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View Full Version : AF-S prime lenses in the works?



Mr. Magoo
06-03-2007, 08:00 PM
Does anyone know if AF-S prime lenses are in the works?

On the one hand, they make sense given the lack of an auto focus motor in the D40/D40x. On the other hand, it is my understanding Nikon expects most D40 users to shoot with their kit lens and never upgrade.

The impetus for the question?

I just read Phil G's review of the Canon 85mm f/1.8.

http://photo.net/equipment/canon/85-1.8

After doing so, I noticed that Canon makes primes roughly comparable in price to the Nikon primes (now idea how the image quality compares) that are USM (Canon's equivalent of AF-S.)
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LR Max
06-03-2007, 08:04 PM
I know the 105mm macro VR has an AF-S motor. However, the price of a 105mm rivals that of the 18-200VR, which is a bit more versitile.

mugsisme
06-03-2007, 08:27 PM
There is a lot of speculation about it on DP review in the Nikon Lens forum. They are guessing/hoping that it will be a 50mm and/or 85 mm prime with AF-S, and they are also saying that some of the bigger zooms will get VR. There was supposed to be some big announcement last month, but nothing happened. I have put off making any purchases for now until I see if and when something comes out.

Rooz
06-03-2007, 09:40 PM
On the other hand, it is my understanding Nikon expects most D40 users to shoot with their kit lens and never upgrade.

i think the statement should be more like there is little expectation that a d40 owner would be going for a prime portrait lens. there are plenty of AFS alternatives out there for the broader maket appeal of telephoto and kit style.

in saying that though, you are right that the d40 sales have been so huge that nikon would be mad to ignore the demands d40 users have. i think i recently saw sales figures which had nikon outselling canon somewhere and thats obviously off the back of the d40 cos they could never achieve strong sales over the xti with just the d80.

personally i dont see the 50mm getting an afs motor. its too small, compact and light which is half its appeal imo. maybe the 85mm, possibly but i doubt

fionndruinne
06-03-2007, 10:07 PM
I doubt that Nikon really thought that D40 owners as a whole wouldn't upgrade - that's more likely to be the opinion of someone (or someones) in the company. Leaving out a focus motor is the logical step in making a smaller, cheaper DSLR. It seems that releasing the 55-200mm VR lens at about the same time as the D40x proves that Nikon is thinking of upgrades for the D40; as for a prime, who knows? I hope to see one - as for size, an AF-S prime wouldn't be as small as the current 50mm, that goes without saying. More like Sigma's 30mm EX HSM, which is a prime that autofocuses with the D40, although just a little wide for a real portrait lens. It's pretty much the only D40 prime option right now, but is a good one - the EX is Sigma's high-quality line.

K1W1
06-04-2007, 01:51 AM
There were hoax photos on Flickr a couple of weeks ago of some new 50mm f1.2 VR lenses.
We can only dream I guess. :)

K1W1
06-04-2007, 02:04 AM
I doubt that Nikon really thought that D40 owners as a whole wouldn't upgrade -

It really wouldn't surprise me if the D40 / D40x are the start of a trend for Nikon. I wouldn't be holding my breath about the D80 replacement having a focus motor.
I know I'm going to get jumped on by all the Luddites but at some stage companies have to make decisions for the future that cause a line to be drawn under the past. How many people have purchased a PC recently with a floppy disc drive?
Nikon have obviously decided to go the way of lens mounted rather than body mounted VR so it is reasonable to assume that all future lenses (zooms and telephotos at least) will have VR and focus motors inbuilt. If that's the case what is the benefit of the focus motor except for those people who have collections of existing lenses (who also by definition have one or several bodies to go with thos lenses)?

fionndruinne
06-04-2007, 02:44 AM
I agree. And guess what? A future of AF-S type lenses would mean... faster, quieter lens operation! It's not a step down, but up. For now it's expensive, but that'll change.

Rooz
06-04-2007, 05:26 AM
It really wouldn't surprise me if the D40 / D40x are the start of a trend for Nikon. I wouldn't be holding my breath about the D80 replacement having a focus motor.
I know I'm going to get jumped on by all the Luddites but at some stage companies have to make decisions for the future that cause a line to be drawn under the past. How many people have purchased a PC recently with a floppy disc drive?
Nikon have obviously decided to go the way of lens mounted rather than body mounted VR so it is reasonable to assume that all future lenses (zooms and telephotos at least) will have VR and focus motors inbuilt. If that's the case what is the benefit of the focus motor except for those people who have collections of existing lenses (who also by definition have one or several bodies to go with thos lenses)?

i highly doubt that the "d90" will not have a focus motor. why would someone pay that much money for a body without a focus motor ? that wouldn;t make sense at all imo.

the reason the d40 is a winner without the focus motor is becasue it makes it cheap while retaining excellent performance within its limitations.

Mr. Magoo
06-04-2007, 05:34 AM
I agree. And guess what? A future of AF-S type lenses would mean... faster, quieter lens operation! It's not a step down, but up. For now it's expensive, but that'll change.

Edited: I also forgot to mention that a "real" AF-S would also offer the possibility of auto focus with full time manual override.

That's my main motivation for wanting AF-S primes. (Well that and the possibility that they will be more future proof given Nikon's current direction. For now, it doesn't matter as much since I have a D80 body.)

If new lenses really are in the pipe, I'll probably be conservative and buy/borrow what I need, not what I want :-)

The following are on my potential shopping list:

50 f/1.8
50 f/1.4
35 f/2
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kdc41
06-04-2007, 07:18 AM
There was supposed to be some big announcement last month, but nothing happened.
The first black spot on jeff-c's record LOL :)

I remember reading a thread on dpreview in which Tom Hogan said that a 58 mm lens would be preferable (as a portrait lens?) to the standard 50 mm on DX cameras.

Any comments on that?

Ken

Prospero
06-04-2007, 07:35 AM
The first black spot on jeff-c's record LOL :)

I remember reading a thread on dpreview in which Tom Hogan said that a 58 mm lens would be preferable (as a portrait lens?) to the standard 50 mm on DX cameras.

Any comments on that?

Ken

58 mm would be better as a portrait lens than a 50mm prime. A 50mm prime is slightly to short. With the crop factor it would give the field of view of a 75mm lens.

The traditional range of portrait lenses is 85-150mm, so with 75mm it would be a bit short. Of course you can take great portraits with it, as you can with a 30mm prime, but a longer length is preferable. One of the disadvantages of using a 50mm for portraits is that the perspective is less flatering than when using longer focal lenghts. This can make the nose in headshots look to big.

A 58mm lens would have a field of view of 87mm, which falls right into the portrait zoom range and has more flatering perspective.

kdc41
06-04-2007, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the info Prospero!

Ken

Mr. Magoo
06-04-2007, 11:27 AM
58 mm would be better as a portrait lens than a 50mm prime. A 50mm prime is slightly to short. With the crop factor it would give the field of view of a 75mm lens.

Does there exist such a lens in today's lineup?
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erichlund
06-04-2007, 12:13 PM
No.

There is a 58mm f/1.2 Noct (Night) Nikkor AI, but that's a fully manual focus lens. Due to lens curvature, you have to focus carefully and be aware of your angles, but it can give extremely good results and has good bokeh.

The 60mm micro is AF, not AF-S, and my 55mm AI-S f/2.8 micro is manual only. There are others in the range, but none are AF-S.

Still, for actual portrait work, you should not be trusting auto focus anyway. How can you expect to reliably focus on the eyes, especially with a critically shallow depth of field, if you are not taking manual control.

K1W1
06-04-2007, 08:39 PM
i highly doubt that the "d90" will not have a focus motor. why would someone pay that much money for a body without a focus motor ? that wouldn;t make sense at all imo.

Easy.

If they are a new buyer they will need new lenses and all the new lenses will be AF-S with VR.
If they already have lenses then by definition they already have a camera body that supports those lenses if they are not AF-S
As I said at some time or other Nikon will draw a line in the sand and I suspect that they have started. The D80 replacement will presumably still be a prosumer oriented camera so the lack of a focus motor will create some angst among some buyers but upgraders from D40 / D40x or new buyers will have no problems. Nikon need to give D40 and D40x owners something to upgrade to in 12 - 18 months time. Existing D80 owners will have the choice of upgrading to D200 class cameras (I expect the focus motors will be around in Pro cameras for quite some time) or upgrading their non AF-S lenses.
By removing the motor it gives Nikon some real estate for extra features (Dust removal? or larger LCD?) without increasing the body size and it also reduces power consumption and manufacturing costs thus either keeping the price down or allowing extra features for the same price.

Rooz
06-04-2007, 10:35 PM
Easy.

If they are a new buyer they will need new lenses and all the new lenses will be AF-S with VR.
If they already have lenses then by definition they already have a camera body that supports those lenses if they are not AF-S
As I said at some time or other Nikon will draw a line in the sand and I suspect that they have started. The D80 replacement will presumably still be a prosumer oriented camera so the lack of a focus motor will create some angst among some buyers but upgraders from D40 / D40x or new buyers will have no problems. Nikon need to give D40 and D40x owners something to upgrade to in 12 - 18 months time. Existing D80 owners will have the choice of upgrading to D200 class cameras (I expect the focus motors will be around in Pro cameras for quite some time) or upgrading their non AF-S lenses.
By removing the motor it gives Nikon some real estate for extra features (Dust removal? or larger LCD?) without increasing the body size and it also reduces power consumption and manufacturing costs thus either keeping the price down or allowing extra features for the same price.

i dont think its that easy. there is more than one entry point into dslr. there are those that want the absolute bottom of the DLSR market due to budget which the d40 fills perfectly then there is the more advanced user with a bit more money who will want to go for something like a d80.

besides, how much real estate do they need ? the xti is smaller than a d80 and it has both the motor and a dust removal system. it can be done should they choose to without the expense of a motor.

how many d80 buyers here would buy a d80, (premium price mind you), knowing that it had no motor ? i for one would say HELL NO. i would get the xti in a heartbeat and put up with the things i hate about it. no option for after market lens like the sigma 18-50mm or the tamron macro or fisheyes etc. there are just far too many lens options from my point of view that would be gone without it. while that may be fine for a $600 dollar body, it certainly isn't fine for a $1000 body, not by a long way. i will prob end up with a d40 by the end of the year cos my wife loves them and its perfect for her needs. easy, light, small, fast, excellent IQ, great build and feel without the need to worry about too many lens options.

the nikon lineup starting with the d40 makes sense, then the d40x could fill the mould your talking about which is a stripped down d80. then as you say if d40/ 40x owners want to upgrade whats wrong with an upgrade to a d80 ? why would someone want to upgrade a d40 to a d80 which would have the same flaw as the d40 ? i imagine d40 owners are very happy with their cams and the d40x in particular is already 10mp so why go the d90 route ? nikon would effectvely be saying upgrade to the same sensor with a few additional features but still no AF motor...why would you do it ? that doesnt make alot of sense to me.

besides which, to ask people who want the flexibility of entering the market at a higher level to jump right into d200 level and price range is crazy. not to mention the size factor, the d200 is a big camera in a world where size matters. the d80 is a great balance between size and function, the d200 errs on the pro style big cam, the d40 errs on the small size basic package, the d80 sits in between nicely.

it aint gonna happen. you heard it here first. :p

coldrain
06-05-2007, 12:08 AM
The Canon XTi/EOS 400D does not have an AF motor. In fact no Canon EOS ever had an AF motor. Canon decided from the start (1987 or so) to put the FA motors inside the lens, while Minolta, Nikon and Pentax put the AF motor inside the camera body.
3rd party lenses for Canon always have their own AF motor too. Only the Sigma HSM lenses have a ring type silent motor. Sigma can not put that kind of motor in any kind of lens, has to do with licence stuff (with canon I think).

