Reviews => Ramblings of the Fierce Bear of the North => Lens portraits with the Nikon Df => Topic started by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 30, 2015, 12:32:04

Title: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 3
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 30, 2015, 12:32:04
[ Posted 11 January 2014 - 20:46 Edited and reposted by agreement ]

I jump quickly to the Micro-Nikkors in the 105 mm group. There have been a slew of them throughout the years. The forerunner was the Bellows-Nikkor 105 mm f/4, itself a descendant of the even older Bellows-Nikkor 135 mm f/4 for the Nikon S rangefinders.

Why 135 mm in the first place? Probably because the focal length was a well established standard for the rangefinder epoch, and most SLRs later took it up in their stride. Only Nikon deviated by the 105 mm class. For the bellows units, a short-mount 135 mm lens head had the advantage it allowed room for the extra reflex finder you had to insert between the rangefinder camera and the optics in order to focus. You would still be able to focus to infinity. The specialised Bellows-Nikkor  135 mm f/4 for the S cameras arrived towards the demise of the rangefinder dominance and most lenses probably found their way onto the new-fangled Nikon F and one of its bellows devices. Nikon delivered a nifty adapter, designated 'N-F', to allow long Nikkors of the S line to mount on the F. A little later, they made a new series of Bellows-Nikkor 135/4 with a fixed rear sleeve with F-mount.
Subsequently in the late '60s, the 135 lens head was replaced by the forefather of the 105 Micro-Nikkors, the 105 mm f/4 Nikkor-P short-mount lens. It was beautifully made and had an 1/3 stop aperture with a preset ring to speed up its operation. This design was  transferred almost unchanged to the first 105 mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor a few years later.


I purchased the Bellows-Nikkor 105 mm f/4 together with the PB-4 bellows unit in the beginning of the '70s. Although this bellows device is superbly made and very rugged in its overall construction, I quickly found it was not very eligible as a tool for field work in the great outdoors. Bellows devices tend to be to fragile and delicate and in particular, the bellows material itself became susceptible to damage by the unpredictable behaviour of Nature as bellows draw increased. So, for some years I put the 105 + PB-4 away, until I in the late '70's found a compact  German bellows unit made by Novoflex. It had more weather-adapted material and left a much smaller footprint when carried into the field. Then,  the 105/4 lens head once again became a useful weapon for capturing close-ups. In the digital era, I modified the bellows itself so it would not trap the sculptured outlines of the modern DSLRs, and added a CPU to the bellows itself for exposure handling.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 3
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 30, 2015, 12:33:15
[ Posted 12 January 2014 - 21:37 ]

The successor to the Bellows-Nikkor 105 mm f/4 was the first "long" Micro-Nikkor 105 mm f/4. First released as non-AI, then upgraded to AI. Both had a rather thick barrel due to the long focusing helicoid. Later the short-lived AIS got the slimmer barrel of the 105 mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor AIS plus a much-needed locking screw to prevent the lens focusing on its own when it points downwards.


I have added a robust locking device which also doubles as a rapid-focusing lever. The HS-4 hood is augmented with a holding adapter for the 52 mm Nikon polariser. If the polariser isn't attached, which is the usual situation, the contraption provides added shading of the front element.
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 3
Post by: Erik Lund on June 30, 2015, 12:39:32
The focus lock on that Micro-Nikkor is pure Steam Punk :) Fantastic
Title: Re: Lens "porn" with the Df: The 105 mm Nikkors. Part 3
Post by: Bjørn Rørslett on June 30, 2015, 12:47:46
"It works" :D