Review of Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

According provided by Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI) lens is huge thanks to the store you can find a huge number of different used photographic equipment, including similar lenses.

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

and Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI). Lens shown on a film SLR camera Nikon EL2.


  1. In short
  2. History
  3. Main Specifications
  4. Assembly / management
  5. Focusing
  6. Image quality
  7. Sample Photos
  8. My personal experience with the lens
  9. Prices and alternatives
  10. Results
  11. User Comments
  12. Add your review or question on the lens

In the review, the Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI) lens I will abbreviate: Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI.

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

In short

Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI - the first autofocus of its kind, professional lens from Nikon. It has excellent build quality and nice design. Most often used for portraits. At the moment Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI is morally outdated, at least 6 new similar models have been released to replace it. Light telephoto lenses of this class are often the workhorse of any professional photographer. It is enough to pick up a Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI, take a few pictures - and you are already in love.

All dots above 'i' at once: version MKII optically a little better on the long end. Among non-motorized original lenses, I always recommend buying a version MKII or MKIII.

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)


It is believed that class 80-200 / 2.8 lenses were first implemented by Nikon. Immediately after the legendary manual Nikon Nikkor * ED 80-200mm 1: 2.8 AI-s (1982-1988) the autofocus model was released, shown in this review.

A complete and accurate list of all Nikkon Nikkor class 70(80)-(180)200/2.8 autofocus professional lenses:

  1. Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI) - November 1987 to September 1992, 16 elements in 11 groups (with 3 ED elements)
  2. Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D (MKII) - from September 1992 to 1997, 16 elements in 11 groups (with 3 ED elements)
  3. Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D (MKIII) - January 1997 to present, 16 elements in 11 groups (with 3 ED elements)
  4. Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D Silent Wave Motor (MKIV, AF-S) - from December 1998 to 2003, 18 elements in 14 groups (with 5 ED elements). There are two colors: black and gray.
  5. Nikon ED AF-S VR-Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 2.8G Vibration Reduction SWM IF (MKV, VRI) from February 2003 to January 2009, 21 elements in 15 groups (with 5 ED elements). There are two colors: black and gray.
  6. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 2.8GII ED N VR Nano Crystal Coat SWM IF (MKVI, VRII) - July 2009 to present, 21 elements in 16 groups (with 7 ED elements).
  7. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 2.8E FL ED N VR Nano Crystal Coat (MKVII, E) - from October 2016 to the present, 22 elements in 18 groups (6 ED, 1 FL, 1 HRI element). There is a rare subversion Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 2.8E FL ED N VR Nano Crystal Coat Nikon 100th Anniversary (100th Anniversary) - April 2017 to present, features a metallic gray finish with the Nikon 100th Anniversary logo).
  8. Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm 1: 2.8 VR S (MK VIII, Z, S-series) - from January 2020 to the present day. Nikon Z mirrorless version, 21 elements in 18 groups (6 ED, 2 ASP, 1 FL, 1 SR)
  9. Nikon Nikkor Z 70-180mm 1: 2.8 (MK IX,Z) - from June 2023 to the present day. Version for Nikon Z mirrorless cameras, 19 elements in 14 groups (5 ED, 3 ASP, 1 SUPER ED), diagram from Tamron 70-180mm F / 2.8 Di III VXD Model A056

The MKI version is very easy to identify among the MKII and MKIII versions by the absence of the letter 'D' in the lens name and by the presence of a four-position focusing distance stop.

I want to note that the company Nikon modifies its lenses 70 (80) -200 / 2.8 more often than other companies and it has the largest genealogical list of such photographic equipment.

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Main technical characteristics of Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8:

Review Instance Name Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 363748
Basic properties
  • FX (for Nikon FX) - lens designed for Nikon FX full-frame cameras
  • AF (Auto Focus) - support for auto focus through the camera motor
  • Non-g (Non gelded) - the presence of the aperture control ring
  • Non-d (Non distance) - without transmitting the focusing distance to the camera
  • ED (Extra low dispersion) - the use of special low-dispersion elements in the optical scheme
  • Internal zoom
  • A — M - normal focus switch
  • NIC (Nikon Super Coating) - multi-illuminated optics
  • Limiter focusing distances
  • F / 2.8 over the entire range of focal lengths
  • Design PUSH-PULL
  • M (Macro) - a special mode for macro photography (pseudo macro)
  • CRC (Close Range Correction) - image correction at small focusing distances
  • Ability to use a large number of teleconverters
Front Filter Diameter 77 mm, metal thread for filters
Focal length 80-200 mm EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 120-300 mm
Zoom ratio 2.5 x
Designed by for Nikon film cameras
Number of aperture blades 9 straight petals
Tags a window with a focusing distance in meters and feet, focal length values ​​for 80, 105, 135, 200 mm. Infrared mark (only for 80 mm)
Diaphragm from F / 2.8 over the entire range of focal lengths to F / 22. The lens has an aperture ring (NON-G - lens type) There are marks on the ring for values ​​2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. The ring rotates with clicks without intermediate values.
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 1.5 (1.4) m over the entire range of focal lengths, a maximum magnification ratio of 1: 5.9 is available at 200 mm (at 80 mm only 1:14)
The weight 1200 g
Optical design 16 elements in 11 groups. The circuit includes 3 low dispersion elements (shown in yellow on the optical diagram). The presence of such elements is indicated on the body by the abbreviation 'ED'.

