Nikon MF metering for vintage lenses & flash

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mark_kesper, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Hello!
    I am looking into buying some new gear and coming back to photography after a break. However, I'll be using both old MF vintage lenses (M42 and MC/MD with adapters) and also either AF primes or zoom. Having used A D70 for several years together with a SB-800 flash I find the Nikon flash system more or less the best to my preference so far.
    However, I'm wondering if the Nikon D90/D300/D7000 coupled with a SB flash can be used in some metering mode together with non CPU lenses. That is, do I get some sort of ambient metering and some sort of flash evaluation? Or do I have to use the flash in full manual mode? As I understand Nikon has pretty good metering for vintage and old AI lenses.
    /Mark Kesper, Sweden.
  2. Yes, I believe all of those cameras allow specification of non-cpu lens data to allow metering to work.
  3. The D90 doesn't have a non cpu menu entry.
  4. O right .... just the D300 and D7000
  5. A and M exposure modes with TTL ambient metering, plus TTL flash metering on the D300(s) and D7000 with non-CPU manual lenses.
    The D90 is dumb as a post with non-CPU manual lenses. No TTL ambient metering and no flash metering with manual lenses. Manual exposure mode only, and flash works only in M or non-TTL Auto mode.
  6. I'll be using both old MF vintage lenses (M42 and MC/MD with adapters) A and M exposure
    modes with TTL ambient metering, plus TTL flash metering on the D300(s) and D7000 with non-CPU manual lenses.​
    MM Yes, this goes for Nikon MF AI- & AI-s lenses, because there is still a mechanical coupling for the aperture used, but the vintage M42 and alike lenses on adapters do not provide an aperture coupling what so ever, so then the situation is alike the D90 ...its all manual,,,
  7. Hi Mark,
    What's interesting is that D300 and D7000 offers metering with non-CPU lenses even you do not register them in the Non-CPU Lens Menu. The huge advantage of registering them in that menu is a proper EXIF data recording. The only sensible situations is with MF zooms... because you can enter either the widest or the longest focal, not both, the same for variable apertures.
    I personally enjoy very much to use old MF Nikkors on the newest bodies from Nikon. For instance the legendary 105/2.5 AI-S rocks on my D7000, as well on my D700. On forum, on Nikon section is a "viral" thread dedicated to MF Nikkors on Nikon bodies. You need to see that.
  8. With MD lenses and M42 lenses, you are shooting yourself in the foot by using a Nikon camera, unless you're doing macro. Both of those camera mounts have a shorter register distance than Nikon, so an adapter to use them on Nikon cameras is like using an extension tube: the lens is moved far enough away from the film plane that you lose infinity focus, but gain some closer-focus capability. There are a few adapters with a negative optical element that function like a weak teleconverter, but you are now putting a cheap piece of glass between the lens and sensor, resulting in your photographs being unsharp compared to what they could be. It has been covered many times on this forum, and others. If you want to use M42 lenses, picking up a used Pentax DSLR, like a K10D, is far and away your best option. A Canon DSLR also works, because the EOS mount is relatively short. For your Rokkor lenses however, it's best to just sell them and get a more modern equivalent lens in Nikon mount. Many photographers with systems such as Samsung NX, Sony NEX, and Panasonic/Olympus micro 4/3 can readily use these lenses, so they're worth something to others.
  9. Adapted M42 lenses will meter in "stopdown mode" in A and M modes on D300/D7000. There is no meter coupling for open aperture metering, but there is also no auto-diaphram, so the lens aperture will stop down as the aperture ring is turned. No different than using an Ai/AiS F-mount lens on an uncoupled K1 ring or M2/E2 extension tube. The viewfinder display and EXIF data will show an incorrect constant aperture value, but the camera will meter and expose correctly.
  10. Just put the SB800 in Auto thyristor mode. Will work with any camera body because it's not TTL, it's TTF (Through The Flash).
  11. Ditto, Pete S.'s advice. I've used the SB-800 in what used to be called auto thyristor mode on my FM2N and F3HP and a couple of older non-Nikon all manual cameras. Works great, easily the most accurate dumb-auto type flash I've ever used. It even worked well when I used it for an indoor candlelit even in a huge ballroom. That type of situation usually fools most auto thyristor flashes, but the SB-800 worked like champ.
  12. Wow,. thanks for all the answers. I'll write proper answer a bit later. Thanks for the advice that m42 and other lenses will nog be a good idea on a Nikon body. A bit sad. However good that it's pretty easy and compatible to use older Nikkors on a modern camera. :) That seems really handy.
    I might get to buy a nex as well. Have been looking at those and the Nex-3 is now pretty affordable.
    Oh, and I didn't know that the SB-800 was that good. Is it the same for SB-700/900 as well?

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