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View Full Version : Nikkor Nikon LF lens serial numbers and reference thread 2018



schafphoto
19-Jun-2018, 11:08
I have been a long-time Nikkor LF lens user and still make my living with mostly Nikkor LF glass. Since Nikon is no longer making LF lenses I thought it would be helpful to have a spot for some reference information about the lenses here on the forum.
There are a few previous threads with some good info but nothing comprehensive, and nothing covering serial numbers. Which is what I started out looking for. I had a copy of the 2004 PDF of the Nikkor Large Format Lens brochure.
So I am posting a link to it here in June 2018. We'll see how long it lasts, I'll host it as long as I can. So please add any additional insight and history to this thread, it will be much appreciated!

179528
https://66reasons.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/nikon-lf_lens-brochure.pdf

There is also endless information in the March 1998 B&H Photography Sourcebook (pages 233-235) [There's a lot of good large format camera and lens info in this publication printed in the last decades of professional Large format in every studio, I'm glad I still have a paper copy]
179529
https://static.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/Product_Resources/SourceBookProPhoto/Pro-Photo-SourceBook.pdf

To quote another interesting Nikkor thread that eventually became a testing/resolution argument: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?134395-Differences-between-Nikkor-lenses




Nikkor M = 4 elements (tessar or Apo-tessar type)
Nikkor T = telelens
Nikkor W = wide (plasmat type)
Nikkor SW = Super Wide (biogon type)


There's some info on this website as well:

For those of us who do not speak Japanese - http://members.iinet.net.au/~cbird/nikkor/niklf.html

schafphoto
19-Jun-2018, 11:16
If anyone does have any information about Nikkor Serial Numbers, please let me know. I have a SW120 in the 700400 serial | a W 180mm at 731500 serial | a SW 90mm in the 700300 serial and am looking at a 800600 series Nikkor W 135mm right now. Does anyone have data about the serials used by Nikkor?

Tin Can
19-Jun-2018, 11:42
Thanks for the posting. I downloaded it all.

I like the Nikkor lens coverage graph. Makes it obvious.

I have my share of Nikon. :)

tgtaylor
19-Jun-2018, 12:17
I have a f5.6 Nikkor 300-W with a red "D" following the serial number: See http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?126955-Red-quot-D-quot-on-Nikkor-W-300mm-f5-6. I now believe that the answer given by Nikon in post 20 is correct and the lens was believed to be "apo" by Nikon which agrees with Bob Solomon's recollection in post 24 of Rodenstock lens with the same designation on them.

Thomas

schafphoto
19-Jun-2018, 15:32
Yes, while shopping, I saw a red D in a 135 on EBay ( current listing # 223019505444). I didn't know what it meant. Duplicating maybe?


I have a f5.6 Nikkor 300-W with a red "D" following the serial number: See http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?126955-Red-quot-D-quot-on-Nikkor-W-300mm-f5-6. I now believe that the answer given by Nikon in post 20 is correct and the lens was believed to be "apo" by Nikon which agrees with Bob Solomon's recollection in post 24 of Rodenstock lens with the same designation on them.

Thomas

schafphoto
19-Jun-2018, 17:19
TGTAYLOR...

I'm looking at Bobs post:
It sounds like they did the same thing Rodenstock did. First there was the 75mm Apo Rodagon R and now there is the 75mm Apo Rodagon D. R stood for Repro. D stands for Duplicating. Why did they switch from R to D? They never said.

You spell "Reproduction" with an R in both German and English, so you'd think that was abetter letter.

I think the 75mm lens Bob refers to, is an APO design and then there is additional D and R marks. I'm not sure one Nikkor W300mmD or Mikkor W135mmD out of the run got designed with APO glass while all the others got "regular glass." It may have a higher tolerance, or may be "exactly 300mmm instead of 302mm, but that's all speculation. Especially if Nikon's lens guru doesn't even know. I see no difference in outside dimensions of the 135mm. And Nikon had a special purpose 120 AM/ED Nikon for the duplicating market only 15mm away from the W135mm on EBay. I have one of the 120mm AM*ED copy lenses and remember doing 2:1 and 1:2 reproductions on Ektachrome 64 in the 1980s with it. I tried the same ratio with a Nikon W210mm 5.6 and had to do a reshoot with the AM120mm because the sharpness was unacceptable at 1:1.

