Nikkor 135/2.8 Ai, "compact" design

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
The Nikkor 135/2.8 5 element in 4 group lens was introduced in 1976, a more compact design that replaced the larger 4/4 135/2.8. SN of the new lens starts at 730001. The lens was soon updated to Ai, later to Ais. The optical formula remained the same. The Nikkor 85/2, 105/2.5 (1973 and later), 135/2.8 and 200/4.0 (1976 and later) all share the basic optical formula- a double-gauss design. I now have all 4 of these lenses, plan on doing some comparisons. All have similar rendering, and are fairly compact designs.

Some quick tests with this lens- wide-open,

Nikkor 135/2.8 Ai Test
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Nikkor 135/2.8 Ai Test
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Close focus is 4feet.

Nikkor 135/2.8 Ai Test
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Nikkor 135/2.8 Ai Test
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

The Nikkor-Q 135/2.8 - optical formula is "just hard to describe", has some very strong groups in it. Not a Sonnar, Not a Planar- but is an asymmetric design. This newer lens is much more symmetric. The 135/3.5 Ais that I have is about the same size, I'll get some comparisons up. The 135/3.5 is a Sonnar formula lens, as is the early 105/2.5. The RF mount 8.5cm F2 is a Sonnar.

And- the fencepost test, focus with the Df is very easy with the brought F2.8 aperture.

Nikkor 135/2.8 Ai Test
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Many (really, like 40) years ago I had the Nikkor 135/2.0- traded it off. I picked up the Vivitar series 1 135/2.3 which serves my need for a super-speed 135. The Vivitar has floating optics.
 

rayvonn

All-Pro
Jan 19, 2015
124
I have the AI-S 135mm F2.8 which is a fine lens if a little stiff focusing. I understand that issue isn't there with the earlier versions.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
The AIs lenses used a different lubricant than the AI series. The AIs lubricant tended to separate and flow- Nikon stopped using it. The mechanics are the same between the two lenses. Mine is smooth enough, had a "flat spot" that evened out with use. CLA instructions for the lens:

Repair: Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 (K/Ai)

Richard Haw is my "Go To" site for Nikon Lenses.
 

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