Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5

Hello, everybody! It’s Spring now and it signals the beginning of Nature’s cycle. Sakura is at full-bloom earlier than usual this year and nothing heralds the coming of spring here in Japan better than seeing sakura trees blooming. It’s a time for festivals and people go out and enjoy life under these beautiful trees, forgetting what went past in the last year and looking forward to a new beginning. Speaking of beginnings and originations, I will show you guys a special lens that started a whole-new class of lenses which we still use and enjoy up to this day in one form or another. Read the article to know what this is.


We’re going to look into one of the most important lenses in modern photography and it’s non-other than the Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5 Auto lens! Ever wonder where and how the 70-200mm focal range came from? Well, it all started with this very lens. It began the popular “small” telephoto zoom for professionals and the latest 70-200/2.8 zooms can all be traced back to this lens as the originator of this lens class. Before this thing came out, the telephoto zooms were all big lenses that you can barely hand-hold for a whole day. It gave us all the freedom to bring a telephoto zoom and shoot with it the whole day while still being able to do the same the next day. As expected, this became a hit and everybody who shot sports, news, weddings and everything else got one. Sure, the current lenses of the 70-200mm line have wider aperture, autofocus, VR and everything else but the basic underlying concept is till the same and it hasn’t changed much since this lens came to be.

IMG_2281Just look at all that battle scars. It’s a very tough lens and it can surely be used to maim a person! The last zoom lens made that’s closest to the Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.5 is the Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f4 Ai-S but its build pales in comparison to this lens even if the Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f4 Ai-S is considered by many to be a tough lens. The scale at the sleeve is beautifully-made, it’s a real work-of-art. I love Nikon’s lenses because the scales are usually colorful and this make it easier for me to read it. It’s all these small attention to details that convinced me to go Nikon years ago.

IMG_2738This is how it looks like at 200mm. Notice that the overall length of the lens didn’t change much. This is very important when shooting with a tripod. The filter size is also standard 52mm and it’s amazing how the engineers calculated this lens without having to make it larger so that pros can still keep using their 52mm filter collection. This was a big thing because many manufacturers never cared about filter sizes in those days. These days, it’s sad that Nikon didn’t stick to this guideline as tight as they used to so we now have 82mm being used for some of the professional lenses instead of the familiar 77mm.

IMG_2893To give you an idea of how compact this lens is, here it is with my Nikon D7200. It was made very well and it feels dense but balanced despite being long. This lens also uses the popular “one-touch” focusing/zoom ring which I call the “pumper” for obvious reasons. It was very popular because it’s convenient but zooming precisely can be a bit of a problem because you can accidentally change the focal length as you focus. Nobody makes lenses with this design anymore but I know many who loved this because it was faster to operate for manual focus lenses. It needs some getting used to if you have never used one. People who got introduced to photography even as late as the ’90s will find this layout a very nostalgic. I love this lens a lot because it’s a “pumper”. I wouldn’t want to use it if it has separate rings for focusing and zooming because that will just slow me down. Originally, this lens never came with an Ai-ring so you can’t use this with Nikon cameras that have the Ai-coupling tab without any modifications but some were later modified by Nikon or other shops with an Ai-ring just like my lens here. If you want to learn more about how to adapt your lens to be Ai-compliant, read my article on Ai conversions. To be honest, if you aren’t a collector then I will just save myself a lot of headache and just find one with an Ai-ring installed. This will save you the time and effort just to make it work with your modern Nikon cameras and these are pretty cheap and plentiful these days anyway.

Here are some sample photos that I took to show you how this lens performs. We usually see a set of pictures shot at various apertures to see how a lens performs when the iris is set to various sizes but we’re not going to do that now because there’s no point since this lens is already slow at f/4.5 so stopping it down won’t change the character of the lens by much. Stopping this lens down does improve resolution, sharpness and vignetting. This is going to be great when you shoot in a studio with strobes and the lens shot at around f/8 or so. This is a very sharp lens and is begging to be shot wide-open.

