Hey everybody! I was searching around for non-AI cameras and I noticed that the Nikon F doesn't seem to be able to meter. Is this a true assumption? Do you need an external light meter to set up your composition? Thanks!
The Nikon F(6 posts) (4 voices)
If I recall correctly the original F did not have a meter, various detachable metering heads were introduced throughout the cameras life, I think they were changed mainly due to improvements in the types of metering cells and one major change involved the method of telling the camera the widest aperture of a particular lens. I cannot remember how it was originally done but with later models the lens aperture was set on 5.6, this was necessary to engage the metering pin on the head with the ' fork ' on the lens. The lens was mounted on the camera then the aperture ring was rotated to the the widest then the smallest aperture to tell the camera what lens was in use.
I think you will need an external meter for sure as if you have an original F and find a metering head the chances are that the metering will not work or will be inaccurate.
Not much to add to Art, but a number of cameras from the post-AI world can mount non-ai lenses and meter with them. The FE, which I have and love, and the F3 and F4 all meter with non-AI lenses, though you have to stop down. I don't know if your goal is to get a camera with this ability, or if have something else you're looking for, but thought that might be helpful.
I have several F and F2 bodies kicking around, none with the Photomic finder (Nikon-speak for metered finder). So they are truly manual cameras! Also there is no need for batteries!!
Back in the F and F2 days when they upgraded the meter, just the finders were different. Only the later F2 Photomic finders were made with Ai, the earlier ones used the 'rabbit ears' to transmit the aperture setting to the meter.
Whilst writing my original response I was struck by how fortunate we Nikon owners are regarding lens compatibility, to refresh my memory I took out various old F and F2's to look at the metering connection. I find it remarkable that the basic lens mount remains the same.
The methods of communication of information between the lens and body have changed from pin and rabbit ear connection, through the cut out ridge on the rear of the lens interacting with the lug on the body mount to the now familiar contacts on both the lens and body, each improvement has been achieved without the need for a completely new mount as have some other companies who have had to change their mount more than once.
At the time of the introduction of AI Nikon offered at a small cost a modification service to fit the cut out ridge to older lens to take advantage of the new indexing system on the new bodies as well as still fitting the rabbit ear connections to new lens so there was no problems for older camera body owners fitting a more modern lens, to enable the use of non AI lens on the newer bodies it was possible to flip the lug on the mount of the newer cameras out of the way but I think it wss only possible to meter in stop down mode.
Thanks, everyone. Yeah, I've got an old non-AI Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 that I would enjoy using on a compatible body. I'm looking into buying a non-AI camera body so I can successfully meter with this lens. I agree with Art. One of the reasons I chose Nikon over Canon is because I can, with some small exceptions, use any Nikon lens I could imagine on my Nikon cameras. We are very fortunate we chose Nikon.
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