Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera

Started Mar 5, 2012 | Discussions
DeLights
Junior MemberPosts: 38
Like?
Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera
Mar 5, 2012

I have a couple of really old F-mount lenses, left over from my Nikon F2 days. A splendid 55mm macro, and a 35-105 zoom that was also very nice. Neither is auto-anything; they did couple to the F2's metering system, but there was no autofocus in those days, nor VR. Supposedly, they would work with a new FX camera (the D800 comes to mind :)) but I'm not sure how. Manual focus doesn't bother me, but what happens to metering? Two reasons for using them: sharpness worthy of the D800, and zero cost, which is an issue at the moment.

Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Sante Patate
Senior MemberPosts: 3,439
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera
In reply to DeLights, Mar 5, 2012

All current dSLRs from D7000 up will mount and meter with any Nikon lens designated AI and later. Earlier lenses wreck the camera. There is a useful table at http://www.bythom.com/lensacronyms.htm

According to http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/lenses.html the zoom must be AI but there were a lot of pre-AI 55mm macros.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Marc S
Regular MemberPosts: 342Gear list
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera
In reply to DeLights, Mar 5, 2012

Your 35-105 has the AiS mount. It's ave to use on modern Ninkns.

Check the serial no of your 55mm Micro: http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html#55micro

It must be Ai or AiS! (first collum) Otherwise the aperture ring of the lens will bend or break the metering prone of the camera.
--
Marc
http://marcschlueter.wordpress.com/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
FlossTycoon
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,871
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses
In reply to DeLights, Mar 5, 2012

The older glass won't have the advanced multicoatings newer lenses are designed with. Image sensors are more reflective than film emulsions are. So the old lenses probably won't control flare and internal reflections like the new lenses will. That shouldn't be a problem if you keep bright points of light from the front of the old reliable lenses.

Good luck.

-- hide signature --

Alan, in Montana

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
slimandy
Forum ProPosts: 14,330Gear list
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera
In reply to DeLights, Mar 5, 2012

Why buy a D800 if you can't afford lenses?

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Fujifilm X-E1 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DeLights
Junior MemberPosts: 38
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera
In reply to DeLights, Mar 5, 2012

Thanks to all who responded. FWIW, here's what I learned.

The 55mm micro's serial number doesn't show up anywhere that I could find on the list, which seems very strange to me. I will assume it is not compatible. I alerted the list compiler to its existence.

As someone pointed out, the 35-105 zoom does show up as an Ai-S, but frankly, I am so concerned about potential damage I wouldn't put it on a new camera without some technical assurances from Nikon or a reputable camera repair agency.

Why buy a camera if you can't afford the lenses:

a) when I bought my D80, I also bought the AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 105mm 2.8G ED lens, which is God's gift to closeup photography. I want to move to a full frame camera to take full advantage of its capabilities. So I already have one splendid lens for the D800, when it finally magically materializes in my grasp;

b) I can afford the camera right now, but I can't afford the lens(es) until later. So I was hoping to use what I already had. It appears that the 35-105 may be usable, which would be fine with me until I can accumulate the funds to buy the 24-120, since my real interest is in the macro side of things anyway. The zoom is for the rest of the time, travelling, etc. In fact (Change of Subject Alert), if anyone can recommend a nice walking-around zoom that would be appropriate for the D800 that might be available used/refurbished, I would welcome the input.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JamesRL
Senior MemberPosts: 2,332Gear list
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera
In reply to DeLights, Mar 5, 2012

If its AIS, then put the 35-104 on your camera, and don't worry.

You can get your older non AI/AIS macro lens converetd for cheap:
http://www.aiconversions.com/

Then it will be fine to use. I have three AI/AIS lenses that I use on my D200.

 JamesRL's gear list:JamesRL's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Cultured Vulture
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,665Gear list
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera
In reply to JamesRL, Mar 6, 2012

JamesRL wrote:

If its AIS, then put the 35-104 on your camera, and don't worry.

You can get your older non AI/AIS macro lens converetd for cheap:
http://www.aiconversions.com/

Then it will be fine to use. I have three AI/AIS lenses that I use on my D200.

+1. I have an old 35-105 and I have mounted it many times on my D300. I also have a 50 f/1.4 AIS and it mounts with no problems. Pre AI lenses can be adapted as this poster has pointed out.
--
Regards,

JR

 Cultured Vulture's gear list:Cultured Vulture's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Marc S
Regular MemberPosts: 342Gear list
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera
In reply to DeLights, Mar 6, 2012

DeLights wrote:

Thanks to all who responded. FWIW, here's what I learned.

The 55mm micro's serial number doesn't show up anywhere that I could find on the list, which seems very strange to me. I will assume it is not compatible. I alerted the list compiler to its existence.

Roland will be delighted. Send him pictures so he can confirm the exact model.

