Additional information on
Nikon's AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0D ED-IF telephoto close-up lens

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It is quite common that every photographer usually has a favorite lense of his own. Although I am not a pro but admittedly, I do shoot pictures quite often for leisure and over the time in my personal photographic journal, I do have a few favorites optics of my own. As far as investment of camera and lenses is concerned - I think I am quite "seasoned" now and wouldn't simply get moved by a new optic(or even camera) as with my youthful days, but probably it has taken me many years in the agony of pain & experience before one can verify what is a jewel and what is not.

Among all the Nikkors, I have owned quite a few versions of the Micro-Nikkor over the years - from all those older non-Ai MF versions, to the Ai, Ai-s Nikkor such as 55mm f/2.8, 105mm f/4.0, 105mm f/2.8 and eventually, I am awaken to the importance of "reach" and a comforting working distance in macrophotography - that was after I first exposed with such a "feel" with my first 200mm telephoto micro, a non-ED MF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0s IF version. This has turned to be an extremely educational experience to shot close-up with a tele-macro optic as eventually, when I was granted a test session by the local Nikon's marketing folk with a "perfect" micro tele-lens in this absolute beauty, AF-D Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 ED-IF featured here.

<<<--- Copyright-free images collection © 2004 .

Where it relates to medium range telephoto lenses, I used to owned another favorite lens, the Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED which I think equally deserves a good mention in this site; unfortunately when I started another privately funded project I tend to engaged heavily with close-up photography on tropical fauna and flora; the 180mm prime lens has always been famed for its superb color saturation, especially dealing with scenes that has blue / red color spectrum; although both new and old micro-200mm lenses are good in their respective entities; the MAIN difference is in its ability to enable direct 1:1 life-size reproduction (the MF version maximum reproduction is 1:2), next, the AF-lens provides another advantage for still or focus tracking, should you require it. Internally, the AF-D-200mm micro has seen some radically changed optically and comes with an ED glass in its optical construction which clearly exhibits its superiority from earlier model, captured images are faithful, with stunning color & saturation which makes such degree of equivalent presence felt missed in the non-ED counterpart.

Poetry in motion ... Fish in the ponds
Poetry in in the pond

Taken from the balcony shooting downwards towards the pond from a 10th floor up hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing images to replace this.


The superb IF feature, where both versions have, a feature which doesn't cause physical lense extension during AF/MF focusing, its silky smooth rotation during MANUAL focusing was particularly delightful to use. Lastly, if you are good at photography, other than this long reaching lense doesn't provides a wide picture angle like any of the wideangles, this Micro-Nikkor can also be a one-lens-will-do-all multi purpose lense. The AF Nikkor 200mm Micro probably has TWO versions, the early one doesn't debuted as an AF-D spec optic, where Nikon announced the AF-D only in a short circular in October, 1993 to compliment the Nikon F90X's enhanced Matrix system. However, other than the inclusion of the "Distance" data communication between lense and camera, its excellent optical construction has never been altered.

It can be an excellent all-round telephoto lens for applications such as scenic, portraiture and moderately for sports and action photography. It can focus all the way down from infinity to macro 1:1 life size reproduction (at 0.5m closest distance) without the need of adding any attachment or extension ring; the extended working distance also permits the use of artificial illumination and/or provide a safe and comfortable working distance for shooting hazardous subject.
<<< ----- Copyright ©-free Images collection. 2001, leofoo Malaysian Internet Resources

When Nikon shown me this marvel back in early 1994, I thought it shares a good balance between portability and performance; although the f/4.0 lens is almost a full f-stop slower which is more restrictive in creative depth of field control in particular relates to portraiture photography, but it does compensated with a good factor in its superb balance of weight which, to me it is even serving more purpose in terms of mobility and portability for close-up photography than a maximum aperture of f/2.8, naturally a faster lens speed will also resulted in making the lens bulkier and heavier.

So, eventually, I gave away two Micro-Nikkor lenses away. The MF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0s IF lens was given to a good friend of mine who is a scientific researcher whom I think that lense should suit his work more than me while the shorter AF-D Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 was given to my nephew, which I packed it along with my Nikon F5 body, a Nikkor 28mm f/2.8s & the Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED glass as a bonus for rewarded him for his excellent academic results. Frankly, I can find all the necessity elements of all three lenses in this Micro-Nikkor lense and there is no purpose for me to keep the three optic (perhaps another main problem is, errr ...I don't have a camera bag to pack so many lenses). Anyway, I hate seeing wasting good resources in all those good lense, I think others may have make better use of them than me.


This lens is extremely well made but no means a lightweight at 1.2 kg ! Despite the IF feature, it still measures almost 8" in length, so the best combination is to use it with a bare camera body without a motor drive attached. My favorite is use with my Nikon FM2/T or the F3/T.

