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Old Sep 4, 2012, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default AI-S and AF lenses still good?

Hi,

I am fairly new to photography, bought my first DSLR a few weeks ago - the D5100 and kit lens. Absolutely love it, especially as the kit lens is so versatile. I also inherited some manual focus lenses - Nikkor 55mm Micro AIS, and a 105mm AIS also. Both are really good and fill gaps in my kit lens, although neither meter.
Thinking about the possible expenses of lenses, plus also the long term usability considerations (if I ever upgrade to full frame for example). Do you think it is worth it if the main bulk of my lens collection is made up of old lenses, considering that some can be picked up fairly cheap compared to newer versions? How do the optics compare to newer versions?
Which ones would you recommend? I am looking primary in terms of cost, optics/sharpness and usability in the long term (the prime reason I don't want to shell out the best DX lenses), speed of AF doesn't matter much to me at this point.
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 12:51 PM   #2
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Your D5100 doesn't have a built-in AF motor, so those lenses won't AF. dSLRs like the D90 and D7000 would work better with those lenses. If you've got a lot of them, you'd be better served by a camera upgrade.
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 7:30 PM   #3
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I am aware of that, and may considering upgrading to a d7000 in order to make fuller use of older lenses such as these.
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Old Sep 4, 2012, 9:27 PM   #4
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Congrats on getting a great entry level dslr. It should hold you in good stead for some time to come.

My suggestions as to what you should do now is:

Hold off contemplating any additional lens or camera purchases until you:

A: get really comfortable with the camera you have now. Read the manual and get familiar with all the controls, features, buttons etc.

B: Take a lot of different types of photographs and start the process of identifying the type of photography that you gravitate towards, i.e. nature, sports, wildlife, macro, portraiture and so on.

C: Evaluate your current lenses as to wether they are meeting your needs or are holding you back from taking the type of photographs the you would like.

This process may take 6months to a year. Once you have a better understanding of what you want to do and the equipment necessary to meet that goal, you won't need to ask this question as you'll know exactly what you will need to.

In the meantime, have fun, enjoy your new equipment, post lots of pics.
BTW, feel free to ask whatever questions you want. There are plenty of experienced photographers here who are eager to help.

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Old Sep 24, 2012, 11:36 AM   #5
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Many of these old lenses are wonderful and like lenses of today some are not as good as others. There is no reason to not use them if you're fine with manual focus. I have a non-AI 55mm micro that I use with my D5000 and it is incredibly sharp. It sounds like you answered your own question though since you said that your lenses are really good. If you find them to be really good then why not use them?
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 10:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigMe View Post
.... I have a non-AI 55mm micro that I use with my D5000 and it is incredibly sharp.
Hi DigMe!

I just browsed through this thread because I too have some old AI and AI-S lensen that I still use on my D300s mainly for landscapes. BUT then I read your post where you say you are using a Pre-Ai / or non-Ai lens on your D5000 ??!!?

From what I have read so far you should NOT use these on newer cameras with F-mount. I dont know the reason why, but there is something that can go wrong on your modern D5000, some retainer-ring or something. I have read of people who have done the same thing (mounted non-Ai lens on F-mount kamera) and they could'nt get their lens off of the camera no more and had to send the whole thing to the repair-shop to take them apart.

Do you know anything about this?

Because me too, I have a pre- or Non-Ai lens from my 1976 Nikkormat, a Nikkor-H Auto 50mm f/2 from Nippon Kogako which I would love to try on my D300s - but dare not to.

Its a very nice lens with some softness at f/2 and f/2.8 but it gets better by f/4 and f/5.6 - not to speak of at f/8.

I know beacause I have testet it on my Sony NEX with an F-mount adapter in between.

Best regards from Norway,

Walter
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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Walter,

It is perfectly OK to use non-AI lenses on CERTAIN Nikon cameras that don't have the motor in the body of the camera. The ones that have the motor in the body of the camera are the ones that can get messed up by mounting a non-AI/Pre-AI lens so you are correct. It would NOT be safe for your d300s.
Here is a chart that shows what's safe and what's not:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm

The chart is correct. I researched it because I have seen others that said you can't mount a non-AI to the D5000. Those are incorrect. The user manual for your camera should indicate if non-AI is safe or not.

I really love this lens so I will possibly have it converted to AI when I get a D600.






brad
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Old Oct 4, 2012, 10:47 AM   #8
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im pretty sure that one of the things nikon harps on about is the fact that you can put older lenses on the newer cameras, i mean thats one of the reasons why people stay loyal to a brand isnt it?
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Old Oct 4, 2012, 1:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigMe View Post
It is perfectly OK to use non-AI lenses on CERTAIN Nikon cameras that don't have the motor in the body of the camera.





brad
Thank you, Brad!

Judging by those pictures I think your old Pre-AI lenses do a really good job her. Very, very, very nice, to be honest. The photographer isn't too bad either...!


I love the richness of the deep colors in your shots, Brad. Very nice.

best regards,
Walter
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Old Oct 5, 2012, 10:31 AM   #10
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Thanks a lot, Walter!

brad
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