Additional information on

Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) Finder Group of Accessories
for Nikon S-Mount Nikon Rangefinder (RF) cameras


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Optical Finders provides correct picture composition and perspective control for rangefinder cameras. Over the last five decades, Nikon has produced a large varieties of optical finders or prisms in various forms, size and purposes. If it includes the Nikon reflex cameras, Nikon has the largest collection of finders produced for cameras. This is mainly because the accessory finder originally developed for the rangefinder camera series has evolved as metered prisms for the single-digit Nikon F bodies. Until the Nikon F5, every F series SLR camera models has a modular body to enable inter-changeability of finders. Finders for the Nikon rangefinder camera series was more treated like an accessory because due difference in the differing focusing system used. Focusing in a rangefinder camera has its weakness at both ends of the ultrawideangle and telephoto range. This was mainly the reason that has contributed to the development of so many of these optical accessories. Basically, they offer improved level for the sake of ease of picture composing and/or perspective control. They don't provide focusing match but simply offer as an alternate form of picture framing aid.

An old version of Nikon Variframe Finder with leather case for rangefinder MIOJ
The accessory finders for Nikon S-series models are basically separated into three major groups. One is individually designed to fit a specific focal length or lens type. Another group use a zooming principle where most of the popular focal lengths are provided each with an index. The last is grouped under special finder accessories. The most basic form is the first and the last groupings with the second group which had gone through further redevelopment and/or being improved its features in stages. Most of the finders were sold as optional accessories by Nikon. In some instances, they were supplied along with a specific lens-type as a standard accessory. Lastly, early versions are usually chrome, late or improved models were usually have a black finishing (except for the Varifocal zoom finder which still has a chrome finishing). Depends on individual model, most of the Nikon S-series cameras after the Nikon SP (1957) were provided with an in-finder bright-line frames which cover most of the popular focal lengths from 3.5cm, 5cm, 85cm, 10.5cm and 13.5cm. Examples: Nikon SP: 28/35/50/85/105/135mm; Nikon S3:35/50/105mm; Nikon S4: 50/105mm; S3M: 35/50/105mm. For shorter lenses (ultrawide) which didn't provide with such an in-camera feature, Nikon will supply a special finder as lens standard accessory Some good examples are Nikkor-O 1:4 f=2.1cm, W.Nikkor.C 1:4 f=2.5cm. As all Nikkor lenses beyond 13.5cm (180mm, 250mm, 350mm, 500mm and 1,000mm) where in-camera focusing is beyond accuracy. These long telephoto lens series were being designed to use in conjunction with Nikon Reflex Housing and thus, slip-on camera finder accessory is not required.
Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Mike Otto <staff@pacificrimcamera.com> URL: Pacific Rim Camera, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Pacific Rim camera can also be reached by mail to: Pacific Rim Camera 1965 Davcor St SE Salem, OR 97302 (503) 370-7461 Fax number is (503) 370-8801

For single focal length finder or "individual finder" as Nikon called them), the early models were just to provide as a form of picture framing assistance as well as for adjusting to parallax. The later model usually were generally being improved in few aspects, particularly with a built-in, etched frame lines and has a overall brighter finder image. They also have provision to adjust parallax correction. The most innovative finder group among all the Nikon RF finders are the Variframe and the Varifocal Zoom finder. These series of finders provide universal usage. They also have a variable focal length control adjust to individual focal lengths. The usual focal length provided are from 35-135mm. The Special Finder group includes some of the earlier mentioned lens-type specific finder(s). In addition to those, Nikon has others such as 35mm Mini Viewfinder, Sport frame Finder and some odd and rare series for special application photography. Towards the interim period between the rangefinder / Nikon reflex models, some of the lenses had been designed with a dual systems use but due to the differences of the accessory shoe design as well as the difference of mounting foot, some of them may not be interchangeable between the two formats. For photographers, even if the camera has a provision for a bright-line frame for certain lenses to assist picture framing and focusing control, he may decide which option best suits his personal needs. This section only aims to provide some information pertaining to some of the most popular types of optical finder accessory to supplement the various Nikkor pages for the Nikon rangefinder system.

