Guest post: Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens review

Today's guest post is from Fabrizio Belardetti (www.fabriziobelardetti.com) who will review the rare Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens (you can click on all images for larger view):

Macro-Nikkors comprises four lenses made for the Nikon Multiphot: 19mm, 35mm, 60mm, 120mm. Each lens is optimised for a restricted range of magnifications and together they cover the entire range from 1:1 up to 40:1. The optics are designed to yield top results wide-open and stopping down only serves to increase depth of field (and diffraction effects). Within their specified magnification range the lenses will cover up to 4x5" format with ease.

The 19 mm Nikkor comes in RMS microscope screw mount and you will need an adapters to convert RMS to Leica thread and then to Nikon mount. The 19 mm f/2.8 Macro-Nikkor has working optimum at 20x and should be used indoor only, as the focusing distance is about 20mm. It is designed to be mounted on a bellow, and it's range is from 15x to 40x at the maximum extension.

Macro-Nikkors are hard to find today and really expensive (my gem cost me over 1500 €). This lens was made in Japan almost 40 years ago. I usually mount this on a PB-6 with PB 6E, sometimes with PK rings too!

Here is the lens with the original case and Nikon RMS to Leica and Leica to F mount adapters:

Here's the back of the lens, with optimal magnification engraving (20x):

On the side of the lens there is an aperture ring, starting from f/1 to f/6:

Size comparison with Nikkor Micro lenses:

Next is aperture comparison, starting from f1 to f6, with the lens mounted only with adapters, no bellows:

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/1

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/1

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/2

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/2

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/3

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/3

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/4

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/4

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/5

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/5

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/6

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/6

and here's the 100% crop from each of the above pictures:

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/1 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/1 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/2 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/2 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/3 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/3 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/4 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/4 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/5 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/5 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/6 (100% crop)

Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 Macro lens at f/6 (100% crop)

From f/1 to f/3 sharpness is outstanding. Diffraction is evident from f/5. Vignetting is little at f/1, almost gone at f/2 and absent at f/3.

This lens has no distortion, because was meant to reproduce reality as "real" as possible.

For magnification comparison you can see what the Nikkor 105mm VR Micro lens does at 1:1:

Thanks to Fabrizio Belardetti for the great review. There is not much additional information available online for this lens. I was only able to find a brief description on naturfotograf and savazzi. As mentioned already, this lens is hard to get even on eBay - I found one for $1,380.00.

Update: I posted some additional sample and setup images here.

If you want to write a guest post for NikonRumors, you can contact me here with your topic suggestions. I have already received over 200 emails and I am slowly going through them (so far I have responded to half of them).

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