Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI). Review from the reader Radozhiva

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI) lens review specifically for Radozhiva, prepared Alexey Ovoshchnikov.

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Hello to the readers of the blog! This time I prepared a review of an interesting and rare lens for Nikon cameras and I want to add this information to the site’s knowledge box.

I recently got this lens, but already participated in the shooting and immediately really liked it! This is an old fixed-focus macro lens, the full name is Nikon Micro Nikkor 200 mm f / 4 IF Ai.

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)


  • Optical design: 9 elements in 6 groups. View diagram view
  • Focal lengths: 200 mm in full frame (300 mm for Nikon DX).
  • F / 4 maximum aperture
  • Minimum Aperture f / 32
  • Field of view: 11.9 °
  • Number of aperture blades: 9
  • Minimum focusing distance: 71 cm
  • Maximum magnification: 0,5 (1/2)
  • Autofocus drive: no (manual focus only)
  • Thread Diameter: 52 mm
  • Weight: 823 gram
  • Length: 180 mm
  • hood: telescopic retractable fixed.
  • Years of production of this version of AI: from 1978 to 1982 (version from review)
  • Years of production AI-S versions: from 1982 to 2005 (almost the same lens)
Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

So, consider the lens and its history in more detail. You may already have noticed that the lens has been discontinued a long time ago and belongs to the archived Nikon Nikkor optics models. We can also note a not very long release time of this lens, only 5 years. Many models of his optics Nikon produces and successfully sells ten, fifteen, or even longer! Let's look back and try to understand what this lens turned out to be, what it gave to users back in 1978, and for what and why it was replaced.

It is a fact that this is Nikon's first 200 mm macro lens. Searches did not help me find an older Nikon macro 200. If someone still finds an older archival model of this type, then write about it in the comments.

The second similar lens (Nikon Micro Nikkor 200 mm f / 4 IF AI-S) Practical copies the main characteristics of this lens and can be considered together with my AI version from this review. In fact, the well-known English-speaking photographer Ken Rockwell did the same in his review. The difference is that it has a newer version (AI-S) and he adds the old (AI) version to the review, and I do the opposite. It follows from this that this lens was not produced for 5 years, but for as many as 27 years! From 1978 to 2005. Agree an impressive deadline!

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

An interesting fact is that Nikon, offering this Micro Nikkor 200 mm f / 4, expanded its line of macro lenses with newer and better models with new optical circuits and autofocus. I was expanding it, and this old lens was slowly selling too.

As for the cost of this lens, I will give general data. The e-bay website is a fairly objective source of information on the prices of old lenses. This site is accessible to everyone and there is always everything there. You can purchase a copy in good condition from $ 150 + shipping cost.

Why did this lens occupy its specific niche for so long and not be discontinued? This is the picture and ergonomics of this lens, which determine its scope of use. From what I saw with my own eyes and received as a result of working with this lens, I can conclude that this macro lens is not so macro by modern standards. The resolution is certainly good, but below modern professional standards. For a long time there is a super modern Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 105 mm f / 2.8 G IF ED VR, and it is better suited for operational work! With it, you have autofocus for quick and most important accurate focusing, with it you have an image stabilizer that prevents blur, the optical circuit has special elements that make the picture technically better. Once upon a time there is a Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 200 mm f / 4 D IF ED with autofocus and special low-dispersion elements in the optical circuit. It should also be noted that the prices of modern Nikon macro lenses with focal lengths from 105 mm, even in the secondary market, do not fall below $ 500, and not every amateur can afford them.

So what's the catch of the Nikon Micro Nikkor 200 mm f / 4 IF Ai, if not the killer sharpness that many expect primarily from a macro lens? The first chip in the picture in the portrait. Yes ... it’s in the portrait. In order not to be unfounded, I give several portrait photographs as an example.

This lens spiritualizes the picture with its smoothness and this is the main feature.

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Usability on modern Nikon cameras

The second feature is ergonomics, a bit unusual, but still very convenient. It is convenient to use the lens as much as it can be convenient in principle with a manual body fix.

I used this lens paired with Nikon D600 и D800 that is, we see the picture in full frame as intended by the developer and without any crop. There are still photos from cropped Nikon D300. The lens always behaves completely adequately, and there are no glitches and errors in working with the camera. Exposure metering always suits me, the aperture runs correctly and closes to the set value.

The Nikon Micro Nikkor 200 mm f / 4 IF Ai lens has an amazing manual focus ring. It is simply incredibly smooth, you can rotate in both directions with minimal effort. What you could understand how smooth it is, the easiest way to imagine that you rotate the air ... the efforts are just miserable. However, nothing is loose and does not go by itself, the ring always remains in the position in which you tuned it. I haven’t seen a single lens with such an ultra-light focus focus ring! And this despite the fact that the focus ring is wide and comfortable. The location of the focus ring is such that it is convenient for you to control the position of the lens, and you will avoid unnecessary blur. One turn at infinity (hard stop) is well implemented.

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

In this photo, the lens is presented without its standard tripod foot. Unfortunately, the lens came to me without it. The lens is light enough for its 200 mm and with a camera D600 Does not outweigh or create inconvenience. Of course, with modern cropped cameras like Nikon D3300 and canon D100 the lens will outweigh. This lens is very easy to install and works great on any Canon DSLR! All you need is a simple adapter called AI - EOS, that is, the Nikon-Canon adapter. I purchased such an adapter on the AliExpress website.

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

So, a gallery of photos and my best wishes to readers.


Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI)

If you have something to discuss, then write in the comments, for this you do not need any registration on the site. The review was prepared by Alexey Ovoshchnikov.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 64, on the topic: Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 200mm 1: 4 (AI). Review from the reader Radozhiva

  • Victor

    The author of the test made me laugh very much with a proposal for shooting portraits! Yes, of course, nails can be hammered in with pliers, but ... why ??? This is MICRONICCOR and that says it all. Of course, the author is free to use it at his own discretion, which he demonstrated by photographing the faces of young girls. And you, a young man, did not try to photograph them with ancient, wrinkled, 90-year-old women ??? Highly recommend ! Then you will understand what MicroNikkor is and what its purpose is. And, second. All the same, it is very incorrect to draw parallels between the tested lens and a motorized, modern 105.

    • zengarden

      A female portrait is not necessarily the softness and smoothness of all the elements on the skin. Sometimes you just need to emphasize them. Yes, especially for the "ancient, wrinkled." Well, for a male portrait all the more. Get out of the narrow world of stereotypes, and it will be easier for you.

      • Victor

        I accept your photos for viewing ... even stereotypical ones ... after - we will talk. Good luck!

        • Arkady Shapoval

          zengarden is right by and large. I have shot portraits for makrushnik more than once and there is nothing criminal there. Photography is a very large field, there are many views, methods and techniques in it. My examples for classic macrushniki: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 etc.

    • Oleg

      You have a funny look. You, apparently, truly believe that hand cream, for example, can be used only for hands, and in no case for the face, legs and other parts of the body. It may not be a very good comparison, but I think you understood the idea. For more than a year I’ve been photographing portraits on the Tokina Macro 100 F2.8 D. It works wonderfully.

  • andrey

    if suddenly someone needs a native tripod mount for this lens (rarely comes across separately on sale), that is, this is unnecessary.

    • Konstantin

      How to buy?

  • Paul

    I didn't find it on your blog, I got a copy on the secondary: AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f / 4D IF-ED, really a masterpiece.

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