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using D80 with AIS lenses

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by kgill, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007

    Can anyone tell me how to use the AIS lenses with D80? There is no metering, this I know, so let's say for example you take the camera out, it's a super super bright day. You shoot in Manual (I think that's the only way it works), so you set your ISO... What else can you do to compensate for the sun? The exposure compensation +/- button?

    I use this lens on my D200, so I don't have these problems but was trying to help my husband and I don't know how to use a D80!!!

  2. Pianisimo

    Pianisimo Guest


    The D80 has no metering with pre-CPU lenses, yeah. So you set your ISO, shutter speed on the camera, and aperture on the lens, and hope it comes out.
  3. You can start out with your 'sunny f/16' exposure rules. It is a good place to start at. Look at the chart on the hyperlinked 'sunny f/16'. Also, Google 'sunny f/16' and you can find a lot of info there. It generally will not get your exposure right the first time but it is at least a place to start.

    God Bless,
  4. even without metering you can still set the aperture manually and the shutter speed on the camera body.

    so if it's a sunny day, using the sunny f/16 guideline for starters, you'll be in the ballpark of 1/100 at f16, ISO100, or any combination that gives you an equivalent exposure e.g. 1/800 at f5.6 ISO 100. Look at the histogram to get a sense of how to adjust your exposure from there.
  5. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    when this happens, when you use the sunny f/16...how does that jive with the lens performance, for example, if the lens performs best between f/2-f/8 but not at all beyond...doesn't that mean you're using the lens in it not optimal zone?
  6. Spectre


    Feb 20, 2008
    The Sunny 16 rule can be adjusted for the f stop you need... you will just have a faster shutter speed if you open up the Aperture.
  7. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    Good point kgill, on DX at f/16 you'll start getting diffraction issues with so it's best to stay at f/11 or below, just compensate with shutter or ISO accordingly.
  8. just to be absolutely clear on this:

    for every full stop of aperture that you are opening up you just increase the shutter speed by 2 to keep the exposure constant (or you could lower the ISO by 1/2)

    assuming ISO 100 and a sunny day:
    e.g. 1/100 at f16 = 1/200 at f11 = 1/400 at f8 = 1/800 at f 5.6 ~1/2000 at f4 = 1/4000 at f2.8
  9. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    ok. i kinda figured that after i googled and read around, but was just asking to be sure. i told my husband that since he had no metering, he'd have to fiddle around a bit and learn, so he asked me yesterday what to do, but won't let me see or touch his camera or even put the lens back on mine so i'm kind of at a loss for how to help him!!!!

    good thing I bought him his own 35mm f/1.4 AIS because I want mine back.
  10. Been meaning to ask this question for some time. This thread has finally prompted me to do it since I own a D80.

    What exactly is AIS? And why is there no metering on the D80 for this type lens? I thought that any lens would auto-focus and meter with the D80. If that's not the case, which classification of lens should I be avoiding?

  11. Bert, I really wish I had the time to help explain this. I have to walk out the door after typing this to go to work, but here is a link that describes all the 'F' mounts Nikon has from Non-AI through AF 'VR'. The biggest reason why there is no metering though is that a plain AI or AIS has no chip to interface with the camera contacts on the body. An AF or an AI'P has those contacts. I am sure someone else with more time can better explain.

    God Bless,
  12. gavin


    Oct 21, 2006
    Basically, the older lenses gave the information to the camera (focal length and max aperture) via a mechanical link. In really old cameras it was achieved by the "ears" the lens have (those metal things, which incidentally help distinguish if it's pre ai or not by looking for the hole in the ears) and newer cameras rely on the geometry of the mount.

    On newer cameras, all this was replaced by electronic communication between the parts.

    The way Nikon got around that is to allow people to manually input the focal length and max aperture for old lenses. Quite simply, the D80 has no such ability so whenever you insert an Ai lens into the camera, the camera has no clue about those details and does not know how much light it is receiving, ergo no metering.
  13. Very Informative link, David. It answered some questions that I didn't even know that I had.

  14. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    NewBert-- you should only avoid the ones that don't fit! The AIS lenses are great!! Buy one and you'll fall in love.
  15. AdamC

    AdamC Guest


    I've used a manual focus AI-converted 50mm lens on my D80 for the better part of a year so far, and it has become my favorite lens.
    Having to operate the camera in manual mode and choose shutter and aperture settings 'for myself' has been a great educational tool. The vastly improved IQ over the kit zooms is great motivation also. They're also quite inexpensive compared to newer zooms with large apertures. I would highly recommend getting an AI/AIS lens to try out. Here's a couple examples with the D80 and my AI-converted 50mm:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

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  16. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Adam: Those are killer shots. WOW.
    My Son has a D70 and Iv given him several classic Nikkor AIS lens and Im replacing them with AF as I can afford to:smile:. The latest trade back was a 70-300 ED for my Nikkor 300 4.5 ED-IF AIS. He loves his new zoom lens but has told me " Dad, your not tricking me again and getting anymore of "my" nikkor AIS back.:redface:". Pretty smart for an eleven year old :smile:. Im so glad that the classic Nikkor AIS are getting there due in the Digatal age.

  17. APandya


    Jul 2, 2008
    AIS are great lenses and you will learn to meter by eye pretty quickly. Good luck and post some photos when you can! I have a few AI(s) lenses and love the quality of old school glass.
  18. paulskimcb


    Feb 12, 2007
    Nice shots, Adam.

    So, when using this lens, does the Metering tool in the LCD work? Does it tell you if your manual setting will lead to over- or under- exposure?

  19. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007

    If it's anything like the D50 then the answer is no

    The under/over display remains central
  20. AdamC

    AdamC Guest

    D80 meter


    I'll have to wait until my D90 arrives to tell you :wink:

    I sold my D80 about a month ago so I've no way to answer your question. I don't remember seeing anything on the meter, but to be honest I was already assuming it wouldn't function. I just kept checking the LCD and histogram after each shot until I dialed it in.
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