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09-17-2009, 10:54 PM   #1
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Nikon F-mount 60th anniversary

I note that this year the Nikon F-mount celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. It was stated that no other manufacturer can lay claim to having backward compatibility going back that far.

Doesn't this put paid to similar claims by Pentax users?

Out of interest can Nikon users advise whether in fact old Nikon lenses can be used on new Nikon DSLRs?

09-17-2009, 11:21 PM   #2
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Dx00 and Dx and DxX cameras can meter with old lenses...Dx0 cameras cannot.

DSLRs can also only use Ai lenses made after 1977 (or "Ai the lens" if it's older.)

So 1959-1977 F mount lenses are not usable on today's camera unless they are converted and mounted to Dx00-level cameras or higher
09-17-2009, 11:37 PM   #3
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Yes, although Pentax did 'cripple' their mount - you can at least mount non-a lenses without destroying the camera - which you can't say for non-ai lenses on newer f-mount cameras.
09-17-2009, 11:44 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
So 1959-1977 F mount lenses are not usable on today's camera unless they are converted
Apparently this is a cheap and simple mod?

09-18-2009, 12:01 AM   #5
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It involves removing the non-ai mount and putting a new ai-mount onit its place. Not dificult if you have the right tools and know what you're doing I guess.
09-18-2009, 12:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
It involves removing the non-ai mount and putting a new ai-mount onit its place. Not dificult if you have the right tools and know what you're doing I guess.
So I guess Nikon trumps Pentax in the backwards compatibility stakes?
09-18-2009, 01:28 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spock Quote
So I guess Nikon trumps Pentax in the backwards compatibility stakes?
I don't know, the whole thing about having to remove the mount to replace it with another mount kind of goes against the whole "mount compatibility" idea if you ask me...

...by much of the same logic Pentax has backward compatibility to 1938 since all you have to do to use M42 lenses is screw on an adapter!


Besides, which Nikon cameras work with which Nikon lenses is a bit of an adventure having to figure out. Some combinations that appear to fit right will even be harmful to the camera, some combinations work, some don't, some with limitations, etc. I had a semi-modern analog AF Nikon that would physically mount every AI F lens but refused to even meter with non-AF lenses for reasons unknown. And then, some newer Nikons don't AF with older AF lenses, etc, etc, etc... It's a jungle.
09-18-2009, 04:46 AM   #8
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If you buy the correct Nikon body, the lens selection is easier

If you buy the correct Nikon body, the lens selection is easier.

My D700 uses all nikon lenses made since 1977. "Ai"

Nikon made lenses in such profuse quantities that its easy to pay less than pentax equivilents:

I paid $950 for my AiS 300mm 2.8 Nikon, with flight truck, keys, manual, in Ex+
I paid $625 for my AiS 85mm 1.4 with hood , Mint.

Yeah, not being able to use 1976 and earlier Nikon glass I suppose is a bummer, but its so easy to locate pro quality glass at very good prices due to sheer volumes Nikon made. 1977 is 32 years ago. Whereas with canon you can only use glass from 1987 to date, thus 22 years of selections are usable.

Whatever Tamron and Sigma and Kenko makes is available first in Nikon and Canon mounts.

So both Nikon and Canon have fewer years than Pentax, but both Nikon and Canon have more glass available for purchase both new and used. Canon's made close to 50,000,000 lenses since Eos System launched in 1987.

The interesting thing about Eos mount is its extreme adaptability. I also use my 300mm 2.8 Nikon, and 85mm 1.4 Nikon on Canon 5D and my Eos-3 film body.

Inaddition eos mount has no problems with Non Ai 1959-1976 nikon lenses.

Another Neat thing, Eos film bodies allow me to use & deploy my image stabilized "IS" lenses on their film camera platform.

Each brand has its pluses and minuses. Thats why I'm still stuck with 3 brands of gear. K20D SR is a big plus and keeps me in system #3. Though, if Patent filings today are tomorrows realities then Canon may have a inbody shake reduced dslr coming soon?

