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nippon kogaku

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by akumalic, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Does anyone have any comments on this line of lenses? I know they are older non-AI, and I know they won't meter, but they're awfully inexpensive. I've used a few manual focus lenses on my D50, so I'm familiar with the trial and error method of exposure. Just curious.
  2. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    Unless they have been AI converted, they won't fit the D50 as the aperture ring will jam against the little switch just outside the camera mount, approx 8 o'clock position.

    Optically, I think most would do fairly well, although I would expect the telephotos longer than 105mm to show more CA than modern designs. The single coated versions will also show less contrast and more flare than the later multicoated (dot C) lenses.
  3. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    I owned and used several Nippon Kogaku:cool: . The Nikkor 135 3.5 a 50 F2 and the best 20mm Nikon ever made the 20 F4 ( the one that protrudes into the camera body). They may not be the latest technology and they may have the old coatings but for the money they are fantastic bang for there buck. If your handy with a dremmel you can convert them to fit on your camera in a five minutes. Buy them, use them, love them.

  4. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    That would be the Nikkor-0 2.1cm (21mm) f4.

    The Nikkor 20mm f4 is another lens, used by Galen Rowell, many say this was the best 20mm Nikon made. This is a tiny lens with a 52mm filter size which was produced in pre-AI and AI forms.

    I have the following AI 20mm f3.5 which is similarly small. Many say this is the best version as it is extremely resistant to ghosting.

    On the other hand, I have also used the AIS 20mm f2.8 (same as AF version) and it is sharper at wide apertures, so maybe this is the best? It's not as resistant to ghosting though.
  5. Pianisimo

    Pianisimo Guest

    Nippon Kogaku was simply Nikon's name before they released their first camera, the Nikon (Nikon 1 rangefinder). It was so popular that they changed their name. They were originally a japanese optics company, I think they designed some sights for weapons during WWII. And from what I read, they produced some lenses for a company called...Canon. Yup.

    They switched their name around the time of the F (you still see it inscribed on earlier F's, but mine is from '72 and it doesn't have the Nippon Kogaku inscription). Personally, I think the coolest stuff at the moment are the rangefinders - the S2, S3, S4, and SP (skipped the 1 and the M because they're too pricey and the S because it's just too big and cumbersome). They rereleased the S3 in 2000, and the SP in 2005...and there are rumors of a digital rangefinder for next year. You never know : )

    As for the lenses though...I use pre-AI lenses on my D50 (I know, I shouldn't, but the two I'm using don't damage anything or stick into the camera too far). I wouldn't use any wide angle because that WOULD stick in. But, while it's not recommended, there are some Pre-AI lenses that will physically fit. I would certainly call it a close call though, and since AI and AI-S lenses really aren't much more expensive, I'd choose one of those (or see if I could get a AI'd lens, which is a Pre-AI which has been modified to be an AI).
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