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Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K K) Nikkor-T 1:4.0 f=10.5cm (105mm f/4.0)
Medium Telephoto lens for Nikon S-Mount Rangefinder cameras - Part II


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Part Two -

Nikon
(Nippon Kogaku K.K.)
Nikkor-T 1:4.0 f=10.5cm (RF Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) medium telephoto lens for Nikon Bayonet S-Mount Rangefinder cameras Year Introduced: 1959#; Discontinued: probably between 1964/65. # Nikon indicated date in their official website. Other sources: Nikon RF illustrated History has suggested announcement date: June, 1959, marketed from May, 1960; Dec. 1953; but it was mentioned as March, 1960 in Nikon hand book.

It was quite common when a top of the range model camera was introduced, it will usually followed with a series of scale-down versions. This scenario may not apply to lenses. This was mainly due to the fact where lenses with faster lens speed of an equivalent focal length are more difficulties to perfect in overcoming various technical/optical/price issues. Besides, progressive releases of lens speed versions from slow-to-fast also would help to enhance the Company image in its innovation/progression in their own optical development. Bedsides, it serves logical purpose in marketing perspective too. Zoom lenses may not necessary be the case in this scenario because many of them may just be served as a mass market product (a typical example was the entry level Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5~4.5s/f/3.5~4.8S budget zoom lens which was introduced as a scaled down version after the constant aperture Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5). However, they were only a few instances occurred within the fixed focal length lens group. One good example was the 1967's Nikkor-UD AUTO 1:3.5 f=20mm - Nikon's first attempt at the 20mm ultrawideangle range. The followed up model was strangely designed with a slower Nikkor 20mm f/4.0 version in 1974. The said 20/4 was treated as a replacement model rather than selling it along with the faster f/3.5 predecessor. It took Nikon another 5 years to revert the lens speed back to the same f/3.5 with a revised design in Ai-Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 in 1979. The next major upgrade for the 20mm prime Nikkor ultra-wideangle lens was the 1984 classic ultrawide Ai-S Nikkor 20mm f/2.8S - where the lens speed has been boosted to f/2.8.

As for the S-mount Nikkor lens group at 105mm focal length, it was rather strange to notice a change. As Nikon not only had developed a best seller with the Nikkor-P.
C 1:2.5 f=10.5cm (RF Nikkor-P.C 105mm f/2.5) but the 105/2.5 was also one of the few early series of optic that had gained Nikon a recognized reputation in the industry with its excellent optical performance. So, instead of anticipating its next upgrade would be like a possible 105mm f/1.8 - Nikon had surprised everyone in 1959 by unveiling an alternative Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm telephoto lens which has a slower maximum aperture. The only difference in comparison with the mentioned 20mm UD-Nikkor is, the Nikkor-T was not a replacement lens for the 105/2.5 but it was offered as an alternate option for the 105/2.5. Another interesting fact is, the lens was released very late in 1960 and thus, it was one of the few rangefinder S-mount lenses that were introduced after the Nikon F had been officially announced. There were few other RF Nikkor lenses, such as the W.Nikkor-O 1:4 f=2.1cm, this 105/4.0 has natively released in both F or S-mount to serve two systems, although optically they share a same formula, but they do possessed some slight variations.


Section view of various lens features on a rangefinder (RF) version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder system

Front view of the exposed lens elements in a rangefinder (RF) version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) telephoto lens

A very late RF model with S/N 410111 by Kelvin LI
Another unit with
410206 by P.Arsenal

Before we go into further details, why would Nikon introduced this below-expectation alternative ? I think other than those who had involved with the development project and/or marketing during that stage can only provide a more logical answer. Further, as the lens has its basic specifications almost close to the 1932's Leica Ernst Leitz Wetzlar ELMAR f=10.5cm 1:6.3, it was not entirely wise from all aspects after their initiative was often being regarded as "Nikkor 's Leica Copy of the Mountain Elmar" (it is still being referred this way until today). So, whether if it was Nikon intention to capture the vacuum left by the slow f/6.3 Leitz telephoto lens which was phased out in 1937 by Leica or simply to introduce a cheaper/lightweight alternative fro photographers to the 105/2.5 was quite unclear. Fact is, the Nikkor-T 105/4 has a retail price tag that halved the price of an equivalent 105/2.5 during its debut (original listed price 15,000 Yen) and it weighs only 260g as compare to 510g found in the 105/2.5. I guess the latter has a more logical explanation to all these speculations.

