Introduced in 1973, this lens remained in production only a few years
until replaced by a similarly sized lens with a gold band indicating that
the front element contained ED glass. However, the lens above,
according to the papers, actually contains fluorite crystal and special
rare earth glass which has been multi coated. Take that! No
wonder its production run was so short. The lens contains 5 elements
in three groups.
(1,412 total units produced.)
Mechanically, the lens has a focus
throw that is really long that makes it difficult to rapidly focus from
close up to infinity. The built in lens hood and 360 degree rotating
tripod collar were ahead of their time.
Optically, the lens is corrected for all three primary colors which makes
it critically sharp for stationary subjects.
I have attached a
pdf file of the front page of the papers that
came with the lens which may clear up a few questions on the optical
construction of the lens. This may be the only Nikon lens that used
fluorite crystal. It's successor used ED glass (and a gold band)
which had properties similar to fluorite crystal. I believe Canon is
the only lens manufacturer today that still uses fluorite crystal in some
of its high end telephoto lenses.