Photons to Photos
Your trusted source for independent sensor data
Last revised: 2024-05-19 19:00 GMT-5
Optical Bench and NIKKOR - The Thousand and One Nights

Nikon publishes a wonderful series of articles on Nikkor lenses entitled NIKKOR - The Thousand and One Nights
The articles are not only for those interested in the history of Nikkor lenses.
They are authored by lens designers and are full of insight into the how optics work and how lenses are designed.

I located patents to correspond with a several of the lenses mentioned in the articles.
So I have provided an annotated table of contents below with links to the articles and to the Optical Bench.
There is a colored ball for each lens construction figure in the Nikon article.
Ball (red) indicates nothing is available in the Optical Bench.
Ball (yellow) indicates a related patent in the Optical Bench.
Ball (green) indicates a closely matching patent in the Optical Bench.

I find it quite interesting to see the lens design come to life in the Optical Bench rather than simply looking at a static lens construction diagram.
If you're aware of patents that I should be examining for possible inclusion please contact me.

No. 1 NIKKOR-O 2.1cm F4

Symmetrical wideangle lens that has been passed on to this day

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)NIKKOR-O 2.1cm f/4
Ball (green)Biogon 2.1cm f/4.5
Ball (red)Nikkor-SW 65mm f/4(S)

No. 2 AI Nikkor 50mm F2

Workhorse type normal lens

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)NIKKOR-S Auto 5cm f/2
Ball (red)NIKKOR-H Auto 50mm f/2

No. 3 W-Nikkor 3.5cm F1.8

Symmetric high-speed, wide-angle lens

Haruo Sato

Ball (yellow)W-NIKKOR 3.5cm f/1.8

No. 4 Zoom-NIKKOR Auto 43-86mm F3.5

Japan's first compact and low-price standard zoom lens with practical use

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Zoom-NIKKOR Auto 43-86mm f/3.5

No. 5 AI Nikkor 105mm F2.5

Best-selling mid-range telescopic lens

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)NIKKOR-P 10.5cm f/2.5
Ball (red)AI Nikkor 105mm f/2.5

No. 6 OP Fisheye-NIKKOR 10mm F5.6

The world's first aspherical SLR lens and orthographic projection fisheye lens

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)OP Fisheye-NIKKOR 10mm F5.6

No. 7 NIKKOR-N 5cm F1.1

The roots of Noct-Nikkor : the gaussian (gauss-type) super-fast lens

Haruo Sato

Ball (yellow)NIKKOR-N 5cm f/1.1
Ball (red)W-NIKKOR 3.5cm f/1.8

No. 8 W Nikkor 35mm F2.5

Amphibious (on land and underwater) lens for NIKONOS

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)W Nikkor 35mm f/2.5

No. 9 NIKKOR 13mm F5.6

The world's widest angle of field

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)AI Nikkor 13mm F5.6
Ball (red)EL-NIKKOR 50mm f/2.8N
Ball (red)Nikkor 13mm f/5.6

No. 10 AI Nikkor ED 180mm F2.8S

Made the ED lens more accessible

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED

No. 11 NIKKOR-H 300mm F2.8

Dream "3, 2-8 lens" long-awaited by press photographers

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)NIKKOR-H 300mm f/2.8

No. 12 NIKKOR-H Auto 2.8cm F3.5

This tale covers the AI AF Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D, a normal zoom lens with a high zoom ratio.

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)NIKKOR-H 2.8cm f/3.5

No. 14 NIKKOR-N Auto 24mm F2.8

The first lens equipped with the close-range-correction mechanism

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (yellow)NIKKOR-N Auto 24mm f/2.8

No. 15 Zoom Nikkor 28-45mm F4.5 (New)

The world's first genuine wide-angle zoom lens "pioneers' dream"

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)Zoom Nikkor 28-45mm F4.5 (New)

No. 16 AI Noct Nikkor 58mm F1.2

An aspherical surface got over sagittal coma flare

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)AI Noct NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2
Ball (green)AI Nikkor 50mm f/1.2S

No. 17  PC-Nikkor 28mm F4 (New)

Looking for the skill on a large format camera

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)PC-Nikkor 28mm F4 (New)

No. 19 Nikkor-S·C 8.5cm F1.5

Mr. KIMURA, Ihei's "right-hand man"

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)Nikkor-S 8.5cm f/1.5

No. 20 Nikkor Auto 20mm f/4 from Nikkor-UD Auto 20mm f/3.5 (New)

Ultra wide angle lens directed for an ultra compactness

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Nikkor-UD Auto 20mm f/3.5
Ball (red)Nikkor Auto 20mm f/4 (New)

No. 21 Nikkor-T 10.5cm F4

Very affordable lens where Nikkor soul dwells

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)Nikkor-T 10.5cm f/4

No. 22 COOLPIX 4300

User-friendly digital camera for a wide range of customers

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)COOLPIX 4300
Ball (green)COOLPIX SQ

