Used starter DSLR to use w/my AF lenses

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ryan_neve, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. I've been very frustrated with the quality of my canon SD600's pictures, especially in marginal light situations.
    I've just been given an old N6006 with the following lenses.
    AF NIKKOR 35-80mm 1:4 - 5.6
    QUANTARAY NF AF 35-80mm 1:4 - 5:6
    Tokina AF 70-210 1:4 - 5:6
    AF MICRO NIKKOR 60mm 1:2.8 (the only one worth anything)
    After a little research, I see that these lenses should work with the Nikon D50, D70, D70S, D80, D90, D100, D200 and above and some other better and newer DSLRs. A new D90 is out of my price range, but I could probably swing a used D50, D70, D80, D100, or perhaps a D200 off of eBay.
    I could also sell all the lenses and buy a used D40 body ($280)
    18-55 VR used($120)
    and a nikon 35mm F1.8 for ($200)
    Are the old lenses any reason to pick a camera or should I just sell them?
    If it helps, most of my pictures will be of my children, with some marine landscapes/sailing/nature shots.
  2. All of those old AF lenses use screwdriver AF so if AF is important you've got to avoid the D50 or D40.
  3. jmt


    My advice would be to buy an used DSLR with a built in motor, because buying new lenses can be expensive (preemptive edit: they ARE expensive). If you don't want to invest a lot (which seems to be the case -- and is very reasonable), starting off with what you already have is the way to go.

    Out of the bodies that you say are within your financial reach, I'd choose the D80 or the D200. They are the most recent and share the same sensor. The D200 has a few more/better features, while the D80 is lighter.

    The D50 and D70(s) are also good deals and they dont cost much nowadays. They use an "older" sensor, but they work fine nevertheless :)
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Ryan, you are right that the only worthwhile lens among those is the 60mm macro. I certainly wouldn't buy any specific DSLR in order to "save" those other lenses.
  5. All of those old AF lenses use screwdriver AF so if AF is important you've got to avoid the D50 or D40.
    Glenn is right about the D40 not working with non-AFS (screwdriver AF) lenses, but the D50 has an internal auto-focus motor, and works well with these lenses.
  6. Also Avoid D60, D3000, 5000. Your best bet will be to get a D80, although hard to find a brand new, D90 will be your best bet......
  7. While I may not choose a DSLR specifically to "save" those lenses there is certainly no harm in making use of them, if you can. With Nikon in particular I never recommend a non-motor body over a motor body simply because there are so many affordable and so many excellent lenses made by Nikon that will not work on the non-motors. The Nikon 180/2.8 and the original 300/4 are prime examples.
    So once you decide Nikon is okay for your needs, opposed to other manufacturers, then it becomes a relatively easy decision. A used D80 or a used D200. Keep in mind that you will have to buy some sort of wideangle lens since all the lenses you have become quite long with the 1.5x crop factor. Also keep in mind that the lenses you have and the bodies you have in mind, may not excite you for limited light situations either. The D90 likely gets the nod for these situations.
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If you are more a casual photographer who will buy no more than 2, 3 lenses for your DX-format DSLR, I wouldn't be too concerned about having an AF motor in the body. Modern DX zoom lenses have zoom ranges designed for DX DSLRs, and all but one DX lens are AF-S (the only exception is the 10.5mm fisheye, a fairly specialized lens for a few). Most likely, you will be using AF-S DX lenses anyway.
    Digital technology changes rapidly. Getting a newer DSLR has some distinct technological advantages. I would evaluate the pros and cons carefully before opting for those older DSLRs. For example, even the lowest end D3000 uses a nice 3" LCD display on the back, while the D80 and D200 from a few years ago use smaller LCDs. The D5000 uses a current-generation CMOS sensor that is considerably superior to the older sensors.

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