Which NIKKOR Lens Type is Right for Your D-SLR?

Reading about all of the different lens types and abbreviations might be a bit

overwhelming, so we'll try to simplify this as much as possible. You're interested in one of the latest NIKKOR lenses, but aren't sure if it will work with your camera. Well, there's an easy way to know—by checking the abbreviations that make up the name of each NIKKOR lens. Nikon makes two different types of D-SLR camera bodies—those that have a built-in focus motor, and those that don't. The cameras that don't have a focus motor built-in need to use a lens that has a focus motor built-in to it. The abbreviation for lenses that incorporate a built-in focus motor is AF-S. NIKKOR lenses that do not have a focus motor incorporated into it are simply called AF lenses. The D-SLR camera bodies that do feature a focus motor built-in are: D70, D70s, D80, D90, D100, D200, D300, D300s, D700, D7000, D1series, D2-series, D3-series and D4 models. These D-SLRs can utilize both AF and AF-S lenses. Or, in other words, because AF-S NIKKORs have the focus motor built into the lens, they can be used on any current Nikon camera body, whether the body has a focus motor or not, because the lens itself controls the focusing function. Consumer level Nikon digital SLR cameras are designed without built-in focus motors, which allow them to be smaller and lighter than the larger, more professional models. Consumer D-SLRs that do not incorporate a built-in focus motor (and therefore need to use AF-S lenses) include the following: D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D5000 and D5100. If you own one of these cameras, then you need to use an AF-S NIKKOR lens to get the full autofocus capabilities from the lens. But what if you own one of the aforementioned consumer level camera bodies and really want to use an AF lens. You need to know if your camera can accept the lens—and the answer is yes. An AF NIKKOR lens can be used on a consumer camera such as the models listed above, with limited functionality. You will have to manually focus the lens, using the focus ring on the lens barrel. The electronic rangefinder, which is visible in the lower left portion of the viewfinder, will confirm that your subject is in focus. Rotate the focus ring on the lens and when it lights up green, the subject is in focus. A benefit of the AF-S NIKKOR lenses is that they use a "Silent Wave" motor and focus quieter than do the AF lenses.

Legacy NIKKOR Lenses
One of the great aspects of Nikon's camera systems is that most of the legacy lenses—those that you may have used with your film-based Nikon SLR camera—can be used on your digital SLR camera. There may be some limitations, depending upon exactly which NIKKOR lens you're looking to use with your D-SLR, but we'll get into that in a minute.

An AIs lens, the Micro NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 lens is a manual focus lens.

AI Lenses What if you've got older lenses that you used to use with a Nikon film-based SLR camera-well you can use those lenses as long as they were made after 1977. That's when Nikon began manufacturing AI lenses. AI stands for "Automatic Maximum Aperture Indexing" system, which is the mechanical system for coupling the lens to the camera's exposure system. AI lenses are manual focus, and can be used on any Nikon D-SLR with a few exceptions. In general, the higher-end camera bodies: D1-series, D2-series, D200, D3-series, D300 series, D700, and D7000 models and the D4 will be able to meter through the lens of an AI NIKKOR. The prosumer level bodies: D70, D70s, D80, D90, D100; and the consumer level bodies: D40, D40x, D50, D60, D3000, D3100, and D5000 and D5100 can accept an AI NIKKOR lens, but the exposure will need to be determined manually, using a light meter, not through the lens. The AIS lens, which came later, allowed for automatic aperture control; which controlled the aperture more precisely.

Nikon Ai NIKKOR lens. (r.) A Nikon Ais NIKKOR lens, with lens type signaling pin notch, highlighted in red.

An AI-P lens is a manual lens that has a CPU (basically a computer) built into it; which is used to transfer metering data from the lens to the camera. An AF-I lens uses a built-in D/C coreless focus drive motor for speedy autofocus operation and were Nikon's first lenses to offer the now popular M/A focusing mode. So regardless of the other abbreviations you may see on NIKKOR lenses, certain consumer Nikon D-SLR cameras require the use of AF-S lenses for full functionality. The higher-end pro D-SLR camera bodies need only an AF lens for autofocus functionality. An AI lens can be used, when focusing manually, on almost all Nikon D-SLR cameras, but can only meter through the lens when paired with the higher end D-SLR models.

