Additional Information on
Nikkor 50mm lenses of f1.2, f1.4 and f1.8

For. the most logical reason in the world: if you own a Nikon or Nikkormat camera, Nikkor is the only lens in the world specifically and solely made for your camera. All Nikkor lenses are precisely, perfectly mated - in optics, design and engineering - to the camera bodies and accessories in the Nikon System. Which means that no other lens can work as well with your camera and enable you to realize its full potential as a Nikkor lens. There is yet another reason, acknowledged by professional photographers throughout the world: optically and mechanically, Nikkor lenses are indisputably the finest ever created for 35mm photography. From the initial manufacture of optical glass to the final assembly of lens elements - every production process is subject to rigid tests and inspections to ensure the quality and lasting performance of every Nikkor lens.

Nikon's Own Optical Glass

Nikon is one of the few camera makers in the world which makes its own optical glass, giving its designers full freedom of choice and a wide scope for experimentation with new lens designs. Whatever the requirement, Nikon engineers can select the exact type of glass desired - without compromise. Many unique types of optical glass have been developed by Nikon scientists. Characteristic of such glasses is the new ED (Extra-low Dispersion) type, providing an improvement in color correction and image contrast to a degree long believed unattainable in telephoto lenses. This leadership and continuing improvement in optical glass technology assures stateof-the-art optics in all Nikkor lenses.

Uncompromising Quality Control

Paramount to Nikon quality is the selection of only the finest optical glass from each melt–completely free of striae and other imperfections. The glass is then remelted, cast, ground, polished, and hard-coated, and individual lens elements are carefully mounted within lens barrels, collimated, and aligned. Throughout the entire process, individual lens elements and assemblies are subjected to a seemingly endless series of tests and inspections, culminating in vibration and temperature-resistance analysis to insure that every Nikkor lens will perform faultlessly under the most strenuous professional use. The result of these stringent tests is remarkable quality and consistency in the finished product - quality so dependable that randomly selected Nikkor lenses have actually been emplOyed in outer space with complete success.

Functional Design

Superior mechanical performance as well as optics is inherent in every Nikkor lens . . . so unmistakably that today, Nikkor lenses are the standard to which all others are compared. Hold a Nikkor lens in your hand. Immediately, you sense the quality and precision with which it is built. It's rugged, clearly capable of withstanding hard professional use. All controls are conveniently positioned and distinctively finished for accurate, comfortable operation even when wearing gloves! The result: split-second response, enabling you to capture every photographic opportunity as it occurs. In every Nikkor lens, the mounting flanges are constructed of stainless steel and hardened bronze, metals carefully selected for their rigidity and durability. When you attach the lens to your camera, it is aligned perfectly with the camera's film plane for optimal sharpness–a consideration of vital importance with modern high-speed and ultra-telephoto lenses, where even the smallest impairment of mounting accuracy can substantially degrade image quality. A Nikon lens is literally made to be attached and removed from your camera countless times while remaining in alignment. Other details of Nikon's functional lens design include the sure-grip, finely-grooved focusing ring that moves just as smoothly and simply after years of use as it did when it was new. And the clear, legible lens markings allow fast, precise handling. Not so noticeable but of prime importance are the precision ball bearings which give long-lasting, accurate diaphragm action. All Nikkor SLR lenses, from 1959 through the present, have been made with the timeless Nikon bayonet mount . . . your entry into the world of fine photography, and your assurance of complete lens interchangeability with all Nikon and Nikkormat cameras -today and tomorrow. Very simply, obsolescence is not a feature of the Nikon system! This concept of interchangeability extends even to Nikon filters and many lens accessories, of which a single size 52mm may be used on more than 20 Nikkor lenses from 20mm to 200mm ... effectively reducing the number of accessories you need, and providing obvious economy as well. All present Nikkor lenses (except two Fisheye-Nikkors) permit thru-the-lens exposure control with the Nikon and Nikkormat metering system - most of them with full-aperture operation.

