Review (+ video review) of the first standard lens for Nikon SLR cameras: 'fifty dollars' Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

According provided by lens Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm many thanks to the reader of Radozhiva - Andrey Tverdokhleb.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

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Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Enlightenment of the front lens of the Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm lens

In short

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm (I will call it Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 for short) is a standard fast lens for Nikon's first film SLR cameras. The word “standard” in this case refers to the focal length. Lenses are called standard if the focal length is approximately the same as the frame diagonal. So, Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 has a focal length of 50 mm, the frame diagonal of film cameras for which it was designed is about 43 mm. Typically, for 35 mm film cameras, standard lenses are considered those with a focal length in the range of 35-85 mm (other numbers may be found in the literature, for example, 45-58 mm). The Nikkor-S 50mm F / 2 is also called “fifty kopecks” because of its 50 mm focal length (“half” used to be called half-ruble coins, ie 50 kopecks).

Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 is a small, old, compact and, in general, a simple manual lens. It can easily get lost among hundreds of other fifty kopeck lenses. Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 is suitable for both modern FX and DX cameras (if only it can be installed on these cameras, which will be discussed in the Compatibility section).

If there is such a lens on the farm, you can enjoy working with it. If there is no such lens, then I don't see much sense in purchasing it.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm on the camera Nikon D40x

History

The Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 was introduced in February 1959 along with Nikon's first single-lens reflex camera, the Nikon F. Thus, the Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 became the company's first standard lens.

The Nikon F camera was presented at once with a whole line of lenses: 21/4, 28 / 3.5, 35 / 2.8, 50/2, 105 / 2.5 and 135 / 3.5. In addition, the longer 180 / 2.5, 250/4 and 500/5 lenses (from rangefinder cameras) could be used with the Nikon F using the Nikon NF adapter. The Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 is thus not only the first standard lens, but also one of the very first Nikon SLR cameras. The Nikkor-S 50mm F / 2 version was produced until 1963 and was subsequently replaced by the Nikkor-H 50mm F / 2 version.

All of the company's lenses have been named 'Nikkor' since 1932. Lenses manufactured before the 70s instead of the modern 'Nikon' are labeled 'Nippon Kogaku Japan'. Older Nikkor lenses in their name also have one prefix letter of the Greek (or Latin) alphabet, which is responsible for the number of lenses in the optical scheme.

  1. U Unus
  2. B Bini
  3. T Three
  4. Q Quattuor
  5. P Comb
  6. H Hex
  7. S Septem
  8. O Oct
  9. N Novem
  10. D decem

Accordingly, Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 has 7 lenses in its optical design. The 'S' should not be confused with 'AF-S' and the 'N' with 'Nano Crystal Coat'.

Class 50/2 Nikkor lenses have not been updated to version AI-S and replaced by the Nikkor range of class 50 / 1.8, which was based on the same optical design, but with a slightly increased aperture. The approximate history of the development of such lenses is shown below.

Nikkor 50/2 Class Lens Range:

  • Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm, a subversion of which is shown in this review. Optical design: 7 elements in 5 groups. The letter 'S' in the name means 'Septem' - seven lenses in the optical scheme of the lens. Issued from 1959 to 1963, there are several different versions of this lens with different numbers of petals aperture, with different marks and slightly different rings aperture and focusing.
  • Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-H Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm. Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups. The letter 'H' in the name means 'Hex' - six lenses in the optical circuit of the lens. It was produced from 1964 to 1972, there are also several subversions of this lens with minor differences.
  • Nikon Nikkor-HC Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm. Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups, the same as in the previous version. The lens received a special enlightenment. Produced from 1972 to 1974.
  • Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1: 2 (the so-called "K" version). Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups, the same as in the previous version. The lens got a modern look. It was produced from 1974 to 1977.
  • Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1: 2 (Ai version). Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups, the same as in the previous version. Updated to AI version. It was produced from 1977 to 1979.

The lens version shown in this review had several additional sub-versions. Subversions differed in the number of diaphragm blades. The first Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm lenses were produced with 9 aperture blades, after which, around 1960, the number of blades was reduced to 6. Also, the very first sub-versions were produced with a red letter 'R', which was next to with an extreme point for work in the infrared spectrum.

