Nikon D50 digital SLR
I am considering buying A D50. I have a 75 - 300 mm lens and 28 mm lens that fit my old Nikon FM SLR (approx. 25 years old)camera. Will these lens also fit the D50?..

Comments (10)

Yes they will work but they will have a 1.6 crop on the lens making it closer to a 90-400. Less light will be let in as well. You are better off going to a digital lens, but it will work.


Comment #1

Duane, The lenses you have will physically mount to a D50, but you probably won't be able to meter with them (unless they have a CPU).

And obviously there's no auto-focus support either. Not all is lost however - with the review histogram, you can still determine.

If your manual exposure is correct and the electronic rangefinder will still assist you during manual focus. Here's a link to the lens compatibility matrix: Link BTW, the crop factor for Nikons is 1.5x, and there is no loss of light (effective aperture remains the same). Maxx..

Comment #2

Duane, The vast majority of DSLR's have sensors that are smaller than 35mm film (some very expensive ones from Canon and Kodak have full-frame sensors, and therefore don't have a crop factor or you could say they have a crop factor of 1.0x). For Nikons, the sensor is 1.5x smaller than film (measured on the diagonal), so the image captured by the DSLR is "cropped" by that amount compared to a 35mm film SLR using a lens of the same focal length. This makes all your lenses behave like they have longer focal lengths than when used on a 35mm film SLR. So your 75-300mm lens will result in a image field of view that is more like a 113-450mm lens. As you can see, this is great for telephoto lenses, but terrible for wide-angles (your wide 28mm lens will have a field of view of a not so wide 42mm lens when mounted on a Nikon DSLR). Now that camera and lens manufacturers are making ultra-wide lenses (like the Sigma 10-20mm, and the Tokina 12-24mm) designed specifically for DSLRs for a reasonable cost, this isn't the drawback it used to be, and it's much cheaper (smaller and lighter) to make a 300mm lens than a 450mm one.

Unfortunately, the new "digital only" or DX lenses (what Nikon calls them) will vignette on a film SLR, since the image circle does not cover the complete 35mm frame. This is not a problem for you, since DX lenses won't work on your Nikon FM anyway (there is no aperture ring - aperture is now controlled from the camera body. Nikon adds a "G" notation for lenses without an aperture ring). Then there are lenses that are "optimized" for digital, but can still be used on film SLRs. These ones have additional coatings added to the rear lens elements to reduce ghosting and internal reflections that can be caused by the digital sensor/AA filter.

Some other advantages of having a crop factor is that any soft edges you may get from your 35mm lenses at large apertures may no longer be visible as the edges are "cropped" away. Same is true of any light drop-off in the corners. Since Nikon is producing DX lenses, I doubt we will ever see a full-frame Nikon DSLR, but you never know. Obviously Canon thinks there are enough customers who insist on full-frame and will pay the hefty premium. Kodak I believe has discontinued theirs.

Some people use the term "focal length multiplier" instead of "crop factor", but this isn't technically accurate because the focal length isn't multiplied. The depth of field provided by a 300mm lens mounted on a 1.5x DSLR is not the same as the DOF of a 450mm lens at the same aperture mounted on a film SLR, even though the resulting field of view is. Hence the more accurate "FOV crop factor" term. Maxx..

Comment #3

Hi, The discussion is really informative.

I am using Nikon FM2(for last 23 years) and also Nikon coolpix4500.

Now I want to upgrade - I am an Architect and generally do a lot of photography on buildings and interiors.

What should I do buy Nikon D70, D50(although I am hesitent as it is Thailand make)- one reason I would like to go for Nikon dslr is I can use my old FM2 lenses !!.

Recently I saw the review of Nikon S4 and I am tempted - it claims good for architectural photography.

Can anybody suggest what should I do??.

Warm regards Saradindu Bose..

Comment #4

Hi, I am using Nikon FM2(for last 23 years) and also Nikon coolpix 4500.

I want to upgrade now.

Should I go for Nikon D70 or NikonD50( although I am hesitent as it is made in Thailand)- the reason I was thinking for Nikondslr's I can use my Fm 2 lenses. I am architect and do a lot of architectural photography. But recently I saw the add of Nikon S4 and I am tempted!!- it says it is good for architectural photography.

Kindly suggest. Warm regards, Saradindu bose..

Comment #5

Saradindu, People who shoot architecture usually want wide-angle lenses with low distortion (maybe even with perspective correction), and often want good high ISO performance for interior shots. The S4 starts at 38mm (35mm equivalent), which is not very wide at all. We won't know how it does distortion wise until it's tested, but since it's a 10X zoom, it probably won't be very good in that dept. With a 6mp 1/2.5" sensor, it won't have good high ISO performance and probably tops out at ISO 400 with lots of noise and/or missing detail. What Nikon lenses do you have? Are they AF? Maxx..

Comment #6

Maxx Thanks again for your reply. All my lenses are manual which I had purchased with my camera, including a 24mm wide. I think you are absolutely right that 38mm won't be enough for my architectural photography!!By the way by perspective corrective lens do you mean the shift lens?? Why don't you kindly suggest me a good DSLR camera with a good lens suitable for my work? I am based in India at Calcutta. Warm regards Saradindu..

Comment #7

Yes, shift lens is another name for PC lens. These days, perspective distortion can be easily fixed in post-processing, but they do still sell them. If you want to use your Nikkors (with manual focus and exposure mode with no metering), you must obviously stick with Nikon. A 24mm lens on a Nikon DSLR gives you the FOV on a 36mm lens, so you'll probably have to buy new lenses anyway. If that's the case, I'd look at any of the Canon or Nikon DSLRs. Konica-Minolta, Pentax & Olympus also make good DSLRs, but their lens selection is limited compared with Canon and Nikon.

The lenses (and photographer!) make the most difference. For a wide angle lens, I'd consider the Tokina 12-24mm and the Sigma 10-20mm. Both have gotten excellent reviews and are quite affordable considering how wide they are. The Tokina seems to be a bit sharper, but suffers from more CA than the Sigma. I've heard the Sigma has slightly less distortion than the Tokina.


Comment #8

Are you selling your Coolpix 4500? Let me know atThanks Eric..

Comment #9

Hello Maxx Thanks again for your informative writeup.

I think I will do what you are suggesting - buy a DSLR body and have seperate lenses. By the way how is Pentax 1stDL ? I have one Pentax ME super and was very happy with it's performance. Warm regards,.

Saradindu Bose..

Comment #10

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