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cont. ...viewpoint presented in this section is entirely personal

| Somethoghts on the Nikkor lens Design by some of my friends | " ... Leonard, Here's the reason why Nikon deleted f/22 from the 35f1.4 when they went to the AI version. It was due to the fact that at f/22, the aperture ring would hit the coupling lever on an AI or newer body. I have an early 35f1.4 (#350535) that I had converted to AI last month. To mount it to my Nikon F2A, Nikon F3P, classic FM2n, and Nikon F4/Nikon F5 I must set the aperture ring to an aperture wider than f/22. Otherwise, the lens cannot be mounted without moving the coupling ring while attaching the lens. My lens does have the yellowing problem with its Thorium lens elements that Dan Lindsay talked about in his email. -John, Duvall, WA, USA

Rick Oleson <rick_oleson@yahoo.com> That's interesting - not a real surprise, though it seems like Nikon might have planned better. In the original non-AI system, every stop has a fixed location, so that f/22 on a 400/5.6 lens would be in the same position as f/22 on a 35/1.4. If you could accommodate a small aperture on a slow tele then you could accommodate it on anything. With the AI system though (and most other systems), the mechanism counts the aperture in terms of how far it is from the full-open aperture of the lens. in this case, f/22 on >the f/5.6 lens is 4 stops down from wide open - corresponding to f/5.6 on the faster lens. an AI body that could accommodate f/22 on an f/1.4 lens could stop the f/5.6 tele down to f/90. given the fact that there WERE f/1.4 lenses that stopped down to f/22, though, it seems that it would have made sense to allow a little more room so they wouldn't have to change it..... Rick,

John, Duvall replied:- True. With the AI coupling system, however, the ridge is at different locations, depending on the max. aperture of the lens. So, a 400f5.6 has it somewhere around f/22, and the 35f1.4 has it around f/8. So, with your 400f5.6, it will mount without interfering with the AI coupling lever @ f/22, but my
35f1.4 will definitely interfere with the coupling lever, set to the same aperture. Sometimes I do prefer doing the Nikon shuffle on a non-AI Nikon or Nikomat body... Like you mentioned below, it seems to be a little more accurate than the AI system in that the coupling ring actually corresponds to the aperture, instead of guessing how far the aperture is away from the max. aperture. I most certainly agree with you on the fact that Nikon could've done a better job, but, I guess they figured that there probably wasn't that much of a need for f/22 on a 35f1.4 when they designed the system back in late '76, early '77. -J ...".

If you were to ask me - which Nikon pioneered optical innovations impressed me the most over the last decade or so ? Perhaps, many would rated the original "D" (Distance information) data transmission for critical exposure calculation; or the 'newly found' manufacturing process of aspherical elements to enable production of cheap, compact & affordable high performance lenses; or even putting the much hyped 'AF-S' technology on top of my priority list. But if we studied it carefully, apart from incorporating the distance information into the calculation of matrix metering, the remaining two were not entirely 'original'. It was essentially an indication that Nikon had surrendered its pioneering status as a leader in optical producers, as both the aspherical process and AF-S are almost a decade later than some of the rivaling competitions.

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Canon first introduced their stunning manual focus FDn 14mm f/2.8L in 1982. A case of too little, too late. Lens choice and speed have improved considerably but still falls short from the expectation of many. Imagine this: despite almost 1-1/2 decade since the first autofocus Nikkor, it has only a sole unit of ultrawide angle lens with 14mm focal length barely a year or two ago and almost 10 years behind the Canon comparable autofocus Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L ultrawide! The pioneering Nikkor was halted for almost a decade before awakening to realize how far they have lagged behind in terms of technological advancement.