(Click to enlarge)

The pictures above should give you an idea of what’s the difference between 80mm and 200mm. The compression at 200mm gives your subject a very flat look. The lens is sharp even at f/4.5 as you can see in the 2nd photo. There are hints of magenta but not a lot. It’s also capable of producing decent-looking bokeh but you shouldn’t expect much from it in this regard because this lens is not a lens that’s calculated for that purpose.

(Click to enlarge)

Here’s another set showing the differences between 80mm and 200mm. The focal lengths are convenient for shooting a variety of things. 80mm is wide enough for lots of things so people use this lens to take environmental photos, too. The 200mm end is convenient for taking detail photos or the subject’s face in a tight composition. This is a versatile zoom, a perfect lens for any event and that’s why pros always have a zoom lens of this type with them. It’s a must-have lens these days.

(Click to enlarge)

The lens can exhibit some vignetting or falloff wide-open as you can see in the pictures above, just stop it down to f/5.6 of this bothers you. The good thing is that the bokeh is not bad at all and you don’t see any ugly super-imposed lines when shooting foliage or twigs. The downside is that there is some smudging in the bokeh as you can see in the 1st photo. Again, you don’t shoot with this lens to get beautiful bokeh, it’s a lens for convenience.

HAW_2177Being able to focus close is an added bonus. This is very useful for weddings when you’re going to take pictures of the rings or the cake being sliced. I would prefer that it focus a little bit closer but it seems that I am asking for too much from a lens design this old.

HAW_2198Again, sharpness and contrast is very good wide-open. Focusing when shooting moving subjects can be a challenge because you don’t get thin-enough DOF in the viewfinder. It’s helpful to use a split prism but a lens this slow will just black-out the split prism so a nice course-ground matte screen is more ideal for use with this lens. Only experience, timing and patience can give you perfectly-focused pictures when shooting moving subjects.

Small pictures compressed for the web like what we have here don’t do justice to these so just trust me when I say that these look great when viewed at 1:1 with a monitor.

(Click to enlarge)

Here are some pictures of the “Garbage Rangers” doing their skit on teaching kids how to dispose of their rubbish properly. Action shots are difficult to focus with this lens even on a sunny day just like this because there’s not enough separation. People used to shoot lots of sports with this lens even indoor ones. The technique is to focus on something and just anticipate a shot. You can track your subjects with this lens if your good enough. I used to be pretty good at this but lack of practice and poor eyesight made sure that I lost shots.

(Click to enlarge)

The pictures above should show you the great utility of this lens. You can just shoot about everything with it and the results are great. Patience is the key to using this lens. I always enjoy shooting with this lens because it’s compact and not too heavy even when slung on my neck along with a camera. It’s very easy to see from these pictures why so many love this lens and why many still use these well into the ’90s (even to this day).

Let’s now see some pictures that were taken using film. It’s importnt that we see how the lens works in both film and digital because they render differently. This will help give us a better view on how this lens performs. Since this lens was made to work with film it is going to help us see how this lens is supposed to perform under its intended medium. I’m not a purist but I’m interested in seeing how a lens renders under the context that it was made. I took these pictures with a Nikon F4 and Fujifilm Industrial 100. Please pardon me for not nailing the focus on some of the pictures as I was using the wrong focusing screen and this lens has a rather long focus throw so it’s hard to track a subject up-close if you’re using the longer-end of the lens.

FH000010Amazing rendering with film. It feels like you’re viewing pictures from the past. It’s nice and sharp even wide-open and the grain helps give the picture some character. This lens is nice for candid photos such as this because 200mm has enough reach so you can take pictures from a distance.

(Click to enlarge)

The nice quality of the bokeh is great for portraiture. I love this lens’ subtle character, it’s not going to render anything too harsh as to make anythng stand-out too much. The nice and smooth transition from what’s focused to what’s blurred is subtle and not abrupt at all. You won’t get hit by a “wall-of-focus” like what many modern lenses tend to exhibit. I just saw some samples from some of Zeiss‘ latest offerings and while they’re excellent the rendering feel off to me because they seem over-corrected. The bokeh quality, colors and sharpness look great but it still looked un-natural to me. I am not saying that their lenses are bad it’s just that they don’t appeal to me in some way. Maybe I’m just weird.

