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lens from film camera to digital camera

Hi can any body advise if you can purchase an adapter to convert a polas auto zoom lens (used on a film camera) to Nikon D5200 camera. If so can you please advise correct purchase. thanks JJJ007


  • edited June 2017
    It all depends on what mount the film camera lens was for.

    A lens made for older Nikon film cameras will work (in a limited way) on a Nikon digital camera. Manual lenses can only be used on a D5200 in Manual mode, with no metering at all, and no auto focus possible. This is somewhat clumsy, but some such lenses are great to use if you take the effort. An older third party zoom is unlikely, however, to be worth the effort. However, any lens made for the Nikon F mount will work with no adapter at all.

    EDIT to add: Just for the record, the above is true for D3xxx and D5xxx family of cameras, and for some other low line DX cameras, but not for the D7xxx and other older cameras, nor for any FX cameras. On those, pre_AI lenses that have not been converted will damage the meter follower or the minimum aperture switch. For cameras not in the D3xxx or D5xxx family, be quite sure any manual lens is AI or later, or converted correctly. This is no worry at all for AF lenses which are safe.

    If the lens was made for some other brand of camera, it is to all intents and purposes impossible to mount on a Nikon. Different brands of cameras have always had different distances of lens flange to sensor (or film plane), and for whatever reason, the Nikon F mount, still used, is the longest of all. What this means is that lenses made for other systems, even if an adapter exists, cannot achieve infinity focus without an additional lens to change the effective "registry" distance. Such adapters may exist, but aside from introducing another, unwanted, optical element into the path, they are almost certainly more expensive than any but the most desirable lenses warrant, and a third party zoom is not one of those.

    In short, if this lens was made for Nikon, just put it on, and use it manually if you desire. If not, forget it.

    If you are looking for a cheap non AF zoom for your camera, I suggest you check out some vendor like KEH.Com. Some manual zooms, especially third party ones, and even some early AF zooms, including those made by Nikon, are crazily cheap. An older Nikon AF lens, with no AF motor in it, will not auto focus on your camera, but it will function, and provide correct metering. An older manual lens will function completely manually without metering, but because your camera provides a post-exposure histogram, adjustment is not terribly hard if you have time.
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