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Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5 Lens

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Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5 lens

Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5 lens

Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5 lens

Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5 lens

Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5 lens

Optical design

Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5 optical design

Format: 35mm SLR

Type: Zoom lens

Focusing: Manual Focus (MF)

Lens mounts: Nikon F (FX, DX)

First year of production: 1963

Last year of production: 1982

Optical design: 9 elements in 7 groups in the first version 11 elements in 8 groups in the second

User reviews (2)

Photos (7)

Tests (0)

Owners (4)

Views (14884)

Average price: $103


Focal lengthMax. apertureMin. apertureBladesMin. Focus (m.)Filter Ø (mm.)Weight (gr/oz)Length (mm/in)
43mm - 86mmf/3.5f/2261.252410/14,570/2,8

Additional information:

The Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5

In the Internet I came into a very unusual 43-86 mm zoom lens -  the Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5, which was very popular in Nikon's first years, though judging by responses it did not perform well. In 1976 Nikon replaced the first 9-element version of the lens with an 11-element lens with the advanced design. The weight of the second variant was 450 g , and its length  - 73.5 mm.

The lens is fit both for ordinary use and for macrography (with aperture set at f/ 8). But the lens is of little use for architecture photography because of distortion. Besides, some photographers say its bokeh is not great. However, the lens produces quite a sharp image and minimum aberrations at the distance of 3 - 10 m, which makes it suitable for portrait photography. High contrast and accurate color rendering should be noted, as well.

Yet, the lens is considered to be one of the ten worst Nikon lenses.

The Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5 came in several versions:

  • F -  9 elements in 7 groups, length 70 mm  (1963-1974)
  • C -  9 elements in 7 groups, length 70 mm  (1974-1976)
  • K -  11 elements in 8 groups, length 73.5 mm  (1975-1977)
  • Ai -  11 elements in 8 groups, length 73.5 mm  (1977-1982)

Links to online resources:
Posted by: Himmera   Date of publication: 18.09.2010

Photos taken with this lens Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5:

Bokeh at f/8 + 250D
Autor: NerveNet
5 0 192

Autor: stimilek
4 0 1578

Autor: stimilek
4 0 2374

Test at 43mm
Autor: NerveNet
3 0 1056

Mechanical quality4.577
Optical quality2.717
Pricing / Value3.717
Overall lens rating

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Owner reviews: Nikon Nikkor 43-86 mm  f/ 3.5

NerveNet 05.03.2020 23:21:56
Period of use: 2 years

  • cheap
  • well made, all metal
  • push-pull design
  • small 52mm filter thread
  • nice color rendition
  • small and compact design
  • constant f/3.5 accross the focal range


  • strong barrel distorsion, around 60mm is it gone
  • unsharp and lack of contrast wide open at any focal length
  • modestly sharp at f/8
  • strange focal range (43 to 86mm)


I bought this lens for pure fun.

It is nice and easy to use, I like this compact push-pull design.

But when it comes to resolution, sharpness and contrast... It is very bad until you stop down to f/8, at f/8 you will get modestly sharp pictures.

The lens also presents strong barrel distortion at 43mm and 86mm, around 60mm this goes away. So you need to shoot at 60mm if you want to see straight lines. Haha!

Please don't get me wrong. Some great shots was taken with this lens in the past, for example Rainer W. Schlegelmilch ( used this lens in Car Racing.