Personal Guide on identification between F / S-Mount version(s):-
Vertical view of of overll dimension on a rangefinder (RF) version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder system with the original lens hood at the side Sectioned front view of of a rangefinder (RF) version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder system with lens data
BOTH the S & F-mount version look quite identical physically. Typically, the RF version has a large chrome base ring (near lens mount at the rear). Secondly, the distance scales for RF version starts from 60 feet. F mount version begins from a shorter 30ft. Naturally, the F-model supplied with a F bayonet mount. Further, RF model has all apertures marked on the DOF scales (F-Mount omits the f/4.0)
Credit: Image of the RF version above (far left) with the customary lens hood courtesy of Photo_Arsenal-Worldwide® Germany where the Company also maintains an active EBAY Store. Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. The picture at top right courtesy of Mr. Kelvin Li from his popular gokelvincameras® @ Ebay Store which retails for many hard-to-find Nikon, canon, Contax oldies. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

The last method for identification is to refer to R. Totoloni's encoded Serial Numbering System but as remembering S/N for quick, on-site verification can be quite difficult, I would prefer my own way. Next, I do know many references often suggest all the RF produce has a preset diaphragm mechanism built-in but the diaphragm control device is not the same with the design used for the F-mount version. Further, the lens mounting section also is different from the F-mount model where it is black (RF is chrome) with thinly ridged grip patterns.

various lens features on a rangefinder (RF) version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder system VIEW A Various lens features on a rangefinder (RF) version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder system VIEW B
Credit: All images courtesy of Mr. Kelvin Li from his popular gokelvincameras @ Ebay Store which retails for many hard-to-find Nikon, canon, Contax oldies. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

When comparing both the 105f/2.5 and 105/4; the latter model has a thinner mid section lens tube BUT it measures longer than the f/2.5 model in its overall length (approx. 197mm). The lens construction has been segmented in few sections. The base, the rear center towards the end has a broader dimension. The marked aperture ring at the front end are all chrome; the rest which includes the focusing ring have a typical satin black finish. So far, there are no known version in both F/S mount that supply in an all chrome finishing Please also take note of the distance scales shown in this RF version, they are more detailed than the F-mount version which comes with simplified scales.

Shown below are a few pictures gathered by me on the F-mount equivalent:-



Nikon's (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) Nikkor-T 1:4.0 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) medium telephoto lens for Nikon F-Mount SLR cameras
A reflex F  mount version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0 non Ai Nikkor) telephoto lens for Nikon reflex SLR camera system

The preset diaphragm design has an added ring with cross diamond pattern is more refined for use on the F-mount than on RF models. Next, the base lens mounting ring has been changed to black. Thirdly, the distance scales started from different numeric scales. Lastly, the f/4.0 maximum aperture has been removed on the F-mount version. Besides, the rear end has a typical bayonet F-mount design (see below for another picture)

Side section view of a  F  mount version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0 non Ai Nikkor) telephoto lens for Nikon reflex SLR camera system

   
NOTE:- The F-mount model here has a serial number 406510 that was within the RF version S?N system suggested by R.Rotoloni and it may suggest the quoted S/N for the RF could be mixed on both S/F mount models but this is not conclusive. Credit: Image(s) courtesy of Rokas Kundrotas®. where he is more well known as maintaining another popular Rokas Photo & Videao @ EBAY with another personal site at www.Kundrotas.com - both kept a huge inventory for many used collectible equipment of major camera labels. Image copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Standard system accessories  for a typical F  mount version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0 non Ai Nikkor) telephoto lens for Nikon reflex SLR camera system Front old lens Nippon kogku lens cap design with reversible metal lens hood for a view of a  F  mount version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0 non Ai Nikkor) telephoto lens for Nikon reflex SLR camera system



I would think most of the standard accessories for the lens are interchangeable between the two F/S mount versions. The lens hood in particular, can also be store inversely. The original lens cap has an old "Nippon Kogagu" trade name. Below is a view of the rear mount which suggested it was made for the F.

