Photo Tricks for Nikon. Part 20. Work with Non-AI lenses

A little trick for owners of advanced Nikon cameras that can measure exposure with lenses without a CPU.

Photo Tricks for Nikon. Part 20. Work with Non-AI lenses

Photo Tricks for Nikon. Part 20. Work with Non-AI lenses

Old manual class lenses Non-ai (PRE-AI) do not know how to transfer the value of the set aperture to the camera, but at the same time they have automatic control of the aperture from the camera.

To get auto metering exposure on closed diaphragms, you can apply the following simple trick. When closing the diaphragm one step, just enter the correction exposure +1 ev For example, using Non-AI lens Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm I decided to shoot at f / 2.8 aperture. In the camera menu (except for the Nikon D1 series) in the Non-CPU section of the lenses, I set the values ​​to 50mm and F / 1.4, when shooting at F / 2.8 I just set the correction exposure +2 ev The difference between F / 1.4 and F / 2.8 is exactly 4 times (2 steps). Thus froze exposure the camera will carry out at F / 1.4, but shoot at F / 2.8, taking into account the amendment exposure, I will get a correctly exposed picture. Correction Amount exposure It is calculated based on the numbers F in steps.

This is a simple and easy way to use aperture priority mode with Non-ai lenses when taking pictures on covered apertures. Personally, I’m very comfortable using this method with Non-AI lenses on older Nikon cameras.

Conclusions:

Old Pre-ai lenses do not need to be AI-converted for automatic operation on closed apertures. You can use exposure compensation for automatic metering on covered apertures.

Thank you for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 59, on the topic: Photo Tricks for Nikon. Part 20. Work with Non-AI lenses

  • anonym

    Very beautiful photo!!!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Photos at Zenitar - http://500px.com/photo/37185654

    • Vitaly Romas

      A good example photo for a question that has long been ripe :)
      I realized that I (very subjectively) do not like photos with strong blur, when 80 percent of the photo is very blurred, the depth of field is very narrow. With good vision, the effect is unpleasant for the eye, but this is subjective. And the question is - how to deal with it? Just cover the diaphragm?

      • Arkady Shapoval

        1. Close the diaphragm
        2. Use shorter focus lenses
        3. To shoot using the principle of hyperfocal distance and choosing the shooting point correctly
        4. You can just use cameras with a small matrix

        • Vitaly Romas

          Thanks for the detailed answer!

  • Lynx

    You make me a sad pony. ((only I almost decided to sell my D90 and, having arranged a downgrade, take 3100 with a pair of 50 / 1,8 and 35 / 1,8, you again lead me astray, forcing me to want the D300, with this "exposure metering through manuals" ((((

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I shot for a long time on the Nikon D90 without any problems in M ​​mode, without dandelions and other goodies. It's just a matter of habit :)

      • Denis

        I would like to ask as an experienced photographer - with constant shooting in M ​​mode you still have to “shoot in”, or do you manage to immediately find the right exposure with experience? The figure is still not film, the exposure needs to be set more accurately. And "zeroing" once again plant the battery and the shutter is wasted ...

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Yes, for a certain scene I take 2-3 sighting shots, and then I can shoot a series of shots with the selected value. It is not so difficult to pick up immediately "by eye", it is just better to play it safe and check through the display and the histogram. Usually subtle glitches in exposure are treated in RAW. Personally, I generally stopped feeling sorry for both the battery (I have enough spare ones) and the shutter (the camera should shoot, not lie down). A good shot is a million times more important than some wear and tear on the battery and shutter, which by and large cost a penny.

          • Denis

            Regarding the shutter - it's good if it is possible to replace it, i.e. the camera is more or less modern, or at least widespread. And I, the owner of a well-worn artifact called Nikon D1x, still a little sorry to kill him, although the device is professional, who knows how long he still has to live :)
            The question is not about money at all ... And I don’t bother with shooting, just if there is an opportunity not to take unnecessary photos, I use it :) And small flash drives (he will not see capacious ones) well teach to select a composition and not take a picture of anything.

          • Denis

            I agree, on the shelf, he can stand up faulty, if that :)
            I took it to the sea, the large size and weight never bothered me, and the home-made battery proved to be in the best possible way, it did not disappoint. I’m even used to the display, if the doubts were, then the histogram solved :)
            But all this, of course, does not concern the topic of the article ...

          • Denis

            Arkady, I agree about 2-3 sighting points ... I do it myself and I advise everyone. Mode M - "everything is head". Recently I filmed an event in very “crooked” lighting conditions. I did some sighting (in RAW) on a gray card. And the pictures turned out at times better than the pictures from the event in the same room, taken a few months ago in A mode and setting the BB to auto mode.