(Click to enlarge)

Here’s the rest of the set. Please click on them so you can see the bigger versions and see how nice the details are even wide-open and how the lens renders beautifully with film. I like this lens a lot despite not being able to auto-focus and it doesn’t have VR. If you are confident with your skills then those things don’t mean much to you as long as you are able to shoot with a reasonable shutter speed and focus on your subjects when they are not moving too much. This is a great lens in a studio setting because you can control your subject and lighting to a certain extent, giving you more time to adjust and think,

This lens will not be well-loved by many if it didn’t perform. In other words, this lens is a great lens in terms of sharpness, contrast and almost anything else. It’s safe to think that this lens is as close to perfect when it came out in 1969 and it made a huge impact and it stayed in production longer and sold very well in various versions. It was a big success in terms of engineering and marketing, one of the rare occasions that engineers, marketing and accounting were all happy – a real trifecta! It wasn’t cheap when it was sold new but we can now get these for very little money, I got mine for less that what I spent yesterday at a curry shop! This is really great value as far as I am concerned and there is very little reason not to buy and enjoy this lens. If you found a great sample, just buy it! You’ll soon get used to the difficulty of shooting with a long zoom lens without VR and autofocus, it’s going to teach you the discipline and patience that photographers were known for a long time ago. Your click will be more deliberate and you will learn to time your shots so your subjects end up where you want them to be. Having less is more sometimes and you will not have any excuses when you made a mistake. Good luck hunting for one of these.

Before We Begin:

If this is the first attempt at opening a lens then I suggest that you read my previous posts regarding screws & driversgrease and other things. Please also read what I wrote about the tools that you will need in order to fix your Nikkors.

I highly suggest that you read these primers before you begin (for beginners):

Reading these primers should lessen the chance of ruining your lens if you are a novice. Before opening up any lens, always look for other people who have done so in Youtube or the internet. Information is scarce, vague and scattered (that is why I started this) but you can still find some information if you search carefully.

I highly recommend that you also read my working with helicoids post because this is very important and getting it wrong can ruin your day. If I can force you to read this, I would. It is that important!

For more advanced topics, you can read my fungus removal post as a start. This post has a lot of useful information here and there and it will be beneficial for you to read this.

Disassembly (Optics Extraction):

As usual, our aim is to remove the glass first before working on the lens barrel. The zoom lenses can be a bit more tricky in this regard because they have complicated lens barrel designs compared to the simple ones used on prime lenses. Working on this lens is a bit annoying because grime, glue and bad lubricants used by those who had worked on this lens can make it difficult to take apart. You’ll also want to use a rubber glove to help with gripping things and make things easier for you to turn. Some screws are also difficult to remove so you’ll need drivers that fit the slot perfectly. This lens isn’t for beginners since it’s complicated and you will need a little bit of know-how to put things back together.

IMG_2739The front bezel is secured by this small set screw. Carefully remove it using the right type of precision screwdriver.

IMG_2740The bezel (name ring) can then be unscrewed. This is sometimes secured with glue, drop some alcohol on the thread if it won’t come-off easily. A rubber glove will also help give you the grip and friction needed to unscrew this.

IMG_2741Removing the bezel will give you access to the front elements cell. Use a lens spanner to remove it. The outer pair of slots is for the front optical cell’s housing while the inner one is for the front element.

IMG_2742Be careful with your spanners so you won’t scratch the front element.

IMG_2743The front optical cell/assembly can now be removed. There is a thick brass shim here, it’s important that you don’t lose or damage this as this ensures that the front optical cell is properly spaced.

IMG_2744The 2nd optical cell sits deep within the lens but you can bring it closer to you by turning the lens or by zooming it.

IMG_2745Now that it’s closer, you can use a lens spanner to remove it by inserting the tips in these slots. If your spanners are too thick to reach it, you will want to make a tool that will help you reach it. Read my guide on how to make a pipe-key alternative to know about it.