Credit: Image of the picture at far left courtesy of Photo_Arsenal-Worldwide® Germany where the Company also maintains an active EBAY Store. Image of the lens mount and the very well taken photo of the lens with lens cap/hood on courtesy of Rokas Kundrotas®. where he is more well known as maintaining another popular Rokas Photo & Videao @ EBAY / www.Kundrotas.com - both kept a huge inventory for many used collectible equipment of major camera labels. Image copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

F-mount on a RF 105mm Nikkor-T f/4.0

There was another area which can be very different from other Nikkor telephoto lenses with this Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm. Due to its slow maximum aperture at f/4.0, Nikon has designed the lens with a very small filter attachment size at 34.5cm. The size is known only being used on the early Micro-Nikkor 50mm f/3.5. The reduction of filter thread size can make stuffs like Snap-On lens hoods for interchanging accessories as another issue. However, as most screw-in lens hood (which accepts Series XX filters) are available for most Nikkor lenses through 135mm focal length, so this may not be entirely a big issue. A good point is, Nikon was considerate enough to supply essential accessories such as dedicated lens hood, front, reap cap with its unique front attachment size as standard accessories for the lens. NOTE:- The 34.5mm diameter for proper snap-in lens hood and cap sizes may not be common to Nikon users, but it was used on many Leica mount Nikkor lenses such as the LSM 28mm f/3.5, 35mm f/2.5 / f/3.5 and 50mm f/3.5 but most of the mentioned optic have a 43mm size in Nikon's bayonet S-mount lenses.

Nikon F with Nikkor-T 10.5cm f4 Preset
Basic Technical Specification for Nikkor-T 1:4.0 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) medium telephoto lens:-

Lens Mount
: Nikon Bayonet S-mount for RF models / Version for F-mount for reflex Nikon also available
Compatible Models: Nikon S-Series rangefinder models
Focal Length: 105mm (10.5cm)
Angle of View: 23
° 20' (Diagonal; 13° /19° 50' (Horizontal/Vertical)
Maximum / Minimum Aperture: f/4.0 / f/22
Optical Construction: 3 elements in 3 groups
Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.2m (approx. 4 ft) ~
OO
Depth of Filed Scales: f/32, f/22, f/16, f/11, f/8, f/4 (Note:- F-mount version has removed f/4.0)

<<<--- Shown here is a reflex-version of the 10.5cm Nikkor-T mounted on the Nikon F. It also has the same preset-diaphragm as used on the Rangefinder version. Image contributed by Mr. Matthew Lin from www.Matthewlin.com

Optical design /diaphragm of  a typical F  and RF S-mount version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0 non Ai Nikkor) telephoto lens Dimension and Optical design /diaphragm of  a typical F  and RF S-mount version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0 non Ai Nikkor) telephoto lens
Marked values for RF version: (Feet/yellow) OO, 60, 30, 20. 15, 12, 10, 8 , 7, 6, 5.5, 5 4.5, 4; (Metric scales): 20, 10, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.7, 1.5, 1.3, 1.2; Marked values for F version: (Feet/yellow) OO, 30, 15, 10 ....; (Metric scales): 10, 5, 3....

Standard system accessories  for a typical rangefinder version of the Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm (RF Nikkor-T 105mm f/4.0) telephoto lens for Nikon rangefinder camera system
Infra Index: Provided with a red dot.
Magnification ratio:no info; Filter Attachment Size: 34.5mm (P=0.75) / Series VI
Dimension: 197.1mm / Weight (body only): 260g (RF) / 230g (F) (approx. 9 oz/8.1oz); Leica Screw mount version (SM): no info
Standard Accessories: Front/Rear lens cap
*, Lens hood** as standard accessories.

