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Nikon 50-135mm F3.5 AIS lens on my D200

John Pohlman , Aug 26, 2008; 05:30 p.m.

I recently acquired this lens, which had very good ratings by other photographers. I purchased it to compliment my 17- 55mm F2.8 DX AF-S ED. However, I did not do my homework and I find myself with a non-CPU lens. The Nikonians have some methods on-line about setting the non-CPU specs either by camera controls or thorugh the Shooting Menu. My questions are: whenever I want to use this lens, do I need to do these settings? and then, if I want to switch to my AF-S lens, I need to reset everything back, etc.?

Could I please get some advice on how to use this lens in conjunction with my AF-S lens. I must be able to switch lenses at-will, and if I cannot, I will need to replace this non-CPU lens.

Thank you very much


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Peter Hamm , Aug 26, 2008; 06:29 p.m.

you are really a great candidate for one of Thom Hogan's guides. To do stuff like that, I think you really should take some time to REALLY learn your camera. Check it out here. http://www.bythom.com/d200guide.htm

Douglas Ely , Aug 26, 2008; 06:47 p.m.

Hi John,

I'm guessing that your D200 is similar to my D300. I use the 75 - 150 very well and expect that you will use your lens well also.

Rumble through your manual for the D200 instructions. You will most likely see a menue for non-cpu lenses. Each lens will have an assigned number. Also you will most likely have to assign a specific button on your camera to represent your non-cpu lenses. Each lens is entered for its' max. speed and focal length.

You will have to focus manually and meter the same but your results will be excellent. Congtrats on purchasing a legacty lens that beats the pants off of most contemporay lenses. It is a wonderful nature and portrait lens.

I have not used a D200 but I'm hoping that it will work similarly to the D300 and you have great shooting success. I just received a 1983 Nikon MF 105 f2.5 today and have been playing with it all day. $86.00 and the optical formula has not changed in decades.

If you enjoy shootin manually, there are many legacy lenses out there for pennies. Some of Nikon's finest optics.

I just hope that my assuption of the D200 operating similarly to the D300 is correct.

And, you do not need to switch anything on or off when you change from a non-cpu lens to a cpu lens. The body does it for you.

Very best, Doug

PS Trolls are real. Just ignore them.

Curt Wiler , Aug 26, 2008; 08:07 p.m.

If you have only the one non-CPU lens, then the answers are no and no. Just set the non-CPU lens data once in the Shooting Menu and the body will default to it when no CPU is detected. If you have several of these lenses, the D200 makes it quite easy to switch but it is a matter of personal preference how you do it. I prefer to use the FV lock/command dial combination to select a lens that I have previously entered in the menu. Unfortunately, Nikon chose to make it more difficult on the D300 when they deleted the BKT button, forcing a re-assignment of the others. At any rate, if you see that the aperture is displaying normally on the top LCD, then you know that the camera is getting the data properly.

Jim Momary , Aug 26, 2008; 08:16 p.m.

Doug is right on the money. I use a D200 with a couple of AIS lenses, the 28mm 2.8 beauty and the 35mm 1.4 cutey pie. It's as simple as entering the focal length and max aperture. The D200 does the rest in the correct modes. It's all documented clearly in the manual. Jim M. PS, those older lenses are not good, they are super great ! and can be gotten for a song anymore.

kam kozan , Aug 26, 2008; 09:02 p.m.

Actually, your D200 will meter with the 50-135mm and take great pictures even if you do nothing. Entering non-CPU data for the lens and using the function button to inform the camera of the lens you are using will give you lens and shutter/aperture information in the exif data, and show aperture in the viewfinder, if that is important for you. If you do not care, just shoot with it.

Ronald Moravec , Aug 26, 2008; 09:30 p.m.

Just set it to 50 mm and the max F stop using the command and sub-command dials. To get really fussy, enter the zoom length as you change length and exif data will always be correct. This might be important if you need to correct distortion and you have the exact length in the data.

Keith L , Aug 26, 2008; 09:30 p.m.

Look for the Non-CPU lens data option in the menu. You can also assign one of the buttons to be able to set this quickly.

I used to think that setting (or not setting) the max aperture and focal length only affected the EXIF data, until David Hartman proved me wrong. It still remains a common misconception that doing nothing will only impact the EXIF data. You DO need to set the max aperture and minimum focal length; so with the 50-135mm, you'd set the max aperture to f3.5 and the focal length to 50mm. It DOES affect the exposure.

Check out this link: http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00GrVE


Carl Becker , Aug 27, 2008; 08:37 a.m.

I use three AIS lenses, 28mm f2, 50mm f1.4 and 400mm f5.6 with my D200. I have them setup in the menu and just exit at that point so its very easy to change the lenses data the next time.

John Pohlman , Aug 27, 2008; 12:43 p.m.

Thank you to all for the great feedback. I now have the 50-135mm set up and it is working fine. And, as one contributor suggested, I will make a good effort to learn more about my D200. It's a great camera!

With regards,


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