Accessory finder for Nikon 2.1cm Nikkor-O ultrawideangle lens
Opticl construction for the Optical Finder for 2.1cm f/4.0

Special Optical Finder as standard accessory for W.Nikkor 2.5cm f/4.0 RF version - LINK to WEB Page

Special Optical Finder as standard accessory for Nikon W.Nikkor 2.8cm f/3.5 RF (rangefinder) version - LINK to WEB Page

LinK to webpage to Nikon RF 3.5cm Wideangle lenses for Nikon rangfinder cameras

LinK to webpage to Nikon RF 8.5cm short telephoto lenses for Nikon rangfinder cameras

LinK to webpage to Nikon RF 10.5cm ( 105mm) medium telephoto lenses for Nikon rangfinder cameras

LinK to webpage to Nikon RF 13.5cm ( 135mm) medium telephoto lenses for Nikon rangfinder cameras

Finder for 2.1cm Nikkor-O

Finder for
2.5cm W.Nikkor

Finder for
2.8cm W.Nikkor

Finder for
3.5cm lenses

Finder for
8.5cm Nikkor lenses

Finder for
10.5cm Nikkor-P/T

Finder for 13.5cm
Nikkor Lenses

             
For dedicated finder for any given focal length, please click on the relative section above to find the exact info for specific focal length. This site only addresses the variable options (third group) special edition optical finders as well as the popular series of universal finders.

Nikon mini Viewfinder design LinK to webpage to Nikon RF 3.5cm (35mm) wideangle lenses for Nikon rangfinder cameras

Nikon Bright-line frame Single / fixed focal length Optical Finder

Nikon made Optical Finder designed for Contax rangefinder (RF) cameras Nikon made Optical Finder designed for Contax rangefinder (RF) cameras
<<<--- Most of the early versions on single-focal length optical finder accessory have a typical chrome finishing to match the early series of rangefinder lenses. Late models have better features. Shown are two types of Finder. The 3.5cm mini-viewfinder as well as another late 13.5cm finder which has a bright-line frame. The later models usually (but not always) have a black finishing.

Special 3.5cm Mini Finder

Bright-line frame Finder for single focal length lenses

Nikon made Finders for CONTAX cameras

Special dedicated Optical Finder designed for Nikkor Fisheye lenses - LINK

Special dedicated Optical Finder designed for Stereo Nikkor lens - see below  - LINK

Nikon Special Sport Frames Finder for Nikon rangefinder cameras  - LINK

Nikon older Variframe Finder for Nikon rangefinder cameras  - LINK

Nikon variFrames late model Finder for Nikon rangefinder cameras  - LINK

Nikon popular Verifocal Finder for Nikon rangefinder cameras - LINK

Special Finder for
Fisheye-Nikkor lens

Special Finder for
35mm Stereo Nikkor

Sport Frames Finder

Early Chrome Variframe Finder

Late Variframe Finder in black

A typical Varifocal Zoom Finder

Nikon Sport Frame Finder with original Leather case Nikon (nippon Kogaku K K ) Sport Frame Finder base section view with accessory shoe mount Nikon (nippon Kogaku K K ) Sport Frame Finder  bird eye view from the top
Credit: Image at the left courtesy of Mr. Kelvin Li from his popular gokelvincameras @ Ebay Store which retails for many hard-to-find Nikon, canon, Contax oldies. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
 
Canon individual single focal length optical Finder models
<<<-- another major Japanese maker, Canon RF optical finder models are very similar to the Nikon designed models. Chrome are the early versions, black and bright-line frame are late models.

NOTE:- Comparing Nikon designed Finder Types with some of the popular Contax Carl Zeiss Jena / Zeiss Ikon Finders / Leica/Leitz Finder versions

Part One:- Dedicated Finder for Fisheye Nikkor lens(es) / Dedicated Finder for Nikon Stereo Nikkor 3.5cm

Nikon can probably claimed as the first 35mm camera manufacturer to put their research effort of Fisheye principle to commercial use. Most Nikon folks would thought the 1962 Fisyeye-Nikkor 8mm f/8.0 was the Company's first fisheye lens (technically it was not wrong) but as early as in 1960, Nikon had already had an on-camera fixed Fisheye Nikkor 16.3mm f/8.0 that provides 180 degree CIRCULAR image picture angle. The camera provides shutter speed from 1-500 sec. with M / X sync contacts and built-in filters. It was a rare piece of old Nikon collectible. Then in 1962, Nikon has unveiled their first true interchangeable Fisheye-Nikkor 1:8 f=8mm. It followed by another Fisheye-Nikkor 1:5.6 f=7.5mm in 1965/6. The more well known Fisheye-Nikkor 1:5.6 f=10mm which arguably used world's first aspherical lens element in it optical design was only being delivered to the market in 1968. It was followed by the widest wideangle lens in 35mm photography, Fisheye-Nikkor 1:5.6 f=6mm in 1969. All these lovely pieces of old Nikkor optic have one thing in common: the rear section of the lens tube reaches so far into the camera body that only Nikon bodies that were equipped with a Mirror-Lockup be able to use them.

