Micro-Nikkor P.C Auto 55mm 3.5

Zenitar-M 50mm 1.4

Focal Lenght: 55mm
Max Apeture: 3.5
Lens Mount: Nikon F (Ai converted)
Min. Focus: 0.24,1 mm (at 1:2 magnification)
Filter Size: 52mm
Weight: 235 gr

LENS STORY

As time passed I went through almost all popular lens mounts, adapting lenses from them to my Sony A7. Nikon was the third to last. Throughout the years I saw Nikon lenses, read about them, got confused by the variations of the lens mount and dropped it. That is until I stumbled upon a MICRO-NIKKOR P.C AUTO 55MM 3.5 on a website I ocassionally shop on. I had a lens the owner wanted and browsed his stock, deciding it’s about time to dip my toes into the Nikon world.

Now a few things that I didn’t get from the start: Older manual Nikon lenses use the Nikon F mount. The metal “ears” on the lens is an easy give-away if a lens is Nikon F, pre-AI lenses used that tab to couple the lens to the camera meter. Now, while most Nikon lenses have the pre-AI tab and are backwards compatible (can be used on older bodies), a pre-AI lens won’t work on an AI body. You can figure out if a lens is Ai with some research, altho a pre-AI lens, like this one, converted to an Ai one, might be trickier. It’s all about a small indent next to the lens mount and the aperture ring. 

While thinking and researching which Nikon lens to get, I avoided the usual 50mm 1.8’s – Ai versions can be used on digital Nikons, which inflates their price. This lens was a tad cheaper and after reading some reviews about it’s stellar performance, I decided it’s time to say “See ya later” to my Vivitar 100mm plastic macro for a (hopefully) better lens.

HANDLING

The build quality on older Nikons is stellar. I really like the consistent silver + black styling. The Micro-Nikkor I got had already been converted to Nikon F Ai, which is why I got it – I use it on m digital Sony A7 and a lovely Nikon Fm2n. It balances well on both cameras and feels like a well built lens.

The focus throw is long, which is fine for macro. The focus ring isn’t as smooth as I would like, most likely due to a CLA around the time it had the lens mount corrected.

The front element is recessed enough that I’ve not had to worry about a lens hood. 

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

I’m happy with this lens and it’s now become my go-to lens for macro work and scanning negatives. 

Sharpness is awesome in the center, stop down you get good corners, just as expected. It’s perfect for photographing negatives with your digital camera. 

Colors are on the more neutral side, they don’t pop, they aren’t muted, they feel faithful to what you see. 

Contrast is good, no complaints there. 

One thing to note about flare, while side-light wasn’t much of an issue, directly photographic negatives on a light table tends to produse both ghosting and flare, it’s a niche situation, but keep it in mind.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is the lens that stays on my Nikon FM2n and the Nikon lens I’m keeping. It’s now become my go-to macro lens, outpacing the Vivitar 100mm 3.5 plastic macro. 

I’d recommend this lens to anyone looking for a vintage macro, without breaking the bank and splurging on (say a Tokina 90mm). It works well on both digital and film.