The lens shown in this review is serial no.566135 and is from the most recent sub-revision, which features 6 aperture blades and no 'PAT'. PEND. '.

Total more than 2.5 million were released manual lenses class Nikkor 50/2.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm on the camera Nikon D40X

Main technical characteristics of Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm:

Name of instances from review Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm No.566135
Basic properties
  • FX (for Nikon FX) - lens designed for Nikon FX full-frame cameras
  • Car - automatic iris control
  • S (Septem) - seven lenses in the optical scheme
  • MF (Mannual Focus) - manual focus only
  • PRE-AI (NON-AI) - aperture control ring with "ears"
  • Non-g (Non gelded) - the presence of a diaphragm control ring
  • metal case
  • enlightened optics
Front Filter Diameter 52 mm, metal thread for filters
Body materials All parts of the lens housing are made of metal
Focal length 50 mm; EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 75 mm; EGF for Nikon CX cameras is 135 mm
Diagonal viewing angles 46 ° for FX cameras, 31 ° for DX cameras
Zoom ratio 1 X (this is a fixed lens without the ability to change the focal length)
Designed by for Nikon film cameras with Nikon F mount
Number of aperture blades 6 straight (not rounded) petals; at F / 2.8, the petals form a hole with small notches. Please note that the same lens was produced in other versions with 9 aperture blades.
Labels marking on the focus ring with the focusing distance in meters and feet, the depth of field for F / 4 (green), F / 8 (pink), F / 11 (yellow), F / 16 (blue). Label for working in the infrared spectrum (red dot near the depth of field scale). Ring with aperture values, there are marks for F / 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16.
Diaphragm from f / 2 to f / 16. The lens has an aperture ring (Non-G - lens type)
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 2 feet (approximately 60 cm), the focus ring rotates a little further than the 2 feet mark. Please note that the focus distance on this lens is indicated only in feet, but at the same time, there is a complete copy of this lens with the focus distance in meters.
The weight 200 g
Optical design 7 elements in 5 groups. The lens does not use special optical elements.Optical design Nikon 50mm S F2Lens versions use the same optical design.
Lens hood Metal hood f = 5cm 1: 2 Nikon F snaps.
Transportation With NIPPON KOGAKU F back cover and front cover
NIKKOR 52mm. The front cover has an old design with metal bolts.
Period Serial production from April 1959 to December 1963, later replaced by the Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-H Auto 1: 2 f = 50mm
Manufacturer country LENS MADE IN JAPAN (inscription on the focus ring on the back of the focus distance marking)

To shoot the lens in the light cube, I wiped the front lens with microfiber and noticed that the front lens was not convex, but flat. Usually, all the fifty-fifty lenses I used had a distinctly convex lens. As later confirmed by the optical design, the Nikkor-S 50mm F / 2 has a flat front lens.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Assembly

Immediately I would like to note the fact that if the lenses of the Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm version were discontinued in 1963, then the copy from this review at the time of writing the review was at least 53 years old. The fact that a lens works and can still please its owner is the most valuable indicator of its build quality.

The lens body is completely made of metal with a metal bayonet mount and metal thread for light filters. In the middle the Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 has a nice chrome insert. The diaphragm control ring has classic metal “ears” for mating the diaphragm ring with the camera rheostat.

The front lens is set deep enough in the frame of the housing, which creates the effect of a small built-in hood. In the lens, I was surprised at the lack of screws on the bayonet side. In modern lenses, the bayonet mounts with screws on the back of the lens.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Focusing

The metal focusing ring rotates slightly less than 180 degrees. Unfortunately, the specimen that I had on review had a tight focusing ring, which did not rotate smoothly, but with the so-called “slip”. The focus ring is most likely not functioning as well as expected due to the age of the lens.

During focusing, the front of the body rim extends, while the front lens does not rotate. During focusing, the entire lens block moves.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm lens and Nikon Nikkor-SC Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm

Diaphragm

Inscription 'Car'means only the presence of automatic iris control (so-called' jumpers'). With Nikon F mount DSLRs, you can always focus at full f / 2 aperture, and when the shutter is released, the camera will automatically close the aperture to the value set with the aperture ring. After releasing the shutter, the camera will open it again to f / 2. This diaphragm is called 'bouncing' or 'blinking'.

