Additional Information on
Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 Lenses

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Ai Nikkor 200 mm f/4.0 Telephoto Lens

A compact, upgraded version of one of the most popular telephoto lenses being purchased during the '60 & '70. One of the great improvement made to this Ai version from the previous released models was its amazingly feat of enabling the lens reduced from the older version such as the 20cm auto Nikkor lens' body weight of 630g to such lightweight of only 530g (18.7 oz.). This compact telephoto provides dramatic 4X magnification compared to your normal lens. Traditionally, the 200mm lens has been most widely used for action, sports, stage, and nature photography, but, the Nikkor 200mm f/4 is also a superior candid and portrait lens because of its close focusing capability which comes down to just 2m (78.7"); at this distance, it gives the same image size as a normal lens at 0.5m (19.7") !

IF you have an impression that I am over emphasizing the Ai-S Nikkor lens version earlier; frankly, the AI version featured here should even be more appealing to those who knows the "real stuff" - if only you can find such an extremely well preserved lens.

Credit: All images of the Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 Ai lens appeared in this site courtesy of David Morris & David Chesson of © Copyright 2001. <> All rights Reserved.

Theoretically, I would assume an used Ai-Spec Nikkor lens should be priced lower than an equivalent Ai-S counterpart. In fact, some would even comment the Ai-Spec Nikkor lenses have a better built quality than a comparing Ai-S Nikkor lense; for an instance, the brass lens mounting ring used those days has been converted into an Aluminum lens fastening ring. The change was once a hot topic for open debate among many Nikon users. I used to owned one of this older Ai version (and gave away to my partner after I got hold on the 180mm), perhaps that is why I always feel a little sentimental over this lens.

200mm f4.0 AI.jpg
Lens before and after lens hood extension.

Credit: © Copyright 2001. David Morris & David Chesson of All rights Reserved.

This Ai-Spec Nikkor telephoto lens differs from the K-spec F-mount non-AI Nikkor in cosmetic where a modern Nikkor lenses' look and feel was taking shape although the 1975's design was identical with the Ai and Ai-S which has a revised optical construction of 5 elements in 5 groups design from the auto Nikkor's 4 elements in 4 groups optical formula used. Well, as I can still recall, most Ai-Nikkor's lens coating has a greenish tint where the subsequent Ai-S lens has a heavy pinkish color where Nikon claimed an improvement was made to enable a more natural colour rendition with the revised NIC process applied.

This upgrade of the 200mm f/4 Nikkor also retained the useful and handy built-in telescopic lens hood design and it accepts 'standard' Nikon 52mm filters. In fact, this very thoughtful idea has been used in all Nikon marketing throughout and it was very appealing for those always on the move without the hassle of worrying incompatibility of system accessories.

F2A 200mm.jpg (12k) Loading... Cap.jpg
This Ai-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 also came to start using with a redesigned Nikon lens cap. Well, I am quite curious too to find out when did Nikon changed their lens cap to current design ? I think it may have occurred during late' 70 along with implementation of AI lens coupling system to their lenses. Although for a brief spell, Nikon strangely introduced another poor form of the lens cap for their lower-priced Series E lenses which I sometimes really made me doubting Nikon's R&D capability of designing something useful at times...

I did mentioned about the K-spec F-bayonet mount Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 which was believed to have been introduced back in August, 1975 where the current 5 elements in 5 groups design was adopted. The lens was also departed from the traditional physical appearance found in older Auto Nikkor lenses where the focusing grids on the lens focusing ring has a closer resemblance to modern Nikon lens look (see picture below). Many of these pre-AI Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 lenses went through the Ai transitional stage of changes and you may see many of them being converted into an Ai-Spec lens.

K-spec 200mm.jpg
Credit: I would not be able to show you a version of that in a clearer form and I have been checking at a few public auction houses with no luck but I managed to find one and download a picture of it via Roland Vink website. The image shown here has been retouched and scaled to fit into this website. The original image can be accessed by CLICKING HERE. Roland's site also stated he believes the serial number for those pre-AI 200mm f/4.0 lenses was started from 670003 where you may used it as a guide up until 710001 where the actual AI Nikkor was believed to be started in production.

Technical Highlights of the Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 lenses: *Telephoto picture coverage of 12°20' * Lightweight - only 530 grams. * Built-in telescopic lens hood. * Stops down to f/32 for additional depth of field. *Takes 52mm filters - the standard for most Nikkor lenses from 20 to 200mm. * Photographic uses include sports, photojournalism, travel, backpacking, candids of people, and wildlife.

file (52k)

Focal length/Aperture: 200mm f/4.0
Lens construction:
5 elements in 5 groups
Picture angle:
Aperture scale:
f/4.0~ 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 2m (7 ft) to infinity (oo)
530g; Dimensions: 68mm dia. x 126mm long (overall); 118mm extension from flange
Attachment size:
52mm (P = 0.75); Front lens cap: Snap-On
Lens hood:
Built-in; Case: CL-13; No. 56

NOTE:Serial Number was believed to have been started with 710001 for this Nikkor 200mm f4.0 Ai-Spec lenses.




200mm F2.0 EDIF

Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED
Nikkor 180mm f/2.8
180mm f/2.8 Auto

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.