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, D810D810a, 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 z5, Nikon z6, Z6 II, Nikon 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, D810D810a, 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 z5, Nikon z6, Z6 II, Nikon 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, D810D810a, 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, 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.com.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

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Comments: 212, on the topic: Working with old Nikon lenses

  • Alexander

    Hello. There is a D80. I want to try installing Nikkor 50 F2.0 on it. Tell me, please, will there be any problems during installation? Nothing to cut? Thanks.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Nikkor 50 2.0 there are different modifications, which one do you want to install?

  • Alexander

    Normal Nikkor 50 F2.0 http://bvf.ru/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=2723890&d=1441432899 . With the help of your materials I’ve already figured it out, thanks for the comprehensive information. Sent to the master in Lipetsk http://www.manualnikkor.ru/service.html for surgical intervention: slightly modify the case (so that it does not touch the lever of the extreme position of the diaphragm on the D80) and install the Lushnikov chip.

  • anonym

    Hello, I have a D7100 camera. I purchased a 75-150 e series. When installed on the camera, it does not show the aperture. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

  • anonym

    Thank you, I found everything in your article.

  • Rollercoaster

    Question 6. To use the Helios 44M-6 lens, on the advice of the seller, I bought an M42-Nikon adapter with a lens and found that the pictures were blurry. What is the reason?

    • anonym

      Apparently in a low-quality lens

    • Sergei

      An adapter with a lens spoils everything. Need without a lens, or get out of this lens. For infinity, you have to cut. And it’s better to just buy 81n, and this one to sell, the 81st is better otically, easier and less, the jump, becomes like a native

    • Gregor

      "On the advice of the seller"
      -)))

  • Andrei

    Hello, please answer the question: is the nikon d5100 ai-s 28-200 lens compatible with my camera without alteration? And what will work? I read the article carefully; I could not find the answer.

    • BB

      Get up without any problems.
      The diaphragm will 'jump' - i.e. close to a preset value during descent.
      Everything else - focusing and selection of the exposure pair - only in manual mode.

      • Andrei

        Thank you, “preset mode during descent” can you tell me more?

        • BB

          If the lens has a 'jumping' aperture control mechanism and aperture control ring (the Ai-S does it all), then at any setting, it remains fully open, and you focus on a fully open aperture (which is more accurate and convenient than with closed), when you press the 'shutter' the aperture will automatically close to the selected value, and after taking a picture, it will open again.

      • Andrei

        Wrong value

  • Andrei

    Thank you very much for your help.

  • Igor

    good afternoon!
    There is a Nikon d7000 and I want to buy a Nikon 135mm 2.8 AI to it.
    According to your article, I realized that he is suitable for this carcass.
    Without any modifications to the mount.
    I have a question about flash. In TTL mode, will it work with this lens?
    Thank you very much!

  • seva8698

    Not everything is so simple with the installation of NON AI lenses on advanced carcasses.
    Indeed, NIKKOR SC 50 \ 1/4 / in the photo of Arkady in the article / cannot be installed on Nikon D300 D7100 and others but correctly sawing up the lens skirt we get the opportunity to work in mode A.
    But NIKKOR-H 50 / 2.0 and NIKKOR-H 28 / 3.5 IMMEDIATELY BECOME on the NIKON D300 D71OO / checked / but there is nothing to catch on the rheostat protrusion and the camera does not see the diaphragm.

  • Georgy

    Good evening. I can’t find the info anywhere. What is the purpose of the AE aperture on the old Tamron 24mm f / 2.5Adaptall-2 model 01BB lens (for Nikon)? The lens is supposed to be used on a Nikon D610 camera. It seems that he figured out everything except this. Photos downloaded from the ad.

    • Michael

      Jump ring lock, judging by the designation

      • Georgy

        Michael, please. Rummaged through the whole I-no. But at this moment, a taboo is established. I assume that this is a position like a switch on AF lenses, for proper installation on modern central controllers. When the diaphragm is clamped on a small hole. Am I mistaken?

        • Michael

          I do not really understand you. In general, to work on modern central control valves, to control the diaphragm not from the ring, but from the camera. In appearance, it looks exactly like this mode. Similarly, the old Nikkors exhibited

  • Arkady

    Maybe someone will answer me. What is the difference between the Minolta MD 50 / 1.4 lens and the Minolta Rokkor-x 50 / 1.4 lens? I use both lenses through an adapter with a D90 camera. I don't see the difference in the pictures. Still, which one is better? I would be very grateful for your answer. I can sell Vivitar MF - Baronet F 135 / 2.8; Canon FD 135 / 2.5 in very good condition.

  • anonym

    please tell me which manual lens can be used without problems on nikon d7200?