Differences between Autofocus and Manual Focus Lenses
Now that we've gone through a little history of NIKKOR lenses, we'll discuss the differences between autofocus and manual focus NIKKOR lenses. Nikon currently offers lenses that have autofocus operation and others that offer only manual focus operation. Because you sometimes want to be able to control the focus yourself you can actually manually focus any autofocus NIKKOR lens, simply by setting it to the manual focus mode.

he AF-S version of the Nikon 24-120mm lens; (r.) the AF version of the Nikon 24-120mm lens.

AF and AF-S NIKKOR Lenses We know there are two series of autofocus lenses: AF NIKKOR and AF-S NIKKOR. Both AF and AF-S NIKKOR lenses can also be used in manual focusing mode. AF NIKKOR lenses use a mechanical coupling between the lens and the camera body. On several Nikon D-SLR camera bodies, the focus motor is in the camera and a series of gears drives the lens' focusing mechanism, which allows the lens to focus. Autofocus (AF and AF-S lenses) are further categorized into G-type or D-type lenses. D-Type NIKKOR Lenses A D-type lens relays subject-to-camera-distance information to Nikon D-SLRs that feature 3D Color Matrix Metering (all versions), 3D Matrix Metering, 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash and i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash. Many D-Type lenses have an aperture control ring and can be used on older Nikon SLR cameras that allow for manual control of the aperture, as well as on D-SLRs—especially useful for adjusting aperture while recording D-Movies on higher end models. When used on a D-SLR, the aperture control ring needs to be locked at the smallest possible aperture (generally designated in orange), and the aperture control is maintained through the camera's command dial.

The AF NIKKOR 35mm f/2D lens is an example of a D-Type lens.

G-Type NIKKOR Lenses A G-type lens does not have an aperture control ring and are intended for use on Nikon D-SLRs that allow the lens aperture to be adjusted via the camera's command dial. Because G-type lenses relay subject-to-camera-distance information to the camera, where it is used to help determine ambient and flash exposure, they are also considered to be D-type lenses. The lack of an aperture control ring is perhaps the easiest way that you can tell if a lens is a G-Type NIKKOR or not.[The AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens, shown above is an example of a GType lens. Note there is no aperture ring on that version of the lens, while there is an aperture ring on the AF version, above right.]

Manual Focus NIKKOR Lenses Manual focus NIKKOR lenses, on the other hand, don't have the capability to autofocus at all. Manual focus lenses can be used on all current Nikon D-SLRs, in the manual focus mode. With the inclusion of HD video capture in many new Nikon D-SLRs, manual prime (or fixed focal length) lenses are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Manual focus lenses will not use the in-camera metering systems on several D-SLRs so make sure to review your instruction manual to understand the compatibility of manual focus NIKKOR lenses and your particular camera. [The Micro NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 lens, shown as an example of an Ais lens on page 1 of this article is a manual focus lens.]

.Photo taken with the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens.

5G ED VR lens. .Lindsay Silverman Photo taken using the AF-S Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.

8G ED lens. in NYC using the AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10. .Cliff Mautner Photo taken in Times Square.5mm f/2.

