Information on Nikon Series E Lenses

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Nikon Series E manual focus Zoom 70-210mm f/4.0s telephoto zoom lens You can compare this with the AF-Nikkor 70-210mm
Year Introduced: March, 1982

A versatile telephoto zoom lens offering a 3:1 zoom ratio, plus macro focusing. This is the most expensive lens among all available option within the Nikon Series E lens family. If you are a true believer Nikon has created a superlative zoom lens in the Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f4.5 lens back in 1969 and subsequently the lens has a 'rebirth" with a AI Zoom Nikkor 80-200 f/4.0 which was introduced in 1981 but you cannot afford neither of them, then - this Nikon Series E Zoom 70-210mm f/4.0 could well be an alternative. I used to own this lens and my studio boys are still keeping this E series zoom lens after 12 years of use, apparently, a good news is - it still survives and being used by them after I decided to sell the lens to them.

Technical Highlights: * Wide 3X zoom range puts you in control of any telephoto situation, including sports action, portraits, candid and travel photography.

Macro focusing at the 70mm setting to 0.56m (2 ft.); normal focusing to 1.5m (5 ft.) at all other focal lengths. Single (One touch) control ring for focusing and zooming provides improved handling speed and speedier focusing. Accepts 62mm filters. Minimum aperture of f/32 for additional control of depth of field.

NIkon Series E Zoom 70-210mm f/4.0s zoom lens
Credit: downloaded from Roland Vink®'s data site. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Although the plastic feel was still apparent but this zoom lens is quite heavy (730g compares to Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.0's 790g) and the weight distribution is excellent, making it balance very well in hand when mounted on a camera. The constant aperture of f/4.0 was the main cause contributes its large physical dimension and extra weight. Optical performance ? Surprisingly, despite it was a E-series optic but Nikon seemed never took a short cut in designing this lens. It has a massive 13 elements in 9 group design which is almost similar to the more famed Nikkor counterpart. In actual fact, the lens exhibits slightly higher contrast across the whole spectrum of apertures than the famed Nikkor ! The minimum focus distance was equally an impressive 2 ft when a separate macro setting was activated (However, normal closest focusing distance graduates to 5.0 ft.) - it was much closer than what the Nikkor lens can achieve.

Front lens element of Nikon Series E zoom 70-210mm f/4.0s rear lens mount of Nikon Series E zoom 70-210mm f/4.0s
Front and rear end sectiosn of theSeries E Nikon zoom 70-210mm f/4.0s

: downloaded from Roland Vink®'s data site.

The lens has also a very well illustrated focal length markings on its lens barrel at 70, 85, 100, 135, 210mm and supplemented by equally well illustrated depth of field curves lines. Well, actually I am more inclined to look at its practicality because it substitutes a selection of various focal length of prime lenses in a studio those days. The working boys lack a versatile zoom lens that can provide great mobility for field shooting which also provides them comfortable optical results indoor.

70210E.JPG (23k) Loading ....

Macro focusing range of Series E 70-210mm f/4.0s zoom lens

Macro focusing range of Series E 70-210mm f/4.0s zoom lens

Credit: A lovely captured image of the 70-210mm f/4.0s Series E Zoom lense displayed here was contributed by Mr. "Chris Wakeen" ® <>. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

I bought the lens after I did some test strips outside and was quite happy and decided to take up an offer. Frankly, I did own a Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/4 during that time but I would rather not lending them to "abuse" it.. hehe ..anyway, eventually, I disposed the lens to the hard working boys as I don't intend to keep two zoom lenses with similar configuration. As this lens was introduced very late in March, 1982, I am not too sure if there was a version that has the all black matte finish plastic lens mounting ring. Similarly, the lens was not provide a meter coupling prong and the all plastic aperture ring was still one of its weaker link. The zoom lens was almost being replicated by Nikon to produce an almost similar version with an AF configuration during the mid '80.

Here is some alternatives of the 70-210mm zoom lenses Nikon productions.The bottom left hand side was the first version with a typical early unwelcome Nikon manual focusing ring. This was made broader in the later version. The top picture shown is the D-type AF zoom Nikkor lens.

See the respective AUTOFOCUS VERSIONS
Another manual focus budget version introduced in 1995 for Nikon FM10 and FE10 SLR models

From: "Roland Vink" <>
Organization: Auckland Inst of Technology
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 11:36:43 +1200
Subject: Series-E 70-210/4 web page

Hello, I was visiting your excellent web site and reading about the series-E 70-210 zoom: In this web page you also show two AF 70-210 zooms lenses. The one on the left, the early AF 70-210/4 has the same optical design as the series-E lens. It was replaced by the AF 70-210/4-5.6 which has non-D and D versions. The new lens has a wider focus ring, a new push-pull design, variable aperture and a different optical design. The page does not make this clear, and may lead some to think that all these are the same optically. Regards, Roland.

= Roland Vink =


Focal length/Aperture: 70-210mm f/4.0s
Lens construction: 13 elements in 9 groups
Focusing/zooming control: By a single control ring (one touch)
Picture angle
: 34° 20' - 11 °50'; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/4 - f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method with Ai cameras; via stop-down method with non-Ai cameras.
Focal length markings: 70, 85, 100, 135, 210mm
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 1.5m (5ft.) to infinity (
OO); in macro focusing mode at 70mm setting, down to 0.56m (2ft.)

Macro operation: Operable setting at 70mm focal length
Reproduction ratio: 1.6 life-size at 0.56m (2ft.) in macro mode;
Weight: approx. 730g; Dimensions: 72.5mm dia. x 156mm long (total); 148mm extension from lens flange
Filters: 62mm front screw-in; Front lens cap: Snap-On; Lens hood: HN-24 screw-in type; Lens case: C -35A hard leatherette or No. 63; soft pouch
Usable teleconverter(s):
TC-200, TC-201, *TC-14A
Warning: Certain AE modes (Programmed AE and Shutter Priority AE) on selective Nikon SLRs will not work efficiently with older TC devices. Use an Ai-S version for better compatibility, read the respective Tele-Extender(s) sections.

NOTE: Serial number for the earlier series of this zoom lense was believed to have been started with 70-210/4 Series E Zoom 5+ 1810001 < 1810815 - 1883xxx > Dec81 - 13/9 Series E 70-210/4 Series E Zoom high serial nos 5+ 2000001 < 2002832 - 2080430 > - 1985 Roland Vink's lens data sheet.

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Nikon Series E lenses
28mm | 35mm | 50mm | 100mm | 135mm | 36-72mm | 75-150mm | 70-210mm

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