Mini Review: Ricoh GXR A12M with Micro Nikkor 55/3.5 Ai

Achim Reh

New Member
Nov 1, 2011
For some time now, I had my eyes set on a reasonable priced macro solution for my Ricoh GXR A12M. However, people who know me, know my demands on sharpness and resolution are high. But I did not want to spend a fortune, because I am not really a macro -fan is just something that I might need on an off.
After looking around on the new and second hans market for a while, I came to the conclusion that second hand is good enough for me. Prices for good new macro lenses are high, and those which are cheap ...well, they deliver a quality you can expect for the price. Also, most modern lenses I can adapt to the GXR are autofocus lenses. I do not want to pay for something I don't need. Finally , I came across the Nikon Micro Nikkor 55mm 3.5 Ai.
That sounded interesting for me, for 3 reasons . 1) It become a 82mm on my Ricoh, 2) It is a 3.5 , I do not need a wider aperture for macro, my DOF is very shallow anyway, and 3) the old Ai lenses are not too expensive and have a good reputation.
I did not need to search too long for a send hand lens of this type, plenty available. Just be careful, about half of the lenses I saw had some optical defects, means scratches or dust or fungus. The one I got looked a bit rotten on the outside, but focussing is smooth and the glass is flawless. I payed 160 SG$ for the lens.
I mounted this with a Kipon NIK-LM mount ( which I already had for my Zeiss Planar).

So, here is what it look like...a bit funny ;-)

[/url] GXRMCNikorr by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

So, lets see what this old lens can do. The lens is around 20 to 30 years old. In some of the old reviews, it gets very high marks, some even consider it to be one of the sharpest lens ever made by Nikon. I was able to dig out the lens resolution :( , but here are some real life results.

First the full picture, 800 Asa , 1/90 , F8 , hand held

[/url] MCNikkor55full by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

and here a 100% crop

[/url] MCNikkor55crop by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

For me, thats good enough . Of course, it can get better and sharper , but for a price of below 200 SG$ , it performed well.

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