Work with old Nikon lenses

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.

Nikon Nikkor-SC Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm on the Nikon D40x

Original (NON-AI, without AI conversion) lens Nikon Nikkor-SC Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm on the camera Nikon D40x. On such cameras, such old lenses are installed without alteration. Nikon D40x and similar cameras listed in this article do not have a diaphragm rheostat and use a “recessed” aperture limit lever, making it easy to use any old Nikon F mount lenses on them.

All old mirrored lenses with Nikon F mount are divided into:

  1. 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.
  2. AI (Automatic Indexing - automatic reading) - such lenses are able to transmit the aperture value to the camera.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Nikon Nikkor-SC Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm and Nikon F6 camera

Original (not converted) Nikon Nikkor-SC Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm and TOP film Nikon F6 Camera. Due to the diaphragm rheostat, this original lens cannot be mounted on the camera without additional alteration of the lens or modification of the camera.



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.

Rheostat for reading aperture value for Ai, Pre-ai, AI-S, Non-G lenses

Rheostat for reading aperture value for Ai, AI-S, Non-G, Non-E lenses

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:

D200, D300, D300s, D500, D600, D610, D700, D750D780, D800,D800E, D810, D810a, D850, D7000, D7100, D7200, D1, D1h, D1x, D2x, D2xs, D2h, D2hs, D3, D3x, D3s, D4, D4s, D5, D6 + S5 Pro, IS Pro.

Nikon Df can hide the rheostat, which is why there are no installation problems.

Projection for transmitting aperture value on the lens

A lug for transferring the aperture value on the lens, which engages with the aperture rheostat on the camera. Shown using an example lens Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5D



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.

The protrusion for reading the extreme position of the aperture ring on the Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8D lens, which is a NON-G type lens, that is, one that has an aperture control ring.

Lug for reading the extreme position of the aperture ring on the lens Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.8Dwhich is a NON-G type lens, that is, one that has an aperture control ring.

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.

EE lever for reading the extreme position of the diaphragm ring

Lever EE for reading the end position of the diaphragm ring, the lever moves, but does not "sink"

And here are the cameras

Nikon D40, D40x, D60D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300D3400, D3500, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500D5600D7500 + mirrorless cameras Nikon z5Nikon Z6 Z6 IINikon Z7 Z7 II, Nikon z50, Zfc 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.

EE Lever on Nikon Junior Cameras

EE lever on low-end Nikon cameras. When the lens is mounted, it “retracts” and does not interfere with the installation of any lenses with Nikon F mount

Some cameras, such as Nikon D3400 и D3500 deprived of this lever at all. On these cameras, you can easily install all PRE-AI lenses.

Lack of leverage

Lack of EE lever on models D3400 и D3500.



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 UVIRS5 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, D60D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D3500, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, Df, D7500 + mirrorless cameras Nikon z5Nikon Z6 Z6 IINikon Z7 Z7 II, Nikon z50  Zfc 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, D3400D3500, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D100D7500 + 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). But with models D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D3500 can be used here's a life hack.

Measurement exposure with old lenses is only available on cameras that have a diaphragm rheostat:

D200, D300, D300s, D500, D600, D610, D700, D750D780, 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 z5Nikon Z6 Z6 IINikon Z7 Z7 II, Nikon z50, Zfc using the original Nikon FTZ adapter (?)



Fast solution for compatibility

PRE-AI, NON-AI lenses can be easily used on any camera with macro rings... These lenses can be easily installed on any cameras via Any extension tube for Nikon F-mount cameras.

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.


Results

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 on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 214, on the topic: Working with old Nikon lenses

  • anonym

    Arkady, thanks for the advice, now I mastered this mode. I am very grateful to you for the info, otherwise I already thought that the lens was defective

  • Yuri Ivanovich

    Arkady, thanks for the link. May God grant you health and well-being. Happy New Year to you. Once again, my thanks to the good man.

  • Nikita

    Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm will go on the Nikon D90?

    • Vladimir

      This site has a review of your lens: Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm Review. There Arkady pointed out (I quote): "Personally, I used the Nikon 50mm F1.4 Non-Ai without any problems on the Nikon D40, but on the D200, D700, D80 the lens refused to become." The D90 has the same mount as the D80.

