Additional Information on Medical-Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 Auto lense - Part II

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The Medical Nikkor lens has two subsequent updates which actually occurred within a short span of 3 years during early seventies. The most significant change among these updates was the practical but colourful appearance of the lens which makes it so easily distinguishable from earlier ones. The first revised version of this lens was introduced in July, 1972. The multi-colours tables that imprinted on the lens barrel serves as a quick visual reference guide for photographers on various reproduction ratios when use the lens singularly or in combination with the auxiliary lenses.

Credit: This image of the Medical-Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 lens courtesy of Mr. David C. Allen. Image copyright© 2002. All rights reserved. Image has been retouched slightly from original.

This update involved an overall improved operating simplicity while still retaining a minimum aperture of f/45 for maximum depth of field control, an essential element for close up flash works. Similar in a basic concept with the earlier version, this updated lens version was also enabled this lens to be a complete, self-contained close-up system with its built-in electronic flash and focusing light and a host of accessories specifically designed around the lens. 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 from 1/8X, 1/6X, 1/3X, 1/2X, 2/3X, 1X, 1.5X, 2X, 3X may be obtained, the maximum reproduction ratio of 3:1 can be interpreting in a real life image size that filling a standard 24 x 36 film frame with a subject size at 8 x 12mm (0.3 x 0.45") ! The focusing distance is FIXED when reproduction ratio is determined and there are 4 pilot lamps incorporated for focusing accuracy.

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Credit: Both images of LD-1 and its internal battery compartment courtesy of Mr. David C. Allen. Image copyright© 2002. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the photographer, if you intend to use these images in your website and/or sale of equipment, asked Mr David with a written permission. Thank you for your consideration.
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Because of the long focal length of the Medical-Nikkor (picture of view: 12°20'), it has enabled an ample working distance at every image ratio. The built-in electronic ringlight flash around the front lens element provides uniform and shadowless illumination of the subject which is a distinctive feature for use in situation such as shooting a subject in a cavity or recessed area. The lens is powered by either using a LD-1 or LA-1 (earlier models used (AC or DC) battery pack. Light output/intensity of the built-in flash can be reduced to 1/4 to prevent overexposure without changing the film speed.

The illumination of the lens is via the built-in xenon ring flash tube, output approx. 60W and flash duration has increased in this version to about 1/1000 sec. (1/500 sec on the older version) effectively freezes any subject motion, permitting handheld shooting. The "leak light" of the flash can be used to imprint the frame number from 1 to 38 or the magnification ratio at 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. The optical construction in this updated version of the Medical Nikkor still retained a similar 4 elements in 4 groups design with an automatic diaphragm but most Nikkor followers would believed this update involved an improved lens coating process while Peter Braczko in his book, Nikon Hand Book has reported there may have another subsequent version which could have been introduced in 1974 that has Nikon's NIC process applied but other basic lens configuration remained literally unchanged. The filter attachment size on this lens was also the same at 38mm. However, the updating of features in this version of the Medical Nikkor lens has increased its overall weight to 700gm. Similarly, this version was still NOT permissible* to be used with any Nikon Teleconverters. This lens has been remained in production for quite a long spell and eventually it was discontinued after Nikon introduced an equivalent new version of Medical Nikkor lens at a different focal length of 120mm which has an ingenious Internal Focusing design in 1981. The standard accessories include 6 auxiliary lenses, a 1.5m power source cord, a sync cord, front and rear caps, accessory shoe safety cover (for Nikon F2 models and usable with earlier Fs), LD-1 power unit, four 2.5V spare bulbs and a leather case.

Our friend, Michael Liu has quite a good descriptions detailing the Medical Nikkor:

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"...... 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. 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.

Credit: This image of the complete setup of Nikkor Medical Nikkor lense courtesy of Mr. David C. Allen . Image copyright© 2002. All rights reserved.

