View Full Version : Meaning of 's' suffix on some Nikkor lenses

5-Mar-2011, 14:19
In perusing a 2004 Nikon LF lens brochure I found a letter 's' suffix on some lenses, but not all.

This appears in the catalog listing, but is not shown on the engraved information on the lenses themselves.

The lenses with the 's' include:
all the SW series,
the W series through 105mm/5.6s but not longer FLs (all but the 360mm being f/5.6),
the AM ED 120mm/5.6s but not the AM ED 210mm/5.6, and
the M 200mm/f8s but not the M 300mm/f9.

Anybody know the significance of the 's' suffix?


- Leigh

Oren Grad
5-Mar-2011, 15:34

Gem Singer
5-Mar-2011, 16:39
The "s" designates the type of shutter, not the type of lens.

Nikon "s" shutters are Copal 0's with seven aperture blades instead of five.

I believe the "s" type Copal 0's are a Nikon exclusive. (At least I want to believe that since the only lenses I now own are Nikon/Nikkors).

Per Madsen
6-Mar-2011, 01:11
I have a Schneider Apo-Symmar L 120 mm 5.6 in a Copal 0 with seven
aperture blades and click-stops on the aperture ring.

I think that the seven blade Copal 0 started as a high-end option
for the Copal 0 shutter.

Gem Singer
6-Mar-2011, 07:12

Does the Copal 0 shutter for your Schneider have a small letter "s", surrounded by a circle, imprinted on it next to the aperture scale?

Nikon Copal 0's have the circled "s" but do not have click-stops.

Perhaps a custom version of the Copal 0 zero shutter is made to each lens manufacturer's specs., and Nikon uses the circled "s" to connote their unique version of that shutter.

Steve Goldstein
6-Mar-2011, 11:45
The circled "s" is on the thin metal aperture band. Non-Nikon Copals use two bands, each mounted with a pair of impossibly tiny screws, but Nikon/Copal shutters have a single band that completely encircles the shutter perimeter and is secured by the merely tiny screws that attach the cable-release mount. The shutter itself is not marked, the "s" only appears on this band.

I have a late Schneider lens (120 APO-Symmar non-L) as well as a Rodenstock 135mm APO-Sironar-S; both are in 7-blade shutters, simply marked Copal 0. I'm certain the shutter on the Rodenstock is original, I bought the lens new.

All Copal 0 shutters I've ever seen with 7 iris blades are the latest, all-black style. But I've also seen all-black shutters with 5 blades. I don't know if it's an option or a production change.

I believe all Copal 1s have 7 iris blades. I just checked a few of various vintage that were handy and all were like this. I don't have any Nikon lenses in a Copal 1 so can't say what's marked on the aperture band.

Gem Singer
6-Mar-2011, 12:59

Nikon Copal 1 shutters are not marked with the circled "s". Only Copal 0's.

The circled "s" on the Nikon Copal 0 shutters was probably used to identify the newer type Copal 0 shutters with seven aperture blades.

Sal Santamaura
6-Mar-2011, 13:54
I have a Schneider Apo-Symmar L 120 mm 5.6 in a Copal 0 with seven aperture blades and click-stops on the aperture ring...From Carol Flutot's "Services" page"

"Also, some Copal shutters from Schneider have aperture click-stops. These shutters are modified at the factory and Schneider has chosen not to make their parts available. As a result, we cannot repair broken click-stops. But we can restore the shutter to its original Copal condition without click-stops."