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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Orlando, FL
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    Nikkor AF vs AF-S

    This sounds like a dumb question, but you know, if I don't ask it, I will stay dumb regarding this matter; so here it goes.

    What is the difference between AF and AF-S?

    Are AF-S silent/faster than AF? I do see that they are more expensive; so better construction? Better glass? Sharper images?

    Again, sorry for my ignorance, but hey, I tried reading and finding some information about it and couldn't in the Nikon forum and in the leses review it is pretty vague since Nikon there are only about 5 lenses reviewed.
    | Nikon D80 | Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom | Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF |
    | SB-600 AF Speedlight | Rayovac Hybrid | Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud |
    | SanDisk Extreme III 2GB x2 | Lowepro SlingShot 100 AW |


    Some of my Photos @ flickr

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Bay Area, California
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    Not a dumb question at all. AF lenses use the cameras internal focus motor (if it has one), AF-S lenses have their own focus motor inside the lens. If you put a AF-S lens on a body that has its own focus motor the lenses motor is used. I believe the AF-S motor is faster then Nikons in body motor but dont quote me on that.
    Nikon D90, D40 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 35mm f/1.8
    Vertical Grip, SB-600, SB-24, Sunpak 433D, Metz 40AF-4N, Alienbees CyberSync Triggers

    R3G Media | Flickr

    "You're pulling some awesome action shots with a cam and lens that are supposed to be rubbish ! " - Rooz

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Orlando, FL
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    58
    Quote Originally Posted by ReG_00 View Post
    Not a dumb question at all. AF lenses use the cameras internal focus motor (if it has one), AF-S lenses have their own focus motor inside the lens. If you put a AF-S lens on a body that has its own focus motor the lenses motor is used. I believe the AF-S motor is faster then Nikons in body motor but dont quote me on that.
    So my D80 uses the internal motor or lens motor? Which is faster? Quieter? Which one is more accurate?

    I am to assume that to my questions, do to price, the AF-S are faster and quieter. But again, dumb questions, but unless I ask them, I will stay dumb!
    | Nikon D80 | Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom | Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF |
    | SB-600 AF Speedlight | Rayovac Hybrid | Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud |
    | SanDisk Extreme III 2GB x2 | Lowepro SlingShot 100 AW |


    Some of my Photos @ flickr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, California
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    To my knowledge AF-S Lenses are faster and quieter. As far as accuracy goes though, I think that depends on what lens vs what body.
    Nikon D90, D40 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 35mm f/1.8
    Vertical Grip, SB-600, SB-24, Sunpak 433D, Metz 40AF-4N, Alienbees CyberSync Triggers

    R3G Media | Flickr

    "You're pulling some awesome action shots with a cam and lens that are supposed to be rubbish ! " - Rooz

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    In general AF-S lenses are faster and quieter although there are some exceptions like the consumer AF-S lenses like 18-55, 55-200 although they claim to be AF-S they aren't true AF-S which allows full time manual focus. You'll notice in the back of the lens with the lens contacts. True AF-S lenses have 10 contacts, the cheaper AF-S lenses have less. And the older AF or AFD lenses have only 5 contacts. If a lens has a focus motor in the body then it will use the lens motor to focus regardless whether the body has a focus motor. AF or AFD lenses need to use the motor in the body of the camera as they do not have their own motor. These types of lenses must be manually focused on cameras like D40(x) since they have no motor in the body.

    I say generally AFs lenses focus faster because they do, but AFD lenses such as the 50, or 85mm prime lenses focus faster even without a lens motor simply because they have a larger aperture so it gives the body more light to autofocus with, and the fact that there's not much glass to move as they are small lenses.
    Nikon D700 | SB600 | SB-80DX | 2xSB-26 | 18-35 f/3.5-4.5 | 24-85 f/3.5-4.5G | 50 f/1.4 G | 105 f/2.8 VR | 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR

    flickr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    6,931
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex D80 View Post
    So my D80 uses the internal motor or lens motor? Which is faster? Quieter? Which one is more accurate?
    Your D80 will use it's internal focus motor with standard lenses and let the lens use it's motor it the lens has one.
    Generally AF-S lenses focus faster
    Generally AF-S lenses are quieter
    Generally AF-S motors are more accurate
    With the exception of the 55-200VR (and maybe others but I'm sure Coldrain will point out the negatives) you can also manually focus AF-S lenses at any time just by turning the focus ring. With a non AF-S lens you need to select either manual or auto focus using a button or switch on the lens or camera body.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Washington State
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    For some reason I don't understand why Nikon would put an AF-S on the 18-55 if it really wasn't an AF-S, like achuang says.

    Anyways, yes an AF-S will focus quicker,quieter, and alot smoother than lets say an AF-D. Take for example the 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D compared to the same lens but AF-S which also weighs a lot more, is longer, and focuses much better than the AF-D version. But not all AF-D or AF lenses are useless.
    Nikon D300
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8
    Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D (70-200mm f/2.8 VR soon)
    Nikon SB600 (SB800 soon)
    Nikon MB-D10 grip
    Sekonic L-358
    Bogan/Manfrotto 055xprob tripod

    Canon AE-1 Program
    Canon FD 50mm f/1.8
    CPC 2x Teleconverter
    CPC Phase 2 CCT 80-200 f/4.5
    CPC Phase 2 CCT 28mm Macro f/2.8

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
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    324
    so the af-s leanses are the ones that work the d40?
    or do both work just as well?
    call me dylan.

    nikon d40
    nikon 18-55mm
    nikon 35mm f1.8
    nikon 50mm f1.8d
    sigma 17-35 f2.8-4
    nikon sb600
    sto-fen omnibounce
    promaster ttl cable

    flickr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    793
    that's correct, AF-S lenses are the ones that work with the D40. AF or AFD lenses won't autofocus. Sigma HSM lenses also autofocus on the D40. They're the equivalent of AF-S.
    Nikon D700 | SB600 | SB-80DX | 2xSB-26 | 18-35 f/3.5-4.5 | 24-85 f/3.5-4.5G | 50 f/1.4 G | 105 f/2.8 VR | 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR

    flickr

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Charlotte, NC
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    For some reason I don't understand why Nikon would put an AF-S on the 18-55 if it really wasn't an AF-S, like achuang says.
    This is just another technicality. AF-S is supposed to designate not only that the lens has internal focusing, but that it is also instantly over-rideable by turning the focus ring. However, Nikon neglected that capability in just a couple of lenses (it is probably cheaper to have a design that doesn't have an instant clutch mechanism to allow it to be over-ridden). So it appears the Nikon re-thought the "AF-S" designation for some of their kit lenses, in order to keep the internal focus motor. They probably knew that they were going to have future bodies without motors when they designed these lenses.
    Nikon D70s
    Nikkor 50mm 1.8D (If you don't have it you need it)
    Nikkor 18-200mm VR II
    SB-600
    Bogen/Manfrotto Tripods/Heads
    NAS (D300, Nikkor 80-200mm (or 70-200mm)f/2.8, Tamron 90mm Macro)

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