Manual focus Nikkor Lens on Nikon Digital Body


Feb 22, 2004
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#1
Am thinking of switching back to Nikon. I have some nice manual focus Nikkor lenses and would like to know which nikon digital bodies - if any - allows the aperture to remain open until you take a shot. Or is this impossible. Say I set the apertureof a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 to f/5.6, will the viewfinder darken. Right now I'm using a Canon 5D MkII with an adapter and needless to say it's a little irritating having to focus first then set aperture then take the shot. Edit: I intend to use the D700.

Thanking you in advance for any advice.
 

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Jamesf

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Apr 1, 2008
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#2
If I'm not wrong, when a nikon lens, with or without aperture ring, is mounted to any Nikon DSLR, the aperture will open at the widest.

That's why when an old lens with sticky aperture problem, it can only shot at widest opening regardless of what f-stop you set.
 

Feb 22, 2004
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#3
James, thank you for replying. Any idea if a good functioning Ai or AIS lens will stop down when the shot is taken?
 

Apr 2, 2006
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#4
All good functioning Nikkor lenses will function correctly when used on all Nikon digital bodies.

Just have to watch non-Ai lenses on higher end bodies (current - D7000, D700, D800, etc), they cannot be used due to the solid rear that will damage the meter coupling piece of the digital camera bodies. They can be used manually on D60, D3000, D5000, D5100 etc. Even then the auto diaphragm will work.

Ai and AiS will meter couple properly with D700.

To test if aperture is sticky, remove front and rear caps, set at min aperture, look through rear and move a piece of metal - there is only one piece of metal movable from the rear mount - release and the aperture should snap close without delay.
 

Jamesf

New Member
Apr 1, 2008
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#5
James, thank you for replying. Any idea if a good functioning Ai or AIS lens will stop down when the shot is taken?
If the lens is in good working condition, the aperture will stop down to the desired f-stop when the shutter fires.
 

sf_kang

New Member
Nov 3, 2004
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#6
Any AI or AIs lens in good working condition can be coupled to the 'pro' n 'semi-pro' DSLR bodies e.g. D3/S/X, D700, D800/E, D300, D200, etc the have "non-CPU" settings in the menu.

This will allow viewing and focusing at wide open aperture. Upon shutter release, the indexing tab will close the lens aperture to your selected f-stop n immediately wide open again after the shot is captured.

This has allowed me to use manual focus Zeiss ZF lenses on my Nikon FX bodies.

I current have the Zeiss ZF Distagon 25mm f2.8, ZF Makro Planars 50mm f2 and 100mm f2. Nice!

Fred
 

lenslust

New Member
Apr 22, 2012
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#7
Any AI or AIs lens in good working condition can be coupled to the 'pro' n 'semi-pro' DSLR bodies e.g. D3/S/X, D700, D800/E, D300, D200, etc the have "non-CPU" settings in the menu.

This will allow viewing and focusing at wide open aperture. Upon shutter release, the indexing tab will close the lens aperture to your selected f-stop n immediately wide open again after the shot is captured.

This has allowed me to use manual focus Zeiss ZF lenses on my Nikon FX bodies.

I current have the Zeiss ZF Distagon 25mm f2.8, ZF Makro Planars 50mm f2 and 100mm f2. Nice!

Fred
Yes, I've used the CZ85 1,4 on the D2X and D4, flawlessly. Just need to enter the non-CPU information correctly.
 

Feb 22, 2004
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#8
Thanks guys - now to look for a new D700 and get a 3rd party focusing screen with horizontal split image ;-)
 

#9
Thanks guys - now to look for a new D700 and get a 3rd party focusing screen with horizontal split image ;-)
if i may suggest, getting a plain focus screen may actually be better. i personally get distracted by the central split prism and end up with many of my shots composed with subject in the middle. i'd highly recommend the canon 'S'-type screen to go with the D700; i've not found a better screen for fast lenses. you'll find it at either focusingscreens.com, or can buy the original EC-S screen from canon and use sand paper to file down the edges (about $100 cheaper =P)
 

sf_kang

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Nov 3, 2004
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#10
magicdragon said:
Thanks guys - now to look for a new D700 and get a 3rd party focusing screen with horizontal split image ;-)
I use a Katzeye focusing screen with a diagonal split prism with my Zeiss ZF manual focus lenses. They work great. The diagonal split helps to nail sharp focus with the help of any vertical or horizontal lines on the subject. Ordered online to fit my D700.
 

