Additional Information on Older
35mm f1.4 Nikkor-N Auto, 35mm f2.0 Nikkor-O Auto
& 35mm f2.8 Nikkor-S Auto Lenses - Part I


Non-Ai 35mm f/1.4-N, f/2.0-O & f/2.8-S Auto-Nikkor wideangle lenses

Strangely, prior to availability of a much faster lens speed at focal length of 35mm wideangle for reflex photography, there was actually already an early rangefinder 35mm Nikkor wideangle lens introduced back in 1956 which has a moderately fast lens speed at f/1.8, The RF
W-Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8 was once, used to be world's fastest lens at focal length of 35mm back in the fifties. That lens focuses down to a minimum focusing distance of 3 ft and weighs only 5.5oz. The next alternative Nikon RF 35mm wideangle lens was a RF Nikkor 35mm f/2.5 which was also a popular rangefinder Nikkor lens at the time. The latter was one of the five original Nikkor lenses which debuted along with the RF Nikon 1 back in 1948.

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Some of these early Nikkor rangefinder lenses such as the 35mm f/1.8 has built a fine reputation with the use of rare earth lanthanum glass in its optical design which contributes to its outstanding optical quality. It has a very interesting optical construction of 7 elements with an oversized protruding rear elements behind and it was the fastest wide angle ever made for the Nikon RF system.

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

When the reflex Nikon F was eventually being introduced in 1959, there was a series of original 35mm Nikkor reflex lenses being designed specifically to supplement the reflex Nikon SLR camera. But together, Nikon has also designed a few mounting adapters (BR-1 & NF Tube) to enable some of the earlier rangefinder lenses to be able to adapt to the F-bayonet lens mount. The widest view among the early Nikkor was a 2.1cm f/4.-16 Nikkor-O, followed by a 28mm and 35mm lens to cover the wideangle focal length under 35mm focal length. The first F-mount Nikkor lenses offered at 35mm focal length was a 3.5cm f/2.8-16 Nikkor-S Auto. The lens has evolved and refined over the years and you may find many other versions with varying degree of specification, lens speed and performance.

SUPPLEMENTS: From: Dan Lindsay <>
Subject: Nikkor lenses and Thorium Glass
To: Leonard P S Foo <>

Do you think there is any interest in a discussion of the use of Thorium glass in Nikkor lenses? Nikon used Thorium glass in the early 35mm f/1.4 to attain higher refraction figures. This was a very common design option in the 1960s and very early 1970s (when the 35mm f/1.4 lens was designed). Evidence of this can be obtained either through the use of a Geiger counter to actually read the radioactivity emitted from the lens or by observing the yellowing of the glass from the aging of the element(s) that contain Thorium. The early versions of the 35mm f/1.4 Nikkor are now over 30 years old and as such they will appear yellow when you view a white piece of paper through them. Should you shoot color slides with such a lens you will get a definite yellow cast to the pictures. They say that the yellow can be bleached out over time by leaving the glass uncovered in bright sunlight for many weeks. (I cannot personally attest to that method). Maybe this could be integrated somewhere on the page that discusses the 35mm f/1.4 Nikkor lens. The current AIS version doesn't employ Thorium glass. Dan Lindsay Santa Barbara

35mm f/1.4 Nikkor-N Auto Widenagle Lens

Even after 30 years as this Nikkor wideangle lens was introduced (March, 1971), this exceptional lens has remained as one of the fastest Nikkor wideangle lens within the Nikkor lens family (The honor is now jointly shared with an AF-D 28mm f/1.4 lens, 1993). The incredibly fast lens speed at f/1.4, couples with its superior optical performance across its entire focusing range and a moderate 62° angle of view made it one of the most essential pieces of applicable optic among journalists and news photographers who often requires a lens which allows them to work readily in low available light while on the other hand, satisfying needs with the best in optical quality the lens offers. Further, Nikon engineers also has incorporated an innovative close focus optical system to enable the lens retains its exceptional optical performance at its closest focusing distance. The rear group of lens elements automatically shifts its relative position with other elements according to focused distance.