IMG_2746You only want to loosen the housing and then use a small screwdriver to turn it until you can extract it after it’s loose. This way you won’t damage the slot. As you can see, the slot is scratched and it’s an indication that somebody else has worked on this lens.

IMG_2747Extract it with a lens sucker and be careful not to drop it in the process.

IMG_2748The 2nd optical cell also has a brass shim, store it in a safe place.

IMG_2749The floating element sits really deep within the lens barrel.

IMG_2789You can bring it closer by zooming and then use a long set of lens spanner to remove it. It can be tricky but it can be done with the right tools. Extract it with a lens sucker like you did with the 2nd elements assembly.

IMG_2750Now that you are done with the front part of the lens, store all of the optics in a safe and clean place. Now it’s time to work on the rear part of the lens. Remove the bayonet with by removing these screws. If you are new to this, be sure to read my article on screws. It’s very important that you read this because many people get stuck with stripped screws.

IMG_2751Take note that one of the screws is shorter than the rest. Remember which hole this came from because you will need to put it back in that same hole later.

IMG_2752The bayonet can now be removed. Note that there is a set of brass shims here for spacing and you don’t want to damage or lose any of these. Clean these properly as well.

IMG_2753Before you remove the aperture ring you must remove these 2 screws first or else you’ll damage the delicate coupling fork underneath it.

IMG_2754Once the screws are gone you can now safely remove the aperture ring.

IMG_2757With the aperture ring gone, you now have enough space to remove the rear optical cell with a lens spanner. Be sure not to scratch the rear element with your tools!

IMG_2759Just loosen it with your spanner and then unscrew it off with your fingers. You can then pull the entire housing off and store this in a safe and clean place.

I dedicated a whole section for this because there’s a lot of disassembly needed just to get these out. This is normal with zoom lenses and it’s something that you should get used to. Mechanical lenses are simpler than the electronic ones made today but they are good for studying how things work. Let’s now begin with dismantling the lens barrel.

Disassembly (Lens Barrel):

This lens was made in an era where things were made to last. You will find that all of the parts here were made very well. As far as longer zooms are concerned, this is as basic as it gets. You will need plenty of solvents like alcohol or acetone because many of the parts here were glued at the factory. If something feels stuck, just place a small drop of solvent to the threads and let it soften the glue first before you attempt to unscrew it again. It can take several applications so you will have to be patient. It can take several minutes up to several hours to work depending on the part and you will need to apply solvent again if it has dried-up just to keep it moist. Make sure to study how the mechanisms work before you dismantle it. This will help you understand how things work and it will aid you later during reassembly. You will also need to take plenty of notes and make a few marks just to help remind you how things should align. Zoom lenses are complicated and the parts should align precisely in order for them to work properly.

IMG_2763This picture was taken before I disassembled anything. While the lens is at infinity, take not of the position of all the components and use the centerline of the lens as a reference. Taking notes like this is essential and it will help you later during reassembly.

IMG_2756To remove the fluted grip, you will have to remove this little set screw.

IMG_2765The grip along with its collar should come off easily just like this.

IMG_2766This is how tiny the set screw is. Be sure not to lose it.

IMG_2769This is how things should look like at this point. The next thing we need to do is remove the focusing ring. It’s not easy depending on the state of the lens.

IMG_2764The focusing ring is secured with a big set screw. You will want to be careful with this if it is rusty because it can be easily ruined. Note that the grip is still in the picture and forget that fact for now.

IMG_2772You don’t have to remove the rubber on the focusing ring. I just removed it because the lens is dirty and I wanted to clean this part very well bi soaking it in an alcohol bath. The focusing ring is usually sealed with lacquer or contact cement. I applied some MEK to the threads because the bond was very strong so I needed something strong to soften it. The solvent can also be dropped into the hole of the set screw and let capillary action take the solvent to the rest of the thread.

