Visionary MACRO Nikkor Lenses
Visionary MACRO Nikkor Lenses

Prototype of image magnifying equipment (1968)

Visionary MACRO Nikkor Lenses

I knew the MACRO Nikkor lenses only in the literature. I have quoted the appearance photos and drawing images from the "Nikon F Nikomat Manual" below.

Nikon MACRO Unit Outfit
Copyright (c) 1969, Nippon Kogaku K.K. All Rights Reserved.

Nikon MACRO Unit, Side view
Copyright (c) 1969, Nippon Kogaku K.K. All Rights Reserved.

Nikon MACRO Unit, View from the front
Copyright (c) 1969, Nippon Kogaku K.K. All Rights Reserved.

Usage form of Nikon MACRO Unit
Copyright (c) 1969, Kunihiko Hori, Seiichi Itoh, Nippon Kogaku K.K.
All Rights Reserved.

Source:
Nikon F Nikomat Manual
Issued on July 20, 1969, first edition, second printing
Supervised by Nippon Kogaku K.K.
Authors are Kunihiko Hori and Seiichi Itoh
Publisher is Kyoritsu Publishing Co., Ltd.
Copyright (c) 1969, Kunihiko Hori, Seiichi Itoh, Nippon Kogaku K.K.

From the NIKKOR Thousand and One Nights

Mr. Haruo Sato of Nikon Co., Ltd. mentioned "Macro Nikkor" in the NIKKOR Thousand and One Nights (25th night), so I would like to introduce it to you. I have quoted the explanation below in its original form.

Visionary Macro NIKKOR

I've been asked by some users "Why there is no Macro NIKKOR available despite the existence of Micro NIKKOR ?" Yes, Macro NIKKOR does exist. Let's take a look at the background in development of Macro NIKKOR.

To tell the truth, in parallel with the development of Micro NIKKOR for F, the Microscope Division in those days was also implementing a program for the development of a macrophotography system. This development led to the large-scale macrophotography system (MULTIPHOTO). Product development without any design compromise is Nikon's tradition. The program evolved into the large-format camera (photography system). During the development, several Macro NIKKOR lenses were born.

In addition, the Camera Division in those days had drafted a plan for the development of 35mm format Macro NIKKOR lenses. Three types of Macro NIKKOR lenses with different specifications were designed and prototyped. Their optical performance was reportedly satisfactory. However, the Microscope Division in those days (at Nippon Kogaku) had already projected a plan for a full-scale macrophotography system, thus, unfortunately, no F-mount bellows-compatible Macro NIKKOR was commercialized.

However, the Macro NIKKOR evolved into Printing-Nikkor for office and industrial use, and Apochromat Macro NIKKOR for large-format cameras for photography. At any rate, the Macro NIKKOR provided the ultimate form of high-resolution optical system.

NIKKOR - The Thousand and One Nights No.25

Visionary MACRO Nikkor

I thought it was impossible to see the real products for a long time. Spring 2017 in Tokyo. The actual products suddenly appeared.

From April 4th, 2017 to July 1st, 2017, a special exhibition "Prototype Cameras" was held at the Nikon Museum. Please refer to The Prototype Cameras Report for detailed explanation.

Shinagawa Tokyo, April 2017

Prototype of the Nikon MACRO Unit NB-1

A prototype of "Nikon Macro-Unit NB-1" and three Macro Nikkor were casually and suddenly exhibited. Take a look at the explanation panel.

Prototype of image magnifying equipment (1968)

Prototype of the Nikon Macro-Unit NB-1.
This unit is capable of capturing images magnified up to dozen or more times without changing the distance between the camera and the lens, by using four mirrors to change the direction of the optical path from horizontal to vertical.
Dedicated Macro-Nikkor Lenses were also developed.

Nikon MACRO Unit NB-1 and MACRO Nikkor Lenses

Special Exhibition

Nikon MACRO Unit NB-1 and MACRO Nikkor Lenses

Prototype of image magnifying equipment (1968)

MACRO Nikkor 150mm F5.6 and MACRO Nikkor 80mm F4

Very Nice Exhibition

Nikon MACRO Unit NB-1 and MACRO Nikkor Lenses

Unique Mechanism

This unit is capable of capturing images magnified up to dozen or more times without changing the distance between the camera and the lens, by using four mirrors to change the direction of the optical path from horizontal to vertical.

Optical path diagram of Nikon MACRO Unit

Four Dedicated Macro-Nikkor Lenses

Several days have passed since the opening day.
Four dedicated Macro-Nikkor Lenses gathered together.

Nikon MACRO Unit NB-1 and MACRO Nikkor Lenses

The exhibit is now complete

4 types of MACRO Nikkor lenses

Four Dedicated Macro-Nikkor Lenses

The specifications of the four dedicated lenses are as follows.

Line color
Lens name
Serial number
  Blue   Macro-NIKKOR 28mm F1.4   M=10   No. 270001
  Green   Macro-NIKKOR 50mm F2.8   M=6   No. 269001
  Yellow   Macro-NIKKOR 80mm F4   M=3   No. 268001
  Red   Macro-NIKKOR 150mm F5.6   M=1   No. 267003

All Macro-NIKKOR lenses have Nikon F mount.

View the exhibit from the side

The color of the rear cap is interesting

Let's observe it in more detail

View the exhibition from above

Let's observe it in more and more detail

4 types of lenses and serial numbers

Blue line Macro-NIKKOR 28mm F1.4

I would like to show you the Macro-NIKKOR 28mm F1.4 lens pictures taken by my friends.

Blue line on MACRO Nikkor 28mm F1.4 lens, M=10
Photo: Copyright (c) Hiroki Tominaga, 2020

Aperture is 1/3 step from F1.4 to F11
Photo: Copyright (c) @siroyagi, 2020

Serial Number No. 270001
Photo: Copyright (c) @siroyagi, 2020

The fifth of Macro NIKKOR Lens

It was the fall of 2018.
The fifth of Macro NIKKOR lens has been disclosed, so I would like to show you.

From October 2nd, 2018 to December 27th, 2018, a special exhibition "Prototype Lenses" was held at the Nikon Museum in Shinagawa, Tokyo.
Please refer to The Prototype Lenses Report for detailed explanation.

The Nikon Museum Special Exhibition, Prototype Lenses
October 2018

Fisheye and Sepcial Purpose Lenses

Nikkor-P 105mm F4 for bellows attachment

A red line lens in the lower right

MACRO Nikkor 65mm F5.6 (1969)
Lens Serial Number No. 258003

A prototype of Macro-Nikkor 65mm F5.6 lens was casually and suddenly exhibited. Take a look at the explanation panel.

Macro-Nikkor 65mm F5.6 (1969)

A close-up lens that was used with image magnifying equipment. The front of the lens also has a bayonet enabling attachment of the lens to a camera in reversed orientation. A cable release was also available to support usage with a bellows. Not released.

The Macro-Nikkor 65mm F5.6 lens is special designed for the image magnifying equipment, namely the Nikon Macro-Unit NB-1. This lens is the fifth lens for the Nikon Macro-Unit NB-1.

Shinagawa Tokyo, October 2018

Old history is discovered in a new era. The history of Nikon will still be rediscovered.

Back to RED BOOK NIKKOR


Copyright Michio Akiyama, Tokyo Japan 2020