I have a new D3000 on the way and while I wait I have been reading the manual and online reviews, etc. In the manual, as in all Nikon SLR manuals, there is a fairly clear statement of what lenses can be mounted and their degree of compatibility. In there it states that pre-AI lenses can not be mounted at all. However the review at photo.net states the opposite. Is this the case, or did the reviewer not do his homework properly?
It is not of great consequence for me because I only have three pre-AI lenses, two of which I also have in AI/AI-S and the other one is a PC-Nikkor 35/2.8 shift lens which would have limited shift effect on an APS-C sensor (or would it have enhanced shift effect? I'm not sure).
Update: I have the answer, from the man who wrote the photo.net review. It appears that, although the official line from Nikon appears to be that pre-AI lenses can not be used, they can in fact be mounted on recent "entry-level" bodies because the "switch" on the body which is at approximately the eight o'clock position on the lens mount when looked at front-on has been changed from one which moves sideways when tripped by the post on the lens, e.g. as on D100, to one which depresses inwards when contacted by the post on the lens. So the continuous flange on pre-AI lenses just pushes the switch inwards in the direction it is supposed to go.
I am still interested to know whether my PC-Nikkor 35/2.8 will have a diminished shift effect or an enhanced shift effect when mounted on an APS-C body. I will find out for myself when the D3000 arrives.
#1. "RE: D3000 lens compatibility" | In response to Reply # 0blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Tue 14-Sep-10 01:07 AM
You've found the correct data on the pre-AI lenses.
Most PC-Nikkor 35's I've seen work fine on any Nikon DSLR. However, I am reliably told that a small number of earlier samples need to have minor work done on them to be safe.
I have a black-knob 35/f2.8 PC, which is from the most recent group. It needs no modification, and I've now used it on all of my D2's and D3. I see no reason why it wouldn't be just fine also on a D100 or D3000, for that matter.
You will find that the PC has significantly greater shift effect on DX than on FX. Any given amount of shift proportionately greater on DX; for example, if you shift 5mm, that's about 20% of the long edge of the frame on DX but 15% on FX. In addition, you can shift further on DX . The image circle projected by the PC lenses is necessarily larger than for regular lenses. However, you're limited to about 8mm shift in the long direction for FX/35mm film, because the lens simply doesn't have enough covering power to handle the 43mm standard image circle plus the full 11mm.
Neither of these considerations apply to your DX body.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#2. "RE: D3000 lens compatibility" | In response to Reply # 1Wed 15-Sep-10 03:36 AM
Thanks, Brian, for your insight on the extra shift effect of a PC lens when used on a DX body. My PC 35/2.8 is an early one with a silver knob, serial No. 852XXX. I believe it was made not long after the 2.8 replaced the 3.5 in the late 1960's, and has a flange all the way around the lens mount the same as other pre-Ai lenses. It definitely won't mount on my D100 because of the previously mentioned switch/lever on the body lens mount at eight o'clock. The difference with the D3000 (so I'm told, because I haven't received it yet) and most "entry-level" bodies since the D40 is that that switch pushes inside the body instead of moving around the circumference of the lens mount.
#3. "RE: D3000 lens compatibility" | In response to Reply # 2Thu 30-Sep-10 08:29 AM
Further update: I have now received the D3000 and I have confirmed that it will safely mount pre-Ai lenses. So it seems that it will mount almost any F-mount lens ever made, the exceptions being the early fisheye lenses which required mirror lockup, and maybe some others which I don't have anyway. I haven't yet had a chance to test the shift effect of the PC 35/2.8.