I have some old Nikon F lenses from the late 60's, a 50mm f1.4 and a 35mm f2.8. Short of getting them modified for my D90, are there adapters available that can make the match so I can use the lenses in manual mode?
I don't believe there are any "adapters" like that available. Non-AI lenses would have to be "AI'ed". However, buy yourself a D5100 and your lenses will mount without issues. No metering, but they wouldn't meter on your D90 even if AI'ed.
Early Nikon lenses used an external tab (or "rabbit ears") to couple the aperture ring to the camera in order to tell the camera's meter what aperture was set on the lens. Some years later (in the '70s I think) they changed the standard coupling to be a notch on the back of the lens aperture ring to mate with a tab on the outside of the camera's lens mount. As you turned the aperture ring the tab followed the motion and told the camera what aperture was set. The newer coupling method was called "Auto Indexing" or AI. The issue is that if you attempt to mount a pre-AI lens without the notch in the aperture ring on a camera with the AI tab on its lens mount, you risk damaging the tab and/or some of the internal components of the AI mechanism.
Although it is probably mechanically possible to make an adapter that would mount on the back of the lens and would also allow mounting to a camera with the AI tab without damaging it, the adapter would act as a small extension ring and prevent the lens from being able to focus to infinity. In addition, the adapter would probably cost as much as it would to have the lens modified (AI'ed) by somebody like John White (who has a very good reputation for this service). His website is at: http://www.aiconversions.com
Welcome to Nikonians! The only way to safely mount Pre-AI lenses on your D90 or any Nikon DSLR with the exception of the entry level bodies (D40, D40X, D60, D3000 series and D5000 series) is to have the lens converted by John White or someone else. John White does excellent work at a reasonable price. You can use your Pre-AI lenses on: D40, D40X, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, and D5200 bodies without modification.
Thanks Marty. It was wishful thinking to be able to use my old lenses on my new DSLR. They are quite heavy compared to the newer offerings so I guess I'll keep them for my FTn in case film makes a comeback.
>Thanks Marty. It was wishful thinking to be able to use my >old lenses on my new DSLR. They are quite heavy compared to >the newer offerings so I guess I'll keep them for my FTn in >case film makes a comeback.
I'm digging this up to throw the Df, F5 and F6 into the discussion, all of which will work with pre-AI lenses (the F5 and F6 require modification at Nikon service to enable this) due to their ability to flip the indexing tab out of the way. Metering it stop down (or on the Df, match the set apertures on the lens and camera for A mode) but full matrix metering works on the Df, making it the only Nikon camera to gain matrix metering with pre-AI lenses!