Additional Information on
Nikkor 15mm Ultra-Wideangle Lense

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Nikko 15mm f/3.5s Ultra-Wideangle Lense

The distinguish features of super wide-angle lenses in general are their wide angle of view and their extended perspective. Unlike Nikkor 13mm f/5.6 which has a even wider picture angle than the 15mm but the lense has to be on a made-to-order basis. This has made the 15mm lens to be a more realistically optical ultrawide than the 13mm superwide Naturally, the 15mm lens has a marginally narrower angle of view in its picture coverage but it has enabled many Nikon photographers to start enjoying the sheer fascinating beauty and amazing world of ultra-wide photography with a reasonably entry cost.

manual focus Nikkor ultrawideangle lens 15mm f/3.5 Ais type. (45k) Loading...
Personally, I have been patiently awaiting for quite sometime to acquire a well maintained, used lense for my personal collection and has not been successful. This shows how well users treasure their 15mm lense because as a photographer, once you have been exposed and experienced with ultrawide photography, it can be quite addictive and seldom users will abandon their collection of this fabulous optic. The Nikkor 15mm f/3.5 ultrawide featured here was first debuted back in August, 1979, replacing the earlier Nikkor 15mm f/5.6 which has a much slower lense speed. The same Ai version of this lense was upgraded with an Ai-S lense coupling in 1982.

Credit: Image courtesy of Photo_Arsenal-Worldwide® Germany. The Company also maintains an active EBAY Store, trading many used and new photo equipment of various labels. Photo Aersenal can be contacted at Photo Arsenal Boris Jamchtchik, Altenfurter Str.16a 90475 Nuernberg Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 911/ 4008081 E-Mail: Arsenal has a office in Hong Kong, headed by Evan Wong. Address is: Ting Shan East Selling-Office Unit 210, 2/f., Mirror Tower, 61 Mody Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong Phone: + 852/23126690 , fax. +852/23126691.Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Update: Instead, Nikon announced another optical breakthrough with an Autofocus version of AF Nikkor 14mm f/2.8D ED which debuted in June, 2000. The new AF ultrawide lense has more appealing features to photographers where it is a full f-stop faster in its maximum lense speed. It has a sweeping 114 degree angle of view and provides a distance chipset for Matrix exposure calculation. While we are still confined to manual focus Nikkor, it will be addressed when other section of AF lenses is updated. Combining a sweeping wide vision and perspective while improving its optical performance, the updated 15mm Ai-S encompasses the most extreme examples in optical behavior among all Nikkor ultrawides. The diagonal angle of view covers by a 15mm lense is 110°, which is almost double a typical 35mm wideangle lens' normal coverage at of 63°. The rectilinear vision where straight lines will not be curved as they do with Fisheye-Nikkor lenses.

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The distance between close and distant objects will be exaggerated dramatically and reducing their size of the objects at the background. Thus a tremendous sense of depth and spaciousness can be created. The exaggerated perspective is corresponding and may be influenced by camera angle. For example, the same room would look quite different if taken from the corner than it would if taken straight on.

Credit: The Stairs ...Image courtesy of Mr. CY Leow <>Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Although It's not as easy as you thought to master an extreme ultra-wide lense such as the 15mm lense featured here; but once you have familiarized yourself with its optical characteristics, that's where the excitement begins. Although it is not a day to day lens for you to use in your normal photography, but even for those who are very familiar with other wide-angle lenses may find this lens difficult to handle its optical "behavior". Generally, optical lens' aberrations and distortions become more severe with shorter focal lengths and even be more difficult to counter in a ultra-wide angle lens; so with the extremely short 15mm lens, correcting these problems is especially important. This Nikkor ultra-wide featured here has two a few improvement done to the upgrade as compared to the earlier slower speed f/5.6 Nikkor ultrawide. Firstly, it also incorporates a CRC system which actually has been used at earlier f/5.6 Nikkor to counter close range optical discrepancies in optical quality; next, the maximum aperture has been boosted two f-stops faster to f/3.5. But strangely, Nikon has not used any aspherical element in its optical design. Well, one just has to assume this lense has been highly corrected optically to tame such possible optical defects, which many Nikon users actually highly rated this lens for its overall performance.

