Old Lenses: how to use, choose and adapt old film lenses for your new DSLR

Old Lenses: how to use, choose and adapt old film lenses for your new DSLR

Which old film lenses fit my digital camera?


Here’s a quick guide to using old film lenses from the big makers with modern digital cameras.

Nikon D90: tips for using your digital camera

Nikon DSLRs
Most Nikon-fit manual lenses, known as AI or AI-s lenses, will fit straight onto Nikon DSLRs, but you will lose some functions. Nikon DSLRs from the D7000 upwards (check out our Nikon D7000 tips) provide metering and work in both Aperture Priority and Manual mode, while on the D90 (check out our Nikon D90 tips) and below you won’t get any metering and you’ll have to shoot in Manual exposure mode.

Canon 600D: tips for using your Canon DSLR

Canon DSLRs
The basic Canon EF lens fitting used on EOS digital models has stayed largely unchanged since the first 
EOS film cameras of the late 1980s.

Although the smaller sensor models use a different EF-S mount you can still use many of the lenses designed for these film cameras on your Canon digital SLR.

When it comes to using manual focus lenses you’ll need to use an adapter. These are also readily available for Nikon, Olympus OM and Pentax-mount lenses, which greatly adds to your options.

Pentax 645D

Pentax DSLRs
The current Pentax mount 
is physically the same as the 
old manual focus Pentax-K mount.

This means almost any manual focus K-mount lens will physically fit on these cameras, although there will be limited metering and exposure modes available with some older lenses.

Olympus OM-D revealedOlympus or Panasonic cameras
An adapter is needed for any of the old lenses on Four Thirds or Micro Four Thirds models.

Sony NEX-7Sony NEX cameras
You’ll need to get an adapter to use any other lenses on the Sony NEX cameras.

PAGE 1: Types of old lenses
PAGE 2: What to look for when buying old lenses
PAGE 3: Which old film lenses fit my digital camera?
PAGE 4: How to use a lens adapter


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