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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Using older Nikon and Vivitar lenses on a Canon?
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11/02/2007 11:14:17 PM · #1
Hi everyone,

My father-in-law gave me an older SLR along with three lenses and I had some questions about using the lenses on a newer Canon DSLR. The camera he gave me is a Nikon F2 from the 70's. The nicest lens he gave me with it is a Nikkor-SC Auto 1.4 50MM Nikon lens. The other two lenses are a Vivitar wide angle MC 28MM 49MM 1:2.8 and a Vivitar Macro Focusing Zoom 70-200MM 1:3.8 58MM. The Wide angle lens seems cheaper than the Zoom, but both are part plastic part metal. The Nikon lens is all metal and appears to be the highest quality. My question is this.

1. I'm debating over an XTI, a 20D, and a 30D. I'd love if after buying the camera I could use these lenses as starter lenses but are they any good?
2. The Nikon has the words "Auto" on it, but it seems to be manual focus only is this correct?
3. If these are worth keeping and using is there any way to fit them on one of the Canon DSLR's mentioned above? If so what kind of adapters or accessories will I need to get them to fit?
4. **Begginner question Alert** The 50MM lens has a 52MM polarizing filter on it. What is the reason for the 2MM discrepancy? Is there a little give and take for the size of filter you buy? For example if I got a 50MM filter or a 48MM filter would is still fit?

Thanks for any help! The people on this forum have been great at answering questions.
Aaron

Message edited by author 2007-11-02 23:42:08.
11/02/2007 11:21:13 PM · #2
The 49mm and 28mm must be primes - they dont zoom your the one who has to move to get closer or further away. The 70-200mm zooms from 70mm up to 200mm which brings the distance closer.

Message edited by author 2007-11-02 23:21:48.
11/02/2007 11:23:12 PM · #3
or.....

you could get a Nikon body and mount them right up with no adapters at all. Unless you have some overwhelming reason that you have to have a Canon DSLR, why not just get a body that capitalizes on this gift of free glass? Just a thought....

No, I'm not just sayin' cuz I'm a Nikon guy, it's cuz I'm thrifty.

Message edited by author 2007-11-02 23:24:02.
11/02/2007 11:26:28 PM · #4
Originally posted by Monique64:

The 49mm and 28mm must be primes - they dont zoom your the one who has to move to get closer or further away. The 70-200mm zooms from 70mm up to 200mm which brings the distance closer.


Thanks for the response Monique. :)
It's actually a single lens that has the numbers 49MM and 28MM written on it. They are on opposite sides of the lens and don't seem to indicate a zoom like the 70-200MM does with the - in between the two numbers. What I guess confuses me is why the 70-200MM also says 58MM on it.
11/02/2007 11:29:30 PM · #5
49mm = filter thread diameter
11/02/2007 11:32:23 PM · #6
Originally posted by doc_gonzo:

or.....

you could get a Nikon body and mount them right up with no adapters at all. Unless you have some overwhelming reason that you have to have a Canon DSLR, why not just get a body that capitalizes on this gift of free glass? Just a thought....

No, I'm not just sayin' cuz I'm a Nikon guy, it's cuz I'm thrifty.


Yeah good point. I looked at some Nikons, the only that are in my price range are the D40, D40x and the D80 and I've read a lot of reviews but for some reason I'm afraid to switch brands. I've been using a Canon S2 for a while and I'm so used to the controls it would be odd to switch over. How do the cameras I mentions stack up to the XTI, 20D and 30D?
11/02/2007 11:36:05 PM · #7
Originally posted by wavelength:

49mm = filter thread diameter


Now that makes perfect sense. Thank you! The size of the bottom of the lens that locks into the camera is identical on both but the outside lens is much larger on the 58MM. So that's the size of filter that I would need to buy to fit the lens.

Message edited by author 2007-11-02 23:36:28.
11/02/2007 11:45:40 PM · #8
Originally posted by arondee:

Originally posted by wavelength:

49mm = filter thread diameter


Now that makes perfect sense. Thank you! The size of the bottom of the lens that locks into the camera is identical on both but the outside lens is much larger on the 58MM. So that's the size of filter that I would need to buy to fit the lens.


yup :)
11/02/2007 11:49:06 PM · #9
Originally posted by wavelength:

Originally posted by arondee:

Originally posted by wavelength:

49mm = filter thread diameter


Now that makes perfect sense. Thank you! The size of the bottom of the lens that locks into the camera is identical on both but the outside lens is much larger on the 58MM. So that's the size of filter that I would need to buy to fit the lens.


yup :)


I ran into something else that's a bit confusing. The 50mm lens has a 52mm filter on it. What's the reason for the 2MM discrepancy?
11/02/2007 11:50:15 PM · #10
Originally posted by arondee:



Yeah good point. I looked at some Nikons, the only that are in my price range are the D40, D40x and the D80 and I've read a lot of reviews but for some reason I'm afraid to switch brands. I've been using a Canon S2 for a while and I'm so used to the controls it would be odd to switch over. How do the cameras I mentions stack up to the XTI, 20D and 30D?


