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Photography Question 

Film-to-Digital: Lenses?

I am thinking of transferring from film SLR to a digital SLR. I have lots of lenses for the film body, but will they work with a digital body? Thanks!

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7/22/2008 7:37:30 PM

David Van Camp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/27/2008
  All depends on what lenses / mounts you currently have and what digital camera (d-SLR) you get. Some lenses / mounts will work fine with some digital SLRs. Some won't.
Most likely, you will have to buy the same brand of digital SLR as your film SLR, but you will also probably have to limit yourself to only particular d-SLR models, depending on the particular lenses you currently have.
Look at the manufacturer's Web site for d-SLRs you are considering ... it should provide a list of compatible lenses (at least Nikon does for Nikon lenses).
If you have lenses made by a 3rd party manufacturer, you can probably contact them about compatibility once you have narrowed your choices of d-SLRs. Generally, though (at least for Nikon), cheaper d-SLR models will be fully compatible with only the latest lenses, while more expensive models tend to be more compatible with a wider range (although you may still not have complete support for all features).
If you want more specific answers, I suggest you post the specific lenses and film SLR you have and ask for d-SLR recommendations.

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7/22/2008 8:23:49 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
On Google,..type in the name and model of the camera body you are intending to buy, followed by "lens compatability chart", and you'll likely get something like this

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7/22/2008 11:47:04 PM

Jason A. Hall   All Nikon cameras use the 'F' mount with all lenses back to the late 1970's able to be mounted onto ANY Nikon slr body.Later AF-S Nikons(D40/60) require AF-S lenses to enable Auto Focus as the focussing motor is built into the lenses themselves rather than the camera body(older af and pro Nikons use an autofocus screw coupling to drive the autofocus gears in the lens).
Older lenses can still be used on the AF-S Nikon d-slr's but AF would be manual only.The AF-S models generally come supplied new with a couple of kit lenses suited to them.
Canon completelt dropped their 'FD' mount system in the late 80's thereby completely obsoleting all lenses up to that time from even mounting onto a Canon d-slr.Canon d-slr's using the DX or APS-C sensor(EOS 400d/40d etc) use only EF-S lenses with the full frame and pro models only able to accept EF or L lenses(which are more expensive).
Also Nikon actually include a list of all lenses they ever made in the menu of their D-slr's so that the lens being used can be selected and the camera will optimize itself for that particular lens!.
Just as an aside,Nikon have recently introduced 2 full frame models(D3/D700)which can use either type of lens that is to say lenses optimized for the DX format and also FX lenses.When using a DX lense on an FX body the camera automatically 'masks' the sensor to use only an area the size of a DX(aps-c) size sensor albeit at a reduced resolution.
Other brands of slr like Pentax maintain some measure of compatability with their previous K-AF lenses and Sony still uses the Minolta mount although I'm not sure if the AF systems are still compatible.
Hope this helps.

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7/29/2008 3:18:37 PM

Archana Padhye   Hello Vicky,
I had posted the same type of question in the forum and I received very good guidance from the members. I am sharing the discussion
-Archana Padhye, INDIA

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8/5/2008 2:31:20 AM

Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  I use lenses all the time that were not made for my camera via adapters (sometimes several at once). You will likely have to put up with some loss of functionality ranging from lack of ability to use auto-focus (not a problem for me as the lenses I use were from before the auto-focus era) to inability to focus at infinity.

However, if you get a camera with a mount like the bulk of your existing lenses (for example, I had a Sigma SA-300 film camera, and upgraded to a Sigma SD9 digital -- both of which had identical mounts), you will likely be able to use your current lenses.

The question becomes:
* what do you have?
* what do you plan to upgrade to?

Richard Lynch

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8/5/2008 5:26:26 AM

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