As I go shopping for bargains in Nikon lenses, I have gathered some information from Ken Rockwell's Nikon lens compatibility charts. I am putting the information here, so I can access it, and use it easier. This lens compatibility information is specific to my Nikon D-200. Many older Nikon lenses can be used on the digital SLR bodies, although a 50mm lens presents itself as an 85mm. To get the same results that a 50mm normal lens gives with film, a 35mm lens is used on a digital SLR camera. These are my own notes for my convenience.
The oldest Nikon lens that will mate up to a Nikon D-200 is an AI (automatic indexing) lens. These lenses were introduced in 1977, and are recognized by a smaller set of aperture numbers that could be viewed through the viewfinder of the camera. These lenses also have two extra holes in the coupling prong that allow light to strike f/8 and f/4 so they can be seen in the viewfinder.
Nikon Series E lenses were sent to market in 1979. These were budget lenses, but they still contained superior optics. The Series E lenses gained a poor reputation among camera geeks because Nikon was honest enough to admit they contained plastic at a time when plastic in a camera lens smacked of cheapness. Today, plastic lens casings are commonplace, even among high priced gear. The Series E lenses represent some of the best values in prime lenses that will work on a D-200.
In 1981, the AI became the AI-S lens. The AI-S lens is easily recognized because the smallest aperture marking is in orange. These are still the same manual Nikon lenses made today.