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 …
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I first encountered the legendary Nikonos cameras in January 1983, when, as a freshly qualified SCUBA diver I spent a couple of weeks diving with family friend Rob Van der Loos, who was living in Alotau, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Rob had a Nikonos II and Nikonos III at the time and was doing a lot of macro photography in soft sediment habitats close to Alotau town at night, using underwater flashes, and extension tubes for the 35mm F2.5 lens. I was completing a degree in marine science at the time so tried to use some of my rudimentary learnings to help him classify some of the staggering diversity of spectacular critters he was photographing. The slides produced by the Nikonos cameras were mesmerizingly beautiful. Decades later ‘muck diving’ became a thing. We also did a lot of reef dives and I can confirm that Milne Bay is a diving mecca for good reason.
The day I made these shots I was woken up by surreal yellow light coming through the window of the shack.
We’ve stayed at this beach each summer for thirty or more years and I’d never seen this before. The sun had snuck over the hills and hit some God clouds and rain and bounced back towards us. At first I seriously thought something was wrong until I worked out what was going on. Of course I grabbed a camera but I was not really prepared – my Nikon F2 wasn’t loaded so I made a couple of frames on my daughter’s FE but I thought I’d missed the opportunity. Sure enough, by the time I’d put a film in the F2 the light had passed.
I’ve noticed some interest in the Nikonos cameras on 35mmc and Emulsive so, having used this system a fair bit in the pre-digital era, I thought it might be worth sharing some notes on, and images from, the amazing Nikonos 15mm F2.8 lens. Getting good wide-angle images with a land camera (digital or film) in an underwater housing has always been enough of a pain that I am regularly reminded of the superiority of the Nikonos system for wide-angle photography underwater.
Having recently found a gem of a deal for a Nikonos V in a stellar condition I’ve been using it on swims every weekend. Living in San Diego I normally shoot surf photography. Problem was, this has been as flat a summer as I can remember.
Fortunately, the beginning of fall came with a fresh swell. I put a new roll of Portra 400 in the camera and hopped in the water.