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Basic information on Nippon Kogaku K.K. W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=3.5cm (35mm f/1.8)
wideangle lens. Year Introduced: September, 1956; Discontinued: No
It was obvious after first quarter of the '50, Nikon had gained confidence in
picking its momentum to take on the German camera industry. Barely a year after the
Nikon S2 was introduced in 1854, Nikon offered a black bodied Nikon S2. Some of the
lenses beginning at this stage, also had offered alternative in black barrel. In
1956, Nikon unveiled a new wideangle lens, W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=3.5cm not only to showcase
their capability in delivering to notch optics as it was the fastest wideangle available
at the time, but also in in many ways, delivering functional and practical usage
lens was only offered in black finishing. Although one may regard this as cosmetic
offering but when you realize beginning from this period onwards, many of the black
barrel Nikkor lenses were either, provide an alternatives and/or started from scratch
being designed in black only and all these couldn't be coincidental or to change
in order to supplement the black bodied Nikon S2, right ? Further, when you review
Nikkor lens development with the scheduled deliveries of 2.8cm f/3.5 (1952), 3.5cm
f/2.5 (1952), 8.5cm/1.5(1953), 2.5cm f/4.0 (1954), 10.5cmf/2.5 (1954), 18cm f/2.5
(1955), 50cm f/5 (1955), Micro-Nikkor 5cm f/3.5 (1956), 5cm f/1.1 (1956) and also
this W-Nikkor 35mm f/1.8; one can easily conclude the
Company had a road map well schemed in getting the Company into good shape both in
camera as well as optical choices to take on the mighty German makers. Naturally,
when the professional grade Nikon SP was eventually unveiled in 1957, Nikon had took
control comfortably at driver seat from there onwards.
Optically, the Nikon W-Nikkor.C
1:1.8 f=3.5cm uses a 7 elements 5 group design. The technical highlights includes
use of rare earth Lanthanum (La) -based glass
to improve spherical aberration and curvature of field, which designer claimed significantly
has enhancing both sharpness and image flatness. It has a rather unusual design with
the rear lens element larger than the front and it is convex shaped, which Nikon
said such design helps to improve spherical aberration and coma, an optical phenomenon
commonly associates with high-speed wideangle lenses.
Regardless the design and/or appearance, this Nikkor wideangle did enjoyed tremendous
good reviews by Nikon photographers and some even rated it as one of the best Nikkor
rangefinder optic during its era. Naturally, even today, it remains as a firm collector's
|The design of
the W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=3.5cm was probably
Nikon's initial decision in adopting a universal change in basic appearance for designing
their future lenses. One of the evidence was the last version
of the W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm
, which bears almost similar appearance and in particular, the lens control feature.
The scalloped focusing ring design, even has been extended to use on many of the
Auto-Nikkor lenses used at the early
Nikon F SLR era.
The light gathering power of the W-Nikkor.C
1:1.8 f=3.5cm, which is approx. 2X that of a comparing
W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm, where it
has two large piece of front and rear lens elements embodied within the rigid lens
tube and protected by aluminum barrel and chrome-alloy mount. The heavier brass mounting
was dropped for possibly weight reduction reason. The Nikon S-Mount screw mount (LSM)
version lens weighs approx. 160g/5-1/2oz, while the LEICA threaded screw mount (LSM)
version weighs slightly heavier at approx. 6-3/8oz.
matched black finished NIKON SP with a W-Nikkor 1:1.8 f=3.5cm wideangle lens.
Due to its large diameter, another area
that has affected was the usage of filters. The W-Nikkor.C
1:1.8 f=3.5cm takes standard 43mm filter accessories onto lens but due to the large
front diaphragm ring, a separate 48mm lens cap is required just for this rangefinder
wideangle lens (see picture at left). Similarly, the protruding rear lens tube section
at the back would also require a special rear lens cap to accommodate (see first
picture in this page). Some late deliveries of this lens may have been replaced with
lighter plastic front/rear lens cap (see a picture at bottom of this page).
Thread Screw Mount (LSM) version
The design of the LEICA mount model is slightly different. The curving lens data
at the front is flat, so does the focusing chrome ring is also flat without the scalloped-design
on the Nikon S-Mount version. It also doesn't has the same protruding lens tube at
rear section. However, lens accessories (Series VII) with 43mm snap-on or screw-in
types are still permissible to use directly.
LOOKING for contribution on original CONTAX mount & black front diaphragm
ring version for this lens, please contact email@example.com
Below is a interesting direct visual
compariosn between a Nikon S-Mount W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=3.5cm along with a LEICA coupled screw
mount version. Also take note this particular Nikkor (left) has no "C"
printed, a general indicative initial that the lens is a coated lens; but regardless
it is stated or not, all of these series are coated Nikkor optic. In fact, other
than a selective of rangefinder Nikkor lenses, most have been produced sometimes
with "C" or without. But generally, most bear this indicative
red print mark on the lens data.
Basic Specification for Nikon (Nippon
Kogaku K.K.) rangefinder W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=3.5cm (35mm f/1.8) wideangle lens:-
Mount: Nikon S-Mount for RF Nikon / LEICA M39 Screw Mount / Contax Bayonet mount
Length: 35mm (3.5cm); Picture Angle: 63° (37° x 53° ); Maximum / Minimum
Aperture: f/1.8 ~ f/22
7elements in 5 groups;
Minimum Focusing Distance: approx. 3 ft ~OO
Filter Attachment Size: Series VII (43mm)
Lens Hood: see picture at left;
Front/ rear cap: early metal chrome type, later version plastic )see picture
at left); deepset, early could be black aluminium type, later model plastic.
Weight (lens only): approx. 160g/5-1/5oz for NikonS-mount model; 6-3/8oz for
Leica SM model, Contax bayonet mount model:- no info
leather lens case; Optical Finder (3.5cm model, BL in black, Variframe finders, 3.5cm
Mini Finder or Sport frame finder etc.); special 48mm snap-on front lens cap, special
rear lens cap; Optional: Screw-in or snap-on front cap 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.
Quantity Approx. 8,000 units in standard version or possibly few hundred only with
black aperture front ring. Ref: Robert Rotoloni's An Illustrated History on Nikon
Nikon own development
on this wideangle lens
To complete the
rangefinder Nikon 35mm Nikkor lens group, in 1956 Nikon had also unveiled their version
of the Stereo lens, the Stereo-Nikkor f=3.5cm 1:3.5.
| previous | Next | - Part III - Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5
f=3.5cm wideangle rangefinder lens 3/4
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
- Nikon RF-Nikkor lenses
(Rangefinder):- Main Index Page
Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
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