Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Nikon dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 24, 2009, 8:43 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 34
Default

I have read a couple times that these entry level camera's do not have an auto focus motor in the body. what is the consequence of this? Does it mean they need special lenses as compared to other models?
Thanks
Bob
zilbog is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 24, 2009, 10:16 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,063
Default

If you are purchasing Nikkor lenses you need to make sure they have the AF-S designation. These lenses have a focus motor built into the lens. As far as I know, any new lens that Nikon makes has this designation. It just means that if you have older lenses with just the AF designation it will be necessary for you to focus manually. If you don't have any older lenses, or have plans to acquire any, it shouldn't be a problem.

Other lens manufacturers have different designations for their lenses that contain a focus motor. Read the descriptions carefully, and if you have any questions asked before making a purchase.
jphess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2009, 1:06 PM   #3
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

As jphess mentioned, you'll need to make sure any lenses you buy have a focus motor built in if you want Autofocus. With Nikkor lenses, lenses with focus motors built in are designated AF-S (the S is for Silent Wave Focusing).

But, not all Nikkor lenses are AF-S (Silent Wave Focusing), as you can see from this list of current Nikon lens models:

http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Ni...ses/index.page

With third party lenses, it's a bit tougher to tell if they're available with a built in focus motor or not. All Sigma's HSM (Hypersonic Motor Focusing) lenses would Autofocus on the entry level Nikon bodies. But, for non-HSM choices, you'll need to read the descriptions carefully to determine if they have a built in motor allowing autofocus on entry level Nikon bodies or not.

In some cases, a different body may be a better bet (at least for right now). For example, if you wanted to try and take photos of moving subjects indoors without a flash (for example, basketball), you'd probably want to use a brighter prime for best results (like a Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 AF-D). But, you wouldn't have Autofocus with that lens and they don't offer any similar lenses in that focal length with focus motors built in yet.

Or, if you wanted a bright 50mm lens on a tight budget (like a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D), you wouldn't get Autofocus with it on a D40, D40x, D60, or D5000. You'd have to move up to a more expensive Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AF-S lens to get Autofocus (costing you more than 4 times as much as the less expensive 50mm f/1.8 AF-D lens without a focus motor built in).

So, the lenses you want to use can make a difference in determining the body that's better suited for a given type of photography. IOW, you may spend more money to get the AF-S lenses than you would buying a more expensive body with a focus motor built in so you could use the less expensive lens alternatives.

Personally, I'd want a focus motor so that I've have more lens options (especially brighter primes and zooms available on the used market that lack a built in focus motor).

But, the number of new lenses with focus motors built is continuing to increase. So, lack of choice should be less of a problem as time passes (although I'd still consider the cost of lenses I'd want to use on that type of body, as some lens types with focus motors built in are still a bit pricey compared to lower cost alternatives that don't have a focus motor; and some lens types are not even available with a focus motor yet, like a brighter prime with a focal length of around 85mm).

Most users buying that type of camera are going to stick with modern zoom lenses anyway (and you've got a pretty good range of choices available with focus motors built in now). But, if you have special requirements, make sure you look at available lens options (since you could end up spending more for lenses compared to the cost of a higher end camera with a focus motor built in and/or need to stick with manual focus with some lens types)

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2009, 7:17 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 34
Default

Thank you both for the info.
Jim as usual you are very thorough and it is really good.
Now I am not going to ask the question yet that people are supposed to ask only in the camera choice Topic:?
I am still gathering info and having too much fun getting to know my 8700 coolpix.
Took some good photos at the Zoo today.
But as far as canon is concerned do it's entry levels not have a focus motor in them or is this not an issue. Just a quick answer is fine I know this is Nikon DSLR. If this is not appropriate I will start over in the really stupid question topic forum.:?
Thanx
Bob
zilbog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2009, 7:31 PM   #5
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

No Canon dSLR models have a focus motor in the camera body. Instead, all Canon Autofocus lenses have a focus motor built into the lens (it's just a matter of the type of motor, as some are faster compared to others).

But, Nikon went with a body based focus motor when it started producing Autofocus camera models. So, many lenses for Nikon cameras are reliant on this body based motor.

Now, Nikon is starting to produce more lenses with focus motors built into them and decided to leave the body based motor out of some of their newer entry level bodies (the D40, D40x, D60 and D5000 do not have a body based focus motor).

You've got lots of choices now in newer lenses with built in focus motors for Nikon models like these. But, there are still some lens types that are not available with a built in motor (yet), like some of the available primes. That probably would not impact most users buying these models (they'd be more likely to go with a newer zoom lens design that has a built in motor, and as time passes, choices in lenses with built in focus motors will continue to increase). I'd just make sure you're satifisied with the choices of lenses that have built in motors if you go with one of these newer bodies (as some users may want to take advantage of available AF lenses without motors built in and still have Autofocus with them).

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 5:02 AM.