Additional Information on
Nikkor Zoom Lense 25-50mm f/4.0s

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Zoom-Nikkor 25-50mm f/4.0s
Introduced 1979, Ai; 1981:- Ai-S

Embarking on their earlier successful attempt with the 28-45mm wideangle zoom, the untiring effort by Nikon's optical engineers has ensured debut of another remarkable zoom lense that almost reached ultra-wideangle range at 24mm. The Zoom-Nikkor 25-50mm f/4.0 lense provides a pronounced ultra-wideangle picture coverage to focal length of standard lense, making it a very useful and practical zoom lense for a wide varieties of pictorial usage.

Credit: This sharp image of the Zoom-Nikkor 25~50mm f/4.0 lens courtesy of US. <>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

As both the wideangle zoom lenses have a almost overlapping zoom range, it was also aimed to replace the earlier Zoom-Nikkor 28-45mm f/4.0 lense. This solidly made Nikkor zoom has a picture coverage that ranges from a useful 80°40' wideangle to 47° 50' normal and it adopts a Tri-control rings design (one for focusing, while remaining one are for zooming and aperture control). An interesting aspect of the design of this lense is, most successful wide to normal Nikkor zoom lenses introduced during period of time were in favour of multiple control rings while Nikon's next equivalent version wide-to-normal Nikkor zoom lense, Zoom-Nikkor 28mm-50mm f/3.5 of 1984 used a different single push and pull design.

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Naturally, it can be either a hate-or-love relationship and/or personal preference. However, undoubtedly, rotating zoom does offer a more rigid feel in handling while on the other hand, its main advantage is, separate zoom and focusing rings let you zoom the lens without accidentally changing the focus.

Credit: Children at Hunza Val mountain, Pakistan Image courtesy of Mr. John Ishii <>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

Further, the lense provides a generous six-in-row rectangular rubberized texture grip for slip-free focusing, and as you get more familiar in using the lense, the three logically positioned independent rings for focusing, zooming and aperture setting which each has a different feel of its grip and position will not confuse a photographer during shooting, So, the photographer may not even have to divert his attention away from the eyepiece for visual checking.

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Employing an even more complex optical design of 11 elements in 10 groups than earlier counterpart, its immediate benefit is to ensure common optical aberrations such as distortion and aberration which closely associated with such lens type be well corrected optically The superior optical design used may has contributed to its superb picture quality . While many Nikon users claiming performance of this lense are comparable to performance of fixed focal length lenses. Well, although comments can be very subjective but such kind of positive remarks reflects how well this zoom lense has been valued by Nikon photographers who may find it beneficial to their individual needs. The wideangle setting make this lens particularly well suited for industrial shootings, tight interiors, PR, candids, portraits of people in their surroundings, full-length portraits, landscapes, travel photography, and photography in general.

Credit: An lovely image of this Ai-S Zoom-Nikkor 25~50mm f/4.0s lens courtesy of Mr. Ted <>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

This lovely Nikkor zoom lense can focuses down to 0.6m (2 ft.) but it has a 72mm filter attachment size which made it less appealing in particular be able to share many common lens accessories in the Nikon system. It weights considerably at 600g but the weight factor adds a top quality feel while Its overall built quality is excellent, making it a good consideration for those who are looking for a capable and easy to use wideangle zoom. The slight increase in its lens speed as compared with earlier version was a good gesture from Nikon but it is still fell short to be considered as an all rounder optic especially in situations where shooting low available light photography is required. However, with today's modern film types, this could well offset the negative aspect of the lens in this area. Well, this Nikkor zoom didn't come cheaply during those days and it was one of the main reason why I have to be so patience waiting for a cheaper entry with the followed Zoom-Nikkor 25-50mm f/3.5s in 1984. Whatever it is, I think main strength of this zoom is still confined to its very useful zoom range and its overall high optical performance offers which made this lens so well received among Nikon photographers over all these years.

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As this lense was only being introduced in 1979 and thus, there wasn't a Non-Ai version available thus far and so, you can safely look at the used market without fearing any possible incompatibility used with any Ai Nikon body. Nikon provided a meter coupling prong which stands atop of the aperture ring and if you intend to use it with any Non-Ai Nikon camera model, stopped down metering should be used instead in exposure measurement. In 1981, this high quality Nikkor wideangle zoom lense was converted to an Ai-S lens coupling system. Other than that, there was not significant physical differences nor in its optical composition between the Ai and Ai-S versions.

Credit: An lovely image of this Ai-S Zoom-Nikkor 25~50mm f/4.0s lens courtesy of Mr. Ted . Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.


Focal length/Aperture:
25-50mm f/4.0
Lens construction:
11 elements in 10 groups
Picture angle:
80°40' -47°50'; Diaphragm: Automatic; Aperture scale: f/4.0~ f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale
Zoom Markings: Provided at 25, 28, 35, 40, 50mm; Focusing/zooming control: Via separate Control Rings

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

<<< -----Optical construction of the Zoom-Nikkor 25-50mm f/4.0s.
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Click on respective thumbnail for an ENLARGED view.
Credit: Three GREAT images of the Zoom-Nikkor 25~50mm f/4.0 lens presented here courtesy of | | <>. All images copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

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Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 0.6m (2 ft) to infinity (oo)' Weight: 600g
75mm dia. x 112mm long (overall) 104mm extension from lens flange
Attachment size:
72mm (P = 0.75); Front lens cap: Screw-in

Credit: Another nice view of the Ai-S Zoom-Nikkor 25~50mm f/4.0s lens courtesy of Mr. Ted . Image copyright © 2002. All rights reserved.
Lens hood: HK-7 slip-on type; Lens case: CL-15S hard leatherette, No. 62 soft pouch or CP-9 plastic; Usable Nikon Teleconverter(s): TC-200, TC-201; Note: Serial numbers for this Nikkor zoom lense may have been started with 178041 for Ai version and 201001 for the Ai-S spec version.

Nikkor MF Zoom Lenses: | Main Index Page |

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

<<< -- Click on thumbnail for another vertical view (50k) Jpeg

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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
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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: 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.