The Nikon Lens
Executive Summary about Nikon Lens from Wikipedia & Ryan Array
In July 1962, Nikon released the world’s first interchangeable perspective control for a Single Lens Reflex camera, the 35mm f/3.5 PC-Nikkor, with a lens configuration of 6 elements in 6 group. This was followed in 1968 by a redesigned 35mm f/2.8 PC-Nikkor with a configuration of 8 elements in 7 groups. It was designed so that the shifting portion of the lens was further from the Nikon camera’s body in order to clear the new “Photomic” meters. The last redesign of this 35mm lens, released in 1980, was also f/2.8, but had 7 elements in 7 groups.
The 35mm PC-Nikkor did not meet the need of photographers for a wider-angle lens, so, in July 1975, Nikon released the 28mm f/4 PC-Nikkor composed of 10 elements in 8 groups. In February 1981 Nikon released an improved version of this lens, the 9-element, 8-group 28mm f/3.5 PC-Nikkor. This was the last of the completely manual PC-Nikkor lenses to be offered.
The Nikon F-mount is a type of interchangeable lens mount developed by Nikon for its 35 mm SLR Cameras. The F-mount was first introduced on the Nikon F camera in 1959, and features a three lug bayonet mount with a 44 mm throat and a flange to focal plane distance of 46.5 mm.
The large variety of F-mount compatible lenses makes it the largest system of interchangeable flange-mount photographic lenses in history. Over 400 different Nikkor lenses are compatible with the system. The F-mount is also popular in scientific and industrial applications, most notably machine vision.
The Nikon F-mount is one of only two photographic lens mounts (the other being the Pentax K mount) which were not abandoned by their associated manufacturer upon the introduction of autofocus, but rather extended to meet new requirements related to metering, autofocus, and aperture control.
Brands of F-mount photographic lenses include Nikkor, Zeiss, Voigtlander, Schneider, Sigma, Tokina, Tamron, Hartblei, Kiev-Arsenal, Lensbaby, Vivitar, and others. F-mount photographic cameras include current models from Nikon, Fujifim, sinar, and Horseman. Numerous other manufacturers employ the F-mount in non-photographic imaging applications.
The F-mount has a significant degree of both backward and forward compability. Many current autofocus F-mount lenses can be used on the Nikon F, and the earliest manual-focus F-mount lenses of the 1960s and early 1970s can, with some modification, still be used to their fullest on all professional-class Nikon cameras.
Incompatibilities do exist, however, and adventurous F-mount users should consult product documentation in order to avoid problems. For example, many electronic camera bodies cannot meter without a CPU enabled lens, the aperture of G designated lenses cannot be controlled without an electronic camera body, and non-AI lenses (manufactured prior to 1977) can cause mechanical damage to later model bodies unless they are modified to meet the AI specification.
The Nikon D70 reveals a current F-mount design, including aperture lever (left), CPU contacts (top), mechanical AF linkage (lower left). The flange of a current F-mount lens, including aperture lever (upper left) and CPU contacts (bottom).