Functional Design

Besides the outstanding optical characteristics of Nikkor lenses, every mechanical aspect has been functionally designed to ensure optimum lens performance. This combination of optical and functional excellence has made Nikkor lenses the standard by which other lenses in the same categories are often judged. Hold the lens in your hand and you will understand what we mean. It's rugged. And all controls are conveniently positioned. Easy to handle. Responsive. Every aspect of the lens was designed with you in mind. Functional design based on human engineering. Take the lens mount, for instance, which is ruggedly built to withstand repeated trouble-free use over a long period of time. And the mounting lugs are made of stainless steel and phosphor bronze, so your NikLor lenses will always fit like new even after attaching and removing them hundreds, even thousands of times, offering a lifetime of heavy-duty service. Besides its rugged construction and precise responsiveness, the lens mount fits the camera body precisely to allow infinitely better lens performance than a mount that almost fits. This is a major consideration for Nikon photographers because the Nikkor lens mount is made to fit Nikon/Nikkormat camera bodies perfectly. Other details of Nikon's functional lens design include the sure grip, finely-grooved focusing ring that moves just as smoothly and simply after years of use as it did when it was new. And the clear, legible lens markings

Nikon Innovations

Behind the extensive array of Nikkor interchangeable lenses are Nikon's untiring efforts to bring about ever more significant accomplishments in lens design. The technological developments described here have been acknowledged as major advances in the field of 35mm SLR photography.


Nikon Integrated Coating

Historically, internal reflections within photographic lenses have effectively limited the development of new lens types - particularly sophisticated multi-element lenses such as zooms. To overcome this, Nikon engineers developed a unique multi-layer coating designated Nikon Integrated Coating. In this advanced process, multiple layers of microscopically-thin coatings are applied to individual lens elements according to the specific lens and glass type. The result: a dramatic increase in image contrast and actual light transmission, and a corresponding reduction in flare caused by internal reflections. This advanced coating technology is but another reason for the continued superiority of Nikkor optics.

Nikon's Close-Range Correction System

Most lenses are primarily designed to perform best at medium to long distances. When focused at extremely close distances, their image quality tends to deteriorate. This was a problem especially with large-aperture wideangle lenses of the retrofocus type - a problem which Nikon solved by introducing the close-range correction system, sometimes called the 'Floating Element' system. When the lens is focused for close distances, its group of rear elements automatically shifts position in relation to the other elements, and as a result image quality is maintained even at close range. Thus, the wideangle Nikkor lenses to which this design has been applied offer an increased focusing range with exceptional picture quality throughout. These lenses include the 13mm f/5.6, 15mm f/5.6, 24mm f/2, 24mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2 and 35mm f/1.4.

Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Glass

All photographs are made with light, composed of the many colors of the spectrum. With panchromatic black-and-white and all color films, it is essential that both blue and red light rays be brought to focus at the same plane; otherwise, color 'fringing' and unsharpness will be evident. While modern techniques to correct for this 'chromatic aberration' are effective with normal and wideangle lenses, telephoto lenses - particularly those of 300mm or longer focal length - magnify even the slightest variation in focus between red and blue light rays, leading many photographers to assume that no ultra-telephoto lens could equal a 'shorter' lens in sharpness and color correction. This limitation has been effectively overcome through the Nikon development of a new type of optical glass: Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass. While providing the superior color correction typical of fluorite-crystal materials, Nikon ED glass maintains uniform transmission characteristics despite changes in temperature, and thus avoids the problem of 'focus shift' inherent in lenses utilizing fluorite-crystal elements. In addition, Nikon ED glass is as hard and scratch-resistant as other optical glass, so that it can be safely employed even in exposed front and rear lens elements. The Nikon ED-series of telephoto lenses, ranging from 200mm to 1200mm, demonstrates the many qualities of this advanced glass type by providing images of remarkable sharpness and contrast even at maximum aperture. ED lenses are in fact so highly color-corrected that the traditional infrared focusing index is not engraved on some of them. Sharp focus extends even into the infrared wavelength! An additional benefit of some Nikon ED-series lenses is unusually compact, lightweight construction ... a welcome advantage in ultra-telephotography. All ED Nikkors can be identified by a gold band around the lens barrel.

