Micro-Nikkor AF 200mm f/4 D ED - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
Page 1 of 3
Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Peter-Cornelius Spaeth!
The Micro-Nikkor AF 200mm f/4 D ED is a fairly old lens introduced back in 1993
and it is among the methusalems within the current Nikon lens line-up.
The history of Nikon´s long Micro-Nikkors dates back quite a bit longer (to 1978).
Typical for lenses of early 90s the design is still fairly conservative
with relatively few elements and groups - certainly a good thing regarding long term
reliability. Obviously it is a full frame lens but, as usual, we will have a look
how it performs on an APS-C body (Nikon D200) where its field-of-field of the lens is
equivalent to 300mm.
The Nikkor is a long but fairly lean lens (see below). As the name implies it
is a macro lens with a min. focus distance of 0.5m resulting in a max. object magnification
of 1:1 and a min. working distance of min. ~26cm to the front element. At 1:1 the max.
aperture decreases to f/5.3. The adjusted aperture value is displayed in the viewfinder.
The build quality of the Nikkor is superb thanks to an outer barrel made of metal.
This has naturally also an impact on the weight which is quite heft at around 1190g.
The broad, rubberized focus ring operates very smooth without being damped.
Formally the Nikkor has no internal focus (the inner lens tube moves) but the
physical length remains constant and the lens front does not rotate.
The lens hood is an optional items despite the very high price tag of the lens - a
bit disappointing especially because the inner tube isn´t always deeply recessed.
Nikon did also implement a non-detachable tripod mount. Certainly a good idea for a
better balance when used on a tripod.
The Nikkor uses an independent ring (rather stiff) for switching between
AF and manual focusing - a dated design compared current AF-S lenses.
Typical for these lenses it has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted
drive screw operated by the camera. As a result the AF generates a moderate
degree of noise. The AF speed is very slow due to the extremely long focus
path. A focus limiter is available to prevent excessive focus hunting when using the
lens for conventional (non-macro) photography. Even so the lens is no speed daemon here.
|Optical construction||13 elements in 8 groups inc. 2 ED elements|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|min. focus distance||0.5m (max. magnification ratio 1:1)|
|Filter size||62mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||Nikon HN-30 (optional), barrel-shaped, screw-in type|
|Other features||Lens provides distance (D) information|