Nikon Fisheye Lens camera, 1960

Nikon Fisheye Nikkor 8mm f/8.0 - LINK to web page

Nikon Fisheye Nikkor 7.5mm f/5.6 - LINK to web page

Nikon Fisheye Nikkor OP 10mm f/5.6 - LINK to web page

Nikon Fisheye Nikkor 6mm f/5.6 - LINK to web page


Nikon Fisheye Nikkor FINDER early version Nikon Fisheye Nikkor FINDER early version side view
Question 1: how would the photographer be able to perform focusing and composition since the viewfinder is blackout after the reflex Mirror is raised ? Fisheye are evolved form of image projection from normal ultra-wideangle lenses. They have tremendous depth of field even when used in their largest to mid range aperture(s) and with a little care, it makes focusing literally unnecessary As for photo composition, it makes use of an accessory optical finder just as the Nikkor-O 1:4 f=2.1cm. The finder is simply served as a visual assessment for a rough, approximate guide as circular fisheye lenses projected image is in circular form and not rectilinear

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 Arsenal can be contacted at Photo Arsenal Boris Jamchtchik, Altenfurter Str.16a 90475 Nuernberg Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 911/ 4008081 E-Mail: ebayshop@arsenal-photo.com. .Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Illustration of Special Nikon Fisheye Nikkor FINDER on a Nikon F SLR reflex camera Nikon Fisheye Nikkor FINDER late version for Nikon Fisheye Nikkor 8mm f/8.0 - LINK
Question 2: This is more relative to rangefinder - I am not sure if any of the Fisheye Nikkor lenses featured here are able to use on any of the Nikon S-series models (due to the difference of mount on the two systems). But I often see people mixed this finder and relate the F-mount Fisheye Nikkor lenses with rangefinder Nikon cameras. OR is there a way to use them via adapters ? IF answer is a NO. Then just treat these info as additional reading reference for the F/Nikkormat. IF ever such combination exists, then here are just some basic information. As far as my knowledge goes, there wasn't a RF version for any of these Fisheye-Nikkor series. Thank You.

Part Two Special Finder for Nikon's Stereo-Nikkor f=3.5cm 1:3.5 moderate wideangle lens (Introduced: Dec.1956~discontinued: approx. 1960).

One of the rarest Nikkor lens is the Strereo-Nikkor 5mm f/3.5. If you managed to locate one out from old garage from your grandpa, you can exchange for many top of the line Nikon Digital SLRs from D3 all the way to D8 ... I am not familiar with Stereo Nikkor lens type but due to its scarcity - making it one of the most source after Nikkor lens by Nikon collectors. One example the two recent auctions conducted by Photo Arsenal, Germany at ebay, a full outfit (Without the Camera) has a commanding buy-it-now price of USD46,000-00; while another with just the bare basic lens only (no finder and accessories) still has a price tag of USD15,000-00. The Stereo Nikkor looks different from normal lenses because it has a twin lens formation. It allows simultaneous 2 x 17x24mm exposures via its two 35mm lenses, each covering a 45.5° picture angle and project an ortho stereoscopic image in a sandwiched 35x24mm film format.

Special, dedicated Optical Finder for Nikon Stereo-Nikkor 3.5cm f/3.5 front and back view
The finder for the Nikon Stereo Nikkor f=3.5cm 1:3.5 lens only known to have a black finishing version supplied with the lens as standard accessory It is bright-line finder and has a tiny etched outline for approximate picture framing. Please note the etched outline is VERTICALLY positioned. It provides view for 17 x 24mm format. To identify this special version is via a "Stereo" wording and a "Nippon Kogaku Tokyo" old type logo printed on the rear and top section of the finder. It is unlikely you can find one as an accessory because it was not sold as optional item (unless by chance, owner dislocated it and found by someone else). However, the finder is not being serialized with any reference number.

The high price tag of the Stereo Nikkor lens was mainly due to it was the one and only Stereo lens type Nikon had ever produced where known production quantity is very limited. This perhaps has added the lens with an extra premium. From what I know, stereo photography had enjoyed a short spell of success. The design itself has a very strong flavor of being a Leica's Leitz 1:3.5 f=3.3cm Stemar (Leitz Canada) where an almost similar Leica outfit may only fetch at only a quarter of Nikkor equivalent outfit (A recent surfaced in an EBAY auction for a Leica Stemar has a buy-it-price of USD8,500-00). Another Leica alternate: Leitz IMPUU with an Elmar 1:3.5 f=5cm stereo (Also a produce of Ernst Leitz Canada Ltd) has a Buy-It-Now price tag of USD2,000-00.
a rare Nion outfit onNikon Stereo-Nikkor 3.5cm f/3.5 on a Nikon SP rangefinder camera with Special, dedicated Optical Stereo Finder
It is a 4 elements lens but its optical composition is not known so far even to many seasoned collectors from Japan. The filter thread is an odd 40.5mm bayonet type. The aperture range is from f/3.5 to f/16. Depth of field scales are: f/3.5, f/5.6, f/8, f/11 and f/16. Closest focusing distance is 0.9m, picture angle: 45.5° by each lens. Weight: approx. 198g. Dimension: no info.