This will often cause them to be more creative in their picture making. and the new AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1. This becomes important when you're shooting in low light. This is something that is generally difficult to do using a traditional video camera.8D ED) lenses. are smaller.5mm f/2. you can use fast shutter speeds with large apertures to freeze motion. If a prime lens gives you only one focal length. such as the Micro-NIKKOR (AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 85mm f/3. Many photographers who are shooting HD video with their Nikon D-SLRs will appreciate the prime lenses ability to autofocus precisely and quickly when AF-F (Full-time AF) is selected or even to manually focus. ensuring your images will be sharp. Secondly.4G and AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II. Perspective Control (PC-E Micro NIKKOR 45mm f/2. and Fisheye (AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10. . it's a lens that isn't a zoom. and wide aperture. and so it will be easier to confirm focus. Bokeh refers to the pleasing diffused softness of the blurred background in an image with shallow depth-of-field. A prime lens has a fixed focal length which means it has only one focal length. One of the most sought after benefits of using a prime lens is for the Bokeh achievable by photographers. Examples of NIKKOR prime lenses are the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1. the viewfinder will be brighter. lighter and more compact than zoom lenses and tend to be faster. nature.8 or even f/1.or step back from your subject(s) when shooting—since you can't zoom in and out. Prime lenses are well suited to a variety of subjects including. prime lenses are ideal to use. what are the benefits to using a prime lens? Prime lenses. especially portrait shooters. you'll be able to use high enough shutter speeds so you can hand-hold the camera. but a zoom gives you a range of focal lengths. flora and low light. The large apertures let in more light. because fast lenses let in lots of light. which benefits the photographer in a number of ways.4. which will lessen the occurrence of noise from the lens being picked up by the camera's internal microphone. portraits. a byproduct of using a prime lens is that you physically have to walk into. Using a Prime Lens for Video When shooting HD video. offering wide apertures of f/2.1of3 What is a prime lens? Well. sports and action.8G.8D). By using a high ISO. Nikon offers a range of prime or fixed focal length lenses.8. They give you the ability to achieve the same shallow depth-of-field at wide open apertures for your video footage as you already get with your still photography. According to many photographers.5G ED VR). f/1. Click here to view the full line of NIKKOR prime / fixed focal length lenses. Some prime lenses are designed for specific uses. landscape. architecture. First.

Lindsay Silverman .

Specifications  Type Single-lens reflex digital camera  Lens Mount Nikon F bayonet mount  Picture Angle Nikon DX format  Effective Pixels 24.1 million  Sensor Size 23.6mm  Image Sensor Format .5mm x 15.

71 million  Dust-reduction system Image sensor cleaning Airflow Control System Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)  Dust-Off Reference Photo Yes  Image Area (pixels) .DX  Image Sensor Type CMOS  Total Pixels 24.

000 x 4.DX-format (L) 6.000  File Format Still Images JPEG: JPEG-Baseline Compliant with fine (approx 1:4).000 (S) 2.000 (M) 4.496 x 3.992 x 2. Normal (approx 1:8) or Basic (approx 1:16) Compression NEF (RAW): compressed 14 bit NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single Photograph Recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG Formats  Picture Control Landscape Monochrome Neutral Portrait Standard User-customizable Settings Vivid .

 Storage Media SD SDHC SDXC  Card Slot 1 Secure Digital (SD)  File System Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0 DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) EXIF 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras) PictBridge  Viewfinder Eye-level Pentamirror Single-Lens Reflex viewfinder  Viewfinder Frame Coverage .

95% Horizontal 95% Vertical Approx.7 m¯¹  Focusing Screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VII screen  Reflex Mirror .  Viewfinder Eyepoint 17.  Viewfinder Magnification 0.9mm  Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment -1.78x Approx.7 to +0.

and AI-P lenses. Electronic Rangefinder can be used if Maximum Aperture is f/5. Electronic Rangefinder can be used if Maximum Aperture is f/5. but Exposure Meter does not Function.6 or Faster Non-CPU: Can be used in mode M. AF lenses (IX NIKKOR and lenses for the F3AF are not supported). Autofocus is not available with other type G and D lenses.Quick-return type  Lens Aperture Instant-return type  Lens Compatibility at a Glance*** AF-S and AF-I CPU lenses only  Compatible Lenses Autofocus is available with AF-S and AF-I lenses.6 or Faster  Shutter Type Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane  Shutter Speed .

Synchronizes with shutter at 1/200s or slower  Bulb Shutter Setting Yes  Shutter Release Modes .  Slowest Shutter Speed 30 sec.  Flash Sync Speed Up to 1/200 sec.1/4000 to 30 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV Bulb  Fastest Shutter Speed 1/4000 sec.

