1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Adapting Nikkor AI lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by 13Promet, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. 13Promet

    13Promet Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Dec 11, 2011
    Milano
    Hi all,

    after having bought a GX1 with some native lenses (14, 20, 14-42 pancakes), I'm missing a faster tele lens for portraits.
    This is not actually a problem because for such purpose I usually employ the D300s, so I'm not going to spend real money on it.
    But, since I've got some fine old Nikkor MF lenses, I think it would be nice to make them alive again on the GX1.
    In particular, I'd like to try the high quality ones I have: 50mm 1.4 S type, and 85mm 1.8 H type (both of them modified to AI).

    Anydoby tried to use such lenses on a m4/3 camera?
    Any specific issues to face?
    Suggested adapters or models to be avoided?


    Thank you in advance for any advice
    Alessandro
     
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    I have done this for Minolta as well as Nikon lenses on my GH2. I'd say, buy a cheap adapter, any Nikon F-mount adapter will do for lenses with an aperture ring and try it out. Your 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 should perform splendidly on the GX1.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Old nikkors are very nice on 4/3 and micro 4/3.

    adaptors are cheap on EBAY

    Only thing to remember is that your 50mm will give a Field of view equivalent to a 100mm lens on 4/3 as opposed to the 75mm equivalent you will be used to on your D300

    some samples of Nikkor on 4/3 here

    Nikkor Lenses - a set on Flickr

    cheers

    K
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Comparing to an APS-C, I don't think you have to worry much about FOV differences. The image will look almost the same, just cropped off on the long ends from the squarer aspect ratio. It's only when comparing with Full Frame that you will see a significant difference in that "zoomed in" effect.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. 13Promet

    13Promet Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Dec 11, 2011
    Milano
    Thanks a lot guys, I'll get a cheap adapter ASAP! :cool:

    As for focal lenghts:

    - the 50/1.4 is supposed to do on m4/3 the job which used to be accomplished by the 85mm on analogic full frame SLRs (Nikon F and FM).

    - the 85/1.8 moves from portrait lens to very fast "real" tele (170 equivalent), all in a realtively compact package.


    Sounds great, I'm eager to try! :biggrin:
     
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Good summary, which I will concur with. :) I would consider the 85mm f/1.8 to be a replacement for a 150mm f/2 on film. Which is normally quite a bulky lens, unlike the 85mm/1.8!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Both should work pretty well, although at wide apertures they tend to be a little 'dreamy' (low contrast).

    The EVF makes focusing a lot easier. Unlike the D300, the m4/3 bodies don't provide any MF hints, so a magnified view really helps.

    DH
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. 13Promet

    13Promet Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Dec 11, 2011
    Milano
    Do you mean that they are soft as inherent feature ot that - for some reasons connected to the m4/3 architecture - they are softer than they are on a D300 or on an analogic SLR?


    The EVF was in my plans already, but in Thailand (where I bought the camera 15 days ago) it was not available, and in Italy (where I live) the camera, the viewfinder and the pancake zoom are not being sold yet.
    I guess I have to wait for a bit :)
     
  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    THe pixel density is much higher on M43 which pushes the flaws of older glass much more than conventional sensors. Lenses such as the Nikkor S 50 1.4 will result in a more dreamy look on M43, to the point where it does look somewhat soft. It's more an issue with the lens and not the camera.

    The GX1 has a focus-in-focus box that makes MF a lot more easier to determine if your image is sharp. That should work fine until you get your EVF. :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I find focusing using the EVF on my G1 and GH1 quite easy - you get the EVF shimmer for areas of the image that are in focus. I do use the magnified view for shallow DOF shots that require critical focus, but in most case the EVF gets me right where I want to be.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    m4/3 is much more demanding of lenses than the D300. It'd be like putting your lenses on a 24MP APS-C DSLR, and the cropping out the outer 15% of the frame.

    At wide apertures, aberrations in older lenses are particularly pronounced, which usually adds a 'veil' of softness.

