View Full Version : Which lens mount for Nikon F body?

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12-10-2009, 11:55 AM
I have just picked up a Nikon F Body. This is my first Nikon. Could some one please tell me which of the Nikon Mounts I could use on this body. I previously owned and used Canon bodies and lenses.

Which lens mount is appropriate? F AI AIS designations.

You help is appreciated.


12-10-2009, 12:05 PM
I was under the impression that all Nikon SLR's used the same lens mount, but you may not be able to use all the features of a particular lens/body combination.

12-10-2009, 12:28 PM
If the lens is a 35mm Nikon lens it will mount on the F body. As LaGrassa pointed out you may not be able to take advantage of all the functions. The current listing of Nikon lenses includes some with the "DX" designation. While they will mount on an F camera they are not suitable for it as they are optimized for the digital sensor employing a 1.5 crop factor.

An excellent site for you would be http://www.nikonians.org/ It's a nikon site with lots of useful info on all things nikon....analog & digital.

Best regards,


12-10-2009, 12:33 PM
All non ai, ai, ais, AF, AF-d and some AFS lenses will mount on the Nikon F. Lenses made for DX (crop digitals), and APS film bodies won't work. The DX lenses will mount, but won't cover the whole frame. The APS lenses can damage the body. AF lenses designated G series won't work either - no aperture ring. Depending on whether you camera has the metering prism or not, only non-ai, ai, and AIS lenses will meter with the prism. All others have to be modified with a pair of "ears" to attach to the meter.

12-10-2009, 12:34 PM
The F will work and meter with Non-Ai, Ai, and AiS lenses. The meters for the F were made for non-Ai lenses, but Nikon's manual focus Ai and AiS lenses also work because Nikon continued putting the old non-Ai meter connection on the newer lenses for backward compatibility. The only ones that do not work are the AF-Nikkors, they do not have the metering connection for the non-Ai bodies like your F. The AF-Nikkor category also includes the digital lenses and the G-series lenses, which are also not compatible with the F.

12-10-2009, 12:36 PM
The AF lenses work... they just can't meter unless you meter in stop-down mode. They can have the coupling shoe added, if you like, however.

12-10-2009, 12:39 PM
No other camera brand will have as many lenses to choose from as Nikon.
All manual focus Nikon lenses will work on your F. As already mentioned the more modern DX lenses will not work and the G lenses will not either since they don't have any direct or mechanical apperture adjustment.

12-10-2009, 01:51 PM
Most everyone is assuming the F body has a Photomic finder. If it does not, don't worrry about the AI, A, etc. All non-digi lens will mount fine and work properly. As above, some digi lens might be useable as well.

12-10-2009, 01:58 PM
THIS link will likely help you.


12-10-2009, 02:00 PM
As will this link:


12-11-2009, 02:45 PM
No other camera brand will have as many lenses to choose from as Nikon.

Not quite. The Pentax K camera users have a substantially larger number and variety of lenses than any other mount at their disposable, I think.

They can accept the Pentax K-mount lenses, as well as Pentax M42 lenses with an adapter. Plus, there are the almost infinite number of third-party K-mount and M42 lenses going back to the mid-1940s, beginning with the Contax (the original M42 camera) right up to the current offerings from Carl Zeiss in both K and M42. In between are the various offerings from Ricoh, Tokina, Vivitar, Tamron, Sigma, Cosina, Fuji (M42), Mamiya (M42), Yashica (I think they had an M42 camera), Carl Zeiss, Carl Zeiss Jena and the many others that I can't recall at the moment.

Dave Pritchard
12-11-2009, 06:08 PM
To sum it up...

You can use any Nikon bayonet F lens on your old F body, except for the "G" lenses which do not have a focus ring. You could use them, but would not be able to adjust focus.:(

It is possible to damage some late model Nikon bodies by mounting older, non-AI lenses on them. That is not a problem you will have with an "F" chassis.

My F does not have the Photomic finder. I enjoy the sports finder and the waist-level finder. I can use almost any Nikon bayonet lens ever made on my old Vietnam-era bodies.

12-11-2009, 09:39 PM
The great thing about the Nikon F is that it's such a solid camera that it will outlast most of us on this board -- and probably our descendants, as well.

I think this thread should be moved out of the "Panoramic cameras and accessories" category.

12-11-2009, 10:26 PM
You can use any Nikon bayonet F lens on your old F body, except for the "G" lenses which do not have a focus ring. You could use them, but would not be able to adjust focus.:(

All of Nikon's AF lenses have some sort of manual focus ring, although on some of them it's almost vestigial. The missing ring on the G lenses is the aperture ring. Therefore, the G lenses will not meter with the Photomic finders, and if mounted, will always expose at the same aperture setting. You could use a G lens but it would be very limiting.

Denis R
12-13-2009, 01:34 AM
F mount

bellows, + film/slide copy attachment
fisheye, requires mirror lockup
reflex, 500 or 1k

find yourself a copy of nikon F and NIKKORMAT handbook with updates

12-17-2009, 03:09 PM
Here is a good link to learn about your new camera:

Ashton Lee
03-09-2010, 09:50 AM
On the older Nikon bodies you needed to have lenses set to F 5.6 to mount them and couple to the meter... then rotate to the widest aperture after mounting. This told the meter what aperture it was metereing at. I can't recall which old prisms required that, but certainly my early 70's F2 worked that way.

Take good care of that F... it should last another 432 years.

03-09-2010, 07:26 PM
One caveat to add. If you have the Photomic meter finder, it requires the little U shaped bracket to index the aperture for metering. All manual focus Nikon lenses (that I'm aware of) have this bracket, even the AI and AIS lenses. But I remember some manual focus third party lenses for Nikon that did not.

03-10-2010, 02:45 PM
Series E lenses don't have the coupling shoe either. One can be epoxied onto the ring, or holes can be drilled, then it can be screwed into the ring, like on the regular Nikkor lenses. If the original poster's F has the eyelevel finder, then the meter coupling shoe is a moot point.

With respect to Pentax having more third-party choices for lenses, that is possible, but probably not as big a difference as some people like to think, since most of the third-party lenses sold for Pentax were also in the Nikon AI/AIS mount. The only ones that weren't, were the ones sold by the companies that made their own cameras based on the K-mount. And, M42 lenses can be adapted to a Nikon body. Granted, you usually lose infinity focus except with the adapters that have optics in them, but they are useable.


07-24-2010, 09:40 AM
To clear things up about the "G" lenses, someone mentioned that they have no focus ring but I recall focusing my "G" lens a time or two so I looked again.

The Nikon "G" (gelded) lensed do indeed have the ability to be focused manually, but you can not adjust aperture, if you can or want to shoot wide open you could shoot a "G" lens on an Nikon F.

A problem that arises with this is that most "G" lenses tend to be made for APS or APS size digital sensors so you get some "artistic" photos where the corners are clipped off round (that's right I can't spell vigne... whatever) because you are using a larger format than the lens was made for. It has happened to me, that is why I don't discount using this lens film combination as it can produce an interesting photo and if you want round corners this will do it without post trickery.

If you really want the lens to work as intended on your camera use the Ken Rockwell list someone else posted a link to it does work, and has all the warnings so you won't break anything, and get the most out of your lens and body combination.