Manual focus lenses with a D70.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by John A. Stovall, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. How well do manual focus lenses work on the D70 (or any of the Nikon
    digitals)? I see what appears to be very good prices on used manual
    focus Nikon lenses.


    **********************************************************

    "A people that take no pride in the noble accomplishments
    of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy
    to be remembered with pride by remote descendents."

    Thomas Babington Macaulay
    _History of England_
    John A. Stovall, Jan 2, 2005
    #1
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  2. John A. Stovall

    Jim Guest

    "John A. Stovall" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > How well do manual focus lenses work on the D70 (or any of the Nikon
    > digitals)? I see what appears to be very good prices on used manual
    > focus Nikon lenses.
    >

    They work quite well if you understand the limitations:
    1. No autofocus (naturally)
    2. No automatic exposure. You set the shutter speed and fstop by hand
    (like in the good old days).

    Alas, there is no E screen for the D70.

    Jim
    Jim, Jan 2, 2005
    #2
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  3. On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 18:53:32 GMT, "Jim" <> wrote:

    >
    >"John A. Stovall" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> How well do manual focus lenses work on the D70 (or any of the Nikon
    >> digitals)? I see what appears to be very good prices on used manual
    >> focus Nikon lenses.
    >>

    >They work quite well if you understand the limitations:
    >1. No autofocus (naturally)
    >2. No automatic exposure. You set the shutter speed and fstop by hand
    >(like in the good old days).


    No, problem, used Lecias GE's and Contrarex SLR which worked that
    way. I've even used preset telephotos.

    >
    >Alas, there is no E screen for the D70.


    I was afraid there were no good focusing screens.

    My standard was a clear Fresnel with a micro prism circular and split
    image in the center of it.

    Do any of the D bodies have better screens or allow change out?

    I can tell from Nikon's web site.


    **********************************************************

    "A people that take no pride in the noble accomplishments
    of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy
    to be remembered with pride by remote descendents."

    Thomas Babington Macaulay
    _History of England_
    John A. Stovall, Jan 2, 2005
    #3
  4. John A. Stovall

    Musty Guest

    "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:MqXBd.10068$...
    >
    > "John A. Stovall" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > How well do manual focus lenses work on the D70 (or any of the Nikon
    > > digitals)? I see what appears to be very good prices on used manual
    > > focus Nikon lenses.
    > >

    > They work quite well if you understand the limitations:
    > 1. No autofocus (naturally)
    > 2. No automatic exposure. You set the shutter speed and fstop by hand
    > (like in the good old days).


    Errr, what do you mean the good old days? I use manual exposure on almost
    all my shooting. For example, how do you meter off the sky to take a scenic
    shot? You can use AE lock, but why bother? No AF is mainly a problem if you
    are shooting moving objects, for scenes and portraits MF should be fine -
    infact for high depth of field shots I only use MF.

    >
    > Alas, there is no E screen for the D70.
    >
    > Jim
    >
    >
    Musty, Jan 2, 2005
    #4
  5. John A. Stovall

    Dave Guest

    John A. Stovall wrote:
    > How well do manual focus lenses work on the D70 (or any of the Nikon
    > digitals)? I see what appears to be very good prices on used manual
    > focus Nikon lenses.


    I asked a similar question once about using old (in my case Tamron)
    lenses on my new (and expensive) Nikon F6 film camera.

    The feeling of many was that it is a waste of money to spend lots of
    money on a body then neglect the lenses and that I would get little of
    the functionality of the body.

    Since I had not bought the F6 at the time, and I stated money was a
    concern, several suggested I spent more money on lenses and bought a
    cheaper body instead.

    The other thing pointed out is that lenses have improved a lot with the
    introduction of better computer modeling.

    I must admit, having bought the F6 with 50mm f/1.4 and since added 20mm
    f/2.8 and the 70-200 AF-S IF-ED VR lens, I am glad I didthed the older
    lenses. It would have been a bit of a waste to spend so much money on a
    body and get 10% of its functionality.

    You obviously loose autofocus on MF lenses, which certainly on the
    expensive 70-200 lens is faster at focusing than me. On the F6 matrix
    metering works, but not 3D matrix metering. But I don't think matrix
    metering will work on most bodies and this might well include your D70.

