Will a APS-C Lens work on a film Camera?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by coneected, May 17, 2014.

  1. I am thinking of buying the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM APO Lens. My question is will this lens also work on my Nikon F5 Camera as well as my Nikon D200?
  2. It will work, but the image circle the lens delivers won't cover all a film's surface. It would be like using the lens on an FX camera. You will get major vignetting in the corners.
  3. It should cover the entire 24x36mm format of the F5 - but probably not over the short portion of the zoom'srange.
  4. My experience with zoom lenses intended for DX (APS-C) format cameras is limited to various Nikkors on the F5, F6, and
    the D2 series cameras.
  5. I've used a Nikon 12-24mm DX on film bodies from 20-24mm. I used to have a Nikon 18-70mm DX and it would only fill the frame from maybe 50-70mm; I don't remember exactly. Strange that it did not provide coverage from the same focal length as the 12-24mm.
  6. The D2 series DSLRs were of course DX format cameras.
  7. Eric, why do you find that strange? The optical design for the two lenses are completely different.
  8. Well, 2 DX lenses sharing the range of 18-24mm seemed to me like they would both begin to fill the frame at the same point. I had no need to use the 18-70mm on a film body; I was just curious.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    One needs to be careful about what you mean by "work."
    You can mount the 12-24mm/f4 DX AF-S on any Nikon FX DSLR body or certain 35mm film bodies, such as the F5, and take pictures. You can even use the 12mm end and get some serious vignetting, but you can capture images that way.
    From 18mm and up, the vignetting is gone, but the quality of the image outside of the DX area is terrible. As you gradually zoom to the 24mm end, the entire FX frame gets better and becomes excellent at 24mm.
    Is some vignetting acceptable? Is it ok to have some really soft and smeared corners? That is up to each individual to decide. Personally, I wouldn't use a DX lens on full frame.
  10. So a better choice in a similar price range would be the Nikon 80-200mm f2.8. I believe this lens would be compatible with both my D200 and the fabulous F5. This discussion appeared to drift in a really awkward direction so let me state my initial question was directed toward taking great photos, not just any photos. I do not go out with any camera to just snap up pictures. I go out every day with the intent of taking the best photos to date. I was seeking a lens that would be compatible on both film and digital cameras. I know it is not an easy task but for me one quite worth the trouble of finding and using. The Sigma line of lenses are now being made of higher quality and which are able to compete with the big boys. The 50-150mm would/could be a great range to work within. Who know, I might get it just to see just how good it can be.
  11. I apologize for setting this thread off in a different direction. A 50-150mm DX lens may fill the frame on a film camera, but as I found with the Nikon 12-24mm and 18-70mm, they are two different animals. Unless anyone has any real experience, you'd have to find out for yourself.
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    In Sigma terminology, DC lenses are designed for APS-C size sensors, similar to Nikon DX lenses (and Canon EF-S lenses). I have never used the Sigma 50-150mm/f2.8 zoom. However, if it could perform well on the full FX frame, I don't think Sigma would have classified it as DC.
    Again, just because at certain focal lengths, a lens does not vignette on FX doesn't necessarily mean edge quality is good. While in some cases you might not care about corner quality, e.g. on some portraits the subject is in the center and the corners are out of focus anyway, if the OP is after quality, I would not put a DX lens or Sigma DC lens on the full 35mm frame.
    A 80-200mm/f2.8 or 70-200mm/f2.8 should be a much better choice for both DX and FX.
  13. Leo for what you intended to use there is not a single lens that is equally good for DX as well as FX. To have the lens equally good for film as digital you need to have both the film camera and digital camera of the same size and for now the choice is only FX as there is not really a choice of APC-C film camera.
  14. perhaps the easiest way for you to answer this question would be to actually put the lens in question on a film camera as no one here seems to have ever done this and answered the question. If you have a camera store close by or perhaps wanted to rent one, just try it. I would be kind of curious as to the answer rather than all these theoretical possibilities.
  15. Harvey - perhaps Leo asking the camera store nicely to let him try that lens on an FX DSLR might be an idea? (Set not to crop automatically, of course.) The problem with trying it on an F5 is that you have to get the film developed, which is going to take a while and cost money. He could look at the DSLR images while still in the store, if coverage is the main question.

    But, as others have said, it depends on the quality Leo's looking for. As Shun says, if the 50-150 behaved perfectly on a full-frame camera, Sigma wouldn't call it "DC". Given that he hasn't bought the lens yet, I'd really look at something in the 70-200 or 80-200 range if at all possible. (I wasn't blown away by the 80-200 AF-D, mostly because of focus difficulties and some softness at shorter distances, but others like it. The 80-200 AF-S is supposed to be better but have parts availability issues if it breaks. The latest 70-200 is, of course, as good an option as any, though Sigma and Tamron make cheaper and good alternatives.) Good luck.
  16. Just tossing a little salt on the subject. I could get a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8, which works on both film and digital along with a Tokina 100mm f2.8 for less than the cost of the Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 or the Sigma 50-150mm f2.8. Yes it would not be as long 150mm but I could possibly cover my need to have 2 lenses that I could move from one camera to the other, and both of those lenses have the ability to take very detailed photos. I have owned both of those lenses and enjoyed the results I achieved with either of them, and I could still take my girl out to dinner and have enough change left to leave a decent tip.

Share This Page