This week I’m taking on the ‘Yon San Hachi Roku’ or should I say the four-three-eight-six from 1963. This was Nikon’s “forerunner of standard modern zoom lenses, the Zoom-NIKKOR Auto 43-86mm f/3.5.”
It is beautifully made, looks absolutely wonderful on the Df and dubbed as Nikon’s worse lens ever made! The ‘Yon San Hachi Roku’ competition at the time was Voigtlander-Zoomar 1:2.8 f=36mm – 82mm and if you’re like me this means absolutely nothing. Especially since I’ve never used the Voigtlander-Zoomar zoom lens. I’m not knocking it, I just shoot Nikon.
Anyways back to the ‘Yon San Hachi Roku’. It is my only zoom lens from the Pre Non Ai Nikkors I collect. I purchased it for $20…YUP, $20 Bucks. It looks as though it was hardly used over the last 52 years of its existence. I have had it on the Df before, snapped a few frames even but never really purposefully shot with it.
I wanted this lens to add to my collection based on the way I felt after laying eyes and hands upon it. Its compact, light and I think I truly love the quirkiness of it. It lends to my shooting style of underexposed shots in moody light and it can create some really interesting bokeh effects as well as the visible chromatic aberration on some of the images below.
I’m sure it worked well with its original pairing of the Nikkorex Zoom 35 SLR camera back in the day in which it was created for. Today in 2015, on the Df, I cant help but think that it makes it shine just a wee bit more that fifty years ago. Nikkor has sample images of the lens paired with an F2 as well as all the tech stuff for the Yon San Hachi Roku if you need that information.
Below, my samples are just from around the farm last night and this morning. I am pleasantly surprised this lens is given the “worse lens ever” title from Nikon…but in a lineup with such fantastic products I suppose there will always have to be one lens that falls into that category…
But for me personally I think the ‘Yon San Hachi Roku’ is a great little oddity to my collection.
BTW, images have just a slight boost of contrast to them and some tighter crops on others, otherwise no heavy post processing on these what so ever.
Christian, ranch wife, mama to a wee lil yorkie and three buckskins.
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