Additional Information on
MF Nikkor Zoom lenses 80-200mm f/2.8 ED - Part


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Early version of Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 ED

Overall, we can safely conclude the Ai-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.0s as a worthy successor to the older Nikkor Zoom 80-200mm f/4.5 which has a greater following that the upgraded zoom introduced later. But many observers think Nikon had another plan in mind to unleash another killer zoom when they offered visitors a brief preview of a prototype MF Zoom-Nikkor f/2.8 ED during Photokina, 1978.
Credit: Image of this lense was believed to have been from a press kit distributed during Photokina. It was scanned from a rather bad source and retouched slightly to show its basic outlines. The Nikon Hand book has a similar but well scanned picture but I think it is not ethical to use without permission from the Author. If you have ANY other pictures of this rare original Nikkor high speed zoom, please consider mailing them to me so as to beef up the content in this site. Thank You.

Other than the main features found in any typical 80-200mm zoom, the main technical highlights of this great piece of showcased optic was its TWO rings design, one for for focusing another for zooming to alter focal length - it was a clear departure from any previous design found in the 80-200mm Nikkor zoom. Its fast maximum lens speed in f/2.8 is another - a f-stop faster than any previously comparing Nikkor 80-200mm zoom and a good extension of f/32 minimum aperture was provided. ED (Xtra-low dispersion) glass was used in its optical formula where its comprises of a 12 elements in 9 groups design, a eye-catching golden ring at the front of the lense signifies it is part of the ED-class series of Nikkor optic.

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To cater for its extraordinary light gathering power, the lense uses a rather odd filter attachment size of 86mm and focuses down to a not-that-impressive range of 2.5m (8.2 ft.). The lens weighs considerably at 1,700g and has a very large diameter where Nikon provides a solution in offering a dedicated, removable tripod collar to support the lense during shooting. The rear-end positioned tripod collar was not well placed as it obstruct aperture control. I am not sure whether any of this early Nikkor zoom has actually hit the street and next issue whether what coupling system (Ai or Ai-S) does it carries - if it ever has because this killer Nikkor zoom finally was being introduced with another more practical outfit externally in late 1982.

Credit: The outspoken Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. mahathir Mohamed proudly waving the national flag during a National Day celebrity. Image courtesy of Mr. John Ishii <>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. If you intend to use this image for other purpose, a written permission from the creator is always encouraged.

Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8s ED

Nikon has probably gathered many invaluable feedback from users after the debut of the early showcased model and went back to the design room to redesign a new version based on the original released lense. Two main issues perhaps were quite disturbing, its oversized dimension and the two rings design. The resulting effort was a true classic. (along with the MF Nikkor 35mm f/1.4s, the fast Nikkor zoom was selected once by a journal as one of the top ten modern classic optical lense for 35mm SLR photography of all time). Favorable reviews are one thing but this lense also sells in number (in particular the AF versions that followed) which has its creator scratching its head to keep refining its performance and viability to keep up with ever improving camera technologies. There are not less than four known upgrades thus far (including various AF versions that followed) since its inception as a new member into the Nikkor lens family.
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Credit: Image courtesy of "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> URL:, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Adorama Inc. also can be contact at: Used & Collectible Ebay Department Adorama® Inc. 42 West 18th Street New York, N.Y. 10011 1-212-741-0052 1-880-223-2500 Option 55 Ext.119 FAX: 1-212-675-8715


Credit: Image was scanned from a Nikon FM2n sales leaflet.
So, what has Nikon did in this revised version ? Quite a few ! First and foremost, a significant change involves in the lens handling where it has discarded the less responsive two rings design and reverted back to an easier to handle single touch sliding zoom design. The optical design was also being altered and came with a revised 15 elements in 11 groups formula. However, the change has not improved its close focus capability where it still retains a similar distance of 2.5m (8.2 ft.).

The change perhaps was attributed from the change of basic handling from two rings control to a sliding zoom design rather than improving its optical behavior Next, somehow the revised design did not help to realize a reduction in weight and dimension where the lense was even larger and heavier than the original version showcased during Photokina. The lense uses a 95mm filter attachment size and weighs at 1,900g in this actual production model. The rubberized zoom/focusing grip has been designed in large and extended in full length for easy, positive grip, it also has a Zoom/Focus screw that enable you to lock any predefined setting.

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Credit: Image courtesy of "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> URL: and/or the popular Adorama's Ebay Store. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.
Cosmetically, the distinctive-looking ED gold ring was positioned backward to the rear end of the zoom/focusing ring and sits at the mid section when the lense is at rest. The click-stop built-in rotating tripod collar has an additional screw to lock at either vertically or for horizontally position securely and the crinkle-finish collar mount was designed smaller which is less obstructive to change of apertures.

In operation, despite it has a relatively large dimension, the zoom action is delightfully smooth and easy to change focal length. It has quite a long rotation in focusing especially near its closest focusing distances. The depth of field index lines printed on the lens tube makes the lense very colourful in appearance where four corresponding apertures are provided with a red infrared index providing a visual reference guide as you zoom.

This Ai-S ONLY Manual Focus Nikkor zoom was not regarded as very hot selling Nikkor lense as compared to the later AF equivalents. By 1987/88, I have not actually seen this lense appearing (nor being mentioned) in any official Nikkor lense sales guide (I was told it was discontinued in 1986). It used to retail at quite a pricey price those days and even used units may still fetch a good calling price above USD1000-00 a piece (ranging between USD1,100-00~1,450-00 - depends on condition). Source: * Macbroom's Camera Blue Book by Amherst Media, Inc.

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Whatever it is, partly due to the emergence of this zoom that made the more practical and affordable Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.0s a little pale in comparison. This manual focus Nikkor zoom has remained in production for quite a while because the first AF equivalent, AF-Zoom Nikkor f/2.8s ED was only being introduced quite late in 1988. It was followed by a series of update occurred in 1992 (revision), 1996 (AF-D) and the current AF-S model. Note, there was no AF-I being introduced thus far while the AF-D version uses an interesting dual rings design for the first time.

: Image was scanned from a Japanese version of Nikkor lens guide published by Nikon in 1988/9.


Focal Length: 80-200mm
Coupling/Mount: Ai-S; Nikon F-Bayonet Mount
Maximum aperture: 1:2.8; Lens construction: 15 elements in 11 groups (with ED glass)
Aperture scale: f/2.8- f/32; Picture angle: 30° 10'(f=80mm) - 12° 20'(f=200mm)
Distance scale: Graduated in meters or feet up to 2.5m and 8.2 feet to infinity (

Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Focusing: By turning the zooming/focusing ring
Zooming: By back and forth movement of the zooming/focusing ring (Reference markings for 80mm, 90mm, 105mm, 135mm and 200mm)

Attachment size: 95mm (P=1.0); Filter: 96mm screw-in; Hood: HN-25
Weight: 1,900g (4 Ibs 3 oz); Accessories: Usable Teleconverter(s):
TC-200* | TC-201s * Some specific exposure control such as Program AE and Shutter Priority AE modes with certain Nikon SLRs may not function efficiently. Note: Serial Numbers of this older Ai-S ONLY version may have been started with 181091.

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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.