Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Medical Nikkor 200mm f/5.6

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200mm f/5.6 Medical-Nikkor Auto

The first Medical Nikkor was introduced back in 1962. Incorporating a ringlight unit around its front element, the Medical-Nikkor is ideal for close-up work in the field of medicine, and has numerous other applications in science and industries. It consists of a prime lens, a set of six auxiliary lenses and an AC or a battery power source for operating the lighting units. The unique lens was actually a built-in electronic flash into a lens and exposure is automatic when using the flash. To think the SB-1 of 1969, Nikon first electronic flash in handle mount was actually a manual flash unit, the 200 f/5.6 Medical lens has already providing electronic flash auto exposure. That was indeed amazing.

Nikon F Medical.jpg Nikon F2A Medical.jpg
Two generations of the medical-Nikkor. Each mounted onto a Nikon F and a Nikon F2A.

The lens offers a choice of eleven different magnification ratios in combination with the six auxiliary lenses. (The prime lens alone gives the reproduction ratio of 1/1 5X and the auxiliary lenses, attached singularly or in varied combinations, provide a range of magnification ratios from 1/8X to 3X). The Medical-Nikkor is self-compensating, eliminating all bothersome calculations for setting the diaphragm in relation to film speed and reproduction ratio. All that is required of the photographer is to set the lens for the ASA speed of the film used, attach the auxiliary lens or lenses in accordance with the desired magnification ratio, focus by moving the camera toward or away from the subject and release the shutter.

The automatic lens diaphragm stops down to correct aperture at the moment of exposure. Two illumination units are built into the lens: an electronic ringlight and pilot lamps. The ringlight surrounds the front element of the lens to produce even and shadowless illumination. It may be removed from the lens for servicing and for providing special lighting angles.

The color temperature of 6000° K permits the use of daylight color film. The flash duration is 1/500 second. The Medical-Nikkor ringlight synchronizes with the Nikon F2 at the shutter speed of 1/60 second, with the Nikon F at 1/30 second, and the Nikkormat at 1/60 second.

Positioned behind the ringlight are four incandescent bulbs that comprise the pilot lamps. These facilitate precise focusing in the dark. The lens also incorporates a device for printing an identification number (1 to 39) or magnification ratio (1/15X to 3X) in the lower right-hand corner of each frame by making use of a small fraction of the ringlight output or "leak" flash.

These figures serve as references, key numbers or as a guide to "right-side-up" projection. The intensity of the "leak" flash can be adjusted in three steps as indicated by "A,', "B" and "C" on the Identification Number/Reproduction Ratio Adjuster. When an unnumbered negative is required, the imprinting device can be blocked off by setting the adjuster to "D". The Photomic series finders function solely as a viewfinder when used with the Medical Nikkor. The self-compensating feature of the lens diaphragm eliminates the need for exposure metering.

The first Medical-Nikkor was a marvel, combining lens, flash, and data imprinting system in a relatively compact package. Note that the Medical-Nikkor came in two distinct versions. The original model has knurling on the film speed, reproduction ratio/aperture, and data imprinting rings; it also lacks the diamond studding at the front of the barrel, and has a round four-pin power connector socket.

The later model has satin-finished aperture/repro, film speed, and data imprinting rings; the aperture/repro and film speed rings have large silver locking screws, there is only one data ring (with a knurled chrome finish), and the power connector is a three-pin, half-moon socket.

Basic Specifications:

Focal length: 200mm
Maximum aperture: 1:5.6
Lens construction: 4 elements in 4 groups
Picture angle: 12°20'
Aperture scale: f/5.6 - f/45
Aperture diaphragm: Fully automatic
Attachment size: 38mm (P=0.75)
Dimensions: 80mm dia. X 176mm length, (3 5/32 in. X 6-15/16 in.)
Weight: 670g (23.60z)
Partly due to adoption of the simplest optical design which has contributed to its superior optical performance, the Medical-Nikkor has a fine reputation during the years.

Accessories: 38mm screw-in front cap, rear captype F, safety camera shoe cover, 6 auxiliary ienses: 1 /8X, 1/6X, 1/4X, 1/2X, 1X, 2X, AC power unit, DC power unit, synch cord, 1.5m power source cord, 1.6m power source cord, leather compartment case, 2.5V light bulb.