IMG_2774Once you are confident that the glue is soft enough, unscrew the focusing ring until it is removed. I am not sure if this is a left-hand thread wherein you will need to turn it in the other direction in order to loosen it so just figure it out yourself and tell me later.

IMG_2776You will have to remove these screws in order to remove the sleeve of the front barrel. It is also important to note that the sleeve can sometimes be stuck due to dried-up grease so  just apply some naphtha to soften it if yours is stuck. Also note that the dimple for the set screw of the focusing ring is visible in this picture. You will need to align this to the screw hole of the set screw and make sure that the set screw sinks into this dimple.

IMG_2777The sleeve should slide-off just like this.

IMG_2778Now that the sleeve is gone, you can now access what’s underneath it. Loosen this roller but don’t remove it just yet. Removing it will allow you to remove the front barrel and it’s important that you take some notes first before you remove it.

IMG_2768Take plenty of notes and measurements before you remove this helicoid key. Removing it will allow you to unscrew the front barrel off and you do not want to do that before you take some pictures and notes first. Only when you are satisfied with your references can you remove the screws securing this and remove this helicoid key and that roller from the previous step.

IMG_2767You can then remove the 3 screws around the lip of the front barrel. I know that they’re not in the pictures for some time now, I think I removed those earlier but I forgot to take pictures of the process. These screws secure the front barrel to the helicoid underneath it so you will have to take some notes of its position so you can put it back correctly later.

IMG_2779This is how the front barrel and the helicoid should come-off. Remember to mark where the helicoids separated. This is very important because if you got it wrong then the lens will not focus to infinity properly. To know how to work with helicoids properly, be sure to read my article on how to work with helicoids to prevent you from getting stuck.

IMG_2787Remove this roller so you can remove the thrust cam.

IMG_2792Remember how this should be oriented before you remove it. You can also study how it moves so you will know what this thing does. This will help you understand how things work and will aid you later during reassembly.

IMG_2780Carefully unscrew this screw. These screws are easily stripped so make sure that you are using he correct driver that fits the slot perfectly and use the correct technique. Glue and other can make this thing stuck. A soldering iron can be very helpful in softening it.

IMG_2781You will need to grease the polished part of the screw later during reassembly. Only use a very small amount of grease here. See how dirty the inner barrel is? That’s caused by old grease and fungi. Using the wrong type of lubricants can also cause this as germs eat and secrete acidic stuff on the surface of the metal.

IMG_2784Now that the screw is gone, you can now remove the focusing barrel. That screw acts as a pin to couple this to the inner parts so they move in-sync as you zoom the lens.

IMG_2793The inner surface of the focusing/zoom barrel is lined with felt. This material acts like a gasket to protect the lens from incoming dust as you zoom the lens in or out. When this felt lining gets worn, you get one of the classic problems of push-pull lenses – creeping. It happens because the felt lining is not hugging the main barrel of the lens anymore so the mere weight of the zoom/focusing barrel will cause it to move when you orient the lens at an angle. This can be troublesome when you are shooting with a tripod.

IMG_2782This is the stopper that prevents the helicoid from turning beyond its range as they key is going to hit this and prevent it from making a full rotation. Remove it by unscrewing the 2 big screws here. These can be tough to remove so use plenty of solvents. Old grease and germs tend to accumulate under this thing so I will need to clean it very well.

IMG_2783See what I mean? Just look at all that dirt. This looks like some cheap lithium grease that the Japanese love to use and is simply called “white grease” colloquially. It’s cheap grease for plumbers to use for your toilets and other stuff and I will never use something like it for lenses. They are cheap that’s why they’re popular amongst the DIY crowd.

IMG_2785You can now finally remove the sleeve. It’s being secured by these 3 little screws.

IMG_2786These things usually collect plenty of dirt underneath and it’s always a must to clean the underside of these things. The beautiful scale needs to be properly cleaned so that all the beautiful colors painted on it will look vibrant again. Just scrub it with a soft brush and a little bit of soapy water. You may want to read my article of repainting lens engravings.

