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06-06-2016, 05:41 AM   #1
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Nikon DSLRs with best legacy lens support

I have a young relative who is looking to get into photography at relatively low cost & is thinking about camera shopping. Naturally I am trying to steer her towards Pentax on the basis of my experience with the system and the obvious advantages (e.g. WR, built-in SR, legacy lens support). HOWEVER, if I were to go outside the hallowed halls first trodden by Asahi Kogaku and now walked by Ricoh I would almost certainly recommend an APS-C camera by Nikon, as AFAIK they have the next best legacy lens support and full-frame can get quite large and pricey.

What are my potential options to recommend her, new or used, which would best handle the full range of Nikon lenses, past and present? Essentials are otherwise simple - basic P, A, S, M modes, and dependable reliability.

06-06-2016, 06:29 AM   #2
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Very complicated.

Nikon Lens Compatibility

Frankly after reading this a few times I quit complaining about Pentax legacy support. We have it good.

Last edited by UncleVanya; 06-06-2016 at 06:36 AM.
06-06-2016, 06:31 AM   #3
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I'd suggest the great Pentax K-50...

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I would almost certainly recommend an APS-C camera by Nikon, as AFAIK they have the next best legacy lens suppor
I would have thought that Pentax can claim that title...

Nikon cameras that have the best legacy lens support are the more expensive ones which have an AI-S tab (no idea what that is but I know older lenses use this...), like the D500, D5, D810, D7200, etc..


Maybe you can give her a couple old manual K lenses to tempt her to Pentax?
06-06-2016, 06:42 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Very complicated.

Nikon Lens Compatibility

Frankly after reading this a few times I quit complaining about Pentax legacy support. We have it good.
To make it simpler:

- AF-S lenses (AF lenses with in-lens motor): all cameras
- AF and AF-D lenses (AF lenses without motor): D90, D7000 and above
- Ai and Ai-S lenses: D7000 and above
- pre-Ai lenses: Df is the only compatible camera.

06-06-2016, 06:48 AM   #5
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To add to Mistral75:

1992-present
- AF-S lenses (AF lenses with in-lens motor): all bodies
1986-present - AF and AF-D lenses (AF lenses without motor): D90, D7000 and above
1977-present - Ai and Ai-S lenses: D7000 and above
1959-1977 - pre-Ai lenses: Df is the only compatible camera.

And:
1975-present - K-mount (K, KA, KAF): All bodies


Ding! Ding! Ding!
And the winner is... PENTAX
06-06-2016, 06:49 AM   #6
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Sony A7



I had to say the dirty word...



I don't understand the angle you are coming from.
If she is starting out new, then why not a Pentax KS2 with a kit lens?

Is she really into manual focus?
If so, then really its the A7.

If not, I don't see why you'd not recommend a Pentax.
06-06-2016, 07:35 AM   #7
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The replies so far mirror my thinking exactly, but I know next to nothing about Nikon except that it would be the system I'd buy into if Pentax were not an option, and wanted to at least make an attempt to avoid confirmation bias.

06-06-2016, 07:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
To make it simpler:

- AF-S lenses (AF lenses with in-lens motor): all cameras
- AF and AF-D lenses (AF lenses without motor): D90, D7000 and above
- Ai and Ai-S lenses: D7000 and above
- pre-Ai lenses: Df is the only compatible camera.
Complicated if you don't know how to figure out which bodies are "above".
06-06-2016, 07:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
Complicated if you don't know how to figure out which bodies are "above".
D7000 and above:
D7000 series, D500 and all FF cameras.

Below those are the cheap (not so good) entry level D3000 and D5000 series. These only work with AF-S lenses.
06-06-2016, 07:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
D7000 and above:
D7000 series, D500 and all FF cameras.

Below those are the cheap (not so good) entry level D3000 and D5000 series. These only work with AF-S lenses.
You can add (second-hand) D300 and D300s to the bunch.
06-06-2016, 07:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
You can add (second-hand) D300 and D300s to the bunch.
I could but I was just putting in current models/ranges.
06-06-2016, 08:12 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
I could but I was just putting in current models/ranges.
Indeed but since the OP wrote:

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I have a young relative who is looking to get into photography at relatively low cost & is thinking about camera shopping. (...).
I thought one should quote the D300 which is a fabulous, nowadays inexpensive camera.
06-06-2016, 08:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
I thought one should quote the D300 which is a fabulous, nowadays inexpensive camera.
I guess so...
06-06-2016, 09:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Sony A7

I had to say the dirty word...
lol... a used a7 would give the best compatibility and the most accurate focusing, for all legacy glass, not just nikon.

i wouldn't want to be locked into nikon legacy glass, it's overpriced and not that good: "I was never happy with the fast Nikon normal lenses. My Minolta Rokkors were better, giving much better performance wide open." Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI Review

even ken rockwell doesn't like it
06-06-2016, 09:10 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
You can add (second-hand) D300 and D300s to the bunch.
And the D200.
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