My Nikkor-AM*ED 120mm 1:5.6 is in serial range 182300 by the way.

duff photographer
6-Jul-2018, 06:59
If anyone does have any information about Nikkor Serial Numbers, please let me know. I have a SW120 in the 700400 serial | a W 180mm at 731500 serial | a SW 90mm in the 700300 serial and am looking at a 800600 series Nikkor W 135mm right now. Does anyone have data about the serials used by Nikkor?

I'm not sure what sort of information you want regarding lens serial numbers beyond that of the relation between numbers and lens so these are my brief records from seeing 2nd hand ones pass through my hands (all 'modern').

Nikkor W
100mm f5.6 - 79**** (1 lens)
105mm f5.6 - 18**** (3)
135mm f5.6 - 71**** (8), 72**** (4)
150mm f5.6 - 71**** (1), 72**** (4), 75**** (1), 76**** (12), 80**** (4)
180mm f5.6 - 73**** (5), 74**** (8), 80**** (2)
210mm f5.6 - 74**** (6), 75**** (14), 80**** (2)
240mm f5.6 - 77**** (7)
300mm f5.6 - 78**** (8)
360mm f6.5 - 20**** (4)

Nikkor SW
65mm f4 - 65**** (2), 66**** (8), 70**** (2), 88**** (1)
75mm f4.5 - 66**** (5), 67**** (11), 70**** (5)
90mm f4.5 - 67**** (2), 68**** (17), 70**** (3)
90mm f8 - 65**** (7), 75**** (1)
120mm f8 - 68**** (8)
150mm f8 - 70**** (1)

Nikkor AM ED
120mm f5.6 - 18**** (1), 20**** (1)
210mm f5.6 - 30**** (1)

Nikkor M
200mm f8 - 20**** (1)
300mm f8 - 75**** (12), 80**** (10)
450mm f9 - 76**** (3)

Oddly, I rarely saw Nikon T's.

I would think that a trawl through eBay would give similar results.

Cheers,
Duff.

schafphoto
6-Jul-2018, 12:27
This is helpful. I'm looking to purchase a couple more lenses and wanted to shop the newer/higher serial numbers... and look for the lowest mileage as well. It would be great to see if there is a correlation between certain years and certain serials #s, but that may be too much to hope for

-Schaf

Mark Sampson
6-Jul-2018, 13:06
Here are some data points from my camera bag. All purchased used. Never looked at the serials in all these years!

Nikkor-W 180/5.6 #742614 1986
Nikkor-SW 90/8 # 691061 1990
Nikkor-M 300/9 # 751415 1989
Nikkor-SW 75/4 #672875 2000

Steve Goldstein
6-Jul-2018, 13:38
A few more:

Nikkor-SW 90/8 - 69**** (2)
Nikkor-SW 150/8 - 64****
Nikkor-M 200/8 - 30****
Nikkor-AM ED 210/5.6 - 20****
Nikkor-T 270/6.3 - 51****
Nikkor-T 360/8 - 53****, 55**** (2)
Nikkor-T 600/ - 50****

These are the ones I own or have seen over the years that aren't in Duff's original list. The 360mm and 600mm Nikkor-T families are tricky as every cell has its own serial number; the ones I've referenced are for the front cell as that's a constant.

sepiareverb
6-Jul-2018, 13:44
My set:

