Get Updates Straight To Your EMail!

LENS PORN: Nikkor-Q C. 200mm f/4 (Pre-AI Version)

Nikkor-Q C 200mm f/4 (Pre-AI Version)
Nikkor-Q C 200mm f/4 (Pre-AI Version)

First Published: 17 October 2017
Updated: 23 November 2017 (Added new photo/video samples)

Nikkor prime lenses are as good as they say, excellent sharpness and good tonality/microcontrast as this Nikkor-QC 200mm f/4 shows. It's already sharp at f/4 and really jolted me when I had my very first shots with this lens. Some other 200mm's that I've used in the past were very soft, you can only get decent images by f/8!

The version I have has a marking of 'C' (C=multicoated). The C version has superior quality over the earlier non-C version, according to many users. The C version also has a shorter minimum focusing distance of 2 meters versus the 2.5 of the non-C version.

The longer the focal length, the thinner the depth of field, which means you can easily get blurry backgrounds with this lens even down to f/8. This lens would be nice to use on full frame cameras for portraiture. On DX, it's really a bit tight even when shooting at 3 meters, but it would also make excellent candid shots.

The build quality of this lens is very solid, and I also like it than the later versions because it maintains the classic Nikkor lens look -- its beautiful chrome body and metal knurled focus ring. The built-in retractable hood is also a welcome feature here for shooting outdoor. Overall, a light and compact 200mm of its kind.

Really, the only downside I could think about this lens is that it only has 7 blades. When you shoot stopped down, the bokeh balls in the background will take on a heptagon shape. Ugly!

Conclusion: A lens with excellent image quality, great resolution and clarity wide open at f/4. It can make an interesting lens for shooting candids or when your subject is far away and can't see you, so you will also enjoy this for street/nature photography.



(C = multicoated)

Years in Production

Versions Introduced
1961 - The original Nikkor-Q 200mm f/4
1974 - Updated with 'C', multicoated but same optical formula
1977 - AI Version (new optical formula)
1981 - AI-s Version

Focal Length
Used on FX = 200mm
Used on DX = 300mm

Minimum Focusing Distance
2 meters (C version)
Earlier versions were 3.3 meters

Focus Throw
From infinity to 5 meter = 45 degrees
5 meters to 2 meters = 180 degrees

Filter Thread Size

Aperture Run
f/4 - f/32 in full stop clicks
(7 blades)

All metal and glass build,
with retractable lens hood.

Made in Japan

Nikkor-Q C. 200mm f/4 (Pre-AI Version)

Aperture ring modified to fit cameras with the AI tab.

Me holding the lens as props.



Shot with Nikon D5200
Profile - Standard, Neutral
White Balance - Cloudy, Preset

Nikkor-Q C 200mm f/4

All photos here are unedited/raw!

Flower Shots (Bokeh Test)

Shooting at night

Nikkor-Q C. 200mm f/4 (Pre-AI Version)


Nikkor-Q C. 200mm f/4 (Pre-AI Version)

Infinity (Landscape)

These were shot from a wobbly bridge late afternoon. Slow shutter speed was used to allow more light, resulting in some of the shots having vibration blur.

Nikkor-Q C. 200mm f/4 (Pre-AI Version)

Close Objects

At f/4, 2 meters

Portraiture (Outdoor)

Portraiture (Indoor)

My indoor shots at f/8!
To accommodate the slow aperture, I had to shot at 1/30 on a tripod.

Nikkor-Q C 200mm f/4 (Pre-AI Version)

The lens was pointed at the mirror. 

This at f/5.6... see the camera in front of me was blurry?
That's why I needed f/8


# # # E N D # # #


Post a Comment


Contact Form


Email *

Message *