Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

50/3.5 Micro-Nikkor for Rangefinder

The 50/3.5 Micro-Nikkor in Nikon rangefinder mount.

In an era when lens speed was the greatest measure of merit, Nippon Kogaku introduced a 50/3.5 lens that cost $199.50, $30 more than the 50/1.4. The lens was a special purpose lens, both flat field and highly color corrected. It focused in normal mode from infinity down to 3 feet. It could be collapsed, allowing focus down to 1.5 feet. It was designed to provide optimum sharpness at a 1:12 ratio.

When the lens is collapsed, it is difficult to turn the aperture ring. A special collar was sold as an accessory to facilitate use while collapsed, it could double as a lens shade

A specialty lens, and the exact opposite of the 50/1.1 introduced in the same year, it was sold in small quantities. It wasn't until the same lens became available for the Nikon F that it met large-scale success. About 1500 were sold, in both Nikon mount and Leica screwmount combined. This was the sharpest lens ever made for the rangefinder Nikons, and it exceeded the resolving capabilities of the film available at that time.

The 50/3.5 Micro-Nikkor, in extended, normal position(left)
and collapsed for copy work(right).

The lens in it's bubble, and the collar, both in the box

Outside of the box

The collar used to adjust the aperture when the lens is in it's collapsed state.