Today, in our latest vintage gear hunt, we’re giving a heads up for anyone who fancies a fisheye lens for their medium format cameras — and a really rare one at that. There’s a 17mm f/4 Fisheye Nikkor Lens currently up for grabs on ebay, for anyone with a taste for vintage rarity, supposed Holy Grail of photography gear, and around $75,000.
In his listing, fataligallery mentioned in great detail what makes this fisheye Nikkor lens a tempting piece for collectors, photography historians, and discerning photographers alike. “Back in the 80’s when Nikon made their masterpiece 6mm f/2.8 fisheye lens for 35mm film cameras, they also made only a few of the ultra rare 17mm Nikkors for larger cameras and projectors for Imax size film. I know, because I have both versions. They are identical lens designs. Back then, there was a world traveling giant screen roadshow for Imax and they used these two rare 17mm lenses for the camera and projector for special expos. The lens has no iris as the huge camera does. At a fast f4, and being a 220 degree fisheye, there is really no need as the depth of field is already very great with inches to infinity all in focus at f/4. If the light is too bright you simply use a Neutral Density filter. ”
The 6mm f/2.8 Fisheye Nikkor lens for 35mm film cameras mentioned above is none other than the so-called Holy Grail of lenses, quite a rare one too as its moniker suggests. However, Japan Camera Hunter has also noted that there were over 300 of them made during the time. So they’re rare, but not super rare. (He also says that the 6mm f/5.6 Fisheye Nikkor in his post is even more rare, with only around 100 of the original, non-AI version produced.) As for this mammoth 17mm Fisheye Nikkor Lens that measures 14 inches wide and weighs over 20 lbs, looks like it’s even harder to find.
The 17mm Fisheye Nikkor Lens was made with the same complex glass design and 220° field of vision of the 6mm Nikkor Fisheye, but covers a larger image circle, perfect for 6×6 medium format cameras or 8K for large digital sensor cameras.
Interested in this rare fisheye lens? Head to the ebay listing to find out more, buy it now for $74,750, or make your best offer.