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Old Sep 14, 2007, 1:15 AM   #1
drgrafix's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 39

I have to apologize because I kind of asked a similar question in someone else's thread. I felt guilty and thought I might be hijacking it . Anyway, I gather that my Nikon lenses (see below) can be converted to AI for a reasonable fee, and that they'd be better suited for use with a Cannon DSLR because with a simple Nikon to Cannon adapter, they don't need to be modified? I need to clarify that.

As part of my Nikon equipment, I have the following F-Mount Lenses:

24mm f/2.8 WA

45mm f/2.8 Auto-GN "Pancake-Style"

55mm f/2.8 Macro

58mm f1.2 Prime

105mm f/2.5 Portrait/Tele

80mm-200mm Zoom

There's some excellent vintage glass in that list. I'm a bit old school, and I don't mind manual focusing, but I am curious about whether these lenses can be upgraded to use on something like a D40X or other brand DSLR? If so, whats a fair price for the work, and of course... who does it?

My biggest dilemma is whether to liquidate three Nikon camera bodies, motor drive, loads of accessories, and start from scratch, or just sell a couple of bodies and keep one for old times sake.

I'm not really that tuned in to the Nikon DSLRs... could I use accessories like a Nikon Bellows III on a D40X or D100?

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Old Sep 14, 2007, 8:53 AM   #2
JimC's Avatar
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Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378

You would not have metering on the entry level Nikon bodies (i.e., D40, D40x, D50, D80). So, you would have to estimate your shutter speed and aperture settings or use as separate meter or camera to measure the light first.

The least expensive current Nikon body they would meter on is the D200.

Here's a page showing lens/body combinations that need conversion if you don't want to risk damage (lenses should be converted to AI for most bodies). You don't have to convert them for the new D40/D40x from what I understand (but, you wouldn't have metering with those bodies). For other Nikon DSLR bodies, you'd want to convert them to AI.

The older non-AI lenses are in the right hand column. You'll also see links to prices for the conversion ($25-35 per lens plus shipping).


Here's an example of an inexpensive adapter ($27.95) to let them work on a Canon DSLR body (and you'd have metering, too). No conversion would be needed with this adapter and you could use them on any Canon DSLR model. Note that viewfinders on most modern DSLR models may not be the best for manual focusing though (although you can find third party split prism type focusing screens around to help with that part).


If you've got that much Nikon gear, you may want to consider a higher end Nikon body (D200, D2Xs, D2Hs or the upcoming D300 or D3). These all meter with non-CPU lenses.

Or, consider going used on a higher end body (D2X, D1X, D2H) if you really don't need the features of a new body so that you wouldnt' be shooting blind (no meter on lower end bodies with non-CPU lenses).

http://www.keh.com is a good place to shop for used gear. Look under Nikon Digital and you'll see some used bodies.

Thom Hogan has a chart showing older models that can meter with older AI type lenses (and it's best to convert them to AI). Note the "Lens Support" row in the table:


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