Additional Information relating to:
MF Nikkor Zoom 200-400mm f/4.0s ED Lense

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MF Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm f/4s ED

The Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 ED is a multipurpose lens designed to complement Nikon's existing family of superior telephoto zoom lenses. With a 2x zoom range, this fast, new lens has just the right zooming range and speed to cover sports and other fast-moving activities.

Officially debuted in February, 1984. To cope with these many demanding action-packed activities in particular in sports and wildlife photography, this lens has single ring for responsive focusing/zooming control which provides extra handling speed and time for picture framing and composition. This remarkable Nikkor zoom lense incorporates some of the original Nikon optical innovations such as Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass and Nikon Integrated Coating (NIC). The generous use of FOUR piece of ED glass elements in its optical composition delivers crystal-clear images even when use at its near maximum apertures and also ensures chromatic aberration be minimize to a minimal level while at the same time, ensures high edge-to-edge resolution is achieved at all of its focal lengths. Nikon's own NIC lens coating process also practically keep all ghosts and flares at bay and improves the picture contrast and reproducing color rendition over the entire 200-400mm zooming range. For increased convenience and flexibility, a L-shaped rotatable tripod collar with three screw-in tripod sockets helps achieve optimum balance for motor-driven photography and enables the photographer to switch quickly from horizontal to vertical format shooting.

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Additional features include an integral gelatin filter holder and the HE-2 lens hood. Further lens shade can be extended via the HE-4. The lense has a large filter diameter of 122mm and provides a well defined depth of field scales (Despite the use of ED glass, infrared index is also provided). On the lens tube, it engraved with reference markings for focal length settings of 200, 250, 300, 350 and 400mm. Three useful depth of field indexes are also provided (Orange for f/32, blue for f/22, yellow for f/11 and Infrared index in red). Further, lugs/eyelets are provided for use with carrying strap. With a weight of almost 3.6kg, this lense is no means easy for handheld shooting and use of appropriate support is always recommended. This extremely well made zoom lense was believed to have been officially discontinued in 1988, Nikon has not introduced an AF version to replace this superlative Nikkor zoom since then.

Credit <<<--- A one-page product information kit released by Nikon during its launch back in 1984. All images appeared in this page were scanned from Nikon press information kit. Images have been retouched and restored in colours for broadcasting use in this site.

Strangely, despite it was not a popular lense at the time of its introduction, this lense has turned into a hot item after its discontinuation by Nikon. Other than in its superb craftsmanship and impressive optical performance the lense provides, with a compatible TC-14Bs tele-extender in place, this lense will convert into a 280-560mm f/5.6 super zoom which partly explains why there are still so many people searching for it now.

OFF TOPIC: However, one slight drawback of this superlative Nikkor 200-400 zoom is its ever choking high price tag Nikon has originally put for it. Even at used condition (mint or better) it can fetch as high as between USD3880-00 to USD4,300-00*. Source: * Macbroom's Camera Blue Book by Amherst Media, Inc. An alternative (compromise are usually with smaller maximum aperture which is a very important consideration in look out for a long tele-zoom) is to consider some other third party equivalents such as Tamron's AF 200-400mm f/4-5.6 LD zoom (1995), with Lens Construction (Groups/Elements): 11-13; Angle of View 12.5°-6.2°; Type of Zooming: Push-pull; Diaphragm Blade Number: 9; Minimum Aperture: F/32; Minimum Focus 98.4in. (2.5m); Macro Mag. Ratio: 1:6.1; Filter Diameter: ø77; Weight: 42.7oz. (1,210gm); Diameter x Length ø3.3 x 7.0in. (ø84.8 x 178mm) supplied with lens hood. Retailed at List price USD960-00 a piece (used price at approx. USD480-00 or their latest (2002)'s SP AF200-500mm F/5-6.3 Di LD [IF] lense with Specifications of Focal Length: 200-500mm; Maximum Aperture: F/5-6.3; Angle of View: 12°~5°; Optical Construction: 13 elements, in 10 groups; Minimum Object Distance: 2.5m (98.4) (entire zoom range); Filter Size: f86mm; Overall Length: 224.5mm (8.8); Maximum Diameter: f93.5mm (3.7); Weight: unknown yet.

