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Is this an older manual focus lens? If so, it lacks the electronics to communicate with the camera. You have to set the camera to Manual exposure mode (turn the mode dial to "M"). Set the shutter speed on the camera body as usual and set the aperture by turning the aperture ring on the lens. You'll have to set the exposure without any help from the camera's light meter.
The camera is supposed to be released in December, but realistically it may be delayed as is commonly the case with new products. If you HAVE to have it by the end of December then I would strongly suggest having a backup plan with another camera in case the release is delayed.
As for your lens question: if you are limited to $800 on the lens, then why are you even considering the AF101? Lenses are more important than the camera itself (within reason). You might consider getting a GH2 and a complete lens set instead of the AF101. However, you should be able to get a couple good lenses for that price range.
You didn't specify what type of shooting you need to do so it is hard to advise you on the lens, but I will assume you have standard shooting requirements. Firstly, I would recommend an m4/3 to Nikon adapter and get all Nikon lenses. This will give you the most selection and the best price and excellent glass quality. The first lens I would get would be a Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S, which can be had for under $500. That will give you a 100mm (in 35mm terms) field of view. It is an excellent lens and f/1.2 will give you very shallow depth of field. I would then spend the remaining money on the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens which will give you a good normal view (equivalent to a 40mm lens in 35mm terms).
Alternately, you can obtain a good used 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor for under $200. It is also an excellent lens and still gives a very shallow DOF. You could then spend the other $300 on another lens, like a wider lens or a 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor for longer shots. I use my f/1.4 Nikkor 50mm on my m4/3 GH1 90% of the time, but your shooting style will determine what you need. You DO NOT want a zoom lens though, as that will not give you near the quality. Be sure also to only consider manual focus only lenses (other than the Panasonic 20mm). The focus on those is MUCH MUCH better for video work. The manual focus Nikkors include the non-AI, AI, and AI-S lens lines.
The EM can use just about any of the old manual-focus Nikon AI and AI-S lenses. It will not use any of the newer AF-type lenses. There are a few exceptions that require mirror lockup, but I doubt you'll see any of them offered for less than $10,000. Any of the old lenses from 15mm to 2000mm will work fine on the EM. The price, obviously, will depend on the particular lens. In the past year I've bought some of them for as little as $20.
I found this in my D80 manual regarding non-cpu lenses and their limitations:
The non-CPU lenses listed below may be used, but only when the camera is in mode M. Selecting another mode disables the shutter release. Aperture must be adjusted manually via the lens aperture ring and the camera autofocus system, metering, electronic analog exposure display,
** and TTL flash control can not be used. **
Except where otherwise noted, the electronic range fi nder can be used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster. • AI-modifi ed, AI-, AI-S, or Series E Nikkor • Medical Nikkor 120 mm f/4 (can only be used at shutter speeds slower than 1/180 s) • Refl ex Nikkor (electronic range fi nder can not be used) • PC Nikkor (electronic range fi nder can not be used when shifting or tilting lens) • AI-type teleconverter * • PB-6 Bellows focusing attachment (attach in vertical orientation; can be used in horizontal orientation once attached) * • Auto extension rings (PK 11A, 12, 13; PN-11) * * Electronic range fi nder can be used if maximum effective aperture is f/5.6 or faster.
There is a great deal of info in the manual about the use of other compatible Nikon devices. If you have lost your manual, you can view / download it here:
Hey kgconstruct, The lens description that your posting is categorized under is a 75-300 f/4-506 DL lens for Nikon AI. If this is correct then no this lens won't work on a Canon camera. I am assuming this isn't correct and the lens you have is for a Canon camera, and if this is true this lens should work on the XTI. If you’re thinking of buying this lens I would go to a local camera store that carries this Sigma lens and try it out first to make sure you like it. I hope this helps! Sincerely, Allan Go Ahead. Use Us.