Additional Information on
Nikkor MF Zoom lenses - 80-200mm f/4.5 - Part
1/ 4

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Throughout the course of development in 35mm SLR photography, it was quite seldom to see an optical lense can commands such kind influential status which actually can alter a broad scale perception towards a general belief as most people categorized zoom lenses were simply a bunch of photographic lenses designed strictly for amateuristic use and they were compromised with optical quality.... The Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5 introduced in December, 1969 changed (or at least have inspired others to re-think) all those initial thoughts ! Its timely introduction at the time was just barely a few months after Nikon introduced their revised version of the decade-old Auto-Nikkor Telephoto Zoom 1:4 f=8.5cm~1:4.5 f=25cm Nippon Kogaku variable aperture zoom with a renamed, slightly faster Zoom-Nikkor Auto 1:4 f=85mm~ f=250mm lense which now given a constant aperture of f/4.0 throughout its entire zoom range. The old Nikkor zoom is reputed as the world's second zoom in 35mm SLR photography and it was also Nikon's first zoom lense.

So, by stating the 80-200mm zoom was an immediate successor to the 85-250mm zoom might be a little bit too conclusive because you don't simply replace an equivalent lense-type within such a short span of time. But since both are typical telephoto zooms-type which seemingly have an overlapping focal length, one would expect the longer 85-250mm zoom will easily outsold a shorter focal length zoom in a shorter 80-200mm focal length range (added the fact the 85-250mm has a slightly faster maximum lens speed than the f/4.0 80-200mm zoom); instead - the birth of this 80-200mm Zoom-Nikkor landmarked an important footprint in the history of lens development for 35mm SLR photography. Why ? Well, this legendary Nikkor tele-zoom was the sixth zoom lense introduced by Nikon (if we include the revised 85-250mm introduced in September, 1969 and the
prototype Auto Nikkor wide-zoom 1:2.8 f=3.5cm~1:4 f=8.5cm lense into the count). At the time, the Zoom-Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5 Auto has been selling exceptionally well in numbers since its inception in 1963 (Believe it or not, even up to the early eighties, it was still widely recognized as the world's best selling zoom!).

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The encouraging sales response of the 43-86mm has probably inspired Nikon to re-think viability of providing another tele-zoom instead of putting a wideangle zoom on their priority list as those days, high quality wideangle zoom was indeed very difficult to design and manufactured according to exacting designing spec. (Incidentally, the first wideangle-zoom in 35mm SLR photography reaching a true 28mm wideangle view, Zoom-Nikkor 28-45mm f/4.5 was only being introduced in August, 1975). Anyway, for whatever the reasons, somehow the focal length of 80-200mm, a moderate maximum lens speed of f/4.5 with an one-touch sliding zoom design has been chosen as the basic framework for the tele-vario zoom and - It was a killer.

<<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Bryan Boots® <>. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Basically, its immense popularity can be summarized down to a few facts where, other than an ingenious optical design that provides excellent image definition across its entire zoom range, its silky smooth single pull & push zoom/focusing ring provides a new level of lens handling experience in tele-zoom photography (Among the first six Nikkor zooms that went into production, 50-300mm f/4.5~f/22 Zoom-Nikkor Auto uses a dual rings design); further, unlike the bulkier 85-250mm lense, its unique telephoto-type design has considerably reduced both the size and weight of the lens, making it compact enough to be highly portable but more importantly, it was quite affordable in its price. The lense has an attachment size of standard 52mm which makes photographers be able to share many standard lens accessories Perhaps, initial favorable lens reviews may have also enhanced its appeal to not just among amateurs and serious hobbyists but even for professional users as well. There is no doubt good introduction of the affordable Nikkor 43-86mm zoom earlier has helped in a way for many Nikon photographers to realize convenience of a typical zoom lense can provide in their photography. So, when the tele-zoom was introduced, its carefully schemed focal length of 80-200mm was like a natural extension to the 43-86mm. The temptation of a flexible zoom lense that can replace a series of popular medium to telephoto range from 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, 180mm to 200mm was hard to resist, adding the advantage optically, this lense presents an above-average performance for a zoom lense type. Naturally, since it was a product of 30 years ago, it is simply unfair if we use performance of some specific high performance modern Nikkor zoom lenses as a yardstick to measure its overall performance but at the time of its introduction, it was a hit.

Non-Ai Zoom Nikkor Auto 1:4.5 f=80mm~f=200mm lense

The original version is a compact, lightweight zoom lens which is about the same length as (but a little heavier than) the 200mm Nikkor Auto lens. It is easy to hold and balances well for handheld shots.

