Have Nikon lenses, but what camera?!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by katielee, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. katielee

    katielee TPF Noob!

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    So I'll admit I'm pretty new to the whole Digital SLR camera scene, but I've been looking into getting one for a while to pursue my interest in photography. I currently have a variety of Nikon Series E lenses and filters (found in my dad's attic) that I was hoping I could find a camera they would be compatible to.
    Originally I was looking into purchasing a Canon EOS Rebel T1i or XSi, although I'm not sure if there was any way either of these cameras could work with my current lenses.
    I'm open to other ideas about a camera to purchase, but I prefer one where I can use the existing lenses. I've been told that Sony cameras are adaptable to most lenses since like the 1980's or somewhere along that date, but I'm not 100% sure.

    Either way, any information or advice you guys have towards purchasing a camera compatible to these (and hopefully one that isn't too expensive, preferable 900 and under) lenses would be amazing!

    Thanks!
    Katie :)
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    No, Sony or Minolta A-mount autofocus d-slr's are NOT very adaptable to lenses from other brands. A Canon Rebel can easily use Nikon Series E lenses with F-to-EF lens adapters that sell on e-Bay for about $17 each. The catch? You will have to manually focus,and you will have to stop the lens down to shooting aperture. Your light metering will be only semi-automatic using a Canon body as well. I have a lot of adapters, and Canon dslr's are "the" d-slr brand when you wish to adapt Nikon or Pentax lenses with simple, glassless adapter rings. The camera brand that can easily work with lenses dating to the 1980's is--wait for it--Nikon.

    Canon d-slr's DO work reasonably well with adapters,with Nikon and Pentax thread mount (M42 mount) lenses, but unless you're an experienced photographer, some of the hassles of using adapted lenses on a Canon dslr body will make shooting a difficult, and sometimes accident-prone affair.

    A better solution would be to buy a Nikon D90 body, or a D200 or D300 body, for light metering AND automatic diaphragm control of Series E Nikon lenses. Nikon has not changed the lens diaphagm tuation mechanism for decades, so new Nikon d-slr bodies will work the f/stops with Series E lenses. If you wish to go "cheap",and sacrifice light metering, look for a refurbished Nikon D40 or D40x for $269-$325 at current prices.

    The Series E lenses were okay back in the day, and the 75-150 and 70-210 as well as the 100mm were all actually pretty decent performers. if you have only one or two Series E lenses, and one of them is the 50mm 1.8 or the 35mm E, neither are good enough optically or valuable enough to migrate forward.
     
  4. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    Your best bet is a Nikon D700 (full-frame) or D300/D200 (1.5X field of view crop factor). These cameras can meter properly with your E-series Nikkor lenses.

    There are adapters if you want to use your old Nikkor lenses with a Canon EOS camera.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The issue is really one of budget.

    Sure the lens won't meter or autofocus on the Canon via an adapter (well they are manual focus lenses anyway). But you have the same problem with Nikon unless you start spending.

    The D200/300 are the two cheapest bodies which have AutoIndexing rings which allow the lens to meter on the camera. These are both APS sized cameras so the effective focal length of each lens multiplies by 1.5x. The next solution would be to rob a bank and buy a D700, which has a 35mm sized sensor.

    The notion of buying a Canon and an adapter is no more crazy than buying a Nikon D40/60 and using these lenses. All in all they won't get you very far and would essentially take your photography back to the manual days. A fantastic way to learn mind you.
     
  7. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    The Rebel XSi with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens is going for $649 at Amazon. You can add the EF 50mm f/1.8 for $100.

    You should be able to find a used Nikon D200 in the same price range.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  8. sween

    sween TPF Noob!

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    If I were to find a collection of Nikkor glass, I'd run, not walk, but run and order a Nikon body. The only other option might be to sell what lenses you have, or at least have them appraised as to their value. If appraised high, you have options. If low, not so much so.

    To be sure, I love both Canon and Nikon bodies, and only bought Nikon when it came to a dSLR because I had a respectable collection of Nikkor lenses.

    I honestly think that going Nikon is your best bet, if only because my guess is that you won't get enough for those Nikkor lenses to re-outfit yourself. Then again, I have no idea what you found in that attic. Could be you're sitting on a small fortune.