Nikkor-W 150/5.6 lens 640XXX

Nikkor-W 240/5.6 lens 778XXX

Nikkor-W 300/5.6 lens 780XXX

Nikkor-W 360/6.5 lens 200XXX

M 450/9 lens 800XXX

T*ED 600/800/1200 lens 500XXX

T*ED Rear Lens Cell 600 183XXX

T*ED Rear Lens Cell 800 183XXX

T*-ED Rear Lens Cell 1200 200XXX

duff photographer
6-Jul-2018, 14:32
This is helpful. I'm looking to purchase a couple more lenses and wanted to shop the newer/higher serial numbers... and look for the lowest mileage as well. It would be great to see if there is a correlation between certain years and certain serials #s, but that may be too much to hope for

-Schaf

Unless there's info' out there lying in a dusty Nikon-owned cupboard to say differently, I'm not sure serial numbers can be matched to years, at least when comparing one focal length to another (or one lens type to another). Same can be said for Fujinon to a degree where lower serial numbers seem to occur on lenses newer than those with higher numbers. The list I gave suggests only one thing, that lens numbers occur in batches while the prefixes, e.g., 76**** or 80****, could relate to something completely unrelated to a numbering system, .e.g. manufacturing department (that's pure conjecture on my part).

Having said that, it could be that the higher prefix, e.g., 80**** used for popular LF lenses such as the 150, 180, and 210mm, is extra production in accordance to demand. It's also interesting to note that for both the Nikkor W and Nikkor SW series, where presumably the greatest number of lenses were made, the prefixes go up according to focal length, i.e., 71****, 72**** for 150; 73**** and 74**** for 180mm; 74**** and 75**** for 210mm, 77**** for the 240mm, and so on. Same can be seen for the SW's. It suggests that these particular batch numbers were allocated when the first round of lens production went ahead (unless there are lower prefixes out there) - i.e., all at the same time. The later prefixes may refer to extra batches with 80**** (and 88****) being the last of all. Again, pure conjecture but there does seem to be some logic in the sequencing and little or no exception to that 'rule'.

Nikon are still an onoing concern so maybe an enquiring e-mail to Nikon, with the info' above in mind, might eventually be forwarded on to the in-house guru. Worth a go I reckon.

While it would be interesting to know if serial numbers are related to age it shouldn't stop anyone assuming that a 'newer' lens is better than an 'older' lens. Yes, things like coatings evolve and are improved during production as and when but occasionally things change for the 'worse' optically, if that's not too strong a word, like the abandonment of leaded glass on environmental grounds leading to redesigns. For example, the non-leaded Schneider Apo-Symmar L over the older leaded Apo-Symmar (non-L) where the latter lenses are sometimes, albeit only slightly, better than the newer ones because of the advantage of that leaded glass. As an aside, I'm not sure if Nikon stopped LF lens production before the new environmental legislation was introduced or not.

I would think that any LF lens, from the big four, made after 1980 is going to be very good (design allowing) and the only thing to worry about is misuse, wear and tear.

Cheers,
Duff.

schafphoto
6-Jul-2018, 15:58
My set:

Nikkor-W 150/5.6 lens 640XXX
Nikkor-W 240/5.6 lens 778XXX
Nikkor-W 300/5.6 lens 780XXX
Nikkor-W 360/6.5 lens 200XXX
M 450/9 lens 800XXX
T*ED 600/800/1200 lens 500XXX
T*ED Rear Lens Cell 600 183XXX
T*ED Rear Lens Cell 800 183XXX
T*-ED Rear Lens Cell 1200 200XXX

I see you're a skinny shooter, I like my lenses more expansive...:) 55-72-90-120-

EdSawyer
6-Jul-2018, 18:49
Nikon did stop LF lens production before the restrictions on leaded glass, as far as I know.

