Wideangle Nikkor Lenses at the late seventies

 
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We have witnessed some radical changes of metering development on Nikon SLR cameras occured during late '70 where we saw virtually all Nikkor lenses have been updated with an Ai-Spec to enable them mated with the new metering system employed in the corresponding Nikon SLR bodies. If you are not sure whether your lenses are of AI-Nikkor, you may use section of this site in PIM help to determine more precisely versions of Nikkor lenses you owned.From some of the Nikon Sales Manuals published during that period of time, we saw many of the Nikkor wideangle lenses also went through the required corresponding upgrading process.

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Naturally, Nikon also took advantage of the upgrade process of Ai to revise optical / cosmetic appearance of some of their Nikkor lenses. Some of the visual physical appearance can actually help users easily to distinguish clearly from earlier non-AI versions and even those which went through process of Ai-modifications by factory or third party servicemen. As many of these Nikkor wideangle lenses featured here may have a "history" than most of our age, we will go through in sections that followed to ensure information published here can be interpreted correctly to help some of you differentiate the various versions.

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Ai-Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 wideangle Lens

The seventies was generally being referred as the glorious days of mechanical engineering in SLR cameras. By the time, when the two Ai-Spec Nikon bodies of Nikon F2A and F2AS were introduced, Nikon was simply a dominating force at the professional users market for SLR cameras. The elegantly finished Nikkor high speed wideangle lens was almost made as an "standard" lens to the journalists and news photographers. This Nikon classic shown here was believed to be the third version of the series and it was adapted with an AI-coupling some time between 1977-1978. The original optical arrangement was not been altered much despite it was after a decade later since its introduction back in 1971.

Credit: Image of the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 AI wideangle lens displayed in this site courtesy of Mr. Dustin Schexnider® <crawfishcharlie@cox-internet.com> Image copyright © 2003.All rights reserved.

However, this Ai-Spec Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 wideangle lens did has a prominent physical change. The aperture scales found on the aperture ring has omitted the f/22 minimum aperture found on any of the previous versions. This series may bear serial number from 385001. Note the specifications section may also provide some useful information pertaining to possible applications of this lens, in particularly relating to various accessories provided during its corresponding era. This upgrade has also enabled Nikon to trimmed the weight of the lens down slightly to 400g from earlier version's 415g. The lens was also been treated with Nikon's exclusive "CRC" (Close Range Correction) system which partly also contributes to its extremely high image quality at close focus usage.

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This looks like an older version. I suspect may be a Ai-modified version.

Credit: Both images displayed at left hand side courtesy of Lois & Brook Moore®. Images Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Both images have been scaled and retouched slightly for broadcasting in this site.

Nikkor-N.C Auto 1:1.4 f=35mm Nikkor Nikkor-N.C Auto 1:1.4 f=35mm Nikkor by A.Medow

Nikkor-N.C Auto 1:1.4 f=35mm Nikkor Nikkor-N.C Auto 1:1.4 f=35mm Nikkor by A.Medow

An indicative engraved; coated version of the Nikkor-N.C Auto 1:1.4 f=35mm Nikkor. Credit: All images displayed at the top courtesy of Alex Medow®. <amedow@gmail.com> Images Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved.


Technical Highlight * Wide 62° picture coverage. * Large maximum aperture. * Matches the coverage of most electronic flash units. * Floating Element System for improved close focusing performance - down to one foot (0.3m). * Takes 52mm filters - the standard for most Nikkor lenses from 20 to 200mm. * Photographic uses include photojournalism, available light shooting, indoor and outdoor sports, environmental portraiture, travel candids of people, landscapes, weddings, and electronic flash photography.

Technical
Specifications:

Focal length/Aperture: 35mm f/1.4
Lens construction: 9 elements in 7 groups; Picture angle: 62°

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Credit: Two fabulous views of the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 Ai wideangle lens displayed in this site courtesy of Mr. "Keith Weinman®" <layoutpad@attbi.com>. Keith is a full time professional, he has a website at: http://www.layoutpad.net. All images copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

>
> -- Download a PDF file (61k) illustrating its optical construction and physical dimension.
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Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/1.4 ~ f/16 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-AI cameras
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.3m (1 ft) to infinity (
oo)
Weight: 400g; Dimensions: 67.5mm dia. x 74mm long (overall); 62.5mm extension from flange
Attachment size: 52mm (P= 0.75); Front lens cap: Snap-On; Lens hood: Screw-in (HN-3)

Lens case: CL-31S; No. 61; CP-1
NOTE: Serial Numbers for this Ai-version of the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 wideangle lense were believed to have been started with 385001

Credit: Images of the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 AI wideangle lens displayed in this site courtesy of Mr. Dustin Schexnider® <crawfishcharlie@cox-internet.com> Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.


Ai-Nikkor 35 mm f/2.0 wideangle Lens

If price, performance are used to judge a lens, this lens could well be the best all round wideangle lens among the three available options at this specific 35mm focal length. This lovely wideangle lens has remained a very popular wideangle optic among those who wishes to get a good compromise between performance and price. The lens consistently produces images of top rated quality, and its moderately fast lens speed makes it a perfect choice for many who may require a wideangle lens for frequent work in available light photography.