Optical design Nikon 80-200 Mki

The image of the optical circuit is clickable.

Lens hood Nikon HN-28 JAPAN, screwed into the front filter thread
Transportation With case CL-43
Manufacturer country MADE IN JAPAN
Period From November 1987 to September 1992. Subsequently replaced by a model Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D (MKII)
Instruction (multilingual) Download
Price About 350 cu Prices for modern similar lenses can be found here.

The main differences Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI) and Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D (MKII):

  1. MKI has a different body design, with a retractable front during focus
  2. MKI uses a non-bayonet hood (which is screwed into the threads under the filters)
  3. MKI has a different focus distance limiter
  4. MKI has a different aperture ring lock
  5. MKI has a different, glossy finish on the frame of the case (the part where the focal lengths are plotted)
  6. MKI is unable to transmit the focus distance to the subject
  7. MKI is an older model
  8. There are other small and big differences inside the lens design.

I want to highlight that the optical circuits of MKI versions, MKII и MKIII the same, and the quality of the created image is very similar. In the general case, it is generally accepted that the pattern and color of all three versions are the same, and the differences relate only to design and sharpness in the television range.

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Assembly / management

Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI is perfectly assembled. To the touch it is a weighty and pleasant lens.

One ring is responsible for focusing and changing the focal length. To change the focal length, you should pull or push the piston ring, to focus, rotate it. Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI uses'reversible design PUSH-PULL'- the maximum value of the focal length is available when the piston ring is closest to the camera mount.

Among the design flaws, I want to highlight the fact that with prolonged use, the piston ring begins to hit hard and ring when installed in extreme positions. And the lens starts to change focal length under its own weight (heavy lenses independently move the piston when tilted).

Also, threaded rather than a bayonet hood, the absence of a tripod foot and the lack of all-weather protection (and this is a TOP professional lens) can be considered minor flaws. Nevertheless, the Japanese assembly Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI will allow it to work for many decades.

The piston ring (it is also a paired zoom and focus ring) is huge, it is easy to control.

When changing the focal length and during focusing the back lens remains motionless, which completely deprives the lens of the so-called 'vacuum cleaner effect', which can significantly increase the amount of dust that accumulates in the mirror shaft.

The lens has a manual aperture ring. To be able to control the value aperture from camera or for automatic installation aperture on modern central control valves, you need to turn the control ring to the value F / 22, after which it is fixed by a special switch, which is located to the right of the marks aperture. The value of F / 22 and the latch mark are specially highlighted in red to align them. If this is not done, then on a number of cameras, the display will display an error - 'fEE' (ring is not installed aperture) Some cameras having diaphragm rheostatallow you to control the aperture using the ring aperturebut only in metering modes exposure 'M' and 'A'. You can read more about this issue in the section on Non-G Lenses. Ring aperture rotates with clicks, the values ​​F / 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22 are plotted on it. Intermediate values ​​can only be set via the camera menu.

Unfortunately, the aperture blades are not rounded, although there are already 9 blades, they still form a hole with pronounced edges. From F / 2.8 to F / 8, the diaphragm forms a hole with notches (circular saws from bright light sources may appear in the photo).

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)


Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI focuses slow... If you set the focus limiter to the 'Full' position (full range of distances), then the travel time of the lenses from infinity to MDF and back is about 3 seconds. Focusing and refocusing times are significantly reduced when the focusing distance limiter is adjusted correctly. The focusing time from infinity to MDF and back is approximately equal to the focusing time at the lens Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D (MKII).