    Still, if pennies are tight, you might well want to use an MF lens and
    perhaps replace it for an AF one at a later date. I'm seriously
    considering this on a long telephoto (400~600 mm) where buying an AF
    model is just out of the question due to their price (even used).
    Dave, Jan 2, 2005
    #5
  6. "Jim" <> writes:

    > 2. No automatic exposure. You set the shutter speed and fstop by hand
    > (like in the good old days).


    With the one manual lens I've used on my D70, the f/stop showed as ----- no
    matter what the setting was. I didn't really care about the exposure, as I
    just set it to the sunny f/16 rule and then adjusted till it looked right
    on the monitor.

    Is there a way to get a good meter reading shown in the viewfinder? If you
    set the f/stop by hand with the lens, does the D70 stop it down for you?
    (The lens I used (Peleng 8mm) requires that you close down the aperture by
    hand, so that wasn't an issue.)

    --
    Phil Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    The Civilized Explorer | spam and read later. email from this URL
    http://www.cieux.com/ | http://www.civex.com/ is read daily.
    Phil Stripling, Jan 2, 2005
    #6
  7. John A. Stovall

    C J Campbell Guest

    "John A. Stovall" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Do any of the D bodies have better screens or allow change out?
    >
    > I can tell from Nikon's web site.


    Yes. B&H Photo carries them.
    C J Campbell, Jan 2, 2005
    #7
  8. John A. Stovall

    Jim Guest

    "John A. Stovall" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 18:53:32 GMT, "Jim" <> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"John A. Stovall" <> wrote in message
    > >news:...
    > >> How well do manual focus lenses work on the D70 (or any of the Nikon
    > >> digitals)? I see what appears to be very good prices on used manual
    > >> focus Nikon lenses.
    > >>

    > >They work quite well if you understand the limitations:
    > >1. No autofocus (naturally)
    > >2. No automatic exposure. You set the shutter speed and fstop by hand
    > >(like in the good old days).

    >
    > No, problem, used Lecias GE's and Contrarex SLR which worked that
    > way. I've even used preset telephotos.

    Those things can be a pain to use. My old Practica FX came with a preset
    Tessar lens. It was quite good (for the time anyway) as long as I remember
    to stop it down.
    >
    > >
    > >Alas, there is no E screen for the D70.

    >
    > I was afraid there were no good focusing screens.
    >
    > My standard was a clear Fresnel with a micro prism circular and split
    > image in the center of it.
    >
    > Do any of the D bodies have better screens or allow change out?

    There are type B and type E screens for the D1, D2, and D100.
    Jim
    Jim, Jan 2, 2005
    #8
  9. John A. Stovall

    Jim Guest

    "Musty" <> wrote in message
    news:YSYBd.43430$...
    >
    > "Jim" <> wrote in message
    > news:MqXBd.10068$...
    > >

    >
    > Errr, what do you mean the good old days? I use manual exposure on almost
    > all my shooting. For example, how do you meter off the sky to take a

    scenic
    > shot? You can use AE lock, but why bother? No AF is mainly a problem if

    you
    > are shooting moving objects, for scenes and portraits MF should be fine -
    > infact for high depth of field shots I only use MF.

    With the D70, you look at the LCD. It shows where the underexposed and
    overexposed areas are. You also look at the histogram.

    As for me, I abandoned hand held meters when I bought my Canon FT-QL back in
    1968. Just one less thing hanging around my neck.

    Jim
    Jim, Jan 2, 2005
    #9
  10. John A. Stovall

    Jim Guest

    "Phil Stripling" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Jim" <> writes:
    >
    > Is there a way to get a good meter reading shown in the viewfinder?

    No
    >If you
    > set the f/stop by hand with the lens, does the D70 stop it down for you?

    Yes
    Jim
    Jim, Jan 2, 2005
    #10
  11. John A. Stovall

    Musty Guest

    "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:9J_Bd.5421$...
    >
    > "Musty" <> wrote in message
    > news:YSYBd.43430$...
    > >
    > > "Jim" <> wrote in message
    > > news:MqXBd.10068$...
    > > >

    > >
    > > Errr, what do you mean the good old days? I use manual exposure on

    almost
    > > all my shooting. For example, how do you meter off the sky to take a

    > scenic
    > > shot? You can use AE lock, but why bother? No AF is mainly a problem if

    > you
    > > are shooting moving objects, for scenes and portraits MF should be

    fine -
    > > infact for high depth of field shots I only use MF.

