Additional Information on
MF Nikkor-Zoom 200-600mm lenses - Part I/2

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I don't intend to misled anyone - Because the picture lense may NOT be the first version of the 200-600mm Nikkor zoom lense. Was there an earlier version ? To be honest, I am not sure as It was scanned from a Nikkor Sales Manual that I believed was published between 1970-71. And it has a Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 f/4.5 Auto * lense arranged side by side with this Non-Ai Nikkor tele-zoom lense.

* Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5 Auto was debuted in December, 1969.

As based on record, this Nikkor super telephoto zoom was first introduced back in September, 1961 and during the long spell of a decade of Nikkor lens development over older lenses, there could be some refinements made which I might not know and I don't intend to be a hero by positively stating it - "this is the lense !". Anyway, I am more inclined to outline some basic facts relating to the lense and rather not touching on topic relates to technicalities.

The lense provides an angle of view of 12° 20' (f=200mm) to a very narrow 4°10' (f=600mm). Very similar to the comparing early 85-250mm auto Nikkor tele-zoom which also has a variable lens speed design, the entire series of this zoom carries a variable lens speed design from f/9.5 to f/10.5 when focal length increases as you zoom. The intention was to keep the size and weight of the lense to manageable level. Despite such effort, this lense still weighs a hefty 2,300g. But Nikon has designed an innovative (oversized but securely placed) rotable tripod mount ("innovative" because the earlier 85-250mm has two FIXED threads tripod mount for vertical and horizontal format shooting) for such purpose. The optical construction is consist of a 13 elements in 12 groups design where its helical focus enables it to reach a minimum focusing distance of 4m (13 feet). With a companion orange-lined 82mm close-focus filter, it can even reach a closer distance of approx. 2.3m (7.5 ft). Probably learnt from the earlier 2nd revised 85-250mm zoom, there is a thinner knob provided on the zoom/focusing ring where it acts as a locking device for both zoom and focusing. Similarly, the focal length marking references (in f=cm) from 20cm, 25cm, 30cm, 35cm, 20cm, 40cm, 50cm and 60cm) are printed in white at the side of the matte-black finish lens tube.

<<< --- Credit: With a stroke of luck, I managed to come across a few high quality images of this hard to find non-Ai version Nikkor zoom lense at Ebay. The seller generously granted permission to use them in this section of the Nikkor site. All images courtesy of Mr. Emanuele "villagegoodies®" <> who operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

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Click on thumbnail(s) to view a larger image. Please note: To preserve the originality /clarity of the images, most of the images shown are sized at around 130-150k Jpeg per file, please bear with the slow download.
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The minimum focus is f/32 and there was only four apertures scales. Orange (f/32), magenta (f/22), white (f/16) and slightly positioned apart greenish-scale of f/9.5. The aperture ring is a finely lined chrome ring. An interesting feature of this zoom lense is its red-lined infrared index, it locates as the furthest index among all the colourful depth of field indexes. You can compared with the 85-250mm where the latter also exhibits a (almost) similar display of location of infrared index.

Other than a Series IX filter, this version of the lense was supplied with a wooden case and both a 100mm chrome slip-on front cap as well as a metal 82mm screw-in lens hood where during storage, you should put the filter and lens hood in place first before putting on the larger lens cap.

: Image courtesy of Mr. Mike <>. All images Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Non-Ai Zoom-Nikkor 200-600mm f/9.5

This Nikon's second zoom lense went through a major upgrade in 1971 where the 3X zoom ratio lense has a different optical construction in a complex 19 elements in 12 groups optical design from the previously simpler 13 elements in 12 groups composition. An easy visual identification is the omission of the silver-coloured front rim section where it used to imprint the lens data. This newly revised all matte black finish Zoom-Nikkor Auto telephoto lens has its lens data moved to the front section and its focal length markings at the side section are presented in "mm" instead of "cm".

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<<< --- Image of this pictured Nikkor zoom was scanned from an early '70 Nikon Sales Brochure,

This versions features many optical and other improvements over its more well-known predecessor (which holds the distinction as being Nikon's second zoom lense and the first true Nikkor super telephoto zoom). Firstly, it is shorter with less bulk and weight. The fully automatic diaphragm and more importantly, the maximum f/9.5 aperture are now maintained over the entire focusing range. The ingenious optical design with so many lens elements was to ensure excellent correction of aberrations at every focal length and focusing distance. This version may also has an improved lens coating treated as well. The single push in-out rotating sleeve on the lens barrel controls both zooming and focusing. The depth-of -field scales, engraved as a curved line, can be read for every focal length. In terms of lens handling and/or shooting, it requires stopped down metering (so do quite a number of other Nikkor super telephoto zoom lenses). The tripod socket is provided on a rotating collar, allowing the camera to be changed rapidly from vertical to horizontal picture format as desired. Further, an accessory close-up attachment lens adds to the versatility of this fine zoom lens to enable it close focus nearer and a shoulder strap is provided as standard accessory for carrying convenience (the wooden case was replaced by a hard leatherette case). However, this version of the lense strangely still came without a meter coupling prong on the aperture ring despite it has an automatic diaphragm.

A pre-Ai lense catalogue published by Nikon indicates the lense was supplied with a HN-10 lens hood along with a CE-3 case. It also didn't indicate any usable teleconverter.


Focal length
: 200mm - 600mm
Maximum aperture: 1:9.5; Lens construction: 19 elements in 12 groups
Picture angle: 12
° 20' (f=200mm) - 4°10' (f=600mm)
Distance scale:Graduated in meters or feet up to 4m or 13ft. With close-up attachment, from 4m to 2.3m or from 13ft to 7.5ft

Aperture scale: f /9.5 - f /32; Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Exposure measurement: Stop-down method

<<< --- Download a PDF file (40k) in relation to its revised optical Construction.

Focusing: By turning the zooming/focusing ring
Zooming: By back and forth movement of the zooming/focusing ring (reference markings for 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 500 and 600mm)

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<<< --- An array of four auto Nikkor zoom lenses shown in an early 70 Nikon sales brochure

Attachment size: 82mm (P=0.75); Filter: Series 9
Tripod socket: Rotatable (equipped with click stops at each 90
Dimensions: 89mm dia. x 382mm length (3-1/2 in. x 15-1/32 in.); 374mm from the lens flange
Weight: 2.3kg (5.1Ib); Accessories. 100mm slip-on front cap (108-05-400), rear cap type F (108-00-401), 82mm screw-in lens hood (108-05-200), leather camera-lens case CE-3 (1108-05-303); Product Code No.: 108-05-110 (in meters) 108-05-111 (in feet);
Note: Production serial numbers for this version started from 290001 and ended with 290880. Source: Nikon Hand Book by Peter Braczko.
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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.