Feb 22, 2004
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#11
Kang yes was looking at that and the ones a focusingscreen.com and was wondering which to get. Thanks man.
 

sf_kang

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Nov 3, 2004
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#12
Besides fitting a Katzeye viewfinder screen with the diagonal split prism, i also fitted the DK17M magnifying eyepiece. This enlarges the viewfinder image and so helps to focus better with MF lenses.
 

Feb 22, 2004
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#13
Kang, I visited katzeye website, is the diagonal split prism a special order? Also, as an eyeglass wearer wouldn't the DK17M magnify in addition to reducing the complete viewfinder image? That is one wouldn't be able to see the complete image on the viewfinder but of course the central image is magnified.

Ben Ang, you're one brave soul. I'm chicken hearted in comparison. Taking sandpaper to a focusing screen goes against every bone in my body. How did you manage it without damaging the focusing screen? I'm just curious not that I would dare do such a thing.
 

#14
Ben Ang, you're one brave soul. I'm chicken hearted in comparison. Taking sandpaper to a focusing screen goes against every bone in my body. How did you manage it without damaging the focusing screen? I'm just curious not that I would dare do such a thing.
haha >< you just gotta hold it by the edges only, use v fine grained sandpaper and do it very slowly till it becomes the same size as the d700 stock screen. you only need to reduce the width cos the length is the same i think. also, little known secret is that you can wash focusing screens in very mild detergent and warm water. i usually use facewash with no additives. =P saves quite alot of $, plus you could probably get it wrong a couple times before ending up paying more.

seriously though, if you use fast glass (2.0 and below), there isnt a better focusing screen out there. the important part is you only need to look at any point in the image you want to focus on and make adjustments. no need to focus and recompose; no need for af-point adjustment. you can also tell when the AF system didnt lock on properly and you need to refocus or retake the shot. and when you have the time and need accuracy, the green dot and arrow in the vf work as well and as quickly as a split prism, so there's no loss using the completely matte screen.
 

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sf_kang

New Member
Nov 3, 2004
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#15
The original D700 viewfinder does not cover 100% of the actual image (about 97%). With the DK17M, it magnifies this view to help get more accurate manual focusing. I also wear glasses. After u confirmed focus is sharp, u just shift your eye position to fine tune your composition before pressing the shutter. No perfect solution. Just like on my MF Hasselblad. I ensure focus sharpness using the flip up magnifier, the close it off to do final composition/framing. Cheers.
 

Acolyte

New Member
Dec 8, 2009
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#16
if i may suggest, getting a plain focus screen may actually be better. i personally get distracted by the central split prism and end up with many of my shots composed with subject in the middle. i'd highly recommend the canon 'S'-type screen to go with the D700; i've not found a better screen for fast lenses. you'll find it at either focusingscreens.com, or can buy the original EC-S screen from canon and use sand paper to file down the edges (about $100 cheaper =P)
May I enquire where did you get your screen? Miight be interested to adapt one for my D30s. TIA. :)
 

Apr 2, 2006
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#17
No need to adapt, you can buy them off the shelf. You should be able to get focusing screen for D300 at OP at Sim Lim.
 

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bitchbum

New Member
Oct 30, 2004
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#18
Hi. Besides focussing. One other major problem is the metering. I was using my Ai lens. I cannot set my aperture. So the metering in the camera is wrong. Maybe I'm missing something? I wonder if this is also the same issue as those latest zeiss zf2?
 

Apr 2, 2006
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#19
Yes you're missing something. You set the Ai lens on the aperture ring the same way all MF lenses function. I suppose you're using the secondary command dial to set the aperture, which will not work.

Or did you mean there's no aperture coupling with the meter? In which case you change the exposure settings by reading the histogram.
 

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Acolyte

New Member
Dec 8, 2009
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#20
No need to adapt, you can buy them off the shelf. You should be able to get focusing screen for D300 at OP at Sim Lim.
Sorry, I think my question was not specific enough.

I have a katzeye in my body currently, wanted to try the canon s type screen. I find the katzeye's ground glass to be not that accurate, as it was optimised for lenses at f2.8, compared to the canon one which is optimised for f2 or faster. The trade off is darker screen compared to katzeye one if one use slower lenses than f2.8. (according to my research, might not be 100% correct)

So I've been thinking of getting the canon s screen to cut it down to size for DX camera, and wonder where to get one.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. :sweat:
 

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