Additional Information on
200mm f4.0 Nikkor-Q Auto Lens

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20cm f/4.0-f/22 Nikkor-Q Auto (Non-Ai)
20cm f/4.0-f/32 Nikkor-Q Auto (Non-Ai)
200mm f/4 Nikkor-Q (Non-Ai)

When the Nikon F was introduced in 1959, it has elevated to a new level of ease, responsive and precision in telephotography which has never been able to compare by previous rangefinder cameras. Although during those rangefinder days, there were quite a few Nikkor lenses at longer focal length beyond the practical limitation of rangefinder photography such as 18cm f/2.5 Nikkor-H, 25cm f/4.0 Nikkor-Q, 35cm f/4.5 Nikkor-T, 50cm f/5.0 Nikkor-T and even a 100cm f/6.3 Reflex-Nikkor was readily available via the use of reflex housing. But the superior advantage of direct viewing provided by reflex photography was the main factor that has leapfrogged development of telephoto lenses where it has opened up a new dimension in this field.

The lens provides 4 times image magnification over the 50mm normal lens. The first telephoto lens at 200mm focal length was introduced towards end of 1961. Many sources indicated that the serial number for the 20cm f/4.0 Nikkor-Q lenses started from 169211 which you may used it as a reference guide. Nikkor 200mm telephoto lens was one of the most popular telephoto lenses and is considered "standard" equipment in many Nikon photographers' camera bags.

Dan Hausman<>.jpg
Early design of Nikkor telephoto lenses have a very narrow, scalloped focusing ring which was quite inconvenient to use. Similarly, some early versions has their aperture ring with a flat ridged line pattern was equally inconvenient to grip and turn. Most of these early series provide a minimum aperture stopped down to f/22 instead of f/32 and they usually have a silvery chrome lens barrel.

A version in introduced between 1966-1969, was a "remodeled" version of its early predecessor with the focusing ring extended and a scallop-rided aperture ring that replaced earlier design. Nikon claimed that version has improved an optical performance, especially in color balance and resolving power as it came with an improved lens coating process. Further, f/32 minimum aperture can also be found in these versions. Although its optical design still consisted of a straight forward 4 elements in 4 groups formula. Black paint version was believed to have been introduced at this stage.


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Credit: Jeff Moag <> for the image and as well as reminding me a mistake made.

As you can observe carefully with the picture shown below , the version clearly exhibits a wider extension of the focusing ring used and a built-in lens hood has a locking ring which indicates this lens could be the revised version of the early Nikkor lens version. The redesigned features were aimed to provide a more positive grip and improved its lens handling. The various upgrades were complied by Roland Vink where he believes this version was introduced in 1969 and bearing with a different starting serial number of 4200001.

Many of the Nikkor lenses appeared after 1971 where Nikon first applied the "NIC" (Nikon Integrated Coating) with the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 lens and many lenses after that period started to shown with an alphabet "C" after the lens designation where it generally indicates lenses were multi-coated. So, you may also safely positioned lenses with such designation was produced between 1971-1975 where they still retained the 4 elements in 4 group optical design. Note: Roland Vink stated those lenses may bear serial number started from 570001 - 640000 which extended to 1976.
Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Allan Detrich®<> © Images Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.

Well, optically the 200mm lenses produced during this period has also improved its close focusing capability significantly down to 2m (7 ft) from the early version which only offered with (3.3m) 10 ft. All the variants were designed with a built-in retractable lens hood. The version shown above weighs quite heavily at 630g as compared to Ai- version of the 200mm which stands at 530g. One of the many positive factors that made this lens so popular was its compact size and it carries an filter attachment size of 52mm - a standard use in Nikkor lenses from 20mm to 200mm and it enables many lens accessories be able to shared among one another. Further, although it has a slower maximum lens aperture at f/4.0 but all subsequent versions that followed after the initial offering can stopped down to a minim aperture at f/32* for additional depth of field control.

* Note: Early versions of Nikkor telephoto lenses usually provide a f/22 minimum aperture instead of f/32.

In 1962, the 200mm focal length has added a new member with the Medical-Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 Auto which was designed as a special application lens. Nikon subsequently introduced another worthy upgrade in the 200mm Nikkor lens that came with a revised design of 5 elements in 5 groups in 1975.

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Credit: Both images courtesy of Mr. W.J. Eichner Lynch < > © Image Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.


Focal length: 200mm
Maximum aperture: 1:4.0
Lens construction: 4 elements in 4 groups
Picture angle: 12° 20'
Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet up to 2m and 7ft
Aperture scale: f/4 - f/32
Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75)
Lens Hood: Built-in telescopic type
: 52mm screw-in
Dimension: 72.5mm dia. x 163mm length (2-27/32 in. x 6-7/16 in.)
Weight: 630g (22.2 oz)
Accessories: Lens Cases: CL-35A, No.56

* Production serial numbers:
May be you can contribute some information as well to this seemingly uncomplted list by mailing our New Zealander friend,
Roland Vink and let him update his listings. Don't let him fight the war alone...

A 200/4 Kogaku, chrome, narrow focus ring ? - 270346 - 316989 - 319959 ? - 04/69 4/4
A 200/4 Kogaku, black, wide focus ring 420001 - 420951 - 444076 - ? 04/69 - ? 4/4
A 200/4 Nikon, black, wide focus ring ? - 491599 - 546840 - 560601 ? - ? 4/4
C 200/4 570001 - 574016 - 621873 - 640000 ? - 01/76 4/4

K 200/4 670003 - 678985 - 700337 - ? 08/75 - 1977 5/5
AI 200/4 710001 - 763692 - 899810 - ? 1977 - 10/81 5/5
Ai-S 200/4 900001 - 901038 - 950863 - ? 11/81 - 01/96 5/5




200mm F2.0 EDIF

Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED
Nikkor 180mm f/2.8
180mm f/2.8 Auto
Nikon AF Nikkor Resources:- Main Index Page

Nikkor 200mm f/3.5 ED IF

Nikkor 200mm f/4.0s
Nikkor 200mm f/4.0
Pre AI -
Nikkor 200mm f/4.0
200mm f/4.0 Auto

Nikkor 200mm f/2.0s ED IF
Relative: Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF
Medical Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 auto

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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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Credit: MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites; Lars Holst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; Ted Wengelaar, Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; Hiura Shinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. Lastly, to all the good people who has contributed their own expeience, resources or kind enough granted permission to use their images of their respective optic in this site. It is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets & brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification. "Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.