Additional Information on
Pre-AI version of the Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 Telephoto Lens

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105mm f/2.5 Nikkor-P telephoto lens

The pre-AI 105mm f/2.5 lens may have gone through a few rounds of upgrade in its physical designs, optical construction and lens coating refinement process. Lenses that have the C mount were sold between 1973 and 1975 and they may bear serial number from 500001, while those sold after April, 1975 in K mount design could have started from 673101 which in turn continued all the way to 1977
*. This may provide a clue to when was the Nikkor lens being produced since many of these versions of 105mm f/2.5 lenses may have modified to be into an Ai-Spec Nikkor lens.

105preAia.jpg 105mmnonAI.jpg
The most important change of this lens may be occurred between 1971- 1973 (500001). The lens has a modified optical design where its old optical formula of 5 elements in 3 groups being reverted to an existing 5 elements in 4 groups construction.

<<< --- Early version of the pre-AI Nikkor lenses have a customary longer extension and non-rubberized focusing grip. Credit: Image at far left courtesy of Mr. "Keith Weinman®" <>. Keith is a full time professional, he has a website at: All images copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

It only offered as an all black matte finish where the metallic silver lens barrel was also being omitted. Both the focusing and aperture ring of this version still retained previous design in a deep scalloped type of grip but this version has extended their length for easy grip during focusing.

An interesting feature found on this version was its minimum aperture which was being designed to stopped down at f/32 instead of f/22 as compared to earlier pre-'70 versions (strangely, it was reverted back to f/22 on the Ai-Spec Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 introduced later in 1977). Some versions has a "C" to indicate improved lens coating process was applied.

<<< --- The subsequent Pre-AI update happened in 1975 (673101) where the focusing ring was changed to a rubberized grip on the ring. This design was this version was believed to have been retained for the AI lens that followed in 1977. Note: Picture at the top was scanned from a Nikon marketing leaflet published in 1976. Please note it has a f/32 minimum aperture and the modern diamond ridged aperture ring is used in this pre-AI version.

This popular 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor lens was easily one of the standout lenses in the Nikkor line during that period of time, offering a large number of features with top performance characteristics for outstanding versatility; this lens, in fact, is often the first choice of photographers when selecting a telephoto focal length. The 105mm f/2.5 lens provides for exceptionally natural perspective in "head and shoulders" portraiture; subjects photo graphed in this manner appear to the viewer in a perspective corresponding to that of normal conversational distances.

105preAI.JPG 105preAI2.JPG
Credit: Two fabulous views of the Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 non-AI lense displayed here courtesy of "Allan Doerksen" ® Corvallis, Oregon <> Images Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.
The focal length of this lens has an additional advantage, as it allows the photographer to work at greater distances than is possible with a "normal" lens; this factor is often important when subject lighting, either natural or artificial, is taken into consideration for close distance shooting. This evergreen proven optical lens was many favourite even for many hard working professionals as its moderate reach is even good for indoor studio shooting and not to mention those who are involved in News and reportage photography.

105mmpreAI25.jpg 105mmf25preAIoptcsml.gif
In addition to the excellent image quality, the 105mm f/2.5 provides the photographer with an exceptionally wide range of aperture settings (f/2.5-f/32) for greater exposure control. In total, the 105mm f/2.5 offers the compact size, wide aperture/focusing ranges, fast lens speed, and excellent subject rendition that makes for really outstanding versatility of operation.

*Source: Roland Vink

NOTE:- Refer to the Rangefinder Nikkor lenses section for more info

Download an Optical Construction file in new browser window: 27k Gif

Nikon guide to compatible focusing screen(s) selection, Depth of Field calculation chart and also tables of magnification achievable when used with various Nikon close-up attachment accessories with this 105mm telephoto lens.
Download a file in a new browser window 99k.Gif. Content is mainly extracted from Nikon Sales Manual(s) between 1974-1976.


Focal length:
Maximum aperture: 1:2.5; Lens construction: 5 elements in 4 groups
Aperture Scale: f/2.8 ~ f/
22; Diaphragm: Fully automatic
Lens Coating: Multicoated with NIC; Picture Angle: 23
° 12'
Distance Scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 1m (3.5ft.) to infinity (
OO); infrared index is provide.
Exposure Measurement: via full aperture method; meter coupling prong provided
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75mm)

Filters: 52mm Screw-in; Lens Mount: Nikon bayonet mount
Dimensions: 66mm dia. x 78mm long; Weight: 435g
Accessories Supplied: Rear protective cap LF-I (108-00-201); 52mm Snap-On front lens cap (108-00-400); 52mm snap-on lens hood HS-8 (108-02-204); Optional Accessories: 52mm screw-in lens hood HN-8 (108-02-200); Soft lens pouch No.55 (108-02-319); Hard lens case CL-32 with strap (108-00-309); 52mm screw-in filters; Close-up attachment lenses; plastic lens case CP-1 (108-00-300); Gelatin filter holder AF-1 (108-00-700). 60mm screw-in lens hood HN-12 (108-00-205)

Nikon Product Code for this discontinued item is No.108-02-142
Content appeared in this section is largely extracted from Nikon Sales Manual, 1974/1976;

Note: Starting serial number for this non-AI lens was believed to have been started from: 500001 (1973-1975); 673101 onwards were produced between 1975 - 1977.

Back to | Main Index Page | of Nikkor 105mm Lenses

Manual Focus Nikkor Lenses at 105mm focal length : Early non-Ai versions | Pre-AI Versions | Ai Nikkor105mm f/2.5 | Ai-S Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 | Nikkor105mm f/4.0 UV | Nikkor105mm f/1.8 Ai & Ai-S | Relative: Bellows-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0; UV-Nikkor 105mm f/4.5s Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s; Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8s

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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.