* Plastic front/rear lens cap (original has Nippon Kogaku KK name), no known metal cap yet ** Snap-On type, reversible storage possible.
   
Optional: Optical finders (varifocal/variframes), or refer back to Finders for 105/2.5 page; leather lens case, optical filters etc.

Optical Finder early version for Nikkor-P/T 10.5cm telephoto lenses Optical Finder late version with bright-line frame for Nikkor-P/T 10.5cm telephoto lenses
Other Information: No known versions on Contax bayonet mount and Leica Screw mount (M39). Similarly, no known version has the lens data that marked as "Nikkor-T.C" yet as we assume all lenses after this stage were all coated (correct me if I am wrong). Original listed / suggested retail price: 15,500 Yen. Serial Numbering References:- Possible 408500 ~ 410500. F mount versions could be mixed within. Total Number: approx. less than 2,000 units. Ref: Mr. Robert Rotoloni, author of An Illustrated History of Nikon Rangefinder Cameras.

<<<-- An early all chrome version (left) and late model with a bright-line frame fixed focal length Optical Finder for 10.5cm Nikkor-P/T lenses. As most Nikon rangefinder cameras after 1957 has a built-in bright-line frame, this is less appealing accessory for late Nikon cameras.

105mm25NiOLDview.jpg
RELATIVE:- How the rangefinder Nikkor lenses evolved itself after the reflex Nikkor era? The reflex Nikkor-P was also a successful commercial optical product for Nikon for a long time. The Non-Ai 10.5cm Nikkor-P as well as the 105mm f/4 Nikkor-T were introduced very early during the Nikon F period. Due to its popularity at the RF days, the 105/2.5 was along the original lenses offered along with the release of the Nikon F in 1959. The non-Ai period saw many changes to its exterior but internally it has remained unchanged throughout EXCEPT for the version in 1973 with a change in its optical formula (Please refer back to the section earlier). The Pre-Ai period version in 1975 has the focusing ring more towards the modern Nikkor design. The Ai- conversion in 1977 has a slight change to f/22; the Ai-S version Nikkor 105mm f/2.5S was released in 1981. Nikon had also introduced a faster lens speed alternative Nikkor 105mm f/1.8S in 1981. There were more variations at this specific focal length: - in 1980, Nikon had released a Series E Nikon 100mm f/2.8S with Ai-S spec and in 1984, the famed series of Micro-Nikkor f/4.0 had upgraded as a Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8S. The AF Nikkor 105mm f/2.8S was first introduced in 1990, it was followed by an AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D a few years later. The current AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8F IF-ED has the best of lens features among all versions of the 105/2.8. There was another odd offering with a new lens breed design of AF Nikkor 105mm f/2.0D DC lens in 1993. The last of the variants includes a Bellow-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0 as well as a special application lens UV-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0S.
previous | NEXT | 2/2 The 135mm Lens Group Part One (105/2.5) - Part Two (105/4)

W-Nikkor-O 1:4 f=2.1cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:4 f=2.5cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f= 2.8cm | W-Nikkor.C 3.5cm lens Group (3.5/2.5/1.8) | Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm | 5cm (50mm) lens group | RF Micro-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=5cm | Nikkor-P.C 1:2 f=8.5cm lens group / Nikkor-S.C 1:1.5 f=8.5cm lens group | Nikkor-P.C 1:2.5 f=10.5cm lens group / Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm | Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm lens group: 135/4, 135/3.5 Early / Last Version, 135/4 Bellow lens | Nikkor-H 1:2.5 f=18cm | Nikkor-Q 1:4 f=25cm | Nikkor-T 1:4.5 f=35cm | Nikkor-T.C 1:5 f=50cm | Reflex-Nikkor 100cm f/6.3

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Credit:- Special thanks to all the contributors of images and content which made up the basis of the site. 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 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 trade name of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple G5 IMac.