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Non/pre ai lens on D700


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9 replies to this topic

#1
Gibson67

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Hi all

I’ve recently purchased a D700 and would like a little advice please. I have in my lens collection a 28, 35, & 50mm pre ai scalloped focus ring collection. I also have a Nikon D5300 and the aforementioned pre ai lenses fit without any issues, regarding the tab on the body mount.

I love these old lenses and was hoping I could use them too with my D700, I’ve since read that because there is no cutout on a pre ai, I may risk breaking/damaging the tab on the D700’s mount.

Seems strange that my lower end D5300 will accept these but a higher end model like the D700 won’t.

Any help, much appreciated

Nige

#2
Merco_61

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The D5300 doesn't have the Ai coupling prong, so there is nothing to break. The D700 on the other hand does have the prong and forcing a pre-Ai lens will either damage the prong or even warp the contact trace in the lens mount. Converting the aperture ring using either a file or an end mill isn't difficult and there are lots of how-tos to find on the web. The only FX body that can handle unmodified pre-Ai lenses is the Df, and the stop-down metering procedure is a hassle.



#3
Gibson67

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Many thanks Merco_61, that’s cleared that up. As I’m possibly selling the D5300 I’ll probably sell the 3 lenses to fund some AF-D type.

#4
Merco_61

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What version are the lenses? The O-Nikkor 35/2 and the N-Nikkor 35/1.4 are among the nicest Nikon lenses of all time. The S•C 50/1.4 is good enough that you need the AF-S 58/1.4 or the NOCT to get better results from a Nikon normal. Any of those three are worth converting or having them converted. I am not familiar enough with the 28-s to have an opinion as I tend to use a 24 when the 35 is too tight.



#5
Gibson67

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I’ve got the 28mm Nikkor H Auto f3.5, the 35mm Nikkor O Auto f2, and the Nikkor H Auto 50mm f2. All in lovely condition free on fungus etc.

#6
Merco_61

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The 28 and the 50 you have are both more collector's items today, the 35 is still very good, even compared to modern lenses. Here are some samples of what it can do on a D700.



#7
Gibson67

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Fantastic photos! I’ve sourced a service on eBay from a guy who will modify non ai to ai. I’ve read his reviews and he’s had excellent feedback. The cost is very reasonable too £23 per lens that’s including postage.

#8
Merco_61

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Fantastic photos! I’ve sourced a service on eBay from a guy who will modify non ai to ai. I’ve read his reviews and he’s had excellent feedback. The cost is very reasonable too £23 per lens that’s including postage.

Thanks!

 

It is an easy lens to like as the transition from sharp to unsharp is so pleasing. It is the perfect companion to a black 105/2.5 or the Ai version that shares the same optics as that lens has a similar transition.



#9
Gibson67

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I also have the 135mm f3.5 which I’ll never part with, that’s a beautiful lens, it’s ai so it will fit the D700 without issues, with that and a 50mm f1.8 ai I also have, I’ve two lenses to shoot with until the non ai’s have been converted.

#10
Merco_61

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The 35 still works well on film too.

36 on 35, an art project. Part 1, day 1-12 - NikonForums.com

 

36 on 35, an art project. Part 2, day 13-24 - NikonForums.com

 

36 on 35, an art project. Part 3, day 25-36 - NikonForums.com