New Canon Patents Detail drawings - FM Forums


Last edited by Samsungian; 09-18-2009 at 05:29 AM.
09-18-2009, 06:36 AM   #9
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Nikon SLR Camera & Lens Compatibility Chart

i hope they announce something interesting for this anniversary. hopefully film based, like the out of nowhere Nikon RFs
09-18-2009, 06:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spock Quote
So I guess Nikon trumps Pentax in the backwards compatibility stakes?
depends on how you look at it. personally I would say no, simply because you have to by the right body to use all of those lenses. not so with pentax, as it doesn't matter what body you buy.


if you only look at OEM lenses, with nikon you have the Fmount 1959-. with Pentax you have (not counting m37) m42 1957-1975 & Kmount 1975-. all you have to do with the m42 is buy the adapter from Pentax and have at it. (much cheaper than buying a higher end nikon body). so you in essence have a perfectly useable OEM lens system from 1957-present. while nikon has 1959-present. while they may be able to claim 60 years with one mount, the compatibility isn't anywhere near 100% for the lenses and bodies. with Pentax it is 100%. if you throw the Pentax medium format lenses into the mix (645 and 6x7) you now have 4 different OEM lens systems with 100% compatibility (with OEM adapter) on all Pentax Kmount bodies.

so I would personally give the win to Pentax. they may have switched mounts one time since the "Pentax" was introduced, but I think its clear that backwards compatibility is better and broader with Pentax.
09-18-2009, 07:17 AM   #11
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how good is the metering on the new bodies with old lenses?
any pentax-like issues with crazy EV comp required?
09-18-2009, 07:41 AM   #12
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So who has more total lenses available?

So who has more total lenses available?

Years available are one thing, but total number of pro build glass units available are another. Its so easy to find a 300mm 2.8 Nikon made lens in used condition at a good price.

Always more than one way to look at things:

D700 is pricey, yet I paid $1,000 less for a 300mm 2.8 that the Pentax SMC-A would have cost me. So in a way the D700 didn't cost me $2319 in Jan 2009, it real terms it was only $1319 more in total outlay. And I don't sit around wishing for pentax to make me a full frame platform.

That said, I also own a Tamron adaptall 2 300mm 2.8 that I use on pentax K20D and I find SR useless with this big 5 pound lens. Its simply too much mass to stabilize. Now when I used my 105mm 2.5 Viv series 1 on K20D ot simply rocks. SR is quite effective with a smaller lens.


QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
depends on how you look at it. personally I would say no, simply because you have to by the right body to use all of those lenses. not so with pentax, as it doesn't matter what body you buy.


if you only look at OEM lenses, with nikon you have the Fmount 1959-. with Pentax you have (not counting m37) m42 1957-1975 & Kmount 1975-. all you have to do with the m42 is buy the adapter from Pentax and have at it. (much cheaper than buying a higher end nikon body). so you in essence have a perfectly useable OEM lens system from 1957-present. while nikon has 1959-present. while they may be able to claim 60 years with one mount, the compatibility isn't anywhere near 100% for the lenses and bodies. with Pentax it is 100%. if you throw the Pentax medium format lenses into the mix (645 and 6x7) you now have 4 different OEM lens systems with 100% compatibility (with OEM adapter) on all Pentax Kmount bodies.

so I would personally give the win to Pentax. they may have switched mounts one time since the "Pentax" was introduced, but I think its clear that backwards compatibility is better and broader with Pentax.
09-18-2009, 07:52 AM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
So who has more total lenses available?

Years available are one thing, but total number of pro build glass units available are another. Its so easy to find a 300mm 2.8 Nikon made lens in used condition at a good price.
I believe nikon has manufactured more lenses from 1959-present than Pentax has from 1957-present. (I know for a fact that Nippon Kogaku has manufactured more lenses and more types of lenses than Asahi Optical in total during their entire history) but again, not all of those lenses are useable on all nikon bodies. doesn't really matter wether its a "pro" lens or not. backwards compatability with your own lenses has nothing to do with such lenses being "consumer" "budget" or "pro". its about whether they can be mounted and used to take photos. price is also not a factor in backwards compatibility. the only factor that really matters is again whether they can be mounted and used to take photos. years available only gives you an idea of how long lenses have been in manufacture and a clue to possible compatibility. ie: 60 years of the Fmount. having more lenses doesn't equal having better compatibility. neither does having one mount for 60 years.
09-18-2009, 08:25 AM   #14
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Note they said MOUNT backward compatibility, in time duration. M42 is not the same mount as the K. The Nikon F mount is older than the K. QED.

