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  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    I am getting back into SLR after 35 years and bought a D 3400

    In using a manual lens made for film cameras I presume the following is the procedure. Please comment if I am correct or not



    Get light meter or light meter app for aperture, iso, speed settings

    Mount lens ( I have Nikon chart on compatible Nikon lens)

    Turn Camera to manual mode

    Set aperture ring to desired setting (EX 1.8)

    Manual program camera aperture setting to 1.8 (same as lens ring setting)

    Manual program set ISO

    Manual program set speed.

    Use view finder not LCD and turn lens to focus


    Also I have some ol Minolta lens from the 70's. I have seen adapters on Amazon with built in corrections lens. Do they work and is the performance reduced with the adapter

    I understand a 50mm lens in a full frame is equal to a 75mm view in a D3400

    Appreciate any comments


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    nzswift's Avatar

    Re: Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    One of the joys of film is you don't have to worry about ISO (until you change film speed)

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    I think live view will work if you want to focus from there but it will be dark if your lens is stopped down. You can enter live view without a lens being mounted and even snap a totally blurry picture with no lens when in manual mode. It will pretty much be the same with an old lens, the camera won't know its there. You set shutter and iso and control the aperture on the lens.
    As for a light meter, you could also just snap a picture and check the histogram in the camera, then make an adjustment.
    Thanks/Like busaf4 Thanks/liked this post
     
    I must have a really good camera.

  4. #4
    RIP :(
    Don Kuykendall's Avatar

    Re: Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    Unless you have a lot of old lenses it would probably be easier and better quality to just but new lenses. Using lenses meant for a different brand is a bad idea and you would lose even more quality.
    Thanks/Like busaf4 Thanks/liked this post
     

    ================================================== ============================
    D750***D7100***24-120 f/4 ***70-300***Tamron 150-600***Tokina 16-28 f2.8***50mm f/1.8***Photoshop/Lightroom CC

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    You don't need a light meter...the camera has one in it... just adjust the speed/aperture/iso until the little light meter bar is centered
    Thanks/Like busaf4 Thanks/liked this post
     

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    pforsell's Avatar

    Re: Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    I have about a dozen manual focus Nikkors, most of them highly sought after rare gems that have no corresponding autofocus replacement. Using them is truly a joy in more ways than one.

    Unfortunately your body choice isn't the best possible for four reasons, imho.

    First, the D3400 does not meter with non-cpu lenses at all, so external meter is needed.

    Second, the camera does not have the AI tab, so it doesn't know which aperture is set. (if your lenses are AI or AI-S)

    Third, it has a dim pentamirror viewfinder that makes focusing all but impossible.

    Fourth, it is DX sensor which is only half of the size that the lenses were originally designed for.

    These 4 points makes the shooting so cumbersome and unnecessarily complex hit and miss guesswork, that I bet there will be no fun left and you'll get bored in less than a week.

    If possible, I'd contact the seller and would ask if it was possible to return the camera. If you lenses are AI or AI-S, then a better choice would be something like a used D700 which fixes all the 4 points above, and then some. And the price is the same. If the lenses are pre-AI, then the best camera would be Nikon DF.

    And no, Minolta lenses with adapters is not a great idea, though pictorially you'd get interesting results not unlike Holga.
    Last edited by pforsell; 06-01-2018 at 06:53 AM.
    Thanks/Like busaf4 Thanks/liked this post
    Disagree Bob Blaylock disagreed
     
    9 Nikon single-digit pro bodies from D1H to D5.
    12 Nikon three-digit consumer bodies from D100 and up.
    56 Nikkor prime lenses from AIS 8/2.8 to AFS 400/2.8VR
    4 Nikkor zoom lenses: 14-24/2.8, 17-35/2.8, 28-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8VR
    My fastest lens is f/1.2 (x3) and slowest f/2.8


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Bob Blaylock's Avatar

    Re: Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    Quote Originally Posted by pforsell View Post
    I have about a dozen manual focus Nikkors, most of them highly sought after rare gems that have no corresponding autofocus replacement. Using them is truly a joy in more ways than one.

