Additional Information on
Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8.0 lense

 
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Credit: Image downloaded from Nikon USA website.

Comparison between a Nikkor 500mm f/4.0P ED-IF
and a Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8.0s lens

Lenses

Overall Length

Telephoto Ratio

Weight

Nikkor 500mm f/4.0P ED-IF

384mm

0.768

3,000g

Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8.0

109mm

0.218

840g

Over the years, unlike other lens type within the Nikkor lens family, Reflex-Nikkor lenses seldom have updates. There were only three known Reflex-Nikkor lenses being introduced at 500mm focal length, from the high speed Reflex-Nikkor 50cm f/5.0 first introduced in 1961, a second version which adopted a concept of compact reflex Nikkor lens design with an f/8 aperture in 1968 and the current model which was revised in 1983/4.(as at Nov, 2002).

The current Reflex-Nikkor lens was designed to replace the earlier popular version. This lens is easily recognizable with a distinguished orange line which indicates the closest macro setting just outside the distance scale. Overall, the lens is much more compact in size than earlier version of the Reflex-Nikkor but a significant improvement was its close focusing ability which has improved down to just 1.5m (4.9ft.) from the 4m (13ft) range found on earlier version. Another amazing feat was its reproduction ratio which stands at 1:2.5 at its closest focusing distance. Further, the weight factor has improved proportionally to just 840g from the 1kg found on the first version. The lens has also supplied with a very well designed built-in rotating tripod mount which has a 360° rotation and click stop for vertical or horizontal shooting.

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The front filter thread of the lens has an odd 82mm size and supplied with a dedicated HN-27 lens hood but instead, Nikon designed a rear filter system. The lens is supplied with a set of five 39mm rear screw-in filters - L37C, Y52, O56, R60 and a useful ND4 filter (ultraviolet, yellow, orange, red, and 4X neutral density) that can be used to control exposure. The filter(s) have a 39mm diameter which can be easily screw-on to the rear section of the lens. Nikon advises at all time, a filter must be mounted onto the lens as not to affect the optical quality. Well, such advice makes sense too as the filter also serves a purpose of preventing alien particles entering internal section of the lens via rear entry.

Generally, it can be quite tempting for some that may explore possibility of combining a Nikon tele-converter(s) with a Reflex-Nikkor lens which would convert such lens into a 1000mm or a 700mm long reaching optical reflex lens. However, Nikon indicates such combination may result in occasional vignetting. Both TC-14A and TC-201 are usable even with the rear filter attached onto the rear section but when you intend to use the TC-14B, the rear filter must be detached first. Whatever it is, it is a very compact and light for its extended long focal length and many photographers often practice such kind of combination with a high quality optical Tele-Extenders.

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This compact and lightweight Reflex-Nikkor lens provides 10X magnification of the subject in comparison with a normal lens (at infinity) and is a good companion lens for sports, candids, travel and nature photography. The Catadioptric (mirror) design which comprised of a high quality optical construction of 6 elements in 6 groups eliminates chromatic aberrations for outstanding picture quality. Even with infrared film, no compensation is required too. Furthermore, the lens shape and optical composition has also been improved with spherical aberration and astigmatism that normally arise from the reflex mirror optical system, are corrected. Anyway, although this lens packs some very practical factors for users, but always remember the reflex-type lens is restricted to a single aperture and please ensure it serves your types of photography Next, because of the extremely narrow 5° picture angle, coupled with the darker viewfinder image due to the single aperture f/8, framing and manual focusing on the action as it actually happens is quite difficult. | More information on this lens |

Copyright-Free images collection © 2001 

In an overall review, the Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8.0s is a worthy upgrade from the older series. It is lighter and more compact in size, focuses closer than ever and its new optical design (and lens coating is a "SIC" (super integrated lens coating process) which was supposedly a next generation of NIC) has made this lens the best Reflex-Nikkor 500mm lens ever.

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Supplement: Here is a very interesting link provided by Lars Hansen in relation to some of the background and Development History of the Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8.0. The Article was originally appeared in "Nikkor Club Quarterly" magazine; No. 179 (2001-12-31), published the Nikkor Club. It is highly readable, except filtering some of its commercial essence within.

Credit: YL Camera Services, KL for lending me this lense for a few quick shots. Copyright-Free images collection © 2001 
Technically, when use the lens on the filed, it would require a good lens/camera support system that provides stability during shooting as similarly, its equivalent long focal length is just behaving like any of the super-telephoto prime lenses that it will often magnifies slightest lens handling movement that would usually result in blurry captured images. A good way to neutralize such possibility is to select a film type (if you can) with a higher film speed rating (ASA 400 and above). Next, although Nikon claims optically, this upgrade has improved its overall light distribution across the entire picture view area inside finder especially when using certain focusing screen types, but still, especially when shooting against brighter overall evenly lit background, some degree of vignettting is still present which may make one feels very uncomfortable. Anyway, good selection of focusing screen type such as an all matte screen is recommended to minimize such visual effect.

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Specifications for Reflex-Nikkor 500 mm f/8:-

Focal length/Aperture
: 500mm f/8
Lens construction: 6 elements in 6 groups
Picture angle : 5°
Diaphragm: None; Aperture scale: None
Exposure measurement: Via stop-down method

Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 1:2.5 at its closest focusing distance
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 1.5m (4.9ft.) to infinity (
OO)
Dimensions & Weight: 3.5" dia. x 4.32" long (overall); 840g
Filters (Supplied): 39mm rear screw-in type: ultraviolet (L37C), medium yellow (Y52), orange (056), red (R60), and neutral density (ND4)

reflexHN27.jpg
Front lens cap: Snap-On; Lens hood: Screw-in type HN-27 Supplied
Lens case: CL-39 hard leatherette
Usable teleconverter(s): TC-200, TC-201s, TC-300
*, TC-301s*,or TC-14A / TC-14B**

Included Accessories: HN-27 Hood, CL-39 case, 39mm Filter set, Rear and front lens caps * NOT Usable. ** if the rear 39mm screw-in filter is removed. Note: Serial Number for this version of the Reflex-Nikkor lens may have been started from 183201. Warning: Certain AE modes (Programmed AE and Shutter Priority AE) on selective Nikon SLRs will not work efficiently with older TC devices. Use an Ai-S version for better compatibility, read the respective Tele-Extender(s) sections.

Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8 (One lens do all in an assignment ? Quite Possible... I did tried my best)
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Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8.0s | Non-AI Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8.0 (post-77) | Non-AI Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8.0 (Pre-AI)
Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm f/11s | Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm f/11 (Post 77)) | Non-AI Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm f/11 (Pre-AI)
Reflex-Nikkor 2000mm f/11s | Reflex-Nikkor 2000mm f/11 (Post 77) | Reflex-Nikkor 2000mm f/11 (Pre-AI)
EARLY Reflex Nikkor 50cm f/5.0, Reflex-Nikkor 10cm f/6.3

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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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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.