CAMERA backward compatibility of course is a different thing - Pentax in this case trumps Nikon.


Interesting - to me at least - is to compare the most adaptable Nikon film cam, the FE, to the Pentax K mount cameras... Pre-Ai for Nikon is equivalent to M42 for Pentax, legacy lens wise. On a Pentax, I use the adapter, I meter in stop down mode, and I have to preset the aperture prior to exposure. With an Av mode, I just stop the lens to shooting aperture and the camera sets shutter speed.

Pre-Ai on the FE: stop down by pushing the dof preview, meter manually. Auto aperture (ie. no presetting of lens) works. Advantage Nikon. Av mode- a pain on the Nikon as you have to use one finger to push the stop down, and the index finger of the same hand to push the shutter button. Pentax is easier.

Of course compatibility the other way doesn't work - K mount on a Spotmatic... though as long as an Ai lens has the little horns installed, they will work on the earlier non Ai bodies.

For me the compatibility issues after the FE don't really matter, as I do not intend to expand in that direction. I bought the FE in order to buy and use old lenses cheaper than the equivalent Pentax / Takumars -- e.g. 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2 and so on, which I've bought at 1/2 price or better than the Pentax glass goes for.
09-18-2009, 08:26 AM   #15
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See? thats where we differ

See? thats where we differ

I don't see a point in mounting & using a 1940's, 1950's common 50mm type lens.

I use a 300mm 2.8 example cause I've owned a few & sold a couple and have 2 now I'm REAL HAPPY with. I used to scrounge for a SMC-A 300mm 2.8 and refused to drop the extra grand on it.

No one made a 300mm 2.8 prior to the 1970's. In a world filled with old 50mm glass, just exactly how may would someone need to own? I have a 50mm SMC-A macro & a 50mm Eos macro. Funny thing, the used Pentax cost me more than the new eos. Being precluded from buying a 1940's or 1950's 50mm isn't hurting my choices.

But in the contest who's got the earliest glass:

Pentax wins

Anyways, Nikon F is 50 years old, not 60 years old. That'll happen in 2019 unless they abandon the mount for m4/3

Canon's actually made the same number of Eos lenses since 1987 as Nikon has made since 1959:

Nikon | News | Total Production of NIKKOR Lenses for Nikon SLR Cameras Reaches Fifty Million

And I gotta say having autofocus is a nice feature to have, for me, so in this arena Canon wins the total number of autofocus lenses made: 50,000,000.

And while we've been chit chatting about this Nikon D3s leaked (again) with a launch date, their next full frame dslr:

http://nikonrumors.com/2009/09/18/nikon-d3s-14fps-and-hd-video.aspx

from:

http://nikonrumors.com/


QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I believe nikon has manufactured more lenses from 1959-present than Pentax has from 1957-present. (I know for a fact that Nippon Kogaku has manufactured more lenses and more types of lenses than Asahi Optical in total during their entire history) but again, not all of those lenses are useable on all nikon bodies. doesn't really matter wether its a "pro" lens or not. backwards compatability with your own lenses has nothing to do with such lenses being "consumer" "budget" or "pro". its about whether they can be mounted and used to take photos. price is also not a factor in backwards compatibility. the only factor that really matters is again whether they can be mounted and used to take photos. years available only gives you an idea of how long lenses have been in manufacture and a clue to possible compatibility. ie: 60 years of the Fmount. having more lenses doesn't equal having better compatibility. neither does having one mount for 60 years.

Last edited by Samsungian; 09-18-2009 at 08:37 AM.
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