Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

1000/6.3 Nikkor for Rangefinder

In 1960 Nippon Kogaku release the last lens they would ever market for the rangefinder cameras. It was marketed concurrently for the Nikon F. This would be the 1000/6.3. Never had the photographic world seen anything like this, and rarely would it ever again. The lens is two feet long, nine inches wide, and weighs 22 pounds, and dwarfs the camera and reflex housing combined. It has two handles on the top for ease of carrying, much like a suitcase. If your lens caps are missing, check in the kitchen cupboard. The rear cap is very deep and resembles soup pan more than photo accessories. The front is giant, and made of leather. The shade, which reverses over the front of the lens when not in use, is massive, and resembles, well nothing. Pressed to guess what it was, any use photographic would be a guess way down the list. The lens came in a heavy fitted metal case.

With the above specifications, and a price tag of $1650, it should come as no surprise that this is a nearly non-extant item. Serial numbers start at 100600 for the rangefinder version, and production is probably in the 50-60 unit range. Some early lenses were finished in black. These may have been special order (for $1650 back then, they probably would make them pink if you insisted!), perhaps by the military. They may have been repainted for some special purpose. Or Nippon Kogaku may have initially made them in black, then discovered that the absorption of heat caused by the black finish caused changes in focus on the delicate mirrors. Whatever the case, most are finished in a very light grey.