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This rear focusing optical system, introduced for the first time in 1967 in a Nikkor lens, called "floating elements" or "CRC" at later years, was designed for many lenses of large aperture wideangle lenses to maintain their high image quality at the lens 's closest focusing range. Similar design was also being adopted by selective high speed Nikkor wideangles lenses such as the Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8 Auto and Nikkor-N 28mm f/2.0 .

Credit: All images courtesy of Mr. Allan Detrich®<> © Images Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. Images have been scaled and retouched slightly for purpose of broadcasting in this site.
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Besides, the famed NIC (Nikon Integrated Coating) process, a proprietary multi-layer Nikon lens coating method with secretive formula applied on each glass-to-air surface of the optical lens elements, which designed to give optimum photographic results was first used in this high speed 35mm f/1.4 Nikkor wideangle lens. This is basically Nikon's answer to Zeiss's equally respectable T* multi-layers lens coating process for their Carl Zeiss series lenses. The NIC lens coating has contributed to its high contrast, uniform colour fidelity which has made this wideangle lens so famous for. Combining a fast lens speed, a moderate perspective and with its superior optical performance, It is an ideal wideangle lens for many professional applications as well as for the creative amateurs.

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Over the years, this fabulous Nikkor wideangle lens has gone through a few stages in its lens development to conform with other innovations deployed in both Nikon SLRs and Nikkor lenses. The original version of this lens was a blackly-finshed version that has a distinctively deeply ridged scalloped focusing and aperture ring. Second version saw its focusing ring being replaced with a rubberized grips. Both of these versions which may have serial number started from 350001 and 371111 and more importantly, for lens verification purposes, both versions have a minimum aperture of f/22 instead of a f/16 found in versions that introduced after 1977. However, despite breezing through the subsequent evolution in SLR and lenses which occurred twice in 1977 (Ai) and Ai-S(1982), Its superior 9 elements in 7 groups optical design has literally remained unchanged throughout its entire product life cycle.

<<<--- Credit: Image at the topcourtesy of "Jone Quinn" <> who also runs a popular Ebay Store where you can take a visit to scout for OM used items. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

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Focal length:
Maximum aperture: 1:1.4
Lens construction: 9 elements in 7 groups
Picture angle: 62° at infinity; Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 0.3m and 1 ft
Aperture scale: f/1.4 - 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-3
Dimensions: 66.5mm
dia. X 74.5mm length (2-5/8 in. X 2-15/16 in.)
Weight: 415g (14.6oz)
Accessories: 52mm Snap-On front cap (108 - 00 - 400), rear cap type F (108 - 00 - 401), 52mm screw-in lens hood (108 - 01 - 203), leather case CL-9 (108 - 02 - 304), plastic case type S (108 - 00 - 300), flexible pouch No. 52 (108 - 02 - 302) Product Code No. for this lens: 108-01-106

NOTE: Serial numbers for this Non-Ai Nikkor wideangle lens was believed to have been started with 350001

Non-Ai 3.5cm f/2-16 Nikkor-O Auto wideangle lens

The 3.5cm f/2-16 Nikkor-O wideangle lens was generally believed to have been introduced along with the Nikkormat series. But based on "Nikon Hand Book" written by Peter Braczko, he reported a version which actually has been introduced as early as 1962. The moderate high speed Nikkor wideangle lens, with f/2.0 aperture was once the fastest Nikkor wideangle lens until the arrival of the 35mm with an even faster f/1.4 lens speed in 1971. For a long spell of time during the '60 and early '70, the lens was almost like a "standard" lens choice for 35mm wideangle and has been widely used among professional photographers, photo journalists and amateur aliked.

Camera35mmoldA.jpg Camera35mmoldB.jpg
Two early version of Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Credit: Image courtesy of camera$@EBAY®. He also operates a popular Ebay Store where he often lists many used RARE pieces of Niko, 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.

