Nikon digital SLR newb questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jim, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I have some nice older Nikon film gear, and several lenses.

    Can I use old AI type lenses with Nikon digital SLR? If only certain
    models, which?

    What Nikon digital SLRs are considered "bargains" on the current used
    Jim, Dec 29, 2006
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  2. Personally, my D70 must be the best buy in the second-hand market.

    You can use these old lenses on all current Nikon DSLR's in manual mode
    only. You retain the sharpness and resolution but lose out in terms of
    digital SLR "automation", ie it's back to manual focussing, a Weston Master,
    and speed and aperture setting, although on the D70 you get an indication of
    when the focus is correct with a green dot in the viewfinder. The DSLR
    viewfinder is not nearly as good as an F3 or later film Nikon for focussing

    Lots of pro's and amateurs use these lenses and forget about the DSLR's
    modern technology, AND they take great pictures!

    You can always buy a new DX lens, or earlier AF lens, later, but remember
    the DX range will not work on the Nikon film cameras because of vignetting.

    Dennis Pogson, Dec 29, 2006
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  3. From what I've heard the D200 sounds like your best bet. There is a
    compatibility chart on Thom Hogan's site which might be of help:

    As buying lenses is normally the most expensive part of dslr photography it
    sounds like you are at an advantage having some older lenses already as a
    lot of people seem to swear by these lenses for their quality.

    cheers adrian
    Adrian Boliston, Dec 29, 2006
  4. Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 29, 2006
  5. Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 29, 2006
  6. Jim

    Roy G Guest

    Roy G, Dec 29, 2006
  7. Jim

    tomm42 Guest

    An Ai lens will operate on any Nikon DSLR - BUT with the more consumer
    oriented models D40, D50, D70and also the D100 the lenses won't meter.
    Not a huge crisis with digital, if you have a lens that will meter just
    use the setting you have. If you want a camera that the Ai lenses will
    function fully, new the D200 is the lowest priced camera. Some of the
    older Nikon pro cameras, D1X, D2H are at good prices right now. Buy
    from a reputable store and you should be alright. There are other Nikon
    pro cameras that are down right cheap, D1, D1H, but they have very
    small file size. I'd go for a D200 if you have the bucks, a little used
    D1X would be a second choice. I do think warranties are important with
    digital cameras.

    tomm42, Dec 29, 2006
  8. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Sorry guys, I made a MISTAKE in my first question. I meant to say
    NON-AI or pre-AI lenses, with the ear that couples with the bayonet.

    The Nikon site doesn't mention the D200, but seems to exclude all of the
    others. Am I out of luck with these lenses, even with the D200, because
    of the ear that couples with the meter on the older cameras?
    Jim, Dec 29, 2006
  9. For more information than you will ever really want to know,
    check this web site:

    The non-AI lenses lack not just the ears (which would not be
    used anyway), but a mechanical tab that transmits the current
    aperture setting to the camera body. Look at this URL,
    at the clockwise end of Theta1 for the tab that is missing
    on pre-AI lenses. (There is another at the counter clockwise
    end of Theta2, but I don't know what it does and it obviously
    is not always present on AI lenses as can be seen from the
    images shown.)

    Nikon warns that use of pre-AI lenses could damage the camera,
    though in fact I've yet to see one that is actually likely to do
    that. The problem is that base of the lense mounting plate does
    not have clearance for the lever on the camera body that would
    normally be indexed with a tab on an AI lense, and mounting a
    pre-AI lense puts pressure on the camera's indexing lever which
    pushes it against the camera mount rather than moving it to a
    position which indicates the f/stop setting. Some lenses fit on
    very easily, and some do not. You'll want to look very closely
    the first time you mount an pre-AI lense to make sure it is not
    going to break the lever on the camera. It might also be
    possible to remove the mount ring on a lense and file off some
    of the metal if it is too tight.

    I use a couple of different pre-AI lenses on a D2x, and have not
    experienced any problems. It of course does mean that the
    camera has no clue what the lense is doing, and therefore light
    metering does not work. However, I rarely use the light meter
    anyway, and much prefer to rely on the "blink-on-over-exposure"
    LCD display.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Dec 29, 2006
  10. Sure it does, just need to look around a bit.**&p_li=&p_topview=1
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 29, 2006
  11. Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Dec 29, 2006
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