Which Nikkor 135 does DDD have here :)

Discussion in 'Leica M and LTM Lenses' started by uhoh7, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. uhoh7

    uhoh7 Leica Place Regular

    163
    Oct 14, 2014
    DAVID+DOUGLAS+DUNCAN+WITH+NIKKOR+Q.C+13,5+CM+F3.5+IN+1950+AT+THE+BEGINNING+OF+KOREAN+WAR.
    DDD turned 100 in January! Brian I bet you knew that :)
    José Manuel Serrano Esparza says this is the 135/3.5. But I thought he grabbed a 135/4 at the factory? However, I can find no record of the 135/4 in LTM--wait I see there is M39 listed in one run. Rare as hen's teeth now, I wager.

    If this is a 135/3.5, would it be the same optics as the later black and silver ones?

    TY so much Brian and all :)

    PS here is DDD himself:

    What could the Nikkor lenses do that you weren’t getting with your existing lenses?

    They were sharper and brighter. During the Korean War I carried two Leica IIIC camera bodies loaded with Eastman Super-XX film—one with a Nikkor 50mm f1.5, then later the f1.4; the other with a telephoto, a Nikkor 135mm, F3.5. I was shooting the stuff in Korea and the guys in New York were asking, “What’s going on?” “Oh, he’s got these funny little lenses on his Leica.” Nobody had ever heard of Nikon. Some guy from The New York Times wrote a story about it, and that put Nikon on the map.
    from:
    David Douglas Duncan: The Making of a Master :: Black & White Magazine
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
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  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    David Douglas Duncan originally bought the 13.5cm F4 Nikkor-QC and the 5cm F1.5 Nikkor-SC.

    15197717566_4b06382b06_o. Nikkor 5cm F1.5 and 13.5cm F4 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    Same batch as these. Both lenses were replaced within a year by Nikon with the Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.4 and Nikkor-QC 13.5cm F3.5. I've read that Nikon got the new lenses into his hands, but he stated the F1.4 lens flared more than the F1.5. The 13.5cm F4 is every bit as good as the 13.5cm F3.5 that replaced it.
     
  3. uhoh7

    uhoh7 Leica Place Regular

    163
    Oct 14, 2014
    TY, Brian. :)

    That 135/4 is pretty rare now, no?

    So, opitcally, do we have any idea of the difference between the F/4 and the 3.5? Elements and groups are the same? Just a bit wider aperture.

    It seems the 3.5 was first run in early 1950, actually before DDD went to the factory, so potentially it was possible he really did start with it, but Nikon and some other sources say it was the F/4 he took first. In any case, it sounds as though most of the most famous shots he took with a Nikon 135 were with the 135/3.5. Which is kind of nice since we can all grab one cheap :)

    As I saw you noted elsewhere, the 3.5 was longest running nikon formula, most mounts and last sonnar. Wow.

    11215408554_8a15ea29f9_z.
    DSC05933
    by unoh7, on Flickr
     
  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    The Nikon serial numbers reflect the Month and Year that the order was placed. Actual date of manufacture is later, and the run of the batch may take several months. The first 13.5cm F3.5 batch is "5006", meaning June, 1950 for the order. The first batch of 5cm F1.4's is 5005, actually a month earlier.

    Maybe 600 or so 13.5cm F4's in Leica mount, maybe 350 5cm F1.5's in Leica mount? Not many. I also have an 8.5cm F2 and 3.5cm F3.5, in Leica mount from 1949 batches. My collapsible Nikkor 5cm F2 is from the 811 batch (Nov 1948) for the optics but has an LTM mount with a separate serian number, 906 batch (June, 1949).
     
  5. uhoh7

    uhoh7 Leica Place Regular

    163
    Oct 14, 2014
    Great info, thank you Brian. I'm going to take my 135/3.5 out in the next few days, inpsired by what I have learned about it. I do have a 1937 CZJ 135/4, which I know is not as good, but it was fun to see what it will do:

    25513847951_5e47abd253_b.
    Telegram
    by unoh7, on Flickr

    24979818423_164584e285_b.
    Argosy
    by unoh7, on Flickr

    24975411443_c2725a3333_b.
    Whitehouse
    by unoh7, on Flickr

    During this same shoot I used my nikkor 8.5/2, a pretty early one, and was really astounded. I'll see if there is already a thread for some of those.

    Also for anyone interested, here is the famous NYT article from December 1950 which really let the cat out of the bag:

    25608659285_b44cb517fd_h.
    Japan Camera
    by unoh7, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
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  6. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    The Zeiss 13.5cm F4 is a great lens- use with a deep shade, and make sure the black paint on the sides of the glass has not separated. That was the issue with my CZJ 8.5cm F2 (uncoated) lens. solved a flare problem.
     
  7. uhoh7

    uhoh7 Leica Place Regular

    163
    Oct 14, 2014
    I'll have to get a shade for it. :)

    I saw you had your 135/3.5 out :)

    25405102080_bbe6e113ce_z.
    Nikkors
    by unoh7, on Flickr

    I was surprised this is quite a bit lighter than the black Canon LTM, but it's in Contax mount.
     
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  8. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Is your 125 on the adapter accurate across the entire focus range?
     
  9. uhoh7

    uhoh7 Leica Place Regular

    163
    Oct 14, 2014
    It seems close, but I need to test it. The Contax 135/4 was close enough to shoot pretty well, so I hope this is the same. Funny, but this unmarked Amedeo shoots my long Contax Mounts better than the other Amedeo I have which is "officially" contax and well marked. LOL

    Below the 135/3.5:
    25030050533_4a6af48dc1_b.
    Ramp
    by unoh7, a tad front focused here but that was likely me.

    dead on the money here WO:
    25563602411_369de22ac7_b.
    Handlebars
    by unoh7, on Flickr

    Haha: sorry these are shot from the Sony with EVF!! But I did do some shots around the yard with the Leica, and I think it's pretty good.