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Using legacy lenses on a Nikon D3


KingBee Avatar
KingBee Plus
17 573 2 Scotland
7 May 2020 9:09AM
A friend of mine has asked me for advice about using his old (analogue) Nikon lenses on a D3. I've asked him to provide me with details of the lenses he wants to use, but on a general point could anyone comment on the wisdom of his idea? I cannot advise him because I wouldn't know the first thing about using old lenses on a modern DSLR, but I gather the proposition is not without its problems due to certain lens-mount compatibility issues and the risk of causing irreparable damage to the camera.

If someone on ePz could help with this, that would be great. If more info is needed to help answer the question, kindly let me know. Thanks.
Tianshi_angie Avatar
7 May 2020 9:17AM
You could try Googling this as I have used 'film' lenses on a digital DSLR but not Nikon. Mine was a Sony and I googled and found all the information I needed. For me it involved switching certain function of the camera - all of which had to be done manually. But I suspect different makers have different methods. For me it was very well worth while - the old lenses were very much better than the lenses | had at the time.
KingBee Avatar
KingBee Plus
17 573 2 Scotland
7 May 2020 9:49AM
Thanks Angie, that's helpful. I had already done a Google search before I posted and found a couple of links such as this one and have sent them on to my friend, so I expect he'll let me know if he isn't sure about anything. However, I cannot advise him one way or the other since using old lenses on a modern digital body is not something which is relevant for me (nor would I consider it). If anyone has any Nikon-specific tips or other useful links, fire away.

Thanks again.
woolybill1 Avatar
woolybill1 Plus
16 39 79 United Kingdom
7 May 2020 11:26AM
So far as I'm aware all the lenses in the AF_D autofocus series are usable with the D3. Your friend might follow this link which deals with pretty much all the lenses and cameras Nikon ever made. Earlier manual-focus lenses will almost all fit the camera body but lack aperture control; some very specialist early lenses only fit with the mirror locked up (there is a risk of damaging the mirror).
Hope this is of some help, Bob.


thewilliam2 Avatar
thewilliam2 6 1.6k United Kingdom
7 May 2020 12:58PM
I still have a set of manual-focus AI and AIS lenses and use them with my D3 series cameras on a regular basis. They just work but the older lenses give a different "look".
KingBee Avatar
KingBee Plus
17 573 2 Scotland
7 May 2020 4:57PM
Many thanks to Bill and William for their very useful comments. I have forwarded Bill's link to my chum and also sent him copies of all three replies for his further info, so that should give him plenty to be going on with.

Much appreciate the help, folks.

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