Newbie question: using Canon lens/adapter on Nikon...what manual settings need to be made?

edited June 2012 Posted in » Nikon Lens Talk
I'm a total DSLR newbie with a beautiful new Nikon D5100. I'm a pretty technical guy so I'm comfortable digging into camera features, but I'm starting from zero.

The short version of my question: if I use a Canon FD lens/adapter combination on the D5100, can the camera still use its own light meter? If not, then it seems to me everything is manual, as in the old days (focus, aperture, shutter speed, the works). How do I learn to make all those manual settings?

The longer version is this: I have been given my father's old Canon FD lenses, which I'd dearly like to use with an FD-to-Nikon adapter (one lens is a nice 100mm/f/3.5 Macro). However, I'm told that with the adapter, the camera needs to be used on "Manual."

So I'm trying to break this down, if it's true. I realize that the camera will have to be manually focused and I can select Aperture manually too. But isn't the light metering for the camera also disabled as well with a "foreign" lens? If so, it seems to me that if I was to manually set F-stop, I'm in dangerous territory because the camera doesn't know how to judge ambient light. Automatic adjustment of shutter and ISO would not be possible, correct?

So, again, am I right that all settings have to be made manually? And if so, where do I go to learn how to make them?

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