The earlier model has "Medical Nikkor" engraved towards the front of the lens, while the later model has it towards the back. Recycling times range from 5-8 sec. on mains and 4-14 sec. on battery power, depending on type of battery and power ratio in use.

The early lens (later lens is probably similar) weighs 665g (1.5 lb.), less than the later 200f/4 IF Micro, and is 78mm diam by 170mm long. Flash output is approx. 60 W-s, duration approx. 1/500 sec.
In all incarnations, the outfit includes:

The AC Unit is included as standard equipment. The DC Unit was an extra-cost option, as was an extra-long power-source cord. The safety cover is probably a particularly annoying accessory to collect -- I saw one for sale (separately) at $75 US: not bad for a little bit of plastic. I say if you're using a 200f/5.6, make do with some electrical tape ($0.80/roll US).

Because the Medical-Nikkor is an autoexposure, fixed-focus lens, it is remarkably easy to use.

    1. select the reproduction ratio desired (may be determined by working distance or the desired subject field, tabulated below)
    2. add the appropriate lenses
    3. set the film speed
    4. set the aperture (via the reproduction ratio in use)
    5. set the desired data imprint
    6. "foot-zoom" the picture into focus (using the modeling lights, if needed)
    7. take the picture

| Repro | Attached | Working  |     Subject     |
| Ratio |  Lenses  | Distance |      Field      |
|  1:15 |   none   | 131.89in | 14.17 x 21.26in |
|       |          |  3 350mm |   360 x 540mm   |
|  1:8  |   1/8x   |  70.08in |  7.56 x 11.34in |
|       |          |  1 880mm |   192 x 288mm   |
|  1:6  |   1/6x   |  52.64in |  5.67 x  8.50in |
|       |          |  1 336mm |   144 x 216mm   |
|  1:4  |   1/4x   |  35.04in |  3.78 x  5.67in |
|       |          |    890mm |    96 x 144mm   |
|  1:3  |   1/6x   |  25.00in |  2.72 x  4.06in |
|       |  + 1/4x  |    635mm |    69 x 103mm   |
|  1:2  |   1/2x   |  17.56in |  1.89 x  2.83in |
|       |          |    446mm |    48 x  72mm   |
|  2:3  |   1/2x   |  12.83in |  1.38 x  2.09in |
|       |  + 1/4x  |    326mm |    35 x  53mm   |
|  1:1  |    1x    |   8.70in |  0.94 x  1.42in |
|       |          |    221mm |    24 x  36mm   |
|  3:2  |    1x    |   6.06in |  0.67 x  0.98in |
|       |  + 1/2x  |    154mm |    17 x  25mm   |
|  2:1  |    2x    |   4.25in |  0.47 x  0.71in |
|       |          |    108mm |    12 x  18mm   |
|  3:1  |    2x    |   2.83in |  0.33 x  0.50in |
|       |   + 1x   |     72mm |   8.4 x  12.6mm |

The lens mounts like all other Nikkors. The diamond-studded ring which has the power and sync sockets (and a neon ready-light, as well as the micro switch for the modeling lights) probably does not rotate and so is your best grip. The camera-flash sync is set via a standard PC-to-PC cord, and the appropriate power cable is used from the mains or battery source to the lens. Note that because the earlier and later versions have different power sockets, power sources and cables are not interchangeable.

As noted above, the sequence of steps is logical, but the early and later lenses are sufficiently different to distinguish a few steps. The early lens has two index marks for the film speed; the one on the right, i.e. the one reading slower-speed film, is the full-power index, while the other one is the 1/4-power index. The later lens has a white diamond for full power and a "1/4" for 1/4 power. Both lenses may be adjusted from ASA 10 to 880. You may compensate for different tones by adjusting the ASA appropriately. The full-1/4 power switch is found on the power supply.

The data-imprinting system is also slightly different. Both models allow white numbers from 1 to 39 or yellow reproduction ratios to be imprinted. The earlier model has a series of letters (A, B, C, D) on the ring immediately in front of the data-selection ring; these correspond to the amount of light "leaked" to expose the data on the film and are:

The Medical Nikkor available during the F2-era has improved in various aspect, including its cosmetic and handling.

