new digital bodies for older nikon lenses
I've been waiting for someone to come out with a decent body for older Nikon lenses. I've got an F3 body, plus lenses ranging from 7.5 mm to 500 mm, but none are autofocussing, all are AI- and apparently none of the digital bodies will set exposure thru the lenses automatically, or at least none of the (very few) ones with full frame sensors. I didn't buy 7.5, 16 & 20 mm lenses to have them "converted" to narrower angle lenses- especially via cropping the image in the camera-but even Nikon seems to want to ignore me, and anyone else with older lenses! What's the problem? How hard can it be for someone to come out with a simple body- not unlike an FM, for example, but digitalized- that'll accept older lenses, thru the lens metering (even spot metering would be OK, as the display panel will tell you pretty much what you've got, if you don't like it, reshoot it), manual focus, no tricky stuff, just a good digital sensor and display panel. Leave the image manipulation to an external computer, why build it into the body at great expense? Why should a full frame body cost $4000- why can't someone make a stripped-down body based on a Nikon film body for under $1000? Discussion?..

Comments (6)

Guess the sensors that big are still way expensive. But, a D2h can now be had for around $1,800 or 1/2 the price when first introduced. The exposure metering will work with AI and AIS lenses. Alas, the crop factor is still there. I suppose we will have to wait for the D3x or D3h to get a full frame sensor. You could get a Kodak FF body, but I'm holding out for a Nikon.

Til then, my D70 gives me much shooting enjoyment...

Comment #1

I am in the same boat. I was sure from the beginning that ultimately full frame would be the standard. It was a case of how much crap the manufacturers wanted to dump on the market to pay for R&D before bringing out the good stuff. Let's hope Nikon wakes up soon (look what Hasselblad has done). There is a lot of excellent glass out there and it is always going to cost way more than the body. I will continue to be stuck in a time warp, F3HP to the grave, manual focus, light meter, and a Rolex before a quartz watch.

They admit the sub 35mm sensors are a cop out. Pity a bunch of folk have been snowed into buying lenses that only work with DSLRs. Here is the text ;.


The EOS 5Ds CMOS advantage.

The EOS 5D features a new full frame CMOS sensor designed and built in-house.

By Canon. One of Canons core technology platforms, CMOS image sensors are.

Now found inside every Canon D-SLR camera. This gives the EOS 5D and the.

EOS range a number of advantages.


Canons history with image sensor development stretches back to 1987, when it.

Created the BASIS sensor for it's auto focus systems in the EOS 650. Continued.

R&D in the field led to the 2000 release of the 3.11 Megapixel EOS D30: the first.

Commercialisation of CMOS for digital SLR image capture.

Encouraged by the cameras success, Canon continued to refine and develop the.

Renegade technology. In March 2002, Canon released the second EOS camera to.

Feature a CMOS sensor: the 6.3 Megapixel EOS D60.

The quest for a larger sensor.

Both the EOS D30 and D60 cameras had APS-C sized sensors, measuring 22.7 x.

15.1mm. By comparison, a full frame of 35mm film measures 36mm x 24mm.

One of the reasons Canon wanted to pursue full frame size sensor development is.

Because of the potential for better image quality. Full frame sensor image quality is.

Superior because it allows for improved resolution and larger pixels.

Moreover, the entire 35mm format  and therefore the complete EOS system  is.

Based around full frame photography. Full frame restores the photographic.

Experience; wide lenses stay wide, the viewfinder is larger and brighter and more.

Subtle control over depth of field is available.

Improved resolution.

It is a commonly held misconception that resolution is a sole function of the.

Cameras image sensor. This is not the case. Resolution is the ability of an optical.

System to distinguish between two features that are close together. This ability to.

see or resolve detail is first limited by the lens. This is a key reason why.

Professional photographers are prepared to invest in professional series optics.

Such as Canons L-series EF lenses.

EF lenses were designed for film and optimised for covering the full 35mm frame.

Yet the area of an APS-C sensor is only 40% that of full frame. It has been clear to.

Canons engineers since the advent of digital photography that in order to allow.

Photographers to get the best from their EF lenses, full frame sensors would be.


Larger pixels.

A larger sensor means that pixel size can be increased while maintaining total pixel.

Count. Larger pixels are more sensitive and have a wider dynamic range for better.

Detail, particularly noticeable in deep shadow and highlight areas. They also have a.

Better S/N ratio for noise free performance, especially at high ISO speeds.

Difficulties with manufacture.

Image sensors  like other silicon chips  are produced by a process of.

Photolithography. Most photolithography machines in the semi-conductor.

Manufacturing industry are designed to make a maximum single exposure that is.

Approximately the size of an APS-C size sensor. The manufacture of larger.

Sensors requires accurate alignment and interconnection of multiple adjoining.


When manufacturing a CCD sensor, this process of aligning multiple exposures.

Can create incomplete or malformed connections between the charge transfer.

Channels, the pathways along which the signals from each pixel site are fed.

This presents a potentially insurmountable problem because the un-amplified.

Signal passing along the charge transfer channel is extremely susceptible to.

Degradation caused by crossing the exposure boundary.

One of the ways to overcome this on a multiple exposure CCD sensor is to locate.

