I bought this used lens for macro work with my new Nikon D300. The lens will mount and I have set the non-CPU lens data. The problem seems mechanical with the lens itself. Off the camera, I can click the aperture ring but the actual aperture does not change from f/32. Ditto when mounted onto the camera. When I try to use aperture priority, the image is properly exposed, obviously only at f/32; since the lens will not open any wider, when I turn the ring, the camera properly reduces shutter speed, letting in less and less light. The image gets darker and darker; when the lens should be wide open at f/2.8, it is still physically at f/32, letting in little light, and there is no image at all. Am I correct in assuming that the lens is defective or broken? The little manual flip lever near the rear of the lens does open the blades smoothly; they are not stuck when I flip that little lever. But the aperture does not change when I manually change the ring. Thanks
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Turn the aperture ring to f/32 and leave it there. After that, forget the lens has an aperture ring at all. You can let the camera control the aperture in any mode except the M and A modes. In the M and A modes, you control the aperture by turning the command dial on the front of the camera, the same way you control the aperture on a lens without an aperture ring.
In all modes the aperture ring on the lens should be locked at the smallest aperture. In the M and A modes you control the aperture by turning the command dial on the front of the camera. In P and S modes you control the aperture indirectly by turning the command dial on the back of the camera.
In all but aperture priority mode and manual modes you must set this lens to it's minimum aperture setting (i.e. highest number) to allow the camera body to fully control the aperture for you.
You'll also get this problem when using certain Nikon bodies which rely solely on electronic communication of the lens settings to the camera body (e.g. Nikon F75) as they lack the ability to read the mechanical linkages on the rear of the lens.
Check if the lens is properly mounted. If still you get the error message, clean the electrical contacts between the lens and the camera using an eraser. Take care not to let any dust fall into the body. Attach the lens and try.
Here is Nikon's specs of lens compatibility for the D40X:
Compatible Lenses*: Nikon F mount with AF coupling and AF contacts Type G or D AF Nikkor: 1) AF-S, AF-I: All functions supported; 2) Other Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus 3) PC Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D: Can only be used in mode M; all other functions supported except autofocus 4) Other AF Nikkor*â¹/AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II 5)
Non-CPU: Can be used in mode M, but exposure meter does not function;
electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or
faster 6) IX Nikkor lenses cannot be used *â¹ Excluding lenses for F3AF
As you have found out, it is not a lubrication issue. It would seem that your lens has a problem with the linkage arm inside the mount. The arm that extends out of the mount could be bent or misaligned. It would be fixable, but the parts are somewhat delicate. Best to let a good repair person have a look.