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Thread: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

  1. #1
    Jeff D. Welker
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    The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    When my father passed away, I inherited his large cache of negatives from 50+ years as a professional photographer and a few equipment odds and ends. One peculiar find involves a Nikkor-W 210mm f5.6 lens. I never recalled dad having this lens, but there it was in his old Linhof case. I also have the same lens but immediately noticed a difference. My Nikkor-W 210 has a front mount attachment size of 67mm. That is consistent with my copy of 'Nikon's Nikkor Lenses for Large Format Cameras' brochure. The mystery involves my father's copy of the Nikkor-W 210mm. His front mount attachment size is 77mm. It is physically a much bigger front element that my 210. To be clear, both rear elements appear to be the same size.

    My 210 and dad's has the same identification engraved on the barrel - NIKKOR-W 210mm 1:5.6. My 210's serial number is 753XXX and dad's is 741XXX.

    Did Nikon's earlier versions of this lens initially have a larger front element?

    I'm hoping to get some input on why this difference? I love a mystery. Especially when it involves Nikkor glass.

    Thanks in advance;

    Jeff
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

  2. #2
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    I assume you checked the lens for stepup rings or screw-on lens shade. Is the measurement of the actual glass element similar between the two lenses?

  3. #3
    Jeff D. Welker
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    Re: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Beasley View Post
    I assume you checked the lens for stepup rings or screw-on lens shade. Is the measurement of the actual glass element similar between the two lenses?
    No step-up rings or screw-on lens shade. Dad's actual 210 glass element is larger in diameter than mine. Interestingly, dad's overall lens height, when placed on it's rear lens cap is only marginally taller than mine. Both are very close.
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

  4. #4

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    Re: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    Take it to Tempe Camera and ask the service dept.

  5. #5
    Jeff D. Welker
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    Re: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Take it to Tempe Camera and ask the service dept.
    Bob, I was considering making a visit to speak with Joe; however, I thought I'd touch base here first.
    Last edited by Salmo22; 23-Sep-2019 at 18:05.
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

  6. #6
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    I have a couple of Nikkor-W 210mm f5.6 lenses. Serial number 741104 has the 77mm front thread. It is in a Copal #1 shutter with the older style silver speed ring. This is a lens I use on an 8x10 camera where it covers the format easily and allows about 10mm of shift if I need it. Serial number 755641 has a 67mm front thread and goes with my 4x5 outfit. It is in the newer style Copal #1 with the black speed ring. Respective lens weights (with Linhof style boards) are 587g and 543g. The lenses look optically identical with front element diameter (near as) 55mm.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  7. #7
    Do or do not. There is no try.
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    Re: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    I have PDFs of Nikkor brochures from 1982 and 2004, and both state the "attachment size" as 67mm. I can read part of the serial number of the lens pictured in the 1982 brochure - 741xxx, which is in the same range as Maris' 77mm lens! Go figure!

  8. #8
    Jeff D. Welker
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    Re: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    Quote Originally Posted by Maris Rusis View Post
    I have a couple of Nikkor-W 210mm f5.6 lenses. Serial number 741104 has the 77mm front thread. It is in a Copal #1 shutter with the older style silver speed ring. This is a lens I use on an 8x10 camera where it covers the format easily and allows about 10mm of shift if I need it. Serial number 755641 has a 67mm front thread and goes with my 4x5 outfit. It is in the newer style Copal #1 with the black speed ring. Respective lens weights (with Linhof style boards) are 587g and 543g. The lenses look optically identical with front element diameter (near as) 55mm.
    Well, well, well Maris. My 210 and dad's have optically identical front element diameters. I had not noticed that until you mentioned it. The only difference from your 741104 and dad's 741XXX is that dad's has the newer style Copal #1 with the black speed ring. Very interesting. Not sure why these differences exist, but they surely do.
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

  9. #9
    Jeff D. Welker
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    Re: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Goldstein View Post
    I have PDFs of Nikkor brochures from 1982 and 2004, and both state the "attachment size" as 67mm. I can read part of the serial number of the lens pictured in the 1982 brochure - 741xxx, which is in the same range as Maris' 77mm lens! Go figure!
    I noted the same thing in my research Steve. I've yet to find any online reference material that notes a 77mm front mount attachment size for the W 210mm????
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

  10. #10
    Jeff D. Welker
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    Re: The Mystery of Dad's Nikkor-W 210m f5.6

    Follow-up report. As Bob suggested, I took my father's 77mm 210 to Tempe Camera to have Joe give it a 'once over'. Joe has been repairing cameras and these types of lenses for many decades. He said that Nikon made a short run of these Nikkor-W 210mm f5.6 lenses with the 77mm front attachment size. He said the old Nikon rep never told him why. He sees them in the shop from time to time, but he said the 67mm version is much more common.

    I guess this means the mystery is solved and I have a nice back-up 210mm lens. Gratefully, all my filters are 77mm.
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

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