Additional information on

Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) rangefinder system
Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm special purpose wideangle lens for Nikon S-Mount Rangefinder cameras

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Part IV Basic information on Nippon Kogaku K.K.
Stereo-Nikkor f=3.5cm 1:3.5
Special Purpose wideangle lens.
Year Introduced: December, 1956; Discontinued: 1961/2
Nikon (Nippon Kogaku Japan) rangefinder Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm wideangle lens in full outfit
Stereoscopic photography is simply creating or enhancing the illusion of depth in an image by presenting two offset images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer. Stereoscopic view, was like the 3D view had long been existed, even during the mid '30 but only confine to fun and casual usage. In the 1950s, stereoscopic photography had again regained certain level of popularity when a number of manufacturers, in particular Leitz and Zeiss began introducing stereoscopic cameras to the public. Nikon had followed, but it proved the hype was short-lived, which ended some of the Stereo-Nikkor made during that period rarest among within the Nikon rangefinder lens group. If you are interested in taking a look at the Leitz/Zeiss version of Stereo lenses CLICK comparing | Zeiss IKON's Stereotar.C 1:3.5 f=35mm / Stereotar.C 1:4 f=3.5cm | Leitz's Elmar 3.5/3.5cm / Stemar 3.5/3.3mm Stereo Outfit as these German manufacturers were earlier pioneer in development of stereo equipment.
Zeiss IKON's Stereotar.C 1:3.5 f=35mm | Leitz's Elmar 3.5/3.5cm / Stemar 3.5/3.3mm Stereo LINK
Unlike today, professional stereoscopic applications during the period was not too extensive, meaning stereophotography was still largely remained as leisure, hobbyist territory. Whatever the reasons the Nikon entry into stereoscopic photography was a failure from commercial point of view. But it ended up with one of the rarest Nikkor optic available today for Nikon enthusiastenthusiast collectors. Today, stereoscopic 3D application can extend to specialized fields such as in scientific, medical and even in space research, and combining the ease of digital imaging, it may or may not, in someday one of the leading player in camera manufacturing may start the game all over again.

Even today, there is very little information available on the Stereo-Nikkor. There are some conflicting views on the total number of production as well where some said it was approx. 100 of these had been sold while recently a Japanese magazine quoted quite confidently that probably around 200 of these were distributed domestically and abroad. Similarly, all we know the lens has a 4 elements optical formula with a minimum aperture of f/16. Considering the available Nikkor 35mm with 4 elements optical formula, probably it has some association with the same used on the earlier W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=3.5cm. Anyway, if ever any of you has conclusive view on this area, do help to furnish information to patch this missing link.

Nikon (Nippon Kogaku Japan) rangefinder Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm wideangle lens with a Nikon SP black with stereo-finder and prism
One of the main reason of its small number in existence today was, other than it is mainly designed for stereoscopic usage, the Stereo Nikkor was sold as part of a stereo outfit, meaning it was not sold independently like other Nikkor lenses and has a general application like a wideangle lens. This could had limited its widespread distribution due to high cost factor where typically an outfit had a price tag not too far from getting an exotic, ultra high speed Nikkor-N.C 1:1.1 f=5cm !

Besides, in a typical general stereography setup, it usually comprised of
a Stereo-Nikkor 3.5/3.5cm, caps, stereo prism, hood, filter(s), a dedicated stereo finder and leather case as standard. Further, depends on affordability as well as purpose of the potential owner to acquire such as lens, other accessories such as stereo viewer , special Nikon metal film spool and even projection lens etc. were also available as optional accessories. All these entries in different configurations for different level of interest could easily demand for financial affordability of individual.
Nikon (Nippon Kogaku Japan) rangefinder Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm wideangle lens  rear lens munt with beam splitter
Stereo with the Nikon includes a matched pair of 3.5cm Nikkor, auxiliary prisms for altering the effective lens separation for correct stereo rendition of more distance objects, and a special stereo finder that defines the exact field of view of individual stereo frames. The Stereo-Nikkor lens itself is a matched pair optic, which is mounted in a barrel. Each has an angle coverage of approx. 45.5° with separation optical point at 18mm. A divider prevents overlapping of two captured stereo images which is 17 x 24mm each, just like a half frame camera result but within the same picture frame of 36 x 24mm. The stereo wideangle lens can control via the apertures, from f/3.5~f/16 but maximum depth of field is always encouraged in order to achieve better stereo results. Other general supplied accessories for the Stereo-Nikkor includes a lens hood which can be mounted onto the front bayonet, and a 40.5mm ultraviolet filter for general and/or protective usage.

