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Can film lens be used withdigitals

by KermitWC / October 13, 2010 10:15 AM PDT

I have a Nikon film SLR and was thinking about getting a Nikon digital SLR. Can I use the lens from the digital?

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Nikon Lenses (film vs digital)
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 14, 2010 12:34 AM PDT
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digital lens
by jenifer04 / October 14, 2010 8:33 PM PDT


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by KermitWC / October 16, 2010 10:31 AM PDT
In reply to: digital lens

Do I need a special adaptor and which Nikon is the best to get?

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 17, 2010 12:55 AM PDT
In reply to: adaptor?

I just re-read your original post:

"I have a Nikon film SLR and was thinking about getting a Nikon digital SLR.
Can I use the lens "FROM" the digital?"

I answered that that you can use film lenses "ON" the digital Nikon.
And that is true.

But, that is not what you asked.

You asked if you can use the lens "FROM" the digital camera on the film camera.
And that answer is NO.

Either way - there is no Adapter involved.

Now for your newest question.

"Which Nikon is the best to get?"

I assume you are asking about Nikon Digital cameras (not lenses).

Let your pocketbook be your guide.
A good middle of the road (price wise) choice is the D90.


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by KermitWC / October 17, 2010 2:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Clarification

Sorry about that. Yes, I want a digital SLR that had manual and automatic. Most of my photo's are taken outside of moving things.

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Auto - Manual
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 17, 2010 6:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Sorry

All DSLR cameras have Auto and Manual controls

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Yes, you can use the lenses
by pamelad / October 22, 2010 5:41 PM PDT

If I understand correctly after reading this thread, you want to use the lenses from your Nikon film camera on your upcoming Nikon digital, and the answer is generally "yes."

Nikon has maintained the same lens mount for years, at least for many SLRs (film and digital). Beware that it's a different lens mount from Canon and other manufacturers, so you generally can't use an older Nikon lens with a new Canon, for example.

Your experience may be different from mine. However, I can use a suburb old Nikon portrait lens (classic 105 mm) from my 25-year-old Nikon film camera on my Nikon digital camera. But of course most the automatic features on the camera don't work with the lens, since the lens was manufactured before the "digital age."

I use a Nikon D-80 with a Nikkor 18-200 mm lens. Hardly ever have to change lenses (and I don't like to, due to potential dust inside the camera and on its sensor).

Good luck into delving into digital photography!

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by KermitWC / October 23, 2010 12:20 AM PDT

Yes I do. I am debating getting the D5000 but do not want to have to get rid of my lenses that I bought for my N80 as I have many of them. They are mainly made by Vivitar and Quantaray.

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They'll Work, But...
by Flatworm / October 22, 2010 11:02 PM PDT

The bayonet mount is the same, light gets through the same, and all the lenses from Nikon 35mm film cameras will work on Nikon DSLRs. However...

None of the automated lens-based features like vibration reduction, auto aperture and auto-focus will work -- in most cases they hadn't been invented yet or use different connections. In MOST cases you'll have to shoot manually, although there are certain lenses for which autofocus will still work.

Secondly, and perhaps most important, the focal ranges will generally be different, although at the higher end (like the Nikon D3X) the cameras do use a 35mm pickup which leaves them the same focal lengths as on film cameras. The image pickups on almost all consumer DSLRs (the D90, D5000, and others) are significantly smaller than a 35mm film frame. The once-standard 50mm portrait lens on the film camera is the approximate equivalent of a 35mm lens on a DSLR. In other words, everything is shifted toward the telephoto end of the focal length range. A film camera 200mm becomes very nearly the equivalent on your DSLR of what would have been a 300mm telephoto. On the other end of the spectrum, something like a 24mm wide-angle lens will mysteriously transform very nearly into a normal lens.

The lensmaker Tamron has provided a very good article on the subject here:

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