The fastest lens among the AF-Nikkors is the AF-Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D ! Quite a number of the lenses have still not been upgraded to 'D' versions until a few years ago. Popular wideangle focal lengths of 24 and 35mm have no high speed versions (Just to remind you, the first Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 was introduced in 1972. Tthat was 20 years ago..). The 50mm standard lens ? The fastest was only f1.4 and take a look at the construction of the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D. You might as well buy a used manual version of Nikon 50mm f/1.8 E-Series lens at quarter of the cost of the new AF version (Nikon has also re-intoduced a pan-cake manual focus Nikkor 45mm f/2.8P later for the hybrid (Auto and Mechanical) Nikon FM3A later).

16mm AF.jpg 200AFmicro.jpg
Strangely, if you wonder what Nikon can offer in quality, mechanically and optically, some AF-Nikkor lenses such as the AF Full frame Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f2.8D, AF 28mm f1.4D, the AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f4.0D EDIF can easily restore your confidence. It means they can do it, but now, you have to pay up to your nose for the familiar Nikon feel. But to be fair, this phenomenon is, again not unique to Nikon. Canon users are facing similar threats, so do the Leica, Minolta...

Copyright-free images collection © 2001 leofoo.gif

In many ways, from the perspective of a Nikon user, I disagree with some commercially motivated decisions that affect compatibility found on some newer series of AF Nikkor lenses with camera models produced by the same creator. A few recent developments were very disturbing: There are now AF Nikkor lenses appearing that does not even provide an aperture ring on the lens !!! Next, some new breed of AF SLR camera that does not even provide metering display in the viewfinder anymore (that really made me feel like a second class Nikonian - because I don't own a latest AF Nikon body ). Worst still, there are just too many overlapping products over similar focal length with varying optical performances, in particular the Zoom lenses. But personally, I think the most disturbing fact among all is that prices of optical products has leapfrogged to such great heights that photography has gradually turned into a luxurious hobby.



The G-series looks much like a replica of the E-series attempt to "kill" pre-AI SLR bodies. With their limited backward compatibility they seem to serve the same purpose: Increasing the sale of new AF SLR bodies. Was that the right way to do business ? I don't know, but I think Nikon should think about creating their own presence in many countries just like the Canon - instead of resorting to appointed distributors which have eaten into corporate profit. Emerging technologies should bridge directly between manufacturers and consumers. Malaysia has just, at the beginning of year 2001 got a Nikon Corporation office Incorporated directly instead of appointing a distributors for the last two decades. That is a good start after all these years, despite the country has emerged over the last decade as the top 15 trading nation that imports photographic equipment. But the real joke is, neighboring countries to us which has higher population than us has no representation at all after all these years ! What is the idea?
SIMPLE, Open and capitalize new markets, channel proper product knowledge to end users - make the profit in a rightful manner, YOU DON"T NEED TO SQUEEZE EVERY DROP FROM YOUR FAITHFUL USERS.

This could hamper the development of photography in the long run and could even bury many emerging or potential talents.

Most camera manufacturers are foreseeing the enormous potential of digital photography. The act is just like killing the goose that lays golden eggs. Camera prices also has been carefully scheme and engineered to increase by almost a fold over the last few years; the objective is very clear, the move is just to path the way for Digital SLRs to set a price tag of RM15,000-00 (USD1-00 to RM3.80) and above . Well, indirectly, the Japanese have to thank those crazy price tag which Kodak put on their digital SLR cameras. Kodak digital cameras were sold at RM50,000-00 per camera just a few years back. The Japanese have shown them that they could produce similar cameras at only a fraction of what Kodak had been charging. And it is very apparent that the price is still falling...

Well, these are commercial decision and most consumers have no choice but to believe it has been fairly priced that way, at least that has made companies like Nikon turn into black again financially. To Nikon, these are effective measures because people are now buying new lenses because the new SLR bodies are no longer compatible with the old MF lenses. They can also tell people that even some versions of AF lenses are 'behind time' because newer range of AF lenses are noiseless and more efficient in autofocusing (well, the AF and silent wave technologies are almost a generation behind the Canon), and now - the digital SLR cameras are selling at extraordinary good premium, why not ?