          • Sergey Khodykin

            Arkady, you talked about the Histogram. Maybe I was looking badly or not finding information on the site how to use it correctly and what it shows. I look at the photo, dark or bright, it can be seen and understood, the histogram also shows different diagrams. Tell me how to use it and why you just need it. Thanks.

      • Lynx

        Yes, I also shot for a long / short time on the D90. It is just that sometimes you want to “without excess hemorrhoids” (and weight). again - Vivat D3100 in this case. ))

  • Roman D

    Arkady, it would be nice to write in the article that for comparison, lenses (such as Jupiter 37A) that do not have a tail for transmitting the aperture number and the ability to control the aperture from the camera outperform non-AI lenses in that it is immediately closed (immediately before release) the aperture on older cameras will always give the correct exposure (with the accuracy of the camera’s exposure meter).

    • Denis

      Yes, all this "jumping rope", in fact, creates problems with metering. If the same Helios-81N closed without a "jump rope", it would have been easier with metering ...
      Therefore, it is easier with the Kenons, they measure the exposure correctly with any lens. It's only strange why AF confirmation does not work without a dandelion, on the other hand, having bought an adapter with a dandelion once, you don't bother with manual optics at all (because there is no need to program it, the consequences are only incorrect data in EXIF ​​...

      • Arkady Shapoval

        In fact, there are no special problems. There is only this problem with Non-AI lenses. With Helios-81N it is very convenient to work on older Nikon cameras, since it is an AI lens. On Canon cameras, not a single old lens will allow you to work with automatic iris control, which is a minus.

        • Denis

          Yes, there are still problems ... It's not for nothing that you mention in the reviews of younger cameras as a serious disadvantage the impossibility of working with manual optics :) Dandelion, of course, solves, but ...
          Anyway, you must agree that Canon is more versatile in terms of working with manual lenses. I have never experienced a serious inconvenience from the fact that the "jump rope" does not work. I always see what I can do, and if there is not enough light or there is no confirmation of focus, it is not difficult to open the diaphragm ... After all, the diaphragm is clamped in most cases when we take pictures in bright light. But any lens gets up, incl. Nikonovsky :)
          And when faced with the Nikon system and the same Helios, I realized that either glue the dandelion (which in my case is unprofitable due to the state of Helios itself, you need to clean the inside, everything is dirty), or not fool your head and buy a chip lens ... Now I shoot at 18-70 and I don’t know grief, although this is a completely different topic of course :)
          And dandelions are cheaper on Canon - you can take the simplest Chinese and not be fooled by what is sewn into it ...

          • Arkady Shapoval

            This is a slippery question about systems. I use all the old Nikon lenses with the Nikon system, while Canon has the FD lenses cut off. Nikon has a focus confirmation on all cameras, which Canon doesn't have. For me, the exact focus is more important than accurate exposure. If you take the same old Soviet lenses, then the Nikon system lenses N and A do not require adapters at all, for Canon you always have to buy an adapter. Older AI compatible lenses for Nikon have a semi-automatic aperture, which adds convenience when working with them; Canon will not work with a single aperture lens. These are subtleties, because the unequivocal advantage of Canon / Nikon with a thoughtful study of the problem is not so obvious.

          • Denis

            About the confirmation of the focus, I already mentioned that the adapter with the chip is quite a bit more expensive than the unchipped one, considering that all the optics are still molded through the adapter, then there is no problem. And the working segment is still more universal :)
            Actually, only Nikon lenses are suitable for Nikon, it doesn't matter whether they are native or domestic ... Only the fact that the "jump rope" works, due to which problems with exposure arise.
            In no case do I "drive" on Nikon, I took pictures with Nikon, to be honest with Canon, and I don't want to shoot any more, I liked the color rendition and RAW post-processing capabilities more. And all this fuss with the manual does not scare me, on the contrary, it makes me delve deeper into the process :)

            • Arkady Shapoval

              :)

        • Denis

          More about Helios-81N. I do not know how he should pair with the camera, but my copy did not twist the ring on the camera. Having made a groove on the ring, into which the protrusion of the on-camera ring falls, he began to mate with the camera, but accurate measurement takes place only on the open aperture, when closing, there is some overexposure, i.e. nonlinearity on the face.
          Nikon D1x camera, i.e. there is nowhere to set the parameters of the lens ... Plus, matrix metering does not work. I join the linearity question, will dandelion solve this problem completely.

          • Arkady Shapoval

            My copies of Helios-81H were AI compatible, there was no need to sharpen anything. The measurement was and is always accurate. Here, rather, the question is about the selected instance. As for Dandelion, I'm more than sure that it won't decide.