No. 23 AI AF Nikkor 80mm F2.8S

Dawn of a new era; the day that changed SLR systems

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)AF Nikkor 80mm f/2.8

No. 24 Converter lenses for COOLPIX 4300

Designed to expand the shooting range of COOLPIX

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (yellow)FC-E8
Ball (green)WC-E63
Ball (green)TC-E2
Ball (green)TC-E3ED

No. 25 AI Micro Nikkor 55mm F2.8 (First Part)

Micro Nikkor - history of development, behind-the-scenes story and tradition

Haruo Sato

No. 26 AI Micro Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 (Latter Part)

Micro Nikkor - history of development, behind-the-scenes story and tradition

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AI Micro Nikkor 55mm f/2.8

No. 27 AI Nikkor 35mm F1.4S

Fastest 35mm lens

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (yellow)AI Nikkor 35mm F1.4S

No. 28 AI AF Nikkor 28mm F1.4D

An lens inheriting the concept of the Noct NIKKOR

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI AF Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D

No. 29 W-Nikkor·C 2.5cm F4

Small but piquant

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)W-Nikkor·C 2.5cm F4

No. 30 AI Nikkor 135mm F2

High-speed medium telephoto lens

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI Nikkor 135mm f/2

No. 31 AI Nikkor ED 200mm F2S (IF)

Press photographer's favorite lens that witnessed a number of world records

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AI Nikkor 200mm f/2S IF-ED

No. 32 AI AF DC Nikkor 135mm F2S

Medium telephoto lens pursuing high-quality defocusing

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8S
Ball (yellow)AI AF DC Nikkor 135mm f/2S

No. 33 "Pikaichi" L35AF 35mm f/2.8

Nikon lens incorporated in compact camera

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)Pikaichi L35AF 35mm f/2.8

No. 34 NIKKOR-H·C 5cm F2

The lens encouraged the rebirth after the Second World War

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)NIKKOR-H·C 5cm f/2

No. 35 AI AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED

Remove the camera shake! the lens incorporating a vibration reduction mechanism in optical system

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AI AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED

No. 36 Nikkor P·C 8.5cm F2

Legendary lens

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Nikkor P.C 8.5cm f/2

No. 37 W-Nikkor 3.5cm F2.5

Secrets of a popular standard lens

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)W-Nikkor 3.5cm, f/2.5

No. 38 From Nikkor-S Auto 35mm f/2.8 to Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 (New)

35mm f/2.8 lens - a history of improvements

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Nikkor-S Auto 35mm f/2.8
Ball (red)Nikkor-S Auto 35mm f/2.8 (New)
Ball (green)Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 (New)

No. 39 AI AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm F2.8S

The dawn of the large aperture zoom era

Haruo Sato

No. 40 Nikkor-S Auto 5.8cm F1.4

The first f/1.4 lens for use with the Nikon F series

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Nikkor-H 5cm f/2
Ball (red)Nikkor-H Auto 50mm f/2
Ball (red)Nikkor-S Auto 5.8cm f/1.4

No. 41 AI AF Nikkor 85mm F1.4D (IF)

A standard portrait lens - and a Nikkor star performer

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF

No. 42 The E 75-150mm f/3.5, a Nikon Series E lens

A popular lens that perpetuates the Nikkor spirit

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)E 75-150mm f/3.5

No. 43 The NIKKOR-Q.C 13.5cm f/4

"Occupied Japan" - the marque that postwar reconstruction

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)NIKKOR-Q.C 13.5cm f/4

No. 44 Nikkor-S Auto 50mm F1.4

The f/1.4 lens that became the standard in both name and reality

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)Nikkor-S Auto 50mm f/1.4

No. 45 The NIKKOR-P.C 10.5cm f/2.5

The superior lens hidden in the shadows of more celebrated lenses

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)NIKKOR-P.C 10.5cm f/2.5

No. 46 AI Zoom Nikkor 25-50mm f/4

The beginnings of true wide-angle zoom lenses

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI Zoom Nikkor 25-50mm f/4

No. 48 The Nikkor-Q Auto 200mm f/4

The beginnings of true wide-angle zoom lenses

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Nikkor-Q Auto 200mm f/4

No. 49 Nikkor-S Auto 55mm F1.2

The challenge to develop a large-diameter f/1.2 lens

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)Nikkor-S Auto 55mm F1.2

No. 50 Focusing Unit and NIKKOR-Q Auto 400mm F4.5

The Star of the Tokyo Olympics

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Nikkor-Q Auto 400mm f/4.5

No. 51 Nikon Soft Focus Filters Soft 1 and Soft 2

A Tribute to Soft Focus

Haruo Sato

No. 52 Nikon's First Toy Lenses?

Nikon Fun Fun LensSet, Part 1 (Gugutto Macro/Fuwatto Soft)

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)Gugutto Macro 120mm f/4.5
Ball (green)Fuwatto Soft 90mm f/4.8

No. 53 AI AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D

The Profound World of the Fisheye Lens

Haruo Sato

Ball (yellow)AI AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D

No. 55 AI Nikkor 18mm f/4

Can a compact ultra wide-angle lens excite popularity in the digital age?

