The Nikon 13mm f5.6


by Bellamy /

2 min read

The Nikon 13mm f5.6
The golden goose of lenses, a real legend. One of the rarest Nikon lenses there is, but I managed to find it. This is also one of the coolest lenses I have found. Check out this beast.

I have been very very lucky this week to find this….the rarest of the rare…the absolutely amazing Nikkor 13mm f5.6. This is not your normal, run of the mill wide-angle lens, not at all, this is a much more special breed. You see this lens was never produced in anything close to what you could call capacity. Only 300 units were made in total. If we are to assume that Nikon kept some, collectors and museums also had a few, possibly government agencies and then damaged or destroyed items, there are probably only only a handful (1 0r 2) that are available on the market in the whole world. And now there is one less…..As I got it.

Just look at that…isn’t it stunning? A real thing of beauty. These lenses were all handmade, with hand produced front elements. It is said that the lenses were all blessed by Shinto priests, and as much as I would love to believe it, I think it is probably wishful thinking.
But there is no doubt these things are special, there are hardly any of them, they are handmade, and they have incredible performance. Hence the almost absurd amount of money that has been charged for these lenses over the years. I saw one online last year for $40,000 USD! And the thing was, it sold.

The specs on this thing are absolutely incredible…seriously. The angles of view alone are amazing 118˚ diagonal, 108˚ horizontal and 85˚ vertical. I mean, wow, that is a huge field of vision.
It has 16 elements in 12 groups, and runs up to f22 with a 7 blade diaphragm.
The lens is huge too, as you can see from the pictures. It weighs 1.3 kilos! Not something you want to have hanging around your neck for a great deal of time.


I think the main thing is the size of the front element, it is a constant worry that you are going to damage it as it sticks out so much. There is no possibility of a cover for this, so you would have to take care.
In fact, it was so fragile looking that I barely ran out of the house with it. I managed to get half a roll off before I decided it would be better off staying inside (mainly because it is not mine).

A truly remarkable lens. I hope I find more of these one day.


2 comments on “The Nikon 13mm f5.6”

    Solomon October 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm / Reply

    Injust went on eBay 29000 wow

    Bas H November 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm / Reply

    There should be a cheap, cheap version of those and other wonky lenses, but unfortunately all lensmakers are too serious for that now Holga is gone. It’s hunting down old Eastern European and Soviet lenses, new lenses are all too expensive too consider.
    Love this lens, it looks like you’ve screwed on a space helmet..

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