Nikon Data

Nikon Ai-s lenses Overview

Manual Ai-s


Intro 1982. Manual Focus. Compatible only on Digital D3, D2,D1,D700,D300,D200


Nikon AI-s Lenses, introduced in 1982, were designed for the Film cameras of their day but are also compatible with the high end Nikon Digital Cameras. Nikon still manufacture a range of AI-s lenses which are under the "Manual" section of their listings.

The "s" differs from the plain "AI" in that it had properties which allowed some of the film cameras to trigger their high-speed program. It also gives a clue as to its age. (AI 1977 - 1982, AI-s 1982 - today) . There is no difference betwen AI and AI-s as far as Nikon Digital Cameras are concerned.


These lenses are all manual focus.


D3,D2, D700, D300, D200

Allow their meters to be fully utilised by this lense.

They inteface with the lense in two ways

1)The AI-s lenses, having no CPU chip, convey metering information to the cameras by linking their "Rabbit ear" prongs to the camera's aperture follower tab or AI aperture ring connecter. This is a protruding post located just outside the lens mount flange.

2)They allow you to enter aperture and focal length data for older lenses that don't contain CPUs (computer chips) via the Non-CPU Lens Data option in the shooting menu.

If you dont enter the info, then using 1) you can get spot and ceter weighted metering only.

If you do enter the info using 2) then you also get matrix metering.

The D1 series allow Center Weighted and Spot metering.

The D90,D80,D70,D70S,D50,D100 mid range cameras allow no metering with these lenses.

The D60,D40,D40x lower range cameras also allow no metering with these lenses.


Digital Vari Program, P (program), S (shutter priority), A (Aperture priority) M (Manual).

The higher range of D3,D2, D700, D300, D200 cameras can use AS-s lenses in Aperture Priority and Manual mode but not in Program or Shutter priority mode. The remaining Nikon Digital Cameras are not compatible.


They have a "rabbit ear" meter coupling prong at the 12 o'clock position. Each of the two "rabbit ears" have a viewing hole punched out to enable the second row of aperture numbers to be read.

They have two rows of aperture numbers printed on the lense barrel.

On the larger row of aperture markings, the smallest aperture is orange

On the smaller row (ADR or Aperture Direct Readout Scale), the smallest aperture is orange.

At the rear of the lens, the mounting has a parallel sided round ended slot cut out .

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