For optimum picture composition and Stereo alignment, a special optical finder was supplied as standard accessory. The finder is basically the same with the black 3.5cm BL (bright frame line) finder but it is marked with a "stereo" word at the front. The main difference of this 3.5cm Stereo Finder has a rectangular, vertical dotted line within the bright frameline which indicates the upper limit of the actual picture angle as well as the required parallax compensation. It can be slide into the camera accessory shoe.
Nikon (Nippon Kogaku Japan) rangefinder Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm wideangle lens with stereo Optical finder, Stereo prism, Stereo UV filter and other accessories

Lens hood for Nikon (Nippon Kogaku Japan) rangefinder Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm
The Stereo-Nikkor couples with the Nikon RF camera is theoretically be used for all distances from 3ft ~OO but must couples with accessory stereo prism for distance beyond 10 feet. Meaning if using the lens alone, it should be advised use within the range of 3'~10'. The fact is, the 35mm wideangle can also be used for distances beyond the limitation but just reduces the pronounced stereo effectiveness. In short, for best stereoscopic effect, it is good to maintain effective working distance it designed for, but for range beyond, just attach the stereo prism. In using the lens for stereography, it is always advisable to maintain the lens leveled with the subject/object of your interest, avoid tilting up and down as the angle twist may make unmatched visual results during viewing.
Special metal, grey color Stereo Viewer by Nikon
Nikon Stereo Slide Viewer

During those days, it is possible to look for shops processed the final images and returned them mounted in pairs of 2" x 2". For quick viewing, Nikon had designed a gray-painted, but metal Stereo Viewer. The portable hand viewer is far superior in design and appearance than the likes of Leitz and Zeiss Ikon. But the German probably has the edge in also delivering their own stereo projection lens.

We don't have an instruction manual of the Stereo-Nikkor and if anyone of you has one, please scan or take digital images for us to
beef up the content of this Nikon rangefinder resource library, thanks.

Appropriate credit will be given for any contribution,
please contact my long time web buddy:
Nikon Stereo Slide Viewer for rangefinder stereo photography

Basic Specification for Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) rangefinder Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm wideangle lens:-
original Leather case that keeps the Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm wideangle lens with other accessories
Lens Mount: Nikon S-Mount for RF Nikon. No known LEICA M39 Screw Mount / Contax Bayonet mount yet
Focal Length: 35mm (3.5cm);
Diaphragm: Manual
Focusing range: 3ft~10ft; 10'~OO require prism.
Picture Angle
: 45.5
° x 2;
Maximum / Minimum Aperture range: f/3.5 ~ f/16
Optical Construction: 4 elements
Filter Attachment Size: special bayonet-type (40,5mm)
Lens Hood: standard accessory;
Optical Finder: special Stereo-type, supplied as standard accessory with grid frame line for defined frame for each lens
Weight (lens only)
: approx. 198g/7oz
Standard/Optional Accessories
: leather case; optical 3.5cm Stereo finder, Stereo viewer etc.
Other Information: Quantity Approx. 200 units

| previous | 4/4 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 f=3.5cm 1:3.5

Comparison among:-
3.5cm lens group
3.5cm rangefinder lens group
Contax's Carl Zeiss
3.5cm lens group (various)

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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.