This one is for you Nikonists out there, and for anyone who loves old manual film cameras and the optics of their wonderful mechanical lenses. Last week I saw this beautiful old super long lens on display at a camera store and fell totally in love. I can’t think of anything I need less: I don’t have any Nikon cameras, much less a top notch mechanical 35mm film SLR that would be worthy of this marvel; I don’t particularly care for telephoto shooting and I don’t like zooms. But it is so very pretty, I whine, and it comes with its own custom fitted wooden case! (I am a sucker for anything that comes with its own custom fitted wooden case.) And I know that I could use it with at least some new Nikon bodies. Imagine the reach of a 200- 600mm manual zoom on a crop sensor camera* …
The owner told me it dated back to the 1960s, and was all complete, from the case down to the manual and the warranty cards that had never been filled up. And to my great relief, when I dared to ask the price he told me it was not for sale, just there on display as an object of aspiration, and perhaps inspiration. A modern, autofocus zoom covering a similar range of focal lengths would probably be thicker in cross section and certainly much shorter and lighter, but it would never look so precise and elegant or provoke so much camera related conversation.
* It would offer a 300-900 mm full frame equivalent field of view range, if my math is correct.
(I actually had my K-30 with me, in case I found a used lens I couldn’t resist (Pentax KAF mount, please), but these shots were taken with the New Phone Camera. Ah, the temptation of modern conveniences.)