Signal amplifiers at the outer corners of the sensor so the charge does not cross.

Any exposure boundaries. Because signal processing always varies slightly from.

One amplifier to the next, however, each sensor segments output can be visibly.

Different from it's neighbour.

In contrast to CCD sensors, CMOS sensors have an amplifier at each pixel site.

Because the resulting signals are robust, they can cross boundaries between.

Exposures with no detectable signal degradation. By optimising it's silicon wafers,.

Canon achieves extremely consistent amplifier performance. Any remaining signal.

Amplification variation is imperceptible because it is randomly distributed across.

The frame.

The first full frame sensors.

In November 2002, Canon released the 11.1 Megapixel EOS-1Ds, it's first full.

Frame sensor camera. The camera was an instant success. Its image quality,.

100-1250 ISO range (expandable to L:50) and 3 frame per second performance.

Provided the benchmark against which all other digital SLR cameras would be.


The EOS-1Ds would remain unchallenged until the November 2004 release of the.

Canons second full frame sensor camera: the 16.7 Megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II.

With new micro lenses over each pixel site and redesigned noise reduction.

Circuitry, the second generation CMOS sensor is virtually noise free. Its wide.

Dynamic range enables the reproduction of subtle tonal gradations in shadow,.

Midtone and highlight areas. According to many critics, the image quality not only.

Surpasses that of 35mm film, it challenges that of medium format.

Low on noise, easy on power.

An advantage of Canons CMOS over CCD sensor technology is it's lower noise.

And lower power consumption characteristics.

CCD sensors use a bucket relay system to transfer each pixels accumulated.

Electrical charge to a corresponding transfer channel. One by one, each pixels.

Charge is transferred to an amplifier at the edge of the sensor. Only after each.

Individual pixel is read can the signal be amplified and passed to the cameras.

Image processor.

The operation is time consuming and draws considerable power. It is difficult to.

Manufacture a CCD camera that is responsive or efficient. High power.

Consumption limits battery life and generates unwanted heat, further increasing.

Noise and lowering image quality.

By contrast, signal conversion in Canons CMOS sensors is handled by the.

Individual amplifiers at each pixel site. Unnecessary charge transfer operations are.

Avoided, vastly speeding up the process of getting signal to the image processor.

Noise generation is reduced and power consumption limited.

The low noise characteristics of the EOS 5Ds CMOS sensor are particularly.

Beneficial at high ISO speeds and long exposure times.

Ongoing development.

Canon has released five new second-generation CMOS sensors since the.

Beginning of 2004:.

" EOS-1Ds Mark II  16.7 Megapixel full frame sensor.

" EOS-1D Mark II and EOS-1D Mark II N  8.2 Megapixel APS-H size.


" EOS 5D  12.8 Megapixel full frame sensor.

" EOS 20D and EOS 20Da  8.2 Megapixel APS-C size sensor.

" EOS 350D  8.0 Megapixel APS-C size sensor..

Comment #2

You might have to wait a long time (ie., forever) for a full-frame Nikon. When I asked my retailer (one of the largest ones in Canada; in business since 1909) when Nikon was going to release a full-framed body, he said they have no plans to. I replied that they may be forced by the competition, but his response was that they are committed to DX format, especially now that they have DX lenses. Of course they could change their minds now that Canon has released a second full-framed model, but don't hold your breath! Maxx..

Comment #3

One thing that full frame system owners tend to overlook is that digital sensors (full frame or APS) require light hitting the sensor at as close to direct (90 degrees from sensor surface) as possible. Visualize the sensor as covered with little pits that each contain a pixel sensor at the bottom). The wonderful glass of Nikon extreme wideangles are OK in the center of the frame but toward the corners of a full frame, will be hitting the sensor at an extreme angle. Film is quite tolerant of this but it will cause light falloff and fuzzy corners on digital. The full frame lenses would have to be redesigned to get Nikon's standard of sharpness. Do you still want a full frame digital if you cannot get good results with any lens shorter than a 50mm? There may be reasons for Nikon to bring out full frame digitals but using the old lenses is not one of them.

Someday a new sensor may be designed with little plastic beads or lenses on the surface to catch the light rays and refract them down into the individual pixel sensors. That might solve the problem along with electronically tweaking the image to brighten the corners, as can be done with post processing software such as DXO Optics Pro, or the PTL Lens plugin. Once you try Digital, I don't think you will want to go back to film...

Comment #4

Roger, I think most if not all CCDs (and CMOS sensors) already have micro-lenses, primarily to increase efficiency (since not all the exposed area of a sensor is light sensitive). Attached is a picture of the micro lenses on a Sony CCD. I for one like the DX crop factor. Good ultra-wide angle lenses are now available at affordable prices, and are a lot smaller than their full-frame counterparts. I also like how my telephotos have longer effective focal lengths without being physically larger. Maxx Attachments:.


Comment #5

I have a bunch of older Nikon quality glass and an F3HP.I have been buying Nikon AF lenses for the F100,F6 and D70.Af works fine for the D70 and as we get older it is easier than manual focusing.I also bought a D70s.I stayed away from the DX series except for one zoom that came with my D70.I like the ability of having these same lenses fit on the F100,F6 and D70...

Comment #6

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