The early lens (later lens is probably similar) weighs 665g (1.5 lb.), less than the later 200f/4 IF Micro, and is 78mm dia. by 170mm long. Flash output is approx. 60 W, duration approx. 1/500 sec. 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 auto exposure, 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) and 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 780mm |   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 |

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Nikon Medical-Nikkor-C 1:5.6 F=200 S/N 129403
* Medical-Nikkor-C 1:5.6 F=200 S/N 129403 Lens; * Six (6) Nikon auxiliary lens (1/6x, 1/8x, 2x, 1x, 1/4x, 1/2x); * Flash sync cable (screw-in fittings); * Three prong power cord (Power supply to Lens); * Nikon LD-1 DC Power unit (requires 8 D batteries); * Case for Nikon LD-1 DC Power unit; * Case for Lens & Accessories
Credit: Image courtesy from a passionate friend on the net who does not want to be named. Image copyright © 2003, All rights reserved.

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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.

Credit: This lovely image of Medical-Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 lens was contributed by a passionate contributor who does not want to be named. Image copyright © 2003, All rights reserved. Please respect the visual propery of the contributing photographer.

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.

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Credit: Images of power source cord and sync cable courtesy of Mr. David C. Allen Image copyright© 2002. All rights reserved.

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:

A -- color film <= ASA 64, B&W <= ASA 32
B -- ASA 80 <= color film <= ASA 400, ASA 20 <= B&W <= ASA 200
C -- ASA 500 <= color film, ASA 200 <= B&W
D -- no data imprinted

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 work by (essentially) reducing the focal length (something that IF later did!), the working distance is somewhat compromised. 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....." - Michael Liu -

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Note: For your easy reference and identification of various models, the serial number of this version may have been started with 120111. The next update in 1974 treated with NIC lens coating process started at 125011. * As during that time of its introduction, Nikon has not supplied any Teleconverter to the market yet. The first tele-extender TC-1 and TC-2 were only being introduced in 1976. ** Reference: Nikon Hand Book by Peter Braczko; *** Another good source of information relating to this old Medical-Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 auto lense can be accessed at Stephen Gandy website.

Credit: This image of the entire setup in a Medical-Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 lens was contributed by a passionate contributor who does not want to be named. Image has been scaled and retouched slightly to fit this page. Image copyright © 2003, All rights reserved.

Technical Highlights: * Provides 11 set reproduction ratios ranging from 1/15X down to 3X life-size. * Easy to use-even by unskilled personnel. * Built-in ringlight flash for shadowless illumination. * Uses either AC or DC power packs. * Supplied with 6 screw-in auxiliary lenses, sync cord, power cord, and compartment case. * Photographic uses include close-ups and macrophotography in science, industry, and the medical professions.

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Focal length/Aperture: 200mm f/5.6
Lens construction: 4 elements in 4 groups in prime lens; 6 auxiliary lenses provide a total of 11 different reproduction ratios
Diaphragm: Automatically set by determining film speed and reproduction ratio; stops down to f/45
Reproduction ratios: 1/1 5X with prime lens; 1/8X, 1/6X, 1/4X, 1/3X, 1/2X, 2/3X, 1 X, 1. 5X, 2X, 3X when auxiliary lenses mounted singularly or in combination
Focusing distance: Fixed when reproduction ratio is determined; 4 pilot lamps incorporated for focusing accuracy
Illumination: Built-in xenon ring flash tube; output approx. 60W; flash duration approx. 1 /1000 sec. (full output)

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Identification number and reproduction ratio selector: Provided

Power source
: AC or DC unit; Dimensions of prime lens: 79mm dia. x 177mm long
Weight of prime lens: 700g
Note: Supplied with 6 auxiliary lenses, a 1.5m power source cord, a sync cord, front and rear lens caps, accessory shoe safety cover and four 2.5V spare bulbs and a leather compartment case

| Back | to earlier version of the Nikon Medical Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 auto 2/2 Versions: | Medical-Nikkor 120mm f/4.0 IF | Medical Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 | Relative: MF Micro-Nikkor lenses @ 105mm, 200mm and other Nikkor prime telephoto lenses at 200mm | Back | Medical-Nikkor 120mm f/4.0 IF | Back | to Index Page of Special Applications Nikkor lenses

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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: 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.