Omnar Lenses has a new lens conversion available for M-mount shooters! Beginning July 2023, the rangefinder coupled m-mount NK35-25 can be yours as long as you have an original Nikonos W Nikkor 35mm F2.5 lens available for rehousing. This will be a limited run and the lenses supplied will have to be in working order with no fungus or haze.
The finished 35mm F2.5 lens design is made up of 6 elements in 4 groups with coatings depending on the version of the lens supplied. Elements rehoused into the Omnar platform include the original optical block and iris from the Nikonos lens. This process removes the optical flat that was added for water-proofing and improves the already stellar performance of the well-loved lens.
The W Nikkor 35mm F2.5 was the standard lens for the Nikonos series of cameras created in 1963 and has had a long run of popularity thanks to its design that corrects spherical and chromatic aberrations despite the relatively wide angle and small size. Because of this and the multi-layered coatings applied to later versions, the lens has excellent colour reproduction and clarity. Unlike the UW Nikonos lenses, the W version can function both underwater and on dry land, making it an excellent candidate for conversion.
Quite a few customization options for the Omnar NK35-25 are available. All lenses will be rangefinder coupled from 0.65m to infinity with a short focus throw, but there is an option to add an uncoupled close focus down to 0.35m. Additionally, opt for a light or heavy-focus feel.
Lenses can be finished in black matte, gloss black lacquer, or gloss black with antique brassing. Clients can even add three lines of a small custom engraving on the focus ring.
Lastly, an E46 filter thread can be added to the rehousing as well, however, this does increase the size of the lens.
The NK35-25 conversion price is £1,400 (excluding VAT). For more information about the conversion, see additional sample images, or to get in touch with any questions, head over to the Omnar Lenses webpage here.
Each conversion project enables the grander vision of expanding on the number of rehousings that can be done as well as introducing more original Omnar brand lenses to market.
Being a curious news hound and not too familiar with building optics, I asked Hamish how the NK35-25 project moves this vision forward a step. (If you are new to Omnar or 35mmc, they are one-half in the same. Hamish founded 35mmc.com and is partnered with Chris from Skyllaney Opto-Mechanics in Omnar Lenses)
He replied to my question by explaining:
Every lens Chris works on is part of the development of a future project. We have a bit of a timeline planned – not for specific lenses as such – but more for solutions to particular problems. The Omnar platform was the first piece of the puzzle, but along the way forward there are milestones to make. So for eg, the NK35-25 solves the issue of the rangefinder cam translation for all 35mm lenses (provided they have an actual focal length close enough to 35mm that is). This lens also solved, or at least helped solve the issue of controlling the iris within optical blocks when the iris is built in. This helped the Contax T2 conversion prototypes which has a similar iris control mechanism to the NK35-28.
Going on to describe the next part of the plan, he says:
The next step on from this are optics that don’t come with an iris such as the optic out of the various Yashica cameras. But now we have the control mechanism, it’s just a case of linking this to our own iris instead of one the optic comes with. There are similar developmental milestones tied up in the NK35-18 which are becoming part of the roadmap towards a couple of the Contax G series lens conversions as well as a more simple (cost effective) design for the Bertele 50mm f/2.
Developments do take some time with projects being worked on by Chris (Skyllaney) himself. However, with each conversion project, the program builds for more exciting m-mount lens options in the future.
For more information about Omnar Lenses, the NK35-25 conversion, or any other questions, head over to their website here.
Sources: Nikon Imaging’s Nikonos History
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