As someone pointed out, the 35-105 zoom does show up as an Ai-S, but frankly, I am so concerned about potential damage I wouldn't put it on a new camera without some technical assurances from Nikon or a reputable camera repair agency.

Don't worry! Your 35-105 AiS has exactly the same mount as Nikkor AF lenses (minus the electrical contacts and AF coupler), no danger here.
--
Marc
http://marcschlueter.wordpress.com/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DeLights
Junior MemberPosts: 38
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses on new FX camera
In reply to DeLights, Mar 6, 2012

Thanks, guys, that's all really good, useful information. My first visit here. Great forum!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jamesdak
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,827
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses
In reply to FlossTycoon, Mar 7, 2012

FlossTycoon wrote:

The older glass won't have the advanced multicoatings newer lenses are designed with. Image sensors are more reflective than film emulsions are. So the old lenses probably won't control flare and internal reflections like the new lenses will. That shouldn't be a problem if you keep bright points of light from the front of the old reliable lenses.

Good luck.

-- hide signature --

Alan, in Montana

You know I have been hearing this for years and years now, basically every since I went digital. In my experience this just is not a legitimate problem. I shoot with around a dozen and a half old mf lenses mounted to various DSLRs to include Konica/Minolta, Canon, and Nikon. The lenses are Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Contax Zeiss, and Leica R. Oh, and even an old Mamiya medium format 200/2.8 adapted to work on my Canon DSLRs. I have shot thousands and thousands of images with these setups and no detected problems due to "inferior" coatings.

-- hide signature --

Long live the HMS Beagle
Critiques always welcome!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jdrpc
Contributing MemberPosts: 502Gear list
Like?
Old F-mount lenses on new FX: Other reasons...
In reply to DeLights, Mar 7, 2012

There are other reasons, besides economic, to use 'old' Nikkor lens on a DSLR:

Some of those lenses were never re-edit or surpassed in AF, like the lengendary 105mm, or my favorite zoom, the E-series 75-150mm.

I also use extensivly the Manual Focus only Zeiss ZF, but that is another story...

Anyway, in many ocasions, I prefer the focus precision of the older manual focus lens...

 jdrpc's gear list:jdrpc's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Nikon D300 Nikon D700 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DeLights
Junior MemberPosts: 38
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses on new FX: Other reasons...
In reply to jdrpc, Mar 7, 2012

How do you mount an E-series lens on an F-mount camera? Is there a commercial adapter available, or do you take it to a repair shop? Or do it yourself?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Leonard Migliore
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,822Gear list
Like?
Turn it until it clicks
In reply to DeLights, Mar 7, 2012

DeLights wrote:

How do you mount an E-series lens on an F-mount camera? Is there a commercial adapter available, or do you take it to a repair shop? Or do it yourself?

Nikon E-series lenses are AI-S; I guess E stands for Economy; they were the low-cost lenses of their time. My 50mm E has the regular Nikon F-mount and works perfectly on my D300, although as a manual focus 50 on a crop sensor it sees very little action.
--
Leonard Migliore

 Leonard Migliore's gear list:Leonard Migliore's gear list
Canon PowerShot G12 Nikon D300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
FlossTycoon
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,871
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses
In reply to jamesdak, Mar 7, 2012

I photograph trains with bright headlights coming right into the front of the lens. I see it with some old MF glass. The AF-D lenses have things under control better especially if you take the UV filters off the lenses.

I can't always prevent them all particularly near dusk even with the newest lenses.

jamesdak wrote:

FlossTycoon wrote:

The older glass won't have the advanced multicoatings newer lenses are designed with. Image sensors are more reflective than film emulsions are. So the old lenses probably won't control flare and internal reflections like the new lenses will. That shouldn't be a problem if you keep bright points of light from the front of the old reliable lenses.

Good luck.

-- hide signature --

Alan, in Montana

You know I have been hearing this for years and years now, basically every since I went digital. In my experience this just is not a legitimate problem. I shoot with around a dozen and a half old mf lenses mounted to various DSLRs to include Konica/Minolta, Canon, and Nikon. The lenses are Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Contax Zeiss, and Leica R. Oh, and even an old Mamiya medium format 200/2.8 adapted to work on my Canon DSLRs. I have shot thousands and thousands of images with these setups and no detected problems due to "inferior" coatings.

-- hide signature --

Long live the HMS Beagle
Critiques always welcome!

-- hide signature --

Alan, in Montana

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
CFynn
Senior MemberPosts: 5,211Gear list
Like?
Make sure it is an AI Lens
In reply to DeLights, Mar 7, 2012

DeLights wrote:

I have a couple of really old F-mount lenses, left over from my Nikon F2 days. A splendid 55mm macro, and a 35-105 zoom that was also very nice. Neither is auto-anything; they did couple to the F2's metering system, but there was no autofocus in those days, nor VR. Supposedly, they would work with a new FX camera (the D800 comes to mind :)) but I'm not sure how. Manual focus doesn't bother me, but what happens to metering?