    > With the D70, you look at the LCD. It shows where the underexposed and
    > overexposed areas are. You also look at the histogram.
    >
    > As for me, I abandoned hand held meters when I bought my Canon FT-QL back

    in
    > 1968. Just one less thing hanging around my neck.
    >
    > Jim
    >


    When I said metering, I meant just pointing the camera to the appropriate
    place and adjusting A and T until the camera tells me the exposure is
    "correct". I am referring to the fact that manual exposure allows you to
    quickly meter off the correct place whereas using an autoexposure, the
    camera tell you what the aperture and shutter speed must be given something
    it decided to meter. For example when taking landscape shots I usually meter
    off the sky and then recompose and take the image.
    Musty, Jan 2, 2005
    #11
  12. On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 22:38:58 GMT, "Jim" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Phil Stripling" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> "Jim" <> writes:
    >>
    >> Is there a way to get a good meter reading shown in the viewfinder?

    >No


    Then it looks like I will keep using my Gossen then.

    >>If you
    >> set the f/stop by hand with the lens, does the D70 stop it down for you?

    >Yes


    Well that's good.

    ******************************************************

    "The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely
    to be preferred to the presence of those who think
    they've found it."

    _The Monstrous Regiment_
    Terry Pratchett
    2003
    John A. Stovall, Jan 2, 2005
    #12
  13. On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 22:37:57 GMT, "Jim" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Musty" <> wrote in message
    >news:YSYBd.43430$...
    >>
    >> "Jim" <> wrote in message
    >> news:MqXBd.10068$...
    >> >

    >>
    >> Errr, what do you mean the good old days? I use manual exposure on almost
    >> all my shooting. For example, how do you meter off the sky to take a

    >scenic
    >> shot? You can use AE lock, but why bother? No AF is mainly a problem if

    >you
    >> are shooting moving objects, for scenes and portraits MF should be fine -
    >> infact for high depth of field shots I only use MF.

    >With the D70, you look at the LCD. It shows where the underexposed and
    >overexposed areas are. You also look at the histogram.


    That strikes me as a great step backward. At least a go/no-go
    indicator in the viewer. My older Pentax SP-1 Film camera puts up a
    great deal of information there.


    >As for me, I abandoned hand held meters when I bought my Canon FT-QL back in
    >1968. Just one less thing hanging around my neck.


    I've found over the years there are just too many things that an in
    camera meter can't meter.


    ***************************************************************

    "Americans have plenty of everything and the best of nothing."

    John C. Keats
    American Writer
    1924-2000
    John A. Stovall, Jan 2, 2005
    #13
  14. John A. Stovall <> writes:

    > How well do manual focus lenses work on the D70 (or any of the Nikon
    > digitals)? I see what appears to be very good prices on used manual
    > focus Nikon lenses.


    On the low end, D70, D100, and the Fuji S2, the manual focus lenses
    mount, and shoot fine. Focus is, of course, entirely manual -- but
    the "focus" indicator down in the corner of the frame functions, plus
    what you can tell from the viewfinders.

    However, they don't *meter*. At all. On the low end cameras. This
    is a design decicions on the cameras; they'll meter fine on an F100,
    or I believe on a D1 and the variants.

    Depending on the type of shooting you do, and on your personal
    experience and working style, this is somewhere between a complete
    deal-breaker, and no big deal at all. Personally, I've worked with
    cameras with no built-in meter, and *most* of my work is still shot on
    manual exposure even with modern camera bodies. So for me, it's
    mostly no big deal.

    I use my 58mm f1.2 NOCT and 24mm f2 quite a lot, and my 135mm F2 and
    300mm f2.8 (Tamron) some (and I sure can't afford modern autofocus
    lenses with those specs).
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 3, 2005
    #14
  15. "Jim" <> writes:

    > "Musty" <> wrote in message
    > news:YSYBd.43430$...
    >>
    >> "Jim" <> wrote in message
    >> news:MqXBd.10068$...
    >> >

    >>
    >> Errr, what do you mean the good old days? I use manual exposure on almost
    >> all my shooting. For example, how do you meter off the sky to take a

    > scenic
    >> shot? You can use AE lock, but why bother? No AF is mainly a problem if

    > you
    >> are shooting moving objects, for scenes and portraits MF should be fine -
    >> infact for high depth of field shots I only use MF.