    Unfortunately your body choice isn't the best possible for four reasons, imho.

    First, the D3400 does not meter with non-cpu lenses at all, so external meter is needed.

    Second, the camera does not have the AI tab, so it doesn't know which aperture is set. (if your lenses are AI or AI-S)
    Not at all a problem for someone who is used to old, fully-manual film cameras anyway. In fact, less of a problem than with the old fully-manual film cameras, because at least you can start out with a guess, see the result right away, and make adjustments for the next shot. Can't do that with film.

    On the other hand, if @busaf4 has any old non-AI lenses, he can use them with this body, but cannot safely use them with the higher-up bodies that do have an AI tab.


    Quote Originally Posted by pforsell View Post
    Third, it has a dim pentamirror viewfinder that makes focusing all but impossible.
    That's not the issue. It's the focussing screen that is the issue. The stock focussing screen included with the D3x00 cameras is pretty much useless for manual focussing. But it's not a big deal to replace it with an aftermarket focus screen that is much better.


    Quote Originally Posted by pforsell View Post
    Fourth, it is DX sensor which is only half of the size that the lenses were originally designed for.
    I don't see why that's a problem. One just has to be aware of the crop factor, and realize that a lens of a given focal length, on a DX body, will provide approximately the same field of view as a lens with that focal length multiplied by 1.55 on an FX body, or on a standard 35mm film camera.


    Quote Originally Posted by pforsell View Post
    These 4 points makes the shooting so cumbersome and unnecessarily complex hit and miss guesswork, that I bet there will be no fun left and you'll get bored in less than a week.

    If possible, I'd contact the seller and would ask if it was possible to return the camera. If you lenses are AI or AI-S, then a better choice would be something like a used D700 which fixes all the 4 points above, and then some. And the price is the same. If the lenses are pre-AI, then the best camera would be Nikon DF.
    As one who routinely uses my ancient 1960s and 1970s vintage non-AI lenses on my D3200, I could not disagree with you more.
    Thanks/Like busaf4 Thanks/liked this post
     

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    pforsell's Avatar

    Re: Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Blaylock View Post
    As one who routinely uses my ancient 1960s and 1970s vintage non-AI lenses on my D3200, I could not disagree with you more.
    That's the raison d'être and the strength of online forums, the exchange of different ideas and opinions.
    Thanks/Like busaf4 Thanks/liked this post
     
    9 Nikon single-digit pro bodies from D1H to D5.
    12 Nikon three-digit consumer bodies from D100 and up.
    56 Nikkor prime lenses from AIS 8/2.8 to AFS 400/2.8VR
    4 Nikkor zoom lenses: 14-24/2.8, 17-35/2.8, 28-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8VR
    My fastest lens is f/1.2 (x3) and slowest f/2.8


  9. #9
    Junior Member

    Re: Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    If it has light meter in side then it will be just like using my old Minolta STR 101 which I had no problems which in my film days. I only plan using it for portrait and outside depth of field control purposes and want a good lens quality. I will use the fully automatic lens on all other uses. Manual dies not bother me, I have a car that has a crash box stick shift and a crank to start and it still goes down the road Art
    Last edited by busaf4; 06-03-2018 at 12:04 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Sandpatch's Avatar

    Re: Reviewing using manual lens (old film camera) on D3400

    I enjoy messing around with my old mid-70s Nikkor lenses on my D5100 (my sole camera). Rather than make my self crazy with calculating settings, I start with something typical like 1/125 @ f/8, check the result and make incremental changes if needed.

    The only thing that disappoints is focusing. Distant scenic shots work out fine with tack-sharp focus, but close-ups are blurred because I have yet to precisely set my D5100's eyepiece focus. I'm actually not sure how to accomplish this with my aging eyes, other than trial-and-error. Is there a better way?
    Last edited by Sandpatch; 06-03-2018 at 03:15 PM.





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