Part IV Nikon's AF Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Dual Rings MK III Telephoto Zoom lens
Year introduced: 1996; Discontinued: 2006
It was barely a year after the debut of the budget model AF Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5~5.6D in 1995, not many people would ever expect Nikon will reintroduced their top of the line zoom lens at 80-200 in such a hurry. So, it was rather surprising to find the Company would offered a new 80-200mm f/2.8 ED during the the Photokina in 1996 that year. The major difference for the new version was centered in its lens handling because the lens now uses a revised two rings design, independently one for zooming and another for manual focusing. The MF ring actually was being redesigned to locate at the center (one above the zoom ring) as opposed to the early popular design where MF ring was usually placed at the front end of a typical zoom lens design. The decision by Nikon could be due to the overall length of the lens where if MF ring is located at the furthest section, which makes manual focusing less comfortable as well as doesn't provide easy maneuver from AF to MF or MF to AF control. Next, the manual focus ring has been generously widen for easy operation, even when using it with a glove during cold weather shooting. Lastly, Nikon has also finally added a full rotating tripod collar in this version so to answer frequent requests by photographers due to the uneven weight distribution. The tripod collar has a 360° fully rotating design. The addition of this was most welcome by 80-200 followers in particular those who may be often engaging on certain specific photographic assignment (such as sports, and wildlife photography) that may frequently change from horizontal to vertical format shootings. Physically, this lens has a very robust feel and external appearance. The entire lens has been coated with a hammered-metal coating which other than serves to protect the lens from light physical abuse, as well as projecting an overall quality feel and can be quite inviting for potential buyers.
A warmth candid shot at the side of the stage...
Credit: Image copyright 2007 ROB WILLE from Canada. All rights reserved. You can access his portfolio via coachrob.com or at PBASE for more of his creative visual. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Internally, the optical structure is still adopting the same composition of 16 elements in 11 groups. Similarly, 3 ED glass elements (2nd, 3rd and 12th element) are incorporated in the optical train for utmost control of various optical aberration for highest level of optical resolution as well as ensuring images are of high contrast and free of chromatic aberrations. More importantly, this Nikkor zoom update has been integrated with a an encoded micro chip within to relay focus/distance information to a compatible Nikon SLR camera body for more precise and accurate ambient and flash exposure calculations.
Credit: Mr Eric Chuah from Acecreatives Studio, Singapore for lending me his equipment for me to prepare some images for this site.
An added manual and autofocus mode shooting mode release button is located at the center (mid between the zoom and MF ring) section in a a ring form. And due to change in the basic design as a rotating zoom ring in this version, the focal length index of 80mm, 105mm, 135mm and 200mm is now marked at the end of the zoom ring (towards the aperture ring). One of the good design I find is the space cater for the aperture ring and between the tripod collar where you need not have to struggle for aperture control with your finger, assuming when using this zoom with a motor drive integrated Nikon F5.
Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. John Hoffman ® where his Company Columpus Camera Group has a very popular EBAY STORE on its own. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
The dual rings control design for this revised Nikkor 80-200 zoom lens is mainly catered as an autofocusing zoom lens where I think Nikon felt its primary function should be centered for quick and responsive autofocus operation where zooming control should be independent rather than mixing the secondary manual focusing as an integrated control. Although the provision of the separate ring for manual focusing was being regarded as more of a supplementary feature during the time of its debut but looking backward, possibly it has been designed to offer manual focus override in the upcoming event of the AF-S M/A function. Well, regardless of what we have anticipated or didn't realize its purpose, the overall dimension of the zoom ring was till considered to be more than adequate for any comfortable grip or zooming and it is not a bad idea by slicing the otherwise extra-extended zoom ring to provide a more comfortable manual focusing. Besides, they may potentially even sells a few extra units as the generously widen MF ring could even invite hard-core MF Nikon users to think of a possible investment into this lens, hehe .. Joke aside. By looking back of what has occurred after that, the design was intended to be a test bed for the upcoming AF-S version where the series offers fine focusing control even during autofocusing and manual focus finds a place in the autofocus lens design at last. Well, numbers in sale could also be a good indicative factor, as if ever the market didn't react positively to this dual rings control design, they can anytime revert back to older one-touch zoom. But it has proven it strikes well commercially and was very very well accepted among Nikon photographers. In fact, many may not realize this AF-D two rings version was still being listed in Nikon product listings even after the much fancied AF-S version introduced at later stage was discontinued.
