Metering issue with old AI lenses on new AF SLRs

Started Feb 3, 2010 | Discussions thread
René Schuster Forum Pro • Posts: 14,180

quinceandquilt wrote:

Good Morning:

I've read in a number of places information along the lines of "don't bother getting old manual lenses for new dslr's because you lose most of the new functions" etc. etc. etc.

But what if you want to do it anyway, because there are some fantastic lenses available that us mortals can afford more readily than the same quality lens in the new AF VR version.

The question is, if the metering capability is lost with the new body, what do you have to do (and know or have) in order to use a lens like that anyway?
Thanks in advance,

I hope my post will not be misunderstood as trolling here on a Nikon forum, but I just wanted to tell you that metering does work with all the old Nikkor lenses (pre AI, AI, AIS) when used on an Olympus DSLR body.

In aperture priority you set the aperture on the lens and the camera will find the right shutter speed. Manually focusing via the focus ring on the lens.

All it takes is an adapter Nikon mount to 4/3, just a mechanical connection lens-body, cheap and easily to find on ebay. There are even some focus confirm adapters, but I don´t really trust them, not very precise, so I prefer doing it without the focus confirm.

One of the nicest things when using old Nikkor lenses on an Oly body: You can dial in the focal length of the lens and your old Nikkor lens turns into a VR lens, thanks to Oly´s in-body IS (VR). Due to Oly´s somewhat smaller sensor you have a crop factor of about x2, so your Nikkor 105/2.5 AIS looks like a 210/2.5 VR on the Oly, the great ED 180/2.8 AIS turns into a 360/2.8 VR lens. I really enjoy both these lenses on my Oly 520, very fine glass!

Particularly this 520 is dirt cheap at the moment, a very good year 2008 model; the only newer ones (but still more expensive) would be the E-620 and the E-30.

The 520 viewfinder might not be the perfect one for manual focusing, but it sure can be done. The old top model E-3 as well as the newer E-30 both have bigger and brighter viewfinders, my only reason to consider one of them, probably the 30, as an upgrade, sooner or later.

Over here, the 520 body is down to about €300 now, so I could imagine you can find a brand new one for about the same amount in $$ in your part of the world. Or a complete kit with both the very! good kit lenses for maybe $500.

If you don´t really need noise free very high ISO shots (what the bigger Nikon sensor probably can do a little better), an inexpensive Oly body would be a good idea to use your old Nikkor lenses (unless you have the money for something D-300 and above).


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