1-5 frames per second Delayed remote (ML-L3) Interval timer photography supported Quick-response remote (ML-L3) Quiet shutter-release Self-timer mode Single-frame [S] mode  Continuous Shooting Options DX-format CH: Up to 5 frames per second CL: Up to 1-3 frames per second  Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution 5 frames per second  Self-timer . 1-3 frames per second Continuous high-speed [CH] mode.Continuous low-speed [CL] mode.

.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point  Metering Range 0 to 20 EV (3D color matrix or center-weighted metering) 2 to 20 EV (spot metering)  Exposure Meter Coupling CPU  Exposure Modes . 5.2.016-pixel RGB sensor  Metering Method Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8mm circle in center of frame Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses). color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses) Spot: Meters 3. 1 to 9 exposures Timer duration electronically controlled  Exposure Metering System TTL exposure metering using 2. 20 sec. 10.5mm circle (about 2.

Aperture-Priority (A) Manual (M) Programmed auto with flexible program (P) Shutter-Priority (S)  Scene Modes Autumn Colors Beach / Snow Blossom Candlelight Child Close-up Dusk / Dawn Food Landscape Night Landscape Night Portrait Party / Indoor Pet Portrait Portrait .

Sports Sunset  Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV  Exposure Bracketing 3 frames in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV  Exposure Lock Yes  Mirror Lock Up Yes  ISO Sensitivity .

600 equivalent)  Expanded ISO Sensitivity Options .800) Hi-2 (ISO 25.ISO 100 .6400 Hi-1 (ISO 12.600)  Lowest Standard ISO Sensitivity 100  Highest Standard ISO Sensitivity 6400  Lowest Expanded ISO Sensitivity ISO 100 equivalent  Highest Expanded ISO Sensitivity Hi-2 (ISO 25.

Hi-1 (ISO-12.800 equivalent) Hi-2 (ISO 25600 equivalent)  Long Exposure Noise Reduction Yes  High ISO Noise Reduction Low Normal High Off  Active D-Lighting Auto Extra High High Normal Low Off .

39 and 39 (3D-tracking)  Auto-area AF Mode Yes  Autofocus System Nikon Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection  Detection Range . D-Lighting Bracketing 2 frames using selected value for one frame  Single-point AF Mode Yes  Dynamic AF Mode Number of AF points: 9. 21.

68°F/20°C)  Lens Servo Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S). auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A). 21 or 39 point Dynamic-area AF Auto-area AF Single-point AF 3D-tracking (39 points)  Focus Lock .-1 to 19 EV (ISO 100. predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status Manual focus (MF): Electronic rangefinder can be used  Focus Point Can be selected from 39 or 11 focus points  AF-area mode 9. Continuous-servo AF (AF-C).

20°C/68°F) .Focus can be locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF)  Focus Modes Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A) Continuous-servo (AF-C) Face-Priority AF available in Live View only and D-Movie only Full-time Servo (AF-A) available in Live View only Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder Normal area Single-servo AF (AF-S) Wide area  Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points 39  Autofocus Sensitivity -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100.

 Built-in Flash Yes  Built-in Flash Distance 12/39. i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighting metering.016-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash and SB-910. standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering  Flash Sync Modes Auto Auto with red-eye reduction Auto slow sync . 20°C/68°F)  X-Sync Speed 1/200  Flash Control TTL: i-TTL flash control using 2. or SB-400. 13/43 with manual flash (m/ft. SB-900. SB-700. ISO 100.

Auto slow sync with red-eye reduction Fill-flash Rear-curtain sync Rear-curtain with slow sync Red-Eye reduction Red-Eye reduction with slow sync Slow sync Off  Flash Compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV  Flash-ready indicator Lights when optional flash unit such as SB-910. SB-700. SB-900. SB-400. SB-R200 is fully charged  Accessory Shoe Yes  Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) .