Nikkor Link.jpg

Index Page
  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

weblibrary.gif   Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 -not ready | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page

The British Journal of Photography wrote up a fairly detailed users'-view of this lens, in which they note that the accessory lenses are of 2-element construction and are designed specifically around the 200f/5.6 prime lens. The great advantage of not using extension to create different reproduction ratios (note that the later 120f/4 Medical also did not use extension, relying on internal focussing, IF, instead) was in simplifying the design, i.e. there was no need to build in an automatically compensating diaphragm. Instead, you could use a simple slide-rule calculation (which you do with the film speed and reproduction ratio rings). However, since the supplimentaries worked by (essentially) reducing the focal length (something that IF later did!), the working distance is somewhat compromised.

120mm f/4.0 Medical-Nikkor

Considered a major upgrade to the fine original Medical Nikkor lens of 200mm f/5.6. The lens speed was given a full stop in brightness. Even more significantly incorporated was the Internal Focus (IF) design which facilates very much convenience in operations without adjusting to physical extension of the lens barrel while focusing.

<<<<<<<<<<<---- 120mm f/4.0 IF Medical-Nikkor not in Michael's top priority list in terms of convenience and functionality ?

For both lenses, the front ring (upon which the lens combinations are imprinted) may be removed to gain access to the modeling lights. They are simple 2.5V bulbs, and can probably be replaced with similar threaded electric torch bulbs. The front lens ring (to which the supplementary lenses are attached) serves as a retaining ring for the flash tube, and may also be removed. The lens itself remains the same four-element glass of no particular optical distinction. As it was a somewhat rare item, especially as a complete outfit, it has attracted some collectors' attention.

Practically speaking, even the current 120f/4 IF Medical-Nikkor is not the most useable ringlight/lens available; my vote goes to a 105f/2.8 Micro with an SB-21 (TTL metering, available autofocus) or the older 200f/4 IF Micro if you need more working distance. On the other hand, both Medical-Nikkors offer relatively painless ways of getting beyond 1:1 magnification, and their systemic integration is a delight to behold.

With better operating simplicity and aperture of f45 is retained for maximum depth of field in close up works. It is actually a complete, self-contained close-up system with built-in electronic flash and focusing light. The Medical-Nikkor lens itself provides an image ratio of 1:15, covering a field size fully 330 x 440mm (13 x 19.5"). By adding (singly or in combination) the 6 supplementary lenses supplied, 10 other image ratios may be obtained, down to 3:1- thus filling the film frame with a subject just 8 x 12mm (0.3 x 0.45")! Because of the long focal length of the Medical-Nikkor, ample working distance is assured at every image ratio. The built-in electronic ringlight flash around the front lens element provides uniform and shadowless illumination of the subject, a distinct advantage when shooting a subject in a cavity or recessed area. Light output can be reduced to 1/4 to prevent over-exposure without changing the film speed. The flash duration of about 1/1000 sec. effectively freezes any subject motion, permitting handheld shooting. The "leaklight" of the flash can be used to imprint the frame number (1 to 38) or the magnification ratio on the corner of the picture. Because the output of the ringlight is constant, the correct aperture is automatically set when the film speed and reproduction ratio are selected. Optical construction: 4 elements in 4 groups. Angle picture of view: 12°20', automatic diaphragm attachment size 38mm, weighing 700gms. Not compatible with teleconverter TC200 or TC300.

- Content based largely on ealier work by: Michael Liu -

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Various Options in Power Sources, Flash Accessories and more info on 200mm Medical Nikkor lens with a built-in flash.

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Nikkor Link.jpg
The Eyes of Nikon:-
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Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm |
Lenses -
45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm |
Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |
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


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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: Chuck Hester, US for his patience, encouragement and help to setup the various content in this site; Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD appeared in this site; my ex-staff, KiaSu for his superb 3-D logo appeared in this Nikon F2 site; Marc Vorgers from Holland who generously provide me with some of his images of F2AS; MCLau®, who has so much time with me to re-edit the content in this site and not to mention buying a Nikon Coolpix 990 just for this site. Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; again, Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; for their images on the Speed Magny film backs; Sean Cranor for his image on Nikon F2 25th Anniversary Model; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input on some of the early Nikon bodies; CYLeow ® , photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia for some of his images used in this site. Ms Rissa Chan, Sales manager from Shriro Malaysia who has helped to provide some of the very useful input. HiuraShinsaku®, Nikomat ML, Japan for some of his images on various F2 models; my staff, Wati, Maisa, Mai and my nephew, EEWyn®, who volunteered and helping me did so many of the film scanning works. Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell, Mr "Arsenall" and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with a PowerMac, broadcast with a Redhat Linux powered server.

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