    • Sergei

      Helios 81n

    • anonym

      all native Ai-s lenses

  • Vladimir

    Good day
    I choose between Nikon D7000 and D300. There are two lenses, Arsat N 50 1: 2 and Arsat N 80-200, are you interested in whether the D7000 can read the aperture value from the lens? For the protrusion on the bayonet mount, unlike the D300, it does not have

    • Vladimir

      PS: a similar question about shooting in aperture priority mode. Will it work on at least one of these cameras?

      • KalekseyG

        The 7000 has the same aperture rheostat as the 300. The 200 for the lens menu has a choice of setting the aperture from the carcass or from the lens. These probably also.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There is a ledge (diaphragm rheostat). Will be read.

      • Vladimir

        thanks for answers

        • Vladimir

          Indeed there is: D
          The first time I looked, Google threw a D5100 photo, and I did not notice

  • Nikon

    Why did they remove the rheostat from the 7500 ?! Apparently this is all D500 ... Okay, we are waiting for a review from Arkady.

  • Denis

    Good day! Can the Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm lens stand on the Nikon F 65?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      cannot, if the lens is not sharpened, the skirt will abut against the lever of the extreme position of the diaphragm.

      • Denis

        Thanks! Is it possible to solve the problem without plumbing, for example with an adapter?

        • Arkady Shapoval

          It is impossible :)

          • Denis

            Thank you!

  • anonym

    Thanks Arkady for the article. really helped to figure it out. not a site, but a whole encyclopedia))

  • Ilya

    Arkady, we need your advice. Acquired Nikon nikkor 50 1: 1.4 and 24 1: 2. Judging by their appearance - they are AI or AI-S. When set to d700, the camera shoots with a completely different sound and jerks it perceptibly (even the focusing ring moves a little on the lens). With another AI lens 105 2.5 (as in your review), which looks the same as them, there is no such problem. When installed on a d7100 crop, everything “shoots” very quietly, as usual. Why could this be? Does the mirror hit where it is not needed? Or is it that the diaphragm drive is working so actively? Scared for the camera.
    MKy_Fb_Aps_X_I

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Good afternoon. You have fifty dollars - the first subversion of AI (this is), and 24mm is one of the latest sub-versions of AI. At d700, I noticed that the drummer can hit very hard, that, as you wrote, the focusing ring is twitching. During operation, I never wore out or broke anything, apparently this is just such a feature.

      • Ilya

        Thank you very much for the answer, I will use it!

  • gray14

    but on my d3400 there is no EE lever at all

    • gray14

      But I figured it out - I didn't notice it at all, the article states - but it turns out that since it is not there, then the camera does not know if the extreme value of the aperture in Non-G lenses is worth?

  • anonym

    Typo
    2018_07_18_8_56_18

    • Denis

      no error

    • Arkady Shapoval

      What is a mistake or typo?

  • jurij61

    Tell me please, I have a nikon d5100 which lens to buy -MC Kaleinar-5 H 2,8 / 100 mm asking for 70 euros or taur 11a asking for 110 euros. Just for myself, I'm not a pro, my grandson will be born to take pictures of him, still shooting sports?

    • Pawel

      Well, for sports and shooting grandchildren, these lenses are not so hot, but the flowers are so. For such genres, something better is autofocus, at least fifty dollars 50mm 1,8g, and / or 70-300vr

      • jurij61

        Thanks for the answer, but for the price it’s not expensive, but I bought a fifty dollars at the beginning but without G without autofocus

        • jurij61

          Maybe this Sigma Objektiv 17-70 f2.8-4.5 in eve costs 110 euros?

  • Alexey

    Good afternoon! You wrote that non-ai lenses cannot be mounted on the D50. I saw the same information on other resources. I have a Nikon D50, I can easily mount a non-ai Nikkor-H auto f50mm 1: 2 lens on it. Focus is confirmed by a green dot. No measurement. The jump is working. The shutter speed is set from the camera, the aperture is set on the lens. The result is assessed visually and using a histogram. Slowly, but successfully) What's the matter?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      That your non-ai are already redone

  • Mark

    Arkady, hello.
    At the moment, the question arose about buying a DSLR for a photo - goods are mainly (not macro) and so - an amateur photo! In addition, there is a need for video recording. More or less decent quality in modern formats. Before that I worked only with film and since that time there are two excellent and suitable lenses for me Nippon Kogaku 50/2 and 28 / 3,5. Professionally refined in Ai. What is the question - I am considering buying a D7000 or D3300. The first one will please the rheostat and there will be no problems with my old glasses. The second one wins on video shooting and has a lever for the extreme position of the aperture. What to choose based on your experience and will the aforementioned glasses work on the D3300? Thank you in advance for your response.
    And also the question in this thread. If you put Lushnikov's dandelion on any of the glasses, in theory there will be both focus and metering. Do I understand correctly?

