25 comments on “Lens Review–Nikon 70-210mm f/4 Series-E

  1. A more detailed review, which I also appreciate.

    Also, I second Angela on the water fountain photograph, nice composition and symmetry of walnut was also a standout.


    • I can definitely see this lens as being one to last. Cool you still have yours. And hey, if you get into the mirrorless camera game, maybe that lens will have new life again! 🙂

  2. Hi Mathew,

    I recently found this lens which belonged to my mother and it’s in perfect conditions. The issue I have is that I posses a Nikon D3100 and somehow the lens can’t be attached to my DSLR. Is there an adaptor to mount this lens?

    • Hello Alejo, that’s great you found a good copy of the lens. It’s also odd it will not mount. Assuming you have checked the lens mount as well as the camera mount for any burs/dents, I can’t think of any reason the lens would not mount on the camera, all Nikon lenses since the 60’s use the exact same F-mount.

      Keep in mind once you do mount it, it will not communicate with the camera, i.e. you have to expose and focus completely manually without metering. If something looks odd compared to my product photos feel free to shoot me an email with photos so I might be able to see what’s up with it. It’s definitely a lens you want to get in working order. 🙂

  3. I have such lens –Nikon 70-210mm f/4 Series-E for salell. It was not used ever. Anyone intresting to buy it? Please contact me by e-mail.

  4. you said it wont communicate with the camera and you have to focus manually. does that mean if im looking through my live view i wouldn’t be able to see where the focus was?

    • Hey Devan, when I say it will not communicate with the camera, I mean that there will be no digital information sent from the lens to the camera, so no EXIF info like focal length and aperture will be in the final image. However, all optical information of course passes through like it usually would and you can use your camera’s usual focusing abilities to see what’s going on in live view (focus peaking, magnification, etc.).

  5. Hi Matthew, thanks for the review.

    I just picked up an old Nikon Fe body and am now bidding on this lens on a Japanese auction site. No idea what shipping will be to Australia but my current bid us less than US$30 at the moment. Having not shot any film in 15-20 years, I feel quite excited! Thank again. Chalks

  6. Matt, you said this is the best Series E lens and I agreed, BUT, the 75-150 F3.5E is super too. I have both since 1985 and both are better than , I will say, most Nikkor zooms ever made. My 75-150E, bought it at Lurias dept store in Miami, back in 1985 for a mere 99 dollars plus tax and the 70-210 at another place for 169.00, both are super and in my opinion, could not tell which one is better, but the 75-150 is super too. This was the way lenses and cameras were in the good old days in the 1970s and 80s. Thanks. RaGa.

    • Hey Patricia, if you look at my other reviews, I do have the 75-150mm reviewed, too. I gave it nearly as high a recommendation as the 70-210mm. Both are fine zooms.

  7. I have a Nikon F4 and a Nikon D5200. it works and communicates wonderfully with the D5200 and the manual focus is great but when focusing in manual on the F4 it takes ages to get the focus right. Could it be a problem with the F4 focus/viewfinder etc or is it just harder to focus ?

    • Something tells me it’s a problem with the F4’s focus screen/indicator, especially considering it works fine on the D5200. I was expecting the opposite.

    • Hi Alex, does that mean the metering is available on the D5200? If not can u plz give some more details on that? thanks

  8. I found a version of this lens, with quite similar specs. It is a 70-210mm f/4 but with a 55mm diameter filter thread. I believe it is not made by Nikon, it doesn’t say by who on it. Can you tell me something about that? Or maybe, did you hear/see something about it?

    • To my knowledge, the 70-210 f/4 was a relatively low-cost and compact option for film shooters looking for a faster telephoto zoom back in the day. Without photos of your lens it’d be hard to figure out who manufactured it. But I imagine most of the lenses have a similar optical formula. The 55mm filter thread is interesting. Much smaller than the Series-E for sure.

    • I never did unfortunately. However, all the manufacturers’ 80-200mms from that era were decent enough. The Series-E gets you more optical zoom range, and a faster base aperture speed, but at the cost of slightly less build quality. However, from what I remember of the 70-210mm E, it was a good chunk of lens, very unlike other lenses in the range build-quality-wise like the 50mm and 36-72mm.

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