Aperture ring switches the aperture with clicks. The diaphragm ring on the lens from this review rotated tight. Unfortunately, the lens uses only 6 aperture blades. The petals are straight and at closed aperture values ​​form a hexagon. At F / 2.8, the lobes form a hole with small notches.

Due to the non-rounded aperture blades on closed diaphragms, it is easy to obtain 6-ray star effect.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Compatibility

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm, from this review, is Non-ai (PRE-AI) the lens and, without its alteration (AI-conversion), there will be problems when trying to install on certain CZK Nikon. Information on this issue, with an exact list of cameras that do not require alteration for installation, can be found in the section PRE-AI.

Due to this inconvenience, I will not be able to use the lens on the camera Nikon D700 and Nikon F6, but on cameras Nikon D40x и Nikon D40 the lens mounted without any problems.

You will find how to use manual lenses on modern Nikon central control centers in the 'How to work with non-CPU lenses on modern Nikon central controllers'.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm, aperture blades form a hole with small notches at F / 2.8

Image quality

Nikkor-S 50mm F / 2 uses an upgraded optical scheme such as a Gaussian double lens, from where its basic optical properties come from. It is funny that in the future, the Nikkor-S 50mm F / 2 was replaced by a Nikkor-H 50mm F / 2 with an optical design much more similar to a Gaussian double lens.

The Nikkor-S 50mm F / 2 across the entire image field of the Nikon DX camera shows confident sharpness sufficient for comfortable shooting. Covering the aperture at least to F / 2.8, you can get a very sharp picture.

The lens most likely has a simple chemical enlightenment, and therefore catches a large number of glare in the backlight. Glare of blue or violet color (the same color and optical illumination). Despite the abundance of glare, the contrast drops much less than I expected from such an old lens. I am glad that for many years nothing happened with the enlightenment of optics. Enlightenment gives a faint warm hue to JVI and in the photographs.

Of course, without chromatic and spherical aberrations, there’s nowhere to go. The vignetting on the Nikon DX camera is imperceptible, as is the level of distortion.

Separately, I want to note the smooth transition of the sharpness zone to the blur zone. Unlike many fifty dollars with F / 1.4, which make the transition jerky, the Nikkor-S 50mm F / 2 makes a very smooth transition even at minimum focusing distances (see grid images in the gallery). It is only a pity that on covered diaphragms in the blur zone you can get hexagons from bright light sources.

Nikon Nikkor-SC Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm and Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Nikon Nikkor-SC Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm and Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Sample Photos

All photos in the gallery below were shot on Nikon D40 (DX camera with crop factor Kf = 1.5). Photos without additional processing, obtained using the on-camera JPEG (only reduced to 3 MP and imprinted data from EXIF).

You can download source files in '.JPEG' format at this link (33 files in '.JPG' format, 72 MB).

My experience

Nikkor-S 50mm f / 2 is too simple. Of course, I am very glad that such "old men" still shoot well, but the range of tasks where they would show themselves to the maximum is very small in our time. Usually, manual fifty dollars are bought for video shooting, or for creative or artistic ideas. True, photographers often end up with “artistic” ideas in photographs, in which 90% of the frame is occupied by a zone of blur (blurred background).

A horde of fifty fifty lenses passed through my hands and I was glad to work with the grandfather of all Nikkor DSLRs. Even in our time, with Nikkor-S 50mm F / 2, you can squeeze out a lot and I am sure that the surviving Nikkor-S 50mm F / 2 will survive for more than one decade "TOP" (made of top plastic) Chinese Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4G SWM.

