IX Nikkors on Z bodies

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Ian Rance, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. Remember the APS film SLR's that Nikon made in the 1990's? With their own special lenses?

    Had the whole set, nearly gave them away...but now I have a Z6 I had another look. They will not fit on any digital SLR due to the protruding rear element, so had hopes with the FTZ. Still no luck. Wont fit due to the baffles in the adapter.

    So out with the saw! Cutting the plastic flange from the 20-60mm allows it to fit perfectly. The chip reports all data to the camera, but AF does not work (screwdriver). It works very well, with only the widest end showing corner shading on FX.

    Same for the 60-180mm, cut the plastic flange off - works well at all focal lengths,

    The 30-60 has long been a favourite of mine, its a very sharp little lens. Flare resistant and low in distortion too. But this one is more of a challenge. The rear element and electronics protrude very deeply, and cutting the plastic flange is not enough. It will leak light also. I needed to cut the rear flange off and then seal the gaps with black silicone. JUST clears the FTZ baffle. But now it also fits and works well, and is once again a useful and tiny zoom.

    Anyone else tried this? If anyone is interested I can upload some files and photos of the mods. Make use of some rather nice lenses once again.
    erichsande, chulster and NHSN like this.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Those are APS-C lenses, roughly the same as DX lenses. Maybe it would make some sense to use them on the DX Z50. On the Z6, you need to crop. But frankly, there are so many excellent Z lenses and then F-mount FX lenses, except for the novelty, there isn't much need to use those APS-C IX lenses on Nikon Z mirrorless, especially FX bodies.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  3. That's the thing Shun, they were not like DX lenses - the image of APS film is much wider than DX. APS H format was 30.2 × 16.7 mm. So with some caveats you can use them on FX. If you have a set lying around they can be useful still. Of course better lenses are available, but I think you would be surprised how good the APS lenses can be - they were no slouch. Better than a lot of the consumer 35mm format zooms for sure.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2020
  4. It had occurred to me, but having neither a Z camera nor any IX-Nikkors i could not implement the idea. I'm glad someone here has done.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I never owned any APS file body and didn't realize that it is APS-H, which Canon used to have for their 1D series (before the 1DX). I think the crop factor is 1.3x. It maybe fun to play around, but for my Z camera, I mostly use Z-mount lenses.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2020
  6. I don't post here as much as I used to but have always enjoyed your past threads about making use of older, quirky gear, Ian.

    Eric Sande
  7. Me neither Eric, but I enjoy the content for sure. I felt inspired to write a bit more after some unabashed gear snobbery on display at my local camera shop. I left the shop with a whole load of good stuff - and only spent a tenner. So I'm here to share some cheaper ideas to balance things out.

    Here is 3 with the 20-60mm:



  8. And 3 with the 60-180. So light and yet good consumer quality. There must be thousands just sitting unused, a shame. Get those hacksaws out! DSC_0141.JPG


  9. Lastly a couple with the 30-60. So small as to be invisible! These are uncropped images. This lens was saved from the bin. DSC_0312-001.JPG

  10. Interesting to see them in use.

    The only one I have is the normal zoom that was kitted with the Pronea 6i, and of course I've only seen it on(expired) APS film. That's not exactly a high fidelity medium, and I've been less than impressed but there again that was the only way I'd evaluated the lens. I should also say that the last time I had my Pronea 6i out, I stuck my 14-24mm f/2.8 on it-a useful FL even if comically large and unbalanced on such a small and light camera-and I didn't see any difference between IQ in it and the kit zoom.

    Your results from the lenses are nothing short of impressive, though. It's kind of a mixed blessing that Nikon kind of dropped the idea of a dedicated APS format mount-as I'm sure you know Canon's EF-S lenses can't be mounted on anything other than an APS-C crop body, which gives them a bit more freedom to design them. At the same time, full frame Nikon shooters get to use DX format lenses on our FX cameras, whether in crop mode or even sometimes stretching them to full frame. Several of us have written about using the tiny featherweight 10-20mm DX zoom as a 14-20mm FX lens.
  11. Some of the fully manual FTZ clone adapters are almost baffle free... and about £10, so saw away!

    Just had a thought, are IX lenses effectively G/E lenses with no aperture ring?
  12. Yes Mike, they are G lenses so whatever adapter you use must have electric contacts.
  13. You used these lenses on your Z6? Manual focus I suppose?
  14. Hi Mary. Yes, manual focus. Work fine on the Z6 apart from that.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  15. So Nikon hasn't changed any of the exposure metering and control 'language' and as the FTZ has an aperture lever, it all works?


    Guess it should work on the Z50 OK?
  16. Yes Mike, 100% as a normal G lens but without the (screwdriver) AF.

    Not sure about Z50 but if you use the FTZ should be fine!

    The only small quirk is that the EXIF data thinks I am using film so it gives 35mm equivalent as well as real focal length.
  17. Well, Ian, now it seems that the Nikon engineer that designed the optics of most of the IX lenses copied your idea and adapted his own lenses to the Z system, as documented in the latest Nikkor 1001 Nights story.

    Nikon | Imaging Products | NIKKOR - The Thousand and One Nights No.75

    If i were you, i should be very cross with him.
    Ian Rance and NetR like this.
  18. Good spot! I wonder who thought of doing this first...I'd like to take the crown as I already adapted mine this past March!
  19. The fact the comms language seems so similar, I still think it's interesting no-one has made an FTZ-E.
  20. Ah, missed the Edit timeout.....:(

    I liked this bit..

    Of these six lenses, I designed the optics for all but the 60-180mm lens-that is, the four wide-angle to standard zoom lenses-all on my own. Reducing labor and development costs was an important theme at the time.

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