Additional Information on
Non-Ai 28mm f/2.0 Nikkor-N Auto & 28mm f/3.5 Nikkor-H Auto


Non-Ai 28mm f/2.0 Nikkor-N Auto wideangle lens

Introduced back in April, 1971, the non-Ai Nikkor wideangle lens was once the fastest of wideangle lenses with an angle of view wider than 74° until Canon and Olympus brought an competing super fast wideangle lens each at the focal length of 24mm with their ultra-fast Canon FDn 24mm f/1.4L and OM Zuiko 21mm f/2.0 a decade later in 1981. This fast speed Nikkor wideangle lens has built a fine reputation over the years that be able to provide exceptionally high resolution and image contrast even at its full apertures. This speed permits easy, accurate focusing and facilitates picture taking indoors or under any unfavorable lighting condition and making it a firm favourite among serious amateurs and professional users.

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One interesting aspect of this very appealing Nikkor wideangle lens was its rear group of lens elements where it shifts its relative position to other elements according to focused distance. This system, termed it as automatic "floating elements" correction or more popular known as CRC (Close range correction system). This optical system employed has enabled wideangle lenses with large aperture to maintain their excellent image quality be consistently maintained over entire focusing range even when used at its respective closest focusing range. This innovative optical design was first introduced in a series of three Auto Nikkor wideangle lenses (The other two lenses were Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 & Nikkor 35mm f/1.4) and this has proved to be a trend setting to overcome aberration and maintain excellent optical performances at close focusing distances of Nikkor wideangles.

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

Credit: Two lovely images of the non-Ai 28mmf/2.0 lense contributed by Mr. "Andrew Whitehead" <> © Image Copyright 2001. All rights reserved.

Just like equally brilliant Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 wideangle lens, this 28mm Nikkor wideangle lens was among the first few original batches of lenses that have been specially treated with Nikon proprietary (NIC) lens coating process - NIC is a multi-layer lens coating process that ensures each glass-to-air surface of the optical elements within the lens was coated according to their respective reflective index to provide an optimum photographic results. The Nikkor 28mm f/2 wideangle was especially designed to use in adversely low available light photography and may find many practical usage. It was highly recommended for the news or magazine photographer as well as for industrial, architectural or commercial photographers.

Even among all the available Nikkor 28mm f/2.0 wideangle lenses introduced thus far, there could be presence of a few variations with differing specifications, appearance and performance. The early Ai version introduced subsequently was obviously a direct upgrade from this older Non-Ai Nikkor wide. However, such lens updating process also saw its weighs been increased slightly from 345g to 355g. However, despite all its cosmetic changes, there was an Ai version that followed which Nikon has successfully improved its minimum focusing distance. The subsequent migration to Ai-S lens coupling system also ended it to have a revised design in 1981, the updated design enables it focuses even closer.

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A Series of SIX images contributed by Roger Size more


Focal length:
Maximum aperture: 1:2.0
Lens construction: 9 elements in 8 groups

Credit: Image(s) courtesy of Jun Wang ® where I found the image(s) from his excellent Ebay Store. All image(s) appeared herein are Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Picture angle: 74° at infinity
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 0.3m and 1 ft
Aperture scale: f/2.0 - f/22
Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75)
Filter: 52mm screw-in
Hood: HN-2
Dimensions: 64.5mm dia. X 70mm length (2-17/32 in. X 2-3/4 in.)
Weight: 345g (12.2 oz)
Accessories: 52mm Snap-On front cap (108 - 00 - 400), rear cap type F (108 - 00 - 401), 52mm screw-in lens hood (108 - 01 - 201), leather case CL4 (108 - 00 - 303), plastic case type S (108 - 00 - 300), flexible pouch No. 51 (108 - 00 - 302)
; Product Code No. for this older version of 28mm lens: 108-01-108

NOTE: Serial number for this old non-Ai version of this Nikkor 28mm f/2.0 may have been began with 288801

Non-Ai 28mm f/3.5 Nikkor-H Auto

This elegantly designed Nikkor wideangle lens was introduced immediately after the debut of the Nikon F in 1959. This wideangle lens has long been a hot favorite among many Nikon-armed photographers who were busy covering news events during those days. Many of these old non-Ai-Spec Nikkor wideangle lenses had accompanied many photojournalists covering in Vietnam War and good users reports have helped to gain its popularity.