I'm not sure that the controls on the powershot are going to be the same on the DSLR canons so I wouldn't put too much stock in that. I could be wrong of course, I am just guessing. The D80 is a damn fine camera and would make a heck of a first DSLR. I dunno too much about the D40 & D40x but, the D80 shares most of it's features with the D200, only without weather-sealing and a few other bells and whistles. (none of those canons you mentioned are weather-sealed either if that matters to you, it was a big factor for me.)

I also found the Nikon bodies to be more ergonomically fitting to my hand but, that's strictly personal. Anyway, out of that bunch of Nikons, I would say the D80 would be the best body for sure. Or, you could try and score a D200 for a good price when the D300 are on the street.
11/02/2007 11:53:13 PM · #11
Originally posted by arondee:

Originally posted by wavelength:

Originally posted by arondee:

Originally posted by wavelength:

49mm = filter thread diameter


Now that makes perfect sense. Thank you! The size of the bottom of the lens that locks into the camera is identical on both but the outside lens is much larger on the 58MM. So that's the size of filter that I would need to buy to fit the lens.


yup :)


I ran into something else that's a bit confusing. The 50mm lens has a 52mm filter on it. What's the reason for the 2MM discrepancy?


50mm is the focal length, the filter thread size is pretty arbitrary. Different manufacturers will have different thread sizes for the same rated lens. Mostly it's just an aesthetics function, they could make the thread size as small or large as they wanted as long as it doesn't interfere with the field of view.
11/03/2007 12:09:50 AM · #12
Originally posted by wavelength:

49mm = filter thread diameter

Thought that was an unusual mm lens. Shows my ignorance. Thought that they may have been different being Nikon and/or older lenses.
11/03/2007 12:52:57 AM · #13
Originally posted by arondee:

Originally posted by doc_gonzo:

or.....

you could get a Nikon body and mount them right up with no adapters at all. Unless you have some overwhelming reason that you have to have a Canon DSLR, why not just get a body that capitalizes on this gift of free glass? Just a thought....

No, I'm not just sayin' cuz I'm a Nikon guy, it's cuz I'm thrifty.


Yeah good point. I looked at some Nikons, the only that are in my price range are the D40, D40x and the D80 and I've read a lot of reviews but for some reason I'm afraid to switch brands. I've been using a Canon S2 for a while and I'm so used to the controls it would be odd to switch over. How do the cameras I mentions stack up to the XTI, 20D and 30D?

controls of the S2 are nothign of the sort on the canon d-slrs
11/03/2007 01:08:40 AM · #14
Sounds like you got some nice glass there. I know my friend's D40 can't autofocus with old lenses, not sure about the D40x and the D80. If your on a little tighter budget, if you can find one, a D70s is also an option.
11/03/2007 01:38:53 AM · #15
D40 and D40x will not autofocus with non AF-S lenses like those, the D80 should have no problems though.
11/03/2007 04:49:57 AM · #16
Originally posted by noisemaker:

Originally posted by arondee:

... I've read a lot of reviews but for some reason I'm afraid to switch brands. I've been using a Canon S2 for a while and I'm so used to the controls it would be odd to switch over.

controls of the S2 are nothign of the sort on the canon d-slrs


I have to agree here. The controls on DSLRs and on other cameras can be quite different to each other, the fact that you're used to the Canon S2 doesn't mean that you'll find Canon DSLRs easier than Nikon - or another brand for that matter. When I went shopping for a compact camera, the question of whether it was the same brand as my DSLR was not a consideration.

If you can, I'd suggest finding a shop that sells both Canon and Nikon DSLRs (or finding one of each brand from a friend) and testing them out to see which feels more natural to you. No point being scared about switching if it turns out you find Nikon SLRs comfortable. Also no point hanging onto lenses, no matter how good, if you find the SLRs they work on too awkward to use well.
11/03/2007 10:22:53 AM · #17
and also the only lens worth anything is the nikkor 50mm. you could sell it to help offset costs to one of hte canons yourlooking at
11/03/2007 10:59:00 AM · #18
Originally posted by arondee:

Originally posted by wavelength:

Originally posted by arondee:

Originally posted by wavelength:

49mm = filter thread diameter


Now that makes perfect sense. Thank you! The size of the bottom of the lens that locks into the camera is identical on both but the outside lens is much larger on the 58MM. So that's the size of filter that I would need to buy to fit the lens.


yup :)


I ran into something else that's a bit confusing. The 50mm lens has a 52mm filter on it. What's the reason for the 2MM discrepancy?


It's not a discrepancy. 50mm is the focal length. 52mm is the filter size. Two totally different things.
11/03/2007 01:08:45 PM · #19
i'll also bet the Nikkor-SC Auto 1.4 is non-Ai
which means it would have to be modified prior to being fitted to a modern Nikon body
(depends on serial # there is a look up table on the web somwhere..)
older nikon lens will not meter on < D100/D200/D1*/D2* bodies so it may only be nice glass
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