Using Nikon 35-70mm Ais lens on D3000  

Posted by The Simple Layman

If you are like me, perhaps you shied away from the D3000 Nikon because you were told you cannot mount the older lenses on it. This is not true.  Older Ais lenses will mount on the D3000.  However, you must be careful not to mount wide angles of the extreme variety since the lens will protrude too far into the mirror box and possibly break the mirror or other mechanisms.

In fact, I prefer to use my 35-70 manual lens for almost every situation.  The 35-70mm Nikon zoom lens is equivalent to a 50-105 because the ccd image sensor is 1.5 times smaller than the 35mm frame size.

I prefer the 35-70mm because of it's superior sharpness and less chromatic abberition that usually needs correction for shots taken with the 18-55mm stock zoom that comes with the D3000.  Noted, the stock lens is arguably a very good lens and the chromatic abberition is hardly noticable except with enlargments.  The 35-70 though has a smoothness that is appealing to me over the 18-55 stock lens.

After years of shooting with meters and grey cards I decided to just guess at my exposures, since the D3000 meter does not work with these old lenses. I was surprised to find most of my photos were properly exposed for most scenes.  If you struggle with guessing at proper exposure then you can use the old handheld meter and judge the resulting exposure on the LCD screen.  I have also used the 50mm "E" series lens which is slightly sharper, but it is simply easier to carry one lens, since the 35-70 is acceptable to me.  I also love it's lightness and find it is the only lens I need for most shots.

Below are some pics I took recently to show an example of how the D3000 fairs with 35-70mm manual lens mounted on it.  These are large pics but I hope you enjoy them. Click on any of the photos to see an enlargement.