In Radozhiv you can still find an interesting article about all fifty fifty Nikon autofocus.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

Old Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm and Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4G SWM

All Nikon 50 / 1.8 Autofocus Lenses

For 2018, Nikon has 5 autofocus lenses of class 50 / 1.8 (but only with two fundamentally different optical schemes):

  1. Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor (first version, MKI) - the lens was produced only in Japan from 1986 to 1990. It is easy to distinguish by a window with a focusing distance and a narrow plastic focus ring. There are two subversions that are no different:
    • MKI first subversion. Weighing 210 grams. It is easy to distinguish by the screw under the inscription '1: 1.8'. From September 1986 to March 1987. Serial numbers start at 2
    • MKI second version. Weighing 165 grams. It is easy to distinguish by the absence of a screw under the inscription '1: 1.8'. From 1987 to 1990. Serial numbers start at 3.
  2. Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor (second version, MKII, also known as the 'N', or the 'NEW' version) - the lens was produced in Japan and China. The MK II version was produced from 1990 to 2001. There are three subversions that are no different:
  3. Nikon 50mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor (third version, MKIIIbetter known as 'D'-version) - the lens is available from 2002 to this day. All lenses are made in China.
  4. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical (fourth version, MKIVbetter known as '1.8 G'-version or '1.8 AF-S' version) - the lens has been produced since 2011, all lenses are made in China.
  5. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical Special Edition (fifth version, MKVbetter known as version 'Special Edition' or 'SE' or version for the camera with a retro design of the case Nikon Df) - the lens has been available since the fall of 2013. All lenses are made in China.

Separately, there is a lens for mirrorless cameras with Nikon Z mount:

  1. Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm 1: 1.8 Ssince summer 2018

Details on the lineup of fifty dollars from Nikon can be found in my article 'All Nikon autofocus fifty dollars'. For Nikon cameras there is still an inexpensive similar lens Yongnuo 50mm 1: 1.8 (copy Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G), as well as an advanced version with an image stabilizer Tamron SP 45mm F / 1.8 Di VC USD F013. On the topic, I advise you to look at the article 'About fifty dollars for Nikon and Canon'.

Comments here on the site do not require any registration. In the comments, you can ask a question on the topic, or leave your feedback, or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend E-Catalog. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.

Video review

Video review can be viewed at my new YouTube channel - subscribe and like!


Results

The pioneer of the fifty-dollar family for Nikon SLR cameras did not hit his face in dirt and showed decent image quality. The main feature of the Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm is its good build quality and nice picture on F / 2.0.

The material was prepared by Arkady Shapoval. My Youtube channeland Radozhiva's group on Facebook и VK.

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Comments: 34, on the topic: Review (+ video review) of the first standard lens for Nikon SLR cameras: 'fifty dollars' Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 2 f = 5cm

  • vlad

    Thanks for the review, I liked the lens very much

  • Alexey

    I will add as the previous owner of this glass:
    - went like a whale for Nikkormat ft2.
    - used by me without alterations on Nikon D90
    - left at the price of UAH 1300, now I even regret it)

    Thanks to Arkady for the review.

    • Sergei

      Now they sell it for $ 200)))

      • MIROGOR

        And they buy .... ???

  • Nikolai (sn797)

    Thanks for your review! I read you often, but I rarely comment. But he could not pass by this glass. A very nice picture is obtained with this lens. Voluminous, lively, natural ... there are many epithets :) The constructive, too, is worthy of many words of praise. Lying around at my house, idle, exactly the same fifty dollars. Perfect, in your own case! I was determined to push him at the auction, who will give how much. Now I'm thinking, maybe it's better to buy Nikon D40 :)

    • Dim

      If you like the picture, it is better to file the corresponding keys on the mount with a file and calmly photograph on any Nikon DSLR.

    • Alexey

      just do not have to cut anything, this is a mockery of such a lens. I can buy, if that.

      • Dim

        Mockery is not using such a wonderful thing for its intended purpose. The lens is well made and its “life” is at work. It is very difficult or even impossible to find a branded ring for modernization, but rewriting with due accuracy is a trifling matter.

      • anonym

        Ai conversion is calmly done and use on any Nikon DSLR. I did it on Nikor 105mm 2.5, I use it and I am not happy

  • Dim

    On the e-bay, even with 6 blades, there is no aperture, about 9 you don’t even have to stutter.

  • varezhkin

    excellent excursion into the history of lens construction. thanks. it was nice to read.

  • grandfather

    in my opinion from the end of the bayonet the bolt of the bayonet mount is visible.

  • Dmitriy

    Only, after all, not “the first standard lens of the company”, but the first standard lens for the Nikon F system, do not forget that Nikon had quite successful rangefinders and an optics system for them before.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Well, the title of the review clearly states “for SLR cameras”.

