"Keep your Fingers crossed", "Ebay Gambling"... Nikkor 5cm F1.5

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Brian, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Nippon Kogaku Tokyo No. 905189 Nikkor-S-C 1:15 f=5cm w/RangeFinder Camera &Case

    It's the only one of the original Japanese Super-Speed lenses that I do not have. I've told my wife if I buy something, the money is from selling equipment. Does not seem like real money when I think about it that way. So this one was a custom Sonnar 5cm F1.5 conversion, Canon 50/1.4, and Jupiter-3.

    I will follow up when the lens arrives. The photographs of the lens kept it from selling before, "could be fungus" could be reflections. Seller gives 14-day money back. I might be testing that. If the lens arrives and is "clear" as stated, I will be one happy Sonnar fanatic. There were only 300 of these lenses made, it came with the Nicca III. I have that one, came with a collapsible 5cm F2 Nikkor on it. That one was also a gamble, but no where near as much money, and not as rare as this lens. The interior haze of that one cleared out completely, took 15 minutes total. The Simlar 5cm F1.5 took a solid week to bring to fully working condition, also "rare"- but 10x as many made as the 5cm F1.5 Nikkor.

    Assuming it is a keeper- will get an image archive up for it.

    http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/nhs/50f15/50f15.htm

    A great article by Robert Rotoloni on the 5cm F1.5. The lens that I took a gamble on is the 189th made. The Simlar 5cm F1.5 that I restored several years ago was 74th of about 3000 made. THAT lens has a unique optical formula, perhaps the first new design done in post-war Japan.
     
  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    The Fed-Ex package just came, double-boxed....

    AND


    "Gorgeous Lens, Acc Descr. Great Comms, Well Packed, Shipped quickly.THANKYOU!"... Feedback does not get better than THAT, Baby!

    I don't know what the reflections were caused by in the images posted in the auction, possibly the magnified cloth shutter of the Canon III- which also works.

    I will be using this lens on the M Monochrom, and writing an article on it. There were "maybe" 300 of these made, maybe less. I've seen one on Ebay before at this price a few years ago. I had just "shot the wad" on something... Bad timing. That one was from a professional camera dealer, was a reasonable price at $1500, had some cleaning marks. This one is in better condition, and came with the Canon III. Which now has a Canon 50/1.9 Serenar on it.

    Did I mention that I am EXCITED! This is the lens that introduced Nikon to the world. And I even have the US Camera 1951 yearly that has David Douglas Duncan's "This is War!".
     
  3. Vidar

    Vidar Leica Place Regular

    84
    Mar 30, 2013
    Bergen, Norway
    Vidar
  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Twisted my Arm...

    I have the 1951 US Camera yearly that featured David Douglas Duncan's work in Korea. Some of the most famous images of the war were taken with a Nikkor 5cm F1.5 made a few (15 or so?) lenses later than this one. I've read that maybe 300 lenses total were made in Leica mount, maybe 400 in S-Mount. The SN of this one means the batch of lenses was ordered 5/1949 (first batch) and this is the 189th lens made. There was one more batch ordered in 7/49, mostly S-Mount.

    The Marine Museum at Quantico, VA has a section dedicated to DDD and his work with the Marines in Korea. It will get a visit soon with this lens.
     

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  5. Amin

    Amin Administrator

    399
    Mar 28, 2013
    Wow, congrats Brian!
     
  6. Vidar

    Vidar Leica Place Regular

    84
    Mar 30, 2013
    Bergen, Norway
    Vidar
    It is a beauty. Congrats with this rare find, looking forward to see the pictures it produces.
     
  7. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I did a quick focus test with the M9: the actual focus and RF agree from close-up to infinity at F1.5. This confirms that Nikkor lenses were shimmed to work best at F1.5 from the beginning. The same is true of all of my Leica mount Nikkor lenses: optimized for wide-open use.
     
  8. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I've been google searching for background information on this lens, and found Peter Dechert's book on Canon Rangefinders. Nikon made lenses for Canon in the 1930s. The Nikkor 5cm F3.5, 5cm F4.5, and 5cm F2 were all offered. Nikon also developed a 5cm F1.5 lens for the Canon in 1937, according to the book. Not many made, Canon started making their own lenses soon after this one was developed. The 5cm F2 was reintroduced after World War II with the Nikon I and Nicca Leica-mount camera. I have a 1948 Collapsible 5cm F2 on my Nicca III. These Nikkor lenses developed for Canon were made to the Leica 51.6mm focal length standard, and is most likely why the Nikon S-Mount is based on that focal length and not the Contax focal length. As supplies of glass had to be replenished, minor recomputations were required on the designs.

    What's the point of all of this? I'm guessing the Nikkor 5cm F1.5 had been developed before the War, enough glass existed for doing a limited run, and it got a super-speed lens onto the market quickly. The newer glass being developed required the existing designs to be recomputed, and the new design upped-the-ante to F1.4. It just does not make sense to put a lot of development effort into a lens with an 800 unit production run. I think the design was done well beforehand. I will be using this lens over the next few weeks to characterize it, first impressions: it is much closer in rendition to a coated Zeiss Sonnar and the Canon 50/1.5. The Nikkor 5cm F1.4 underwent a "minor tweeking" about the time that the S2 was developed, the diameter of the optics and optical fixture was increased. SO- my early Nikkor 5cm F1.4's are different from the later lenses.
     
  9. ajramirez

    ajramirez Leica Place Veteran

    267
    Mar 30, 2013
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Fine looking lens. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing some shots from it.