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Thread: Nikon camera using other branded lenses

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    Member piannetta's Avatar
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    Nikon camera using other branded lenses

    Hi, I'm new to photography and I was wondering if you can use other branded lenses on Nikon cameras? I have a Nikon D3000 (entry level of course).

    Or can I only use Nikon lenses?

    I understand it's the lens that makes the camera to a large extent but the prices are very expensive so my question is to help me understand if I can buy cheaper lenses that aren't Nikon and will they work.

    Many thanks,
    Pete

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    Welcome to AP...

    As long as they are nikon mount you should be fine. Ie: Tamron, Sigma and Tokina all make lenses for Nikon
    Cheers, Brad




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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Yep!

    you can use just about any othe rmanufacturers lenses, with the caveat that they aren't the likes of Pentax Canon and some other brands of camera manufacturer that make incompatible lenses to the Nikon F mount.

    The main culprits are Tamron, Sigma and Tokina, but you're not limited to only them guys. You can also get other brands(more obscure, so harder to find).. as long as it says compatible with Nikon(or F-mount).

    be weary tho, as the type of camera that you have requires lenses to be AF-S or compatible with AF-S(such as Sigma's HSM, or a few lenses from Tamron that have built in focus motors into the lens) to autofocus.
    if you don't mind losing the ability to auto focus, then any of the lenses that fit the F-Mount can be used on your camera.

    Note: you can actually get lenses from other camera makers to fit via an adapter, but in general this not an ideal solution.

    The main Other Brands that you want to look for are Tamron and Sigma... with built in focusing motors in the lens.

    because you're not here as a member, it;s generally a good idea to ask which of the lenses in their line up is good.. or not. You don't want to purchase cheap lenses simply to save money! You should look for value for money on good lenses that are cheap
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Quote Originally Posted by mercho View Post
    Welcome to AP...

    As long as they are nikon mount you should be fine. Ie: Tamron, Sigma and Tokina all make lenses for Nikon
    Thanks Brad, great to be here. I'll make a note of those brands and start checking out what's available. As I get more into my photography I'm quickly realising how useful the right lens for the right situation is.

    Cheers,
    Pete

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Yep!

    you can use just about any othe rmanufacturers lenses, with the caveat that they aren't the likes of Pentax Canon and some other brands of camera manufacturer that make incompatible lenses to the Nikon F mount.

    The main culprits are Tamron, Sigma and Tokina, but you're not limited to only them guys. You can also get other brands(more obscure, so harder to find).. as long as it says compatible with Nikon(or F-mount).

    be weary tho, as the type of camera that you have requires lenses to be AF-S or compatible with AF-S(such as Sigma's HSM, or a few lenses from Tamron that have built in focus motors into the lens) to autofocus.
    if you don't mind losing the ability to auto focus, then any of the lenses that fit the F-Mount can be used on your camera.

    Note: you can actually get lenses from other camera makers to fit via an adapter, but in general this not an ideal solution.

    The main Other Brands that you want to look for are Tamron and Sigma... with built in focusing motors in the lens.

    because you're not here as a member, it;s generally a good idea to ask which of the lenses in their line up is good.. or not. You don't want to purchase cheap lenses simply to save money! You should look for value for money on good lenses that are cheap
    Thanks Arthur, wow, really appreciate the comprehensive reply. Sounds to me like Tamron and Sigma and co. is probably where I should start, given I'm just starting out. I'll certainly remember about the F-mount/Nikon compatibility. It's great to start learning the lingo!!

    I'm certainly not averse to spending money as you say, as long as there's perceived value. But I'd prefer not to spend more than I have to or should to get similar results in my shots.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to respond.

    Cheers,
    Pete

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    Member JorgD's Avatar
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    Unless you really can't afford the original manufacturers lenses, I would strongly recommend you stick with Nikon lenses. Usually the quality difference is miles apart.

    I have Canon gear and have purchased Sigma lenses in the past. Then when a new Canon body comes out, the old Sigma lenses no longer work with the new body because the electronics are incompatible. That is because Canon does not publish its electronic interface and third party lens manufacturers have to guess how the camera behaves and how the lens should behave.

    I no longer take the risk after having 3 useless Sigma lenses that can't be used on more modern bodies. The Canon lenses bought at the same time still work with the current Canon bodies. And these were not cheap Sigma lenses either.

    Also the quality of the lens, in my opinion, is significantly higher from Nikon and Canon than from Sigma, Tamron, etc.

    So unless I wanted to buy a lens which was not going to be used much and was a lot cheaper from a third party supplier, I would not do it.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JorgD View Post

    I have Canon gear and have purchased Sigma lenses in the past. Then when a new Canon body comes out, the old Sigma lenses no longer work with the new body because the electronics are incompatible. That is because Canon does not publish its electronic interface and third party lens manufacturers have to guess how the camera behaves and how the lens should behave.
    Did you think to contact the Sigma distributors in Australia and get them to do a (very inexpensive) rechip on the lenses.

