Additional Information on
Nikkor 15mm Ultra-Wideangle Lens

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Nikkor Ultra-Wideangle Lenses at focal length of 15mm

First announced during Photokina in 1970 but was only being officially marketed in 1973; with its 100° angle of view, this MF lens is ranked second to the 118° wide field of view achieved by the special order Nikkor 13mm f/5.6 ultra-wideangle lens. However prior to the availability of the 13mm ultrawide which was introduced later in 1976, this Nikkor 15mm f/5.6 lens was once a lens that has the widest picture angle among all production Nikkor lenses, with the exception of Fisheye-Nikkors. This lens was was Nikon first dedicated true wideangle lens and a big leap in wideangle photography as previously, the widest wideangle in the Nikkor lens family was a 20mm lens and there is a missing gap between 15mm and 20mm focal lentgh. Eventually, Nikon filled the vacuum with the debut of another Nikkor ultrawide, Nikkor 18mm f/4.0 in 1974).

This lens has gone through a few upgrades subsequently after its initial offeing where the lens pictured at left was believed to be the THIRD version. The original version was believed to be having a different optical construction in a 15 elements in 12 group design while version that followed has a differing 14 elements in 12 group construction. In 1977, the same lens was updated with an Ai-Spec (see picture at left). However, this slower f/5.6 Nikkor 15mm ultra-wideangle lens was discontinued and replaced by a counterpart, Nikkor 15mm f/3.5 which has a faster lens speed in 1979.

<<< ---Based on the focusing ring alone which has an early Nikkor design which makes this lens looked more like an AI-upgrade than an original AI lens. IF you have one of this in Ai-Spec, please contribute ! Credit: Images of 15mm appeared in this site courtesy of Mr. LARRY Johnson of SPLASH Production, US.

Some common photographc usages of this ultra-wideangle are, using it in confined space for indoor photography, landscape, architectural or special effects photography. The superior optical design of this lens is capable of delivering images with crisp, edge-to-edge sharpness. Such performance may well be extended to its close focusing distances, as both Nikon 'Floating Element' system and Nikon Integrated Coating for superior color rendition are applied to its design. This ultrawide also equipped with an integral lens hood and filter turret (yellow (Y48), orange (O56), red (R60), plain glass (N)) where the a filter ring is between the lens fixed scalloped lens shade and the focusing ring. It has a lock (see bottom picture) which should be depressed in order to turn the turret that stores the filter.

Burt-Scott15mmA.JPG Burt-Scott15mmB.JPG
Credit: A version believed to be a newer one contributed by Mr. Burt.Scott, Health, Texas (email withheld).

15mm 1978.jpg
<<<--- An Ai-Spec 15mm lens lenses scanned from Nikon's Sales Manual1978.

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15mm f/5.6 1973.jpg
NOTE: Among the two known versions of this older Nikkor 15mm f/5.6 ultra-wideangle lens, there was an earliest Non-Ai version and also an Ai version when Nikon announced the Ai-Spec at later stage in 1977. It has remained that way since then until Nikon finally introduced a next major lens upgrade for this lens with a Nikkor 15mm f/3.5s lens in August, 1979 and the same updated Ai lens was subsequently followed by an Ai-S upgrade in 1982.

NOTE: Serial Number was believed to have been started with 320001 (15/12), 340001 (14/12) Ai and non-Ai for 15mm f/5.6 and 177051 for 15mm f/3.5 on Ai-Spec version of this 15mm ultrawide

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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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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.