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Basic information on Nippon Kogaku K.K. W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm (35mm f/2.5)
the Nippon Kogaku W-Nikkor.C
wideangle lens which had gone through a few stages of improvement and/or modifications
in its early development during the post war period, the W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm
has a more straight forward background to track from its introduction as well as
some of the variations that followed. Incidentally as I had pointed out the lens
was introduced along with the W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=2.8cm
which provides a wider picture angle, making the moderate 35mm wideangle lens
has some appealing advantage in terms of feature. In this case case, boosting of
the lens speed seemingly was the most logical path as the new lens was designed as
an alternate to the slower speed 35mm f/3.5.
1:2.5 f=3.5cm uses a 6 elements 4 group optical design. There is no known MIOJ engraving
nor f/16 version existed. The early design has similar nature with its predecessor
in few aspects, which including the aperture control method. Using chrome with brass
mount, it is a solidly built wideangle lens but the most appealing factor is its
improved, faster maximum aperture with reasonably high definition which opens up
wider acceptance as well as extending broader range of available light photography.
The f/2.5 maximum aperture, making it the first f/2.5 Nikkor lens, until the Nikon
classic telephoto Nikkor-P
introduced later in 1954; Nikkor-H
telephoto of 1955 (with the fourth, UW.Nikkor 35mm f/2.5 underwater Nikkor
& Nikon Series E 35mmf/2.5 (1980)) and these
were the only Nikkor series that bear this very distinguishable Nikon's f/2.5 maximum
The minimum f-stop
of f/22, as found on the 35mm f/2.5 was offered since its inception into the Nikkor
wideangle group, the extended minimum aperture is useful for depth of field control
at a wider range of creative usage.
Overall, by combining high image quality, a moderate good lens speed than comparing
predecessor along with a modest price tag; commercially, this Nikkor wideangle lens
has turned out to be quite a success for Nikon as it sold very well in numbers.
There are probably three known versions of W-Nikkor.C
1:2.5 f=3.5cm existed (with another in M39 LSM for Leica and possibly for Contax
bayonet mount as well) and the photo at left by a Japanese magazine clearly illustrates
them well side by side as comparison. A & B, chrome / black; C late version with
a barrel similar to the fast speed W-Nikkor.C
1:1.8 f=35mm discussed
at the next chapter.
<<<--- This very well taken
picture of a W-Nikkor 1:2.5 f=3.5cm black without "C" printed. Except for the early
days lenses, some of the lenses produced may be with or without the "C"
after the "W-Nikkor" but regardless of not it had been indicated, all are
<<<--- Last version in black
Among the few versions, each of these W-Nikkor.C
1:2.5 f=3.5cm lens weighs differently at 200g, 115g and 100g and this may suggest
different materials had been used at different stages from 1952 (marketed year 1954),
1956 and 1959. At later stage, except for the lens mount section, aluminum could
be the primary material for construction of the lens tube/barrel. However, the optical
design had remained the same throughout the entire product cycle for all the three
Shown at the left hand side and below is the last version in
black and has a barrel design with various lens information which is closely resembled
with the f/1.8 introduced in 1959. Most guru collectors think this version could
had been introduced at the same period as well. One of the feature easily can distinguish
this lens from all previous version is the aperture ring, which is being shifted
to the far end of the lens. Generally, due to scarce in number as compared to others
RF Nikkor 3.5cm equivalent, so this could add some premium on its collector value.
For Contax Bayonet Mount
a version of the W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=2.5cm with a Contax bayonet mount. The biggest
selling point to the European and US market is the price. Some users had commented
the lens rivals excellence of the Summicron which reflects the oriental counterpart
can make as a serious alternative to the German products in this wideangle range.
However, it was not known exactly how many were being produced buy Nikon for both
the M39 LSM and the Contax bayonet.
|I have been patiently awaiting to see
a M39 LSM of the W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm to surface in the secondary used equipment
market with a later Nikkor lens configuration, but so far all I can witness is the
lens with the early Nikkor design. The lens uses almost similar design as with the
W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=3.5cm screw-mount version. The M39 LSM model uses 34.5mm or Series
VI (41.3mm). filter accessories. The Leica thread version weighs slightly heavier
than the Nikon bayonet version 4--7/16oz
The W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5 f=3.5cm can use
most standard 43mm Nikon filter accessories. Related accessory includes was the optical
finder, but as Nikon SP/Nikon S3 onwards and the rest of other follow-up Nikon rangefinder
cameras already had 35mm frame line built-in, hence, demand for attach on finder
is gradually slowing down. The early lens cap was slip-on type and probably like
the other later Nikkor, uses snap-on type.
Refer to | FINDERS for 35mm | at previous page
Specification for Nikon (Nippon
Kogaku K.K.) rangefinder W-Nikkor-C 1:3.5 f=3.5cm (35mm
f/3.5) wideangle lens:-
Nikon S-mount for RF Nikon / LEICA M39 Screw Mount / Contax bayonet mount
Focal Length: 35mm (3.5cm); Picture Angle: 63° (37° x 53° ); Maximum
/ Minimum Aperture: f/2.5 ~ f/22
6 elements in 4 groups;
Minimum Focusing Distance: approx. 3 ft ~OO
Filter Attachment Size: Series VII (43mm)
Lens Hood: as shown below; Diaphragm: Manual
Weight (lens only): approx. 200g/7oz for early chrome / brass model; 115g/3-7/8
oz for black version chrome, 100g / 3.5 oz for last version in Black; Screw Mount
(Leica Thread):- 4--7/16oz / Contax bayonet mount model:- no info
Optical Finder (3.5cm model, BL in black, Variframe finders, 3.5cm Mini Finder or
Sport frame finder etc.); rear lens cap. early model slip on type, late models snap-on;
Optional: Screw-in type filters for M39 version; Lens hood: no info;
Lens accessories: 43mm / Series VII (50.8mm) for Nikon S-Mount model; 34.5mm /Series
VI (41.3mm) for Leica M39 LSM model.
Quantity Approx. 28,000 units combine in chrome or black finishing. Last
version in black: approx. 1,00 units Ref: Robert Rotoloni's An
Illustrated History on Nikon Rangefinder camera.
| previous | Next | - Part III - W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=3.5cm
(35mm f/1.8) wideangle rangefinder lens 2/3
W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=3.5cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:2.5
f=3.5cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:1.8 f=3.5cm | Stereo-Nikkor
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