Convert My Lens

Legacy2digital offers digital chip conversions for most manual focus Nikkor lenses from 1959 to present. We are able to convert most lenses. But the best way to determine whether your lens or a lens that interests you may be converted, and the cost of conversion, is to contact us directly.

Frankly, those new to the Nikon system and its legacy lenses may be confused by the range of offerings. Several websites have attempted to clarify some of the differences among Nikon manual focus lenses and their compatibility with different generation cameras. Ken Rockwell’s site in an excellent — and comprehensive — source for manual focus Nikkor lens information and select lens reviews — kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikortek.htm. Other sites explaining lens nomenclature and lens generational differences are bythom.com, cameraquest.com, nikonians.org, and this source (table). We encourage you to research and compare information sources and reviews. There are many other sources for information on Nikon legacy lenses. A simple search in Google will bring up other sources (search terms include, “Nikon lens review” and “Nikon Ai lens” and “Nikon lens info.”).

There are significant differences among Nikkor lenses in the modifications that may be required to convert a lens to Digital Matrix. Some lenses are relatively straightforward, others require extensive modification to the rear housing of the lens and / or light baffles. We ensure that any modifications we make to install the Digital Matrix CPU have no adverse effects on lens performance. None of the modification made by legacy2digital will  impact the functionality of the lens on a non-digital Nikon once the digital chip has been properly installed.

Important: Nikon made three generations of manual focus lenses (not counting the very limited number of “P” Nikkors that contained matrix chips). The greatest compatibility of lenses with camera bodies is with Ai (auto-indexing, made from 1977 until 1982) and Ai-S (adds compatibility with cameras that offer a program exposure mode). Earlier lenses, “non-Ai,” may damage the auto-indexing tracking lever on pro level cameras, such as Nikon D200, d300, D2, D3. However, consumer level Nikon bodies (those that do NOT auto focus with non-AF-S lenses), D40, D3100, D5000, etc., can mount the earliest Nikon lenses. We can modify Non-Ai lenses to mount safely on all Nikon camera bodies.

AI-conversion Legacy2digital offers two types of modification to Nikon lenses: a) Digital Matrix conversion and b) AI conversion. With AI conversion, we mill the outside edge of the lens so that it will not interfere with the aperture tracking lever on professional level Nikon cameras. These lenses may still be used on ANY other Nikon normally. Note that our AI conversion does NOT include the aperture tracking ring tab or F-stop scale of Ai conversion services. Please see our FAQ for further details on this issue. If you own a consumer level Nikon and do NOT plan to use your matrix chip converted Nikkor lens on a professional camera, then may wish not to have your lenses AI converted (and you can have this done separately at a later date). However, your non-AI lenses can only be safely mounted on specific camera bodies and on NONE of the professional level digital Nikons.

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