  • Focusing speed slightly depends on the camera used, details are described by me here
  • Focus speed slightly depends on the selected focal length

To reduce the focusing time, the lens is equipped with a focusing distance limiter. The limiter has four positions:

  1. 3m 10ft - M (convenient for close-focus photography)
  2. FULL (uses the entire range of distances from ∞ to MDF)
  3. ∞ - 3m 10ft (convenient for shooting distant subjects)
  4. ∞ - 5m 15ft (convenient for shooting distant subjects)

The limiter is made in the form of a ring, in order to move it from its place, you must first pull the ring towards the front lens, and therefore rotate to the desired position and release. The ring rotates with a click. The stop ring will not rotate if the lens is focused at a distance outside the range of the stop position. The implementation of the limiter is inconvenient - during autofocus, it can be difficult to set a new limiter value due to the fact that for this it will be necessary to switch to manual focus mode and set the desired focusing distance. In general, the logic of the limiter becomes clear in 2-3 minutes after starting work with the lens.

Near the aperture ring is the focus mode switch A — M. The switch is made using a ring with a latch. To change the position of the switch, press the latch button and turn the ring in the desired direction. In fact, this ring is part of the lens body (the part on which the focal length marks are placed).

When used on a camera Nikon D90 (with unpretentious Multi-CAM 1000 focusing system) the lens rarely makes focus errors. I had no particular problems with the focus on focus. On camera Nikon D90 I checked the presence of the back and focus front at different focusing distances and different values ​​of the focal length (infinity and MDF as well). Pictures taken using the Live View mode (which does not suffer from back / front focus) were used as a measure. In the range of 135-200 was observed slight front focus. Also, sometimes the lens wrong during focusing at close focusing distances... It is generally accepted that focusing errors at close focusing distances are the main drawback of the MK1 version.

It's important: auto focus with this lens is available only when using him on cameras with built-in motor focusing.

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras with a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will focus automatically:

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras without a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will not focus automatically:

Only auto focus and sound confirmation of focus will not work with these cameras, all other important functions, such as automatic exposure metering and automatic iris control, will work well.

You will find a lot of useful information on the types of cameras and lenses Nikon here.

During focusing, the front of the body frame (the so-called trunk) goes forward and rotates. The use of specialized filters is difficult. When changing the focal length, the front and rear lenses remain stationary (the lens uses internal zoom).

The focus ring rotates approximately 135 degrees. The focus ring is not rubberized, combined with the piston ring. The stroke of the ring is smooth. During auto focus, the focus ring rotates freely and does not affect focus. It was convenient for me to work with manual focusing on this lens.

The minimum focusing distance is 150 см over the entire range of focal lengths (distance from the camera sensor to the subject). Sometimes there is information that the MDF is 140 cm. Unfortunately, on the focusing distance scale, the minimum value is indicated only for 1.8 m, after which an orange stripe with the letter 'M' begins. This letter stands for macro mode. The maximum zoom ratio for macro mode is 1: 5.9 and is achieved at 200mm focal length. it good indicator for a similar telephoto lens. For example, version Nikon AF-S 70-200 / 2.8GII N VR can shoot with a maximum ratio of 1: 8.3 (significantly worse than Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI).

Focus Features:

  1. Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI uses an exclusive system Nikon CRC (Close Range Correction - image correction at small focusing distances), which allows you to maintain good image quality at any focusing distance. Nikon CRC It works on the principle of floating elements - during focusing, individual optical elements move independently relative to each other.
  2. During focusing, the lens and camera are quite noisy.
  3.  When the extreme focusing positions are reached, the strokes of the focusing mechanism are heard (massive lenses knock against the extreme positions). Do not worry, this is a common occurrence for massive screwdriver lenses.
  4. There is the effect of 'Focus Breathing' (changes in viewing angle during focusing).
  5. Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI has no focusing issues in Live View (tested on Nikon D90).
  6. When changing the focal length, focusing is lost.
  7. Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI does not transmit the focus distance to the subject in the camera and is a type lens Nikon NON-D.
  8. The lens does not have a hard stop (hard infinity mechanical stop) which allows you to accurately and quickly focus the lens to infinity under any external temperature conditions.
  9. Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI has window with a scale of focusing distances in meters and feet, as well as a scale mark for working in the infrared spectrum, however, only for 80 mm focal length. No depth of field scale.
  10. One of the implicit advantages of telephoto lenses with a maximum aperture of 1: 2.8 is that they can be used with teleconverters without any problems. Thus, the Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI is compatible with a large number of original Nikon teleconverters. When using a teleconverter with 2 X, the lens turns into '160-400 / 5.6', which allows automatic focusing on all Nikon digital SLR cameras. But when using teleconverters with darker televisions, automatic focusing on many cameras with a simple focusing system can cause serious difficulties.
Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Image quality

Due to the fact that this lens is long and hopelessly outdated, it most often acts as a creative lens for portraiture. He is very good for these tasks. For portraiture, it would be generally ideal if it had a more rounded aperture.