SB-900.Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-910. SB-800. or SB-700 as a master flash or SU-800 as commander. Flash Color Information Communication supported with all CLS-compatible flash units  Flash Sync Terminal Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15 (available separately)  White Balance Auto Cloudy Direct Sunlight Flash Fluorescent (7 types) Incandescent Preset Manual Shade  White Balance Bracketing 3 shots in steps of 1 .

 Live View Shooting Photography Live View Mode Movie Live View Mode  Live View Lens servo Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S). full-time-servo AF (AF-F) Manual focus (MF)  Live View AF-area mode Face-priority AF Wide-area AF Normal-area AF Subject-tracking AF  Live View Autofocus Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)  Live View Scene Auto Selector .

264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding  Movie Audio recording format .Auto mode Auto (flash off) mode  Movie Metering TTL exposure metering using main image sensor  Movie Maximum recording time 20 minutes at highest quality 29 minutes 59 seconds at normal quality  Movie File Format MOV  Movie Video Compression H.

080 / 24 fps HD 1.080 / 30 fps HD 1.080 / 60i HD 1. stereo External stereo microphone (optional) Microphone sensitivity can be adjusted  Monitor Size .280x720 / 60 fps HD 1.920x1.080 / 50i HD 1.080 / 25 fps HD 1.920x1.920x1.Linear PCM  Movie HD 1.920x1.280x720 / 50 fps VGA 640x424 / 30 fps VGA 640x424 / 25 fps  Movie Audio Built-in microphone.920x1.

000 Dots  Monitor Type Wide Viewing Angle Vari-angle TFT-LCD  Monitor Angle of View 170-degree wide-viewing angle  Monitor Adjustments Brightness. 3 levels Brightness control using ambient brightness sensor  Playback Functions .3 in. diagonal  Monitor Resolution 921.

or 72 images or calendar) Highlights Histogram Display Image Comment Movie Playback Movie Slideshow Playback with Zoom Slideshow  In-Camera Image Editing Color Balance Color Outline Color Sketch D-Lighting Distortion Control Edit Movie Filter Effects Fisheye Image Overlay .Auto Image Rotation Full-Frame and Thumbnail (4. 9.

Miniature Effect Monochrome NEF (RAW) Processing Perspective Control Quick Retouch Red-Eye Correction Resize Selective Color Side-by-Side Comparison Straighten Trim  Image Comment Yes  Interface Accessory Terminal: Remote Cord: MC-DC2 (available separately). GPS unit: GP-1 (available separately) HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector Hi-speed USB .

Stereo Microphone Input WR-R10 wireless remote controller (available separately)  Wi-Fi Functionality Eye-Fi Compatible WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter  GPS GP-1 GPS unit GP-1A GPS unit  Total Custom Settings 22  My Menu Yes with customization  Recent Settings .

Yes  Supported Languages Arabic Brazilian Portuguese Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) Czech Danish Dutch English Finnish French German Greek Hindi Hungarian Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean .

Norweigan Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Ukrainian  Date. Time and Daylight Savings Time Settings Yes  World Time Setting Yes  Battery / Batteries EN-EL14 Lithium-ion Battery .

(98 mm) x 3. Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth) 5.1 in.  Approx. Weight .1 in. Battery Life (shots per charge) 500 shots (CIPA)  AC Adapter EH-5b AC Adapter. (78 mm)  Approx. requires EP-5A Power Connector (available separately)  Battery Charger MH-24 Quick Charger  Tripod Socket 1/4 in. (129 mm) x 3.9 in.

***Refer to the product manual or the Compatible Lenses Specification for additional details. . (505 g) camera body only  Operating Environment 0–40 °C (+32–104 °F)  o o o o o o o o o o Supplied Accessories EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery MH-24 Quick Charger DK-20 Rubber Eyecup UC-E17 USB Cable EG-CP16 Audio Video Cable AN-DC3 Strap DK-5 Eyepiece Cap BF-1B Body Cap BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cap NikonView NX2 CD ROM *SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. **Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.17.8 oz. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

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