old Nikkor AF lenses compatible with D90? vs 18-105 I have several old nikkor AF lenses from my Nikon 8500 35mm film camera (which feels so good still!) - just wondering if my lenses will work on the D90, or is it worth spending the extra $ and getting the 18-105. How is the aperature for opening up nice and wide? Does it allow for low-light situations or will it always be asking for a flash?
asked by susan unger on October 3, 2008
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There are a lot of older Nikon lenses that will work fine with a D90- I have been looking for old lenses heavily for the last few weeks, in fact.
The AF Nikkor 70-210 f4 lens (constant F4 throughout zoom) works extremely well. I have since sold my 55-200 DX lens for example.
Some of the other pretty good finds I have grabbed are the 28-80 and a 50mm prime.
These are all AF lenses, not AI which will only work manually I believe.

I have had zero problems with the 80s vintage lenses I have been getting and in fact find them to generally take better pictures than the newer DX lenses.
rogerdugans answered on June 6, 2011
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I have lenses for my 1971 Nikon F that I want to use on a D90. I tried my 50mm Nikkor-H Auto 12:2 on a D90; It fit, but was not recognized by the camera. Is there an adapter or mode for using non-electrical lenses? Larry
Lawrence Steimle answered on February 24, 2009
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No adapter required. I believe you can still use it, but only in manual or aperture-priority modes. I know on my older N90s (from mid-90's), I could use a non-CPU lens in this manner by using the lens aperture ring, making sure I dialed in the same aperture on the camera, which then calc'd the appropriate shutter speed. The camera would also default to center-weighted metering as opposed to matrix metering, but this wasn't a big deal.

The similarities between the N90s and the D90 are many (the N90s is in fact slightly faster) but I don't know if the non-CPU lens handling is necessarily the same... the manual should have all you need...
Erik H. answered on February 25, 2009
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Thanks Eric. I did not try switching from automatic mode yesterday in the store when I put on my own 1971 Nikkor-H Auto 50mm 1:2. The display just indicated that no lens was installed.
A couple of clerks did their best. No live view seemed to be available. I was hoping too that I could use the D90 on a telescope. I'll try switching modes. That makes sense. Larry
Lawrence Steimle answered on February 25, 2009
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I am thinking of buying a Nikon D90 but I would like to know If I can use some lenses bought in the mid 90s which are
Nikon AF NIKKOR 70-210mm 14-56 D
Tokina Skylight Denox 35-200mm
Nikon AF NIKKOR 35-80mm 14-56D
Is it worth the effort to try to save those lenses? sthean@mac.com
Mr. Thomas S. James answered on November 2, 2010
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Can I use my Nikkor lenses that I bought 25 years ago with Nikon D90 switching to 'M'?
Tks in advance from Pat
SFREB answered on May 2, 2011
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I got some old Nikon lenses to work in M mode only on my D5100. Images come out super dark, but I'm sure it's a matter of me not getting the settings/lighting right yet.
Tim S answered on May 20, 2011
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I'm not sure what model the 8500 is -- did you mean the 8008? Assuming you did, yes, the AF lenses you have will work with the D90, or any other Nikon D-SLR with a built-in motor/screw drive (as seen on the lens mount surface). Please note that for any lens you've used (or plan to purchase) you need to multiply the focal length by 1.5; for example, a 28-70mm lens on your old film camera will visually give you a focal range of 42-105mm on the D90, which means you'll be losing the wide-angle capabilities you had on your film camera, but you'd gain a lot on the telephoto end.

No, the aperture doesn't open up very wide on the 18-105 lens, but don't think it won't perform in low light. Couple the vibration reduction technology to the new CMOS sensor, which has zero grain at ISO 800+, and you'll get much better results than film ever could with a fast lens. You're only real loss is the narrow depth of field produced with a truly fast lens like the current 17-55mm f/2.8 (which is $1200).

There are other technical reasons to buy a "DX" lens that deal with how the incoming light is projected onto the sensor, which is different than how older film lenses project light onto the film plane. Theoretically you'll get sharper images with a DX lens, but I've read plenty of tests that show GOOD film lenses like the 60mm f/2.8 produce excellent results on any camera.

One last reason to get a new lens is to ensure maximum compatibility with the flash (built-in or accessory); newer lenses communicate depth-to-subject data and consistently deliver better flash pictures. And finally, the kit price for the D90 and said lens is a bargain considering how much they're asking for the two individually.
Erik H. answered on October 3, 2008
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