Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

35/3.5 Nikkor for Rangefinder

An old style 35/3.5, complete in box with caps and paperwork.

The 35/3.5 Nikkor is one of the original lenses introduced with the Nikon I. The early design had a thick front rim, which set the aperture. The very first batch, 612xx has the aperture scale running the opposite direction of all of the other Nikkors produced. The lenses were marked "MIOJ" on the rear of the lens until the end of the occupation. Early lenses were marked "Tokyo" on the front, as opposed to later lenses marked "Japan", the change coming slightly after the end of the occupation, as lenses can be found not marked "MIOJ", yet still marked "Tokyo". Also, the minimum diaphragm setting was increased to f/22 from f/16. The second set of serial numbers is 910xxx, followed finally by 425xxx, from which the numbers climb through 434xxx.

In 1954, Nikon gave the 35/3.5 a facelift to make the barrel resemble the 35/2.5 and 28/3.5. The wide front ring was replaced with a narrower one. Optical formula went unchanged, however the lens did lose a little weight. Serial numbers picked up where the previous version left off, up through 443xxx. At around number 439xxx, the barrel was changed again, this time to black, lightening the weight yet another 2 ounces to 3.5 ounces.

Total production was over 19,000 units, 2400 for the occupied version, 8000 in the old style and 9000 in the later style, both chrome and black. These figures were helped by the low cost of the lens new, $89.50.