What Nikon camera for old manual lenses?

Started Mar 22, 2020 | Discussions thread
Nikonlinks Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: What Nikon camera for old manual lenses?

Stan your experience with older wide angle lenses is not unusual. The photo sites on a digital sensor are slightly below the surface of the sensor. Unless the light is striking the sensor vertically there is light cutoff or distortion. The wider the lens the more that is a problem. Thats why when digital was a new thing certain lenses were sold as "digital". That wasn't a problem with film where the emulsion was flat, not recessed into little holes.

There are many like myself using the Df with older lenses including wide angle. I still use an 18mm manual focus lens. No doubt optics have improved but most of the older lenses perform at least as well on the Df as they did on film. I have a theory that the unique sensor in the Df and D4 has photo sites that are closer to the surface of the sensor. Take a look on Fred Miranda forum where there is a huge thread of images with manual focus lenses which is just about to hit 1,000 pages. You'll find the Df is by far the most used body. Of course its the only one that can use non-AI lenses, but the sensor is part of the equation.

I'm not going to tell anyone the newer bodies don't have better sensors. My D810 and D850 are surely better when you look at a pixel level. When looking at images normally, especially on a computer screen, the Df/D4 sensor has a smoother look to me. The mechanical-like body controls combined with a non-AI lens is about like driving an antique car.  Whether thats better or worse is opinion but surely is more fun.

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