Per Madsen
6-Jul-2018, 23:23
My input to the list:

Nikkor-SW 65/4,0 - 66**** Bought new in 1994
Nikkor-SW 75/4,5 - 67**** Bought used on E-bay 2009
Nikkor-SW 90/8,0 - 69**** Bought used on E-bay 2010
Nikkor-W 210/5,6 - 75**** Bought used on E-bay 2005
Nikkor-M 300/8,0 - 80**** Bought used on E-bay 2008

schafphoto
8-Jul-2018, 15:30
I'm looking for that 800XXX series 135mm on Ebay and see a small "S" in a circle, printed on the side of the copal shutter after: W 135mm 1:5.6 (s)

180268

Anyone know what the (s) designates? It is not present on the 710XXX series Copals I have seen. It does show up on other 720XXX series Copals.
Of my lenses my 90mm and 120mm both have an S but not my 180 or AM 120.

Oren Grad
8-Jul-2018, 16:47
Anyone know what the (s) designates?

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?31427-Nikkor-(S)-lenses

Tin Can
8-Jul-2018, 17:33
Great thread. Chris Perez and the S story.

Thx for reposting!



http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?31427-Nikkor-(S)-lenses

chassis
8-Jul-2018, 18:21
Some data points:

Nikkor-W 150mm 1:5.6 801434, Copal 0 (s) mark, 7 bladed iris
Nikkor-SW 120mm 1:8 687710, Copal 0 (s) mark, 7 bladed iris
Nikkor-W 300mm 1:5.6 788723, Copal 3 no (s) mark, 7 bladed iris

schafphoto
8-Jul-2018, 18:50
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?31427-Nikkor-(S)-lenses

Thanks Oren, The 2004 catalog PDF I posted in this first thread-post has an S designation next to the Copal 0 lenses. But it does not give any background. Your post is helpful.

Knowing that The (S) stands for 7-bladed aperture and the pre-(S) Copal 0 shutters had a 5-bladed shutter. another reason to go with the higher serial numbers or look for the (S).

Huub
9-Jul-2018, 01:41
The two i own: A Nikkor-T*ED 360/500 set has 551596 for the front group, 186969 for the 360mm back group and 184347 for the 500 mm back group. The second is a Nikkor-SW f4.5/75mm with 660126.

fotopfw
9-Jul-2018, 05:19
I have this one: Nikkor-W 240mm 1:5.6 771044

duff photographer
11-Jul-2018, 08:25
Nikon did stop LF lens production before the restrictions on leaded glass, as far as I know.

Thanks Ed :)

Duff

tgtaylor
11-Jul-2018, 09:43
If anyone does have any information about Nikkor Serial Numbers, please let me know. I have a SW120 in the 700400 serial | a W 180mm at 731500 serial | a SW 90mm in the 700300 serial and am looking at a 800600 series Nikkor W 135mm right now. Does anyone have data about the serials used by Nikkor?

I purchased a 300mm f/9 Nikkor-M new from Midwest around 2004 with the serial Number 801606. Around 2007 I purchased a 120mm Nikkor-SW new from B&H with the serial number 700656. If Nikon serial numbers were consecutive regardless of the FL, then it would appear that the 120 SW was a slower seller than the 300M which makes sense when considering that the 120 remained available new on the B&H website longer than most, if not all, new Nikon LF lens and my 120 was manufactured shortly after yours;)

Thomas

tgtaylor
11-Jul-2018, 16:39
As a follow-up to my post above, the serial number of the 300mm Nikkor-W lens with the "red D" is 786113. If my theory that Nikon LF Lens serial numbers are consecutive, then that places the manufacture date around 2000. It appears that Nikon cameras are consecutively numbered as is the F6 so I assume that they followed the same process for all their products.

Thomas

zbvision
26-Feb-2019, 22:54
As a follow-up to my post above, the serial number of the 300mm Nikkor-W lens with the "red D" is 786113. If my theory that Nikon LF Lens serial numbers are consecutive, then that places the manufacture date around 2000. It appears that Nikon cameras are consecutively numbered as is the F6 so I assume that they followed the same process for all their products.

Thomas


So, based off the aforementioned information that you have provided to this thread, would a Nikon Nikkor-W 300mm F/5.6 with a serial number of 787970 have a manufacture date between 1998 and 2000 then?