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I remembered mine bear a slightly greenish lens coating on its large front lens element. I missed that lens a lot and almost have bought a substitute during an auction lately. The lens also has gone through a few phases of lens upgrade. This Ai-Spec lens was introduced in 1977 and the serial number could have been started with 105xxx . However, there is not much difference in terms of weight saving between the newer and the previous version which was introduced two years back in 1975, it stays at 284g for the older series and marginally lighter in weight at 280g for this Ai-Spec lens. Similarly, the Ai-S version introduced at later years also has a similar weight.

The technical highlights are the same with older and the Pre-AI version. Other than a good wideangle lens for general photography, the lens also be used together with other Nikon macro photographic accessories. A feature most people may not realize with this wideangle lens is - it can also be an excellent choice for macrophotography as it can achieves up to 7X in magnification ratio when reverse mount on a Nikon Bellow Unit.

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Technical Highlights: * Wide 62° picture coverage. * Compact and lightweight - only 280 grams now. * Up to nearly 7X magnification when reverse-mounted on a bellows unit. * Matches the coverage of most electronic flash units.* Takes 52mm filters - the standard for most Nikkor lenses from 20 to 200mm. * Photographic uses include photojournalism, landscapes, candids of people, sports, environmental portraiture, weddings, travel, backpacking; electronic flash photography, and available light shooting.

Technical Specifications:

Focal length/Aperture: 35mm f/2.0
Lens construction: 8 elements in 6 groups; Picture angle: 62°

Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/2.0 ~ f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-AI cameras

<<< -- Download a PDF file (65k) illustrating its optical construction and physical dimension.

Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.3m (1 ft) to infinity (oo)
Weight: 280g; Dimensions: 63.5mm dia. x 59.5mm long (overall); 51.5mm extension from flange
Attachment size: 52mm (P= 0.75); Front lens cap: Snap-On
Lens hood: Screw-in (HN-3); Lens case: CL-31S; No. 61; CP-1
NOTE: Serial Numbers for this Ai-Version of the Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 wideangle lense were believed to have been started with 920001


Ai-Nikkor 35 mm f/2.8 wideangle lens

This tiny Nikkor wideangle lens has a standard 52mm filter attachment size and enables many standard 52mm Nikon lens accessories be used. It stops down to f/22 which provides a good depth of field control in scenic, landscapes, portraits and even for macro-flash or normal flash photography. For macro - it will also goes up to 7X magnification when reverse mounted on Nikon Bellow Unit. But this lens is so much economical than any other comparing Nikkor wideangles at 35mm focal length. Further, not to mention it has the most compact and lightest (merely 240g) in weight among all available 35mm Nikkor wideangle lens.

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Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Jean-Louis <jlbeek@iafrica.com > © Image Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.

There may have two versions of this Ai-Spec wideangle lens, the first which was believed to have been Introduced in April, 1978 where it retained a similar design with the Pre-AI version which has gone through an extensive redesign with a 6 elements in 6 groups lens (S/N 350001). The same lens has been upgraded during the AI-period (S/N 773111). But a newer version with an entirely different optical arrangement in 5 elements in 5 groups was introduce subsequently. The new design was retained and eventually being updated to the current version version with an updated Ai-S spec in 1981 (S/N 521001). Generally, serial numbers may help to identify these few different versions. See Roland Vink Site for more info.

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But strangely, despite it has cut down the number of lens elements from earlier 7 elements in 6 groups design to a simpler 5 elements in 5 groups optical arrangement at its last stage, the weight of this wideangle has increased significantly from mere 200g from those versions of early days to 240g - which is almost 20% increase. Whatever it is, it was a very popular wideangle lens favored by photographers as evidenced by the enormous amount of used lenses appearing at online auction sales and retail outlets which are specially selling used photographic equipment.
Technical Specifications:

Focal length/Aperture: 35mm f/2.8
Lens construction: 5 elements in 5 groups; Picture angle: 62°; Diaphragm: Automatic

35mmf2.gif 35mmf28ai.jpg
Aperture scale: f/2.8 ~ f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-AI cameras

<<< --- Download a PDF file (48k) illustrating its optical construction and physical dimension.

Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.3m (1 ft) to infinity (oo)
Weight: 240g; Dimensions: 63.5mm dia. x 54.5mm long (overall); 44.5mm extension from flange
Attachment size: 52mm (P= 0.75); Front lens cap: Snap-On
Lens hood: Screw-in (HN-3); Lens case: CL-31S; No. 61; CP-1

NOTE: Serial Numbers for this Ai version were believed to have been started with 773111 for the Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 wideangle lens

35mm focal length Manual Focus Nikkor Lenses: | Early non Ai version | Early to mid '70 Pre-Ai | Late 1970 | Early 1980 - present: 35mm f/1.4s ; 35mm f/2.0s, 35mm f/2.8s| Relative: PC-Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 and PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5

| Back | to Main Index Page of MF Nikkor lenses at 35mm focal length

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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

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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.