Additional Information on
Manual Focus Nikkor Zoom lense 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO


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Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO

Introduced in January, 1983. There are a few interesting features relates to this compact Nikkor zoom lense. First, it adopts a pull and slide zoom design; next, the zoom range covers a very good focal length from 35mm wideangle to medium telephoto range at 105mm.It was also the first* Ai-Spec production Nikkor zoom lense that used a variable lens speed (35 mm at f/3.5 to f/4.5 at the other end of 105mm). Other technical highlights include are: the lense has a native Ai-S lens coupling system but still offers a meter coupling prong in order older non-Ai Nikon bodies be still able to be used at stopped down metering mode. At the 35 mm setting, a macrofocus feature is provided which permits the lense to be focused down to 10.6 in. (0.27m). At this setting, 1:4 life size reproduction ratio can be achieved. The lense has quite a colourful appearance as a orange colored macrofocus stripe was engraved on the distance scales. The basic design philosophy of this lense paths the way for many other Nikkor zoom lenses that followed at later years replicating in a similar fashion.

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The radical change in the design of zoom/focusing control saw FIVE out of SEVEN** Nikkor zoom lenses introduced between 1983 -1985 adopted a similar design in single pull and push control and FOUR out of seven units using a variable lens speeds design to maintain compactness and lightweight.

Credit: A beautifully taken image of this Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm lense courtesy of Sambor Photo <>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.
* Nikon has showcased a Zoom-Nikkor 3.5-8.5cm f/2.8~f4.0-16 Auto in 1961, but the lense has never went into production. Other early Nikkor zooms with variable lens speed include Nikon's first zoom lense, Non-Ai's Zoom-Nikkor 85-25cm f/4~4.5 Auto and another super zoom, the Zoom-Nikkor 20-60cm f/9.5~10.5 Auto ** Zoom-Nikkor 28-50mm f/3.5s; Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s; Zoom-Nikkor 50-135mm f/3.5s; Zoom-Nikkor 100-300mm f/5.6s, Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm f/4s ED; Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3~4.5s; Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s

This zoom was very popular lens among users. Probably it was the first time Nikon managed to offer a good zoom range from wide-angle to its popular telephoto range of 105mm with close-range focus capability. One reasons that contributed to its popularity was also due to lack of adequate product knowledge what the "variable lens speed" feature it offers. However, although most people were being lure in with the overall good features the lense offers but the variable lens speed (it provides a reasonably bright f/3.5 at 35mm setting but gradually stopped down to a dimmer f/4.5 when reaches 105mm) did raised some negative reaction from many seasoned users to see the effectiveness and practicality of it. So this lense has remained as a good zoom lense which offers basic features to take photographs but rarely attracts professional users to pay much attention to it. Whatever it is, the introduction at the time was timely as prevailing trend during this period was leaning towards smaller, lighter zoom lenses and lenses with variable lens speed was the only solution to meet such marketing objective.

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If you can live with a f-stop slower maximum aperture, slight heavier in weight (510g as compared to a fixed Nikkor 105mm f/2.5s' s 435g) - despite it embodies a massively complex 16 elements in 12 groups optical construction as compared to a simple 5 elements in 4 groups design used in the Nikkor 105mm telephoto; in exchange you have the flexibility of controlling focal length from 35mm to 105mm and close focus to 10.6" with 1:4 reproduction (105mm closest focusing is 3.5 ft with 1:7.69). Best of all - this lovely Nikkor zoom still uses standard 52mm filters ! Tempting huh ?

Credit: A rear view of this Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm lense courtesy of Sambor Photo <>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

At 1:4 life size reproduction, the macrofocus's setting was impressive but a drawback was in its less appealing 35mm setting (the
Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO introduced a year later has chosen a better 135mm focal length setting for its macrofocus feature) which can be quite restrictive as a true close focus lens due to distortion at close focus. I would rather see Nikon reverts it back to 105mm to provide more working distance as well as maintaining a more natural perspective for close-up photography. As compared with the later MF Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3~4.5s MACRO which often used to package as standard zoom for many entry level Nikon SLRs, this lense serves better value and purpose to a new SLR user with its extended zoom range but Nikon preferred it to be a standalone optional MF zoom lense.

Another interesting development was, Nikon used to offer BOTH the AF and MF zoom lenses at one time until the mid of '90. The early AF version, although has a similar lens construction in 16/12 design, has been reverted back to dual rings design in 1986 and improved its close focusing capability to about 0.38m(1.2ft) but the lense weighs lighter at 460g. A subsequent revised AF version that followed introduced in 1990 saw Nikon replicated a similar single slide zoom design used in the MF version again which incidentally still used a same number of lens elements (16 elements in 12 groups) but the weight has increased back to 510g which is similar to the MF version featured here.

Credit: Image courtesy of Laura Kornylak ® <> from shutterblade*com where the Company has a website on its own. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Well, the improvement of that version was in its macrofocus, where the AF lense can close focus down to 0.28m (1.1ft) which used to be the best performer thus far in this lens group. Well, the first radical change to optical design in the AF lenses occurred in 1996 where a new "D" zoom was introduced with a differing optical formula in a less complex 13 elements in 10 groups design and incorporating an internal focus design (IF) design to reduce its weight back to 410g. Despite my earlier personal reservation (over the adoption of variable lens speed design), you can find a lot of photographic applications for this very well made Nikkor zoom lense which can range from for PR, candids, portraits of people in their surroundings, full-or half length portraits, landscapes, travel photography, and flash photography in general.


Focal length/Aperture
: 35 -105mm f/3.5~4.5s
Lens Coupling: Ai-S
Lens construction: 16 elements in 12 groups
Picture angle: 62° - 23°20'
Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/3.5 ~ f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale (note: at f/4.0 only a click stop is provided).

<<<-- Comparison between two Ai-S 35-105 and 35-135mm Nikkor zoom shows their physique with the 105mm lense favouring for those who are always on the move but both lenses do have other elements to consider in their respective strength and weaknesses.

Focusing and zooming control: via single rings for push and pull control. Dual coloured zoom indexes (orange and green) are provided.
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Ai cameras and meter coupling shoe for non-Ai cameras
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 1.4m (5ft) to infinity (oo); In macro focusing mode (at 35mm), down to 0.27m (10.6").
Macro operation: operate at 35mm


Reproduction Ratio: 1:4 life-size at 0.27m (10.6") at 35mm focal length
Focal Length markings: 35mm(green), 50mm (white) and 70mm(orange).
Depth of Field Scales: Orange for f/22 and Blue for f/11
Attachment size: 52mm (P = 0.75); Weight: 510g

Credit: Image courtesy of Laura Kornylak ® <> from shutterblade*com where the Company has a website on its own. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Dimensions: 64mm dia. x 86.5mm long (overall); 95mm extension from flange
Filters:52mm front screw-in; Front lens cap: Screw-in
Lens hood: HK-11 screw-in type; Lens case: CL-33S hard leatherette; No. 62 soft pouch or CP-9 Plastic
Usable Teleconverter(s):
TC-200* | TC-201 | TC-14A; * Programmed AE and Shutter priority AE exposure control modes with certain Nikon SLRs may not work efficiently.; Note: Starting serial numbers for this Ai-S version Zoom-Nikkor lense was believed to have been started with 1820701.

Nikkor MF Zoom Lenses: | Main Index Page |

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Nikkor Link.jpg   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

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.