Ai Zoom-Nikkor 200-600mm f/9.5
The broadscale Nikkor Ai lense updating program occurred in 1977 saw this lense being fitted with an Ai coupling but strangely, the meter coupling has not provided during this update (This apply even for the new Zoom-Nikkor 180-600mm f/8.0 ED which seemed like a replacement lense - based on spec sheet but the 200-600mm lense was still sold along with the ED lense) and metering still has to be done via stopped down metering method. This true telephoto zoom lense covering the range from the 200mm telephoto to 600mm super telephoto range. Similar to earlier versions it packs the distinct advantages of telephoto zooming capabilities into relatively compact size and light weight to ensure easy handling and maximum portability. Despite its long maximum focal length, it has an automatic diaphragm mechanism (no meter coupling prong is provided), and a convenient single focusing/zooming ring allows fast, sure focusing and zooming.
Similarly, you can make use of the same accessory close-up attachment, its closest focusing distance of 4m (13 ft) can be reduced down to 2.3m (7.5 ft), adding to the versatility of this zoom lens. Series 9 filters are used by placing them between the lens and the hood. The tripod socket is also retained in this version and provided on the rotating collar, allowing it to be shifted quickly to either the horizontal or vertical picture format desired. Frankly, other than an improved NIC lens coating process it received, this lense may not present any significant advantage over the previous Non-Ai version because it still requires to operate in Stopped Down metering in exposure measurement even you are using an Ai Nikon body.
Even if it is aged in its spec sheet as compared with other newer series of ED telephoto zoom lenses that started to appear during this transitional change of mount period, the lense was still considered to be valuable in such extra-long distance shooting situations such as outdoor sports events, space exploration, scientific research and safaris plus a wide variety of other applications in telephotography.
<<< --- Image was scanned from an official Nikon Sales Manual published in late '70.
<<< --- Image was scanned from an Nikkor Sales Guide published in 1978
<<< --- Download a PDF file (46k) in relation to its optical Construction. Not much differences from older non-Ai version.
Combined zoom and focusing rings with locking screw where you can safely lock a pre-focus distance securely. This Ai lense was supplied with accessory close-up lens, hood, and screw-in front lens cap as standard accessories.
Focal length/Aperture: 200~ 600mm f/9.5
Lens construction: 19 elements in 12 groups; Picture angle: 12° 20'~ 4°10'
Diaphragm: Automatic; Aperture scale: f/9.5 ~ f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale
Exposure measurement: Via stop-down method
Distance scale:Graduated in meters and feet from 4m (13 ft) to infinity (oo)
Weight: 2.4kg; Dimensions: 89mm dia. x 382mm long (overall); 374mm extension from flange
Attachment size: 82mm (P= 0.75); Filters: Series IX
Front lens cap: Slip-on; Lens hood: Screw-in (HN-10)
Lens case: CE-3; Note: Rotatable tripod collar provided. Note: Starting serial number for this version started from 300001.
Ai-S Zoom-Nikkor 200-600mm f/9.5s
Eventually, this 20 years long-run Nikkor super telephoto zoom lense was successfully upgraded by Nikon with an Ai-S lens coupling in April 1982. In Peter's Nikon Hand Book, he stated a different accessory close-up lens was offered in the Ai-S lense but according to a 1982's publication of "A comprehensive guide to Nikkor lenses" by Nikon, it still stated the lense was using at the same series IX filter. The main technical advancement for this Ai-S upgrade is - as finally we can make use any Ai Nikon SLRs to enjoy full aperture metering/viewing with the extra long tele-zoom lense in place on those cameras. The rotatable tripod socket collar is still provided but it can be removable when not needed. Although with its restrictive slow maximum lens speed it provides, but the flexible choice of be able to use three Nikon Teleconverters (TC-200**, TC-201***, TC-300, TC-301 or TC-14) while still retaining full aperture metering has expanded its scope of applications widely. Naturally, such combinations are only viable when extra-high speed film types (ASA880, ASA 1600, ASA3200 etc. or using push in B/W photography) as the lense is still physically "slow" in its maximum aperture. Other than tripod, you may also consider the use of the Pistol Grip for smooth shootings. Focusing screens such as G2, G4, H2, H4 is a good choice to compensate the dimly lit finder image for precise focusing.
Well, in the eyes of a budget minded consumer, the most appealing , practical and attractive element in this lense is none other than - it is the most affordable Nikkor telephoto zoom lense amidst other ED versions.
<< --- Image of this Nikkor zoom was scanned from "Eyes of Nikkor" published by Nikon in 1982
Other main features are similar to previous version(s) where it still uses the convenient single focusing/zooming ring that would provides extra handling speed. Neither the lense has improved its close focusing capability where helical four-meter (13 ft.) close focusing distance can be reduced to 2.3m (7.5 ft.) when the accessory close-up lens supplied with the lens is attached. Series IX (82mm) filters fit between lens and screw-in lens hood which is provided and there is an orange scale to indicate distances when the close-up filter is used. Moreover, the aperture ring of Ai-S Nikkor zoom has a new facelift with rigid customary modern Nikkor diamond-ridged design and its minimum apertures are printed in orange(f/32), blue (f/22), white (f/16) and a yellow f/9.5 respectively. Well, if you can live with compromise of half a stop in lens speed, this lense offers a lower cost, lighter weight alternative to the 180-360mm equivalent. Lastly, in "Nikon System Handbook" by Moose Peterson Published by Silver Pixel Press, the author has indicated there was a Zoom-Nikkor 200-600mm f/9.5ED that sold from the period 1971-1981 - was that such versions ? That was essentially why this site has taken so long to go online - although I have some reservation over such claims (or simply a misprint errors) but I was getting a little worry as if I have missed out something during the compilation of info that I gathered thus far. Do provide me with some updates relating to this.
Specifications of Zoom-Nikkor 200-600mm f/9.5s
Focal length/Aperture: 200-600mm f/9.5
Lens Coupling: Ai-S
Lens construction: 19 elements in 12 groups
Picture angle: 12° 20'~ 4°10'; Focusing/zooming control: By a single ring
Diaphragm: Automatic; Aperture scale: f/9.5 -f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Ai cameras (no Coupling meter coupling prong provided)
Focal length markings: 200mm, 250mm, 300mm, 350mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 4m (13ft.) to infinity (oo)
Weight: 2,500g (without attachment lens); Dimensions: 89mm dia. x 381 mm long (overall), 374mm extension from lens flange
Filters: Series IX (82mm) front screw-in; Front lens cap: Slip-on
Lens hood: HN-10 screw-in type; Lens case: CE-3 hard leatherette* or CL-65 hard leatherette
Usable Teleconverter(s): TC-200**, TC-201***, TC-300, TC-301 or TC-14; * Houses the camera body together with the lens.; ** Usable, but there is occasional vignetting. Certain exposure modes with selective Nikon SLRs bodies will not work efficiently. *** Usable, but there is occasional vignetting. Note: Serial numbers for this Ai-S version may have been started from 305001.
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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
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Co-developed with my web buddy, Rick Oleson® & Denmark, Creator of the Nikon Repair Group Mailing-List; A contributing effort to Michael Liu's Classic Nikon SLRs and Nikkor optic site.
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.