        • Gene jb

          >> On Canon cameras, no old lens will allow automatic iris control, which is a disadvantage.
          ------------------
          But exposure metering always works accurately, regardless of the aperture. In fact, Nikon has only one problem - the flange distance. Everything else is just pluses. And if we talk about cons ... There are other cameras, for example, Pentax, Sony. And they have even more advantages about lenses. For example, a stub built into the body.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This is already clear and described here. https://radojuva.com.ua/2011/04/optika-na-nikon/#how-mount

  • Oleg

    Why is this happening? I think a camera with a modern lens works like this:
    Step 1. Preparing for the shot. You hover, the shutter button can be half-pressed. The aperture is always fully open regardless of the set value. The camera focuses, metering.
    Stage 2. Pressing the trigger. The camera closes the aperture to the set value, sets the shutter speed, ISO, etc. I note that the metering was taken at the full aperture, and the picture was taken at the desired aperture, so the camera should calculate how the illumination changes when the aperture is closed.
    Am I mistaken somewhere?

    Now to the situation you described. For example, let's take your manual non-Ai F / 2,8 - F / 16 lens. We expose F / 16. What will the camera do? The camera will expose before the release of F / 2,8 for metering, and 1/16 for shooting? How can a camera set aperture without knowing its values? Those. exposes herself without knowing what?

    • Denis

      The camera does not know how much it will close the aperture. With the ring you set the angle to which the diaphragm blades will rotate when the leash is released with a "jump rope". Those. When shooting, the camera pulls the "jump rope" as much as possible, but it does not know how much the diaphragm will close. Therefore, she has no choice but to measure the exposure with the aperture open, because at the time of shooting it is too late to measure anything.
      On Helios-81N, I made a small groove in the area of ​​the protrusion of the camera ring so that it clings to the lens ring, as a result, if you set the aperture 2, the exposure is correct, and if you close the aperture, due to non-linearity, you have to make negative exposure compensation depending on the closing of the aperture .

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Nikon lenses, which have an automatic iris device, communicate with the camera through a special protrusion near the lens mount. Non-AI lenses do not have such a diaphragm protrusion. When shooting on an AI lens (it is without a microprocessor) on the F / 16 aperture, the camera does not recognize that the aperture ring on the lens is set to F / 16. Therefore, the exposure metering will still be done at fully open, but due to the fact that the camera does not know how much the aperture will be closed at the time of shooting and underexposure will occur. To understand this, just shoot at least once on a Non-AI lens.

  • Aleks de Kairoy

    But I decided to try differently
    was a non-AI lens
    http://cs313431.vk.me/v313431912/1634/X6quNLC3k1M.jpg
    became AI
    http://cs313431.vk.me/v313431912/163d/LxZnoPr_aB0.jpg
    in my opinion it didn’t even turn out badly, the diaphragm works as if it’s actually native))
    Glass soligor 2.8 / 135

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This is called AI conversion :)

  • Andrey Kuryanov

    Use Lushnikov's Dandelion and there will be metering on any lens and on any Nikon carcasses.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      And the problem of non-linearity with old PRE-AI lenses is solved there? Probably not. My method gives fine adjustment of the exposure with Non-AI lenses, since the calculation is performed in steps, and the values ​​of the numbers F on the aperture ring are indicated correctly :)

  • ZLoy_sok

    In the future, I would like to see an article about Correct AI conversion of old lenses. Correct in the sense of having the exact dimensions for two notches on the aperture ring. Otherwise, the internet is full of articles with tips such as downloading a picture with an AI lens and cutting it out about it ...

  • igorsam.

    Camera d5100 if you set 50 / 1,8D will the shutter trigger focus function focus ????
    In other words, I pressed the shutter, twisting the focuser into focus, the shutter worked.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This is called a focus trap. This will not work.

  • igorsam

    Thanks for the answer
    If not difficult, give a link to your articles on this subject
    As I understand it, at 50 / 1,8D paired with the D5100, everything works except autofocus.

  • Vadim

    Arkady, you will be surprised (and I myself am pleasantly surprised).
    There is a Nikon F90x film SLR camera and a Kaleinar-5N lens. Everything works as you described above: focusing on the open aperture and it closes automatically before releasing the shutter. BUT the exposure meter reacts immediately when I set the desired aperture value on the lens. Moreover, his readings are EXACT, not a single corrupted frame. Lens without dandelion. HOW DOES THE CAMERA MANAGE TO DO IT?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I'm not surprised, in a review of Kalein-5n it is written in black and white that Kaleinar-5N is an AI compatible lens.

