Nikon is famous for not changing the mount of its SLR cameras since 1961. All lenses released since 1961 (sometimes earlier) mechanically compatible with all Nikon cameras, including with modern Nikon digital SLR cameras.
All old mirrored lenses with Nikon F mount are divided into:
- NON-AI or PRE-AI - lenses do not know how to transmit the aperture value to the camera, metering exposure difficult with them. This type can be converted to AI type. You can use here such a trick for automatic metering exposure on covered diaphragms.
- AI (Automatic Indexing - automatic reading) - such lenses are able to transmit the aperture value to the camera.
- AI-S (Automatic Indexing Shutter - automatic reading for excerpts) - improved, more linear aperture control circuit for the correct selection of the aperture / shutter exposure pair.
- AI-P (just 'P', Automatic Indexing with micro Processor - automatic reading and control using a micro-processor) is the latest development of classic lenses without autofocus. More details about 'AI-P' Read here.
There is practically no difference between AI, AI-S when working at modern central control centers. AI-S lenses have a strictly linear dependence of the aperture closing stage on the deflection of the aperture jumper. Also, AI-S lenses have a special notch next to the mount and usually have an orange minimum aperture mark. All lenses marked AF, D are also AI-S compatible.
All Pre-AI (Non-AI), AI, AI-S, AI converted lenses have a blinking aperture. This means that when the lens is attached to the camera, the aperture opens fully. The aperture will close to the set value only when the shutter is released. The camera will automatically close and open the iris when you press the shutter button. The mechanism for closing the diaphragm is realized through the "pusher" and "jump rope". All modern Nikon lenses have the same design (except for specific Nikon E).
Read aperture value
How does the camera read the set aperture value on the lens? It's very simple - older Nikon cameras are equipped with a special ring with a protrusion near the camera mount. The protrusion is shown in the image below. Special protrusion on the lens when rotating the aperture ring on AI, AI-S, Non-g the lens clings to a protrusion on the camera and rotates it, transmitting the aperture value to the camera.
The problem with installing old PRE-AI lenses on modern CZK
Old PRE-AI lenses abut the diaphragm ring against the protrusion of the diaphragm rheostat near the camera mount. Because of this, older PRE-AI lenses cannot be mounted on cameras that can read aperture value.
Here is the exact list of cameras on which it is not possible to mount PRE-AI lenses due to the protrusion of the rheostat:
Nikon Df can hide the rheostat, which is why there are no installation problems.
Aperture Lever EE
Also old PRE-AI lenses cannot be installed on cameras
Nikon D50, D70, D70s, D80, D90, D100 + Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro, S2 Pro, S3 Pro, S3 Pro UVIR + Kodak DCS PRO 14n (and its modifications) and Kodak DCS Pro SLR / n (and its modifications) (this is an accurate list)
из-за lever of the extreme position of the diaphragm. The lever is responsible for working with autofocus lenses that have an aperture control ring. These lenses are called Non-g. Below is shown such a lens with a protrusion that is combined with the lever of the extreme position of the diaphragm.
For automatic iris control, such cameras need to know for sure that the aperture control ring is set to the extreme position (maximum F number). If this is not done, then the camera display will show error message 'FEE' (the aperture ring is not set to the correct position). When the diaphragm ring rotates to its extreme position, this lever moves counterclockwise. For cameras with a diaphragm rheostat, such a lever is not required, since the rheostat itself takes over its function. The lever EE for reading the extreme position of the diaphragm ring is shown in the figure below.
And here are the cameras
Nikon D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D3500, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7500 + mirrorless cameras Nikon Z5, Nikon Z6, Z6 II, Nikon Z7, Z7 II, Nikon Z50 using the original Nikon FTZ adapter
have a different lever design EE... The lever is 'recessed' into the body of the camera rather than displaced, so the lever does not interfere with the aperture ring protrusions of PRE-AI lenses.
To summarize, PRE-AI lenses cannot be mounted on cameras:
D200, D300, D300s, D500, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D800E, D810, D810a, D850, D7000, D7100, D7200, D1, D1h, D1x, D2x, D2xs, D2h, D2hs, D3, D3x, D3s, D4, D4s, D5, D6, D50, D70, D70s, D80, D90 + Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro, S2 Pro, S3 Pro, S3 Pro UVIR, S5 Pro, IS Pro + Kodak DCS PRO 14n (and its modifications) and Kodak DCS Pro SLR / n (and its modifications)
PRE-AI lenses are easy to mount on cameras:
Nikon D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D3500, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, Df, D7500 + mirrorless cameras Nikon Z5, Nikon Z6, Z6 II, Nikon Z7, Z7 II, Nikon Z50 using the original Nikon FTZ adapter
PRE-AI lenses are easy to convert to AI, usually for this part of the aperture ring is ground off and a protrusion for the rheostat is added.
Due to the lack of a diaphragm rheostat gauging exposure not available with cameras:
Nikon D40, D40x, D50, D60, D70, D70s, D80, D90, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D3500, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D100, D7500 + Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro, S2 Pro, S3 Pro, S3 Pro UVIR + Kodak DCS PRO 14n (and its modifications) and Kodak DCS Pro SLR / n (and its modifications)
Measurement exposure with old lenses is only available on cameras that have a diaphragm rheostat:
D200, D300, D300s, D500, D600, D610, D700, D750, D780, D800, D800E, D810, D810a, D850, D7000, D7100, D7200, D1, D1h, D1x, D2x, D2xs, D2h, D2hs, D3, D3x, D3s, D4, D4s, D5, D6, Df + S5 Pro, IS Pro + mirrorless cameras Nikon Z5, Nikon Z6, Z6 II, Nikon Z7, Z7 II, Nikon Z50 using the original Nikon FTZ adapter (?)
Fast solution for compatibility
How to use old Nikon lenses on modern DSLRs and system cameras, see 'Using old lenses'.
What are old lenses for, if you have modern autofocus?
Old manual lenses give quite adequate image quality. Some of them are superior to their modern autofocus counterparts. For some lenses, there are simply no autofocus counterparts. For example, there is no analogue for Nikon 50mm f / 1.2 AI-s Nikkor MF with the same aperture. Moreover, old lenses usually cost much less than their modern counterparts. Old manual lenses got their second life after the boom on the CZK camera.
If it’s interesting to read more about modern lenses and their differences, I advise you to look into my article The difference between modern Nikon lenses, as well as interesting observations can be found in the article Aperture and video on the Nikon CZK и An interesting property of the diaphragm on the Nikon CZK.
Nikon has a lot of experience in creating lenses and a very large fleet of old high-quality optics, which can be purchased for little money and get an excellent image result.Comments here on the site do not require any registration. In the comments, you can ask a question on the topic, or leave your feedback, or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend E-Catalog. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.