Nikon lenses for digital and manual cameras

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Thingy, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    I'm hoping someone here can help as I find the different Nikon lens types very confusing!

    I currently have an Olympus E-3 and several lenses, an OM1 & OM2s/p and OM Zuiko lenses and a seperate SD video camera. I am seriously considering changing and going for the Nikon replacement for the D700 when it emerges, which I hope will compete with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. I also currently use several large format Nikkor lenses for my 5x4 camera, which I like for their contrasty interpretation of landscapes.

    I would like to know if Nikon lenses which can be used with the digital cameras can also be used with the 35mm film cameras, as were this possible I would probably add an F6 body later. Currently when I wish to use digital & 35mm film, I need to use different lenses for optimal quality, with the Olympus. One set of lenses for both film and digital would be great. :smile:
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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  3. Morituri

    Morituri Member

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    Yes and No.

    Here is the top and bottom of it.

    If you are interested in a Nikon lens and you think "I wonder if it also works on a nice old Nikon F3" do this:

    1) Look at the lens label, does it have a "G" on there? (see where it says 35mm F1.18G?) Like THIS lens? DON'T buy it.

    2) Look again, does it say DX on it? (Like the lens above) DON'T buy it.

    All other lenses (more or less) are fully compatible. For even more detailed info check this site, that should cover all you need to know basically.

    Ken Rockwell's "Nikon Lens Compatibility"
     
  4. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Member

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    I think the so-called F-Mount is one of the beauties of Nikon cameras and lenses. As long as you stay away from the DX lenses, which do not cover full frame, you can use almost all Nikon lenses on Nikon digital and film cameras. Be aware that there are some exceptions and limitations, but they involve specialty lenses and very old lenses.
     
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Member

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    What's wrong with the G lenses?
     
  6. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Doh, no aperture ring!
     
  7. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    G lenses will work with an F6. Any of the cameras that can control the aperture via camera settings will work. Older, manual cameras cannot use a G lens except at wide-open.
     
  8. fdisilvestro

    fdisilvestro Member

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    Using a G lens on a manual camera without aperture control from the body will result in minumum aperture (max f number), not wide open.
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Member

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    Ken Rockwell's site states that G lenses work OK with the F6 and the D700. Is he wrong?

    I never purchased one, but that may be over soon, because every Nikon lens coming out lately is a G lens.
     
  11. Morituri

    Morituri Member

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    Ah yes, even the G lenses work just fine with Nikon F6! I was thinking more of the mechanical ones, i.e FM2 even the FE2's and such. Yea F5, F6, F100 etc, works fine with these. Just don't get DX lenses. Just check Ken Rockwell's site specifically what camera you intend to use and what lens you are eyeing.
     
  12. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Ralph,

    Yes, that is correct. Those cameras control aperture from dial/chip/electronic settings. G lenses cannot obviously be used on manual cameras since there is no aperture ring.

    Max
     
  13. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    I stand corrected, you are right.:smile:
     
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  15. zk-cessnaguy

    zk-cessnaguy Member

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    G lenses also work on the F4 in Shutter Priority and Program Modes.
     
  16. totalmotard

    totalmotard Member

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    Here's what works with what I got:

    D700 = G lenses, AF-D lenses, AIS lenses (F100 would work here too)
    N80 = G lenses, AF-D lenses
    FE = AF-D lenses, AIS lenses
    FTn = AIS lenses

    Only lenses to avoid with film are DX. Those are for small frame digital only. AF-D lenses are the most compatible and I will usually buy those unless I need something specific.
     
  17. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Use the Ken Rockwell chart, everyone has their own opinions on him and his musings, but his charts are really helpful.

    Avoid any lens that is for a Pronea, they will work on a small sensor Digital, but vignette on a 22x36 frame (or sensor)
    In a fit of sillyness Nikon made some Digital only lenses, the only film camera they work with is the Pronea, avoid as well.
    It almost appears random as to what bodies will and won't work with the "G" lenses. I have a N65 (low end)that works with G lenses, and a N90s (high end) that hates them.

    Fun fact: A frame of APS film like that used in the Nikon Pronea and he standard Nikon digital sensor are about the same size and that is why it is called and APS sensor. Maybe someone thought 35mm would die and APS would take over, oops, that didn't happen.
     
  18. T42

    T42 Member

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    Hi Gang.

    The charts at aiconversions.com might be useful in telling what lenses work with what as well. The proprietor, John White, does a very good job with the conversion. For $25 each, most old Nikkors will work on 35mm bodies all the way back to the F, and on the latest digital ones too.

    I came to a D700 a year ago with ten old Nikkors, some dating back to the sixties. Seven of them needed AI conversion, which is essentially the removal of some metal material on the camera facing part of the aperture rings of the older, pre-AI lenses. That modification makes it possible for old Nikkors to follow a movable lever which runs along the outside of the newer F mount flanges.

