Nikon lens for digital camera

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Beyond X, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Beyond X

    Beyond X Guest

    I am thinking to purchase a digital camera for the first time. Please
    bear my amateurish questions.
    One candidate on my mind is Nikon D90 for the reason that I hear that
    Nikon digital SLR cameras can use the Nikon lenses made for film SLR
    camera such as Nikkor series. If true, it will save money because I own
    Nikon F4 and several Nikkor lenses such as 135mm or 80-300 mm zoom lens.
    My first question is whether or not those Nikkor lenses made for the
    film camera can really fit to Nikon digital SLR like D90 with all
    feature still working.
    My second question is that if the answer to the first question is yes,
    what the actual focal length will be when a lens such as 135 mm Nikkor
    is used with a digital camera such as Nikon D90. Especially will a wide
    angle lens (such as AF Nikkor 24-70mm zoom lens) similarly function with
    a digita SLR?
    Thanks for your time.
    Beyond X, Dec 5, 2008
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  2. Beyond X

    Guest Guest

    they'll fit and autofocus will work, however, on a d90 you'll only have
    manual exposure (not a huge deal with an lcd on the back). for auto
    exposure you will need to step up to the d300.
    all lenses have a 1.5x conversion, so your 135 will be equivalent to a
    202mm lens and the 24-70 would be equivalent to a 36-105mm.
    Guest, Dec 6, 2008
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  3. Beyond X wrote:
    If you buy a full frame (FX) Nikon DSLR, the lenses will behave just the
    same. That's a rather more expensive option, of course!

    David J Taylor, Dec 6, 2008
  4. Absolutely. Any lens, that is at least AI-P (introduced around 1988)
    will work with all features supported by that lens on any Nikon dSLR
    with two exceptions:
    - non-AF-S lenses will not autofocus on the D40 and D60 family (not an
    issue for the D90)
    - DX lenses have a smaller image circle and will cause vignetting on a
    full-frame camera (not an issue for the D90)

    Even older lenses without AI-P (typically that means more than 30 years
    old) often still work fine or can be upgraded with a chip to AI-P level.
    The focal length is a physical property of the lens and doesn't change
    with what camera it is used on. So a 135mm lens is a 135mm lens, no
    matter if used on a F1, a F4, a D90, or a D3.

    However depending on the sensor size you are getting a different angle
    of view and thus a different magnification. This is known as the crop
    factor, see for a rather good

    Nikon DX cameras have a crop factor of 1.5, which means that a lens
    mounted on a DX camera produces the same image as a lens with a 1.5
    times as long focal length on a full frame (FF) camera would. Examples:
    - Normal lens on FF: 50mm. Normal lens on DX: 33mm ( 50mm/1.5)
    - tele lens: 200mm lens mounted on a DX has the same field of
    view/magnification as a 300mm (200mm*1.5)lens on a FF
    On a DX camera you will get the same field of view/magnification as you
    would get from a 36-105mm lens used on a FF camera.

    Jürgen Exner, Dec 6, 2008
  5. The F4 was introduced at the same time as AI-P lenses (1988), therefore
    it is likely (but of course not guaranteed) that the OP's lenses are
    AI-P in which case they will mount and meter (and autofocus if so
    equipped) on the D90 without any problems.

    Jürgen Exner, Dec 6, 2008
  6. Beyond X

    Guest Guest

    good catch. i was thinking of manual focus lenses.
    Guest, Dec 6, 2008
  7. Beyond X

    Beyond X Guest

    Beyond X wrote:
    I just want to say thank you to all the responders. All comments are
    very helpful and I admire your range of knowledge.
    Beyond X, Dec 6, 2008
  8. Beyond X

    Eric Stevens Guest

    People have told you quite a lot about what the lens will continue to
    do. However if your older lenses are not 'computer' lenses there is
    quite a lot which they will not enable the camera to do.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Dec 6, 2008
  9. Beyond X

    John Guest

    Such as please?

