Nikon N70 body and AIS manual lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Pat, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. Pat

    Pat Guest


    I have two nikon AF-D primes (24mm and 50mm) and a cheap zoom that I
    use on my Nikon N60.

    During my recent post on nikon telephoto lens, I have received many
    good suggestions/comments and I am very thankful to you for your

    I am considering to get Nikon 105 f2.5 AIS lens (or 100mm E series
    AIS) but understand that my Nikon N60 exposure meter would be disabled
    while using AIS lenes/non-cpu lenes.

    My options are:
    1) get a light meter and use Nikon N60 body in manual mode.
    2) get another Nikon body that will work with AIS lens.

    Since I have some AF-D lenes, I am thinking to get second body that
    will work with AF-D as well as with AIS manual lens.

    After doing some research, I understand that nikon N70 body will work
    with AIS lens though some program modes(like P mode) in camera will be
    disabled. As long as I can have manual mode working on AIS lens and
    camera meter works, I should be happy.

    I would greatly appreciate your feedback/suggestions/comments on the

    1) Could you please share your experience using Nikon N70 with manual
    AIS lenses ?
    2) Is is better to get a light meter and work with N60 or get N70 ? I
    guess my cost will be pretty much same !!!
    3) Any suggestions on the nikon camera body that will work with AIS as
    well as AF-D lenses?

    There are other cameras like F100 / N90 that take AIS lens, but I
    would not like to spend much on body as may be in future I might
    switch to DSLR. At present I use film and then scan with the film

    Thank you very much.
    Pat, Jan 9, 2004
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  2. As handy as a handheld meter is, a second camera has all sorts of uses. The
    F70 also has some significant advantages over your F60 with a faster motor
    drive and the manual lens compatibility. The F70 is a vastly underrated
    camera and I think you would be well served by owning one.

    Jim MacKenzie, Jan 9, 2004
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  3. Pat

    Roger Guest


    I have the Nikon 105 f2.5 AIS lens and it is a favorite. I use it on
    my F3, F100 and F5. It is a recent addition to my lens battery after
    not having it in my collection for many years. I have to admit that my
    in this focal length, it is a toss up on whether to use the 105mm f2.5
    AIS or my 85mm f1.8 AF (mine is not the "D" lens). I really don't
    notice any practical difference in the results. Operationally, for
    critical portrait work I prefer the longer focus throw of the manual
    lens, I rarely use AF mode for portraits and in truth, the MF
    characteristics of the AF lens have never really gotten me in
    difficulty when using a tripod. However, the metering I do find very

    Have you considered using the 85mm f1.8 AF lens for your situation? I
    find the non D version to be a very good lens.

    If you do consider a hand held light meter, I find the Sekonic 308BII
    compact meter to be excellent for general work. The flash meter also
    is nice for more formal indoor setups.

    If you are thinking about moving to digital, I think I'd at least stay
    with Nikon AF lenses. Unless you purchase a very expensive D1/D2
    series digital camera, you will have the same metering problems with
    AIS lenses.

    Roger, Jan 9, 2004
  4. Pat

    Lourens Smak Guest

    works fine. I have a few fine Ais lenses, including a 85mm F1.4 which I
    use all the time... It works on A and M settings with average or
    spotmeter; no P setting or matrix-metering. (the display will blink the
    P or the matrix symbol, if you set the camera to that when an Ais lens
    is mounted)
    I think the N70 will be much better than the N60. It's a fine durable
    camera and very fast (especially with manual focus....) It can shoot at
    almost 4 frames per second. The controls need some getting used to, but
    because of the customizable presets you can work very fast with it. For
    example, I have set 1 to A+matrix, and 2 to I can
    switch instantly between those *combinations*...that's great. The only
    real thing missing on the N70 is the DOF preview.

    A separate lightmeter is nice to have as an extra, but if you *have to*
    use it because you have no lightmeter, it's not always practical...
    action shots, close-ups, quick-changing light, etc.
    The best one would be an F4 (which I also have) This has all the options
    and extra's, and is the only AF body that can also use matrix metering
    with Ais lenses. (There's 1 other, the FA, but it is manual focus)

    You could also decide on a manual-focus body like the FA or FE2. your AF
    lenses will work fine. (without AF of course)

    Lourens Smak, Jan 9, 2004
  5. Pat

    Gordon Moat Guest

    The other problem is that the focus screen of your N60 would make judging
    manual focus very difficult. It is likely that you would have quite a few
    focus error problems, resulting in soft images, and miss the benefits of
    using these lenses.
    I really good light meter can cost nearly as much as a good used manual
    focus Nikon body. A friend of mine just got an FE from KEH cameras
    (>, and even though their rating was Bargain, the
    condition is incredibly good. I think another body would be simpler to
    use with the older lenses.
    There are some really good deals to be found on used Nikon F4 cameras.
    Careful shopping might get you one for under $500. The bad thing compared
    to your N60, is that an F4 is really large and heavy. The controls layout
    is also very different. Definitely try to lift and hold one before
    considering a purchase.
    You may want to check again, but I thought that was only for chipped
    lenses. Regardless, the other issue with manual focus is still the
    focusing screen in the camera body.
    Sorry, just really not sure about this. Hopefully some other posters will
    list their experiences.
    Or just get an older manual focus body. Of course, it might be a bit of a
    shock to use one, especially things like manually advancing film, and a
    general lack of "features" compared to modern cameras.
    If you can do without autofocus, and just manually focus your AF-D
    lenses, then there are many choices of the older gear. If you want to
    retain autofocus, then an F4 is a consideration, especially at the lower
    cost compared to more modern cameras.
    There are also the FM3A, or just going for an older more manual body.
    Combine an FE2 or similar with a 105 mm f2.5, and you have a fairly light
    and compact camera. The controls might slow you down a bit, though that
    can sometimes be a good thing, and make you think more before pressing
    the shutter button.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Jan 9, 2004
  6. Pat

    JR Guest

    Get the N70....the N70 will meter and has the focus indicator for MF
    lenses. Good set of features. I used one for a while before getting my
    F100, now I use the N70 as a backup. I also have that lens, and it is
    an amazing combo.

    JR, Jan 9, 2004
  7. The VF sharpness of the N/F70 (and F/N90) is poor compared with
    most other Nikons. I would look for an N6000/6001 (in US), N2000
    or N2020, or 8008 (these do not use the D feature, but this is little
    loss [and the F600 doesn't have AF]), or a MF-body FM, FE, etc.,
    which also have superior VF sharpness, making MF easier and more
    accurate. BTW, I've found the AF "indicators" of AF bodies close to
    useless for achieving accurate focus with MF lenses - a better VF
    screen is superior for good MF - and it is hard to beat the 8008 as
    a good "all-around" camera (though the F100 manages this...;-).
    David Ruether, Jan 9, 2004
  8. Pat

    jones Guest

    The F/N 70 would be a great camera were it not for the assinine
    interface. Not like any other nikon much less any other camera. I
    owned one for several years and never did get used to the operations
    aspect of this otherwise capable camera.
    jones, Jan 10, 2004
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