit): Lens construction: 4 elements/4 groups Minimum aperture: f/22 Minimum focusing distance: 16ft (5m) Dimensions: diameter 135mm, length 472mm Weight: 3.1kg The 4.5/400 lens head has the serial number 400712, the focusing unit 591569. This is the so called focusing unit 1 since Nikon used to produced a successor, the focusing unit 2. The focusing unit also takes the lens heads 5.6/600, 8/880 and 11/1200. The focusing scales for all mentioned focal length are included. The focusing unit has a tripod socket (1/4") and is equipped with the original shoulder strap. The lens head (filter size 122mm) with the original leather front cap, the focusing unit with an original Nikon rear lens cap. The instruction manual (in English) is included. The lens head has a built in lens hood. -Arnd Janus -
Credit: A fabulous view of the lense taken by "Arnd Janus®" <>". Image Copyright© 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
400f45NAIb.jpg 400f45NAId.jpg
Credit: Three separate views of the lens/Focusing unit components of this Non-Ai two parts Nikkor super telephoto lense are contributed by "Igor Reznik" <> © Image Copyright 2001. All rights reserved.

" .... Nikkor-Q Auto 400/4.5 lens. Very early lens with serial #400737. Focusing from 16 feet. Aperture from f/4.5 to F/22. Front diameter is 122 mm. Weight is about 6.5 lb. Build in lens hood and tripod mount. Condition is Ex+/Ex++ or 8.5/9 out of 10. No dents. Clean glass. Smooth focusing. Clean aperture blades. Comes with caps and original Nikon 122 mm L39 filter. Great example of early Nikkor lens... " - Igor Reznik

It may be focused down to 5m. Complete with a built-in telescopic lens hood. Exposure measurement with suitable AI Nikon camera body is by means of stopped down metering method. A wooden lens case was a standard accessory Many of this version may have been only being just coated glass.

The version introduced after 1973 may have been treated with NIC multi layers lens coating. Those series of the 400mm f/4.5 Nikkor-Q-C Auto lenses could have a serial number began from 410801.

Credit: Another great view contributed by "Arnd Janus®" <>". Image Copyright© 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the photographer.


Focal length: 400mm
Maximum aperture: 1:4.5
Lens construction: 4 elements in 4 groups
Picture angle: 6° 10'
Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Aperture scale: f/4.5- f/22

Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 5m or 16ft (With focusing Unit); 5.5m (18 ft with AU-1)
PDF File (31k)

400scales.jpg (31k) Loading ...
Exposure Measurement: Stop-down method
Attachment size: 122mm (P=1.00)
Lens Hood: Built-in telescopic type
: 122mm screw-in

Credit: Images of three Focusing Scales courtesy of "Arnd Janus®" <>". Image Copyright© 2003. All rights reserved.

Dimension: 135mm dia. x 471.5mm length (5-5/16 in. X 18-9/16 in.)
Weight: 1.9 kg (67.1.oz); 3.1kg (109.5 oz) with focusing unit; 3.3kg (116.6 oz) with AU-1
Accessories: 133mm slip-on leather front cap (108 - 04 - 400), slip-on leather rear cap, focusing unit (108 - 04 - 600), wooden case (108 - 04 - 300)
Note: Serial numbers for this early two parts Nikkor version may have been started from 400111(C) and 410801 (MC). Nikon Product Code No. for this lens: 108-04-100

Old antique Nikon's telephoto Nikkor Q 400mm f/4.5
Credit: Image courtesy of camera$@EBAY®. He also operates a popular Ebay Store where he often lists many used RARE pieces of Nikon, Leica and other old classic photo equipment, Images are also well taken for visual confirmation for buyers - he is also one of my favourite bookmarked Ebay dealer. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

NikkorQ400mmf45Cjpg NikkorQ400mmf45Ajpg

The first true Nikkor 400mm lens designed for the Nikon reflex cameras was offered as a Nikkor 400mm f/5.6 telephoto lens in February, 1973. with a simple optical construction of 5 elements in 3 groups and a slower maximum lens speed of f/5.6. The early design was already offering a built-in lens mount and a lockable built-in retractable lens hood.

The finishing and and the aperture ring has a similar appearance like the 135mm auto Nikkor lens. The lens was also the first Nikkor super telephoto lens that carried with a meter coupling shoe atop the aperture ring to be couple with many Nikon SLRs that have the semiautomatic full aperture metering mechanism. The lens was updated in September, 1975 by an ED version and sold along with the 2 parts 400mm f/4.5 lens.


Focal length: 400mm
Maximum aperture: 1:5.6
Lens construction: 5 elements in 3 groups
Picture angle: 6° 10'
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 5m or 16 ft
Aperture scale: f/5.6- f/32
Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Exposure metering: Fully Open
Attachment size: 72mm (P=0.75)
Lens Hood: Built-in telescopic type
: 72mm screw-in
Dimension: 84.5mm dia. x 263mm length (3-5/16 in. x 10-11/32 in.)
Weight: 1.4 kg (49.5 oz)
Accessories: Lens case CL-27
Note: Serial Number for this series of Nikkor lens may have been started from 255022.

Nikkor 400mm f/2.8s ED-IF | Nikkor 400mm f/3.5s ED-IF | Nikkor 400mm f/5.6s ED-IF | Nikkor 400mm f/3.5 ED-IF | Nikkor 400mm f/5.6 ED-IF | Nikkor 400mm f/5.6 ED | Nikkor 400mm f/4.5 | pre-AI Nikkor 400mm f/3.5 ED-IF | pre-AI Nikkor 400mm f/5.6 ED | Non-AI Nikkor-Q 400mm f/4.5 | Non-AI Nikkor 400mm f/5.6 | Nikon Focusing Unit AU-1 | Original Focusing Unit | N/F Tube

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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.