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Just Received a D3100 for Christmas Have Questions

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  • Just Received a D3100 for Christmas Have Questions

    Hello to all,
    I'm new to this forum and look forward to learning from you folks here. I used to shoot a lot of film with an FE. I stopped taking serious photos years ago and want to get back into it. A couple of questions. I have numerous items that I used with the FE and want to know if they are compatible with the D3100, and if so, how do I use them.
    I used to take a lot of closeups with fine detail (example- a penny). I used the Nikon K1-5 extention rings for this with a Nikkor 50mm F1.4 AI-s lens. Can I use the extension rings with the new AF-S lenses?
    I occasionally took wildlife photos with a Nikkor 300mm F4.5, sometimes with the Nikon TC2 tele-converter. Can I use any of these with the D3100 or should I buy the AF-S lenses?

    Thanks for all your help.
    Happy New Year!

  • #2
    The non AF-S lenses won't auto-focus on the 3100. They'll work, but only in manual focus. I'm not sure about the teleconverters. I would suspect there would be some problems dealing with auto focus also. I love my little lightweight 3100, but I have a few lenses that it just won't work with.

    I have a Sigma 105mm macro lens that I do put on the 3100, but when I'm doing close-up work, I manually focus anyway.
    Rich Spears
    Blog | Flickr | Zenfolio
    Nikon D3s, D700, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm 1.8


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply.
      I am hoping I can use some of my old equipment. I used the K1-5 extension rings quite a bit. I was photographing the detail work of fine etchings. I might not need to use them if a good macro lens and photo editing can replace them.
      What about using the AI-S 300mm occasionally? If I am in manual mode, how do I set the proper F stop. I will admit I haven't read the manual yet. I'm just too excited to start using this camera.


      • #4
        All of it will mount on any Nikon without a built in drive motor (i.e. your 3100). You will probably be less happy with them on digital than you were on film. You will be in manual mode only (aperture set on the lens) and the light meter won't work so you're stuck with "sunny 16 and adjust."
        the Photographic
        SharpShooter Industries
        My 500px, My Flickr, My Blog


        • #5
          As stated already, your 3100 has no motor inside it to drive the focus on lenses. You are on your own for focusing. Also stated, there will be no metering TTL.

          If you run the 3100 in full manual mode, you are good to go.

          However, you can pick up a 50mm 1.8g for a couple hundred. Same goes for the 35mm 1.8g. Both lenses will work OOTB on your 3100 with full autofocus and metering. Both are really good buys and very sharp lenses.

          Do note that your 3100 is a DX crop sensor camera. It has a 1.5x crop factor. That means your 50mm will have a FOV of a 75mm lens on film. The 35 will be a closer match to the FOV you were used to with your 50 on a film body.
          Nikon D7000 | D70 | SB-910 | SB-700
          Nikon 24-70 /f2.8 | 35 /f1.8g | 18-105 /f3.5-5.6
          Tamron 70-200 /f2.8
          Pocket Wizard FlexTT5/PowerMC2/Sekonic L-478DR, Einstein 640

          flickr |


          • #6
            Thanks everyone for your responces. It looks like for my experience level I should just buy some new lens that are proper for the D3100. Since I was used to taking pictures within a few inches of the subject (using the K rings), tripod, and a shutter release, which lens do you think will allow me to take the sharper image - 35 or 50mm?
            Also, it looks like I need to sell my old Nikon eqipment. While it cost quite a bit when I bought it new, I know it doesn't have much value now. Where would be the best place to sell it?
            Thanks again


            • #7
              When buying new lenses for the D3100 make sure that they are AF-S if Nikon.
              D lenses are the screw based focus and need a camera based motor to work.
              Sigma calls it OSM and others have their own designation.
              Last edited by OldITgeek; 01-15-2013, 12:34 AM.


              • #8
                For macro work, AF is of less importance than it is when shooting other genre of images. Instead of using a screen to focus (which the 3100 doesn't have), you use the Live View feature on your 3100 with your older manual lenses to focus. Enable live view, then zoom in using the live view controls and then manually focus while looking at the LCD. Turn off Live View and take the shot. I use it on my D7000 to focus when shooting still life so I can set the focus point myself. The method should work well for the lenses you currently own.

                You can use the same technique in landscape too. Outside the LCD may be a little harder to see than indoors but its possible. So your manual lenses can work here as well.

                For shooting other action based genre (birthday parties, street life, sports, etc) you may want to pick up a lens capable of AF (AF-S on Nikon brand lenses). But this doesn't mean you can't keep and use your manual lenses for your macro/landscape shots.
                Nikon D7000 | D70 | SB-910 | SB-700
                Nikon 24-70 /f2.8 | 35 /f1.8g | 18-105 /f3.5-5.6
                Tamron 70-200 /f2.8
                Pocket Wizard FlexTT5/PowerMC2/Sekonic L-478DR, Einstein 640

                flickr |