35mm f2.0AUTO.jpg
The lens uses a retrofocus design type, comprised of a 8 elements in 6 groups optical design. Its unique design was aimed to tame coma and other optical aberrations which gives consistently sharp pictures of high contrast. The fast f/2 maximum aperture has enabled rapid and precise focusing even under adverse light conditions and at the same time, providing a reasonably bright viewfinder image for ease of focusing. Given the fact that generally, dimmer viewfinder were common in older Nikon SLR bodies, this factor was in particularly useful and practical. The moderate perspective, attributed with its picture angle of 62° is close to the normal lens, offering "moderately" exaggerated perspective as compared to standard lenses.

With the smallest falloff of brightness in picture corners, this is a standout among those older series of Nikkor wideangles in its class. The large f/2.0 aperture makes this lens highly effective for snapshots, indoor photography and instant candid work under poor available light. There are many of these lenses that kept surfacing regularly in the used equipment market and generally, they are much cheaper than comparing newer series introduced at later stages. Many of the early version may not be multi-coated and I have seen many being converted into Ai -lens spec, so unless you are really strapped with budget or has owned and still happy to use this kind of older non-Ai optic with your Non-Ai camera bodies - always gives your priority for one of those which carried with an Ai-Spec for better compatibility with later series of Nikon Ai camera bodies. Despite the lens has gone through many stages of upgrades, Its optical design of 8 elements in 6 groups has been remained unchanged, until the Ai-S series was eventually being introduced during early eighties. Most of the early versions of this 35mm wideangle lens has a chrome lens barrel and an uncharacteristic old Nikkor scalloped type focusing along with similar design for the aperture ring, they also have only a minimum aperture of f/16, but version introduced later was stopped down further to f/22 during the pre-AI period in 1975 (Those with S/N began from 835001 which has all-black finished). NIC lens coating was believed to have been used for the first time in versions introduced after 1973 where a "C" was added to signify improved lens coating was applied (S/N started from 888801).

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35mm F2.0 NonAI.jpg

Focal length:
Maximum aperture: 1:2
Lens construction: 8 elements in 6 groups
Picture angle: 62° at infinity
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 0.3m and 1 ft
Aperture scale: f/2.0 - f/16
Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)

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Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75)
Filter: 52mm screw-in
Dimensions: 63.5mm dia. X 61mm length (2-1/2 in. X 2-13/32 in.)
Weight: 285g (10.1oz)
Accessories: 52mm Snap-On front cap (108 - 00 - 400), rear cap type F (108 - 00 - 300), 52mmscrew-in fens hood (108 - 01 - 203), leather case (108 - 00 - 303), plastic case type S (108 - 00 - 300), flexible pouch No. 51 (108 - 00 - 302); Product Code No. for this lens: 108-01-103

<<<--- Credit: Image of this Ai-modified Auto-Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 lense courtesy of Ebay user "EDSMED" who also runs an Ebay Store where you can take a visit to scout for OM used items. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

NOTE: As serial numbers for this Non-Ai Nikkor-O f/2.0 Auto wideangle lens may vary depends on the numerous versions that have been introduced at various stages, read the above content. The first version in 1962 was believed to have been started with 102105.

Credit: Images of this Non-Ai Fisheye-Nikkor 20mm F4 coutesy of: Russell Gough® <>" All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

| Previous | NEXT | More info is available on Nikkor lenses at 35mm focal length.... 1/2

35mm focal length Manual Focus Nikkor Lenses:
| Early non AI version | Early to mid '70 Pre-AI | Late 1970 | Early 1980 - present: 35mm f/1.4 ; 35mm f/2.0, 35mm f/2.8 | Relative: PC-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 and PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5

| Back | to Main Index Page of MF Nikkor lenses at 35mm focal length

| Message Board | for your Nikkor Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for new/used Nikon/Nikkor photographic equipment

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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
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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: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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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.