Nikon Zoom-NIKKOR Auto 1:3.5 f=43mm~86mm Non-Ai Lens (43-86mm f/3.5)

Review of the Nikon Zoom-NIKKOR Auto 1:3.5 f=43mm~86mm Non-Ai Lens (43-86mm f/3.5).

Overall Rating:

In 1963, this lens went on sale. It was created to be used with the Nikkorex Zoom 35 lens shutter SLR camera, and it is for this reason that it is so simple with only nine elements in seven groups (to keep costs down).

This compact, single coated little lens is known as a bad performer and has given zooms a bad name. Having said that, its construction, like that of so many of these older lenses, is excellent, and the push-pull zoom does not creep at all yet is still easy to operate. This lens is not tack sharp at the edges, flares easily and has distortion on both ends of the zoom. These flaws are not necessarily so. The optically flawed character of this lens makes it a beautiful loser. Some very interesting photographs can be made with a lens like this. Its bokeh is a little busy.

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bokeh at f=86mm/3.5
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bokeh at f=86mm/5.6
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bokeh at f=43mm/3.5
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bokeh at f=43mm/5.6

Color fringing detail at 3-to-1.

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color fringing detail at f=43mm/5.6

The infrared performance is excellent.

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infrared at f=86mm/11
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infrared at f=43mm/11

This particular example has been Ai'd by grinding away at the lens' base. This does work so long as the person doing the grinding is careful to grind away just enough and not too much thereby causing inaccurate exposures.

The front element turns as you focus making use of a polarizer difficult and there is a focus scale and depth of field scale.

Diffraction begins around f/8.

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