LENS LOVE: Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (K Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (K Version)
Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (K Version)



Originally Published: 23 October 2016
Updated: 25 December 2017 (Re-written in new format)



Whenever people are asking for a recommendation of cheap but great macro lens, almost the majority would confidently point out to any version of the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 -- already sharp at f/3.5! For macro work, stopping it down to f/8 makes it an excellent choice.

The version I own is known as the K version, the precursor to the AI version, and was made around 1974 to 1977. Optically, there is no difference between the K and AI versions, just the aperture ring!

Mechanically, it's super smooth to operate and I'd love to use any manual focus Nikkor lens over their AF versions any day. The maximum magnification only goes to 1:2, so you will need an extension tube or a 2x teleconverter to achieve 1:1.

For camera bodies with the AI tab, do not use non-AI lenses because the width of the aperture ring will make impact and break the AI tab.

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (K Version)


Here, the aperture ring has been AI'd.
Now it has a notch and will not collide with the AI tab.



The glass here is multicoated and makes good contrast and vivid colors. In comparison, a year later, I got the single coated Micro-Nikkor-P 55/3.5, which renders images with more neutral colors and that is my preferred choice. My copy had a big scratch on the rear element. Most of the time, it doesn't affect the output, but on bright sunny outdoors, the effect is noticeable.

Overall, this is a wonderful lens (although I prefer the single coated version). It sells very cheap, so this will be any newbie's best intro to a macro lens. Any version will be fine.




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SPECS

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5

This is the K Version
(Produced from 1974-1977)

Minimum Focusing Distance:
0.241 meters (max magnification 1:2)

Focus Throw:
Almost 360 degrees

Filter Thread Diamter:
52mm

Optical Formula:
5 elements, 4 groups, multicoated

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

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Samples

Shot with Nikon D5200 (Standard)
Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5
All samples unedited
No filters or hood were used

Reminder: My copy has a scratch on the rear glass!

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (K Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)
f/32

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)
f/3.5

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)



Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)

Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (1977 Pre-AI Version)


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