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

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The revision that occurred in 1975 did not involved any significant changes in its optical design but its appearance was given a facelift to improve lens handling as well as reflecting a more modern Nikkor lense look and feel. As a guideline, this version may bear S/N from 210001* onwards. The lens coating may also have been treated with the Nikon proprietary NIC lens coating at this stage. * Source: Nikon Hand Book

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Shown is a typical modified Ai Nikkor lense with S/N 27929X.

<<< -- Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Joseph Bonow <>. American Flags Express - 12577 W. Custer Ave. Butler, WI 53007 262-783-4880 x13. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

The focusing/zooming grip found during this period has a different rubberized textured-design covering from earlier versions which uses the tiny-diamond-shaped grip design. The lens data that imprinted at the outer metal filter rim section began to use a standard lens description of "Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm 1:4.5" which follows by the serial number of the lense.

<<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Harold <>. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.
The coloured aperture scales that correspond with the depth of field scales on the lens barrel have a different colour codlings from earlier ones where the blue (f/32), yellow (f/22), pink (f/16), brown (f/11) and green (f/4.5) indexes being re-arranged as brown (f/32), blue (f/22), yellow (f/16), pink (f/11) but it retains similar green (f/4.5) for the maximum aperture. The diameter of the lens was increased slightly from 74.5mm dia. to 75.5mm but it weighs lighter at 820g versus 880g as compared to the older lense.

The aperture ring at this stage has also started to adopt an early diamond ridged design while the rigid chrome ring was made narrower. Other main features such as focal length reference markings, 52mm front filter attachment size, a non-Ai meter coupling prong and the segmented front section was similar with older ones. Other than overall quality and versatility this zoom lens offers, many users were made to believe this zoom, at every of its focal length, including 85mm, 105mm,135mm,180mm, and 200mm, produces convincing lab test resolution figures that claimed to be able to take on corresponding single-focal-length counterparts. Well, by this stage, most Nikon photographers have already realized the Company has quite a zoom lense to offer at this focal length and its popularity began to blossom.

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Frankly, the success of this zoom was also partly due to the fact during those days, there ain't many high quality equivalents were around, but I can't deny the fact it is good lense. Perhaps more importantly, the emergence of this Nikkor zoom has lead and play a big role in creating a successful following for zoom lense type while at the same time, speed up the process of refinement and development on zoom lense further.

Actually, part of the appeal of a zoom lens is convenience. In one lens, it gives the photographer a variety of focal lengths without having to carry extra lenses. It also allows the photographer to change focal lengths quickly, and therefore change his coverage, without actually having to change lenses or positions. another feature in its handling is, once in focus, always in focus - at every focal length. The design of this zoom provides responsive one-hand zoom/focus control for optimal handling speed and precision. An interesting sales attraction where camera manufacturers often overemphasized in their marketing those days was its ability to create "zoom blurs." (by zooming the lens during a slow shutter speed, the cameraman can impart a feeling of action to stationary subjects, and what this action does to a moving object can often be surprising and eye-catching). Anyway, calling it a marketing gimmicks or whatever, this lense sells in numbers which has lead Nikon to provide another upgrade with an Ai-type lens coupling system in 1977 to conform the revised Ai metering system on Nikon SLRs.

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Ai Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5

It can be a little confusing when referring to an Ai Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm
f/4.5 because there are actually two main versions available. The first version was essentially basing on the previous non-Ai version and given a new Ai-coupling at the rear section - as simple as that. But another version of this Ai zoom is more interesting as it encompasses an entirely different optical design within. It has a new optical construction in 12 elements in 9 groups design as opposed to older 15 elements in 9 groups.
<<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Joe <>. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

