Using Aperture Ring w/ D5200

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by chip_chipowski, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. I have a question from a gentleman I met yesterday. He has a Nikon D5200 and would like to use it for a stop motion project. For this, he needs to use a lens with an aperture ring. I believe this is to ensure the same diaphragm opening for a series of shots.
    I am involved because I was going to sell him my 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lens. We met up to try it out, but the D5200 gave an error message when trying to operate in manual mode and moving the lens aperture ring out of the f/22 position. I don't think we tried shutter priority.
    Does anyone know if it is possible to use a D5200 in the way I described above? (In short, he just wants to control the lens aperture manually via the aperture ring, not via the camera)
  2. pge


    You dictate whether to use the aperture ring or the sub command dial in the menu. I shouldn't answer this question because I do not know the D5200 or even if it has a sub command dial. You could not move the aperture from f22 without an error message because the camera menu is set to have the camera body dictate aperture. On my D800 it is F9.
    But the real point here is that you do not have to have an aperture ring to dictate to the camera which aperture to use. Just put it in manual, with manual iso and select your settings.
  3. You can do that with a non-CPU lens but only in manual (M) mode and you will loose metering too.
    With a CPU lens you have to have the lens set to min. aperture even in M mode and set the aperture using the command dial, though in M or A mode that will still give you a fixed aperture.
  4. Thanks Richard, I had a feeling the CPU was the issue.
  5. To clarify, for the benefit of other readers: Phil's D800 can use the aperture ring on the lens because it has an aperture follower ring around the lens mount. This is true of all the FX Nikons and the D7000 and up. The D5200 does not have this ring, meaning that it has no way to know what aperture the lens is set to (which is also why you can't meter with it - it doesn't know how far the aperture will move when the camera's aperture lever moves). With a CPU lens, the lens can tell the camera where to move the aperture lever electronically - but this only works if the aperture ring is not involved. There's a little detector switch on the D5200 (and other lower-end Nikons) that ensures that the lens's aperture ring is set to its minimum aperture, which ensures it's out of the way - if you move the aperture ring, the camera reports an error. Many lenses can have their aperture ring locked into the minimum aperture position, and G lenses have no alternative.
  6. pge


    Andrew, thanks for the information, makes sense. But isn't the real point that the aperture ring is a red herring here. All the OP's friend wants is a constant aperture through a series of photos which does not take an aperture ring to achieve on any Nikon DSLR.
  7. Correct, Phil, but only in theory, not in practice. Just to clarify, the aperture ring on the lens provides a hard stop for how far the aperture will open. When the aperture lever in the camera moves, the corresponding spring-loaded lever on the lens moves with it. If the camera is controlling the aperture, the lever moves to the desired location for the aperture you want - in which case, you don't want the aperture ring stopping the lens somewhere else. If the aperture ring is controlling the aperture, the lever just moves through its full extent, but has no idea where the aperture will stop moving - except on the higher-end Nikons, where the aperture follower ring independently detects where the lens aperture ring has been set. These systems should be equivalent, but the hard stop of the aperture ring will stop the lens's aperture at exactly the same position every time. The aperture lever in the camera, while pretty accurate, is not that precise, and therefore can cause slight fluctuations if used to shoot stop-motion video. Therefore, given the choice, you're better using the aperture ring to control the aperture if this is what you're doing.

    In the absence of an expensive aperture-following ring, the D5200 had the choice of providing no metering, or requiring that the camera controls the aperture lever (so it knows where it is). With a CPU lens, the camera insists on controlling the aperture lever, and requires that the aperture ring be set to its minimum value. With a non-CPU lens, the camera just refuses to meter. Ironically, in this situation, the non-CPU option would be better.

    As an aside, a better mystery is why you can't get a camera such as a D800 to control the aperture directly on an AI-S lens that's not a CPU lens... (AI-S means the aperture is linear, so it should be possible to control them with the aperture lever - unlike AI lenses, for which the relationship between the aperture lever position and the aperture is undefined. And you can already tell a D800 what non-CPU lens is attached, so you could tell it that the lens is AI-S. But no, aperture ring control only. Madness. Unless I'm missing something.)
  8. Phil - I appreciate your good intentions but I think you are mistaken. I am no expert on time lapse, but I believe there is an issue with slight aperture changes when controlled by the camera mechanism.
    In any event, I do not intend to discuss time lapse photography in this thread. I welcome any additional responses to my original question. Thanks.
    Edit - I see that Andrew responded already.
  9. Chip: This may not be the preferred solution, but have you tried putting masking tape over the electrical contacts on the lens? Letting tape fall into the mirror box would not be a brilliant idea, so I don't recommend this if you're changing the lens a lot, but if disabling the electrical connections would do the job then this might solve your problem (though cleaning the contacts afterwards might be a good idea). You'll still have no metering, but I wouldn't expect that to cause trouble here. Without the electrics, the lens should behave just as any AI-S lens does - it would work perfectly on an F3, for example. If permanently removing the electronics is an option, it should be possible to unscrew the holder for the AF pins, but that's quite an expensive bit of sabotage.

    Otherwise, you're looking either at an older lens or a higher-end camera. A D7100 has the same sensor; is hiring one an option?
  10. Hey Andrew - I actually thought about tape as a possibility. Either that or removal of the CPU, as you noted. I think the owner of the D5200 may consider those options, or look at an old 18mm f/3.5 MF Nikkor.
  11. Hi All,
    I'm the proud owner of the D5200 in question. I'm looking for a wide lens, 18mm or under. The question is: what nikon bodies (under $1000, new or used) will override the 'stick me a f22 and I'm automatic' settings on the AF lenses. Will the D7000?
    The story is: For stop animation one needs static, manually controlled aperture to avoid 'flicker' caused by slight aperture variation over a series of frames. The main solution is old Ai lenses: all manual. G lenses, for example, are useless.
    Yes, I could probably block the connection from lens to camera with AF lenses. Also I could treat flicker in post with After Effects. But I want a smoother operation than those workarounds.
    I am not married to the D5200. I got it for it's video. I could get a dedicated stop action body as well. I wonder what bodies might give me the widest option for lenses.

    Thanks to Chip and you all for your time on this issue.

  12. Hi
    Shun Cheung posted a clear answer to this question on Nov 24,2011, within another topic you can find at
    If you follow the link and scroll down a bit you can find the post that includes an image of a D7000 showing the f6 menu items and lists the cameras you want to know about.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    If you would like to use the traditional, mechanical aperture ring on a lens with one to control the aperture, the Nikon body must have an aperture follower tab. See the old image I posted on the following thread:
    E.g. the D200 has the aperture follower tab while the D100 doesn't.
    Among Nikon DSLRs, all FX-format ones, the single digit D1 and D2 series (D3 and D4 are all FX), D200, D300/D300S, D7000 and D7100 have that capability.
    Unfortunately, the D3000 and D5000 series do not.
    P.S. I specified traditional, mechanical aperture ring, thus excluding the PC-E lenses, whose aperture ring has an electronic control.

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