Data Sheet: MIR-24N (35mm f/2)

Pekka Buttler, 01/2024

Note: This lens has participated in the JAPB comparison of nine fast 35 mm lenses.

Pictured: MIR-24N 35mm f/2 lens (as with all lenses not intended for export, the name ring – MNP-24H – is in Cyrillic)


The table below summarizes the lens’ key specifications (measurements based on pictured sample):

Brand:MIRLens name24N MC
Focal length(s)135 mmAngle-of-view266 °
Maximum Aperturef/2In Production1983-2002
Lens mountNikon FSubfamily (if applicable)Ai (Automatic indexing)
Length351,1 mmDiameter463,0 mm
Filter ring diameter58 mmWeight322 grams
Lens element count8Lens group count7
Aperture blades (S/R/C)56 SFocus throw280 °
Minimum focusing distance24 cmsMaximum magnification1:5,3
Has manual aperture ringYESHas Manual focus ringYES

Further technical notes:

• The lens’ angle-of-view is reported as 66 °, which is a bit wider than that of typical 35 mm lenses (63-64 °). 66 ° corresponds more to a 32 mm focal length (on ‘full-frame’). My field tests confirm that this lens offers a wider angle-of-view than other lenses that market themselves as 35 mm focal length.
• The lens offers a rather short minimum focusing distance (at only 24 centimeters) which widens the lens’ use cases by a bit.

Historical notes on the MIR-24N

• This lens is one of those lenses that was introduced to serve on the Kiev-17/17M/19/19M SLR that used the Nikon F mount. Read more about the ‘Soviet Nikon’.
• The name ‘MIR’ is not a brand, nor a manufacturing organisation. Instead, ‘MIR’ identifies the lens as a retro-focus wide-angle lens. The Soviet logic was different, and in very many ways. Read more here.
• There are two main variants of the MIR-24: An M42-mount version manufactured at KMZ (Russia), and a Nikon F-mount version manufactured at Arsenal (Ukraine). Reportedly, both versions have exactly the same optical design.
• Normally trustworthy online sources indicate that production of the Nikon-mount version started in 1983, but the earliest sample (based on serial numbers) I have found is, in fact, the one pictured above. If you have an earlier sample, please contact us.
• Serial numbers for current items (1.1.2024) and past sales on eBay reveal a range of serial numbers for the Nikon version starting from 88nnnn to 02nnnn with an absolute majority of serial numbers falling between 1991 and 1994. It seems most of the MIR-24N’s were actually manufactured in independent Ukraine (and not in the Soviet Union).
• As an interesting detail, it seems that somewhere between 1988 and 1990 the ergonomic design of the MIR-24N was revised, going from a metal, knurled focus ring design to a more regular rubberized-diamond-shape pattern (see comparison below).
• Interestingly, my sample from 1987 differs from the pictured sample below in that the DOF scale of my sample is white (not green) and the upper aperture markings are yellow (not white) (refer to image above for comparison).

Excerpts from online samples:
Left: Sample with serial number starting 88nnnn; focus ring is metal.
Right: Sampe with serial number starting 90nnnn; focus ring is rubber.

Historical notes on the MIR-24-design

• Online discussions on the MIR-24 often repeat that this is a soviet version of an East German Flektogon. True in the sense that it is a retrofocus design and sports a comparably short MFD. Not true in the sense that East Germany never produced a 35 mm Flektogon with the maximum aperture of f/2.
• While records (and some collector-owned samples) show that production of the m42 version started as early as 1969, these seem to be very rare as – based on serial numbers – an absolute majority of available samples seem to have been manufactured between 1981 and 1986). Similarly, the earliest production samples I have found (1981 in the case of the M42 version; 1987 with the Nikon F version) carry the ‘MC’ designation, but sources indicate that samples produced before 1976 were not ulticoated.

A brief genealogy of Nikon SLR lens types

The type of the Nikon F lens mount used by this lens is of the ‘Ai’ (automatic indexing) subtype. A more detailed account is available here, but the development of Nikon’s SLR lenses can be briefly traced as follows:

• 1959–1977: Pre-Ai. Manual focus lenses that use ‘rabbit ears’ to communicate selected aperture with the camera body.
• 1977–1986: Ai and Ai-s. Manual focus lenses that may have ‘rabbit ears’ for backward compatibility, but are designed to communicate selected aperture with the camera body through indentations in base of aperture control ring.
• 1986–today: AF and AF-D. Autofocus lenses that do not have a focusing motor within the lens, but rely on the focus motor within the camera. All AF and AF-D lenses are simultaneously Ai-s lenses (they are Ai-s lenses extended with AF) 6
• 1996–today AF-S and AF-P. Autofocus lenses that have an internal focusing motor and do not rely on the body having a focusing motor.


Besides adapting, this lens can be used natively on all current high-end Nikon dSLRs and several earlier medium-to-high-end older Nikon dSLRs7. Likewise, if it still has its rabbit ears, it can be natively used on all Nikon F-mount film cameras ever produced (without the rabbit ears, it is limited to post 1977 bodies).

Thanks to being a fully manual lens (manual aperture, manual focus), the lens can be adapted to all mirrorless cameras using a suitable dumb adapter (and such adapters are easy to find). Moreover, a large range of special adapters (helicoid adapters, tilt/shift adapters, speed boosters) for using Nikon F lenses on most mirrorless systems are available.

Using Nikon F lenses on non-Nikon SLRs and dSLRs is likewise a distinct possibility. Thanks to the relatively generous flange focal distance of the Nikon F mount (46,5 mm), adapter rings for all dSLR mounts are available as well as for a goodly portion of film-era SLR mounts. Such rings may not allow for auto aperture, but even then the lenses can be used in stop-down metering mode.


1 Focal length is (unless stated otherwise) given in absolute terms, and not in Full-frame equivalent. For an understanding of whether the lens is wide/tele, see ‘Angle-of-view’.

2 Picture angle is given in degrees and concerns the diagonal picture angle. Rule of thumb:
> 90 ° ==> Ultra-wide-angle
70–90 ° ==> Wide-angle
50–70 ° ==> Moderate wide-angle
40–50 ° ==> ‘Standard’ or ‘normal’ lens
20–40 ° ==> Short tele lens
10-20 ° ==> Tele lens
5-10 ° ==> Long tele lens
< 5 ° ==> Ultra-tele lens

3 Length is given from the mount flange to the front of lens at infinity.

4 Diameter excludes protrusions such as rabbit ears or stop-down levers.

5 S=straight; R=rounded; C=(almost)circular at all apertures.

6 There is a further sub-class of AF-D lenses called AF-I lenses that are otherwise AF-D lenses (meaning, fully Ai-s compatible), but have an internal focus motor. Only long tele lenses were made in AF-I variants.

7 As of this writing, the following Nikon dSLRs fully support Aperture priority and manual metered modes on Nikkor Ai lenses: D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D200, D300, D300s, D500, D600, D610, D700, D750, D780, D800, D800E, D810, D850, D7000, D7100, D7200

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