EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8 Chapter 1
EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8    Chapter 1

EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8

I got this lens over 20 years ago. I bought it at a camera show held at the Ginza Matsuya department store in Tokyo in February 1999. The purchase date and personal information of the previous owner are written on the back of the warranty card. The date of purchase was October 1969.


EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8

Focal length :  51.6 mm
Max. aperture :  f/2.8
Min. aperture :  f/16
Lens construction :  6 elements in 4 groups
Standard magnification :  8X
Range of magnification ratio :  2X - 20X
Picture angle :  46°
Correction wavelength range :  370 nm - 700 nm
Vignetting :  0% at f/4
Distortion :  -0.1%
Subject size :  24 X 36 mm
Overall working distance :  522.5 mm
Filter size :  d=40.5 mm p=0.5 mm
Mount :  Leica L39 screw mount
Length :  39.5 mm
Diameter :  47.5 mm
Weight :  100 g
Actual weight :  104.5 g

Release date :  February 1957
Price :
    9,500 Japanese YEN (1966)
    9,500 Japanese YEN (1969)
    9,500 Japanese YEN (1973)
  11,200 Japanese YEN (1974)
  11,200 Japanese YEN (April 1976)
  12,700 Japanese YEN (July 1976)
  12,700 Japanese YEN (1977)
  12,700 Japanese YEN (1979)

EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8 Lens Construction

Position of EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8

The EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8 was a popular lens for photographers doing serious photo enlargement work. The price of this lens was expensive for beginners or entry-level users.

EL Nikkor Price List

Source is from the Nikon Industrial Lenses Price List (December 21st, 1977).
The price is Japanese YEN.

EL Nikkor Price (YEN) Film Formats
  50mm F2.8 12,700    24 x 36 mm
  50mm F4 7,900    24 x 36 mm
  63mm F3.5 21,700    32 x 45 mm
  75mm F4 14,700    56 x 56 mm
  80mm F5.6 19,400    60 x 70 mm
  105mm F5.6 26,500    65 x 90 mm
  135mm F5.6 37,500    90 x 120 mm (4 x 5 inch)
  150mm F5.6 49,200    100 x 130 mm (4 x 5 inch)
  180mm F5.6 74,600    130 x 180 mm (5 x 7 inch)
  210mm F5.6 86,200    150 x 210 mm (5 x 7 inch)
  240mm F5.6 111,000    180 x 240 mm (8 x 10 inch)
  300mm F5.6 163,000    270 x 330 mm (10 x 12 inch)
  360mm F5.6 231,000    300 x 400 mm (11 x 14 inch)

Zenji Wakimoto

The EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8 lens was designed by Mr. Zenji Wakimoto, an engineer of Nippon Kogaku. As you know, Zenji Wakimoto (1924-1996) is too famous. In 1964, he designed and completed the Ultra Micro Nikkor 29.5mm F1.2 lens, which boasts the world's highest resolution of 1260 lines/mm at that time.

He also designed the first Micro Nikkor 5cm F3.5 lens, which is very popular with Nikkor lens collectors. The NIKKOR-O 2.1cm F4 and Mountain Nikkor 10.5cm F4 are also designed by Zenji Wakimoto. Besides, he has designed so many lenses that there is no end to the list.

The EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8 is a compact, high-resolution lens designed by the legendary lens designer, Zenji Wakimoto. Everyone will admire the excellent performance of this lens.

EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8

Correction Wavelength Range

The correction wavelength range of the EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8 lens is 370 nm to 700 nm. It is an attractive lens for scientific photographers.

EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8


The EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8 lens has a long history. It was introduced to the market in February 1957. The year 1957 was two years before the Nikon F was released. Even the Nikon SP had not been released yet in February 1957. If we explain that the Nikon S2 was the product of the heyday, you may understand the background of the time and the old story.

In September 1967, the low-priced EL Nikkor 50mm F4 lens was released. At that time, you could choose between the EL Nikkor 50mm F4, which was the entry-level lens, and the EL Nikkor 50mm F.8, which was positioned as a high-end lens for serious photographers.

Photographic archives from 1972 and 1973

The 1970s was the time when photographic paper and developing supplies sold best. The image shown here is the old price lists of KIKUYA Camera and YODOBASHI Camera stores. These price lists show a lot of photographic supplies from 1972 to 1973, so you can understand how they are thriving.

EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8

Introduction to Industrial Nikkor Lenses

Today, the number of people who do photo enlargement at home is much smaller than it was in the past. It is no longer used for its intended purpose. The EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8 lens is readily and inexpensively available on the used camera market.

I recommend EL Nikkor lenses to anyone who wants to try industrial Nikkor lenses. Especially for elementary school students, a 50mm lens that can be easily obtained is good. Borrow a Nikon Z camera from your mom and take some pictures.

After that, it would be nice to get Macro Nikkor or Ultra Micro Nikkor for the old ones and Rayfact for the new ones. Furthermore, it would be nice if you challenged a huge lens for Nikon semiconductor lithography system that weighs more than 1 ton with just the lens.

EL Nikkor 50mm F2.8

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Chapter 0      Top Page
Chapter 1      Lens Data
Chapter 2      Nikon Z Album 1
Chapter 3      Nikon Z Album 2


Copyright Michio Akiyama, Tokyo Japan 2021, 2022