28mm f3.5nonAI.jpg 28mmf35olda.jpg
The testimonials of ruggedness of Nikon SLRs and fine optical quality of the Nikkors were further endorsed by these favorable real war zone reporting via images published by media. Many soon have realized these cameras and lenses can be extremely reliable and quality of the Nikkor lenses was well recognized. Naturally, many amateurs soon followed and it was one of the best selling Nikkor wideangle during those budding years of 35mm reflex photography.

The early version of this Nikkor wideangle may bear lens data engraved with focal length information that termed as "cm" rather than commonly used "mm" (millimeter) at later years. It may also carried with a alphabet that signifies the number of elements used inside the optical construction. The "H" for the 28mm f/3.5 here means six optical lens elements were being used in its design. Early lens data has Nippon Kogaku instead of Nikon, those with the latter name tag were probably appeared after late '60.
These designation and classification of lens type has been dropped by Nikon after the first quarter of the seventies. Other than the physical appearance that might varies (scalloped focusing and aperture ring design). Another not-so-secure way in visual identification that may help differentiating various versions was, since most of these older non-Ai lenses have only a minimum aperture of f/16 instead of f/22. Lenses that have that f/22 minimum aperture usually were introduced after year 1975.

Credit: Image courtesy of Mr Mike Otto® <> URL: Pacific Rim Camera, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Pacific Rim camera can also be reached at Pacific Rim Camera 1965 Davcor St SE Salem, OR 97302 (503) 370-7461 Fax number is (503) 370-8801
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Similar to many other Nikkor wideangle lenses (With the exception of ultrawide 2.1cm f/4.0 Nikkor-O), the 28mm f/3.5 Nikkor-H was using a retrofocus design optically. It consists of an optical formulation where it adopted a 6 elements in 6 groups in its optical construction. This popular wideangle lens was specially designed to correct spherical aberrations, eliminating the displacement of focus, which was quite possible to occur as the diaphragm is stopped down. The early 28mm has no rubberized grip on the focusing ring and some have silver focusing lens barrel.

Although this version of the lens has not been treated with Nikon NIC lens coating process yet, the lens was still able to provide vivid contrast and brilliance even at its full lens aperture opening, with minimum level of coma and distortion exhibits. These outstanding features make this wideangle equally favorable for panoramic landscapes, candid work and for architectural and interior photography.


Focal length: 28mm
Maximum aperture: 1:3.5
Lens construction: 6 elements in 6 groups
Picture angle: 74° at infinity
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 0.6m and 2 ft
Aperture scale: f/3.5- 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: 62.5mm dia. X 54mm length (2-7/16 in. X 2-1/8 in.)
Weight: 215g (7.6oz) Accessories:
52mm Snap-On front cap (108 - 00 - 400), rear cap type F ( 108 - 00 - 401), 52mm screw-in lens hood (108 - 01 - 202), leather case (108 - 00 - 305), plastic case type S (108 - 00 - 300), flexible pouch No. 51 (108 - 00 - 302) Product Code No. for this lens: 108-01-102

Note: Serial number for the earliest version may have been started with 301011. Lenses that has "C" may bear numbers from 850001- 898367* produced after 1967. * Reference: Peter Braczko.

The next upgrade saw the Nikkor wideangle lens that appeared to have some cosmetic differences and it was slightly heavier than previous version. However, there was another subsequent version which has a great similarities with the Ai version that followed in late 1977. That variation of the non-Ai wideangle lens was believed to have been introduced between 1975 to 1977, see NEXT section for more info.


Focal length: 28mm
Maximum aperture: 1:3.5
Lens construction: 6 elements in 6 groups
Picture angle: 74° at infinity
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 0.3m and 1 ft
Aperture scale: f/3.5 - f/22
Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Attachment size
: 52mm (P=0.75)
Hood: HN-2
Filter: 52mm screw-in
Dimensions: 63.5mm dia. X 54mm length (2-1/2 in. X 2-1/8 in.)
Weight: 230g (8.1 oz)
Accessories:52mm Snap-On front cap (108 - 00 - 400), rear cap type F (108 - 00 - 401), 52mm screw-in lens hood (108 - 01 - 201), lens cases: CL-31, No 54, CP-1

28mm focal length Manual Focus Nikkor Lenses:
Early non-AI versions | mid-1970 (pre-AI) | Late 1970 | Early 1980 - Present: 28mm f/2.0 ; 28mm f/2.8 | 28mm f/3.5 | Relative: PC-Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 and PC-Nikkor 28mm f/4.0

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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.