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21mm f/4 Nikkor-O [non-AI]

Suitable For:

Wide angle photography

Camera Formats:

This lens can only be used on Nikon F, F2 and Nikkormats


Focal length: 21mm
Maximum aperture: 4
Minimum aperture: 22
Angle of View: 92°
Focus Throw: ?
Maximum reproduction ratio: 1:40
Lens Elements: 8
Lens Groups: 4
Diaphragm Blades: ?
ED Glass Elements: 0
Autofocus: n/a
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.9m
Filter Size: 52mm
Filter Type: front screw in
Dimensions: 60mmØ by 165mm
Weight: 210g
Accessories: special shoe mount finder

Bjørn's Rørslett's Overview:

Now mostly regarded as a collectible item, the 21 mm f/4 broke the 90° angle-of-view barrier back in 1959. Its perfectly symmetric optical design extends deep into the camera throat to end just a few mm away from the film gate. Accordingly the mirror had to be locked up and a separate optical viewfinder was used to frame the picture. This lens can only be mounted on early Nikon bodies such as F, F2 and Nikkormats.


Mounting it on newer cameras such as F3, F4 or F5 invariably ends with the reflex mirror getting severely DAMAGED.

Never ever try to do this on any other camera than Nikon F, F2, and Nikkormat, even with the mirror in a raised and locked-up position!

On an appropriate camera such as F or F2, however, it offers superb qualities for shooting into the sun thanks to its symmetric design, and produces images that are quite sharp and having a very pleasant "roundness" of detail - in other words, giving excellent 'bokeh'. For shooting into the sun, the minimum aperture setting f/16 is preferable, but maximum sharpness otherwise is in the f/8-f/11 range.

Bjørn's Rating:

4 (F2)

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