Additional Information on
Ai version of the Micro-Nikkor lenses at 55mm, 105mm and 200mm

 


nikkor5535ai.jpg
Credit: Image of the Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 lens courtesy of Mr. "Joshua Cohen" <joshua@jcohenphoto.com> Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. The Micro-Nikkor 105mm was downloaded from Roland Wink site. The original image can be accessed here.

The two remarkable Nikkor close up lenses at 55mm and 105mm were essentially updated versions from previous pre-AI series in 1977 in a general Nikon lens updating program to incorporate an Ai-Spec lens coupling system at the rear section. Similarly, some of the companion accessories specifically designed for these lenses were being updated as well. On the other hand, the Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF was introduced a year later in 1978 as a true Ai-native Nikkor lens. It was also the first among the Micro-Nikkor lens family to employ an Internal Focus design. All three lenses offer ultra close focusing capability and very high image quality at all subject distances from Macro range to infinity. So versatile they are widely employed as 'universal' lenses. Other than the 200mm lens - both Micro-Nikkors at shorter focal length incorporate an extended focusing mount offering continuous operation from infinity to a reproduction ratio of 1:2, here, the entire frame can be filled with a subject measuring just 48 x 72mm (1.9 x 2.8"). By adding the optional automatic extension rings PK-13 (for 55mm lens) or PN-11 (for 105mm), the lenses allow continuous focusing from 1:2 to 1:1 (life size). Dual reproduction ratio scales on each lens permit fast operation at predetermined ratios with or without the extension tube.

micro553570.jpg micro105f470.jpg
Each Micro-Nikkor offers a minimum aperture of f/32 to permit maximum depth-of-field - a particular advantage in close-up photographs. Because of its outstanding optical quality and focal length, the 55mm f/3.5 Micro-Nikkor is ideal for critical copying of flat subjects such as documents, color transparencies, stamps, coins, etc., or for close-ups of insects, flowers and other small subjects. It is also frequently used as a normal lens for candid, landscape and other general purposes. This lens does not usually require a lens hood as the optics are deeply recessed and effectively protected from stray light.
Equaling the image quality of the 55mm f/3.5, the 105mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor features a longer focal length for a much greater working distance and better illumination of elusive subjects (i.e., insects, birds and animals) while maintaining a natural perspective. As a medium telephoto lens, it is also ideal for portraiture, sports or general creative photography.

fm2t200micro.jpg
The Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF has a non-projecting lens barrel, benefited from the use of an Internal focus design. As with other two shorter close-up lenses, the 200mm lens only provides 1:2 reproduction ratio on its own. However, unlike the other two lenses which each has a matching auto Extension Ring to enable it to go life size (1:1) reproduction, the Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF actually uses the Nikon Teleconverter TC-300/301 to reach 1.0X magnification. Similarly, the lens also provides other essential features such as f/32 minimum aperture for extended depth of field control and it has a nice removable tripod mount which can rotate any angle for shooting vertical or horizontal formats.

Further, the lens has standard filter attachment size of 52mm which enables it to share and use many other standard 52mm Nikon system accessories. The biggest advantage of the Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF lens offers to photographers is its extra working distance. Making it an ideal close-up lens for shooting hazardous subjects or situation where further artificial illumination is required. The lens narrow angle of view of 12° 20' also enables it to maintain a natural perspective for shooting other subjects such as portraiture and or travel photography. This high performance lens provides an all round solutions and as a good, flexible alternative to the normal 180-200mm telephoto lens. All the three lenses introduced here has added the ADR scales for direct viewing of aperture used via viewfinder in any Ai Nikon SLR body.


Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5
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It is an ideal lens for normal shooting as well as close-ups. The only drawback is its restrictive lens speed which hinders it as a logical alternative to Nikkor standard lenses. Next, this compact close-up lens is also a perfect companion to use it with a Nikon Bellow Unit if higher magnification ratio than 1.0X is desirable. The meter coupling prong also enables many older Non-Ai Nikon bodies be able to use in stop down metering mode. A slight flaw presented by this lens is actually the limited working distance provides when working at its maximum magnification ratio. The lens was replaced with an faster Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 lens two years later in 1979.

Lens set at infinity (left) and full extension at 1:2 closest focusing distance. Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Bobby Mahaffey <bobby@650dialup.com> Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.

