Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.5 f = 105mm. Radozhiva Reader Review

Overview of the Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.5 f = 105mm lens specially for Radozhiva prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.5 f = 105mm

Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.5 f = 105mm

The lens for the review was provided by Mikhail Kuzmin.

Nippon Kogaku Nikkor-P 1: 2.5 f = 105mm - a telephoto lens developed in the late 50s. Exists a dozen varieties of 105 / 2.5 Nikon lenses, different in appearance, but not always - in optical design. The review presents one of the earliest versions of the portrait lens, released in the 1960s. On Radozhiv there is an article about the later AI version.

Specifications:

Optical design - 5 lenses in 3 groups, such as Sonnar (see LensDesign.pdf);
Focal length - 105 mm;
Relative aperture - 1: 2.5;
The diaphragm is six-bladed, “jumping”, F2.5-F / 22, with clicks on half-stops;
Focusing - manual;
The minimum focusing distance is 1.2 m;
Thread for filters - 52 mm;
Camera Mount - Nikon F, non-AI lens.

Design and features

The name of the lens reveals a little information about the optical scheme: the letter 'P' after Nikkor means the use of 5 lenses in the scheme - 'Penta'. Indeed, the lens is a five-element Sonnar, similar to the famous medium format Carl Zeiss 180 / 2.8. Apparently, at the beginning of its existence, Nippon Kogaku copied and developed old German developments, like many other firms known today.

Due to the presence of complex bonded components, Sonnar lenses are not only quite expensive to manufacture, but they also have a very limited number of correction parameters. Therefore, in 1971, a transition was made to a new optical scheme - a five-lens double Gauss of the late Biometar type (see NewVersionAI-S), and since 1981 the lens (version AI-S) also received improved focus by moving a separate group of lenses.

Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 is made in an aluminum case with a remarkable design - black elements next to silver-white, colorful (albeit partially erased by time) scales, a characteristic protrusion on the diaphragm ring. The focusing ring has a nut-like appearance with deep recesses, which is also a hallmark of 1960s lenses.

Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 with UV filter, covers and Nikon F-EOS adapter and complete metal hood HN-7.

Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 with UV filter, covers and Nikon F-EOS adapter and complete metal hood HN-7.

When focusing, the entire lens block extends without rotation. The minimum focusing distance is 1.2 meters. Interestingly, the depth of field scale is made in color according to the color of the numbers on the iris control ring. The small red dot on the DOF is the infrared shift mark.

A view of an MDF-focused lens with a lens hood installed.

A view of an MDF-focused lens with a lens hood installed.

Aperture control can be carried out both in fully manual mode and in preset mode with automatic closing. About the nuances of working with Non-AI optics can be read here. The diaphragm has only 6 rounded petals, which noticeably shine in the light.

Front view of the closed aperture of the lens.

Front view of the closed aperture of the lens.

Shiny petals can adversely affect the contrast of the generated image, since they cause stray light reflections.

View of the lens diaphragm from the bayonet side with the Nikon F-EOS adapter installed. It is easy to note the small size of the rear lens of the lens.

View of the lens diaphragm from the bayonet side with the Nikon F-EOS adapter installed. It is easy to note the small size of the rear lens of the lens.

In addition, when closing, 6 petals form a hexagonal hole - we can expect typical “nuts” in the bokeh and six-pointed stars from point light sources.

The entrance pupil of the lens on the open aperture.

The entrance pupil of the lens on the open aperture.

Aperture adjustment occurs in steps, with clicks on the half-stops. This is convenient for taking photos, but can be harmful for movie shooting.

The entrance pupil of the lens at F / 8.

The entrance pupil of the lens at F / 8.

Its dimensions (and the optical design) Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 resembles the Soviet Jupiter 9. These two lenses even have exactly the same absolute aperture values ​​- 42.5 mm - which can be taken into account when evaluating the depth of field.

Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 (left) and Jupiter-9 (Contax-Kiev, redone on the M42).

Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 (left) and Jupiter-9 (Contax-Kiev, redone on the M42).

Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 is a typical lens of its time. When using, it does not cause any complaints: it is well assembled, oversized and has convenient manual control. True, the design of the Nikkor optics of the 1960s and 1970s is somewhat amateurish.

Optical properties

Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 is very different from its successors (AI, AI-S) through the use of the Sonnar optical scheme. With the Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5, it reminded me quite strongly of Jupiter-9 (CMZ): it gives a rather sharp (but, moreover, "softened" - with low contrast at high frequencies) image from an open aperture. Resolution in the center of the frame is limited by spherical aberrations, field distortion is not very pronounced. Chromatism is not noticeable at all. Contrast is adequate under normal lighting conditions, but drops noticeably in backlit conditions. Perhaps this is due to the condition of a particular specimen, which has damage (microscratches, a couple of chips) of the front and rear lenses. Color rendering is neutral.