    I am more than a little happy that all my old glass can be used on the latest Nikons.

    :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2010
  19. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Non-AI lenses: Nikon F, F2 with DE-1, DP-1 through DP-3 for full aperture metering, Nikkormat FT, FTn, FT2, EL, ELw, and FS, plus the Nikkorex F. Will do stop-down metering on F2 with DP-11 or DP-12, any F3, any F4, FE, FM, and modified F5 or F6. Will mount, but not meter on cameras like the D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, and D5000. Do not attempt to mount them to any other Nikon.

    AI lenses: Will work on all of the above, plus any other Nikon, albeit, with the N4004, 4004s, 5005, N65, etc, and most low-end DSLR Nikons, except for the D7000, they won't meter. The AI lenses will also provide matrix metering on the F4 and the FA. Suspect most non-CPU lenses can be used with the current higher end digis, the D7000, and the F6 in matrix metering.

    AIS lenses: same as AI, but added a linear diaphragm for use with the FG, N2000, FA, etc in program mode. Series E lenses are AIS as well.

    AF and AI-P lenses: same as AIS, but with added CPU, and AF in the AF lenses. AI-P lenses, like the AF lenses and the Series E lenses do not have coupling prongs, but those can be added by any repair shop for use on non-AI bodies with full-aperture metering. Mod not needed if shooting a Nikon F eyelevel, F2 with DE-1, Nikkormat FS, or Nikkorex F without meter.

    AF-D lenses: same as AF, but distance info added to chip for more flash features. Current technology for screw-drive AF Nikkors.

    AF-I lenses: coreless motor for AF usage, work as MF lenses on N2020, 4004 series, 6006, and 8008, but work as AF on F4, N90/90s, and newer cameras.

    AF-S lenses: same as AF-I, except motor is a silent-wave motor for very quiet focus. Fast focus, even on an F4.

    AF-G lenses: no ap. ring, so not compatible at all with MF Nikon bodies, partially compatible with N6006, 8008, 90, F4, fully compatible with N4004 series, N50-80, F100, F5 and newer. Not sure if an N2020 could use one, maybe in P mode only. Some lenses, as mentioned in prev. posts, are DX, so those can only be used on DSLR's or Pronea bodies without vignetting.

    IX-Nikkors: Pronea S and 6i only. Nikon does not recommend using them on an APS-C format DSLR nor any 35mm format analog or digital Nikons.

    One caveat about adding a prong to an AF Nikkor: the detents on the ring are much softer than the earlier manual lenses, so it is recommended that if you're mounting them to a Nikkormat that you hold the aperture ring @ 5.6 while mounting, so the meter doesn't think you're mounting a 50/1.2 lens, instead of a 300/4 AF-S Nikkor, etc.

    -J
     
  20. djacobox372

    djacobox372 Member

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    I would add that the F6 is ridiculously expensive, and will likely remain that way as it was the last of the nikon film slrs and produced in low numbers (collectors will keep the price high). Go for an f100; it's almost identical in features and performance at 1/10th the cost.
     
  21. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    I agree it's over expensive, then again compared to the £4500 I paid for my Ebony 45SU (it arrived after the £ had crashed) it's a bargain! :laugh::D
     
  22. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    Update....

    I have finally bought a basic F4 body (for £149) and a 55mm F2.8 AIS Micro for the same price as the camera! In fact the F4 body cost me less to buy that what I paid for my original, admittedly new, OM1 back in the 1970s!

    Many thanks for your help in diverting me away from buying the F6! :smile:
     
  23. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Look inside the rear of the 55 micro with a flashlight/torch.
    Most Ais used sub par lubricant and the lube breaks down and sloughs off the focussing helicoids.

    It also eventually works it's way to the aperture blades and can seize the aperture.
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Exactly what I was going to link to.

    In general, you cannot really go wrong with AI or AI-S glass.

    Also, regarding your comment about hoping the D700X (or whatever they call it) will beat the 5D Mk. II: Ken Rockwell also opines on why the D700 is "better" for almost everyone, especially those working without tripods and/or shooting moving objects (i.e. people). I'd check it out while you are there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2011
  25. Lightproof

    Lightproof Member

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    Some of the G lenses are quite great and can justify one additional film body (F6, F100...).
    They are quite bulky but the ones I have are better sealed than AI(s) lenses. My father's 35/1.4 still does a good job, but it is pretty dusty inside.

    Personally, I do not hesitate to buy the G lenses. But if there is anything as outstanding as for example the 180/2.8ED the AI(s) range, i will certainly prefer that.
     
  26. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    All this seems a bit confusing, I think I stick with my RB67

    Jeff