Additional Information on
Pre-AI version of the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 Wideangle Lens

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Non-Ai 35mm f/1.4 Nikkor

The 35mm f/1.4 Nikkor has a few variations which was more of an internal design in order to optimize both its exceptional high lens speed and excellent image quality in a lens of moderate wideangle coverage. Although this lens was introduced as an native multicoated lens and even with the distinction of being the first Nikkor to enjoy the premier NIC lens coating advantage, but there are some version which even as the Nikkor-C retained in its designation on the filter ring. Some reports stated the lens may have 7 blades and 9 blades versions which was seen as an effort to provide a more circular out of focus highlights. Early versions were mainly using the 9 diaphragm blades design and all these lenses carried a minimum aperture of f/22 instead of the more common f/16 that we seen today.

35mmPREAi.jpg (33k) Loading ...
Roland Vink did a comparison chart stating the differences:
35/1.4 blades, f22 385001 - 385316 - 389311 - ? 12/75 - 1977 9/7
35/1.4 AI 7 blades, f16 400001 - 400148 - 415672 - ? 1977 - 11/81 9/7
35/1.4 Ai-S 9 blades, f16 430001 - 433903 - 490314 12/81 - 9/7

<<<< --- A 1976 pre-Ai era Nikon sales leaflet shown with three 35mm lenses that have their respective with different appearance. The 35mm f/1.4 (similarly like the 28mmf/2.0) lense soon followed with the revised Nikkor cosmetic later.
Although most people would not be bothered by such differences, but since its fast lens speed was primarily aims to allow photograohers to work in low available light photography, the 9-blades diaphragm sounds very logical for a better investment. However, strangely Nikon omitted the smallest aperture of f/22 instead of compromised it as f/16 in the Ai-S design.

From: John Laughlin <>
Subject: Re: Nikkor 35f1.4 aperture ring...

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 F2A, F3P, FM2n, and F4, 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

35mmf14preAI.jpg 35mmf14preAIoptsml.gif
To ensure the highest image quality in the vicinity of the 0.3m (1 ft) near focus Point, this lens is fitted with the Nikon close-range correction system employing "floating" rear elements. Maximum image quality is further ensured by the use of NIC on air-to-glass lens surfaces to control ghost and flare. This lens may be used for close-up photography using one of the Nikon bellows attachments, with mounting in either normal or reversed position.

Download an Optical Construction file in new browser window: 24k 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 35mm wideangle lens. Download a file in a new browser window 128k.Gif. Content is mainly extracted from Nikon Sales Manual(s) between 1974-1976.


Focal length:
Maximum aperture: 1:1.4
Lens construction: 9 elements in 8 groups
Aperture Scale: f/1.4 ~ f/
: Fully automatic
Lens Coating: Multicoated with NIC
Picture Angle: 62

Distance Scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.3m (1ft.) 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)

Lens hood: Screw-in type HN-1 (Optional)
Filters: 52mm Screw-in
Lens Mount: Nikon bayonet mount
Dimensions: 67.5mm dia. x 74.5mm long
Weight: 410g
Accessories Supplied: Rear protective cap LF-I (108-00-401); 52mm Snap-On front lens cap (108-00-400);
Optional Accessories: 52mm screw-in lens hood HN-3 (108-01-203); Soft lens pouch No.54 (108-00-319); 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).

Nikon Product Code for this discontinued item is No.108-01-138
Content appeared in this section is largely extracted from Nikon Sales Manual, 1974/1976; Note: Starting serial number for this lens was believed to have started from:
385001(k) 12/75-1977.

| Next | The pre-Ai Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 and Nikkor 35mm f/2.8

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

| Back | to Main Index Page of Manual Focus 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: 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.