Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens Not Compatible With Film Cameras!

November 29, 2016  •  1 Comment

There has been a long and wonderful history of Nikon making just about every lens backward compatible with all of their cameras.  Well, that end of that reign has come to an end unfortunately.  

I discovered today that the new Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens does not fully function on the F5 and F100 35mm SLR film cameras.  I called Nikon technical support and they confirmed what I was seeing and the rep told me that they the lens is not compatible.  

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I mounted the new 300 PF on the F5 first and it focused just fine.  Then I put the camera in aperture priority and noticed that I was not able to change the aperture.  Just to make sure something was not amiss with the F5, I mounted the lens on the F100 and the same thing happened.  I knew at this point there was something wrong.  

So, I called Nikon technical support and they confirmed the new lens was not compatible with any of their film cameras.  That was a sad moment for me actually.  It felt like the end to an era was very obvious to me in that moment.  The new E FL super telephoto primes may not work as well, but I can't confirm that at this time.

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On the B&H Photo website it lists the lens as being compatible with film cameras "Format Compatibility: Nikon FX/35mm Film, Nikon DX".  I can verify that the lens does not function on two of Nikon's premier film cameras.  

This does not impact me too much because only a small fraction of my work is done with 35mm, but I thought my readers would want to know this in case they are considering buying the lens.  The lens is compact, focuses super fast and it would be a welcome addition to the family, but it is going back tomorrow.  

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Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
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Comments

Chris(non-registered)
Thank you for writing these articles, I get teased because I love my Nikon and Canon film cameras. I will build a darkroom as soon as I finish my degree until then I will faithfully read your excellent articles.
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