Ancient/Old lenses for my Nikon D50

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Abstract, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #1
    Maybe it's my age, or maybe it's my inability to find very very concrete, straight-forward info regarding Nikon DSLR compatible lenses, but if someone's selling lens described as:

    1) An Auto (Auto = Autofocus? Doubt it....) Telephoto Lens Vivitar 135 mm f/2.8, Meter coupled (does that mean I can meter on a D50?), and made to fit a Nikon (what mount?).

    2) 70-150 f/3.8 MC, Close Focusing (quasi-macro, right?), Auto Zoom lens for Nikkor/Nikkormat N/F, Nikon F and EL lens series (are these mounts?), Meter Coupled and Auto Diaphragm Control.

    3) Vivitar 135 mm f/3.5 Auto Telephoto lens, Nikon F Nikkormat mount


    Will they meter and focus properly on my Nikon D50? What about the 2nd description? It says "MC" (don't know what that means), but fits a Nikon F mount camera, so I'm most confident about this lens.

    I'm guessing they're all manual focus with no metering, but one can hope. :eek:

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

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    #2
    If I were you, I would stay with Nikkors. AIS lenes can be found at a great value, but just won't meter on your D50. So you could take a shot, then adjust from there.

    I actually have that Auto Vivtar 135 f/2.8 for my Canon FT camera (Which uses the old bayonet mount). The lens however, isn't usable and is 'foggy.' Not sure if this is the case with all of them, but mine has been in my dad's closet, in its case, for about 25 years.

    'Auto' means that when you look through the viewfinder, you are looking through the maximum aperture, making it easier to focus and compose the photo because it is much brighter. When you release the shutter, the aperture blades move into place at whatever aperture you have it set at.

    I might be incorrect, but I believe that F mount lenses are made like this also, and would not work on your D50. They can be "AI'd" though, making them usable.

    I actually just found a good description here Hope that helps you out, Abstract
     
  3. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    Thanks for the link and info about the "Auto" description. It's interesting for me.

    I thought most F-mount lenses would work on my D50 to some degree. I realize that AI and AI-S lenses are better because they automatically index the largest aperture and therefore the camera's metering is set properly and you can view things easier through the viewfinder, but I thought that the Vivitar 70-150 mm f/3.8 would work, or at least I hoped it would. I haven't read a bad review about it yet, and it seems like a good lens. It's just prehistoric, that's all. :p I was just asking about the other 2 lenses for fun.

    I read the page you linked me to (yes, all 3 pages), but it's way over my head.



    And with a bit more searching........ Vivitar 70-150 f/3.8 on a Nikon D50.
     
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #4
    Abstract, don't waste your money on old Vivitar lenses that aren't going to work well with your D50. Save the money and put it towards a lens that WILL work!
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #5
    They will not meter at all. Not quite true because you can take a test exposure and look at the D50's histogram display and adjust the exposure. The histogram display is a great exposure meter.

    In Nikon terms you want "AI" or "AIS". Nikon never made an "MC" but that is what many people use to describe a non-AI lens. They used a kind of "rabbit ear" that was screws to the Aperture ring to couple with the meter. Thes lense can be converted to AI and many have been (costs about $35) and you see converted lenses listed as "AI'd" You can actually DAMAGE the D50 by mounting a pre-AI lens.

    An AI or AIS lens can be identified by the thin section milled out from the aperture ring. Note the all autofocus lenses that have aperture rings are also AIS

    Manual focus lenses do work well on the D50. The D50's green "in focus" light tells you when the subject is in exact focus, so even if your eyes are bad you can still ge sharp focus.

    Don't biother with old Vivitar stuff. It's junk. There is no need because world-class Nikon manual lenses are available for very low prices. You can pick up an outstanding copy of a Nikor lens for like $100. Way back in the 1970's in the pre-AI era almost all of those third party lenses where of very poor quality people only bought them because they couldn't afford Nikon. Nikon back then was much more expensive then it is today.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #6
    The D50 lacks the mechanical levers needed to couple with the AI/AI-S system. You would need a D100 or D200 if you want to meter couple to AI/AI-S lenses. The D50/70/80 meter is completely non-functional with AI/AI-S lenses and you will need to take a test exposure, use a hand meter or the sunny-16 rule.
     
