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Old Lenses

edited May 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
Hi! I was given an old Nikon EM (like new) with a couple of lenses. The question is can I use these lenses with my D3200? If so, how?

The Lenses are:

A) Sigma 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical Macro HF 35mm Zoom
B) Nikon Nikkor 105mm f/1.8 Manual Prime Lens
C) Nikkor Series E 70-210mm


  • edited May 2015
    You can use any of these lenses on the D3200, but only in manual mode, and they will not register with the camera's meter. You will use the shutter speed dial on the camera and the aperture ring on the lens for exposure. You'll have to guess initial exposure settings (not all that hard), and use the histogram in the preview to fine tune exposure.

    Of these lenses, I would guess that the two zooms will be decent but not particularly notable, though if the Series E gives you macro at long focal lengths, it could be very useful. The 105mm is a different matter. 105mm's are noted for their beautiful out of focus bokeh. With an extension tube, a 105mm makes a grand macro lens for bugs and the like because you can keep some distance, and even without an extension it is a nice shortish telephoto. I've been very pleased with the way an old 105mm f/2.5 performs on mine. According to some evaluations, the 105mm f/1.8 may not be quite as great as some types of the 105mm f/2.5, which some consider to be one of the best lenses ever made, but it is at least excellent. You may be surprised how good this one is.

    Go to the camera's playback menu to playback display options, and make sure you enable the overview, which will give you the RGB histogram. Use this as a post-exposure meter. You want your exposure to fall between the two ends and not to be bunched up at either end. For the most information and least noise, push to the right, but never quite to the margin, or highlights will be blown.

    For your initial exposure guess, practice helps, but you can start with "sunny 16". On a bright day outdoors, assume that your exposure will be the equivalent of f/16 with a shutter speed the reciprocal of the ISO. So, for example, on a nice sunny day, with ISO 100 you might start with f/8 and 1/200. Remember to keep your shutter speeds fairly high, as there's no VR, and the effective focal length of a 105mm is 160mm. The camera's dial runs in steps of 1/3 stop. For each change of one stop on the lens, change the shutter speed 3 clicks. f/16 at 1/100 = f/8 at 1/200, f/5.6 at 1/400, and so on.
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