22 votes

Can I use Canon lenses on a Nikon dSLR?

You won't readily find a Canon EOS → Nikon F or Canon FD/FL → Nikon F adapter. There are reasons for this. A lens's ability to focus through the entire distance range to infinity relies ...
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  • 49k
22 votes
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What is this old 50mm f/1.9 lens?

Your lens is a Yashica ML 50mm f/1.9. The one pictured below is a more recent version of the same lens. The mount is the CONTAX/Yashica mount. Yashica revived the Contax name over a decade after ...
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  • 167k
15 votes

Does lens age affect color produced?

In general, lenses do not degrade in this way. However, some old lenses made up until the 1970s contain elements made of thorium oxide — a radioactive element which yellows as it ages. These were used ...
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  • 140k
15 votes
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What do these curved, color-coded lines mean on a vintage Nikkor lens?

The aperture ring is engraved with f-numbers duplicated; the duplicates are color coded the same. The lines you are asking about are also paired, same color. The idea is to graphically display the ...
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12 votes

Can you identify this M42-mount lens?

Just based on visual comparison, this lens appears to be a Helios 44M-4 58mm f/2-16. From the images you linked to, it appears that part of the lens is missing. In the 2nd image, around the lens ...
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  • 31k
10 votes
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Got my first vintage lens (Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 50mm f/1.8) - what's this lever for?

This is the first, "zebra" version, optically the same design as Pancolar 2.0/50. The aperture control switch ("tumbler") should have 2 positions, "A" is counter-clockwise when looking at the front ...
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  • 2,001
9 votes
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Nikon focus confirmation with manual lenses

Focus confirmation does indeed work. I have a D7000 (which is ergonomically very similar to a D600 - think of a D600 as a D7000 with an upgraded sensor) and have been using a Nikon 80-200mm f/4.5 AI ...
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  • 576
9 votes

What is this old Zeiss Tessar lens, with a large mount ring with six holes?

This is a "process" lens used to make copies on high contrast film for reproduction in newspapers, magazines, and books. The lens mounted on a square wood board with hole for the lens. The lens ...
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9 votes
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What is the crank on the side of this lens used by David Douglas Duncan?

The crank is for rotating the prisms in front of the lens. Prismatic lenses place prisms in the optical path of the lens. These provide a unique special effect. If you look at the front of the lens in ...
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  • 167k
7 votes
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What's causing this white smudge in the middle of the photo?

Some film era lenses could produce this effect on digital cameras, it's called a "hot spot". The reason is that unlike film emulsion, which is matte, digital sensor is glossy (as it's composed of ...
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7 votes
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Helios 44 M - knurled knob with red W or M marking - purpose?

That letter is not a W, but rather an M for Manual. Normally I would expect an A (for Automatic) on the opposite side of the slider. It is used to (de)activate mechanical aperture linkage to the ...
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  • 844
7 votes

What lens mount does my Fujinon135 f/3.5 lens have?

X-Fujinon says it all - that's Fujica X-mount, the one Fuji used on their SLR cameras from the early 1980s, before current mirrorless X-mount. Fujica X-mount has focal flange depth of 43.5mm, so ...
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  • 366
7 votes
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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III vs EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

The 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM is a better lens than the 75-300 III. It is sharper, has better build, and most importantly has very fast Ring Type USM Auto Focus. It also has a non-rotating front element ...
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  • 11.4k
7 votes
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How to identify the original manufacturer of lenses branded Vivitar?

During the 1970s and early 1990s, Vivitar serial numbers took the following form: MM Y WW SSS     MM = manufacturer code     Y = year; may be ambiguous, for instance 1979 and 1989     WW = week     ...
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  • 26.2k
7 votes

What does the red R in old manual lenses mean?

This sign is used when you focus for infrared light (using IR film or filter). It can be in form of red dot or line. This is need because the IR light wave length is longer than visible light and you ...
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  • 9,263
6 votes
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Is there a comprehensive list of available (possible) adapters between different lens mounts?

A good web store like B&H has a list that seems to satisfy that criteria. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Lens-Adapters/ci/3420/N/4077634486 There you can use filters like Brand (manufacturer) ...
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6 votes

Light meter calculations on micro four thirds

No. As far as exposure value goes, an f-stop is an f-stop. It's only where depth of field is concerned (and noise calculations derived from "total light captured", if you're the type who has to go ...
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  • 1,262
6 votes

How does autofocus confirm work with manual lenses?

The AF confirmation actually works on a very similar principle to the old focus screen, in that they compare two different optical paths in order to determine exactly how in or out of focus the image ...
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  • 34.4k
6 votes

Which current Canon APS-C cameras can use older EOS EF lenses?

Since Canon introduced the EOS system in 1987, all EOS EF mount lenses will work on all EOS EF (full frame, APS-H) or EF-S (APS-C) mount bodies. This means they will be functional in terms of ...
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  • 167k
6 votes

Why do so many old cameras have camera lenses made in Japan?

Japan was not the only country making cameras and lenses in the 1970's and 1980's but they had a huge market share. (they still do) Before World War II most good cameras were made in Germany. ...
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  • 11.4k
6 votes

How can I modify my NIkon D5500 so I can make a vintage lens auto focus?

How can I modify my NIkon D5500 so I can make a vintage lens auto focus? You can't. I learned that using a TC-16A AF Teleconverter 1.6X might help ... Whatever you learned is probably wrong. From ...
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  • 49k
6 votes

Do old manual focus prime lenses give better image quality than new kit lenses?

Does old mf lenses give better image quality compared to new kit lens? You'd have to test it, or find tests others have made with those specific lenses. "Old MF lens" spans a huge range of image ...
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  • 5,144
6 votes

What is the effect of lens haze on images?

I'm considering buying an old manual focus prime lens for my DSLR. Be aware that you ( at best ) will lose not only autofocus but also auto metering ( you'll have to set exposure manually ). Be ...
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6 votes
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Graphlex 4x5 Lens Hood and Filters - How Do They Mount?

Filters are mounted using a “filter adapter”. These were aluminum rings with a diameter slightly larger than the lens barrel. Various sizes were commonly available and we selected one that just ...
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6 votes

What is this mount with two buttons on side of Vivitar 75-205mm lens?

I believe this is an Olympus OM mount lens. The lens release button and aperture stop-down button opposing each other are a dead giveaway. Also, unless I'm mistaken, the engraved lettering in the ...
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  • 31k
6 votes
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What does the red R in old manual lenses mean?

So far the answers have not correctly explained just how to use this red mark. They talk about correcting the focus point by moving the focus setting. But they do not explain the need to make the ...
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  • 76
5 votes

How does autofocus confirm work with manual lenses?

With this chip, you will, when you half-press the shutter, get the red dot in the viewfinder and the beeping as confirmation of focus, just as if you used a modern AF lens in manual focus mode. But, ...
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  • 6,770
5 votes

Why did Pentax change to open-aperture metering when this causes the need to stop-down for old lenses?

Legacy lenses tend to have a mechanical and or electrical coupling that tells the camera where the aperture ring is set without actually stopping down, so the meter in cameras built for this can take ...
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5 votes

Why do so many old cameras have camera lenses made in Japan?

As to why Japan was/is so successful a lens-making nation, the summary in this excellent thesis answers your question pretty well: http://www.academia.edu/891283/...
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