Zoom-Nikkor 50-135mm f/3.5s MACRO
This Nikon zoom lense was first showcased at Photokina, 1982 and was introduced almost the same time to the market as another Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO. However, unlike the 35-105mm which uses a variable lens speed design, this lense has a fixed, constant aperture at f/3.5 throughout its entire focal length from 50-135mm. With a picture angle that spans from standard view of 46° to telephoto range at 18°, this lense can be used for a broad scope of photographic applications. Perhaps the only thing that you can pick on its weaknesses is its shorter end of the focal length which is less desirable to used it as a all round zoom lense.
However, if you have already owned a few prime wideangle lenses such as any of the 24mm, 28mm while on the other hand, you might also possess a telephoto lense (such as 180mm or 200mm), then this lense should be very appealing for those of you who wishes to have a single zoom lense to fill the vacuum from standard to medium telephoto range.
In fact, when both the Nikkor zooms were announced, I have cursed many times why wouldn't Nikon provides a simpler solution by offering a 35mm-135mm instead of breaking it into two separate zoom lenses. Well, although slow to react but Nikon eventually debuted the MF Zoom-Nikkor 35-200mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO a few years later in December, 1985, but then most users were already shifted their attention to the more fascinating autofocus SLR cameras and lenses and this MF lense never had the supposedly popular status the creator envisions it to be. In fact, when the 35-200mm Nikkor zoom was announced, it was the same period that saw this lense being terminated in service. Besides, I think the variable lens speed MF Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO which was introduced a year earlier in December, 1984 than the 35-200 zoom was even more threatening to its existence in the Nikon's product range.
Unlike other MF Nikkor zoom lenses which usually had their zoom range replicates into an AF lense, this Nikkor zoom has not been given an AF-rebirth consideration by Nikon at all.
Credit: A Zoom-Nikkor 50-135mm lense mounted on a Nikon F2 camera. Picture courtesy of "Walt & Judy Heilsnis®" <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.
Technically, this Ai-S native Nikkor zoom lense does has a few very good features offer in its design. Firstly, it uses a single pull and slide zoom design which is more responsive to quick action type of photography. Perhaps due to the requirement in maintaining a constant aperture across its entire zoom range, the lense is quite sizable and weighs considerably heavy at 700g. It uses a larger filter attachment size of 62mm which makes it looks quite identical to the Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.0s from a distant. Its main strength is actually within its optical design and mechanism - employing a rather complex optical composition in 16 elements in 13 groups configuration, this lense can close focus down to 4.3 ft (1.3m) and it has a non-rotating front section as you focuses which makes it ideal to use special filter-types such as Polarizer. Similar to other popular Nikkor zoom lenses introduced at this period, this Nikkor zoom also provides a Macrofocus feature where an impressive 1:3.8 reproduction ratio can be reached at its closest focusing distance. In addition, unlike the 35-105mm, the macro setting is set at 50mm which gives a more natural perspective if use for close-up photography. Further, this lense was also one of the few Nikkor zoom lenses that provide a f/32 minimum aperture which makes it even more ideal for greater depth of field control when shooting at macro mode.
Credit: The three images courtesy of "Stuart Applebaum®" <website: Midwest Photo Exchange> who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Image has been scaled, retouched slightly for broadcasting use in this website. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. If you intend to use this image for commercial purpose, a written permission from the creator is always encouraged.
Another key selling point relates to this zoom lense is, I have heard many users rated its optical quality highly but as I have no experience with this zoom before and couldn't seriously try it out to find it out myself. If you have any good picture(s) shoot with this lense, do send me a few for evaluation and/or publishing in this site.
Focal length/Aperture: 50 - 135mm f/3.5s
Lens Coupling: Ai-S
Lens construction: 16 elements in 13 groups
Picture angle: 46° - 18°
Note: Pink cast is due to shoot with a Skylight filter attached.
Aperture scale: f/3.5 ~ f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale
Focusing and zooming control: via single rings for push and pull control.
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Ai cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai cameras
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 1.3m (4.3ft) to infinity (oo)
Macro operation: operate at 50mm; Reproduction Ratio: 1:3.8 life-size at 50mm focal length
Credit: This lense has excellent built quality with essential picture taking data clearly and well illustrated. All images courtesy of "Walt & Judy Heilsnis®" <email@example.com>. Images copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.
Depth of Field Scales: Orange for f/22, Blue for f/11 and Yellow for f/8.0 with indicative Infrared Index in Red
Attachment size: 62mm (P = 0.75); Weight: 700g
Dimensions: 73mm dia. x 142mm long (overall); Filters:52mm front screw-in
Front lens cap: Screw-in; Lens hood: HK-10 screw-in type; Lens case: CL-35A hard leatherette; No. 63 soft pouch
Usable Teleconverter(s): TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-14A; Note: Serial numbers for this Ai-S only Zoom-Nikkor lense was believed to have been started with 811001.
Nikkor MF Zoom Lenses: | Main Index Page |
25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28-50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm
Credit: Image of this Zoom-Nikkor 50-135mm lense courtesy of Pete Hall® <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.
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Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm
MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm
Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E
Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses | about this photographic web site
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Co-developed with my web buddy, Rick Oleson® & Denmark, Creator of the Nikon Repair Group Mailing-List; A contributing effort to Michael Liu's Classic Nikon SLRs and Nikkor optic site.
Credit: MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites; Lars Holst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; Ted Wengelaar, Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; Hiura Shinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. Lastly, to all the good people who has contributed their own expeience, resources or kind enough granted permission to use their images of their respective optic in this site. It is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets & brochures published by Nikon 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 tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.