    Quick story. My wife are house-shopping and recently looked at a place where an estate sale was to be conducted the next day. Damn if I didn't keep on finding evidence that someone in the family who once lived there was a serious photographer. Slide projectors, slide trays, empty filter boxes, lens cases, gadget bags, but no bodies or lenses. If they were there, the company running the sale surely knew their value and sold them elsewhere.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The idea that "the notion of buying a Canon and an adapter is no more crazy than buying a Nikon D40/60 and using these lenses" is not quite 100% right---if you put these lenses on ANY Nikon d-slr body, you will get automatic diaphragm actuation. If you use these lenses on ANY Canon body with an adapter, you will have to stop the lenses down manually to whatever aperture you wish to use. While many people can handle using lenses stopped down,with a dim viewfinder image, many newcomers have difficulty looking through a viewfinder that's dimmed...

    I use adapters on Canon bodies. Pentax thread mount lenses make great adapted lenses because they have an Auto/Manual diaphragm stop-down switch; with a Nikkor lens, you must click the aperture down X number of f/stops from maximum aperture each time you want to do a shot. When shooting anything in dimmer conditions, like indoors as say a party you are shooting with flash, using an adapted lens set to f/8 on an EOS body means that the finder image will be almost black. Using an E-Series lens on a D40/D60/D80/D90/D200/D300,etc means that the lens will be held wide open at f/1.8, so you can focus accurately using your eye and/or the focus confirmation dot, and when you press the shutter release, the lens will automatically close down to f/8, the exposure will be made, and the lens's diapghragm will instantly return to wide-open.

    Unless you're a seasoned shooter who's familiar with shooting with a 100 percent MANUALLY controlled lens diaphragm, using 1980's E-Series lenses on a digital EOS camera is handicapping yourself quite a bit. Buying a Nikon body would be the easiest way to get the lenses into use for somebody who is not familiar with no automatic diaphragm. If you want auto diaphragm, go D40/D60/D80,D90. If you want automatic diaphragm AND light metering you need a D200 or D300 or 'better'.

    Like I said, if you have something pedestrian like just a 50 and 35mm E-Series,I'd consider not migrating the lenses forward. Image-quality wise, the D90's pretty good for the money,and ought to last you many years, but would not give light metering, only automatic diaphragm control and DOF preview. The D300 is significantly more money. Refurbished D40 and D40x bodies are available for $269-$325 these days.
     
  10. katielee

    katielee TPF Noob!

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    Woah! I never expected so many helpful answers here. Thanks again to everyone who is replying.
    But since I'm new to this stuff, some of the things you guys are saying isnt 100% clicking with me, although I get the jist of what your saying. That trying to adapt the E series Nikon lenses to a Canon EOS body probably isnt the most easy and wise thing to do, especially since I'm a newbie and all that.
    But so I was talking to my dad a couple days ago about the lenses and he keeps raving about how back in the day when he bought these things they were top notch I suppose. But since neither of us are all in the know about top notch lenses of this day, I was hoping you guys knew something about them (as I've noticed most of you guys already do).

    I have the following Nikon lenses (and whatever other stuff was in the box):
    -Nikon Series E 50mm 1:1.8
    -Nikon Lens Series E Zoom 70~210mm 1:4
    -A Nikon Auto Extension Ring PK-13 27.5
    -Nikon Nikkor 28mm 1:2.8
    -Vivitar MC Tele Converter
    -Nikon Speedlight SB-15

    Okay so those are all the things that we found in the box and if you have any info on how good and what not the lenses and other things are, that would be super helpful!

    Thanks
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Actually, I provided you a link that does just that, if you take the time to explore it.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^^^ What he said... ^^^ I've tried it with various types of lenses.. My opinion is . not worth it

    I purchased a Pentax KAF mount DSLR specifically to enjoy my Kmount manual lenses with digital. My M42 Takumars are all either aperture preset or have the manual stop down switch. (I am used to it.. similar process to the old Asahi Spotmatics).

    First decide if the lenses are worth bringing along into the digital realm. If so, then examine the table on the page I linked and read the footnotes to see which bodies would give you the best option.
     

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