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No AF Motor In Camera Explanation? Nikon D5600 for a Beginner? Help Please


18 Mar 2017 2:59PM
Hello,

I am a total newcomer to photography and I wanted a long lasting DSLR before diving right into it. I ordered the Nikon 5600 from Amazon but I just found out it doesn't have an AF motor. It sounds bad but I still don't know the disadvantages. Could someone explain it to me?

What does the AF motor exactly do? Is that the focus thingy that activated when you just so slightly click the shutter button but not press it fully? Will I have to buy different lenses because of this?

Nikon D5600: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MZ6SZS9

Now that's the one I ordered but I also wanted a 50mm lens. I found these two:

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Lens with Auto Focus: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005LEN4

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Y1AYAC

They seem the same to me but they still have a $90 price difference. Wich one should I get if my camera doesn't have an AF motor?

Without the AF motor what will change? Will I have to manually focus every shot? I heard that some lenses have a motor inside of them? So what happens if you buy a lens with no AF motor into a body without an AF motor? Does everything still work? So many questions, so little answers. Please Help me out.

Thank You!

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18 Mar 2017 3:26PM
Nikon lenses from a few years ago had a coupling that coupled up a focus drive motor mounted in the camera body, the higher end bodies still have this coupling so you can use the older Nikkor lenses on them, the lower end models don't have it, so you won't get any auto focus, with the D5600, you will need to get the G type lens, which has an inbuilt autofocus motor inside the lens.
StrayCat 15 19.1k 3 Canada
18 Mar 2017 4:19PM
The main reason I would not buy a Nikon D5600, or any other body without the built-in motor is that you will miss out on a huge collection of excellent lenses, that are inexpensive now. What you need is the D7xxx series, the latest being the D7200, I believe, but the D7000 and D7100 are both excellent cameras also, and will take almost all of Nikons older lenses.
themak 5 1.0k Scotland
18 Mar 2017 4:41PM
AF-S means the lens has an internal motor and will autofocus on the D5600. Other Nikon-fit lenses will still work, but you will have to focus manually.
18 Mar 2017 5:47PM
Older Nikon AF lenses have (as nikonphotographer correctly states) a coupling on them that connects the lens to the autofocus motor on the camera body. These lenses require the camera body to have an autofocus motor built in for the autofocus function to operate.The higher end bodies have the required motor built in so they can use both AF and the newer AF-S lenses, camera bodies without the motor built in will require an AF-S or the even newer AF-P lens if autofocus is required.

I hope the following descriptions are correct, if not I'm sure someone will be able correct them...

AF: Autofocus (requires the camera to have a autofocus motor in its body for AF)
AF-D: Autofocus with Distance information (requires the camera to have a autofocus motor in its body for AF)
AF-S: Autofocus with Silent wave motor (autofocus motor is in the lens and will work on camera bodies with or without a motor in the body)
AF-P: Autofocus with stepper motors. These are supposed to be even faster in focusing and quieter than AF-S lenses but I understand they need a fairly recent camera body.

G: Gelded. The "G" designation on a lens refers to it being gelded. These lenses don't have an aperture ring on them so to control the aperture it must be done on the camera (which is a huge disadvantage to some)
DX: For cameras with the smaller C size sensor
FX: For cameras with the larger full frame sensor (these lenses can still be used on DX cameras but are generally heavier, larger and more expensive then DX equivalents)

You can still manually focus many of the legacy lenses on cameras without the af motor built in however the whilst there might be focus aids (with lenses that provide distance information) the actual viewfinder on many of the DX Nikons doesn't make it nearly as easy as with a traditional 35mm film SLR. The viewfinders on DX DSLRs are generally not as bright (as film SLRs), it is a little better on FX however they still lack features such as a split prism focussing screens as standard.

If you have ordered a body that requires an AF-S or AF-P lens then I would suggest you get an AF-S or AF-P lens, if you want to override the autofocus and focus manually you can still do that but you will also have autofocus when you want it.
User_Removed 5 328 United Kingdom
18 Mar 2017 6:05PM
Sigma Hypersonic Motor (HSM) and Tamron Ultrasonic Drive (USD) equate to Nikon's Silent Wave drive motors and should also work with the D3000 and D5000 series.

It is still a good idea to check with any vendor prior to purchase that AF will be available for any lens you are considering - just to prevent expensive mistakes....
Jestertheclown 10 8.0k 252 England
18 Mar 2017 8:04PM

Quote:the D5600, you will need to get the G type lens, which has an inbuilt autofocus motor inside the lens.

That's incorrect.
The "G" type lenses don't have an aperture adjustment ring on them, whereas the "D" type lenses do.
With regard to their autofocus, being a "G" or "D" type is irrelevant.
What matters is that the lens that you get for your D5600 have the prefix AF-S at the beginning of their title. Lenses with the prefix AF, will only autofocus on bodies with a built in motor, which yours doesn't have.
AF-P lenses will also work but I think that you'll need to adjust a setting or to in the menu.
As to which is the better performer, I think that the jury's out.
thewilliam2 2 1.2k
18 Mar 2017 11:45PM
In the early days of Nikon auto-focus, the entry-level bodies were only equipped for mechanical focus coupling and so an AF-S lens needed to be focused manually. All the "pro" and higher-end bodies (that I've used) have had both mechanical and electrical coupling built in so that all AF lenses will focus automatically. A pedant would exclude the very early AF lenses for the special F3!
19 Mar 2017 11:16AM

Quote:
Quote:the D5600, you will need to get the G type lens, which has an inbuilt autofocus motor inside the lens.

That's incorrect.
The "G" type lenses don't have an aperture adjustment ring on them, whereas the "D" type lenses do.
With regard to their autofocus, being a "G" or "D" type is irrelevant.
What matters is that the lens that you get for your D5600 have the prefix AF-S at the beginning of their title. Lenses with the prefix AF, will only autofocus on bodies with a built in motor, which yours doesn't have.
AF-P lenses will also work but I think that you'll need to adjust a setting or to in the menu.
As to which is the better performer, I think that the jury's out.



I agree, but my comment was meant between the two lenses quoted in the original post, the G type or the D type, and which one will AF on the D5600.
Nikonuser1 Plus
7 159 16 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2017 2:34PM
Hi

This may help you - http://improvephotography.com/34639/nikon-50mm-1-8d-vs-1-8g/

I have the G lens and use it on my D7000, D7100, and my D610.

Cliff
Jestertheclown 10 8.0k 252 England
19 Mar 2017 3:35PM

Quote:

I agree, but my comment was meant between the two lenses quoted in the original post, the G type or the D type, and which one will AF on the D5600.


The "G" or "D" suffix doesn't relate to their ability to autofocus.
That's denoted by the "AF" or "AF-S" prefix.
To that end, only "AF-S" (or "AF-P" but that might fill another thread) lenses will autofocus on a D5600.
14 Aug 2019 4:23AM
I don't have to much experience with Nikon lenses since I am more of a Canon fanboy but I did use couple of them with the Nikon D5600 camera and I would highly suggest that you go with a Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8D. You might want to read this tutorial since it has many useful tips and will answer that question in more details.
And like jestertheclow answered before me the "G" or "D" truly isn't for autofocus. Good luck!
thewilliam2 2 1.2k
14 Aug 2019 11:11AM
Am I correct in thinking that some of the entry-level Nikon bodies won't allow the use of manual-focus lenses?

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