Additional Information on
Nikkor MF Zoom Lense 28-45mm f/4.5

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Non-Ai Zoom-Nikkor 28-45mm f/4.5 Introduced 1975, non Ai; 1979:- Ai

Introduced in August, 1975, this was the first true wideangle zoom lense successfully introduced by a camera manufacturer with a minimum focal length of 28mm. Although it may sound very normal to you if its basic specification offered and measures by today standard but it was considered a "technological breakthrough in optical design" during those days. As this zoom lense has spearheaded a new generation of widenangle zoom lenses that followed which previously deemed very difficult to produce with prevailing design and manufacturing standard in order to break the "theoretical limit" at focal length of 28mm and beyond.

Credit: Note the apertures have not been colored coded. This is the one and only picture I can find with this early Non-Ai version prior to other subsequent contributions that followed up at later stages. Image scanned from a 1976 Nikon sales leaflet. Compared this with another small image (click here) locates in Nikon Japan website.

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Although this Zoom-Nikkor 28-45mm f/4.5 lens has a less than 2X zoom ratio, but with its zoom coverage ranging from 74° wideangle to 50° normal, this lens answered a long-standing desire among photographers for a lens that combines frequently-used focal lengths in the wideangle-to-normal range during those days. The realization of such a moderate wideangle zoom lense offers infinite versatility in interior, landscape, sports, travel, backpacking, candid, environmental portraiture, annual report shooting, scenic, candids of people, weddings, electronic flash photography, group shots, full-length portraits in the studio or on location, and lastly, zoom blurs.

<<< --- Credit: Image of an Ai version of this Nikkor wideangle zoom at left courtesy of Miss Kristina Hauzar-Proctor® of also runs a popular Ebay Store where you can take a visit to scout for used items. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

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<<< --- CLICK on thumbnail(s) for a LARGER VIEW. Credit: Images of this non-Ai version Nikkor wideangle zoom courtesy of a passionate Nikon user, Mr. Bob Hammond® . Bob has also contributed quite a number of resources in this Nikkor website. Image copyright © 2004 All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributor.

I think Nikon engineers did a fairly good attempt with this early Nikkor zoom as it has solved technical difficulties involved in developing such zoom type by overcoming many possible distortion and aberration generally present when integrating retrofocus design with a zoom mechanism. Unlike the earlier popular 43-86mm f/3.5 Zoom-Nikkor Auto (1963) which adopted a different single push & pull zoom control ring design, this lense uses a more rigid design of a separate zoom and focusing rings for independent control and its superior optical design enabled the lense be close focuses down to 2 feet (0.6m). Unlike many Zoom-Nikkor optics introduced at later years, this early zoom-Nikkor does not colour-coded the various apertures at the aperture ring.

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Although it has a filter attachment size of 72mm, but overall it offers good portability as it is still can be considered quite compact and lightweight to be easy carry around for general assignments. Despite users still possessed some form of reservation over quality factor in zoom lenses, but I think Nikon optical engineers did a commentary job by designing such a lense which served well in its basic objective of providing a good zoom range that spanned the important focal length range from 28 mm up to the focal length near standard lenses.

: Image courtesy of Mr."Schifferjb®" <>. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. Image has been retouch and scaled slightly for broadcasting use in this website.

The lense capable of delivering excellent performance throughout its entire focal length range of 28mm to 45mm where Nikon engineers have solved many technical difficulties involved in developing this zoom lens by overcoming the distortion and aberration generally present when integrating retrofocus design with a zoom mechanism. With a rather complex optical construction of 11 elements in seven group design, distortion has been very well control, and the NIC may have also contributed to its overall natural colour balance while image contrast remained high at all focal length. Naturally, given the available know how at the time of its introduction, it was not entirely easy to design such a wideangle lense but it has met the minimum standard set for a high quality Nikkor zoom lense that one expects it to be.

Ai Zoom-Nikkor 28-45mm f/4.5

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The 28-45mm f/4.5 Zoom-Nikkor was well remembered as for the first time a retrofocus-type configuration with zooming to an exceptional 28mm wideangle focal length. The original version was a Non-Ai spec Nikkor optic, but it has cruised through the Ai conversion era and was updated with an Ai lens coupling mount in 1978. However, as Nikon got another breakthrough in lens design in 1979 which saw the debut of another impressive wideangle zoom lense that reached the ultra-wideangle range in the Zoom-Nikkor 25-50 mm f/4.0, this fruitful early attempt by Nikon with a first true wide-angle zoom lense was eventually phased out from Nikon sales listing a few years later when the latter was introduced.

The specification below highlighted both Ai and earlier Non-Ai version of this zoom lense.

Technical Specification for 28-45mm f/4.5 Zoom-Nikkor:

Focal length:
Maximum aperture: 1:4.5; Lens construction: 11 elements in 7 groups
Picture angle:
74° (f=28mm) - 50°(f=45mm); Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale:
f/4.5~ f/22 For Ai version, f/4.5~f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale

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<<<--- Click for an enlarged view (23k Gif file) optical construction of the non-Ai version of this zoom Nikkor lense.
Recommended focusing screen types for use with Nikon F/F2 series SLRs:

<<< ---- Click for an enlarged view (26k Gif file) from Nikon Sales Manual 1976.
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Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Ai cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai cameras

<<< ---- Click for an enlarged view (55k Gif file) of its optical construction Ai-version of this Nikkor Zoom (Sales Manual 1978)

Distance scale:
Graduated in meters and feet from 0.6m (2 ft) to infinity (oo)
By turning the zooming/focusing ring; Zooming: By back and forth movement of the zooming/focusing ring (reference markings for 28mm, 35mm, 40mm, 45mm on zoom control ring); Weight: 440g
75mm dia. x 91mm long (overall); 79mm extension from flange
Attachment size:
72mm (P = 0.75); Standard accessories: Front lens cap Screw-in type (108-02-400); Rear Protective Cap LF-1 (108-02-401)

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Credit: Image at far left courtesy of Mr. "Schifferjb®" <>. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

<< --- Credit: Image at left courtesy of also runs a popular Ebay Store where you can take a visit to scout for used items. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

Optional Accessories: Lens hood Slip-on (HK-1) (108-05-125); Semi soft lens hood case CK-1 (108-05-305); 72mm screw-in filter(s), Gelatin Filter Holder AF-2 (108-02-700); Lens case: CL-32S; Hard leatherette case CL-33A with strap (108-00-320), No. 62, No.55 (108-02-319), No. 56; Note: Serial numbers for this Nikkor zoom lense may have been started with 174011 for the Non-Ai version and 210001 for the Ai-Spec version.
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Nikkor MF Zoom Lenses: | Main Index Page |

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

Credit: A cross sectional disphragm of Nikon's first wideangle zoom published in a 1978's Sales Manual.

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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

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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.