  • Kirill

    Comrades, tell the newcomer! I have a D3000. How on such a camera to work with non-ai lenses and Lushnikov’s dandelion in terms of aperture? For example, I want to set aperture 2.8. Do I twist the aperture ring at 2.8 and set the same value in the camera for proper metering? Or which of these actions is done automatically? I will be very grateful for the answer.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Will close automatically when aperture is selected in the camera menu. The aperture ring should be at the minimum position, and the Dandelion is programmed to work with Ai-s lenses, and sometimes you need to take into account the exposure compensation + -, since the linearity of the ai, ai-s apertures is different.

  • Nicholas

    Arkady. There is Nikon F90s / There is Helios-44m; Jupiter-37a; Nikon-Nikor 35mm 1: 1,4. The camera does not see them. Ready to sell. Which lens should you choose for 100%?

  • Sergei

    Tell the newbie. I want to buy Nikon D100 and choose lenses
    1.Nikon Nippon Kogaku Nikkor-S 50mm f / 1.4 non-AI
    2.Vivitar 28mm f / 2.8 MC multi-coated Manual Focus Nikon
    3.Samyang 28-200mm f / 4-5.6 macro 1: 6 Nikon AIS
    4.NIKON mount TOPMAN 28mm f / 2.8 AI MC LENS FE2 FG EM
    Which will work without alterations?

  • Eugene

    Arkady, good afternoon!
    Recently bought a nikon f3 / t. Tell me if it makes sense to buy AF-D lenses or still focus on AI, AI-S lenses?

  • Eugene

    I studied the literature a little, if I understood correctly, then ai-s also makes no sense to me to buy, because Aperture priority will not work with my camera.
    If not difficult, give a comment.

  • Anatoly Snezhan

    I want to briefly share the first and final impressions of using with the Nikon D7000 a whale 18-105, 50 / 1,8D, 35 / 1,8G and four manual glasses with N mount (from Kiev-19TTL).
    ... I realized that it is much healthier for a camera when its owner uses a certain 1 (one) lens (the inside of the camera is much less littered).
    For myself, I decided: from now on, as a staffer I will use 18-105 mm, but in my bag (outdoors) I will also wear 35 / 1,8 or Kaleinar-5. Until one day I suddenly get a shot (in some miraculous way) of a 70-300 VR telephoto.
    Of course, the whale 18-105 mm is very annoying with its soapiness and darkness. Plus 105 mm at the long end is not enough for me - at least 150 ...
    Unfortunately, light and sharp optics can not afford a labor pensioner.

  • Alexander

    Arkady, good afternoon!
    There is a desire to buy Nikkor 135mm f2.8 Ai-s, what problems arise when installing it on the Nikon D600?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No.

  • Amateur photographer

    Good day! My question is: Is it possible to mount an Industar 80-50 lens from the zenith on a Nikon D2?

  • Amateur photographer

    I hope someone answers ... otherwise the last entry is in July ..

  • Amateur photographer

    http://dic.academic.ru/pictures/wiki/files/73/Industar50_SLR_M39.jpg here it is!

    • Sergei

      It is possible, but there will be no infinity.

  • Anna

    Why should I install a nikkor 50 mm.f 1.4 Ai-S + glass filter marami on a nikon D3200 if it doesn’t work?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Because the lens does not have microprocessor contacts.

  • Marina

    Hello! Having a lens Zenitar M 1,7 \ 50 mm. I want to buy Nikon d7000 and use them together. Tell me, please, will the lens work in aperture priority mode and will autofocus be supported?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      And the mode will work, autofocus will not work.

  • Marina

    And tell me, does the Nikon D90 support these functions (working in aperture priority mode and autofocus)?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Will not work in aperture priority mode. Autofocus will not be supported.