Note: despite the change from one-touch sliding zoom to dual rings design, the optical formula for this lens is still remained unchanged at 16 elements in 11 groups. A change is possibly with the lens coating as this lens has been treated with Nikon improved SIC from NIC. The AF Nikkor lenses introduced during the mid '90 onwards, we assume most of the lenses have been updated with the new improved SIC lens coating process (This applied to some of the older MF Nikkor lenses sold after this period as well).
The intensity buildup to a try -
Credit: Image copyright 2007 Clive Griffin from West Yorkshire, England. All rights reserved. You can access his PORTFOLIO via PBASE for more of his other creative visual. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
The large opening aperture of f/2.8 in this version was still remained a constant factor throughout its entire zoom range from 80-200mm. The immediate benefit is a brilliant finder image for precise focusing and easy photo composition. The built in MACRO mode provides approx. 1:4.9X (Marked normal closest focusing distance delivers 1:1/7.1X). The lens has a minimum aperture of f/22, in way, it is good to supplement for extended depth of field control while working at close focus. The addition of the tripod collar has increased its weights to approx. 100g heavier than the predecessor Although it was not as significant, but shooting the zoom in handheld with the weight gain in addition to the overall combination can be also be quite demanding to fight for steadiness (see an illustration photo of the lens mounted below on a power pack built in Nikon D2X Digital SLR camera body will show its overall dimension and you can imagine the disturbing weight factor it carries).
Well, in a situation where it is not demanding to rush to capture handheld or when when using this zoom with a tripod, the built-in collar does offer an advantage to counter this stability issue. Similarly, due to its extraordinary light gathering ability, the 77mm filter attachment size may call for further investment of other 77mm filter accessories. Further, although Nikon suggests the compatible Tele-Converter for this Nikkor Zoom should be the Nikon TC-14BS which is not that cheap after all (approx. USD250-00) and even if it helps to extend the focal length as a 112-280mm with one f-stop loss in light (f/4.0), the combination is essentially still operates as MANUAL FOCUS.
Prior to the availability of the AF-S equivalent in 1998, this fast speed Nikkor zoom with the classic zoom range of 80-200mm has been selling very well. Basically, I guess one of the main reason was, during the period, the Nikkor lens family still lacks fast speed quality zoom at the telephoto zoom category. The 2.5X zoom ratio can be considered as moderate by modern standard but when a serious users access the zoom selection, lens speed is still the primary factor. With a typical zoom lens type such as this fast speed f/2.8 with 80/200 zoom range, you can use it literally to cover 80% of general telephoto photographic needs.With its reasonably fast lens speed and moderate compression of perspective, one can put them in many good use such as indoor/outdoor sport events, stage performance, fashion, journalism, travel, wild life and nature, street photography, candid and even for studio or location portraiture. With a Nikon DX format digital SLR, it adjusts itself as an approx. 123-309mm zoom lens (with picture angle narrows down from 30°10' - 12°20' as 20° - 8°). Overall, the last thing you worry is its optical performance. At times, Nikon does know what product that possess good commercial potential that can call for an extra premium. The incorporation of 3 ED glass elements reflects their seriousness to preserve a good product name they took 30 years to establish. The ED glass elements does delivered its main objective to deliver consistent high-resolution and high-contrast image throughout its entire zoom range. At maximum aperture, in inevitably exhibits some softness which is common to fast speed zoom lenses for any labels but overall, by evaluating its general performance as a whole, this is still can be easily ranked as a top rated optical zoom. Strangely, this Nikkor zoom was still made available by Nikon even after the AF-S version was phased out by Nikon when the more fancy AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8D IF-ED appeared to the market in 2002. Until 2006, this favorite Nikkor zoom lens was still sold along with the fast speed 70/200 f/2.8 - one way or another, does this made it another classic Nikkor lens ? I guess so.
Credit: Mr Eric Chuah from Acecreatives Studio, Singapore for lending me his equipment for me to prepare some images for this site.
Even for a conservative guy on lens investment like me, this Nikkor zoom can look very appealing in many aspect for my personal photography. As the newer AF-S upgrade has been launched and since then, prices of used 80/200 f/2.8D units have began to adjust itself for good. For those who have not had a good tele-zoom yet this may present a great time to look at the used equipment market. HERE is a quick price search lead at EBAY.
Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. DAVID from betterliving® where I found this image via his EBAY STORE on its own. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.
Credit: Images courtesy of more4c90® who operates this EBAY STORE. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.
