Nikkor-N 35mm 1.4 modification and 1 day review

Found this gem from ebay after researching for a good’o compact manual 35mm to use, as I wasn’t very happy with the quality and brightness of the B-mount Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm 2.4 I picked from the flea market. People told me that I need to modify the pre-ai mount of the Nikkor-N, I thought, how hard could it be? It turns out to be very easy to modify to fit on the Canon EF mount!

sc_252-nov-06-21-17
The problem is the protrusion that will hit the mirror of the modern DSLR, or even the old Nikon AI mount film camera.
sc_253-nov-06-21-17
I made a mistake by unscrewing the whole mount. Actually, you can simply remove the protrusion by removing 3 tiny side screws, or whatever the official name of these screws.
sc_253-nov-06-21-18
There you go!
sc_251-nov-06-20-56
Well, this 1.4 lens isn’t exactly compact as compare to other 35mm manual lenses, but damn, what a beauty! It’s still more compact than the modern 35mm lenses from Sigma/Tamron etc.

 

Lenses I have for test:

Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 (can be used on full frame at 35mm, detail follows here)
Praktica Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm 2.4
Nikon Nikkor-N 35mm 1.4

Distortion

distortion_nikkor1

My version of this lens was made between 1971 to 1973. The 40 years old lens is pretty impressive a the corner distortion. Well it could also be due to the fact of I was using a APS-C lens on the full frame camera. The sides perform better than the Sigma Art lens though losing in sharpness.

Nikon Sigma
Center 1.4/1.8 scimg_4167_nikkor1-4 ss_sigma1-8
Center 2.0 sc_nikkor2 ss_sigma2-0
Center 2.8 sc_nikkor2-8 ss_sigma2-8
Corner 1.4/1.8 ss_nikkor1-4 ss_sigma1-8
Corner 2.0 ss_nikkor2-0 ss_sigma2-0
Corner 2.8 ss_nikkor2-8 ss_sigma2-8

Bicycle (full res with nikkor 1.4)

img_4182_nikkor1-4

Carl Zeiss Jena Nikon Sigma
Center 1.4 / 1.8  csc_nikkor1-4  csc_sigma1-8
Center 2.0  csc_nikkor2-0  csc_sigma2-0
 Center 2.4 / 2.8  csc_zeiss2-4  csc_nikkor2-8  csc_sigma2-8
Corner 1.4 / 1.8  css_nikkor1-4  css_sigma1-8
Corner 2.0  css_nikkor2-0  css_sigma2-0
Corner 2.4 / 2.8  css_zeiss2-4  css_nikkor2-8  css_sigma2-8

Real world sample

img_4111img_4158

simg_4164

img_4164_100
100% crop shows the ‘soft-focus’ effect of the lens wide open, which is common for the older lenses.

Conclusion

Well, it’s not the sharpest lens out there, but definitely one of the older yet very usable vintage lens to keep. While wide open you can see the ‘swirling’ bokeh effect, which is common on the C-mount lenses, as a full frame Nikon lens the effect is kinda prominent, not sure if it’s a disappointment or a pleasant surprise depending if you like that kind of effect.

Well, I had only tried the lens for 2 days, perhaps as I take more shots with it I will update this space again.

Also, I am not selling this lens or do I make any profit from making comparison. So do help me out with donation if you can? Do drop me a message so I can thank you from instagram/facebook messenger!

$1 – Aah… coffee
<$5 – Mmm… lunch meal
<$10 – Woo… ramen
<$25 – Waa… steak
>$50 – WOW! Thank you!

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