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Nikkor 5cm f/3.5 Collapsible - early 61000 batch, info/research (J / LTM mount)
Old 09-06-2017   #1
Corran
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Nikkor 5cm f/3.5 Collapsible - early 61000 batch, info/research (J / LTM mount)

Not sure if this is the best subforum - please move if there's a better place.

I'm not really a collector but lately I've been going through some of my more interesting Nikkor lenses that I've found over the years.

One of them is a very early collapsible Nikkor 5cm f/3.5 - the "copy" of an Elmar. Here's a pic of my lens and an Elmar next to it:



I read a bit online about these lenses back when I bought it but I recently discovered this short article about this batch on my usual Nikkor serial # website:

http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/niko...35_610xxx.html

I have also re-read Rotoloni's chapter on this lens.

The interesting thing is my lens is earlier than recorded on either source - 6104x is the serial #. According them, all lenses in this serial block are Canon 'J' mounts, save one oddball in Nikon S mount. Now I do not have a Canon 'J' mount camera, but my lens threads right onto all of my LTM cameras/adapters. Wouldn't the small tpi difference between the J standard and LTM standard cause it to bind? If so, is this lens the first/only copy known of in Leica thread mount?

Does anyone else have a lens in this serial # block? The web article above mentions only 2 known examples. I have not really kept an eye on eBay with regard to Nikkor collapsible 5cm f/3.5 lenses but I do not remember seeing any other 61000 block lenses pop up since this one. I was lucky enough to see a BIN auction at a really ridiculously low price for this lens right when it was listed, and did not hesitate. This was about 2 years ago.

It's a neat bit of history and I would love to know more about it if anyone has any insight, or perhaps there are others with these lenses out there? I am happy to take more photos or check anything if requested.
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Old 09-06-2017   #2
jonmanjiro
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Very interesting lens!

I would expect a Canon J mount lens to bind on an LTM camera. Perhaps the lens was forced on to an LTM camera thus modifying the thread. Or machined? Does the thread look undamaged/unmodified?

Is the aperture just behind the front element? Or further back?
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Old 09-06-2017   #3
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I thought you might be interested Jon!

The thread looks totally undamaged or modified. Same color and finish appearance as the helical threads inside of it. It threads on perfectly smooth and easy, with no binding or forcing needed, so I really think it's LTM.

The aperture is behind the front element. It looks exactly like the Elmar. Was this changed at some point with later lenses?
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Old 09-06-2017   #4
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Certainly sounds like a native LTM lens. Is focusing accurate at all distances?

The aperture in the rigid LTM Nikkor-Q.C 5cm f3.5 I sold here recently looked like it was in between the 2nd and 3rd elements instead of directly behind the 1st element like on an Elmar.
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Old 09-06-2017   #5
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Interesting! I did not see your sale ad. From what serial # block was it from?

The focusing seems fine. Here's a shot close in and at a wider f-stop which was dead-on where I focused it in the RF:

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Old 09-06-2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran View Post
Interesting! I did not see your sale ad. From what serial # block was it from?
My lens which now resides in NY was from this block (link below). Rotoloni estimates a production of around 1,200 lenses of this type. Uncommon, but definitely not a mystery lens like yours.

http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/niko...35_21xxxx.html
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Old 09-07-2017   #7
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Ah, the rigid one. I have never seen one myself, I will have to see if I can find pictures of a sufficient quality / angle to look at the aperture position. I had forgotten about that one, and had not considered that maybe it was changed from the collapsible.
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Old 09-11-2017   #8
dberger
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Obviously the Q.C 5cm started life as an Elmar, and they changed it to a Tessar for the rigid. (My rigid is definitely a Tessar.)

Canon did the same thing, if I recall correctly, with earlier collapsible 50's being Elmars, with later collapsible and the slow rigid 50's being Tessars. Tokyo Kogaku (Simlar/Topcor) may have done the same thing. Good idea - Tessar is a better design.

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Old 09-11-2017   #9
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I have the rigid Nikkor and it is definitely a Tessar. It has an odd filter size (34.5mm) so I had to use a B&W 32mm push on filter (wrapped with thin strip of PVC tape so it gripped on its outside). The filter is a Skylight (x1.1 KR 1.5). There is something about the lens (and filter maybe) that produces great colours using print film. It sits really well on my Leica IIIf. It doesn't intrude into the viewfinder at all.
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nikkor 3.5 collapsible
Old 09-11-2017   #10
enasniearth
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nikkor 3.5 collapsible

the numbers indicate the design date or perhaps production commencement date
the number 610 is October 1946 , at that point lenses were standardized and this lens was probably on a canon sii , there were other early Japanese Leica screw mount cameras however canon seems the one most found with these

on this and the earlier 57 series (may 1945 ) the second K in kogaku and the one in Tokyo are capitalized .
the later 705 series (may 1947 )don't have the capital K
might expect it to be delivered / produced in late 1946 through 1947


info from rotoloni and kitchingmans books
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Old 09-11-2017   #11
Livesteamer
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Does it have a number on the back where it mounts to the camera? I have a 50 f2.0 collapsible that has a number there and Robert Rotoloni told me it was a production date. Joe
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early 5cm f3.5 Nikon
Old 09-13-2017   #12
enasniearth
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early 5cm f3.5 Nikon

this lens came to me on a seiki kogaku sii within the first 500 made
The lens was in the 57 xxxx group July 1945 design / production
It has 44 stamped on the rest of the mount
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Old 09-13-2017   #13
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Now I want to find a rigid and do a direct comparison out of curiosity. I personally have never really made a big distinction between a "true" Tessar and the Elmar variant. I know the aperture placement is different but figured that was mostly irrelevant...but maybe not.

I agree that this lens was probably on an Canon S-II, but considering it's extremely early serial # I still would've assumed it to be a J-mount. Strange. I also had not noticed the capital "K"s until you mentioned it! I would love to find an early "Seiki Kogaku" S-II to mate to this lens but they are much too expensive as a collectors item for me to bother.

On the back of the screwmount there is in fact a number engraved - "28." Possible date code? Feb. 1948? That conflicts with the early serial #, but, what if the original owner sent it in and had it converted to screwmount when he upgraded his camera? That'd be quite interesting.

Interesting lens enasniearth, especially considering it also threads on fine and is even earlier. I've never seen a 57 block lens.
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Old 09-13-2017   #14
enasniearth
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Japanese dates are opposite ours , they list the year first then month
they were on a different calendar but by coincidence the last digit of the year is the same
the Nikon one was 609 sept 1946 but not released until 1948
interesting lens you have ,
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Old 09-13-2017   #15
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Interesting! So what do you think the "28" means on mine?
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Old 09-13-2017   #16
enasniearth
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I have no idea
The mount numbers are interesting
The group of your 610 lens has less produced than the other groups
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