Reflex-NIKKOR 500mm f8

At the end of 1968 Nikon replaced the older 500/5 reflex lens with the 500/8 reflex. In exchange for over one stop in speed, the new lens is much smaller and lighter making it much handier in the field. The lens has a fixed tripod foot, but the mount can be rotated to allow landscape or portrait format. The lens stayed in production for over 20 years with no changes, except for some minor variations to the engraving and the addition of multicoating.

VersionSerial noDateScrewsEngravingNotes
F501001 < 501035 – 504657 >Dec 68 - 19710LMIJEarly series engraved "Nippon Kogaku Japan". Start serial number from F601 service manual.
F510001 < 510814 – 521855 > 5228061971 - Apr 740LMIJAround 1971 the engraving changed to "Nikon". Start serial number guessed based on lenses seen so far.
C530001 < 530297 – 559717 >Apr 74 - 0LMIJEngraved with ".C" designation to indicate mulicoating. Start serial number from F601 service manual.
C< 560318 – 584669 > - Oct 830MIJIn spite of the older styling this lens was manufactured well into the Ai era, and like Ai lenses the engraving on the focus ring was changed to "MADE IN JAPAN" in black.


  • Collection of Richard de Stoutz
  • Review by Bjørn Rørslett