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Old Feb 17, 2009, 5:44 PM   #1
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New and future Nikon lenses

My thoughts - Your opinions


Focus Motors

Some of you may remember when the D40 was introduced and everyone was upset about the lack of a focusing motor, I said then, that Nikon will continue that trend. Its their MO. Start at the bottom of the line and work their way up.

I have no doubt that the top of the line pro models will continue to have focus motors for years to come. After all they still have AI couplings. Pro's spend a lot of money on glass and Nikon wants to keep their business.

But for amateurs they have to sell them a camera first Personally for me I think most modern cameras are already to small to comfortably handle ( I thought my FM felt like a toy until I added a motor drive) But that's not the way most people think. Smaller and lighter is better.

I have a couple of the original silver barrel Nikkor lenses made in 1959 early 60's that I AI modified myself. When you think about it it's amazing that I can and do use these lenses on my D50. At the same time it's troublesome to know I might get better use out of them by switching to Canon and buying an adapter. But the bottom line is, I'm not the guy Nikon is marketing to.

We have the D40 and the D60. I'm guessing the D90 is the last in it's class to have a focus motor and the D300 class may have 1 or 2 models to go.

Go to Nikon's web site and you will notice that AF-S lenses are slowly but surely replacing the whole line. This wont help anyone upgrading or replacing an older camera who already has a bag full of glass (welcome to my world I have 10 Manual focus paperweights I mean lenses) or wishes to buy used. But a good verity of lenses will be available for cameras without motors.


Prime Lenses

It used to be that each lens maker had a few zooms and a long list of primes. Now they all have a few primes and a long list of zooms. It's a shame really. Zooms have gotten better over the years no doubt but in many cases a good prime is a better way to go. Especially when you look at the price of fast aperture zooms. Again this has a lot to do with the market. Zooms sell better especially amongst hobbyist who don't want to carry or cant afford a bag full of lenses.

If you look at Nikons line up you will notice that a great many of the zooms available are DX lenses. But primes are the domain of the full fame category. The notable exceptions are wideangles which by nature had to be designed as DX lenses and the newly released 35mm 1.8. Which prompted me to write this long winded post.

DX lenses are smaller, lighter and in some cases not as sturdy as their FF counterparts. All of this making them, at least in theory, less expensive. ( The sturdy part may or may not be true, I haven't seen them all. But again you have to consider the target market. And it's really not a big deal. Look how many of the series E lenses are still out there. The average buyer is not going to abuse these lenses the way a pro might. )

All things considered DX lenses are the way to go unless you plan ( or dream ) of upgrading to a FF camera someday. Therefore I am glad to see them come out with a DX prime. I will be interested to see if they offer any more. And I would be curios to know what you guys would like to have.

I'm thinking a wide aperture short telephoto for portrait work would be a good start or perhaps a macro.

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Old Feb 17, 2009, 6:26 PM   #2
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I guess I started collecting a bit latter than you did since most of my lens are AF. But I only have one AF-S and it is my only DX lens. I won't buy another DX lens unless I come across a 10.5 fisheye at a good price. So I'm not who Nikon is marketing to either. I have had four Nikon Digital bodies now, and still have 3 of them. I bought all of them to work with the older lenses because that is what I have.

The DX lens deal was supposed to be less expensive, doesn't seem to have worked out like that. The new 35mm DX lens is almost twice what you can get the old 50mm 1.8 for. They have an equivalent focal length on the cameras they were designed for. Quality is about the same, so where was the big savings? Maybe I'm just to cheap.

As for the focus motors in the lens, I don't see that much of a difference in focus performancebetween my 18-200 AF-S and any ofmy older screw types. Some but not huge. And all the AF-S lenses seem to be larger and plasticy looking, at least the ones I can afford.And again how about the cost.

Someday I will buy one of those 14-24 AF-S monsters and see what I have been missing. Maybe when it's old and on sale.

Bottom line is I think I have bought my last Nikon body for a while. I don't need more than 12 mega pixels and all of them far exceed what I can do with them anyway.
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 7:34 PM   #3
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ReneB3 wrote:
Quote:
The DX lens deal was supposed to be less expensive, doesn't seem to have worked out like that. The new 35mm DX lens is almost twice what you can get the old 50mm 1.8 for. They have an equivalent focal length on the cameras they were designed for. Quality is about the same, so where was the big savings? Maybe I'm just to cheap.
Yes the 35mm DX is more than you can get an old 50mm1.8 for. In fact it's more than you can get a new 50mm 1.8 for. But it's less than you can get a new 35mm 2 FF for and that's where the comparison has to be made. If and when they come out with a 50mm DX it should be less expensive.

Quote:
As for the focus motors in the lens, I don't see that much of a difference in focus performancebetween my 18-200 AF-S and any ofmy older screw types. Some but not huge. And all the AF-S lenses seem to be larger and plasticy looking, at least the ones I can afford.And again how about the cost.
I see a big deference in the two AF lenses I have but then the older one is a Sigma so that might not be fair. As for quality all AF lenses feel like junk to me compared to my old MF lenses.


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Old Feb 19, 2009, 7:11 AM   #4
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tjsnaps wrote:
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Yes the 35mm DX is more than you can get an old 50mm1.8 for. In fact it's more than you can get a new 50mm 1.8 for. But it's less than you can get a new 35mm 2 FF for and that's where the comparison has to be made. If and when they come out with a 50mm DX it should be less expensive.
I think the 35mm DX is the new 50mm for DX cameras. That's why I compared their prices, because they are equivalent on the cameras they were designed and made for. And if they did make a 50mm DX, and I don't see why they would, it would still cost more than the regular 50mm. The DX lens format does not appear to deliver on cost savings. At least to me.
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