    DH
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Paulo Moreira

    Paulo Moreira Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Jan 6, 2012
    Porto, Portugal
    I shoot a lot with my old manual focus Nikkors and they seemed to have been made for the M4/3 system! I normally use the Nikkor AIS 50/1,8 pancake as it makes for a balanced set on the GF's. Regret to disagree, but that the lens is very sharp from 1,8 as only the very central part of the image is being used. Other Nikon lenses that work fine (better than my Zuiko 14-42) include the 60/2,8 Micro AF, the ais 105/2,5. I stop here because I don't like tele lenses, 135 mm is more than enough for me.

    Get the adapter that also works with G Nikkor lenses, just in case. I don't have an external viewfinder, so focusing is not a pleasant thing, especially with sunny days. I wished Panny introduced an integrated EVF camera with articulated screen in the GF series, I think it will be the next step.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Brian S

    Brian S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Apr 11, 2009
    The single-coated optics tend to be lower-contrast than the multi-coated equivalent.

    Your Nikkors should perform well on the mu-43 format: You get the center-portion of the image circle, which is the sharpest portion of the lens.

    I tend to use my Leica mount Nikkors on the EP2.

    [​IMG]

    This is a Nikkor-SC 5cm f1.4 from ~1953. Stopped down to F4.

    Your lenses are "Modern" by comparison.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    236
    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William Barnett-Lewis
    Nice shot, Brian.

    I've got some Pre-AI Nikkors that I love using. My new-to-me 24/2.8 is a nice normal & my 50/1.4 is a nice portait length. But the nicest is my older 105/2.5 Nikkor-P which is a very sweet lens if I have the room to use it. They strike a nice balance between the way they draw, sharpness & the look.

    I do find them much easier to use now that I have a VF-3. I assigned MF to the movie buttion and then also make use of the zoom feature. It's more Rangefinder like than SLR like to me, but that's a good thing :D
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. 13Promet

    13Promet Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Dec 11, 2011
    Milano
    Thank you all for the very useful information :2thumbs:
    Sounds like definitely worth a shot for 15$ :smile:

    If softness is going to be an issue to my eyes, I can also use the Micro-Nikkor 60 AF-D for portraits, which is supposed to be ultra-sharp at every aperture (I hope also in m4/3 terms...), even if 2 stops slower than the 50.
    I'll run some simple comparison tests in order to find out what is good at what, and the real limits of such configurations.

    One (maybe :biggrin:) last question: since the very main point in m4/3 for me is the compactness of the system, is the adapter physical depth identical between different models due to optical requirements, or are there longer and shorter ones?
    I've checked out in eBay, but most sellers don't tell the physical size of the adapter.

    Thank you again
    Have a nice week
    Alessandro
     
  16. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    236
    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William Barnett-Lewis
    AFAIK, they are all the same. One benefit to Canon FD over Nikkor? They have such a short register that :43: is the only digital system that can use them. Almost as compact as native lenses. Which you prefer is the bigger concern. I like both lots but use Nikkor these days.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. 13Promet

    13Promet Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Dec 11, 2011
    Milano
    Thank you, William! :thumbup:

    I'll go for Nikkors because I already own them, but can be useful for the future to know about Canon's smaller size :smile:
     
  18. j0sh818

    j0sh818 Mu-43 Regular

    53
    Jul 18, 2011
    MO
    Hi! I seldom post here but since you have the same 50 1.4 (pre-AI) as I do, here are some SOOC comparison from 5D2 and EPL-2 with this lens both @f/2 :


    With EPL-2 (on auto WB)

    Untitled by j?s h_m [busy], on Flickr

    With 5D2 (custom WB)
    6705100013_b6862e1bc7_z.
    SOOC by j?s h_m [busy], on Flickr

    Sent from my iPad 2 using Mu-43 App
     
  19. j0sh818

    j0sh818 Mu-43 Regular

    53
    Jul 18, 2011
    MO
    As you can see @F/2 it's usable, and not that much CA. Hope this helps.

    Thanks,:)

    Sent from my iPad 2 using Mu-43 App
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. 13Promet

    13Promet Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Dec 11, 2011
    Milano
    Thaks a lot, Josh, very illuminating! :thumbup: