Will my Super Long Old Nikon 35mm manuel lenses work with the D90 or D80?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by thomahawk, May 9, 2009.

  1. thomahawk macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2008
    Osaka, Japan
    Alright so i have some really old lenses from back when the 35mm Nikon F3 SLR was released. i have some 28mm and 50mm all going down too f/2.8 and probably lower. along with some pretty long zoom lenses.

    Now knowing that they were for 35mm SLR, its full frame. am i right? or not..

    but thats besides the point. i just want to know if my super old lenses from the time zone of the Nikon F3 launch will work on the D80 or D90 of the Nikon DSLR

    Yes or No

    Simple as that. thank you! your responses will be helpful and possibly decide my decision in the future
  2. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I had a cannon lens from a film camera and it works on my digital cannon. the digital camera was the digital version of the film camera though.
  3. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Odds are that yes they will work.

    There are compatability issues, and not all functions will work depdending on the specific series of lens you wish to use with your D90.


    See this chart for compatability notes.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes. All Nikon Manual focus lenses still work with digital cameras.

    But there are a couple catches. Of of course manual focus lenses will never automatically focus. Also depending on the exact lens and the exact digital camera body it may or may not support automatic exposure modes. The general rules if that if the lens supported a feature on the F3 then it will suport that same feature on the DSLR

    Yes both your 50mm and 28mm are faster than f/2.8 likely f/1.4 and f/2.0
    The worst case is that you will need to guess at the exposure then take a test exposure and then look at the camera histogram display and adjust the exposure based on the histogram. You will have to turn the focus ring by hand. But the good ppart is that these lenses are better made than anything you can buy today. They are solid brass and glass and the optics are 100% professional quality.

    Canon is different. Canon changed their lens mount when they moved from manual to auto focus. This upset many Canon owers but Nikon kept their f-mount design. So ALL Nikon lenses going back to the early 1960's can still be used to some degree.
  5. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    As ChrisA said. I will add about Canon: although the old manual lenses don't work with new Canon digital SLR cameras, one can use manual lenses from Nikon, Vivitar, Leitz, Pentax, etc., and after replacing the lens mount with an aftermarket Canon EOS mount, all can be used on Canon (manually, of course).
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    With a D80 or D90? AI or AI-S lenses will mount, but the camera's meter won't function. A D200 or D300 or better would be a better choice if you will primarily be using AI or AI-S lenses. You will probably also want to look into a Katzeye focusing screen (or one of their competitors) as an aid to manual focusing.

    The lens behavior is documented in Nikon's product manuals and those can be freely downloaded from the Nikon USA site (edit: Nikon Asia too, I think).
  7. georgemann macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2005
    Seattle, Washington & Siem Reap, Cambodia
    Just bracket & review your images on the viewing screen and you will be fine.

    It is as simple as that. Have fun.


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