Technical Specification for Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Dual Rings MK III telephoto Zoom lens:-
Type of lense: Autofocus Nikkor zoom lens with built-in CPU and a metal rear Nikon bayonet mount
Focal length: 80mm to 200mm (approx. 123mm to 309mm for Nikon DX format DSLR);
Maximum aperture: f/2.8; Minimum Aperture: f/22
An extract image from Uncle Frank's Humming Bird Series...
Credit: Image copyright 2007 UNCLE FRANK® from San Jose, California, USA. All rights reserved. You can access his portfolio via PBASE for more of his creative visual. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Lens construction: 16 elements in 11 groups; x 3 ED elements at 2nd, 3rd and 12th, with close range correction (CRC) design
Picture angle: 30° 10'- 12° 20' (7° 50'-19° 51' with Nikon digital cameras (Nikon DX format))
Focal length scale: 80mm, 105mm, 135mm and 200mm
Diaphragm: Fully automatic,
Focus/Zoom control: Via independent focusing ring and zoom ring (2 rings)
Finishing: full crinkle, hammered metal finishes
Number of Diaphragm Blades: 9
Front Filter Attachment: Fixed, non-rotaing
Distance Scales: Provided.
Aperture scale: f/2.8, /f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and 22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Mount: Nikon metal bayonet mount with CPU contacts;
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet/inches from 1.8m (5.9 ft) at normal focus to infinity (OO); close focuses at its nearest distance at 1.4m (4.9') at MACRO mode (Displayed via an orange index line after minimum focus distance is achieved).
Distance information: Output into camera body with CPU interface system is FULLY FUNCTIONAL with this version; Option for manual focus provided
Attachment size: 77mm (P=0.75mm);
Meter Coupling Prong: NONE
Depth of Field Scales: NONE
Reproduction ratio: 1:5.9X maximum at MACRO@1.4m; 1:7.4 at normal mode @1.8m
Minimum aperture lock: Provided. Via slide switch
Lens Coating: SIC (Nikon Super Integrated lens Coating)
Exposure measurement: Via full-aperture method with Ai cameras or cameras with CPU interface system; via stop-down method for other cameras
Infrared compensation index: Single. Provided for 80mm focal length setting only
Standard accessories: 77 mm front snap on lens cap; Rear lens cap LF-1; Original flexible lens pouch CL-43A; Bayonet hood HB-7; previous HN-28 unknown
Credit: Image copyright 2007 Jean-Claude Koetz. All rights reserved. You can access his portfolio either via www.majoly-photography.hu or from PBASE Site for a series of many other creative visual of his. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Rotating Tripod Collar: Provided. Fully ratable 360° with lockable mechanism.
Optional Accessories: 77mm screw-in filters
Dimensions: Approx. 87mmmm dia. x 187mm (approx. 8")
Usable Tele-Converters: - TC-14BS. When using TC-16AS, TC-14AS and TC-201S (Note: MANUAL focus only) Nikon warns occasionally, vignetting may occur in this combiantion.
Credit: Two images at left showing the front and rear section with tripod collar and two exterior views at the bottom courtesy of more4c90® who operates this EBAY STORE. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.
* Other information: Circular polarizing filter: usable. Circular polarizing filter II:- Also usable, even with dedicated Lens Hood HB-7. AF-3 :- usable. (0); AF-4:- sable. (3): ( ) Indicates maximum number of usable hoods (HN-36 for AF-3/HN-37 for AF-4).This lens cannot be used with AF Finder DX-1 attached to the Nikon F3AF camera. Startup Serial Number for the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D IF-ED zoom lens may have been began from: AF 80-200/2.8 D ED New 2 ring, tripod foot 5+ < 71575x - 922120 > > 1997 - > 206371 Reference: Roland Vink's lens data sheet.
previous | NEXT | 4/5 The last of the batch, a Nikon AF-S Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED with Silent Wave Motor
Page 1:- Original Version MK I (1988~1992)
Page 2:- Nikon AF zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED MK II (1992~1996);
Page 3:- Nikon AF zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5~5.6D (1995~2006)
Page 4:- Nikon AF zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED MK III (1996~1998);
Page 5 :-Nikon AF-S zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D IF-ED (1998~2005)
RELATIVE: Manual Focus 8.5~25.0cm (85-250mm) f/4~4.5-16 Zoom-Nikkor Auto; Non-Ai Zoom Nikkor Auto 1:4.5 f=80mm~f=200mm; Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5; Manual focus Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.0s; prototype of Manual Focus 80-200mm f/2.8 ED; Manual Focus Nikon Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8s ED
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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
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Credit: To all the good people who has contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough granting us permission to use their images appeared in this site Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures, sales manuals or publications published by Nikon over the years 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.