IMG_2775You will want to replace all of the felt lining in the lens. These things are breeding spots for germs. Replace them with a material with the proper thickness. If it’s too thick, it will make the lens hard to turn. If it’s too thin then it’s no good at all.

See how dirty it was? Don’t make the same mistake as the previous guy who worked with this lens. Use the correct type of lubricants and only apply it where it’s needed. Do not be tempted to apply too much because all you need is a thin film of it in most cases. Do not apply to much grease to the helicoids because its proximity to the front elements group is going to make the grease migrate to it when the grease goes bad. If your lens is as dirty as mine, you will need to replace all of the felt linings, too. You can go to a milliner’s shop to look for the proper material. Sourcing materials aren’t always easy but you will need to invest plenty of time for this.

Disassembly (Optics):

Taking apart the optics isn’t really hard. Most of the optics are housed in their own casing and you will need to open only the ones that needs cleaning. Some of the parts here were glued so you will need to do the solvent trick again. If they were sealed with paint then it is important to use something that can dissolve the paint. Be extremely careful with the direction of each individual elements when you put them back together. If you put them back facing the wrong way it can damage your lens when you put it back together or you will end up with a lens that focuses weird or a lens that can give you some weird look as if you were living in a Yellow Submarine. If this is your intent then go ahead with it.

IMG_2831The front element can be removed by unscrewing its retention ring with a lens spanner. It is sometimes secured with black paint so be careful and soften it first with turpentine.

IMG_2832Carefully extract the front element with a lens sucker.

IMG_2833The 2nd and 3rd elements are cemented together as a doublet. It’s secured with its own retention ring. Carefully remove it like the one in the previous step.

IMG_2834You can then carefully extract it with a lens sucker. Make sure to note which direction is facing the front so you will never put it back facing the wrong way.

IMG_2828The elements here can be removed by unscrewing the baffle off.

IMG_2829Extract it with a lens sucker and as usual, never forget to note its direction.

IMG_2830Theres another element here. Don’t put these back in the wrong order.

IMG_2790Time to work on the rear optical cell. This element can be cleaned without separating it from its housing so this makes things easier for you.

IMG_2791Don’t forget this brass spacer. Never lose or damage this thing accidentally.

IMG_2788You can access what’s inside this assembly better when you remove this barrel.

IMG_2762The rear optical assembly is a single sealed unit. The elements here needs to be spaced in a very precise way so only open these when you have to. If you need to open yours then you will need to take notes on how many turn are needed to remove something and then take some notes on how they should be oriented by making small marks that will help in making alignment easier during reassembly. These holes are convenient for dropping a little bit of solvent to soften any glue or to use as access holes for a screwdriver.

IMG_2760Here are some more of these holes. If any part is stuck, the first thing you need to do is to look for these holes so you can place a small drop of solvent into it. Be careful not to put too much or else it may reach a cemented element and ruin the optical cement.

IMG_2902Once the bond has been weakened, you can then easily unscrew anything with just your finger tips!

IMG_2835It’s now easy to take things apart now that the glue has been softened.

IMG_2901This retainer sits a bit too deep for my spanner to reach and it’s too close to an element. I would prefer not to open this but I had to.

IMG_2900I made this tool out of some scrap acrylic sheet to help me remove the retainer.

That’s it for the optics. They’re not difficult to work with but you just have more of them to worry about. One sure way that I use to help remind me which element I am working on and which direction it should be facing is using a marker pen to mark the walls of the elements. You don’t need to write something big, just a small dot is more than enough. I also draw a series of dots to represent element number and where the dots are drawn is also important because I always draw on the leading edge. This helps remind me which end of an element should be facing the front. You will want to keep these marks as small as possible because they can sometimes be seen when you view the lens as they’re more opaque compared to the ink used on the walls of the lens. Make sure that you don’t rub it off when you clean it. Alcohol will remove it easily so be careful.


