Nikon F and lens compatibility?

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Armango739

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Hello I am new to this photography stuff. My grandfather had left me his Nikon F with the 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor-s Auto and was wondering if anyone would know the compatibility of lenses with the 1959/1960 Nikon F.
I know there are different kinds, I am looking for eventual upgrades. I am thinking of doing some street photography but i also like landscapes.
 

Sirius Glass

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Many lenses are compatible if they have the F mount. Auto focus lenses will not work because the needed battery and circuity is not in the camera. You have a wonderful camera, enjoy.
This article may help you or add so confusion until you work your way through it and understand it.
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reddesert

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The link Sirius posted is a fairly definitive chart. I also recommend reading the manual (download from butkus.org , etc) to understand how to use the camera. If you want to know everything about the Nikon F system, see http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/michaeliu/cameras/nikonf/index.htm

A couple of comments:
- Do you have a light-metered prism? If you do, and the meter works, then lenses need the "rabbit ears" silver prong on top to couple to the meter. Read a manual to understand how to couple the lenses to the meter. Other lenses will mount, you'll just not have metering (or use stop-down metering).

- Almost all manual focus lenses will mount and work on the F. Autofocus lenses that have an aperture ring will mount and work, but you won't get light metering. AF lenses that do not have an aperture ring (labeled "G") won't work - that is what Sirius meant to say.

One more thing: the 50/1.4 lens should be great for all general photography. You don't need to upgrade it. The reason to get more lenses would be if you feel the need for other focal lengths, like wide-angle or telephoto.
 

ic-racer

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Great chart.

But let me get that straight. I only have Nikkor Autofocus lenses. I could actually use them on a later F2?
 
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Armango739

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The link Sirius posted is a fairly definitive chart. I also recommend reading the manual (download from butkus.org , etc) to understand how to use the camera. If you want to know everything about the Nikon F system, see http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/michaeliu/cameras/nikonf/index.htm

A couple of comments:
- Do you have a light-metered prism? If you do, and the meter works, then lenses need the "rabbit ears" silver prong on top to couple to the meter. Read a manual to understand how to couple the lenses to the meter. Other lenses will mount, you'll just not have metering (or use stop-down metering).

- Almost all manual focus lenses will mount and work on the F. Autofocus lenses that have an aperture ring will mount and work, but you won't get light metering. AF lenses that do not have an aperture ring (labeled "G") won't work - that is what Sirius meant to say.

One more thing: the 50/1.4 lens should be great for all general photography. You don't need to upgrade it. The reason to get more lenses would be if you feel the need for other focal lengths, like wide-angle or telephoto.
Ah okay. As far as I know, the viewfinder I have is not the Photomic Finder that had a light-meter. I have the waist level finder, so i know i might need to get a light meter, or get an app.
 

reddesert

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Great chart.

But let me get that straight. I only have Nikkor Autofocus lenses. I could actually use them on a later F2?

It depends on the lens and the camera's prism. If it is an AF lens with an aperture ring, you can mount, focus, and shoot it on an F2. However, you will only get metering if you have one of the F2 prisms (A or AS) that couple to the lens by the little tabs on the rear of the aperture ring, rather than by the rabbit ears.

Ken's chart is a little misleading because it's not the date of the body that matters, but the type of prism. Most of these Nikon compatibility issues are about "does the correct linkage exist on both the lens and the camera/prism," and you can tell by looking for the linkages.
 

wiltw

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Great chart.

But let me get that straight. I only have Nikkor Autofocus lenses. I could actually use them on a later F2?


autofocus lenses generally belong on the electronically-coupled link between body and lens...to drive the AF and to control the aperture selection and stopdown during exposure. Such bodies have a slew of electrical contacts that pair up with similar electrical contacts on the lens.

The Nikon F needs a mechanical coupling between the lens (which has its own aperture selection ring) and the body (which tells the aperture to close down to the preselected f/stop) when the shutter button actuates the shutter. The previously mentioned 'rabbit ears' merely communicate the position of the lens' aperture selection ring, so that a meter (optional on the Nikon F) knows what aperture is pre-selected, so it can calculate what shutter speed to pair to that selected aperture...but no meter, no need for the 'rabbit ears'. An F2 is a mechanical linkage body that has a meter built into the body (whereas the Nikon F meter finder is optional).
 

Paul Howell

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An F2 is a mechanical linkage body that has a meter built into the body (whereas the Nikon F meter finder is optional).

The F2 is like the F, the meters are built into the interchangeable heads. The F3 has built in metering and aperture preferred auto exposure.

 

BradS

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Great chart.

But let me get that straight. I only have Nikkor Autofocus lenses. I could actually use them on a later F2?

Yes, sorta. The AF-D Nikkors and their immediate predecessors are AI-s lenses but do not have rabbit ears. They will work perfectly with the Nikon F2A (DP-11 finder) and Nikon F2AS (DP-12 finder). They could also be used with the other Nikon F2’s but the lightmeter function would be impaired.
 
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reddesert

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autofocus lenses generally belong on the electronically-coupled link between body and lens...to drive the AF and to control the aperture selection and stopdown during exposure. Such bodies have a slew of electrical contacts that pair up with similar electrical contacts on the lens.

Nikon autofocus lenses of the first few generations - anything with an aperture ring, including "AF D" lenses and the ones before AF D - have a mechanical link to stop down the aperture. The AF bodies of the same era also have a mechanical stop down lever, and thus you can use a MF lens on such an AF body or a AF lens on an MF body.

The AF G lenses do away with the aperture ring and then you can't really use them on an MF body. However, remarkably all or nearly all of the AF bodies (even including recent budget DSLR models) still have the mechanical stop down lever, so you can use older lenses on them.
 

wiltw

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Nikon autofocus lenses of the first few generations - anything with an aperture ring, including "AF D" lenses and the ones before AF D - have a mechanical link to stop down the aperture. The AF bodies of the same era also have a mechanical stop down lever, and thus you can use a MF lens on such an AF body or a AF lens on an MF body.

The AF G lenses do away with the aperture ring and then you can't really use them on an MF body. However, remarkably all or nearly all of the AF bodies (even including recent budget DSLR models) still have the mechanical stop down lever, so you can use older lenses on them.

Thx for the additional information about Nikon evolution...it proves the point that generalities always have exceptions!
 
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