Old Lenses on New Camera?`

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by jonahr, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. jonahr

    jonahr TPF Noob!

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    I am planning on purchasing a DSLR and i have quite a few old (60s-70s) Nikon film lenses. Which DSLR's could accomadate these lenses?

    I heard that If you use a dlsr with a lens which has an aperature ring, you cannot use the aperature ring. Is this true?
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most definitely not.
    If you use a lens with an aperture ring AND a microcontroller (D series Nikkors) then you can not use the aperture ring, and you must control the aperture from the camera. Otherwise the aperture ring is the only way the camera can take a picture.

    As for cameras the D40 and D200/D300 both have the necessary tools to use nearly any Nikkor back to the AI series (exception are a few DC Nikkors because their rear elements focus too far back into the camera body. Pre-AI nikkors do not work with modern SLRs without modification. I am unsure about the D70/D80. The D50 does not have an aperture ring latch to my knowledge.

    When you use these old lenses you often need to specify in the camera menu what focal length and what the maximum aperture is, so it knows if your camera is set at f/1.2 or f/2.8 when the ring is fully open.

    Some older zoom Nikkors which have varying aperture not in multiples of 1/3 stops may also throw off the metering system slightly. The workaround is to just use centreweighted average metering.
     
  3. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can theoretically use any Nikon lens on any Nikon body made since 1959. Where they differ is what features will work. I have a Series E f/1.8 on my D40. It mounts perfectly, but I can only use the camera in M where I have to meter and focus manually. The focus indicator does still work, though.
     
  4. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So does the d40 meter with no-cpu lenses? I thought only the D200, D300, and D3 metered with non-cpu lenses.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No read the manual. There are specific lenses that will physically damage the camera if you try to take a photo with them. But it's only a handful. Specifically 17 lenses in the AI AI-S PC D AF AF-S series.

    Also with non-AI lenses information is not available. Nikon states they are not compatible, which typically means all you can do is release the shutter. The camera has no knowledge of how the lens' aperture is set and as such the camera must be used in full manual mode. It does work but that said it's a game of Russian roulette, since Nikon does not publish information about which of these lenses do not physically fit like they do for the AI AI-S AI-P series on page 96 of the manual. There are success stories with pre-AI lenses, and there are "sent camera in for repairs" stories. I suggest google each individual lens that is pre-AI in your collection.

    WRONG:
    AI-P and pre-AI Nikkors are the only one it does not meter with. The D40 will even work with matrix metering. Compatibility table with lens series is on page 95 of the manual.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  6. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    AI-P are the only ones it does meter with. The D40 will mount AI and AI-S glass, but only the D200/D2*/D300/D3 will meter them.

    Also, it's true that you control the aperture with the body, not with the Aperture ring, even in M mode. If the aperture ring is set to anything but the minimum value, the camera will give an error and not function.
     
  7. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    FWIW, Olympus DSLRs meter in Manual and Ap. Priority with any lens that you can mount on a cheapo ebay adapter, and adapters with an AF Confirm chip (I paid about $35 shipped for an adapter w/ a chip) on them also give, of course, AF confirm.
     
  8. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My bad, sorry. It's AI lenses that you can use on just about any Nikon body, right?

    He's right. My AI lens does not meter in any mode on my D40.

    For what lenses? Pre-AI?

    You can mount AI lenses as well, and you control the aperture with the ring, not the body (I just tested this with my Series E AI-S lens on my D40, it mounts just fine no matter where the aperture is set, no errors, takes pictures just fine in M)
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry guys I miss read the page. It's AF-I lenses that meter correctly :er:

    At the bottom of page 97 it says all AI, AI-modified (pre-AI lenses which have had their ring changed), AI-S, or E series lenses will work only in Manual mode.

    epp_b Tiberiu's comment applies to CPU lenses such as D series. They need to be set at minimum aperture or the camera just shows f-- and disables the shutter release. Non CPU lenses naturally need to have their aperture set at the ring.
     
  10. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Woah, so if I mount a brand new AF f/1.8D on my D40, the aperture *needs* to be set at f/22 to mount? Surely, I'm misunderstanding something.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  11. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Some confusing posts in this thread.. maybe i'm just reading wrong, i dunno..

    Ai and Ai-S lenses won't meter on most Nikon DSLRs and pre-Ai won't mount and may damage the bodies, plus you have to set to camera to 'manual' to use them. There are some body exceptions (see link below) I know they don't on my D70 from experience, so you have to either use an external meter or just guess and look at the lcd till you get it right. That's what I have done and it works ok. The aperture thumb wheel doesn't do anything when a manual lens is attached, so you HAVE to use the aperture ring, and it works fine.

    So you want to know which bodies will meter? Here's a lens compatibility chart:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm

    Correct, because the camera buttons and wheels control the aperture, not the ring on the lens. You can actually mount it in any setting, but it will show as an error in your lcd until you put it on f/22. As far as I know, all Nikon AF bodies do this eh?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  12. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That....doesn't make sense to me. How is the aperture adjusted via the command dial? Does the aperture ring actually move when you adjust it via the command dial? Is there some mechanism that disconnects the aperture ring from the blades?
     

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