D1x capabilities with non-CPU lenses

Discuss Nikon E2, E3 (incl. Fujix DS-505, 515 and 56x models), the original Nikon D1 and other discontinued Nikon DSLRs. Ask questions, post general comments, anecdotes, reviews and user tips.
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f2mechanic
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:11 pm

D1x capabilities with non-CPU lenses

Post by f2mechanic » Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:39 pm

For years I have enjoyed my many Nikon 35mm cameras and lenses. I have amassed a huge collection over the past 25 years. About three years ago, I bought a CP5000 and have enjoyed it a lot, but I miss being able to use my Nikkors, and lately I have mostly gone back to film and my wonderful F2s.

I still love digital photography, though. I have decided that it is time to take my digital work to the next level. I'll be getting a D1X very soon (as soon as I can find the right one on Ebay). My question concerns the use of old Nikkors (non-AI, AI, and AI-S) on the D1X.

I do not intend to acquire any "CPU" lenses immediately. I will use my old lenses with the D1 initially. I am aware of some of the limitations that these lenses have, including the lack of matrix metering capability (not a problem. My F2 doesn't have it either :wink: ), and I won't miss autofocus either.

I understand that the only modes available are "M" and "A". I take this to mean metered manual exposure and aperture-priority automatic. Is this correct?

Also, I'd like to know:

1. Is full-aperture metering possible, or only stop-down?
2. How is the lens maximum aperture set?
3. Are there any old Nikkors that will not work on the D1? I've got some oldies.
4. What's the eye level viewfinder like on the D1? Is it ground glass (I hope) or LCD?
5. Will aperture information appear in the viewfinder when using the D1 with an old lens?
6. Is electronic rangefinder capability availiable with old lenses?

Finally, any other comments or suggestions on using non-CPU Nikkors on a D1X would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Anssi Krooks
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Location: Espoo, Finland
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Re: D1x capabilities with non-CPU lenses

Post by Anssi Krooks » Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:12 am

Hi!

I used just non-CPU-Nikkors with my Kodak DCS 760 (F5 based) over the first 10 months I owned the camera and I guess that D1x is close enough (F100 & F5 -based).
f2mechanic wrote: I understand that the only modes available are "M" and "A". I take this to mean metered manual exposure and aperture-priority automatic. Is this correct?
Yes, you can't use P or S -modes because the camera can't set aperture.
Also, I'd like to know:

1. Is full-aperture metering possible, or only stop-down?
With AI and AI-s -Nikkors you can use full-aperture metering. With some special lenses like PC-Nikkors you have to use stop-down as you should with your F2.
2. How is the lens maximum aperture set?
You don't have to set it at all.
3. Are there any old Nikkors that will not work on the D1? I've got some oldies.
Non-AI-lenses can't be used without modification because they break the aperture sensing lever around the mount if you try to mount them with violence. You'll need to convert them to AI-lenses either in service or by your self. There are also some exotic lenses that can't be used, consult this table.
4. What's the eye level viewfinder like on the D1? Is it ground glass (I hope) or LCD?
It is ground glass, but like in all AF-cameras, it is designed to be as bright as possible so manual focusing is not easy. There are not guides for manual focusing on the matte screen. Viewfinder view is also much smaller than in F2 or even F100 because you need to mask out parts that aren't used by the smaller than film imager.

5. Will aperture information appear in the viewfinder when using the D1 with an old lens?
Since F100 doesn't have the ADR (Aperture Direct Readout) and lcd-display won't show the aperture, the answer is no.
6. Is electronic rangefinder capability availiable with old lenses?
Yes if the maximum aperture is 5.6 or better. It is quite useful since you don't have anything else helping manual focusing.
Finally, any other comments or suggestions on using non-CPU Nikkors on a D1X would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
WIth D2(00)-series cameras you'll get bigger finder, matrix metering and aperture value to viewfinder display with non-CPU-lenses (you have to set maximum aperture and focal lenght in menu) so I'd suggest you check out these cameras as well. But also with D1-series you can live with non-CPU-lenses when you get used to it. Matte screen will probably be the biggest surprise / disappointment. And of course your wides aren't as wide as they would on film because the 1,5x crop factor, but you'll get a free TC to your teles.
D1X, DCS PRO SLR/n, DCS 760, DCS 420c & Canon Pro70

Stan Disbrow
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Post by Stan Disbrow » Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:31 pm

Hi,

I used AI'd, AI and AI-S lenses with my D1, D1H and D1X bodies along with several of the newer AF-D and AF-S types.

One thing I found, with the AI'd and AI lenses was to use the aperture ring on the lens to set the aperture, and not the finger wheel on the body. The exposures were more accurate this way.

The rate of stop-down (how far the iris closes for a given travel of the aperture stop down lever in the body) is a variable with lenses prior to AI-S. Certain AI lenses would stop down differently from others, leading to some unwanted exposure variations.

Of course, making the rate of iris stop-down the same for all lenses in the lineup was the #1 design change made to AI-S lenses, so that they'd work properly in 'S' and 'P' modes on the then-new FA body. :)

When you use the finger wheel on the D-series bodies, the camera is working in the same manner as it would in 'S' and 'P' mode when it comes to setting the actual iris opening at shooting time.

Other than this particular issue, I found there to be problems using my rather ancient set of manual focus lenses with the D1 series bodies (or the Kodaks for that matter).

Oh, I did change the focusing screen to one of the older 'K' style to get the microprism and split-image focusing aids. You don't have to do this, since the electronic rangefinder works pretty darned good. I'm just happier with the old style screens. :)

Stan
Amateur Photographer
Professional Electronics Development Engineer

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