Nikon's Internal Focusing System

A conventional double helicoid focusing system requires all lens groups to be transported by the lens barrel to either the front or rear during focusing. This mechanism is not only complicated but also bulky, more so in the case of telephoto lenses where the extra physical length of the lens requires the use of heavier gauge metal with a consequent increase in weight and bulk. Specifically, lens length change when focusing results in unbalanced hand-held shooting. In order to achieve a compact telephoto lens without the length change by the helicoid-type focusing, Nikon developed the Internal Focusing (IF) system. With the IF System only the central lens group shifts during focusing with no change in the lens' physical length - new design freedom that leads to compact, lightweight construction and a closer minimum focusing distance for telephoto lenses. Additional benefits include faster focusing and a reduced diameter of the lens' focusing ring due to a simplified focusing mechanism. The final result - significant new design improvements that usher in a new era of hand-held super-telephoto shooting.

Major Nikon Developments in Lens Design

Behind the extensive array of Nikkor interchangeable lenses are Nikon's untiring efforts exerted to bring about ever more significant accomplishments in lens design technology. The technological developments described here have met with high recognition, and they have been acknowledged as major advances in the field of 35mm slr photography.

Nikon's Close-Range Correction System

Most ienses are primarily designed to perform best at medium to long distances, and when focused at extremely close distances their image quality tends to deteriorate. This was a problem especially with large-aperture wideangle lenses of the retrofocus type–a problem which Nikon solved by introducing the close-range correction system, sometimes called the "floating element" system. When the lens is focused for close distances, its group of rear elements automatically shifts position in relation to the other elements, and as a result image quality is maintained even at close range. Thus, the wideangle Nikkor lenses to which this design has been applied offer an increased focusing range with exceptional picture quality throughout. These lenses include the 1 5mm f/5.6, 24mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2 and 35mm f/1.4.

NIC (Nikon Integrated Coating)

To fully satisfy the stringent requirements of Nikkor lens design, Nikon developed a special multi-layer coating known as NIC, Nikon Integrated Coating, which is applied to most Nikkor lenses produced today. The technique is Nikon's own and is designed to improve the performance of the lenses on which it is used. In the NIC process, extremely thin layers of chemicals are placed on the surface of the elements one after another, singly or in combination. The total effect of NIC is to reduce reflections on the lens surface, minimize ghost images and flare and improve color rendition.

ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) Glass

Correction of chromatic aberration in camera lenses has been limited, for the most part, to the use of techniques which bring two wavelengths of light - normally blue and red - to a common focus. Although known as "achromatic", lenses employing these designs exhibit a certain amount of undesirable residual dispersion, called "secondary spectrum", which limits image contrast and sharpness, particularly at full aperture. Telephoto lenses are most prone to the ill effects of chromatic aberration, since secondary spectrum increases with focal length. The Extra-low Despersion (ED) optical glass developed by Nikon is effective in minimizing secondary spectrum.

Although the optical characteristics of this new glass are similar to those of calcium-fluorite crystal, ED glass has a more constant refractive index over a wide range of temperatures and will therefore cause less of a focus sh if t. And ED glass is much harder and more resistant to scratches, which means it can be used for both front and rear lens elements to obtain optimum correction of chromatic aberration over the widest possible wavelength range. This glass is used in the Nikon ED-series lenses - the 300mm telephoto and the 600mm, 800mm and 1200mm super telephoto lenses. In these lenses, therefore, all aberrations are well corrected, ensuring exceptional sharpness and full contrast for the most precise photography under the widest conditions. The ED-series lenses have been so fully corrected that image sharpness extends uniformly to the infrared region; no infrared markings appear on these lenses. In addition, some of these lenses have beer; built compact due to the use of ED glass elements.


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Nikon MF RF-Nikkor lenses for Rangefinder cameras:- Main Index Page
Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- 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   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

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
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/nikonfmount/lens2.htm
http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses | about this photographic web site

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leofoo.Gif Co-developed with my web buddy, Rick Oleson® & 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: 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.