Additional Information on
16mm f/3.5 Full Frame Fisheye-Nikkor Auto Lens


Non-Ai Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm F/3.5

This Fisheye-Nikkor was Nikon's first full-frame fisheye lense (as a matter of record, the first Fisheye-Nikkor was actually a circular-format
fixed focus Fisheye-Nikkor 8mm f/8.0 introduced almost 10 years ahead of the full-frame Fisheye - 1962; note: Fisheye Nikkor 7.5mm f/5.6 and OP-Nikkor 10mm may be even existed longer). Although the early application of Fisheye-Nikkor lenses was quite restrictive and could have confined specifically for scientific research and/or other specialized industrial application, but gradually many creative photographers who always seek and look out for new creative visual in fashion and advertising fields have slowly helped to unleash its enormous potential for certain special effect in other scopes of commercial photography.

Generally, ALL Fisheye-Nikkor lenses produce a circular image at center of the film, but this version of the Fisheye-Nikkor delivers an image that fills the entire 24mm x 36mm film format. Its near hemispheric coverage of 170° provides extreme wideangle pictures with the dramatic distortion effect inherent in fisheye lenses. The extensive picture coverage has been improved marginally 6 years later in the subsequent 16mm Fisheye-Nikkor f/3.5 lense which provides a true 180° wide edge to edge coverage across the entire 24 x 36mm format.

Relative: A fixed focus, preset
16.3mm f/8.0 Nikon Fisheye camera, 1960.

The original non-Ai version of this Fisheye-Nikkor lense was quite rare in numbers and was believed to have been introduced back in March, 1973. It may has gone through at least one round of facelift which involved changing the focusing grip design from diamond shape to a double row rubberized grip and the designation of lens data. This change could have been happened around in 1976. The subsequent Ai-Spec version that followed was being introduced in quick secession a year or two in 1977/1978. Based on a photograph that I scanned from a Nikkor sales leaflet published in 1978 - the Ai-Spec f/3.5 version clearly shown it already has a similar physical appearance with the 1976 Non-Ai-Spec lense (the Ai Fisheye lense pictured in the leaflet bear a S/N 288801). Further, another Ai f/2.8 lense version with an entirely different formula was followed in 1979. You can referred to the respective links locate at the bottom of this page to see their differences.

The technical highlight of this Fisheye-Nikkor lense is its distinctive optical characteristic that enables an image that will stretch across the the 24 x 36 picture frame. Unlike the subsequent updates, this original version has an interesting but equally practical built-in filter turret that housed three coloured filters plus one plain glass ND filter. Such unique design was strangely being eliminated when the Ai-Spec equivalent was introduced at later stage. With its unique optical behavior, a photographer may be able to create interesting special super-wideangle effects even with any simple photographic topics. It was not unusual to see many creative images with such uncharacteristic photographic effect appearing in advertisements those days. Naturally, in the hands of a creative photographer, the lense may has many other potential usage in commercial and/or artistry photography. Unlike nature of circular fisheye lenses which often require a more bulky physical design, this extremely compact lens is highly portable because its size and weight are almost comparable to a normal standard 50mm lens. This Fisheye lense is lovely to use and own, and
requiring NO mirror lockup which provides the convenience of thru-the-lens viewing, focusing and metering with most capable Nikon bodies. Some of these older series of Non-Ai Nikkor lenses may have been converted to Ai modification and lenses with original non-Ai configuration is still highly sorted by collectors. Color aberration is well corrected and Nikon's NIC may have already being deployed in the original versions which providing reasonably high contrast images even at full aperture. Although this Non-Ai lense has its limitation in real life application and some potential compatibility issue with newer series of Ai Nikon bodies, but in the eyes of the collector, the original lens configuration makes it a real gem for personal collection.

16mmf35nonAiasml.jpg 16mmf35nonAibsml.jpg 16mmf35nonAicsml.jpg 16mmf35nonAidsml.jpg
Click on each thumnail to see an ENLARGED view.

Credit: With a stroke of luck, I managed to come across a few high quality images of this hard to find original version Fisheye-Nikkor lense at Ebay. The seller generously granted permission to use them in this section of the Nikkor site. All images courtesy of Emanuele "ebay-camera$®" <> who operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

AF-Nikkor Fisheye 16mm f/2.8 D |


Focal length: 16mm; Maximum aperture: 1:3.5
Lens construction: 8 elements in 5 groups; Picture angle: 170°

Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Distance scale
: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 0.3m and 1 ft
Aperture scale: f/3.5 - f/22
Filter: Built-in, L1 A, Y48, Y52, 056 & R60

Dimensions: 68mm x 60.5mm length (2-11/16 in. x 2-3/8 in.)
Weight: 330g (11.7 oz)
Accessories: Cases: CL-31, No.54, CP-1

Note: Production Serial Number for this Non-Ai Fisheye-Nikkor lense was believed to have been started with 272281.

Nikkor Circular Fisheye Lenses: 6mm - f/2.8 | f/5.6 | 7.5mm f/5.6 | 8mm - f/2.8 | f/8.0 | 10mm OP f5.6
16mm Full Frame Fisheye Nikkor: | Nikkor Fisheye 16mm f/3.5 Auto | Nikkor Fisheye 16mm f/3.5 AI | Nikkor Fisheye 16mm f/2.8 AI | Nikkor Fisheye 16mm f/2.8 Ai-S | AF-Nikkor Fisheye 16mm f/2.8 D |

| Main Index Page | Fisheye Nikkor Lenses

AF-Nikkor Fisheye 16mm f/2.8 D |

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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

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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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leofoo.Gif Co-developed with my web buddy, Rick Oleson® & LARs.Gif Denmark, Creator of the Nikon Repair Group Mailing-List; A contributing effort to Michael Liu's Classic Nikon SLRs and Nikkor optic site.

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.