    We have two very capable Sigma lenses that were picked up relatively cheaply because I suspect the previous owners never investigated all options.

    I would conservatively estimate 90% of the performance of the Nikon equivalent for around 50% of the cost.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Quote Originally Posted by JorgD View Post
    Unless you really can't afford the original manufacturers lenses, I would strongly recommend you stick with Nikon lenses. Usually the quality difference is miles apart.

    I have Canon gear and have purchased Sigma lenses in the past. Then when a new Canon body comes out, the old Sigma lenses no longer work with the new body because the electronics are incompatible. That is because Canon does not publish its electronic interface and third party lens manufacturers have to guess how the camera behaves and how the lens should behave.

    I no longer take the risk after having 3 useless Sigma lenses that can't be used on more modern bodies. The Canon lenses bought at the same time still work with the current Canon bodies. And these were not cheap Sigma lenses either.

    Also the quality of the lens, in my opinion, is significantly higher from Nikon and Canon than from Sigma, Tamron, etc.

    So unless I wanted to buy a lens which was not going to be used much and was a lot cheaper from a third party supplier, I would not do it.
    Umm, and this is why Tamron's 90mm macro was voted worlds best macro lens for years? Sorry, but there are some mighty compelling arguments out there that disagree with your statement regarding Canon or Nikon Lenses being significantly higher quality. Yes in some situations its may be the case, but a blanket statement saying they all are, is incorrect. Maybe it is a Canon thing, but I have sigma lenses from the 1980's that still work just fine on my Nikon's (even if they are now fully manual).
    Last edited by ricktas; 08-05-2010 at 5:51pm.
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    Member JorgD's Avatar
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    Maybe it is a Canon thing, and Canon are partly to blame not releasing their electronic protocol between lens and body which has to be reverse engineered, but the risk for a Canon user to buy a Sigma lens which may not be useable on future bodies is pretty great.

    It appears as though there could be exceptions, and I will have to research the Tamron lens you mentioned, but my general experience has been that you are better off sticking with manufacturers lenses. 3 times bitten, 4th time shy

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JorgD View Post
    Maybe it is a Canon thing, and Canon are partly to blame not releasing their electronic protocol between lens and body which has to be reverse engineered, but the risk for a Canon user to buy a Sigma lens which may not be useable on future bodies is pretty great.
    Wrong, Canon are no more reluctant than Nikon to reveal their engineering practices to third party lens manufacturers. As I understand it, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina et al simply have to reverse engineer their products to work with the "name brand" bodies.
    Seeing as most upgrades by camera manufacturers these days rely heavily on electronic ( hardware / software ) improvements it simply means that the third party lens makers simply have to go back to the electronics lab and re program their lens line up.

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    Member JorgD's Avatar
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    Well, after contacting Sigma with my dilemma that 3 of their lenses no longer worked with the newer bodies, they did not offer to reprogram the lenses for me, but suggested I should purchase new Sigma lenses. As those 3 lenses had already cost me around $2000, I was not inclined to now spend $3000 to replace them just to find out that in a year or 2 I would be once again in the same boat where Canon makes some changes to their interface which does NOT affect old Canon lenses but renders my new Sigma investment once again useless.

    I did replace my old 50mm Sigma macro with a new 50mm Sigma macro, but found it close to useless as the lens size changes during focusing and with the Sigma Ring flash mounted, the internal focus motor was unable to focus. The 60mm Canon macro lens does not change size during focus and thus has no problem being used with a ring flash.

    Back in the 80's where a lens was primarily a metal barrel with glass inside, I loved my Sigma lenses and had no problems at all with them. These days with electronic aperture, distance information, AF, IS (VR) and all sorts of other hand shaking information being passed along to identify the lens so that it may be recorded in the EXIF data of the image, I am very sceptical about third party lenses.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JorgD View Post
    Well, after contacting Sigma with my dilemma that 3 of their lenses no longer worked with the newer bodies, they did not offer to reprogram the lenses for me, but suggested I should purchase new Sigma lenses. As those 3 lenses had already cost me around $2000,
    Must be a change in the moon phase then I guess but after having 2 "non digital" Sigma lenses which are the 70-200 F/2.8 and the 100-300 F/4 that exhibited focus problems on a Nikon body, I took them to CR Kennedy and they measured the lenses to the body and ordered the new chip from the factory in Japan. A matter of a couple of weeks and they then installed the new chips to the lenses and guess what, totally compatible lenses at a total cost of $180.00 for BOTH lenses. The factory didn't even charge for the chip, the entire cost was the labour to fit and measure in Australia. That is $90.00 per lens and I hardly think that is a great deal to pay for what amounts to 2 very useful lenses that have earned their keep for under 1/2 the price of one OEM lens.

