Friday, September 30, 2016

Nikon Is Anti-Legacy Lens

If you have a Nikon film camera with manual focus lenses, and you have just upgraded to one of Nikon's entry level DSLRs, you may find that the lenses you have do not work well with your new DSLR.  It simply won't meter and you can not set the focal length of the lens.  But, if you own a pro or semi-pro Nikon body, this is not a problem at all.  You can use any manual focus lenses, as long as you can mount it, and it will meter and stop-down if you set the lens data in the camera.

The inability to use legacy lenses on some of Nikon's DSLRs baffles me.  None of other camera makers does this.  On any Canon, Sony, Olympus, etc., one can use Aperture priority or manual mode and the camera will give you the correct exposure.  The mirrorless camera does  this better than the Canon as the meter always seems to overexpose as you stop down, but at least it's not crippled and you just need to dial in the proper compensation.

I was recently given a Nikon 1 V1 with a 1 inch sensor, in exchange for some work I did.  I thought I could finally use some of my c-mount lenses that have small image circle and are not fully usable on the M4/3 or APS-C cameras.  Upon some research, I found that the V1 (and probably all the Nikon 1 cameras) would only work in manual mode without any metering for manual focus lenses.  Every time I take a picture, I will have to set/check exposure. WTF?  And this camera has no live histogram!

On the other hand, the D810 works well with legacy lenses.  Why Nikon cripples basic features on some of their cameras that are available in all other brands' cameras is a mystery to me.

Pop Crew - Emil Busch Glaukar-Anastigmat 13.5cm f4.5 & Nikon D810


  1. Interesting comments. Magnificent picture. A greeting.

  2. Love that image. Initially I wondered if it was the legacy lens on the V1 and I was thinking "wow"

    1. Haven't gotten any adapter for it yet, and I am not sure if I should even bother.