The most significant difference from Jupiter-9 is the very noticeable (in full frame) vignetting of Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5, caused by the use of a small diameter rear lens in the optical circuit. Apparently, this was done to improve image quality by cutting obliquely incident light beams. The bokeh of the lens due to geometric vignetting is noticeably “twisted” - the circles of defocus at the edges of the frame become “lemons”. When aperture is fixed, it immediately deteriorates and becomes a "nut". On such a lens, I would like to see a more circular aperture.

Lens bokeh at F / 2.5, F / 2.8, F / 4, F / 5.6:


Below are the paired photos taken on Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 and KMZ Jupiter-9 85/2:

As a result, the optical quality of the Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 can be called really good both from a technical and artistic point of view.

Below are examples of photos on the Sony A7s full-frame camera (shooting in RAW, developing in Image Edge).

UPDATE

I fell into the hands of Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.5 f = 105mm No.164611. The site deals with similar lenses fanat-optics.com (their instagram). The appearance of the specimen and sample photos were taken on the classics Nikon D40 (6 MP, CCD).

Original JPEG '.JPG' photos can be view and / or download from this link (Google Drive, 25 photos, images obtained by converting the original RAW files with the original Capture NX-D converter without making any additional adjustments). Original RAW photos '.NEF' can be view and / or download from this link (Google Drive, 11 photos).

conclusions

The old Nikkor-P 105 / 2.5 is a nice manual lens. With its optical quality and artistic properties, it definitely deserves attention. The lens can serve as an excellent portraiture on both full-frame and crop cameras. Fans of the Zonnar picture can also look at the Soviet Jupiter-9 85/2 produced by KMZ / Arsenal.

Thank you for your attention, Eshmakov Rodion.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 14, on the topic: Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.5 f = 105mm. Radozhiva Reader Review

  • B. R. P.

    Thanks for the review. A peculiar twist on him. In the guy’s photo, at 32000 ISO, how much is covered?

    • Rodion

      In this photo, the aperture is 1: 4, as far as I remember.

      • B. R. P.

        Thank you, I thought something like that.

  • Mfіnd

    Cool ob'єktiv! Nabagato krashchy, nіzh Radiansky "Yupiter-9"!

    • Rodion

      Now you can compare them by the added paired photo!)

    • Jupiter

      This lens resembles Jupiter in much the same way that the Volga resembles Maybach. In some ways, yes, but in real use it is like things from different planets. Gauss is still more interenging in my humble opinion. And just it costs $ 170-200, as they wrote below. Such a Zonnar is cheaper, but the price is rising due to a decrease in the number of live specimens.

  • koba

    you can easily see from the photographs that the lens is very, very good, if not excellent. All those who followed in this line were also excellent. Therefore, in good condition, these lenses cost $ 150-200 ...

  • Michael

    Rodion, thanks for the great review!

  • Vyacheslav

    On my monitor, the photographs given by the author look with the white balance shifted towards yellow. My Jupiter-9 also turns yellow, but in this case it is obviously a consequence of the carcass tuning. As for Nikkor 105 / 2,5, I can only confirm its properties - a convenient, pleasant to use, rather sharp lens with a neutral color. Bokeh is not a masterpiece, but at this price point and with this focal length, it is perhaps one of the best old manual lenses out there. I also have the Olympus OM-System Zuiko 100 / 2,8, which is slightly more expensive, but more compact and lighter. The color is good, sharp, but the bokeh is also not for everybody. Someday I'll do a pair review

  • Oleg

    There was such a lens. Then the next option appeared, already Gauss. The body of the zonnar was more worn out, but the lenses were in very good condition. Gaussian with little signs of wear, the lenses are generally perfect. Since these were two lenses at the same time, it was possible to compare pictures in pairs from both crop and full frame. As a result, the picture from Gaus is sharper, a bit more contrasting, the colors are more natural (the enlightenment is bluish, in contrast to the amber-yellow old version), in addition, it has 7 aperture blades and they are more rounded. The picture from the zonnar is very good, but from the Gauss it is still a little better in everything. As a result, the lens from the review was sold, I do not want to sell the remaining gauss.

  • Alexander

    Where to buy such a lens?…. I haven't even found it on ebay yet .., maybe I was looking badly, but I don't see it yet)

    • Oleg

      There are a lot of them on eBay. Put in the settings on the "Ship to USA" website, a lot of offers.

  • Alexey

    I have such a lens. Even more ancient by number than that of the author. The front lens is quite badly scratched with small scratches. They are clearly visible in the light, but they do not affect the picture in any way, due to the large FR. The kit includes an excellent metal hood HS-4, I recommend buying the lens along with it. The lens does not tolerate backlight and side light, like all Zonnars. The picture is noticeably less sharp than that of Jupiter-37, but at the same time it is quite artistic. It takes a long time to look for HA in the open, there are almost none. You can cover the aperture to increase sharpness and depth of field, but more often than not, this is not necessary. With a lack of light, the color rendition becomes not very correct, with a bright sun, very beautiful warm colors. I use it on a kenon with an adapter, there are no problems. In general, just like the author, I can say that I recommend it for purchase, either full frame or crop. Let me remind you that the hood is required.

    • Rodion

      The observed sharpness and contrast issues are mostly a worn lens effect, not lens issues.

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