Additional information on

Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) rangefinder system
C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (RF 35mm f/2.5) wideangle lens for Nikon S-Mount Rangefinder cameras

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Nikon S2 w/W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) and Varifocal Optical Finder
Part II

Basic information on Nippon Kogaku K.K.
W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle lens

Unlike the Nippon Kogaku W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=3.5cm wideangle lens which had gone through a few stages of improvement and/or modifications in its early development during the post war period, the W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm has a more straight forward background to track from its introduction as well as some of the variations that followed. Incidentally as I had pointed out the lens was introduced along with the W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=2.8cm which provides a wider picture angle, making the moderate 35mm wideangle lens has some appealing advantage in terms of feature. In this case case, boosting of the lens speed seemingly was the most logical path as the new lens was designed as an alternate to the slower speed 35mm f/3.5.

Optical design and illustration for Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens
The W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm uses a 6 elements 4 group optical design. There is no known MIOJ engraving nor f/16 version existed. The early design has similar nature with its predecessor in few aspects, which including the aperture control method. Using chrome with brass mount, it is a solidly built wideangle lens but the most appealing factor is its improved, faster maximum aperture with reasonably high definition which opens up wider acceptance as well as extending broader range of available light photography.

The f/2.5 maximum aperture, making it the first f/2.5 Nikkor lens, until the Nikon classic telephoto
Nikkor-P 1:2.5 f=10.5cm introduced later in 1954; Nikkor-H 1:2.5 f=18cm telephoto of 1955 (with the fourth, UW.Nikkor 35mm f/2.5 underwater Nikkor & Nikon Series E 35mmf/2.5 (1980)) and these were the only Nikkor series that bear this very distinguishable Nikon's f/2.5 maximum aperture.
information on the Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens
The minimum f-stop of f/22, as found on the 35mm f/2.5 was offered since its inception into the Nikkor wideangle group, the extended minimum aperture is useful for depth of field control at a wider range of creative usage.

Overall, by combining high image quality, a moderate good lens speed than comparing predecessor along with a modest price tag; commercially, this Nikkor wideangle lens has turned out to be quite a success for Nikon as it sold very well in numbers.
rotating views of a typical chrome version W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle lens
three comparing designs of the vintage Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens
There are probably three known versions of W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm existed (with another in M39 LSM for Leica and possibly for Contax bayonet mount as well) and the photo at left by a Japanese magazine clearly illustrates them well side by side as comparison. A & B, chrome / black; C late version with a barrel similar to the fast speed W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=35mm discussed at the next chapter.

W-Nikkor 1:2.5 f=3.5cm black without

<<<--- This very well taken picture of a W-Nikkor 1:2.5 f=3.5cm black without "C" printed. Except for the early days lenses, some of the lenses produced may be with or without the "C" after the "W-Nikkor" but regardless of not it had been indicated, all are coated lenses.
Nikon's W-Nikkor 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (rangefinder Nikkor 35mm f/2.5) in  black

last series of the black finish Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens
<<<--- Last version in black

Among the few versions, each of these
W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm lens weighs differently at 200g, 115g and 100g and this may suggest different materials had been used at different stages from 1952 (marketed year 1954), 1956 and 1959. At later stage, except for the lens mount section, aluminum could be the primary material for construction of the lens tube/barrel. However, the optical design had remained the same throughout the entire product cycle for all the three versions.

Shown at the left hand side and below is the last version in black and has a barrel design with various lens information which is closely resembled with the f/1.8 introduced in 1959. Most guru collectors think this version could had been introduced at the same period as well. One of the feature easily can distinguish this lens from all previous version is the aperture ring, which is being shifted to the far end of the lens. Generally, due to scarce in number as compared to others RF Nikkor 3.5cm equivalent, so this could add some premium on its collector value.
black Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens with f/1.8 design
last version of the black Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens

front section of lens data of Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens
For Contax Bayonet Mount

Here is a version of the W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=2.5cm with a Contax bayonet mount. The biggest selling point to the European and US market is the price. Some users had commented the lens rivals excellence of the Summicron which reflects the oriental counterpart can make as a serious alternative to the German products in this wideangle range.

However, it was not known exactly how many were being produced buy Nikon for both the M39 LSM and the Contax bayonet.
Contax bayonet mount version of the Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens
Original blue velvet box for Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens Rear lens mount for Contax bayonet Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens

M39 Leica thread screw mount (LSM) version of Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens

For LEICA Screw Mount

Side view of  LEICA M39 screw mount  version of the Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens

I have been patiently awaiting to see a M39 LSM of the W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm to surface in the secondary used equipment market with a later Nikkor lens configuration, but so far all I can witness is the lens with the early Nikkor design. The lens uses almost similar design as with the W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=3.5cm screw-mount version. The M39 LSM model uses 34.5mm or Series VI (41.3mm). filter accessories. The Leica thread version weighs slightly heavier than the Nikon bayonet version 4--7/16oz versus 3-7/8oz.

various optical finders available for Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens
The W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm can use most standard 43mm Nikon filter accessories. Related accessory includes was the optical finder, but as Nikon SP/Nikon S3 onwards and the rest of other follow-up Nikon rangefinder cameras already had 35mm frame line built-in, hence, demand for attach on finder is gradually slowing down. The early lens cap was slip-on type and probably like the other later Nikkor, uses snap-on type.

Refer to
| FINDERS for 35mm | at previous page

Basic Specification for Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) rangefinder W-Nikkor-C 1:3.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/3.5) wideangle lens:-

Lens Mount: Nikon S-mount for RF Nikon / LEICA M39 Screw Mount / Contax bayonet mount
Focal Length: 35mm (3.5cm); Picture Angle: 63
° (37° x 53° ); Maximum / Minimum Aperture: f/2.5 ~ f/22

Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens - full setup
Optical Construction: 6 elements in 4 groups;
Minimum Focusing Distance: approx. 3 ft ~
Filter Attachment Size: Series VII (43mm)
Lens Hood: as shown below; Diaphragm: Manual
Weight (lens only): approx. 200g/7oz for early chrome / brass model; 115g/3-7/8 oz for black version chrome, 100g / 3.5 oz for last version in Black; Screw Mount (Leica Thread):- 4--7/16oz / Contax bayonet mount model:- no info

dedicated metal lens hood for Nikon W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5) wideangle rangefinder lens
Standard/Optional Accessories: Optical Finder (3.5cm model, BL in black, Variframe finders, 3.5cm Mini Finder or Sport frame finder etc.); rear lens cap. early model slip on type, late models snap-on; Optional: Screw-in type filters for M39 version; Lens hood: no info; Lens accessories: 43mm / Series VII (50.8mm) for Nikon S-Mount model; 34.5mm /Series VI (41.3mm) for Leica M39 LSM model.

Other Information
: Quantity Approx. 28,000 units combine in chrome or black finishing. Last version in black: approx. 1,00 units Ref: Robert Rotoloni's An Illustrated History on Nikon Rangefinder camera.

| previous | Next | - Part III - W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=3.5cm (35mm f/1.8) wideangle rangefinder lens 2/3

W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=3.5cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=3.5cm | Stereo-Nikkor f=3.5cm 1:3.5

Comparison among:-
3.5cm lens group
3.5cm rangefinder lens group
Contax's Carl Zeiss
3.5cm lens group (various)

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