I have always maintained a basic philosophy
in life that whenever I have an option of a motorcycle to travel for distance, I
don't use a bicycle. Similarly, when I have a nice sports car that can cruise against
the wind, I will not ride a bike then. Before I started to take a look at the 1,000mm
RF Nikkor section, I did a quick search via the web and had found our friend, Stephen Gandy
from Cameraquest has already did a very detailed site on this extremely rare
Reflex-Nikkor lens in S-mount. Anyway, getting original images from contributor(s)
for this lens is almost impossible due to its extraordinary rare status. Besides,
there is no point to replicate similar resources on the Net as long I recognize the
work is good out there.
The photo at bottom of the page is
a directly linked image from Stephen site (not mine), CLICK ON IT
and you will catapult you all the way from Malaysia to Stephen's site in US - it
is simply via a short cable / socket connection behind you computer. How nice huh
? hehe ..
1:4 f=2.1cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:4 f=2.5cm | W-Nikkor.C
1:3.5 f= 2.8cm | W-Nikkor.C 3.5cm lens Group (3.5/2.5/1.8) | Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm | 5cm (50mm) lens group | RF Micro-Nikkor
1:3.5 f=5cm | Nikkor-P.C
1:2 f=8.5cm lens group / Nikkor-S.C 1:1.5 f=8.5cm lens group | Nikkor-P.C
1:2.5 f=10.5cm lens group
/ Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm | Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm lens group: 135/4, 135/3.5 Early
/ Last Version, 135/4 Bellow lens
| Nikkor-H 1:2.5
f=18cm | Nikkor-Q 1:4 f=25cm
| Nikkor-T 1:4.5 f=35cm | Nikkor-T.C 1:5 f=50cm | Reflex-Nikkor 100cm f/6.3
for Nikon Rangefinder cameras
Optical Finders (4 parts):- Fixed Focal length Finders (index page): 2.1cm,
3.5cm, 35cm Stereo,
5cm, 8.5cm, 10.5cm,
13.5cm | Variframe / Varifocal / Sport-frames
| Nikon Reflex Housing
S36/S72/S250 Motor Drives
/ S36 Manual |
light meters | Nikon RF Flash/Speedlights | Close-up
photography / Repro Copy Outfit / Nikon Bellow Focusing Device (in progress) | Cases/Compartments | Lens & body caps,
Original Price Lists |
RELATIVE:- Nikon Rangefinder (RF) Models | Pictorial History of Nikon
A small visual library on
Nikon Ultra-Micro-Nikkor lenses
Manual Focus Nikkor lenses | Autofocus
Related info:- Leica/Leitz
Zeiss | Seiki Kogaku
| Message Board | lenses | Message Board | RF cameras
Updated info on the Nikon Mirror lens for rangefinder
first draft, last update: 14.05.2011
Among all the active
manufacturers, the inclusion of the Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm lens probably is
the longest lens you can find in any rangefinder photographic systems during that
period. It was introduced in 1959 by Nikon for the NIKON F but also smartly incorporated
a S-mount for the Nikon rangefinder cameras, this had made Nikon can rightfully claimed
to be having the most extensive selection in terms of lens selection among all labels.
In fact, the Company possibly was the first to introduce a Mirror-type lens. The
applied catadioptric telescope idea, was first pioneered by Bernhard Schmidt, an
optician at the Hamburg Observatory in Bergedorf, Germany back in 1930 but in many
ways, adoption of mirror principle for 35mm lens design can be regarded as very creative,
as other than an Old Delft Delca 6.3/50cm Mirror prototype lens of 1950 for CONTAX, so far I have never heard of Leitz
and Zeiss produced any others. For the record, for a long time, Nikon's Reflex-Nikkor
1:6.3 f=100cm was also the world's fastest among all available commercial production
mirror lens for 35mm photography, until the Carl
Zeiss Oberkochen introduced their
5 elements 5 group MIROTAR 1000mm f/5.6 (PDF 56k).
Optical path of Nikon Reflex-Nikkor
1000mm f/6.3, applicable for both rangefinder and reflex versions. You can download
the Zeiss version via PDF link provided above.
The Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm has
a simple, straight forward 3 elements in 2 group optical design, with picture angle
covers a very narrow 2°
30' diagonal, 2° horizontal and 1° 20' vertically. The minimum focusing distance
is 100 feet (30m) to infinity (oo) and maximum reproduction
ratio is approx. 37.47X. It
is a huge optic and weighs massively at approx. 9.9kg (21.9Ibs for first version
in black only), simple because the use of f/6.3 maximum aperture which demands a
large dimension for light gathering. The dimension certainly restricts portability
which resulted Nikon eventually redesigned and changed their reflex Mirror lenses
during the '70 with a smaller aperture of f/8.0 for 500mm, f/11 for both the 1000mm and 2000mm in order to strike a good balance between
portability, practicality as well as affordability.
Possibly this was the first Nikkor lens
that had began started using the crinkle finish, a very unique exterior texture design
Nikon uses even today on many of their "high end" lenses.
The Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm was introduced first with a black version, both in
reflex and RF mount. The main difference between the two was a Bellow-type focusing
mechanism found at the rear mount section in the rangefinder version.
|The large diameter of the lens doesn't make front filter
accessories viable. Nikon had designed a rear filter system with a rotating wheel
inside which hosts series of 52mm L39, Y52, O56 and Neutral density filters (A). The
first few filters mentioned were supposed to be standard accessories, but the latter
was not sure if there are included as standard nor if user be able to change it manually.
As Mirror lens has a fixed aperture and usually it requires changes shutter speed(s)
to vary exposure control but ND filter with different grade is an alternate mean
or use in combination to alter exposure, so logically, user interchangeability of
filters should be provided.
after going through an old Nikon Sales Manual, it had specifically addressed my questions
and stated "...other filters not to be used, since filters supplied as
standard accessories (L39, Y52, O56 and R69) are designed with a thickness that will
not affect focus .." hmmm ....
Another issue is relating to focusing, unlike the convenience
of direct viewing through the lens like the Nikon F offers, other than at infinity
setting, it is absolutely impossible to use the camera's viewfinder to perform accurate
...There is no focusing ring on the lens either, focusing
is via the bellow with a trail-track and adjustment knob (B). So, for focusing use of Nikon
reflex-housing is certainly required.
The picture at left is shown attached with a Nikon N-F tube, it enables the S-Mount
version to be used on the Nikon reflex bodies. The mechanism at the rear also permits camera can be rotates 90° for vertical or horizontal format shooting.
It was not known when the second version of the
Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm
was exactly being introduced but it did. Other than the overall grey color exterior
finishing in similar crinkle texture, there were few changes being updated, the front
has a circular trim ring as well as the rear section now comes with a smooth rear
section in black; next, Nikon had now added the lens with a hand carrying double
hand holder at the top for easy moving about. While at the front, a white collar
encircles the plate. But the weight has increased significantly to, about 30Ibs with
this upgrade and not sure what had caused the increase. The over-sized lens hood
can be reversiblly stored, an interesting part is, the rear section had been designed
with a DOME-liked rear cover. I am not sure if this is the factor (metal or plastic
?) that has contributed to its extra weight; apparently, the metal delivery case
for the lens was also being updated (see below, bottom picture).
This old picture was scanned from Nikon Sales manual, it illustrates size comparison
of a typical Nikon rangefinder camera with the 1000mm f/6.3 attached. Notice the
reflex housing was used ?
>>> --- Below: a few excellently taken photos of
the grey colored Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm by Westlicht Photographica Auction photographers.
Depth of field and corresponding
reproduction ratio yields at different focusing distance for Nikon 1000mm f/6.3
Type II Grey color Nikon Reflex Nikkor (Mirror lens) 1000mm f/6.3 in carrying case,
reversible stored lens hood and the huge-sized rear dome cap / cover. This picrture
has been modified for illustration purpose as well as to fit the page, original source
was unknown as someone sent me years ago but didn't provide the source where it came
from. Can the rightful owner contact me for inclusion of a photo credit. Thanks!
Below: An external link
showing a great view of the front of a Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm f/6.3 by Stephan Gandy