Technical Highlights: Normal picture coverage of 43°. Focuses down to full life-size with the Ai-Spec PK-13 extension ring. Exceptional sharpness and flatness of field. Takes 52mm filters - the standard for most Nikkor lenses from 20 to 200mm. Exceptional lightweight - weighing only 240 grams. Photographic uses include close-ups and macrophotography, still-life, copy work, product photography, snapshots, landscapes, candids of people, travel, backpacking, electronic flash photography, and full-length portraits in the studio or on location.

Nikon F2 with 55mmicro.jpg
Specifications:

Focal length/Aperture: 55mm f/3 5
Lens construction:
5 elements in 4 groups
Picture angle:
43°; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale:
f/3.5 - f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai cameras

Distance scale:
Graduated in meters and feet from 0.241 m (9-l/2 in.) to infinity (oo)
Weight:
240g; Dimensions: 66mm dia. x 64.5 (90.5)
*mm long (overall); 55 (82.5)*mm extension from flange
Note: Serial number for this version of the 55mm Micro-Nikkor lens may have been started from 940001

Attachment size: 52mm (P = 0.75)
Front lens cap:
Snap-on
Lens hood:
Screw-in (HN-3)
Lens case:
CL-30; No. 61. With PK-13: CL-31S, No. 62; CP-2
* Represents the values when used with PK-13 Ring.

<<< --- Download optical construction in PDF file format (55k)

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| Early AF Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8s | Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8s | Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 | Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 | Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 | Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor-P 55mm f/3.5 | Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor-P.C 55mm f/3.5 | Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 Preset | Special version Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 | RF Micro-Nikkor 50mm f/3.5 lens |
| Previous | NEXT | the Ai and Ai-S version of the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8s

Credit: Note the silvery box supplied for this version, later version uses a Nikon gold packing. Image courtesy of George & Debbie Stille <debstille@earthlink.net> Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.



Ai Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0

105mmf4ai.jpg
A personal favourite. This lens was essentially the Ai-version of the previous Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0 that introduced back in November, 1975. Built on a simple optical construction in a 5 elements in 3 groups design which contributes to its exceptional sharpness and flatness of field. The extra working distance offers with its longer focal length is ideal for situations where requiring supplementary illumination indoor or on the field for close-up photography. It goes down to 1:2 magnification with its own physical lens extension but Life-size magnification ratio is possible with its Ai-updated companion accessory PN-11 auto extension tube.

Credit
: Image of this Ai 105mm Micro-Nikkor lens courtesy of Miss Lisa Perry <iperry@wickerrevival.com> © Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.


Apparently, this lens was so good that it was updated again with an
Ai-S version in similar fashion later in 1981 and not until April, 1984 that the lens was finally replaced with a faster lens in Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8s. Naturally, the operational convenience and flexibility this lens offers (which doubles as a normal short telephoto lens) also has made it a more logical replacement for the Bellows-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0 which actually seen it being phased out during this period of time.

Technical Highlights: Telephoto picture coverage of 23° 20'. Focuses down to full life-size with the PN-11 extension ring. Provides extra working distance for shooting elusive subjects and/or ones requiring supplementary illumination. Exceptional sharpness and flatness of field. Takes 52mm filters - the standard for most Nikkor lenses from 20 to 200mm. Photographic uses include still-life, product photography, close-ups and macrophotography, distant landscapes, photojournalism, travel, backpacking, candids of people, electronic flash photography, and head-and-shoulders portraits in the studio or on location.

Specifications

Focal length/Aperture: 105mm f/4.0
Lens construction:
5 elements in 3 groups
Picture angle:
23° 20'; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale:
f/4 ~ f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale

Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai cameras

f2a105mmf4.jpg 105mmf4.gif
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.47m (1.55 ft) to infinity
Weight:
500g; Dimensions: 74.5mm dia. x 104 (157)
*mm long (overall); 96 (149)* mm extension from flange

<
<< --- Download optical construction in PDF file format (55k)
Attachment size: 52mm (P = 0.75)
Front lens cap:
Snap-on; Lens hood: Built-in; Lens case: CL-33S; No. 62. With PA-11: CL-35A; No. 63
Note: Serial number for this version of the 105mm Micro-Nikkor lens may have been started from 186956; * Represents the values when used with PN-11 Ring

| Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8s | Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s | Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0 | Non-Ai Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0 | Relative: Bellows-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0; Nikkor 105mm f/4.5 UV, Nikkor Prime 105mm Telephoto lenses

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Previous | NEXT | the Ai-S version of the Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s


Micro-Nikkor 200 mm f/4.0 IF
ai2004m.jpg
A special application Nikkor lens debuted during Photokina, 1978. A few things relating to the Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF lens were quite unusual. It was the first lens within the micro-Nikkor lens family that employed a n Internal Focus system (IF). The IF design provides an exceptional smoothness during focusing operation. It was also the first to incorporate an rotatable tripod collar which is removable. The lens barrel does not move as it rotates which makes the lens ideal for shooting many photographic subjects that demands no-interuption and/or requiring calculation on artificial illumination on exposures. It has a handy telescopic lens hood which provides a good shades in backlit situations.

