Repair: W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 (LTM)

Hello, everybody! Nikon just announced the Nikon Z50, it is a small camera that’s equivalent to the Nikon D7500 just without the mirror. Nikon sure has earned back the money spent on developing that sensor several times over, Nikon loves to repurpose older flagship sensors and use them on lower-end cameras after a few months or years. Nikon has been doing this thing since the start of their rebirth after the war. Repurposing isn’t a bad idea and I’m an advocate of it when I am designing studio workflows at work. It saves a lot of money but it also ensures repeatability which is important. Speaking of repurposing, our topic for this article is a lens that was sold in 2 different lens mounts, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel but you sure can modify it to fit different needs, so to speak. Please enjoy this article.


The W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 was a game-changer when it came out. It used to be the fastest lens of its type when it debuted in 1952. It was based on an old Nikkor that was used during the war for taking aerial spy photos, it has high resolution and a low distortion profile. It was miniaturized and it ended up being this lens. I have covered the W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 (S-mount) before so read that article if you want to know more about this lens. The lens that’s featured in this article the W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 (Leica Thread Mount). It’s similar to the W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 (S-mount) optically and that’s all. Many people debate to this day on which version came out first. Some say that it’s the Leica Thread Mount version came out earlier as Nikon wanted to get the Leica market which was bigger back then. There’s a lot of merit to it, I think that this lens was aimed at that market where there’s nothing equivalent to it for some time. It was the fastest wide-angle lens when all the competition (Germans) had were f/6.3 to f/8 ones. You can now buy a faster, cheaper lens at the loss of some prestige. This mattered to some people while some folks didn’t even care.

The lens arrived in this state. It was dirty, the paint’s worn and the inside of the objective was oily. I now it looks small in the picture but the lens is a big one as far as slower W-Nikkors are concerned. It’s dense and it reminds you of a hockey puck.