• Ultraviolet Photography

Nikon 135mm f/5.6 EL-Nikkor: old metal version

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#1 UlfW

    Ulf W

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 14:11

Finalized: Work in progress.
Last Update:
Note: Additional information or links about this lens are welcomed and will be incorporated into the first post as time permits.

Nikon 135mm f/5.6 EL-Nikkor: old metal version

Manufacturer: Nikon
Manufacturer's lens designation: EL-NIKKOR 135mm f/5.6
Currently manufactured: No

Lens type: Enlarger lens for film up to 4" x 5" ( Ø160mm )
Design: 6 elements in 4 groups
Focal length: 135mm
Aperture range: f/5.6 – f/45, Manual, 8 blades

Format coverage: up to 4" x 5" ( Ø160mm ) at 0.2 x magnification
Recommended magnification range*: 0.1x – 0.5x.
Optimal magnification*: 0.2x
*Definitions reversed from normal enlarger definition, referring to the motif not the negative-plane

Mount: M39 x 26tpi thread
Reverse mount: M6 x 0.5 thread, hidden under a cover ring outside the filter thread.
Helicoid: No
Flange focus distance: 90 mm
Front filter: 43 mm x 0.5 mm

Introduction year: pre 1960?
S/N of test object: 429624

Lens review (VIS), on the web:
Lens Manual on the web: http://www.savazzi.n...El-Nikkor_2.pdf

Transmittance Summary
Definitions of the parameters below
  • Range: The EL-Nikkor 135mm f/5.6: old metal version lens transmits 0-81% in an increasing slope from 320nm to 400nm.
  • TVISmax (%) = 84%
  • T400nm (%) = 81%
  • T365nm (%) = 65%
    This high percentage is an indicator for relatively acceptable exposure time under typical UV-pass filtration peaking around 360 nm or when using 365 nm UV-LED illumination.
  • λUV HMvis(nm) = 350nm
  • λUV HM400 (nm) = 348nm
  • λUV Zero (nm) = 320nm
  • These three values indicate that the lens is working even for some limited upper UV-B photography with some filters and a few for this, suitable cameras.

Image of test object:

Attached Image: IMG_2588.jpg Attached Image: IMG_2590.jpg Attached Image: IMG_2591.jpg

Spectral Transmission Graphs
UV-NIR, EL-NIKKOR 135mm f/5.6, old metal version
Attached Image: El-Nikkor 135mm f:5.6, Old metal Full.png
The transmission measurement accuracy into the end of NIR range is less good due to limitations in the light source.

UV, EL-NIKKOR 135mm f/5.6, old metal version
Attached Image: El-Nikkor 135mm f:5.6, Old metal UV.png

UV-Log, EL-NIKKOR 135mm f/5.6, old metal version
Attached Image: El-Nikkor 135mm f:5.6, Old metal UVLog.png
Numerical Spectra Data available: Yes

General comments about the UV-reach:

Filters and how to use them on this lens:
The front filter thread is rather odd, but suitable adapter can be found at RafCamera:

It is also possible to use rear mounted filters, either in lens mount adapters for mirrorless cameras like Sony A-series etc, or placed directly in the camera.

Handling and focussing:
This EL-Nikkor 135/5.6 must be used with a helicoid or macro bellows to set desired magnification. The lens's long FFD easily permits focus to infinity with careful sizing of the helicoid or bellows.

Flare and sun-stars:


Lens distortion:

Chromatic Aberration / fringing in UV:

Image samples:

UV, Fringing:

UV, Fringing 100%:



Edited by UlfW, 06 April 2021 - 07:06.

Ulf Wilhelmson
Curious and trying to see the invisible.