Additional Information on
Manual Focus Nikkor Zoom lense 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO

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Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s

After the encouraging attempt with the fixed aperture MF Zoom-Nikkor 50-135mm f/3.5s MACRO in late 1982; Nikon next few versions of the wide-to-tele zoom lenses which began with the MF Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~f/4.5s MACRO of 1983 started to offer with a variable apertures. The Nikkor lens development program also seeing the zoom range of Nikkor zoom slowly extended to a longer focal length from wideangle and in late 1985, eventually we saw the realization of the MF Zoom-Nikkor 35-200mm f/3.5~f/4.5s MACRO. Mid between 1983 and 1985 Nikon merged the two earlier zooms (50-135mm and 35-105mm) into a single Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~f/4.5s which path the way in realizing a "dreamed focal length" of 35-200mm introduced a year later in December, 1985. As you can notice, most Nikkor zoom lenses introduced during this period were providing a popular macrofocus function around a reproduction ratio of 1:4 to compete with rivaling brands. Naturally, the inclusion of the macrofocus feature in these zooms has complicated their design and lenses with 15-17 lens elements within are not uncommon.

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Among the few available options, the Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5!f/4.5s MACRO, which has a very practical zoom range to cover from standard wideangle to popular medium telephoto focal length at 135mm was an immense popular choice among many Nikon photographers. Despite Nikon also offered a similar AF counterpart which started marketing along the MF zoom in 1986, this MF zoom lense has remained in production until 1989.

Credit: Both Images of this Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm lense courtesy of Mr. ALEX<> Website: Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

With an angle of view from 62° (35mm) to 18°(135mm), this 3.8X zoom lense also adopted a single sliding zoom/focusing ring design and a macrofocus feature which seemed like the universal zoom design among many Nikkor zooms introduced around this period of time. The "compromised" decision to adopt a variable maximum aperture design which ranges from f/3.5 (at 35mm) to f/4.5 (at 135mm) has enabled the lense to offer both reasonably compact physical dimension and lightweight (600g) in order to facilitate easier handheld shooting. Considering the lense has a larger 62mm filter attachment size and embody a 15 elements in 14 group design, I thought Nikon has did a commendable work in keeping a good balance between performance and portability. This Ai-S native Nikkor zoom can helical close focus down to 1.5m (4.9ft) and with additional macrofocus capability to focus even closer down to 0.4m (1.3 ft.). At this distance, a reproduction ratio of 1:3.8 can be reached with focal length set to 135mm. Yes, this lens finally offered its macrofocus at the longer end of its zoom range at 135mm which is friendlier in natural perspective for close-up photography.

This is a very well made Nikkor zoom and has a good distribution of weight across its length. The lense has a well illustrated depth of field indicative lines printed in orange and blue (f/22 and f/11) on the lens barrel with another infrared indexing line in red (although I would prefer to see more DOF indicators of apertures be provided on the lens to supplement the great ratio of 1:3.8 provides by the macrofocus function). Focal length are marked in 35mm(green), 50mm (white), 85mm (white), 105mm (white) and 135mm(orange). There are also two indexes in orange and green engraved at the lens mounting ring for the respective 35mm and 135mm focal length which a new user of these variable lens speed Nikkor zoom may sometimes got confused (anyway, other similar Nikkor zoom lenses also have this feature). From a Y2K user to look at these older MF zoom lenses, a good gesture these lenses provide is the meter coupling prong on the aperture ring, older non-Ai Nikon bodies may still be able to use them in stopped down metering.

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" ....Nikon Zoom NIKKOR 35-135mm F3.5-4.6 Ai-S manual focus lens. A nice lightweight and convenient mid zoom lens that is great for general purpose work. The lens is a 1 touch zoom with the focus ring and zoom all being in one!. The cosmetic condition of the barrel is very nice with just a mark on the front ring, nothing major and obviously no effect on the picture taking. The zoom control has no sloppiness to it. .... The lens is also supplied with the original Nikon front and rear caps, Tiffen 81a filter as well as being in the original box with instructions for it. Filter size is 62mm. The lens also features a macro setting at 135mm. Made in Japan..." - Manny -

Credit: Image of this Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm lense courtesy of Manny <>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

This Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO lense has an AF counterpart introduced in September, 1986 with an overall improvement as compared with the MF version but the AF lense uses a dual rings design as opposed to a sliding zoom method used in the MF version. The AF zoom close focuses at slightly further away at 1.5m but its Macrofocus distance is still retained at a close distance of 0.4m, however, Nikon managed to improve the reproduction ratio to 1:3.5 which obviously attributed from a revised optical formula in a new 15 lens elements in 12 groups optical construction. A further revision that followed saw a newer design in 1990 which Nikon reverted back to a sliding zoom design but its optical formula and performance has remained the same as earlier AF version.

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Credit: Image of this Ai-S 35-135mm Nikkor Zoom lense coutesy of: Midwest Photo Exchange <> Webisite URL: Midwest Photo Exchange, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. Midwest Photo Exchange also can be contact at: 3313 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio 43202 614-261-1264

Overall, I personally felt this MF zoom lense has a very practical zoom range which makes it a very versatile zoom for someone who wants to travel light while on the other hand, may already has a good collection of prime wideangle(s) with a longer telephoto lense on the other end of the focal length, this zoom fittingly fills the gap and should cover a requirement from a moderate wideangle to a good medium telephoto range solely in a full-metal-jacket zoom. It can also safely rated as one of the few most desirable option among the few MF Ai-S zoom alternatives you can find at the time. Whatever it is, to ensure a higher rate of successful photography, the use of faster speed film types is always advisable due to its restrictive maximum aperture.


Focal length/Aperture
: 35 -135mm f/3.5~4.5s
Lens Coupling: Ai-S; Lens construction: 15 elements in 14 groups
Picture angle: 62° - 18°; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/3.5 ~ f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale

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Credit: Both images coutesy of: Midwest Photo Exchange <> Webisite URL: Midwest Photo Exchange, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. Midwest Photo Exchange also can be contact at: 3313 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio 43202 614-261-1264

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Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 1.5m (4.9ft) to infinity (oo); In macro focusing mode (at 135mm), down to 0.4m (1.3ft).
Macro operation: operate at 135mm
Reproduction Ratio: 1:3.8 life-size at 0.4m (1.3ft) at 135mm focal length

Focusing and zooming control: via single rings for push and pull control. Dual coloured zoom indexes (orange and green) are provided.
Exposure measurement
: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Ai cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai cameras
Focal Length markings: 35mm(green), 50mm (white), 85mm (white), 105mm (white) and 135mm(orange).
Depth of Field Scales: Orange for f/22 and Blue for f/11
Attachment size: 62mm (P = 0.75); Weight: 600g
Dimensions: 68mm dia. x 104mm long (overall); 112mm extension from flange
Filters:62mm front screw-in; Front lens cap: Screw-in
Lens hood: HN-22 screw-in type; Lens case: CL-155S hard leatherette; No. 63 soft pouch; Usable Teleconverter(s):
TC-200* | TC-201 | TC-14A * Programmed AE and Shutter priority AE exposure control modes with certain Nikon SLRs may not work efficiently. Note: Starting serial numbers for this Ai-S version Zoom-Nikkor lense was believed to have been started with 200001.

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Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
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Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
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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.