The new revised optical design and other Nikon innovations such as NIC and detailed features has made this version the best performer among the many versions introduced thus far. Hallmarked with higher contrast and improved image quality, this high resolving power Nikkor zoom has also improved its already smooth zoom/focusing action found on earlier versions. The coloured and highly eye-catching aperture scale and depth of field indexes were again being re-arranged with the minimum aperture f/32 coloured in red, f/22 in yellow, leaving the f/16, f/11 in white, pink for f/8.0, f/5.6 in white and retaining a similar green f/4.5. Other visual differentiation like its chrome lens mounting ring has been reduced to a quite narrow rim. The lense was considerably lighter which weighs only 750g and the lens diameter is slightly more compact which stands at 73mm from 75.5mm found on previous version.
The lense has an excellent built quality and its handling is superb. Its overall reduction in weight and dimension has made it such a joy to use in door or on locations. It is so compact that it still maintains a filter attachment size of 52mm - the standard for most Nikkor lenses from 20 to 200mm produce during this period and eliminates photographers the hassle of keep change/purchasing different set of filters of different dimensions. On a personal note, I used to own one of this lense but disposed it off when Nikon announced the new Nikkor zoom with a slightly faster lens speed and with an attractive macrofocus function later during the early '80.

<<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Joe <>. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

The rear section for the zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5 lense has quite an unusual appearance - it has a rectangular hood situated at the rear lense opening. See two different rear ends views (left hand side) of new and older lense. I am not sure what is its exact functions but seriously I don't quite buy the idea that it is used as preventing stray light entering via its end. Strangely, despite the update, its minimum focusing distance has not been improved which still stands at 1.8m (6 ft.).

This renown Ai-version of the Nikkor zoom has remained in production all the way until 1981 where Nikon announced another major upgrade to replace this lovely zoom lense which was almost in its 11 years running. The next version of this lense, a
Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.0s has an Ai-S lens coupling and comes with a slightly faster maximum lense speed but after its debut, it has received a mixed reaction among users/reviewers.

<<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. W.J. EichnerLynch <>. Website URL: The bottom left image courtesy of Miss Nancy <identity withheld>. Images copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

The Ai 2nd version of this Nikkor Zoom carries the following specification:

Focal length/Aperture:
80~200mm f/4.5; Lens construction: 12 elements in 9 groups
Picture angle:
30°10'~ 12°20'; Diaphragm: Automatic

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" ....... for the old f4.5, your picture shows a 15 elements 10 groups construction. While for newer f4.0, it has a 13 elements 9 groups structure. However, according to the instruction manual of my lens, it has a 12 elements 9 groups construction. I guess it might be a latter version of the f4.5 lens.

As seen from the pictures attached, the front optics are similar to the f4.5 lens shown on your webpage, but the rear part of the optics are like the f4.0 lens. Therefore, interestingly, I think it can be regarded as a mixture of the earlier version f4.5 and f4.0. Notice that this lens has exactly the same appearance as the Nikkor 80-200/f4.5 AI in Hope this little information will help you to build a perfect database for this legendary lens..." - Victor Luning Zhang <> -

Aperture scale: f/4 5 ~ f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale
Exposure measurement:
Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Ai cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai Nikon cameras
Distance scale:
Graduated in meters and feet from 1.8m (6 ft) to infinity (
OO); Weight: 750g
73mm dia. x 162mm long (overall); 153.5mm extension from flange
Attachment size:
52mm (P= 0.75); Front lens cap: Snap-On
Lens hood:
Screw-in (HN-7); Lens case: CL-35A (provided), No. 56, No.63

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<<< -- Credit: New packing box courtesy of Mr. "Jim Reisman". Website URL: Image copyright © 2003.

<<<---Optical Construction: downloading a PDF file (66k)
Note: Early Ai-version (15/12) may bear a S/N from 270001 onwards. While according to Peter Braczko's Nikon Hand Book, he stated the Ai (12/9) version may have been started with 760801 or possibly 750801. A contributing image below shown with a version that even bear with a S/N as high as 821432. Update: Mr. "Bob Camarena" <> has reported his zoom bears a serial number higher than that has been indicated in this site: " ... I thought you might be interested that I have one, bearing the S/N 84796X. I purchased the lens as "new old-stock" a couple of years ago..." Bob -

Bob Camarena

| previous | NEXT | The subsequent replacement of the popular Ai-S version that followed in 1981 2/4

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

Nikkor MF Zoom Lenses: | Main Index Page |

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Credit: Image of this late Ai Nikkor Zoom-Nikkor 80~200mm f/4.5 lense courtesy of Mr. W.J. EichnerLynch® <> Website URL: Image copyright © 2003 All rights reserved.

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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.