Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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Trying to sell a lens, and a dealer that buys used photo items and used KEH to give quotes is unable to decide what lens I have.

Here's a link to a lens that as far as I'm able to tell looks exactly like mine:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/80200.htm

Only problem currently is that neither the photo on that site, nor the lens I have say "macro" or have an orange bar with a M on the focus ring. There is switch that says "Limit" and "Full" that when set to limit locks it between "2.5,2,1.8, and a what appear to be a yellow bar going to an M".

Likely be able to answer the question myself, but have been unable to find a PDF of a manual for the lens online; Nikon USA page for the lens links to a one page for all the manuals, whicdesolatees not list a manual for that lens.

So basically the best answer would be a link to the manual, second best is unclear as of now.

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1  
Picture of your lens? –  rfusca Dec 24 '11 at 19:14
    
@rfusca: It looks exactly like the lens I linked to down to the text/pins/screws/etc. If you go to the page and click the photo of the lens, there's a higher-res image of it. –  blunders Dec 24 '11 at 19:21
    
Agree with mattdm below...if it looks exactly like that lens.... –  rfusca Dec 24 '11 at 19:28
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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If it looks exactly like that lens, why wouldn't it be that lens? I don't know what Ken Rockwell is on about when he says "Nikon calls this the Nikon AF NIKKOR 80-200mm f/2.8 D ED Macro", when Nikon does not actually appear to do any such thing. This appears to be the official page from Nikon for that lens:

http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses/1986/AF-Zoom-NIKKOR-80-200mm-f%252F2.8D-ED.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-Overview

And as you can see, no mention of macro.

I think the moral of the story here is "when it's important, don't trust Ken Rockwell's site". A lot of his writing on photography is very good, but he also throws up a lot of junk without bothering to fact check or do quality/editorial control, and then he hides behind the "It's all a big joke" claim instead of being responsible. That wouldn't be so bad (just another crazy guy on the internet) except that so many people assume that he's an authority.

Update: in the interest of practicing the honesty and editorial review I am preaching... Further down on the page, he says Nikon mentions "macro" on the box and in the instructions because this lens has much closer focusing than Nikon's 1982-1988 manual-focus 80-200/2.8. And, indeed, Ken provides a picture of the box, where the word Macro certainly appears. But Nikon doesn't appear to really call the lens that officially, so I still think his warning is over-prominent in a way that is misleading, and he shouldn't put that name (constructed from multiple lines on the box) at the top of the page saying that it's the name Nikon uses.

Complaining that macro shouldn't be used in this way is legitimate, as the lens has a very-not-macro maximum magnification of 1:7.1, but with the page as it is, he's propagating the labeling of the lens as "macro" rather than combating it.

Nikon's real macro lenses, by the way, are labeled Micro, not Macro.

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3  
Yup, he's been Ken-rolled... –  rfusca Dec 24 '11 at 19:29
    
+1 @mattdm: Reason is KEH is the site this guy is using to price stuff, and there site appear to be wrong; that lens is listed both for sell and to buy with a macro. So is KEH's site and the one I linked to wrong then, meaning Nikon has never made a "Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED Autofocus Lens with Nikon Tripod Collar" that had macro functions, right? Also, since you're linking to the Nikon page for the "Product Number: 1986", is it correct there is no manual for the lens on their site even though they link to one, and reference it in the specs tab info at the bottom. Thanks! –  blunders Dec 24 '11 at 19:41
1  
Take a look at the B&H Photo or Adorama links that Ken provides. They go to pages with Nikon model number 1986. I'm quite certain it's the same. And yeah, I also couldn't find the right manual on their web site. –  mattdm Dec 24 '11 at 19:58
    
+1 @mattdm: Thanks for the update, all make sense now, also explains why KEH can get away with listing it as a "macro" for exmple here, or in their lookup for selling used items: keh.com/camera/Nikon-Autofocus-Zoom-Lenses/1/… -- as you might have noticed, I've already selected you as the answer, but the updated answer and comment were a huge help, thanks!! –  blunders Dec 24 '11 at 20:10
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As an aside, the "M" for macro designation also appears on the barrel of the venerable 75-300mm. I think it must have been in fashion for marketing purposes to slap a "macro" designation on these big zooms back in those days, even though it's nothing of the sort. I can see why it would cause confusion for someone not familiar with the long history of Nikon glass.

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For general info, there are three commonly found versions of that lens:

The AF and AF-D (push-pull zoom) (1988-1997)

The AF-D (ring zoom), with focus limiter with two options: full and limit.

The AF-S (ring zoom), with focus limiter with two options: full and ∞-2.5m

These three are easy to disinguish if you look at pictures on Ken Rockwell's site or anywhere else. Optically all three are very similar, and there are no other versions that are true macro lenses, so as discussed above, don't worry about that designation.

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