Originally Posted by wes loder
Steve, you and Bob are certainly entitled to your opinions, but the SCAP records are a primary source and there is no indication that they are false at any point. Numbers are confused occasionally, but not dates. I find it a bit odd that Bob would so willingly accept SCAP dates and numbers for both the 85mm and the 135mm, but not the 35.
To back up the SCAP records, you might note that Nikon, Inc's own write-up on the wide-angles for the Nikon RF series that the company posted on the web indicated an availability date for the 35mm f3.5 of March 1950, only one month before the SCAP records indicated production start of this "New product."
In addition, all the early 35s have the MIOJ mark on the rangefinder cam, a location not used for either the 85s or the 135s until 1950. If the 35 was available prior to 1950, one would expect the MIOJ mark to be on the barrel exterior.
Yes, NK manufactured variable-frame finders with the 35 setting during 1949, and clearly intended to make a 35mm lens, but intentions and availability are two different beasts. NK had enough trouble in 1948 getting the camera working and out the door, let alone worry about the accessory lenses. The company didn't get the 135mm f4 into production until November 1948 and the 85 off the ground until the spring of 1949. Longer lenses were where the sales and money were. It made sense to postpone the production of the 35mm Nikkor until camera sales had picked up enough to create a market for the least-popular focal length.
It is possible that NK might have made an early production run of the 35 optics in the late Forties, perhaps the 612X series, but when did these get put into mounts for sale? NK probably held off until it was clear that there would be enough Nikon owners around willing to buy a 35mm lens. There would be no point in investing time and limited money in putting a lens out for sale that had almost no cameras to go on.
The 1947 book of all NK's products assembled for the Occupation authorities does list a 135 and a 35 lens for the new Nikon camera. But that is a dream sheet assembled to convince SCAP that NK was now a model citizen and not a munitions manufacturer. Not even the camera was in production, and the Nikoflex illustrated on the same page never saw the light of day. That same report shows a fisheye lens! And no one contends that NK put THAT into production in the 1940s.
If you had tried to buy a 35mm Nikkor in 1948 or 1949, the answer would have been "Yes. Wait. Coming soon." But you would not have been able to actually buy one until Spring of 1950. WES
Actually Wes, the real question is where is YOUR proof?
You are the one going against conventional wisdom in every standard Nikon RF reference book.
One reference in SCAP might make an interesting theory, but its certainly not proof. As you yourself point out, SCAP was inaccurate in claiming a early Nikon fisheye lens, so why should a claim of 1st production 35mm lenses in 1950 be any more accurate?
To make your starting 1950 production 35mm lens theory credible you need original Nikon data, either from NK records or from 1946 NK workers.
Failing that, the death knell to your theory is the popularity of Nikon collecting in the 1980's and 1990 in Japan -- while many of the Nikon One workers were still alive and able to share their experiences with Japanese collectors. IF indeed the 35/3.5's were not produced until 1950, that fact would have been shared and common knowledge long ago.
Lastly Nikon is still a going concern and arguably the most dedicated to its own history than any other Japanese camera company. Wes, do you really think Nikon would allow a misconception about the Nikon One's original lenses to continue 60 plus years? Really ?