      • Dmitriy

        Well, I'm talking about the phrase in the text of the article.

  • Arkady Shapoval

    Interesting infa on old designs - http://photodzen.com/articles/reviews/istoriya-nikonos-chast-1/

  • d254nk

    Usually manual fifty dollars buy for shooting video, or for creative or artistic design. True, often "artistic" ideas among amateur photographers end in photographs in which 90% of the frame is in the blur zone (blurred background). (C) They said right to the point)))))

    • anonym

      Do not rejoice. In this review, a third of the photos are just with this parameter. And nothing, it looks, albeit 90%.

    • Anatoly

      no.
      Fifties (including manual ones) are bought only for filming in the pavilion (for example, for documents) - when the apparatus is on a tripod and the chair is in the same place.
      Newbies often buy themselves "fifty dollars" just like that - but this is ordinary marketing that hits inexperienced brains of newbies (this goes away with experience)

  • Shadow

    He draws beautifully. The "old man" did not hit his face in the dirt. A very, very good picture! I already wanted to buy it. Maybe someone knows and will tell you where these are sold?

    • Valeria

      I have just such a lens - Nikon Nippon Kogaku NIKKOR-H Auto 50mm F2 from JAPAN. I got it in perfect condition, absolutely clean lenses, no scuffs, no dust, the diaphragm works clearly, does not stick, excellent sharpness. I can sell you if you want. I sell now just through Avito and Nikon Club.

      • Shadow

        Hello. Do you have H? Or as in this article-S? What will be the price of the issue?

  • Anatoly

    m-yeah ..
    The lens is of course unimportant ...

  • Alexander

    … Ethno weird little "glass". The very fact of such a venerable age. However, there is more to it than just age. There are some amazing things about this lens that you would not expect from such an “old man”. Arkady mentioned them. Embodies the philosophy of the Nikon era))) It's hard to add anything else to the review.

  • Masha

    Can you please explain how to set the shutter speed on a Nikon F3 with such a Non-AI lens? I don’t quite understand: if I only set the desired aperture and set the shutter speed to automatic, will the correct exposure come out? Or do you need to use a separate exposure meter to also set the shutter speed yourself?

    • Jury

      Is there a built-in exposure meter in F3?

      • Masha

        yes, TTL exposure meter

        • Jury

          I did not use such a camera, but if it is possible to mount a Non-AI lens on the Nikon F3 (i.e., the lever of the potentiometer for reading the aperture value is sunk into the camera body), the shutter speed and aperture will have to be set by hand, guided by the built-in exposure meter. Those. shutter speed in the machine will not work without altering the lens in AI. P.S. they tried to sell this particular instance of the lens for $ 200; for this money, you can buy 2 pcs. 50 1,8D or one 50 1,8G + money to wash the purchase will remain :).

  • anonym

    Alexander. Why two Nikon 50-1,8d. If you really have a conversation about cheaper and “wash”, then take Helios 81n — and you will still have a lot of money. Enough for a box of good vodka to “wash” … ..

  • Michael

    Somehow I came across just this particular specimen, with Ai conversion, I did not pay attention to S then, but noticed that the front lens was flat, I took it off with pleasure on Nikon F3, later one person saw it and offered to exchange it for Olympus OM 50mm f / 1.4, I was attracted by the aperture ratio and the fact that the zoo’s tail was on the Nikon F. A couple of years passed, I sold the zoo because I got Nikkor 50 / 1.2, but I noticed that I’m more often shooting on aperture 2 than 1.2 and somehow noticed when passing through St. Petersburg that they sell Nikkor 50/2 for 1400r, I decided to take it also easier and sharp, especially the bokeh at full frame, well, just fabulous . I took it and somehow didn’t notice that the lens was convex, I began to shoot, not at all that the bokeh was empty and there was no sharpness on the open. Then I figured out I realized that I bought the H version, and then I changed the smart lens for the zoo, now I want to get everything 9-petal version. Thanks for the review))

  • loaf

    not the first - nikon s - first and bm39

    • Arkady Shapoval

      written for SLR camerasrather than for rangefinders

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