    John, Dec 6, 2008
  10. Beyond X

    J. Clarke Guest

    Huh? What AF lenses will not meter on a d90?
    J. Clarke, Dec 6, 2008
  11. Beyond X

    Frank Arthur Guest

    Please name the things you say "computer lenses" can do that the older
    Nikon Autofocus lenses cannot?
    Frank Arthur, Dec 6, 2008
  12. If they are AF lenses, the answer is yes. If not, the lens will still fit
    but it may be that the meter won't work.
    The actual focal length does not change. However, because of the smaller
    sensor, the lens will give you the angle of view that a lens with 1.5x the
    focal length would on your F4.

    So if you have a 24-70mm lens, it would behave on a D90 like a 36-105mm lens
    would behave on your F4.

    If I were going to buy a D90, I would buy a 16-85mm lens along with it.
    Most people will probably buy the 18-105mm lens that is sold with it as a
    kit, but I would rather give up something on the long end to get a little
    extra on the short end. That's my taste; yours may be different.
    Andrew Koenig, Dec 6, 2008
  13. I think that the previous poster may be confusing the D90 with the D60,
    which does not have a mechanical autofocus coupling.
    Andrew Koenig, Dec 6, 2008
  14. My understanding is that the D90 offers full functionality with every Nikon
    AF lens.
    Andrew Koenig, Dec 6, 2008
  15. AF-lenses will be fine, but we have no evidence that the OP's lenses are
    AF. If they are pre-AI-P then they will indeed not meter on the D90.

    Jürgen Exner, Dec 6, 2008
  16. If the OP is accustomed to using manual-focus lenses on an F4, then adapting
    to a D90 should not be too difficult :)
    Andrew Koenig, Dec 6, 2008
  17. Beyond X

    Guest Guest

    I think that the previous poster may be confusing the D90 with the D60,
    which does not have a mechanical autofocus coupling.[/QUOTE]

    no, i was thinking of manual focus lenses which won't meter on the d90.

    autofocus lenses will be fully functional.
    Guest, Dec 6, 2008
  18. Beyond X

    Eric Stevens Guest

    It depends to some extent on the camera. The details are given in the
    camera manual. For example the D300 manual states that it requires a
    computer lens for:

    1. Autofocus.
    2. Program and Shutter priority exposure modes.
    3. 3D Metering.

    Its actually more complicated than that and the above deficiencies can
    to some extent be made good by registering lens data in the camera.
    The D70 has similar limitations.

    You need to read the section of the manual which deals with
    'Compatible Lenses'.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Dec 6, 2008
  19. Beyond X

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Here is a site which gives D90 lens compatibility

    Note that it says:

    "As noted above, functions and exposure modes available
    with a given lens will vary greatly with the lens type. More
    recent Nikkors (the G- or D-type models) include a microchip
    (CPU) that communicates focal-distance information to the
    camera. Lenses without the microchip won't support the 3D
    Matrix metering mode, and in fact all metering is disabled
    on the D90 when using a non-CPU lens. Most non-CPU lenses
    can be attached to the camera, but the shutter release will be
    disabled unless the camera is in Manual exposure mode,
    and AF, metering, electronic analog exposure display and
    TTL flash control can't be used. "

    Here is a site which gives lens compatibility for most other Nikon

    I say again, read the camera manual if you want to find out the pros
    and cons of a particular older lens with the current range of cameras.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Dec 7, 2008
  20. I have a D70s. Like some other people have said, for any non G lens there will be and effective 1.5 magnification in focal length becuase of the samller sensor. Because of that I bought the kit lens with the camera so I would have a wide angle. But my high end Tokina AT-X Pro AF 28-70 D type f2.6-2.8 lens works fine with the camera. I can use all features on the camera, and even get metadata from the lens. My manual focus Tamron 80-200 AIS lens works on my D70s, but I cannot meter or use flash with it. But outdoors it works well once I have exposure dialed in, and I get a 300mm effective focal length without loss of light. Especially helpfull with teleconverter, but focus is touchy.
    chuckwagon524, Dec 8, 2008
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