TV-Nikkor 35mm F0.9 Lens

I visited Apex Elecgtronics for the first time after reading about them at Hack a Day. It’s like the junkyard version of All Electronics. Lots of broadcast equipment, metal pieces, wire (lots of wire,) components, test equipment, you name it.

The secret of Apex is that you have to be willing to dig around to find stuff. I found a box of 150 1.3 volt 2 amp Ni-Cad batteries under another box of security cameras. In the aisle. Of shelves full of circuit boards. At one time there was probably some organization at this place, but as stuff kept getting added that organization fell apart.

I’m a sucker for three main things at places like this: electromechanical parts, old rack mount equipment, and cameras.

I was browsing the security camera boxes (which were stacked in the aisle on top of a spool of cable) when I cam across a cheap Korean-made box camera (no manufacturer name) with a very odd lens on it.

The TV-Nikkor 35mm F0.9

I picked up the camera and lens for $40. Looking at the lens, I knew it was probably worth at least that much. It’s a Nikkor 35mm F0.9. I’d never seen a lens that fast, so I grabbed it. Once I got it back home, I started to do some research.

This is the fastest lens that Nikon has made. It’s designed for photographing the phosphor screen of fluoroscopy machines.  More about this lens here. It’s an industrial lens, with an M39 mount. But here it was mounted to a security camera with a CS mount.

After removing it from the camera, it was clear that someone really wanted this lens on this camera.

The lens as it came off the security camera.

First adapter, C mount to CS mount.

Second adapter. C mount to some non-threaded mount with three set screws. Also lots of masking tape.

This masking tape was used to build up the diameter quite a bit for the clamping mount adapter.

I cut off the decades-old masking tape to reveal more threads. I’m not sure what size these threads are.

Finally down to the original M39 threads.

As I said, someone really wanted this lens on this camera.

Unfortunately the focus is broken on this lens. The ring moves, but it has lost connection with the actual lens elements, so it won’t change focus. I need to get it repaired, because I love the look of it. Check out some test shots in the gallery.


About Edward Carlson

Broadcast television engineer working in Los Angeles, CA.
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One Response to TV-Nikkor 35mm F0.9 Lens

  1. chickens says:

    Did you ever have this lens repaired?

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