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The 2.5X zooming range covers the critical focal lengths of medium telephoto lenses most frequently used in photojournalism and general photography. This flexible zoom range has a picture coverage from 30°10' (f=80mm) - 12°20' (f=200mm) makes it an excellent choice for newspaper, magazine, industrial and commercial photographers. Other than that, it is equally an useful lens for travel, candids, portraiture, landscape and leisure photography.

<<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Sorin Varzaru ®. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

An added convenience is its use of standard 52mm filters. Zooming and focusing may be accomplished singly or simultaneously with the linear travel and rotation of the lens sleeve. Instant response to fast moving subjects is an outstanding feature of this lens via its one touch zoom design adopted from the 43-86mm zoom. This Nikkor zoom has a large easily-gripped collar for adjusting both the focusing and zooming. At the center is a solid silver-colour all-chrome lens mounting ring. The texture of the focusing/zoom grip is an older Nikkor small diamond-shape design.

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The scalloped aperture ring has indicative colourful apertures in blue (f/32), yellow (f/22), pink (f/16), brown (f/11) and green for maximum aperture at f/4.5. The colours correspond with the depth of field index that engraved on the lens barrel which makes the lens very colourful and attractive. An infrared index in red is also provided that marked along the depth of field indexes.

<<< -- Credit: Image of this non-Ai Nikkor tele-zoom lense courtesy of Bryan Boots® <>. Image copyright © 2003. 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.

Five focal lengths reference markings are indicated at the side on the lens barrel for the convenience of the photographer (80mm, 90mm, 105mm, 135mm and 200mm). The lens aperture was designed to stopped down to a minimum aperture of f/32 where it provides photographers with a wider selection in depth of field control. Other than that, this zoom lens also excels in closest focusing distance - a mere 1.8m (6 ft) - which is a great advantage as one of its many applications in which the photographer can compose images freely in rapid succession at close range. The built quality of the lense is simply excellent with this early non-Ai version, solid and you can feel when you hold it in your hand. Those days, this lense was often used by photographers, mounted on the Nikon camera fitted with motor drive and using a pistol grip to shoot (looked like a US Rambo at work...).


Focal Length: 80-200mm
Maximum aperture: 1:4.5; Lens construction: 15 elements in 10 groups
Picture angle: 30° 10'(f=80mm) - 12° 20'(f=200mm); Distance scale: Graduated in meters or feet up to 1.8m and 6 feet

Aperture scale: f/4.5- f/32; Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Meter coupling prong: Integrated (fully open exposure metering)
Focusing: By turning the zooming/focusing ring

<<---Optical Construction: Options to select downloading a PDF file (279k) with higher resolution or click to view a low -resolution Gif image file (56k)

Zooming: By back and forth movement of the zooming/focusing ring (Reference markings for 80mm, 90mm, 105mm, 135mm and 200mm)
Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75); Filter: 52mm screw-in
Hood: HN-7; Dimension: 74.5mm dia. x 162mm length (2-15/16 in. x 6-11/32 in.); Weight: 880g (29.3 oz); Accessories: 52mm Snap-On front cap (108-00-400), rear cap type F (108-00-401), leather case CL-10 (108-02-311), 52mm screw-in lens hood (108-02-201), flexible pouch No, 53 (108-02-303).Nikon Product Code No. for this old Non-Ai zoom lens: 108-05-109;
Note: Serial Numbers of this older Non-Ai version may have been started with 101911. S/N for the "C" version is unknown.


A hard-to-find image of this Nikkor.C  
tele-zoom courtesy of
Mr A. Diedrichs  
Palm Bay, Florida, USA

Image copyright © 2003. 
ll rights reserved. --->>

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This earliest version may have bear with an older name "Nippon Kogaku"; I am not sure whether any version that used indicative focal length in "cm" instead of "mm" existed thus far but even if it has, I think most have reverted back to use "Nikon" subsequently. Some intermediate versions introduced during first quarter of '70 have an indicative "C" at the lens data section which signifies improved lens coating was applied (see a contributing image at left hand side).

During this period, with the help of media professional who often have the chances of displaying their works in publications, the lens has received rave reviews for its outstanding sharpness. The first major revision which involved changing physical appearance of this zoom happened in 1975.

| NEXT | The subsequent non-Ai version and few early versions of this Ai Nikkor zoom that were introduced between 1975-1981 1/4

| Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV |

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Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:-
Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

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
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
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.