Adapter for old Nikkor lenses

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by KongKurs, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. KongKurs

    KongKurs TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I was wondering whether it is possible to get some kind of adapter, to allow use of old Nikkormat lenses (such as the f1.2 55mm Nikkor from the late 70's I guess) on new D-SLR cameras?

    I own a Nikon D90 and think it's sad to concede that all my nice Nikkormat EL lences are useless.

    The focal lenght will change, but maybe it could make a nice macro-setup?

    Is this science-fiction or possible?
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Be specific. There are several of the old lenses. I use my Nikkor AI-S 50mm f/1.2 all the time and have used a Nikkor AI 55mm f/1.2 on occasion on my D200 as well which also as an AI ring.

    To my knowledge the D90 does not have an Aperture Indexing ring, so AI and AI-S lenses will not meter, but will most definitely mount on the body. You will need to use the camera in fully manual for this lens to work, but it is most probably very worth it. The 55mm f/1.2 fourth generation for the late 70s is most drool worthy.

    One thing you probably don't want to do is use pre-AI lenses on the D90. Yes they'll mount, no they won't metre, but there is a strong chance that the lens itself extends too far into the camera housing which would reduce your reflex mirror to shards when you try to take a photo.

    Btw if you intend to play with manual focus lenses I suggest you check out http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/ and get a split prism focusing screen to help you focus :)
     
  3. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If the lens is from the late 1970's, it is a AI lens and will mount. If from the 1960's or very early 70's, it will have a metering "fork" that would couple with an external pin for metering. This pin was above the lens and protruded from the bottom of the prism housing. (the metering fork was mounted to the aperture ring with 2 small screws) Often this fork or tab will interfere with modern prisms or with meter index rings. Pre-AI lenses could at one time be converted with replacement of the aperture ring, but parts are scarce today. Bottom line, if your lens is a AI 55mm f/1.2, it will mount but with the D90, I don't think it will meter. I own one of these large, heavy hunks of glass, and wide open it's hard to beat. Though not as sharp wide open as the 58mm Nocto f/1.2 or as sharp over the rest of the aperture range as the 50mm f/1.2 AI-S.

    Good luck, let us know what you discover.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I did see a Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 sell on ebay the other day for a lovely $5800US :lol:
    I need to get a 55mm f/1.2 I have a 50mm and it outright sucks wide open :(
     
  5. KongKurs

    KongKurs TPF Noob!

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    Just catched up on this old thread, and as you said, the 55mm f/1.2 can be used on the Nikon D90 - very cool indeed!

    [​IMG]

    For some reason though, the lens won't fit directly (too tight..?), but when using a macroring I can get it to fit.. And since my wish was to use this lens for macro-use, it's not that bad after all :)
     
  6. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That makes me :drool:
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Same, That is such a nice lens compared to the 50mm f/1.2.
     
  8. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It looks as if you are using the original "F" series lens. The slightly later AI version will mount correctly. The SC has the original metering coupling that binds on many/most AI and later camera bodies. The lens can be converted to AI, then the meter on most later pro and pro-sumer DSLR Nikons will couple and read correctly but may not in matrix mode.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    This thread has several bits of inaccurate information sprinkled throughout. It is NOT only the "buckhorns" or the "rabbit ears" that may interfere with the mounting of pre-AI lenses on the non-professional Nikon bodies--it may also be the diameter of the aperture control ring in and of itself, hitting the minimum aperture sensing tab on newer bodies that do not have an Ai-indexing tab.

    The aperture rings on many pre-Ai Nikkor lenses are "fat", ie. large in diameter, and removing the buckhorns will NOT make the issue on non-compatibility go away simply by removing the buckhorns. The entire aperture control ring on most pre-AI lenses will hit the minimum aperture-sensing pin, located at the 7 o'clock position on the front of the camera on most, but not all, newer Nikon bodies. The Ai-indexing follower tab is located at the 1 o'clock position,and it too can be hit and damaged by the large-diameter of the aperture control ring of a pre-AI lens, even if the buckhorns have been removed.

    The Nikon D40, D40x, and D60,as well as the D3000 and D5000 ALL lack both the have the minimum aperture sensing pin and the AI indexing follower, and as such, will accept pre-AI, AI, Ai-S manual focusing lenses in Nikon F mount. Repeat this over and over--the ONLY Nikon bodies that can mount pre-AI lenses with no modifications are "the five baby Nikons".

    As to the contention that pre-AI lenses will go "too far into the body"--that contention is not acurate. There are fewer than a handful of Nikon lens designs that protrude far into the body, and ALL of them are very rare, highly-collectible Nikkors made in the 1960's and early 1970's, like the 21mm f/4 mirror lockup lens, and a couple of exotic old-school fisheyes that required mirror lock-up. Fewer than five lens designs "protrude into the body"--that is an issue Canon d-slrs have with some aftermarket lenses, and is simply not applicable to the over 50 million Nikon F-mount lenses Nikon itself has made, as well as millions of 3rd party F-mount lenses.

    Lately, I have seen a couple of specific posters claiming that "any Nikon lens will fit" on any Nikon body. That is not true! ONLY the five entry level models, D40, D40x, D60,and D3000 and D5000 which lack BOTH a 7 o'clock minimum aperture sensing tab and which lack the Ai indexing follower at 1 o'clock--only those five bodies, can use all Nikon lenses from 1959, except for the rare "invasive fisheyes".

    Here's a chart for reference. Nikon Lens Compatibility
     
  10. KongKurs

    KongKurs TPF Noob!

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    Derrel, thanks for the explanation and the compatibility link..
    As you say, the problem with fitting the 55mm onto the D90 has nothing to do with the buckhorns, but the entire aperture indexing ring..

    Thought I wanted to share some macrophotos taken with this baby on my D90, hope you like them:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A peculiar thing is that I seem to experience a bit of color aberration, mainly on the first and last of these photos. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  11. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Its not the diameter either.

    Its the width of the ring, as viewed from the side. The f/stop ring on the pre-AI lenses extends back past the face of the mounting flange approx 1.5mm. The f/stop rings on the AI, AIs, and AF lenses stop shy of the face of the flange by about 1mm.

    The lens in the OPs later post was not "born" with AI coupling as evidenced by the fact the the lens has the Nikkor-Q.c marking. Born AI lenses lack both the "c" (for multicoating) and the "-Q" (indicates the number of elements, in this case "Q" for "quint" or 5). Since the OP is having difficulty mounting the lens it seems that the lens has not be AI-converted. If a proper factory AI conversion was done, or a 3rd party conversion that was complete, the lens would mount properly.
     

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