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AI lens

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These are Manual Nikkor lenses being produced from 1977 until the mid 1980s. With these lenses Nikon introduced the Automatic Maximum Aperture Indexing, a design to let the camera body know what is the maximum aperture of the mounted lens for metering.

Before these came to the market, the manual Non-AI lenses coupled to the camera's meter through a system that required a pin on the camera to be mated to a slotted prong on the lens before the lens was mounted, then the aperture ring on the lens had to be turned from one extreme to the other to index the meter to the maximum aperture of the lens.

AI eliminates this entire procedure because meter coupling and indexing occur automatically when the lens is mounted on the camera. Most AI lenses made until a few years ago were also supplied with the coupling prong so they would be compatible with either metering system. With all-black barrel, rubber focusing ring and multi-coated elements.

They were replaced by the AI-S manual focus lenses. See also AI-S lens



Nikonians Photo Glossary

  • This page was last modified on 30 January 2021, at 08:07.
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