    • anonym

      With dandelion will be metering, but it will tear. Bare ai glass on a 3300 aperture will not transmit, respectively, shooting only in mode m

  • Oleg

    I put Nikon Nikkor-O 35mm f / 2 Pre-AI on my Nikon d750 and took successful shots.
    so what say?

    • Onotole

      you are a great fellow, smart girl

      • Oleg

        onotole, grand merci! but the table in Comrade Radozhiva says that you can’t stick it in principle!

        • Michael

          If AI conversion is not done, then really it is impossible. You apparently sawed

          • Oleg

            NO!

            • Arkady Shapoval

              Photo to the studio

            • Onotole

              This is all wonderful, but according to the principles of ordinary logic, it is you, and not someone else, who must explain why in your case it turned out not as written in the article, i.e. why the author is wrong.

              • Oleg

                Yes, I myself am SURPRISED, I even asked this question to the people on the forum - they are silent.
                He and Nikon f65 became without question.
                On Nikon 750, he does not give an exposure, all types are experienced, but the photos are excellent.
                dresses a little tight, but without much effort. I can show a photo on which glass on Nikon 750 is dressed. and I can show a photo from it. although there will be no excise with this glass in the data.

              • Arkady Shapoval

                Better take and show a picture in the area of ​​the rheostat, I wonder where it is hiding.

              • Oleg

                He’s not hiding much anywhere. I just didn’t know that this glass should not be put there and put it, well, maybe he pressed it for a tenth of a millimeter and it all went without question, I’ll show the photo later, since the other camera will be tomorrow or tonight (I won’t use smartphones - Nokia 6700 forever :)))
                now I'm worried about this “piptik” on the camera that moves counterclockwise.
                but how to cut it? maybe I don’t need to wear it tightly ?!

              • Vitaly N

                I express my condolences for the untimely loss of the rheostat lever ...
                Does it make sense to sharpen already?

              • Oleg

                Vitaly N, what are you talking about ?! after removing this glass, I now put on Nikon Nikkor 50 mm f / 1.8 Ai-S and everything is fine, nothing bent, everything is in place, the aperture transmits to the camera perfectly (by the way, about aperture: how to write real aperture values ​​in my camera for this glass and not just numbers 0,1,… .7 in the chamber?). perhaps I slightly bent (maximum tenth of a millimeter), this is possible.

              • Vitaly N

                And what is written about this in the instructions? Usually prescribed FR and minimum aperture for each lens.

              • Oleg

                Thanks Vitaly N. set up. now everything is fine. for a hundred years I didn’t take off the glass on the manual and didn’t take off the glass, I forgot it already.

              • anonym

                You should not boil. When unscrewing the stopper, the diaphragm ring is screwed onto the thread with a small stroke and, if possible, it can be screwed deeper so that the skirt does not reach the rheostat lever. In some branch here has already been discussed with a year ago.

              • Oleg

                Well, all the same, somehow there is no desire to put him there again, and there is no such urgent need at the moment. all the same (I noticed) the plastic ring is in very tight contact with the rheostat and slides over it when it rotates.
                that is, in my specific case it is possible, but you do not need to see it.
                if I saw it already on the film camera Nikon F4S.

              • Oleg

                here is a photo of glass

  • Alex

    Gentlemen, tell me pliz. I want to clarify. Is it possible to use Helios 44-2 lens with Fujifilm S3pro? After reading this great article it seems no. But today, having put the helios with the M42-AI adapter on the fujik, I took off a little. At the same time, the shots are not very successful and very often the cameraman swears and writes “F–” on the scoreboard. What to do then?

    • Michael

      You can use it, but it will only be macro. To focus on infinity, you need an adapter with a lens. F fotik will always write, because he does not see the lens. Shooting must be done in M ​​mode and everything will come)

      • B. R. P.

        Why only macro? Well this is not a rangefinder lens. meters to 2 should visit.

        • Michael

          2 is not infinity)

          • B. R. P.

            )

      • Alex

        I shoot only in “M”. But he swears every 2 minutes (writes F - -). pictures are not sharp. Helmos behaves better on another device (not Nikon bayonet). Maybe the adapter is Chinese ...

        • Michael

          As Robert Capa said, “So you have not come close enough”)) There will be no infinity. You can only shoot at close distances, which is probably why the soap

  • Alexander

    Comrades, please help me if the Micro-Nikkor-P Auto 55mm 3.5 lens is compatible with the nikon d300, will the exposure value be considered? There is no information for this model, please help.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This is a PRE-AI (I also call them NON-AI) lens. It cannot be installed on the D300 without alteration. Alteration is simple, you need to cut a little skirt of the diaphragm. Details on this subject are described in detail in the topic here. here.

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2012/06/nikon-ai-s-old-lens-about/comment-page-3/

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