Nikon F4s Lens help

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Fred Latchaw, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Fred Latchaw

    Fred Latchaw Guest

    I acquired a NIkon F4s last year, a fascinating camera, but I've been
    a Canon guy all my life and frankly do not understand the bewildering
    array (alphabet soup?) of Nikon lens offerings. The only thing of
    which I am sure is that the G series is not at all compatible with the
    F4 as it does not have an aperture ring and the F4 has no rear wheel.
    I was looking at an online retailer's used lenses, and some of them
    said something like FOR N90 OR LATER.

    Swell. So what lenses will work with the F4? Or, more to the point,
    which lenses should I avoid? As far as future needs are concerned I
    see myself picking up an F3, and perhaps an F100, but that's it.

    Thanks for your help!

    Fred Latchaw, Mar 9, 2008
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  2. There are several good tables one can find that address this issue.....Here
    is one:
    William Graham, Mar 9, 2008
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  3. Fred Latchaw

    Tony Polson Guest

    It's a nice camera. I had an F4S and an F4E and still miss them!

    You can use G lenses on the F4 in P and S modes as the camera will
    control the aperture. AF-S lenses focus quickly and accurately. Any
    AI, AIS, AF, AF-D, AF-S lenses will work with the proviso that you use
    G lenses only in P and S modes.
    Tony Polson, Mar 9, 2008
  4. Fred Latchaw

    Fred Latchaw Guest

    Thanks for your help guys, and Nicholas too. The G series are no good
    to me because I shoot either aperture priority or manual. I see I
    have some studying to do.

    Fred Latchaw, Mar 10, 2008
  5. Fred Latchaw

    Tony Polson Guest

    You're in a good position at a good time, because Nikon is expanding
    its range of AF-S lenses.

    The AF-S lenses work particularly well on the F4, especially compared
    with the slow and often hesitant autofocus with the "screwdriver
    drive" AF lenses that rely on the focusing motor in the camera body.
    The AF-S lenses have an ultrasonic motor in the lens, controlled
    electronically from the camera, and they focus surprisingly rapidly,
    decisively and accurately on the F4.

    The F4 had a reputation for poor AF performance, but you now have an
    opportunity to improve on that by making sure that you buy AF-S lenses
    in your most important focal lengths. Just make sure that they cover
    full frame, which the DX lenses don't, because DX optics are designed
    for the smaller APS-C sized digital sensors used in all Nikon DSLRs
    other than the full frame D3.

    On the other hand, if you use manual focus, none of this is a problem.
    The F4 was the best manual focus SLR body that Nikon ever made. ;-)
    Tony Polson, Mar 10, 2008
  6. But will they expand their range of non-G lenses? I think not.
    Fredrik Sandstrom, Mar 12, 2008
  7. Fred Latchaw

    Tony Polson Guest

    That's true. There is no reason why they should, because the vast
    majority of Nikon users have camera bodies that control the lens
    aperture with no need of an aperture ring.
    Tony Polson, Mar 12, 2008
  8. But the thread is about the F4. It works with G lenses only in P and S
    mode. So I don't think the OP is "in a good position at a good time";
    the new AF-S lenses will be crippled on the F4.

    Besides that, I disagree that there's no reason to continue with non-G
    lenses. System compatibility is a good thing. A Nikon F from 1959 will
    be usable with basically any Nikkor F-mount lens ever made, including
    those in current production, EXCEPT the G lenses. There's also cameras
    that have been in recent production (FM2, FM3a, ...) that won't work
    with them.
    Fredrik Sandstrom, Mar 13, 2008
  9. Fred Latchaw

    Robert Brace Guest

    It depends on what your definition of "won't work" is.
    I can mount any of my Nikkor G lenses on my F4 (or its F4S or F4E
    configurations) and take a photo with it no problem. I can do the same with
    the FM2n.
    If you are getting at the fact that the lenses and body are from a
    different era -- so be it!
    However, "won't work" doesn't even come close to describing their
    Do a little research -- better yet try the combinations yourself.
    Then you will know.
    Robert Brace, Mar 13, 2008
  10. Yes, but as I said, only in P or S mode. Acceptable perhaps, but a
    serious drawback.
    Not really. You can "take a photo" but the aperture will stop down all
    the way. Not very usable.
    F4 - works but crippled.
    FM2n - won't work acceptably.
    I do know, and I stand by my previous statements.
    Fredrik Sandstrom, Mar 13, 2008
  11. Fred Latchaw

    Robert Brace Guest

    Of course you do!
    Robert Brace, Mar 14, 2008
  12. Fred Latchaw

    Father Kodak Guest

    Certainly not on my F2!

    Father Kodak
    Father Kodak, Mar 17, 2008
  13. Yes, also on your F2. Or at what f-stop do you think the picture is
    taken? Remember we're talking about G lenses here with no aperture
    ring, and thus no way to control the aperture on these manual cameras.

    Really, this is very easy to verify: mount a G lens on a manual body,
    press the DoF preview button and watch the aperture close all the way.
    The same will happen when you take a picture, and there's nothing you
    can do about it. (Except perhaps mess around with the pin in the lens
    mount and try to jam it in some way.)
    Fredrik Sandstrom, Mar 17, 2008
  14. Fred Latchaw

    Father Kodak Guest

    And since I won't try to mess around with the lens mount pin, my only
    choice is to do stop-down metering. Problem is, that forces me into
    f16 of f22 or whatever, and I rarely shoot at those f-stops. Thus, a
    G series lens on my F2 would be very slow to use, at best.

    Too bad, no one has made an adapter that fits into the F2's lens mount
    opening that provides compatibility of some sort with G-series lenses.
    :) Of course, if someone does want to make such an adapter, I will be
    glad to provide "customer requirements."

    Father Kodak
    Father Kodak, Mar 18, 2008
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