<<<--- A rare setup of a Nikon Stereo Nikkor 35mm f/3.5 with Finder, Stereo Viewer and accessories. The original leather case is not shown but the special lens hood for the lens is shown below.

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 Arsenal can be contacted at Photo Arsenal Boris Jamchtchik, Altenfurter Str.16a 90475 Nuernberg Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 911/ 4008081 E-Mail: ebayshop (AT) arsenal-photo.com. Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Speical dedicated accessories for  Stereo-Nikkor 3.5cm f/3.5  essential Nikon original accessories for Stereo-Nikkor 3.5cm f/3.5

 Stereo-Nikkor 3.5cm f/3.5 front and rear lens miunt view with special lens hood and filter
Serial Numbering references for the Stereo Nikkor 35mm f/3.5 wideangle lens: 241800 ~242100. Approx. less than 200 units existed. Mr. Rotoloni, a veteran collector for Nikon rangefinder system had suggested total quantity produced was less than 170 units. Ref: Mr. Robert Rotoloni, author of An Illustrated History of Nikon Rangefinder Cameras.

 Stereo-Nikkor 3.5cm f/3.5 - Japan Link


<<<--- 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/Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
   
The high price tag of the Stereo Nikkor lens was mainly due to it was the one and only Stereo lens type Nikon had ever produced where known production quantity is very limited. This perhaps has added the lens with an extra premium. From what I know, stereo photography had enjoyed a short spell of success.

ZEISS Ikon Stereotar.C 35mm f/3.5 - LINK to page
The Nikkor design itself has a very strong flavor of being a Leica's Leitz 1:3.5 f=3.3cm Stemar (Leitz Canada) where an almost similar Leica outfit may only fetch at only a quarter of Nikkor equivalent outfit (A recent surfaced in an EBAY auction for a Leica Stemar has a buy-it-price of USD8,500-00). Another Leica alternate: Leitz IMPUU with an Elmar 1:3.5 f=5cm stereo (Also a produce of Ernst Leitz Canada Ltd) has a Buy-It-Now price tag of USD2,000-00. Zeiss IKON also has a Stereotar 1:3.5 f=35mm but I am not sure what is the price. NOTE:- B/L Finder for Contax stereotar 3.5cm


| NEXT | Part Three Universal Finders - Variframe

Section 1 - Index Page w/Special Finders | Section 2 - Variframe Finder | Section 3 - Varifocal finder | Section 4 - Sport Frame Finder / Others

For other issues, you may use the relevant | Message Board | lenses | Relative:- | Message Board | Rangefinder cameras

| Back to Main Index Page |

 

Nikon RF Lens Finder Group

Nikon RF variframe / varifocal Finder Group

Nikon RF Sports Finder Group

Nikon RF Lens hood Group

Nikon RF Reflex Housing for Telephoto lens Group

Nikon RF close-up accessories Group Nikon RF automatic film advance devices (motor drive/winder) Group

Nikon RF Lens misselenous accessories Group

Fixed fens Finders

Variframe/Varifocal

Sports Finder

Lens Hoods

Reflex Housing

close-up

Motor Drive

Miscellaneous

 

 

Fixed Focal length Finders | Variframe / Varifocal / Sports Finders | Reflex Housing | Motor Drive | Close-ups | Nikon RF Flash System
Accessories: Lens caps, Hoods/shades, Cases/Compartments, Filters, Packing/boxes, & Others | Instruction Manuals | Original Price Lists

 

Nikon RF lens group:-
2.1cm f/4.0 (21mm) | 2.5cm f/4.0 (25mm) | 2.8cm f/3.5 (28mm) | 3.5cm (35mm) lens group | 5cm (50mm) lens group
RF
Micro-Nikkor 50mm f/3.5 | 8.5cm (85mm) lens group | 10.5cm (105mm) lens group | 13.5cm lens group
18cm f/2.5 (180mm) | 25cm f/4.0 (250mm) | 35cm f/4.5 (350mm) | 50cm f/5.0 (500mm) | 100cm f/6.3 (external Link)

RELATIVE:-
Nikon Rangefinder (RF) Models | Pictorial History of Nikon | A small visual library on Nikon Ultra-Micro-Nikkor lenses
Manual Focus Nikkor lenses | Autofocus Nikkor lenses

 

LInk to Instruction Manual Section

 

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Credit:- Co-developed with Rick_Oleson. THANKS to all the contributors in the form of images/pictures as well as content which made up the basis of this RF Nikkor site. Picture used at this startup page courtesy of Photo_Arsenal-Worldwide® Germany. Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. Note: Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures, sales manuals or publications published by Nikon over the years and/or contributions from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered trade names of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple G5 IMac.