I have an F2 as well - some of the lenses I got with that camera are non AI and you cannot use them on a modern DSLR. Mounting a non-AI lens on a DSLR can damage the camera.

If your F2 has one of the later finders, that does not use a pin that sits in the "rabbit ears" prong of the lens to couple to the meter in the finder, the lenses should be AI and you can use them.

AI lenses have 2 sets of aperture numbers as well as holes in the "rabbit ears" coupling prong to let light fall on the inner aperture numbers.

Two reasons for using them: sharpness worthy of the D800, and zero cost, which is an issue at the moment.

Old AI and AIS lenses work well on the D7000 and all FX DSLRs - you can store details of up to 9 "non-CPU" manual focus lenses and use them in aperture priority or manual mode.

Focusing is a bit of an issue - the screens on modern DSLRs are nowhere near as good for critical focusing as the screens for an F2. Except when using Live View and the rear LCD, you have to keep the corner of your eye on the green focusing confirmation LEDs at the bottom left of the viewfinder screen, which is awkward for subjects that move even a little.

I'm thinking about getting a Katz-Eye screen for my camera which would give it old fashioned split image focusing that would make things better.

 CFynn's gear list:CFynn's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Nikon D800E Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 105mm f/2D DC Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF +14 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
CFynn
Senior MemberPosts: 5,211Gear list
Like?
Re: E-series
In reply to DeLights, Mar 7, 2012

DeLights wrote:

How do you mount an E-series lens on an F-mount camera? Is there a commercial adapter available, or do you take it to a repair shop? Or do it yourself?

E series lenses are F-mount (and AI ) - they were just a cheaper range that didn't work on older cameras.

 CFynn's gear list:CFynn's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Nikon D800E Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 105mm f/2D DC Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF +14 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Michael Benveniste
Senior MemberPosts: 1,669Gear list
Like?
Re: Old F-mount lenses
In reply to FlossTycoon, Mar 7, 2012

FlossTycoon wrote:

The older glass won't have the advanced multicoatings newer lenses are designed with. Image sensors are more reflective than film emulsions are. So the old lenses probably won't control flare and internal reflections like the new lenses will.

I bought a 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5 new about a year after it came out, and I still have it today. I rarely use it with my D200, but as far as I can tell, the coatings aren't a major contributor to flare. By the time this lens came out, Nikon MRC was a mature process. Changes since then have been more incremental in nature.

The bigger issue is the lens hood, or rather the lack of one. The lens hood for the 35-105mm is an HK-11 slip-on. It's circular rather than tulip-shaped and only about 3/4" deep, and because it has to work at 35mm, it's pretty useless at longer focal lengths. I've never even seriously thought of buying one -- I'll use either a generic screw-in hood or an HN-21.

-- hide signature --

I miss the days when I used to be nostalgic.

 Michael Benveniste's gear list:Michael Benveniste's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 995 Nikon D200 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF +30 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DeLights
Junior MemberPosts: 38
Like?
Re: Turn it until it clicks
In reply to Leonard Migliore, Mar 7, 2012

Good response, Leonard, gave me a laugh. I didn't know about E-series lenses, so this whole thread has been a considerable education for me.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DeLights
Junior MemberPosts: 38
Like?
Re: Make sure it is an AI Lens
In reply to CFynn, Mar 7, 2012

If your F2 has one of the later finders, that does not use a pin that sits in the "rabbit ears" prong of the lens to couple to the meter in the finder, the lenses should be AI and you can use them.

They are currently attached to a Nikon FM with no pin coupling to the "rabbit ears" (great term, I never knew what to call that thing). So that's encouraging.

AI lenses have 2 sets of aperture numbers as well as holes in the "rabbit ears" coupling prong to let light fall on the inner aperture numbers.

I just had a look at them, and there they are, the holes in the rabbit ears. All these years I never took notice of that modification in the coupling. So I guess I'm home free with these two lenses. I should mention that Roland Vink, who has compiled a great list of Nikon lenses by serial number, has confirmed that these are AIS lenses, which adds to my confidence in them.

Old AI and AIS lenses work well on the D7000 and all FX DSLRs - you can store details of up to 9 "non-CPU" manual focus lenses and use them in aperture priority or manual mode.

Focusing is a bit of an issue - the screens on modern DSLRs are nowhere near as good for critical focusing as the screens for an F2. Except when using Live View and the rear LCD, you have to keep the corner of your eye on the green focusing confirmation LEDs at the bottom left of the viewfinder screen, which is awkward for subjects that move even a little.

I'm thinking about getting a Katz-Eye screen for my camera which would give it old fashioned split image focusing that would make things better.

This is all really good info for me. It sounds like using old lenses on new cameras is a bit of a mixed bag. And you can use interchangeable focusing screens on current Nikon cameras? That's news too. Thanks for that.

I must say, I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on a D800. Be interesting to see how Nikon keeps up with the demand, and what the effort will do to their quality control.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads