Saturday, February 20, 2010

Why the G lenses?

Because, nobody uses the aperture ring with the new and modern D-SLR cameras? Yeah... Ok, but, the ones who own old film cameras of Nikon? Are they grounded forever? Do they have to dig in e-bay to find D type lenses?

(Correction made after José Luís 's warning, thx)
And.. What is the next step? I am afraid that they will remove the focus drive on the pro cameras within 10 years. They did it already on D60 and below cameras. If the nikon lens is not AF-S, and you own a beginner or medium range D-SLR like D3000 up to D60, you can not use these lenses.. I have 9 FX primes at the moment and only 2 of them are AF-S. The rest is with screw on them. So, what i want to know, what will be the future of these lenses? Do we have to keep our ex D series to use them 10 years from now on?

PS: Do not use the "D type AF lenses are slow to focus" card on me. Don't bite it..
PS2: As Ken Rockwell quoted: "G lenses are gelded lenses"
PS3: Please support Ken Rockwell against his fight against ABX8 8. He tries to survive via website with free of charge helping to us, photo lovers..


José Luís said...

>I am afraid that they will remove the focus drive on the pro cameras within 3-5 years.
-you maybe joking!

>They did it already on D90 and below cameras.
the D90 as a built-in drive af motor

Oytun PINAR said...

Why am i joking? There is no focus drive screw on the D90 and below cameras.. I am afraid, it will be same on all cameras within some 5 years. This is a marketing strategy of all the huge industrial companies. Can you use your first mobile phone now? No batteries, changed frequencies etc.. Although the body of these cell phones are solid, you can not use them..
Ok, Nikon may continue some, but it will be like 5-10% of the total lens production.
To remove this drive motor and screw unit, will let them gain some extra weight to locate some new "high tech" equipment...

José Luís said...

Excerpt Extracted from the Nikon Digital SLR Camera D90 Specifications on-line brochure file name: d90_16p.pdf

Type Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens mount Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)

Nikon D90 it's the D70, D70s, D80 line up, thus, always with built-in with AF coupling and doing so in body AF drive motor.

note on AF-S:
there are AF-S lens that focuses slowly than some AF D
I should say, do not use AF lens (without "D" type mark) if you want to use 3D metering system as they don't inform the body about the "D"istance, thus, no 3D matrix metering

for more information please consult Nikon's D90 product catalogue on page 8

please accept apologies about my poor English

Oytun PINAR said...

To Jose Luis:
Thanks for the warning and excuse my mistake. When i have written D90 and below, i have meant D60 and below. D90 has a driving module on it.. Sorry for this misunderstanding and thanks for the point out.

Jake said...

What's important to understand is that Nikon is a business and fewer and fewer people are looking for D type lenses. With demand dropping Nikon will eventually, if they haven't already, lose money on the production of these lenses. However, they still make some of the standards like the 50 and the 85, which they'll probably continue to make for a long time. But on more of the specialty lenses like the super telephotos, micros, or ultra wide angles they have to reconcile production cost with features that have market demand. Because Nikon's entire current line of camera bodies supports electronic control of the aperture the usefulness of an aperture ring is quickly dropping for most of the market. Don't think of this as Nikon getting cheap. Electronic control from the camera body is an advance in technology that allows more convenient and precise control (down to 1/3 of a stop) of the aperture diaphragm. If electronic aperture control via the camera body were possible in the 1950s D type lenses would have been done away with decades ago. There will be a few people using older film cameras that will be affected but they'll be limited to a more simple set of lenses as I mentioned above.

As for AF-S lenses and focus drives built into cameras it's similar. Lenses usually survive much longer than camera bodies or are used with more than one body so having auto-focus built into the lens will eventually be more cost effective than building it into the camera body. For example, I might use the same lens on two camera bodies. If Nikon can put the focus drive in the lens and not in the body of the camera they only had to make it once rather than twice. This is more cost effective and seems to be the direction Nikon is moving.

As with all industries, legacy equipment will be supported for a time but will eventually need to be replaced. Although, once it becomes 'vintage' you might be able to fetch a nice price for it on ebay.

Oytun PINAR said...

Hi Jake,
I can not say that i do not agree with you. You are right about it is business and cost reduction is very very important.
My point was that the No Aperture ring lenses will fade away and also the AF lenses. I have a lot of NON AF-S lenses in my backpack and very happy with the built quality and optical results..
But, again, every new lens Nikon built up has (sometimes) better optic quality but worse body quality and cheap feeling (i.e. compare 50mm f/1.4D and new AF-S 50mm f/1.4G for cheap feeling)
this is a way of cost reduction and building up new legends (like 13mm f/5.6 or or other AI-S wide angle f/1.4 lenses)
As in your last paragraph says, i will keep my 180mm f/2.8D and 200mm f/4 Micro lenses for future investments...