In the history of Nikon SLR cameras and Nikkor lenses, there have been many technology developments. Even though the physical dimension of the Nikon lens mount (F-Mount) has pretty much remained the same for a long time, the Camera-Lens compatibility is a lot more complicated than simply being able to mount the lens on the camera. There are several major compatibility questions:

  1. Can it mount? Sometimes the lens won’t mount at all, sometimes the rear element may break the mirror in the camera. So do a good research before you mount the odd-looking lens you bought from a yard sale.
  2. Will it meter? If it will, it may not support all metering modes especially the matrix metering mode. Flash photography can also be affected, for example by the focus distance information that only some lenses can send to the camera.
  3. Will it autofocus? Some early versions or Nikkor lenses are strictly manual focus only but even AF lenses do not guarantee auto focus function on cameras such as Nikon’s entry level D40, D40x, and D60, which do not have a built-in auto focus motor in the camera body. 

Want to find out what works and what not for your DSLR camera? Here are some excellent resources.

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