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    Member JorgD's Avatar
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    I am honestly glad that it worked for you, because it would be terrible if they can't help anybody with this problem. Here is the mail I received:

    Dear Jorg,

    Unfortunately these lenses cannot be upgraded.

    As a way of supporting you in these circumstances I can offer you a discounted price on any new Sigma lens you may like to purchase.

    Just inform me of which lens you're interested in and I'll let you know the price.

    Regards,
    ____________________________________________________
    Clem Kennedy
    C.R. Kennedy & Company Pty. Ltd
    108 Miller Street
    Pyrmont NSW 2009

    p: +61 2 9552 8300
    f: +61 2 9552 8399
    e: clem@crkennedy.com.au
    w: www.crkennedy.com.au/photo


    As I wrote before, I did take them up on replacing my old 50mm macro with the new 50 mm macro but was completely unimpressed with the lens itself.

    I was not sure if this was the standard form letter they sent to their million+ customers with non functioning lenses or if they actually managed to help someone. Obviously in your case they did.

    The funniest part about the whole thing was that after I let him know I wanted to buy the 50mm lens from him, his heavily discounted price ended up being just over 20% more than Australian retail. He obviously assumed I was just going to buy whatever he offered without checking Australian stockists. And no, I was not comparing his price with HK prices. After pointing out to him that the Australian prices are lower than his offering he did end up beating the price and I did buy the lens and flash from him.

    The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth which would prevent me from touching their stuff again, even though back in manual focus days of the 80's, I could not fault any of their lenses and I also had a bunch of them.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JorgD View Post
    Unfortunately these lenses cannot be upgraded.
    What were the lenses --- exactly -- and the year they were made and the year that you expected them to work on current gear?

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I'm thinking the same thing I@M, The way you are talking JorgD the Sigma and Tamron lenses I got for my 400D wont work on my 7D (they do). A large number of these lenses have been round for many years without needing any rechipping, also if this was the case the older Canon lenses and Nikon wouldn't work either.
    Keith

    Canon 400D Gripped, Canon 7D LCD Timer Gripped, Canon 70-200 f2.8L is ii. Canon 2X iii Extender, Canon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 18-250, Sigma 17-50 F2.8, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 90mm Macro, Yonguno YN460 & 460ii Speedlights and a Hanimax TZ 1 Flash, Wireless Triggers ,LED Macro Ringlight, Extension Tubes, 3 tripods, 2 monopods, PS Elements 5 & 10, PSP9 and canon s/ware, various filters and other photographic paraphernalia all packed in a computrecker backpack + 3 smaller bags and an aluminium case.

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    Member JorgD's Avatar
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    The lenses are (Canon EOS mount):

    Sigma 50mm Macro f2.8 sn:1005004
    Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2 sn:1001509
    Sigma 70-210 f3.5-4.5 APO sn:1004821

    They don't have a manufactured date or used by date stamped on them, so no real idea when they were made, but I purchased them brand new. I have never bought any photographic gear second hand. I bought them within a year or 2 of buying my EOS 10, at a rough guess that would have been 1992. I did also buy a Canon lens at the same time and that lens still works to this day. So even though some things changed in the Canon bodies, all Canon lenses that worked on an EOS will work on an EOS in the future. 0 out of my 3 Sigma lenses work. I bought my 40D in 2007 and at that point I was expecting the lenses to still work.

    Speedway, I am not saying that there is no chance of a lens bought for the 400D working on a 7D, but the problem is that there is no guarantee that it will either. And as lenses can cost a fair bit more than bodies, and the expectation is that when you upgrade your body because some nifty new feature has come out you will keep using all your lenses, the risk in buying third party lenses is immense.

    I think Nikon pride themselves that their old lenses still work on their new bodies, even if the lens is 40 years old. Ricktas confirmed that his 1980's lenses still work on his Nikon. The expectation is there that your lenses are future proof.

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    Hi pianetta,
    I had the same issue on my mind many years ago, and got some great advice.
    As a beginner you are likely to use a lens with a zoom range of 18-70 80% of the time, and investing a bit of money in this one lens would see most benefit. I personally would recommend to anyone to get a good nikon lens for this reason. Then look for something more cost effective for the longer zoom range.

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    Nikon camera using other branded lenses

    Back to the op, 3rd party lenses are good, in general very good, and as a beginner or even as an experienced shooter with a very few exceptions the other issues with your photography will in all likelihood outweigh any issue with iq

    What you pay for with on brand lenses is consistency and iq at the extremes (eg wide open). I think Andrew was pretty right when he said 90% quality for 50% cost although I'll go further and say it's probably 95%

    Do any of use anything at 95% of it's capability ?

    In closing, don't ge afraid to get well regarded 3rd party lenses, but, if money is no issue you'll end up with the brand lenses sooner or later



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