Nikon Nikkor MF Lenses
Photographic Hardware Index
Nikon Rangefinder Film Cameras
Nikon Manual Focus SLR Film Cameras
Nikon Auto Focus SLR Film Cameras
Nikon SLR AF Digital Cameras
Nikon Manual Focus Lenses
Nikon Auto Focus Lenses
Nikon Flashes (Speedlights)
Nikon Camera and Lens Accessories
Nikon - Arguably the greatest camera lens manufacturer of all time!
This section is dedicated to manual focus Nikkor lenses marketed by Nikon over the decades. Lens design and coatings have changed over time and the F mount has which superseded the "S" mount, also changed over time to allow improved data transmission to the camera body. Nikon always tries to retain a backwardly compatible solution whenever possible and has achieved a greater success in this endeavour than any other manufacturer with over 400+ different lens types using the F bayonet mount. When Nikon launched the Nikon F camera and matching lenses in 1959 the aperture setting was transmitted to the light meter using Nikon's distinctive prong (bunny ears) which engaged with a pin on the camera/meter, this was effective but a little slow to align, in consequence Nikon developed an alternative system named AI (Automatic maximum aperture Indexing) which utilised a meter coupling ridge on the aperture ring, it was first used on the Nikon F2A and Nikon F2AS in 1977. "Bunny ears" remained for backward compatibility and a conversion service was offered for existing Nikkor lenses achieved by replacing the lens's aperture ring.
Nikkor S lenses
The Nikon Range finder cameras used the Nikon S mount and a range of matching Nikkor lenses, all the lenses were single coated although only some are marked with a red "C" to denote this fact as a marketing strategy. The only multi-coated lenses produced for Nikon Rangefinder cameras were those produced for the 2000 and 2006 Anniversary cameras and are compatible with the original cameras.
Nikkor S lenses (1945 to late 1960's 21mm to 50mm)
|21mm f4.0 "Q"|
|25mm f4.0 "W"|
|28mm f3.5 "W"||6||Blk/Chr||1952|
|35mm f2.5 "W"||6||Blk/Chr||1952||35mm f1.8 "W"||7||Blk||1956|
|35mm Stereo||4||Chr||1956||50mm f3.5 Micro||5||Chr||1956|
|50mm f3.5 "Q"||4||Chr||1945||50mm f2.0 "H" coll||6||Chr||1946|
|50mm f2.0 "H"||6||Blk/Chr||1950||50mm f1.5 "S"||7||Chr||1950|
|50mm f1.4 "S" oly||7||Blk/Chr||1950||50mm f1.4 "S"||7||Blk||1954|
|50mm f1.1 "N" int||9||Blk||1956||50mm f1.1 "N" ext||9||Blk||1959|
Nikkor S lenses (1948 to late 1960's 85mm to 1000mm & 2000-2006 lenses)
|85mm f2.0 "P"|
|Blk/Chr||1948||85mm f1.5 "S"||7||Blk||1951|
|105mm f4.0 "T"||3||Blk||1959||105mm f2.5 "P"||7||Blk||1953|
|135mm f4.0 "Q"||4||Chr||1947||135mm f4.0 "Q"||4 (Bel)||Blk||1958|
|135mm f3.5 "Q"||4||Blk/Chr||1956||135mm f3.5 "Q"||4||Blk||1950|
|180mm f2.5 "H"||6||Blk||1953||250mm f4.0 "Q"||4||Blk||1951|
|250mm f4.0 "Q"||4||Blk||1956||350mm f4.5 "T"||3||Blk||1959|
|500mm f5.0 "T"||3||Blk||1952||1000mm f6.3 Rflx||3||Blk||1959|
|50mm f1.4 MC||7||Blk||2000||35mm f1.8 MC||7||Blk||2006|
Auto Nikkor F lenses (1959 to 1974)
These lenses usually had optics which had a single coating and the focusing ring was all metal and scalloped to help the photographers grip. Auto referred to the lens remaining at full aperture until the moment of exposure at which time the lens automatically stopped down.
The number of lens elements used was marked on the lens using a simple letter code: T=3 Q=4 P=5 H=6 S=7 O=8 N=9 UD=11 QD=14 PD=15
From 1971 some lenses had multi coating and were marked with a "C" to indicate this fact, these are preferable for colour photography use.
Nikkor K series (1974 to 1977)
K series lenses are all multicoated and so are not marked with a "C" or a letter to designate the number of lens elements. The focusing ring was fitted with a rubber grip ring. Although these lenses still relied on the Nikon "bunny ears" to communicate aperture information Nikon altered many lenses to AI for pre 1977 camera compatibility as an after service for it's customers.
Fitting unconverted K lenses to newer cameras can cause damage to the cameras AI aperture coupling system and is not recommended, there are a few exceptions such as the F2AS, F2A, FE and FM - their AI coupling can be hinged out of the way on these cameras.
Nikkor AI lenses (1977 to 1983)
AI lenses were not need until Nikon introduced cameras using this aperture coupling system in 1977 but were added earlier to lenses once they new they would be used on future cameras. A re-engineered aperture ring had a large part of the ring removed leaving a ridge to connect to the cameras AI coupling and a protrusion to indicate maximum lens aperture. Thin stainless steel "bunny ears" were retained on nearly all manual focus Nikon lenses to enable the latest lenses to be fully backwardly compatible with all Nikon's previous 35mm SLR range of cameras, light holes were introduced to the "Bunny ears" to illuminate a new second aperture scale in the latest ADR (Aperture Direct Readout) camera viewfinders.
Nikkor AI-S lenses (1983 to now)
The introduction of the Nikon FA in 1983 represented a milestone in light measurement and exposure calculation as it used the revolutionary matrix system, AI-S was necessary to inform the metering system of the focal length of the lens fitted, a radial cut-out on the rear of the lens's mount also communicated to the cameras metering system that the lens diaphragm is linear and can be used in shutter speed priority mode. AI-S was ok but could only represent a fixed focal length and so on a zoom lens the greater the zoom range the greater the potential error from the AI-S set focal length, this problem was only resolved later with the introduction of electronic contacts on AF cameras. AI-S data was only used by the Nikon FA, F3O1, F501 and F4 bodies.
Nikon AF lenses
All of Nikons Auto Focus lenses apart from two produced specifically for the F3AF camera are AI-S for backward compatibility, however "G" type lenses have no aperture ring and DX lenses are unable to expose the whole of a 35mm frame as they are designed for a relatively small sensor, although they may fit neither of these lens types will realize the full potential of a manual focus Nikon film camera.