Currently, my Canon Rebel Xti works in manual focus mode only.
Since the Canon EF lenses do not have aperture rings, it will be pointless trying to use those in manual mode. Instead, I bought a cheap Canon EF-to-Nikon F-Mount adapter. Now I can mount some old Nikon lenses that do have proper aperture rings.
Here is the cool thing. The Canon will meter with the old Nikon AI lenses. Same with the old Canon FD lenses and everything else (with adapters), the Canon will meter without any electronic or mechanical contact with the lens.
At this point I’d like to point out the great irony that no Nikon fan will want to talk about during the heated Canon vs. Nikon debate:
Nikon and its fans boast and pride themselves for having the ultimate lens compatibility with the F-mount and most will claim that any Nikon lens ever made since 1959 is compatible with modern Nikon cameras. This is simply not true.
- Most Nikon F-mount lenses produced before late 1970s must be modified to mount on modern Nikon cameras.
- Any non-G Series auto focus lenses will not auto focus on many of the mainstream modern Nikon DSLRs unless the camera has a built-in focus screw (D90 and up).
- And most importantly, with the exception of few high end models, modern Nikon DSLRs do not meter with the old manual lenses. The Canon does!
Canon Xti repair part 1
The ribbon connector attached to this part (the lens communication pin assembly) is really all I needed to fix the lens communication and bring the auto-focus back. But unfortunately, I discovered the hard way that this piece isn’t simply replaceable by itself.
I got my hands on the Xti donor number one. The donor had damages beyond any hopes of repair but all I needed is a ribbon connector so I started taking it apart. However, as you can see in the picture, the ribbon connector is routed into the mirror assembly. This meant I’d have to dismantle the entire shutter mechanism attached to the mirror box. There were myriads of tiny gears, levers, and springs that I knew was impossible to put back once taken apart. My Xti is at least half functioning – it works fine with manual lenses. And I don’t want it to be fully broken. Therefore the risk was just too high only to get the auto focus back.
So my choices are either live without the auto focus or get another donor and awap out the entire mirror box and shutter assembly. So I chose the latter.
Canon Xti repair part 3