  7. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    Are AI and AI-S lenses really that much easier to use than pre-AI lenses? I guess I won't use pre-AI lenses if it's bad for my D50, but none of these cameras can meter or AF on a D50, regardless of whether it's an AI lens or not. If no old lens, AI or not, can be used to meter, then I don't know why they're so different as long as they're made for F-mount. :confused: I guess I'll just believe it without understanding it.

    Anyway, I guess I'll look for some AI lenses. I really just wanted to play with old lenses, and the Vivitar 70-150 f/3.8 and f/3.5 are supposed to be great lenses. The 70-210 f/3.5 is supposed to be quite good.

    How are old Sigma lenses? I found an 80-200 f3.5 on eBay that's an AI lens. I want to buy an old prime or telephoto zoom lens, mostly because I don't have a telephoto lens at all and don't really need one. Plus, I have other holes filled. I want a good macro, so I'd prefer an old telephoto to play with since it fills a hole in my lens lineup, it's dirt cheap, AND it would be fun to have. Again, I doubt I'll ever need a regular telephoto in my lineup, but if I DO need one, I guess I have a very cheap, but somewhat "fun" option. ;)
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #8
    I need to go look at my equipment to remember why the pre-AI lenses are not good with the D50. It may have something to do with the force required on the linkage to close the aperture during exposure. The D50 owners manual say "no" so just don't try. It could be as simple as the "rabbit ears" hit the D50's prism housing

    As for what to buy. Nikon Primes. Stay away from eBay. Many of the people selling older camera equipment there are really pawn shop owners unloading junk. Good [laces to buy: www.keh.com You can buy a nicers 135mm f/2.8 lens for under $100 there. and try the forum at www.nikoncafe.com they have a for sale section and they can give MUCH more informed advice then you are getting here when it comes to Nikon stuff.

    Iuse a manual focus macro lens. It works wel enough becaue must macro work is done on a tripod so you can take your time
     
  9. EastCoastFlyer macrumors regular

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    #9
    FE Lenses D50 Compatible?

    Coincidentally just heard from my brother who has a couple of lenses described as "Nikon FE" -- don't have any more information than that, but can get it. Are these usable on my D50?
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #10
    "FE" is the name of a line of Nikon camera bodies. There was an FE, FE2 and FE10. THey all used the "right" kinds of manual lenses, AI or AI-S. These were lower priced "consumer" bodies that replaced the "nikromat" line and allowed "normal people" to get into the Nikon system.

    The exact type of the lens will be printed on the lens. Get the body too. An old FE can do a few things a D50 can't like shot slides and black and white film
     
  11. filhotin macrumors newbie

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    Nov 29, 2006
    #11
    D50 and Nikon F - F3 - N65 - EM

    Hello everybody,

    It's my first time posting here, I've got an email from my father asking me to check out if his old Nikon lenses will work out with a D50.

    More details:

    For his Nikon F - he uses an original 50mm (old model)
    For his Nikon F3 - he uses an E zoom lens series (little less older)
    For his Nikon N65 - He uses a 50mm Macro lens type.
    For his Nikon EM - he uses a 50mm E lens series.

    Cheers.
    Thanks
     
  12. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #12

    The 50mm will likekly not function- the F was pre-AI and it will damage the camera if mounted without conversion- even standard "ai'd" lenses won't work unless it was a full aperture ring replacement, since a different section needs to be milled out for use on The D50.

    The Series E lenses and the one used on the N65 will work. Functionality for the D50 will be the same as on the N65 for the macro, and you will get focus confirmation but no live metering with the series E lenses. Series E lenses are all AI-S
     

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