Nikkorex 35

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First version

The Nikon Nikkorex 35 is a 35mm leaf shutter SLR released in 1960. After the Contaflex (SLR), launched in 1953, there was a trend of leaf shutter SLR's for the medium price range. At the beginning of the 1960s, many Japanese makers made their own leaf shutter SLR, but none of them was very reliable, the Nikkorex 35 being no exception.

The Nikkorex 35 has a Citizen MVL shutter from 1s to 1/500 and a fixed Nikkor-Q 50/2.5 lens. The reflex finder uses mirrors (porro configuration) instead of a pentaprism. The viewfinder eyepiece is offset to the left of the body, and the finder screen is equipped with a split image device. The Nikkorex 35 did not have an instant return mirror, and is subject to finder blackout after each exposure. The special finder configuration resulted in a squarish looking body, with a big selenium meter in front of the mirror housing. The meter is coupled, and the exposure reading is displayed in the viewfinder and on the top plate under a window. The ISO setting is around the lens. There is a lever advance, a rewind crank, strap lugs, a flash sync socket and a fixed accessory shoe.

The Nikkorex 35|2 is essentially the same camera with the Citizen shutter replaced by a Seikosha-SLV, a slight redesign of the body's external shape, and a Nikkorex marking on the meter's window. It replaced the Nikkorex 35 in 1962. It is said it was developed because the original model was not reliable enough. It is often called Nikkorex 35 II, but the box and user manual read "Nikkorex 35|2" (see pictures here).

Two optical complements were made for the Nikkorex 35 and 35|2, a wide angle 35mm (or 38mm?) f/5.6 and a tele f/5.6 (equivalent 90mm). They are screwed in front of the lens.

At Nikon's corporate site, an article mentions a prototype with a dual finder, switchable from reflex to direct vision by moving a mirror.

Interchangeable-lens version

The Nikkorex F is a rugged basic SLR using the normal Nikon F lens mount, un-metered but capable of taking a large accessory selenium meter. It was actually manufactured by Mamiya. Like many later Nikons, it used the Copal Square metal-blade focal-plane shutter, known for its reliability and high sync speed.

Zoom version

The Nikon Nikkorex Zoom 35, introduced in 1963, was based on the Nikkorex 35|2 with a fixed Zoom Nikkor Auto 43-86mm f/3.5 zoom lens. In some way, it was an ancestor of the bridge cameras. This lens was later released in Nikon F mount.

Auto-exposure version

The Nikkorex Auto 35, introduced in 1964, was an evolution of the Nikkorex 35|2. The porro mirror finder was replaced by a pentaprism, the finder eyepiece was centered, and the mirror was now of the instant return type. The new camera had auto exposure with shutter priority, like the Voigtländer Ultramatic or the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super B. It also had a new design, with the advance lever hidden underneath the top plate, and the shutter release in front of the body. The lens is a fixed Nikkor 48/2. Optical complements were sold, resulting in a 35/4 or a 85/4.

It is known with Nikkorex Auto 35 or Nikon Auto 35 markings, apparently there is no difference between both variants.


  • Nikon Saga, P-H Pont, ed. Fotosaga


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