    > With the D70, you look at the LCD. It shows where the underexposed and
    > overexposed areas are. You also look at the histogram.


    Yes, the histogram is *very much* your friend! Use it.

    > As for me, I abandoned hand held meters when I bought my Canon FT-QL
    > back in 1968. Just one less thing hanging around my neck.


    I didn't even buy my *first* hand-held meter until a year or two after
    that. Useful with my Leica M3. And later other hand-held meters were
    useful with studio flash, and useful with 4x5. I've got two hand-held
    meters now, one of which even lives in my normal camera bag and hence
    goes with me most of the time. But it probably *shouldn't*, because I
    use the LCD and histogram for exposure determination now almost
    exclusively.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 3, 2005
    #15
  16. John A. Stovall

    JR Guest

    MF lenses work extremely well with the D70, I use 2 in particular, the
    85/1.4 AI-S, and the 105/2.5 AI....these are such amazing lenses, that
    for portrait work, they are almost irreplaceable with AF lenses. In a
    studio setting, I use a meter with my strobes anyway, so the only
    limitation is focusing, and there is a in focus indicator in the
    viewfinder. Depending on the situation, it may be difficult to focus
    without that because of the smaller viewfinder, but I find it not that
    difficult, and rather easy to use the MF lenses.....

    JR




    In article <>,
    John A. Stovall <> wrote:

    > How well do manual focus lenses work on the D70 (or any of the Nikon
    > digitals)? I see what appears to be very good prices on used manual
    > focus Nikon lenses.
    >
    >
    > **********************************************************
    >
    > "A people that take no pride in the noble accomplishments
    > of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy
    > to be remembered with pride by remote descendents."
    >
    > Thomas Babington Macaulay
    > _History of England_
    JR, Jan 3, 2005
    #16
  17. John A. Stovall

    Jon Pike Guest

    John A. Stovall <> wrote in
    news::

    > I've found over the years there are just too many things that an in
    > camera meter can't meter.


    You mean, rather, that you don't know how to meter things properly?
    An in-camera meter is no different from a hand-held meter.

    --
    http://www.neopets.com/refer.phtml?username=moosespet
    Jon Pike, Jan 3, 2005
    #17
  18. John A. Stovall

    Jon Pike Guest

    David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote in news:-b.net:

    > because I
    > use the LCD and histogram for exposure determination now almost
    > exclusively.


    that's kind of silly... it's like you're trying to determine your exposure
    -after- you've taken your shot!

    --
    http://www.neopets.com/refer.phtml?username=moosespet
    Jon Pike, Jan 3, 2005
    #18
  19. John A. Stovall

    nospam Guest

    In article <Xns95D2CB2BCE98ALessThanPerfectInc@24.71.223.159>, Jon Pike
    <> wrote:

    > John A. Stovall <> wrote in
    > news::
    >
    > > I've found over the years there are just too many things that an in
    > > camera meter can't meter.

    >
    > You mean, rather, that you don't know how to meter things properly?
    > An in-camera meter is no different from a hand-held meter.


    there is a *huge* difference between the two.

    in-camera meters are convenient but you can't incident meter, flash
    meter or measure ambient color temperature. some cameras can spot meter
    with the built in meter but those are nowhere near as flexible or as
    tight a spot as with a dedicated spot meter.

    on the other hand, in-camera meters can examine multiple areas of the
    image, make some guesses about what the subject is and adjust the
    exposure accordingly. handheld meters can't do that.
    nospam, Jan 3, 2005
    #19
  20. Jon Pike <> writes:

    > that's kind of silly... it's like you're trying to determine your exposure
    > -after- you've taken your shot!


    I'm not sure what the problem is if I'm taking landscapes on a day when the
    light is fairly constant. Am I missing something?
    --
    Phil Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    The Civilized Explorer | spam and read later. email from this URL
    http://www.cieux.com/ | http://www.civex.com/ is read daily.
    Phil Stripling, Jan 3, 2005
    #20
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