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Canon shooters keep out!! [Top Secret info for Nikon Users]

Forums Forums Get Technical Hardware Canon shooters keep out!! [Top Secret info for Nikon Users]

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #2586
    sleeping
    Participant

    Ok, so here’s the complete deal on AI/Non-AI lens compatibility….

    [Skip past this bit if you don’t care about the historical background]

    Originally, Nikon camera used the metering prong system to communicate aperture information from the lens to the camera. This is used on the F, early F2 models and some of the Nikkormats. The prong system was sub-optimal because you needed to rack the aperture ring to both ends of the range each time you mounted a lens to let the camera know what the max and min aperture were so the meter would work. That sucked, and thus was born* AI, or automatic indexing…

    [Ok, that’s over]

    What they did when they changed from Non-AI to AI was basically to cut away the base of the aperture ring apart from two tabs:

    A big one:

    And a little one:

    Here they both are in context. Note that the positions vary somewhat due to different max and min apertures on different lenses, though:

    The bigger tab on the lens interfaces with a moving tab, which is at about 1 o’clock with a lens unmounted, on the mount of all cameras that support metering with AI lenses (it’s the silver squareish thing in the middle of the photo):

    The little lens tab interfaces with a switch (at about 8 o’clock) that engages when the camera is set to the minimum aperture on cameras that support S and P metering (this is the thing that causes the meter to stop working when you move the aperture ring away from the minimum position):

    I don’t have a non-ai lens to hand to show this, but on those lenses the aperture ring comes right down to the lens mount, so if you mount one on a body that has the AI tabs, they tend to get damaged or broken off.

    So basically, to see if a lens is safe to mount on most nikon bodies**, you can pretty much just look at the aperture ring. If it’s got a solid base, you want to be very, very careful and don’t force anything. If you see tabs like in the photos, you should be good to go 🙂

    *)Or, some say, shamelessly copied from the Minolta MC system
    **)The cheaper current DSLRs like the D40, D3000 etc that don’t meter with non-G lenses don’t have either tab, and can therefore safely mount non-AI lenses.

    #45165
    orionid
    Participant

    Well put.

    #45166
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    Bwah hah hah! Now I have the secrets of the Nikonians! With this information Canonites will dominate the world!

    #45167
    orionid
    Participant

    Bwah hah hah! Now I have the secrets of the Nikonians! With this information Canonites will dominate the world!

    I seem to remember someone posting something relevant on FB this morning…. What was it? Oh, right:

    /hot

    #45168
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    LOL! I saw that earlier this week, but I like your version better, orionid. The version I saw had the “dork” as the Canon user (probably why their bubble tails are crossed in yours). Then again, I have a severe dislike for the “Mac” guy too, so really, I’m torn. 🙂

    #45169
    chupathingie
    Participant

    OK, now THAT’s funny!

    /runs off to FB to plagiarize Orionind‘s plagiarization…

    #45170
    Farktographer
    Participant

    Wow, I learned something new about my camera and old Nikkor lens. Thanks, sleeping!

    #45171
    Yugoboy
    Participant

    OK… now I have to wait until much later this evening to see what my F3 lens looks like.

    Again, the shorthand is to look for the little silver square-ish thing?

    (I just looked at the 2 lenses I have for my D5100, and neither has the rectangle, or any of that other stuff… I am assuming it’s because they were both built with dSLRs in mind, and as such the aperture adjustment is in-camera as opposed to manual… correct?)

    #45172
    sleeping
    Participant

    Again, the shorthand is to look for the little silver square-ish thing?

    The silver square in the photo is the tab on the camera (an F3 in that case) that engages with the longer tab on the lens’s aperture ring. Your D5100 won’t have one, that’s not one of the models that can meter with AI lenses.

    I just looked at the 2 lenses I have for my D5100, and neither has the rectangle

    Yeah, G type lenses don’t have an aperture ring at all, but unlike pre-AI lenses they’re built with clearance for the tabs on the camera body.

    #45173
    Yugoboy
    Participant

    OK… so I’ve got the room to take small chances with Nikon/Nikkor lenses since 1980?

    #45174
    sleeping
    Participant

    OK… so I’ve got the room to take small chances with Nikon/Nikkor lenses since 1980?

    AI was introduced in 1977. Any lens made since then can mount safely on any Nikon body, and most of them will be at least somewhat usable (the exceptions are some newer lenses on older bodies, where the aperture can’t be set, but there’s no risk of damage in that case)

    #45175
    Farktographer
    Participant

    OK… so I’ve got the room to take small chances with Nikon/Nikkor lenses since 1980?

    AI was introduced in 1977. Any lens made since then can mount safely on any Nikon body, and most of them will be at least somewhat usable (the exceptions are some newer lenses on older bodies, where the aperture can’t be set, but there’s no risk of damage in that case)

    My 50mm is a 1968 version, and with a cheap adaption to the back it fits my D7000 just fine. Takes beautiful photos, too. Just have to make sure I’m in manual mode, but point is that even with older lenses they should be adaptable to fit newer cameras.

    #45176
    Yugoboy
    Participant

    Awesome!

    Look out flea markets, here i come!

    (So now I have something to look for besides old books, cheap-o historical artifacts for my classroom and “vintage” porn…)

    #45177
    Pickerel
    Participant

    Using old lenses can be fun. I have an AI-modified 50-300mm f/4.5 that’s much older than I am. It definitely doesn’t take photos that are sharp and contrasty, but it certainly has its look and it is fun and challenging to use this lens.


    _DSD9170 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr

    #45178
    Barracuda
    Participant

    Or you could be extra cruel to Nikon fans and do this:

    and get results like this:

    and this

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