  • Marina

    Arkady, tell me, please, how much correctly does the Nikon D 7000 set the exposure in aperture priority when working with a manual lens?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Absolutely correct (adjusted for scene complexity)

      • anonym

        I do not agree, nikon d7000 only works correctly in manual mode, and you still need to set the focus mode to the manual. As soon as you turn on the electronics, the camera throws a cute surprise. You point it in the yellow circle or in the microprisms (I even got such an exotic focusing screen), and you get a back focus of 10 cm, regardless of the distance to the object. When all the settings on the manual, the focus is just perfect, wherever you point, there it is, native. I conclude that the manufacturer has this back focus in the firmware. Such a question, is this disgrace in general on all nikon cameras on professional ones too? And maybe somehow remove this marketing ploy. It is clear that they bought expensive autofocus lenses, did not save. Nikon can't understand our problems. But to change the firmware you need somewhere to find a good programmer, and updates will become unavailable. It turns out that it’s cheaper to save to an autofocus lens.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          I will assume that this is an isolated case for you.

  • Alexander

    Good day. I got a problem with my NIKON D7000 and Nikon 50mm1: 1.8D AF camera. I always use Nikon 18-105mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED Nikkor VR, I decided to buy myself a fifty dollars, I read the review https://radojuva.com.ua/2011/02/obzor-gelios-81-n-test/, and bought it, the ear was immediately sawed off for completeness of the work. Everything was fine, but then a problem arose, the device stopped showing the correct aperture, i.e. I can't set any, the minimum aperture jumps from 5.6 to 8 and 11 (f2 is set on the lens), scrolling the f ring towards 2.8, 4, 8, 11 (shows f22). Tired of, bought Nikon 50mm1: 1.8D AF, set the aperture ring to the maximum position (f22) snapped, shows on the device (fEE error), after reading the Internet, I found the answer (in the settings menu * f6 on the device there is an on / off option to adjust ring f). Turning off this option, the lens worked, but ..., adjusting the f ring on the lens, and it shows a minimum of f5.6 after scrolling in one step, f22 jumps, with the Nikon 18-105mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED Nikkor VR lens everything works fine. Help resolve the problem.

    • Lynx

      5in the camera menu, you need to adjust the parameters of the manual lens - set the focal and maximum aperture. The camera needs to know the performance characteristics of the lens before displaying the giaphragm correctly.
      read the instructions to the end

  • Vladimir

    Arkady Shapoval good evening, I wanted to buy such a nippon kogaku japan nikkor-s 50mm 1.4 lens on ebay, read the article and as I understand it, I won’t install it on the D90 ???

  • Alexey

    I have a nippon kogaku japan nikkor-s 50mm 2.0 63 years old. Stands on the D90

  • Vladislav

    Typo:
    “How to use old Nikon lenses on modern digital controllers and system cameras, read the section ...”

  • Vlad

    Good afternoon.
    I have a Nikkor 24mm 2.8 K-type, I want to * quail it in AI.
    Please tell me who could help in resolving the issue.

    Thank you.

  • Anatoly

    Good healthy ”yachka, I often mention that when manually focusing, the indicator in the video lights up, the image is not readable, and on the photo of the depth of field there is a backward focus. Photocamera Nikon D3200 + manual about "Active MC Makinon 135mm, working with diaphragms 5,6 or 8. What can you tell me about this?

    • Vyacheslav

      With manual lenses, I focus only through the LiveView (through the screen), since with the help of LiveView you can increase the focus area, focusing, for example, on the eyes.

  • Anatoly

    pratsuvati in LiveView is not worse

    • Vyacheslav

      Who is not happy? Failure of the hіba shо imіdzheve. I want to show everyone, you have a DSLR in you and through the focus of focusing only through the video. With autofocus lenses, manually through the video, the shards of phase focusing are ten times more focused in contrast. And with manual glasses, focusing all the same is due to the fact that focusing through LiveViev cannot be combined with the process.

  • Anatoly

    іmіdzh here nі do anything, on the right in the volume, but if there is a vikristy video for the photographer, then the camera is more stable than the fixes (three points of support), and less than the іmіvіrnіtness of movement before or from the obkta, it is recommended to take a day before Well, my manual is about ”The key to spin the cables is tighter than the kitty, if I focus through LiveView, the camera collapses in my hands

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Copyright © Radojuva.com. Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2012/06/nikon-ai-s-old-lens-about/comment-page-2/

Versión en español de este artículo https://radojuva.com/es/2012/06/nikon-ai-s-old-lens-about/comment-page-2/