Your favorite Nikon camera body for use with vintage manual focus lenses

Started Aug 21, 2022 | Discussions thread
Parry Johnson
Parry Johnson Senior Member • Posts: 2,511
Re: Your favorite Nikon camera body for use with vintage manual focus lenses

iljitsch wrote:

Then the Z fc. I was quite disappointed when I found out that the FTZ adapter not only lacks a focus motor so no autofocus with AF lenses, or an aperture coupling ring so no easy compatibility with manual focus lenses, but with non-CPU lenses you don't even get all the focus aids you get on the D7100 with the same lenses or with CPU lenses in manual mode. So you have to use not very reliable/accurate focus peaking or use slow and laborious viewfinder zoom to nail focus. And the camera makes no attempts to control the aperture. So when you want to shoot at f/16 the viewfinder operates at f/16, so good luck focusing with so little light coming in and such a deep field of view.

Yes, there are some limitations with Z bodoes, but once you get the hang of it, focus peaking works better than the green dot and arrows. I've also set one of my buttons to zoom to 100%, so a quick check is easy.  Whenever I'm using an MF lens, I have to slow down anyway, so focusing wide-open then stopping down isn't a problem for me.

All of that said, a big advantage of the Z cameras is that they have the shortest flange distance known to man so there are cheap adapters for pretty much any mount to Z. So I plan on getting an M42 adapter so I can use my Pentacon 135 mm f/2.8 "bokeh monster" (13 aperture blades!) lens a bit more. I do have a super thin adapter for M42 to F mount but with that, you can't focus to more than 10 meters, so not quite as useful.

I bought a few cheap Fotasy adapters off Ebay for each specific mount.  Most of my MF lenses are Canon FD mount, and before I sold off my M42 lenses I used a Canon "P" M42 to FD converter, which gives infinity focus for M42 lenses. (An M42 to Z adapter would be cheaper and easier to find, plus easier to use.)

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