Credit: The beautifully taken image of the Micro-Nikkor 200mm lens was downloaded from Roland Wink site. The original image can be accessed here.

The lovely to work close-up telephoto lens has a narrower angle of view than other MF Micro-Nikkor lenses and this has enable the lens be an ideal all round telephoto lens to cover general photography such as isolating details in scenic, nature or even action photography as well. The biggest advantage provides by this lens is the generous working distance which stands at 0.71 m (2.34 ft.) in which its highest magnification ratio of 1:2 (half life-size) is reached. Such feature is very useful for a wide varieties of applications in particular to shoot hazardous subjects and/or if a flash is required to freeze subject movement or even fill-in shadow details. The constant front to subject distance facilitates easier exposure calculation and the non-rotating front section of the lens is even more useful if a special effect filter is used. Needs not mention, the focal length of 200mm also provides a natural perspective without much distortion if detail or close-up of is required.

The main drawback is its maximum lens aperture of f/4.0 which makes it less appealing as an ultimate substitution as an telephoto lens for shooting low available light photography. The lens provides half life size magnification ratio (1:2) at its closest focusing distance at 0.71 m (2.34 ft. ) but when used with a Nikon Teleconverter TC-300 (or TC-301), 1:1 life size reproduction is possible. Besides, when used with the respective TCs, the minimum focusing distance remains unchanged even though magnification ratio is increased. Another good design of this lens is its standard attachment size of 52mm which makes it easily adaptable to many standard 52mm lens accessories. The lens has a rather long life cycle which lasted until May, 1982 where it was updated with an Ai-S lens coupling specification; however, the new version has a slightly heavier weight in 880g as compared to 740g in this Ai version but its optical composition has literally remained unchanged.

Technical Highlights: * Telephoto picture coverage of 12° 20'. * Internal Focusing (IF) design for easy handling and smooth * focusing down to one-half life-size.* * Provides extra-long working distance for close-ups of dangerous or "shy" wildlife. * Exceptional sharpness and flatness of field. * Takes 52mm filters - the standard for most Nikkor lenses from 20 to 200mm. * Photographic uses include close-ups and macrophotography, distant landscapes, photojournalism, travel, backpacking, candids of people, sports, and wildlife.

* When the Nikon TC-200 or TC-300 teleconverter is attached, this lens become! the equivalent of a 400mm f/8 lens which focuses continuously from infinity down to 1:1 without any decrease in the effective aperture.

f2a200mmf4if.jpg

<
<< ---- Download optical construction in PDF file format (58k)
Specifications:

Focal length/Aperture: 200mm f/4 IF
Lens construction:
9 elements in 6 groups
Picture angle:
12° 20'; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale:
f/4 - f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct- readout scale
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al camera and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai cameras
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.71 m (2.34 ft.) to infinity (
oo)
Weight:
740g; Dimensions: 67mm dia. x 180mm long (overall); 172mm extension from flange
Attachment size:
52mm (P = 0.75); Front lens cap: Snap-on
Lens hood:
Built-in; Lens case: CL-36 * Rotatable/Removable tripod collar provided
Note: Serial number for this Ai version of the 200mm Micro-Nikkor f/4.0 IF lens may have been started from 188021

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Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF | Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0s | AF-D Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0s ED-IF | Relative: Other Nikkor prime 200mm Telephoto, Medical-Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 auto

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Previous | NEXT | the Ai-S version of the Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0s

Micro-Nikkor lense Family: - | 50mm | 55mm (AF) | 60mm (AF) | 85mm PC | MF-105mm (AF) | MF-200mm (AF) | 70-180mm (AF) |

| Back | Main Index Page of Micro-Nikkor Lenses

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Nikkor Link.jpg   Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm


MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

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
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/nikonfmount/lens2.htm
http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses | about this photographic web site

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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.