After cleaning the parts thoroughly, reassemble it by back-tracking each of the steps we did. You will need to adjust the infinity focusing of your lens and to do that you will have to adjust the position of the helicoid key. There isn’t much to adjust here so reassemble it very carefully. Read more about adjusting a lens’ focusing in this article. Alternatively, it can also be adjusted by adding or subtracting the shims found under the bayonet mount but this is something that you should never consider if you have reassembled the lens in the proper order. Make sure that you calibrate the lens at the long end at 200mm so that your calibration is more accurate because 200mm has a shallower DOF. If you find that the focus is off in one end but perfect on another then you may have to adjust the rear or inner elements cell properly to achieve perfect focus on both ends. This is very tedious so just make sure that the focus is acceptably sharp on either end and call it a day.

All-in-all, it took me about 2 or 3 nights working on this thing. Most of the time was spent cleaning all that grime away and cleaning fungi from the lens elements. I don’t like fixing zoom lenses for this very reason but it can’t be helped sometimes because some of these are too significant not to have in my collection. I also tend to use prime lenses more since I find them to be sharper and more specialized but that’s just my personal taste. If yours needs attention, bring it to a professional. If you have what it takes then you can work on yours but pay special attention to the alignment and spacing of the lens elements. There’s not a lot of room for mistakes here. Even old zooms made in the adjust-and-fit way needs to be calibrated properly but I find that there’s less room for error in these older lenses than those made in more recent times when adjust-and-glue became the norm. Enjoy the workmanship of these old lenses because they were all made to last.

Thank you very much for following the blog. I haven’t posted much these days due to my very busy schedule so I have taken a small dip in my page views but I will make it up to you this April. I have a few special things planned for this month so please come back to see what they are. As usual, if you like my work then please share this with your friends at social media or at your camera club’s account. Share the pleasure of enjoying these old gear and appreciating what many people today would disregard as irrelevant. Until next time, stay healthy and please don’t get tired of following my work. Ric.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Salman
    Sep 06, 2018 @ 06:06:23



  2. Salman
    Sep 06, 2018 @ 11:18:58

    This is really helpful.
    I recently bought used Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 push and version, the lens is in great shape but there is a rattling sound coming from front element when I shake it. The lens also focusing on the back side after calibration still I feels its focusing little on the front area than the focus point but this is almost negligible and can be noticed only after zooming 200%.

    The camera also has slight/ minor dent on the metal lens hood that might have caused due to a drop and I am worried and hoping that rattling sound is not because of any damaged component. so I wanted to dissemble and check it out. If there is any damage then I can return it within return period.

    I have a repair-service manual for Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8D and I wonder will the same manual is usable for my lens or no?

    I would be glad to hear from you about that, thank you in advance.




    • richardhaw
      Sep 16, 2018 @ 22:31:35

      Thanks, glad that you liked the blog!
      That lens is different from the 2-ring version. there’s nothing much in common mechanically. AF lenses are more delicate than manual lenses so a drop can be dangerous. that optical formula has a tendency to backfocus and the way to fix it is by calibrating the elements. It will not be easy. I will make an article one day about that. Ric.


  3. Romain
    Oct 07, 2018 @ 21:12:23

    Hi Richard,
    Since I got the virus by fixing my 85 1.4 following your instructions, I got my hands on a very nice copy of this 80-200, and could probably even leave it alone, except that wouldn’t be nearly as fun.
    I have a question for you about the felt lining, which really is the weak spot at least on my copy. Do you reckon a 1mm replacement such as this: (here is to practice your French a bit) would do the trick? If not would you have an example or some sort of more precise indication about which material and how thick/thin it should be?


  4. peter
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 17:29:53

    Hello Richard
    My lens is a 70-200mm f/4.5 N. I am totally unable to open the focus ring so that i renew the felt lining inside the zoom barrel so it does not fall. I use MEK ad you advise but it still breaks my hand and nothing moves. I have a video of the problem here (click the flowers). My zoom is slightly different than the one you work on and I wonder if it is at all possible to repair this one.
    I find your site helpful and fix a few lenses already with success. But this 80-200 is a real pain since it will not open, any hint would be welcome. Thanks, Peter


  5. Trackback: Repair: Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f4 Ai-S | Richard Haw's Classic Nikon Repair and Review

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