AFS 17-35mm Zoom.jpg
Does it sound like I am complaining? Yes, I am. Because I don't see much value for money for the product I purchased anymore. The much hyped AF-S lenses are asking such a high premium that really made me wonder why are we paying for something so high that was seen used by Canon back in 1986 ? Until now - Nikon still has not found a solution for a working teleconverter for the "Normal" AF Nikkors for the last 15 years ! The Nikon now just always seems to have problems finding a way back to the leading pack like offering pioneered optical findings and implementing leading edge technologies into both camera and lenses.

Credit: Copyright © 2001 Images courtesy of John Ishii / MCLau

Frankly, in certain segments, Nikkor lenses does not even carry much advantage over third party lens manufacturers; and in some instances, some 3rd parties producers even excel in certain quarters. Besides, within the Nikkor/Nikon family of lenses and cameras, there are just too many upgrades with overlapping focal lengths. Implementation of some adopted technologies over the years have made many photographers adopt a wait-and-see attitude due to frequent updates and that really made you think whether it can be justified to invest again in such a hurry. This has, over the years slowly eroded many users' confidence. Some odd decisions have also exposed certain weaknesses in Nikon. In fact, some of them also defies the basic rule of blending a quality trade name. I keep wondering how such things could happen in a world class corporation such as Nikon. One way or another, I am sure many of the faithful Nikon loyalists may have tons of things to yell out. Whatever it is, fortunately Nikon has a strong backbone with its huge number of faithful users worldwide which should pull them through; but if they think they wanted to reestablish a presence again as the world top optical innovator and trend setting leader in 35mm SLR photography, there are just too many areas that needs to be patched up.

Focal length to focal length with equivalent lens speed, those days of the manual focus, it used to be the Nikkor lenses (or Nikon cameras) which always fetched a premium over products from rivaling competitors such as Canon or Contax. What is happening now ? Some Nikon products even have prices lower than others in order to lure in new buyers. While Canon has such a commanding role in autofocus technologies, now they are selling their products at a premium and yet users are opting for the Canons.

So, how can I projects such contradictory feeling ? Don't ask me, this question should be handed back to Nikon. Lastly, why isn't there many AF Nikkor lenses being featured in this site ?

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Note: Opinion expressed herein is entirely personal; if content within ever hurt your high spirit as being a Nikon follower, This here may cheer you up again. After all, one way or another, you may play a part contributing to their performance.

Reference: Many Official Nikon publications, Eyes of Nikon, Robert Rotoloni's Nikon Rangefinder Camera; Michael Liu;s Website; Nikon System handbook by Moose Paterson; McBroom's Camera Bluebook; Japan CAPA Yearbook; Nikon & Nikkormat Way by Herbert Keppler; Nikon SLR cameras by Carl Shipman; Nikon World Publication, USA and numerous feedbacks and informations provided by Nikon surfers to Photography in Ma;laysia.

| Previous | - Finished. 3/3 - compiled back in Y2K requires update - my English is not good, so- any volunteer ?

weblibrary.gif   Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon MF RF-Nikkor lenses for Rangefinder cameras:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

Nikkor Link.jpg

Index Page
  Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
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
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
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

Nikon rangefinder Nikkor lenses - LINK to main index page
Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst

| Back | Main Index Page of Nikkor Resources
| Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs

| Message Board | for your Nikkor optics ("shared" because I do wish some of you to expose to other's perspective as well. Isn't it a sad sate to see photography has to be segmented into different camps from the use of various labels)

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Co-developed with LARs.Gif Denmark , Creator of the Nikon Repair Group Mailing-List; A contributing effort to Michael Liu's Classic Nikon SLRs and Nikkor optic site.

Credit: To all the good people who has contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough granting us permission to use their images appeared in this site. Mr. 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;LarsHolst 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; TedWengelaar,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; HiuraShinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. t 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, sales manuals or publications published by Nikon over the years 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.