      • Vadim

        Oh, how embarrassing it became ... I believed that information about the aperture is transmitted only by lenses with a chip. Thanks. I'll know :)

  • anonym

    When shooting on Tair-11A, the D610 carcass also guessed to use exposure compensation as a very convenient thing.

  • Tatyana

    Arkady, help me decide between Nikon D300s, Nikon D300, Nikon D7100

  • KalekseyG

    Good afternoon. Arkady, I was here in some topic swearing at Nikon 5200 about the fact that he can measure the exposure with manual lenses, but does not set the shutter speed himself. So I found a use for this (a little trick) - for example, a Jupiter-11 contax-Kiev is installed, in the new lighting conditions the control dial is switched to mode A and I see on the virtual disk what shutter speed is required with the iso and aperture set at the moment, then I switch to M mode and voila the histogram to the bell.

    • Oleg

      If there is exposure metering, but the camera does not automatically set the shutter speed, you can probably just change the aperture or shutter speed manually, focusing on the exposure scale (change the shutter speed / aperture until it converges to zero).

  • Igor

    Here's what thought came to me. I have 300s and 81m helios. If we prescribe it for aperture of 4 or even 5.6, then by adjusting the exposure, it will be possible to play back at both 2.0 and 8! I'll try it tomorrow! …. otherwise the night is already ...

  • Peter

    If you are too lazy to change the exposure compensation every time, you can shoot through live view. advantages in convenient and accurate focusing, always correct exposure. cons - the battery runs out faster, it's more difficult to shoot in the dynamics.

  • Sergei

    Kind people, tell me about a specific situation, because from the above, little has been understood so far:
    Now I'm trying to shoot with Nikon D40 with a Vega-12B lens, a dandelion is installed, the aperture is constantly closed.
    I can’t figure out how to correctly measure the exposure,
    a flash in TTL mode on P gives darker frames, on A it seems more or less.
    in mode A, the shutter speed changes, both from the rotation of the aperture on the lens itself and from the installation of a slider on the camera, and the effect is added up.

    In what mode can I get the correct metering when the aperture is constantly closed on the lens? How, in this case, make the flash work in TTL mode?

    • anonym

      Well, it’s necessary to shoot in A. R, in fact, is more suitable for lenses with a jumping aperture, it should be exposed to the exposure lens and there is nothing, it is possible only by exposure.

      • Sergei

        When shooting in A, the question arises, which aperture should be set during metering on the lens and on the camera, and which during shooting?
        After all, they are summed up during measurement, i.e. The shutter speed changes both from changing the aperture on the lens itself, and from changing the slider on the camera. So the camera takes into account not only the light actually coming through the lens, but also conditionally set on the slider.

        • anonym

          You have a dandelion, aperture when focusing or immediately after it set the necessary. And the shutter itself will expose what you need.

        • anonym

          The diaphragm does not need to be installed on the carcass

          • Sergei

            The fact of the matter is that with my dandelion in mode A, the aperture on the carcass can be changed from 2,8 and higher, and this change affects the measurement of shutter speed.
            With a dandelion on Canon, I did not have this, there the diaphragm on the carcass at one value was frozen.

            • anonym

              On the carcass you do not need to touch the diaphragm, use the ring on the lens.

    • Anonym

      I have tested d40 with flash SB-24 and for my suprise flash work in ttl mode, and every shot regardless of camera mode, came very well exposed, because camera use flash exposure meter. SB-24 doesn't work in ttl mode on D300 for example.

  • Leonid N

    Old manual lenses of the Non-Ai class (PRE-AI) do not know how to transfer the value of the set aperture to the camera, but at the same time they have automatic control of the aperture from the camera. With such lenses, Nikon D200, D300, D300s, D600, D700, D800, D800E, D7000, D7100, D1, D1h, D1x, D2x, D2xs, D2h, D2hs, D3, D3x, D3s, D4 cameras can work normally in automatic mode only at full aperture. When you close the aperture on PRE-AI lenses, the value of the F number is not transmitted to the camera and the camera “thinks” that shooting will take place at the full aperture. When setting the aperture value on a Non-AI type lens, the camera will not be able to 'read' this value. This produces an underexposed shot.

    https://windowsuser.livejournal.com/823728.html

    For some reason it is written there more fully and understandably.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There (and actually my article copied) a trick is described how to overcome this without resorting to alteration

  • Anonym

    More precise method is to use manual mode, average exposure, only after 5.6 you need 2 clicks underexposure to nail exposure every time / tested on d300 /. I don't have nonAi lens, i have used reversed lens. Only downside is your exif will show always full open aperture.
    Other method if you want aperture mode and only have one non AI lens is to put all apertures in noncpu data / again average exposure give best results /.

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