Nikon NIKKOR 200mm 1:4 Ai-S Lens (f/4)

Review of the Nikon NIKKOR 200mm 1:4 Ai-S Lens (f/4).

Overall Rating:

This lens was introduced in 1981 and discontinued in 1996 — a long run. It replaced the Ai version with a slightly smaller and lighter package. About 81,000 units were produced.

Since the considerably-larger NIKKOR-Q•C version, the optical design was improved to 5 elements in 5 groups (from 4 elements in 4 groups).

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berries, 0.135× magnification, f/5.6 (detail)

This lens has a 205° focus throw, 9 bladed diaphragm and two-meter closest focusing. Compared to the plastic lenses of today, its all-metal design is a joy to use. It takes 52mm filters which do not rotate as the lens is focused. It features a built-in hood and, like all Ai-S lenses, is multi-coated.

The bokeh from this lens is good/not too distracting.

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bokeh, f/4
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bokeh, f/5.6
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bokeh, f/8
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bokeh, f/11

Sharpness is high, but this lens does exhibit some color fringing. Notice that these images are at 3:1.

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center at f/4 (3-to-1)
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corner at f/4 (3-to-1)
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center at f/5.6 (3-to-1)
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corner at f/5.6 (3-to-1)

This lens is good for infrared photography.

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infrared, f/32

Distortion is well controlled.

Flaring is relatively well controlled.

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flaring, f/32

Diffraction has begun by f/11. This lens is sharpest at f/8 or even f/5.6.

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