New SIC (Super Integrated Coating) is treated on lens surface, to ensure high-contrast pictures, with better colour balance and more faithful reproduction of skin tone.

Obviously, there is no such things as a perfect lense; Instead of telling you what is so special about it, I would rather tell you what are the things that I don't like when use this lense for shooting macro photography so as to offer such personal thoughts would be beneficial as a buying reference. Firstly, it is bloody heavy - weighing at 1.2kg, carrying it for extended shooting sessions in the field indeed can be a big headache. I think Nikon has did reasonable good decision by choosing a f/4.0 maximum aperture for this lense instead of a possible f/2.8 lense speed - which probably many adds another 1.5 - 2Kg or so. then, either from the commercial or practical aspect - it doesn't make any sense.

The lens standalone weighs 1.2 kg - probably due to its complexity of an optical construction in 13 lens elements arranged in 8 groups (Previous version of the 200mm lens only weighs less than 880g in a 9 elements in 6 groups design) and that is why I would suggest the best combination is still use it with a bare camera body if you travel a lot with it.

<<< ----Copyright ©-free Images collection. 2001, leofoo Malaysian Internet Resources

lonesome flowers

The tripod collar is a fixed type in this lens, a design as opposed to the removable-type found in the comparing MF-version of Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF, this has definitely made it less flexible during shooting on the field. The one and only marked depth of field scale of f/32 is SUCKED, like any other modern AF Nikkor lenses, it provides little visual information for photographer as a quick guide. So, in many situations, you ought to have a companion SLR that has DOF preview function (sometimes, why manufacturers are so stubborn ??? just take a look at what a nice work they have done on AF lenses for the Nikon F3AF).

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I really don't like a few of the common features found in all AF Nikkor lenses. The A/M ring is too plastic to my liking. The next is the aperture ring, which I thought Nikon could have done a better job than that. Recently, I found out that the plastic distance window is not that durable either and I had two AF Nikkor cracked at that section.

The lens is so heavy that really make you wondering whether the lens mount can hold up to its weight. I think this has a lot of do with the very fragile feel of the aperture ring which a poor choice of material is used. I may be too picky on this, but all these years I just cannot shredded off the feeling I had and why should I hide how I felt ?? Next, the (A) is where the meter coupling shoe supposed to locate; technically, you can add one a top of the aperture ring and enable the lens couple with the metering mechanism of non-AI camera bodies. The (B) is the minimum aperture lock when in AF and certain AE operations.

Lens mount.jpg

Lastly, the (C) are where the AF/distance signal contacts locate.

A photo by bob.friedman on AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D with a MF 50mm f/1.4 reversed
This fine piece of close-up optic by Nikon can anytime safely be have my personal vote and hailed as another true Nikkor classic. I like that crinkle finishing of some of the Nikkor lenses, but that cosmetic usually is strongly associated with calling for extra premium. Probably some of you may think the AF-D Micro-Zoom Nikkor 70-180mm f4.5~5.6 ED is more flexible but I will tell you the difference in that section as variable elements for considerations between the two micro-optic. On a scale of 10 in terms of performance and justification of investment, I would rate this lens a personal high score of 9.5. Anyway, like any other sections in this site, I have repeatedly stressed the point where majority of the modern Nikkor lenses for SLR cameras have been prized too high, so, in relation to price versus performance ratio, it is still got my personal rating high at 8.0 because overall, the performance of this lense can make you feel it worth it..even if you think it is too pricey. To conclude what I wish to tell you is, this is one of the few things in my life that can make my heart wins over my mind ...haha.

Using an AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D with a MF 50mm f/1.4 reversed on a Nikon D2X digital SLR. Good and interesting try...

Credit: Image courtesy of Bob.Friedman (nickname: dreams202), whose online PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

The NEXT section of this site is relating to instruction manual of how to make good use the lens, hopefully I won't get another young Nikon hippie of low intelligence from US or Japan headquarters(s) dropping by and demand the removal of the content contained herein.
<<<--- Copyright-free images collection © 2004 .

Hisbiscus in the morning ..
Relative: | AF-D Micro 200mm f/4.0s IF-ED | AF-D Zoom Micro-Nikkor 70-180mm f/4.5-f/5.6 ED | AF-D Micro 105mm f/2.8s | AF-D Micro 60mn f/2.8s | PC-Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D | MF Micro-Nikkor 55mm | MF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 | f/4.0 | MF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0s IF | Other Nikkor prime of 180mm-200mm Telephotos | Other Nikkor prime of 105mm Telephotos | MF Medical-Nikkor 120mm f/4.0s | Medical-Nikkor 250mm f/5.6 | MF Bellow Nikkor 105mm f/4.0 | Bellow-Nikkor 135mm f/4.0 preset | UV-Nikkor 55mm f/4.0 | UV-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0s

Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing images to replace this. 1998

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