Nikon 1 V1 with AI/AIS Nikkor Lenses

Pikes Peak at sunrise. Nikon 1 V1 with 50mm f/2.0 AI Nikkor lens and FT1 adapter

I decided to try my old 50mm f/2.0 AI Nikkor on the V1 with the FT1 adapter, which I tested for the first time yesterday. Many of us have old MF Nikkors lying around, so I thought this would be interesting. I had no problem mounting the AI lens on the FT1. As you would expect, there are some limitations:

  • Metering is available in Manual or Aperture-priority modes only
  • Matrix Metering is not enabled; center-weighted metering or spot-metering are supported
  • Focus is MF only (duh)
  • Aperture is not displayed or recorded by the camera in EXIF.

That being said, the MF operation of the V1, especially with the built-in viewfinder is easy enough to use. You can zoom in on the image for more precise focus. Just make sure you’ve got the viewfinder diopter adjusted properly so that everything is sharp.

I’ve had this old 50mm lens since 1986, and I’d say it’s still up to the task even on a 21st-century camera! I’m sure the 2.7x crop factor helps here, as you’re using only the very sharpest part of the lens. There’s no light fall-off whatsoever and sharpness is very good.

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