The main advantages of the created image:

  • good contrast over the entire range of focal lengths
  • good sharpness at open apertures in the range of 80-135 mm, sharpness drops noticeably in the tele-range of 135-200 mm
  • good color rendering
  • pleasant, 'artistic' hips
  • moderate chromatic aberration and distortion
  • you can get a pronounced effect of the rays of the star

The main disadvantages of the image:

  • weak macro mode
  • uneven circles in the blur zone due to straight petals aperture.
  • noticeable subsidence of sharpness at F / 2.8 in the corners and edges of the image over the entire range
  • tangible amount of artifacts while working in backlight
  • strong vignetting at 200 mm and F / 2.8
Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI). Lens shown on a film SLR camera Nikon EL2.

Sample Photos

Pictures from Nikon D90. The photos in the gallery below are shown without processing, the conversion of the source RAW files by the original Nikon ViewNX-i utility without making additional adjustments.

Download source photos in RAW format (.NEF) can be at this link.

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

My experience

I used to use the version for a long time Nikon 80-200 / 2.8D MKII, real functional differences between MKI and MKII immediately and you will not find. True, due to more stable focusing and virtually internal focusing, Nikon 80-200 / 2.8D MKII I would try to focus on the version MKII. Prices for MKI and MKII sometimes practically do not differ.

The picture from this optical circuit is very nice. For artistic purposes Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKI, MKII и MKIII fit better than the 'boring' stabilized versions.

I highly recommend having any such lens in my arsenal of almost any photographer. Personally, I love lenses with a similar focal length more than anyone else.

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Prices and alternatives

This lens can only be found in the used version. Despite their age, Nikon 80-200 / 2.8 MKIs sell for $ 300-400, depending on the condition of a particular instance. Prices for new similar lenses for Nikon cameras can be found here.

Due to the not very high cost, there are few alternatives for this lens. I would highlight the following options:

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI). The lens is shown with a non-original lens hood.


The Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI) is a remarkable lens from a bygone era. Compared to new model Nikon 70-200 / 2.8E FL ED N VR This old man looks too archaic, but we must not forget that everyone who loves the autofocus light telephones of the 80 (70) -200 / 2.8 class began exactly with this Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI). I recommend it as a good, proven portrait lens for little money (but it's better to find a version MKII).

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 89, on the topic: Review of Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)

  • Eugene

    This mk1 was purchased. Having chased it a little, I can say - at 200mm from 2,8 on a dx matrix - a soft picture and slightly more soft than we would like. At 3,5-4 the situation changes significantly.
    The rest is good, heavy, manual autofocus on budget cameras :)

  • anonym

    Help determine between 80 mll and 200 85j. The picture will be worse by 1.8mm than by fix 80

  • Nicholas

    Hello, I want to put a big lens hood on it from version 3 on it, I decided to buy a reverse petal lens with ali, leave the ring itself screwed in and use it as a adapter for a large lens hood, it turns out what you think? Or can there be any other options, help

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Hi, I found this lens at a ridiculous price, the seller writes that everything is fine with it, but the front glass is embarrassing, is it missing or should it be so? if you compare with the photos in your note, the front part looks different, please tell me

    • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

      a photo

      • Michael

        It looks similar in the above photo. Look - the front glass is not flush with the cut of the case. If it looks different, there may be another version. It's not clear from this photo

        • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

          there is still such a picture, it’s not clear at all, asked for additional photos, is silent for now, but I’m guessing

          • Oleg

            Of course IMHO, but it seems that the front lens is really stupidly missing, hence the ridiculous price. I personally would not buy one.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Hello. And do not tell me the difference in the picture between Nikon Nikkor * ED 80-200mm 1: 2.8 AI-s (non-autofocus) and autofocus versions. It's just that a used non-autofocus version is more expensive than autofocus.

  • Patrick Delehanty

    Great write up of a very nice lens. I have had this lens since the early 80s. Back in the film only days this was quite the telephoto tool. I agree with everything stated in the article and appriciate the author's discussion of what by many is considered a lens of historical interest only. I would like to add one other thought. With crop sensor cameras (even the new 24 megapixel models) this lens is still quite relavent. No, it is not the same as the new 70-200 2.8 versions but it does have a unique character. It is one of those lenses that just seems to have something that other lenses do not. Just so you know where I am coming from,the Nikkor 17-55 2.8 (another older lens) has that same special quality for me. With the prices so low on really good examples, give it a try. You just may feel the same as I do about this old friend.

    • B. R. P.

      indeed. You're right.

    • Yuriy

      probachte, but on what kind of movie did you write food? you can bathe the technique, but not the whole object, more in a new way there is a lot of fungus. Also, do not forget about gifts, if you happen to pay, and other minor payments.

      • B. R. P.

        I suspect that she is Bulgarian)

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