Anyway, other than on technical ground, as a user, you ought to understand clearly their optical characteristic in order to explore and optimize its potential. Generally, ultrawides lenses are best to used for producing panoramic, clearly focused compositions. For example, if you choose a small aperture and focus the lense at its closest focusing distance of 1 ft, everything from about a feet or two onwards in front of the lens to infinity will be in relatively sharp focus. This can produce interesting visual effects in many photographic situations such as scenery shots where primary objective is to emphasize space and distance. Careful arrangement and working distance is equally important for successful handling of this lense.
15mmAISf35c.JPG 15mmAISf35d.JPG
Credit: Images courtesy of Adorama® Inc. "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> Webisite URL:, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. Adorama Inc. also can be contact at: Used & Collectible Ebay Department 42 West 18th Street New York, N.Y. 10011 1-212-741-0052 Option 55 Ext.119 1-800-223-2500 Option 55 Ext.119 FAX: 1-212-675-8715

Another trick sometimes may also apply to its close focusing capability - where combining its immense depth of field generates, extraordinary perspective and wide picture coverage, more exciting possibilities can be achieved. Generally, once you understand the relationship between perspective and resulting differences in image size that may affect the apparent deformation of the subject, you will be able to use this lense to produce extraordinary photographs. It is good to pre visualize how a shot will end up with your own vision while you gain more experience with using the lense often. To summarize all in a sentence, creatively and willingness to explore. This ultrawide interrelates how perspective of a super wide-angle lense can be different from what human eyes usually sees. Just a simple tilting and changing the angle of the lens will result in altering the perspective.

A word of caution in the handling of this lense is: most inexperienced users may underestimate the wide vision ability of this lens. They MAY tend to lead them including too many "whites" in a picture (such as the sky in broad daylight etc.). Other than diluting the viewer attention to the theme in the photograph, it will also mislead the camera meter for underexposed images. If shooting from a low angle, the perspective will be extremely exaggerated but if you are taking a picture using the camera perpendicularly, it will not distort the subject at all.

<<<--- An early version of the Superwide 15mm Nikkor-QD-C Auto f/5.6 lense which eventually developed into the current faster 15mm f/3.5. Credit: Images of 15mm appeared in this site courtesy of Mr. LARRY Johnson of SPLASH Production, US.

Technical Highlights: * Panoramic 110° picture angle allows you to shoot in the confined space of cramped interiors; it also produces spectacular results in landscape, architectural or virtually any type of photography. * Straight-line rendition of subjects with virtually no distortion. * Immense depth of field practically eliminates the need to focus at smaller f/stops and moderate or greater distances.
15mmf35side.jpg Rear Filter.jpg.
Unlike the built-in filter turret design used for the earlier 15mm f/5.6 version, both Ai and Ai-S versions of the Nikkor f/3.5 lenses have a rear filter attachment system.

Close-Range Correction System insures crisp, edge-to-edge sharpness even at a distance of 0.3m (1ft.). Nikon Integrated Coating provides superior color rendition. Built-in scalloped lens hood minimizes flare when shooting against the light. Supplied with a set of 4 filters (skylight, orange, light amber, and light blue) which bayonet onto the back of the lens, plus a hard leatherette lense case.

nikon15zfrontsml.jpg nikon15zrearsml.jpg
<<<--- Another versions ? NO. This is the underwater version of the 15mm Nikkor ultrawide. It has a slightly faster lense speed at f/2.8 and has a different optical construction. Credit: Images of UW-Nikkor 15mm appeared in this site courtesy of Mr. Amedeo Muscelli Amedeo, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. | CLICK on thumbnails for a LARGER view |
UW Nikkor 15mm F2.8 Lens with Viewfinder Nikonos 15. This UW Nikkor 15mmhas a angle of view corresponds to a 20mm land lens, providing a 94 degree view. The Nikonos 15 Viewfinder is a giant accessory finder that works in combination with the UW Nikkor 15mm. It allows the diver/photographer to deterine the perspective of the view when wearing diving goggles.Specifications: Angle of view: 94 degrees Lens construction: 9 elements Aperture range: f2.8 to f22 Minimum focus: 30cm (1ft) Weight: about 11 oz (310g)

Specifications of 15mm f/3.5s

Focal length/Aperture: 15mm f/3.5
Lens construction: 14 elements in 11 groups; Picture angle: 110°; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/3.5~ f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales

Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method with AI cameras; via stop-down method with non-AI cameras.
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.3m (1 ft.) to infinity (
Weight: 630g; Maximum Reproduction ratio: 1:12.5
Dimensions: 90mm dia. x 94mm long (overall); 88.5mm extension from lens flange
Filters: Rear-attachment bayonet type; Skylight (L1BC). orange (O56), light amber (A2). and light blue (B2)
Front lens cap: slip-on; Lens hood: Built-in scalloped type; Lens case: CL-17 hard leatherette
Usable teleconverter(s):
TC-200, TC-201, TC-14A 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. NOTE: Serial Number believed to have started from 177051 for earlier Ai-Spec version, 180001 onwards for Ai-S models

15mmf35AIadorama2.JPG 15mmf35AIadorama1.JPG Early AI version of the 15mm f/3.5

Early Versions : Pre-Ai & Late '70 (Ai) 15mm f/5.6-C | Early '80 (Ai & Ai-S) 15mm f/3.5

Credit: Images courtesy of Adorama® Inc. "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> Webisite URL:, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

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