are old film lenses compatible with digital slrs?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by cecilia_langlois, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Hi, I have these old film lenses that I would like to sell along with my old manual/film minolta camera but I want to keep the ones that would work with digital SLRs. Does anyone know which ones are compatible with digital SLRs?
    Also, are manual camera lens FILTERS compatible with digital SLRs?
    • Tamron 70-150 mm adaptall
    • Sigma multicoated 80-200 mm
    • Minolta MC focal 28mm
    • QuantaRay 400mm
    I'm not selling the item below but I'm curious as to whether it is compatible with ANY digital SLR.
    • Bausch and Lombe Telescope and Off Axis Guider T-section plus Illuminated Reticle 9mm Eyepiece (used to photographing celestial bodies)
    I would be very happy to get some info and help on the above. Thanks a lot!
  2. Presuming these all have the old Minolta manual focus mount, the easy answer is, "Not directly." There's an adapter for Sony Alpha/Maxxum Body to Minolta MD lenses whose descriptions says:
    This General Brand Lens Adapter allows a Minolta MD (manual focus) type lens to be mounted on a Sony Alpha or Minolta Maxxum SLR body.
    Although the lens will fit physically, automatic diaphragm (AE metering), or any other functions are not retained using this adapter. In this case you will need to meter in "stop-down mode" since the lens does not have the ability to have its aperture controlled by the camera body.
    Frankly none of the lenses in your list is so exceptional it would be worth the investment in the adapter plus the inconvenience of not being able to use ANY of the camera's contemporary features. YMMV.
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
  3. I agree with Henry, the lenses you have are not that great that you would want to go with the adapter route. You can use many old film lenses on Digital cameras. I have and use lenses on my Nikon digital camera that I used with my film cameras.
  4. Thank you very much for your replies. Helped a lot. Now I know I'm going to have to sell them along with the Minolta body as a package.
  5. Regarding the Telescope: Many better telescopes will have an optional T-mount. A T-mount can be adapted to most popular cameras.
  6. Thanks for the info, everyone.
    I forgot to ask---the Lens Adapter is the same as the Teleconverter, right? Coz I have a teleconverter. Sorry I don't know much about digital SLRs. I have been using a digital point-and-shoot and would like to start using SLRs again, but digital this time.
  7. The ability to use older lenses is why I got the Pentax K-x. I can use it with all of my older K mount film camera lenses, AF or manual focus, M42 lenses with the adapter, Vivitar T4 and TX lenses, Tamron Adaptall and Adaptall II lenses as well as T mount lenses. These will all woek with correct infinity focus. Not all film camera lenses perform the way you might like with DSLRs but many do. I recently added a Tamron Adaptall II K-A adapter so I could meter with the 90/2.5 SP (52BB) macro. I have no Canon EF or Minolta A mount lenses and many of my Nikkor manual focus lenses are pre-AI so the Canon, Sony and Nikon DSLRs were not as useful to me.
  8. Thank you very much for your replies. Helped a lot. Now I know I'm going to have to sell them along with the Minolta body as a package.​
    IMO it will probably be easier to sell the body if you have lenses to use with it.
    the Lens Adapter is the same as the Teleconverter, right?​
    Not exactly. A teleconverter attaches between a lens and body like the adapter but it does not convert one mount format to another. A teleconverter for Nikon (for example) attaches Nikon-mount lenses to a Nikon body.
    Because adapters like the one I mentioned earlier attach between lens and body and because some include an element or two to preserve infinity focus they may also impart a slight teleconverter effect -- turning a 50mm lens into a 60mm effective lens for instance. But, strictly speaking the answer to the question you pose is, "No."
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
  9. I once took a Minolta 2X MA-S teleconverter in trade. It allowed a Minolta manual focus lens to be mounted on a Minolta A series auto focus body. The manual focus lens still needed to be focused manually but correct infinity focus was preserved. I have a Vivitar 2X teleconverter which has a Canon FD mount at the rear and an M42 mount at the front. I have two oddball Tamron SP 2X teleconverters. They have a female Adaptall II mount at the front and male Adaptall II mount at the rear. The rear will connect with any Adaptall II mount adapter but the front will only mount to the back of an Adaptall II (or may be Adaptall too) lens.
  10. Many old manual film lenses are quite compatible with digital SLRs if you don't mind manual focusing. It can certainly cut down the cost of using your digicam if you already have a batch of lenses and are saving money towards some new ones. Most if not all digicams also allow semi or fully manual operation of the lens, so it's simply a matter of getting into the use of it - imagine, there was a time when cameras did nothing automatically, yet millions of photographers coped perfectly well. :)
    Depending on what your dSLR is, you might find the register distance at the back of your old lenses will allow an adapter to suit, but it might be too short - the one that will assuredly adapt is the Tamron, as they were made to do exactly that, with the appropriate adapter. this will help you see what I'm on about.
    Adapters from one mount to another are available dead cheaply from ebay, usually well made for the most part.
  11. I've read that some (mostly lower-end) dSLRs do not play nice with older manual focus lenses, refusing to meter as they would with digital lenses even if the manual lens is the same mount. The metering issue puzzles me as I would think it shouldn't matter. Is this problem common among manufacturers, an aberration, outdated, or pure misinformation? It's one thing I have to weigh seriously when I buy a dSLR.

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