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Old 04-21-2013   #62
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Originally Posted by wes loder View Post
Steve: Go to the National Archives in College Park Maryland and look at the records yourself if you doubt their "Proof." Sometimes "conventional wisdom" can be simply wrong.
Did you even read my last response? I noted that Nikon Inc., itself listed the 35mm f3.5 as coming out in March 1950 on the company's own web page. You are relying on fifty-year-old memories, not on documents. I am relying on documents, not on some company veteran recalling "Oh, yeah, we had the 35mm lens back then."
As for the 1947 fisheye lens, NK included a photograph of the lens in their booklet for the SCAP authorities. Neither NK or SCAP ever claimed that the lens was available or in production, just that the company had prototyped and was "capable" of making such a lens. That is not an "inaccurate" statement as you maintain. The booklet also included the Nikoflex, and we all know what happened to that camera.
A lot of false information went out about the early days of the Nikon camera. Some of that misinformation was deliberately sowed out by Ehrenreich to enhance his own reputation. The Oft-made Statement that SCAP banned the "Export" of the Nikon One is definitely false—as proved by research in contemporary publications, interviews with Liholm and Gasser and SCAP records, yet you have never gotten around to correcting that statement in your own web pages on the Nikon One.
What is possibly true is that the Nikon camera was not allowed to be sold through the CPO (military exchanges stores). But that is not the same "export."
To return to the 35mm f3.5 W-Nikkor. SCAP optical production records appear to have picked up and listed items when the various companies finished them and moved them to an availability-for-sale status. Which would mean that the 35mm Nikkor was not "Available" prior to April 1950. That does not mean that NK had not manufactured 35mm optics prior to 1950, it just means that a customer (whole-sale or retail) could not buy one.
NK manufactured a bunch of 80mm lenses for its Nikoflex, but they do not appear on SCAP records because NK never actually made the camera. They would have appeared on the Aires Camera entry when that camera appeared on the SCAP lists.
Please read through all my past entries on this topic. I am not relying on hazy memories, wishful thinkng or even just on optical production reports from SCAP, but a wide range of sources. When I first read the production reports, I was as surprised as you appear to be to find the 35mm lens not appearing until 1950, but then I went back and compared the records with all the other information I was gathering and what other contemporary writers was stating, and I had to reach the conclusion I have.
You may "wish" to believe that a person buying a Nikon in the fall of 1948 could buy a 35, or a 135 in addition to any normal that the camera came with, but it did not happen that way. NK planned to sell the 35mm lens, may have advertised it that way and even believed that would have that lens available "Real-soon-now," but it did not happen. Unless you, or Bob or someone else can show me a receipt for a delivered, production 35mm w-Nikkor dating prior to 1950, I will stick to my position.

Hi Wes,

I'm happy you, or anyone else, is researching the early Nikons and their lenses. I'm fine with whatever position you care to believe regarding them. What I do care about is you representing your theories as established fact on my site when they are not. Saying you have a theory or belief is one thing, but steadfastly maintaining your theory about 1st 35mm lens production is right and established early Nikon Rangefinder history is wrong is quite another.

First of all its disrespectful to all the historians who worked hard on putting Nikon Rangefinder history together. How could they have missed something like that ? Very serious Nikon Rangefinder collecting has been around at least since the 1970's. There was ample opportunity to interview the people who worked on the Nikon One before their passing.

1) the earliest 35/3.5's serial numbers start with 612, suggesting December of 1946. Why would that serial number be delayed and not used during M production of 1950 ? SFAIK that was not done with any other lens, so why the 35mm serial numbers ?

2) the earliest 35mm, 50mm 85mm and 135mm all share the same production characteristics: hand MACHINED rear caps and hoods, and very heavy duty front cap. These expensive items were soon replaced by stampings. Why would a 35mm lens 1st introduced in 1950 have the early machined front and back caps of the 1948 lenses ? Obviously a 1950 lens would have period lens caps, not machined 1948 rear lens caps.

3) if you add up the MIOJ lenses in Bob's book, 35mm MIOJ production is consistent with the other early 85 and 135 lenses. That is unlikely if 35mm lenses started production in 1950

4) The two Nikon ONE brochures on Nikon's site both list the 35/3.5.
In fact, the 35/3.5 and 135/4 lenses are listed at the first Nikon One lenses besides the 50's.

Furthermore brochure B specifically says "five lenses being available" referring to the 50/2, 50/3.5, 35/3.5, 85/2, and 135/4.
see I can't believe they would list the 35/3.5 with the Nikon One unless it was available for sale.

5) The fisheye lens you refer to may have existed. It depends upon what they were calling a fisheye. As I understand it, the first Nikon fisheye lens was for the sky camera, vintage 1948 according to the NHS Journal. A few sky cameras were in fact produced.

Wes, you may not believe the two Nikon One brochures represent accurate information concerning 35mm lens production, but its a very safe bet that most serious Nikon collectors take the info in the Nikon One brochures at its face value.


Nikon Rangefinder Newbies: its essential you buy Bob Rotoloni's The Complete Nikon Rangefinder Book - its the Bible for Nikon RF collecting!
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