Other considerations such as Tokina's 150-500mm f/5.6 AT-X 150 SD-APO. Optical Construction:15 Elements 13 Groups; Diagonal Angle of View 16°30'-4°57'; Closest Focus Distance from Film Plane 3.1m (10.1ft); Aperture Range f/5.6-f/32; Filter Size 95/35.5mm; Diameter: 104mm (4.0") Length 314.5mm (12.3"); Weight 2,230g (78.9oz); Lens Hood Built-in Retail at approx. $998.95; Sigma also has two competing lenses in their 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Aspherical APO with the following specifications: Focal Length:135-400mm; Maximum aperture: f/4.5-5.6; Minimum aperture: f/32-38; Minimum focusing distance: 6.6'-7.2'; Maximum magnification: 1:5; Filter size: 77mm; Lens hood; Dimensions: 3.5" (diameter) x 7.1" (length); Weight 42.6 oz. and Sigma Zoom Tele 170-500mm f/5.0-6.3 APO Aspherical, it has the following specifications: Filter Size 86c; f-Stop Range: f/5-32 / 6.3-38; Minimum Focus Distance: 9.8' - 10.4'; Magnification 1:6.6; Zoom/Focus Control: Two-Touch; Angle Of View : 14.5 - 5°; Groups/Elements 11/13; Length: 9"; Maximum Diameter: 3.6"; Weight 46.4 oz.

Confusing and mind boggling, huh ? Me too ..

But looks like it takes a Nikon to provide another stunning zoom lense design again. AF Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR (Vibration Reduction as Nikon calls it, a concept quite similar to Sony's (and Canon's) Image Stabilizer (IS) design. The lense incorporates a "VR" mechanism which in effective term to minimize shaky hands of photographer during shooting, is equivalent to using a shutter speed three f/stops faster.

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Two modes of VR are provided: Image plane and Viewfinder. The lense also uses 3 ED glass in its 17 elements in 11 groups optical construction for high resolution and high contrast across its entire focal length. Other technical highlights includes: The front filter does not rotate during zooming; it closes focus at 7.5 ft, an attachment size of an rather odd 77mm dia. Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1:4.8 is reach at its Macro Setting and weighs 47 oz. It also has a L-shape tripod mounting collar. Well, the lense has "mixed" reviews in relation to its claims of effectiveness in applications as well as in its performance. But since it is a modern age AF zoom lense, I will leave it aside as we are still residing within discussion of MF Nikkor lenses. But based on spec sheet alone, Nikon has brought us another marvelous super zoom.

Credit: Image was downloaded from Nikon USA website. Retouched slightly to restore its original colour.


Focal length/Aperture: 200mm-400mm f/4.0s
Ai-S; Maximum aperture: f/4.0; Lens construction:15 elements in 10 groups; Picture angle: 12
°20' - 6° 10'

Distance scale: Graduated both in meters and feet from 4 m (13 ft.) to infinity (OO)
Focusing/zooming control:
By single Ring. reference markings provided for focal length settings of 200, 250, 300, 350 and 400mm
Aperture scale:
f/4.0 - f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout (ADR) scales
Fully automatic

Metering: Full-aperture exposure measurement
Attachment size:
122mm (P=1)
122mm screw-in
Nikon bayonet mount
Depth of field indexes:
Three coloured reference indexes provided. Orange for f/32, blue for f/22, yellow for f/11. Infrared index in red.
Dimensions: 144mm dia. x 338mm long (overall): 338mm extension from flange

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Weight: Approx. 3,650g; Lens hood: HE-2
Lens case:
Yellow soft lens case (No.58 supplied); Compatible teleconverter(s):
TC-201*, TC-301s*,TC-14Bs * May have some restrictions. : Serial numbers for this Ai-S ONLY Nikkor zoom was believed to have been started from 182121.
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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

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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.