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-   -   Buying a Nikon D80 or D200 but want to purchase manual F-Sto (

Brian Broz Dec 4, 2006 8:32 PM


I am going to purchase a Nikon after using my dad's D200 (love it!!). However I need to purchase manual aperture lenses, as I plan on using the lenses with a digital cinema camera ( which has no electronic lens connection. I am considering the 17-35 AF-S F2.8D for example,and possibly a set of Nikkor primes (28mm, 50mm, 85mm). If I can get away with the D80 that would allow me extra $ for the more expensive manual lenses :-)

My dillema is I'm really wanting to set the F-stop on the lens and have the camera body adjust shutter speed automatically for when I need to shoot run-n-gun. So essentially in semi-auto mode. Can either the D80 or D200 do this.

Will any Nikon DSLR do this, or do I need to move from the D80 to D200? I have searched around but admittedly am a bit confused.

Hopefully I am clear on what I'm trying to achieve. Thanks for any help and input!


Brian Broz

Kita Dec 4, 2006 9:05 PM

Hi -

I have a D50 and D80. Both cameras will adjust the f stop on my 60mm macro Nikor. The manual says to set the lens at min f stop for this application, and the camera will stop it down to the correct stop when exposure is made. I've done this plenty, and know it works. Don't know for sure if it will work the same for the lens you have in mind, but I bet it will.

dboarder Dec 5, 2006 12:24 PM

Both cameras can be set to Apeture Priority. This way you set the f-stop and the camera chooses the appropriate shutter speed. This is the mode that I shoot in most of the time so I can control DOF. If the lens has a ring for f-stops, you rotate it to the highest number and then the camera adjusts to whatever you choose through it.

Brian Broz Dec 5, 2006 2:15 PM

That's great. Thanks!

I did hear that the D200 has more options with older lenses, but I'm not sure if that really relates to me...or if I'd ever use those features.


Brian Broz

BillP2R Dec 5, 2006 3:29 PM

This is a bit off topic, but does anyone know if there is a mechanical difference between the D80 and D200 that lets the D200 meter with old AI lenses, or is it a software diference whereby the D200 allows you to tell the camera the fastest f stop for the lens you're using and then the D200 uses that information to calibrate meter response?

If the later, what is the possibility of a system hack for the D80 to allow metering with old AI lenses?

---------------------------- Bill

rjseeney Dec 5, 2006 5:20 PM

I'm pretty sure it is a hardware issue. The Ai lenses had different contact points, which the D200 has. These extra contacts were left out of lower end DSLR bodies to control costs. I guess the assumption is the typical D200 (pro to semi-pro) user would likely have some AI glass.

BillP2R Dec 5, 2006 5:27 PM

Thank you for the information.

(I was under the impression that the D200 could meter through the older (pre-electrical contact) AI lenses.)

-------------------- Bill

Update: I looked at a D200 manual and it says that to seup the camera to meter through a non-cpu lens, you have to go to the shooting menu, highlight "Non-CPU Lens Data", press the multi selector to the right, then follow the menu to input focal length and the maximum aperture.

Accordingly, it would appear that it's a mater of software rather than hardware.

If Nikon would offer a software upgrade for the D80 to enable metering with non-CPU AI lenses for $50-$75 or so, I would think that there would be a fair number of takers (like myself) who have been using older Nikon SLRs (like my F, Nikormat, FM and FE) and have a selection of lenses that they may occasionally want to use on their D80s.

------------------------- Bill

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