Nikon made the switch to motors inside the lens with the advent of the "G" type lenses I think (late 1990's), which also moved aperture setting to the camera body.

It will be possible for 3rd party manufacturers to switch to AF motors in lenses for Nikon, after all that is what they do for Canon. But that switch will not happen overnight, production runs of lenses are few and far between for instance (and they probably will wait till Nikon decides to slash more internal motors).
All that does not change the current situation though... interesting 3rd party lenses that are not available for the D40(X) and interesting primes from Nikon also not AF-ing.

Of course Nikon does not target the D40(X) to people that are willing to invest in a nice selection of prime lenses...

Pentax is now is making a switch to lenses with ring type motors too. The interesting (ironic) difference is that these lenses with motors do not work on all Pentax bodies!

K1W1
06-05-2007, 12:51 AM
it aint gonna happen. you heard it here first.

I think what you should be saying is " I don't want it to happen because it doesn't suit me". I guess that you still have a PC with a floppy disc drive that gets used regularly. :D :D
Still I guess you can go buy the Canon Xti now. :D:D

It's great to have a nice philosophical thread about the future a real change from "my camera rattles" or the other things that pop up all to frequently.

Rooz
06-05-2007, 01:13 AM
I think what you should be saying is " I don't want it to happen because it doesn't suit me". I guess that you still have a PC with a floppy disc drive that gets used regularly. :D :D
Still I guess you can go buy the Canon Xti now. :D:D

It's great to have a nice philosophical thread about the future a real change from "my camera rattles" or the other things that pop up all to frequently.

lol i resent the fact that you see fit to criticise my floppy drive !!! :mad::D yes i still have one and yes i still have stuff on floppy drive i am ashamed to admit ! :eek:

not much chance of me changing cams for many, many years to come regardless of what nikon decide to do. i'm happy with my camera body. it fits me perfectly and as long as the d80 survives, i aint changing. hell i had my canon eos film camera for 10 years so i aint a man that likes change !! lol i'm just stating what makes sense to me without any real knowledge whatsoever of the DSLR market apart from my opinion on what i would/ wouldn't buy.

i was personally hoping to pick up a d200 body later down the track so the wife can have the d80 but as it turns out she hates the d80 so its gonna be a d40 for me in the near future. :)

fionndruinne
06-05-2007, 01:15 AM
It's great to have a nice philosophical thread about the future a real change from "my camera rattles" or the other things that pop up all to frequently.

Funny you mention it... my camera does rattle!

Rooz
06-05-2007, 01:18 AM
The Canon XTi/EOS 400D does not have an AF motor. In fact no Canon EOS ever had an AF motor. Canon decided from the start (1987 or so) to put the FA motors inside the lens, while Minolta, Nikon and Pentax put the AF motor inside the camera body.
3rd party lenses for Canon always have their own AF motor too. Only the Sigma HSM lenses have a ring type silent motor. Sigma can not put that kind of motor in any kind of lens, has to do with licence stuff (with canon I think).

Nikon made the switch to motors inside the lens with the advent of the "G" type lenses I think (late 1990's), which also moved aperture setting to the camera body.

It will be possible for 3rd party manufacturers to switch to AF motors in lenses for Nikon, after all that is what they do for Canon. But that switch will not happen overnight, production runs of lenses are few and far between for instance (and they probably will wait till Nikon decides to slash more internal motors).
All that does not change the current situation though... interesting 3rd party lenses that are not available for the D40(X) and interesting primes from Nikon also not AF-ing.

Of course Nikon does not target the D40(X) to people that are willing to invest in a nice selection of prime lenses...

Pentax is now is making a switch to lenses with ring type motors too. The interesting (ironic) difference is that these lenses with motors do not work on all Pentax bodies!

i think, (or hope), you know what i was trying to say. if the 3rd parties jump on board then thats one step, but if they don't it aint happening anytime soon.

coldrain
06-05-2007, 01:27 AM
i think, (or hope), you know what i was trying to say. if the 3rd parties jump on board then thats one step, but if they don't it aint happening anytime soon.
yes, I do know what you were trying to say (just wanted to avoid people to get the wrong idea about the EOS system).
And I do not know if it willnot happen soon, I thought before the D40 came out that Nikon would not be so "daft" to bring out a camera without internal motor (since a lot of lenses still rely on it).
But they did... and are getting away with it too strangely enough.

I do think that Nikon likes the fact that they are for now putting the 3rd party manufacturers out of competition.

erichlund
06-05-2007, 08:03 AM
I do think that Nikon likes the fact that they are for now putting the 3rd party manufacturers out of competition.

Perhaps in the short term, but in the long run, I suspect that the third party manufacturers will welcome the change, since they can offer the same lens to both Canon and Nikon with only a slight mount change, both having the same motor. It may actually improve their cost model by reducing differences in design.

Mr. Magoo
06-05-2007, 02:22 PM
So I stopped at Ritz Camera on the way home today to see what they had in stock. They guy said no, and he's heard scuttlebut that the next mount wasn't going to be an "F-mount" so I should jump on these lenses right away if I want them.

Is he full of sh*t? If not, what does he mean?

Surely Nikon wouldn't abandon decades worth of lenses by going with an incompatible mount, would it? (Detail of no screw drive in the D40 aside...)
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DonSchap
06-05-2007, 02:28 PM
yes, I do know what you were trying to say (just wanted to avoid people to get the wrong idea about the EOS system).
And I do not know if it willnot happen soon, I thought before the D40 came out that Nikon would not be so "daft" to bring out a camera without internal motor (since a lot of lenses still rely on it).
But they did... and are getting away with it too strangely enough.


Hey, they had to give an entire town free D40 cameras to make it palatable. LOL

jcon
06-05-2007, 02:59 PM
So I stopped at Ritz Camera on the way home today to see what they had in stock. They guy said no, and he's heard scuttlebut that the next mount wasn't going to be an "F-mount" so I should jump on these lenses right away if I want them.

Is he full of sh*t? If not, what does he mean?



Sounds like tactics used at another chain store....*cough..BestBuy...cough*.

Rooz
06-05-2007, 03:09 PM
Is he full of sh*t?

Yes, he is.

XaiLo
06-05-2007, 03:12 PM
Rooz, let me be the first to say your wife has excellent taste! :)

Mr. Magoo
06-05-2007, 03:23 PM
Yes, he is.

Ok. So we may (or may not) get AF-S primes or whatever, but the F-mount isn't going anywhere. Phew.
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d0hboy
03-18-2008, 02:14 PM
Of course Nikon does not target the D40(X) to people that are willing to invest in a nice selection of prime lenses...

I'm in the market for a used or cheap/new body, following what I've read that it's more a factor of the lens--not the body--that contributes to image quality. I would personally love if Nikon or Sigma came up with an AFS/HSM 85mm prime. There's got to be a segment of the market that thinks this way -- 'downgrading' one way while leaving more money for lens. In this case, I don't even have an option, should I go the d40/x/60 route. If I move a couple hundred dollars up for a d80 or trade-off a generation down to the d70/s/50, then it doesn't help the value proposition vs. choosing another system (whatever that may be).

Visual Reality
03-18-2008, 03:05 PM
The D60 doesn't make sense right now, and won't for a while because you can get a brand new D80 for $730. Even less if you get it with a kit...my 18-55 VR came with it for $859 total. Add them up seperately...D80 $730 + 18-55 VR $180 = $910.

The D60 is going for $750 with the same lens. I'd pay the extra $100 and get the D80, or save a bunch and stick with the D40.