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)AI Nikkor 18mm f/4

No. 56 The Auto NIKKOR WIDE-ZOOM 3.5-8.5cm f/2.8-4

Secrets behind the Birth of the World's First Concave-convex 2-group Zoom Lens

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)Auto NIKKOR WIDE-ZOOM 3.5-8.5cm f/2.8-4

No. 57 AI Nikkor 28mm f/2.8S


Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI Nikkor 28mm f/2.8S

No. 58 AI AF Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D

The almighty normal zoom lens

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI AF Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D

No. 59 AI Nikkor 105mm f/1.8S

The fast, mid-telephoto lens constructed with the fewest lens elements

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AI Nikkor 105mm f/1.8S

No. 60 The AI NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8S

The AI NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8S, a pancake normal lens

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI Nikkor 50mm f/1.8S

No. 61 The AI Zoom-NIKKOR 50-135mm f/3.5S

The lens that predated AF systems and carried the early days of high-power zoom

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AI Zoom-NIKKOR 50-135mm f/3.5S

No. 62 Zoom-Nikkor Auto 50-300mm f/4.5

—Zoom-Nikkor Auto 50-300mm f/4.5, the Beginnings of High-power Zoom—

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Zoom-Nikkor Auto 50-300mm f/4.

No. 63 The AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G

The zoom lens that set the standard for kit lenses with its minimalistic structure

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G

No. 64 EL-Nikkor 80mm f/5.6N

The characteristically uncharacteristic

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)EL-Nikkor 80mm f/5.6N

No. 65 The AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED

The world's smallest and lightest high-power zoom lens makes a quiet comeback

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED

No. 66 The AI Nikkor 400mm f/3.5 IF-ED

The Super-telephoto Standard

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)AI Nikkor 400mm f/3.5 IF-ED

No. 67 AI AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D IF-ED

Striving for silent focusing! Secrets behind development of a fast telephoto zoom lens

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AI AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D IF-ED

No. 68 AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED

The first lens exclusively for digital SLRs

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED

No. 69 Medical-Nikkor 120mm f/4 IF

Discovering the truth. A strong ally in medicine and scientific research.

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)Medical-Nikkor 120mm f/4 IF

No. 70 AI Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 S

The Battle with Chromatic Aberration and the AI Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 S

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Nikkor-P Auto 300mm f/4.5
Ball (red)AI Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 S

No. 71 AI Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5S

A normal zoom lens redesigned to be more compact

Haruo Sato

Ball (yellow)AI Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5S

No. 72 AI AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8S

The medium telephoto 1:1 Micro lens for flower photography

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8S

No. 73 TC-1

Nikon's first native teleconverters, strong allies to students

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)TC-1

No. 74 AI AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8S

The evolution of the normal Micro lens

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8S

No. 75 IX-Nikkor 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6

An exciting new photo system that changed the times!

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)IX-Nikkor 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6

No. 76 Nikon Series E 135mm f/2.8

An E-series lens that was never sold in Japan

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)Nikon Series E 135mm f/2.8

No. 77 Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4

The last lens for the Nikon S-series cameras, a heaven-sent product for events

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4

No. 78 AI Nikkor 45mm f/2.8P

A Standard Pancake Lens for the Nikon FM3A

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI Nikkor 45mm f/2.8P

No. 79 W-Nikkor C 2.8cm f/3.5

A standard lens for landscape photography that produced many masterpieces

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)W-Nikkor C 2.8cm f/3.5

No. 80 Nikon Series E 100mm f/2.8

The E-series telephoto lens known for its light weight

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)Nikon Series E 100mm f/2.8

No. 81 GN Auto Nikkor 45mm f/2.8

The least expensive high-performance pancake lens perfect for flash photography

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)GN Auto NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8

No. 83 IX-Nikkor 30-60mm f/4-5.6

A pancake zoom lens for the Pronea S, the woman's Nikon

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)IX-Nikkor 30-60mm f/4-5.6

No. 84 AI Nikkor 35mm f/2S

The first line of fast wide-angle lenses for the nikon F

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AI Nikkor 35mm f/2S

No. 85 Micro-Nikkor Auto 55mm f/3.5

The Truth About Micro NIKKOR

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)Micro-Nikkor Auto 55mm f/3.5

No. 86 AI Nikkor 24mm f/2.8

A new-generation close-range correction system

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (red)AI Nikkor 24mm f/2.8

No. 87 New Nikkor 200mm f/4

Challenging limits

Haruo Sato

Ball (red)New Nikkor 200mm f/4

No. 88 AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G

A compact DX-format normal Micro lens

Kouichi Ohshita

Ball (green)AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G

No. 89 AI Nikkor 85mm f/1.4S

The fast portrait lens photographers longed for

Haruo Sato

Ball (green)AI Nikkor 85mm f/1.4S