Looking for **super fast** focusing lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by leighmcmullen, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. All--
    I'm looking for a VERY VERY fast focusing lens, key here is focus and focus tracking speed. While I'd prefer a f2.8 or faster aperture, a variable f3.5-4.5 would work as well.
    lens will be used primarily in available light, candid, situations, so handling is important.
    Ideally, I'm looking for something around 100mm but anything zoom or prime between 50-150 would work.
    what I've tried. 50 f1.4 both AF-D and AF-S. this is my main lens, which I love neither focus particularly fast for my purposes.
    sigma 28-70 f2.8. Also nice, but slow focusing. optics are a bit less than what I'd like.
    I'm looking for something at or under 1K. I've thought about the AF-S and AF-D 80-200, which are way bigger than I'd like, and I don't know how fast they focus.
  2. What Body????
  3. is this for a DX or FX camera?
  4. I don't know how anyone can answer this question adequately given the information you have provided. There are just too many variables. Camera body, preferred focal length, lighting conditions, subject movement, subject contrast, focus mode, etc., etc.
  5. 105G f/2.8 micro VR is a good candidate although on a crop body you'll be working from across the room.
  6. AF-S Micro Nikkor 60/2.8G ED focuses blindingly fast even on the slowest D40.
  7. Yeah, this is a hard one to answer with the information provided.What kind of body? and if your body has the option, will you use continuous focus tracking? some lenses are very fast, but will start hunting on continuous focus tracking.
    I also guess you have not the best 28-70 of Sigma, since mine is razor sharp on a D700...
  8. I'll take a stab in the dark and recommend the 17-55.
  9. Mark Mandell , Feb 08, 2010; 10:13 p.m.
    105G f/2.8 micro VR is a good candidate although on a crop body you'll be working from across the room.​
    You are kidding, right? I have and love this lens. Fast focusing it is not.
  10. Too many variables.
    What is fast?
    A "D" lens 80-200mm for instance won't be too fast if you just focused on something 8 feet and then go to infinity.
    OTOH, even the 50mm D lens to me is lightning fast.
  11. Sorry, the body is a D700. the ideal focal length as I said in the OP as 100mm though anything in the 50-150 range would work fine. Subjects will be people, moving in available light.
    prioritizing my wish-list:
    1) Focusing Speed
    2) Image quality
    3) Aperture Speed
    4) Handling / Size (being able to move in and out of people without bashing them in the head as one would with the 70/80-200 f2.8 lenses
    5) Price. (that said, it needs to be <1K. but I'm also okay with buying used glass).
    @Dennis: I'm very happy with my sigma, it is VERY VERY sharp. but it focuses VERY SLOWLY, often hunting when I'm using another other than matrix mode, and for some reason, the images it seems to produce lack "pop" Don't know if it's contrast, color rendition, or what, but subjectively, I've got a nikon 28-200 that crosses its focal range, and that glass seems to produce better "looking" images, in situations where low-light isn't a problem.
  12. >> 105G f/2.8 micro VR is a good candidate although on a crop body you'll be working from across the room.

    You are kidding, right? I have and love this lens. Fast focusing it is not.​
    Joel - I would agree with you - it's not tooo bad in bright light, but as soon as light falls off it starts to hunt big time. Really frustrating in macro photography, where it's a nudge away from being in-focus but autofocuses in the wrong direction and has to back-track. I'm sure I've had time to brew a coffee in the meantime.
    Having said that - I do love the 105mm f2.8 Micro, it and my 12-24DX are my most used lens.
  13. AF tracking is a function of the body -- obviously the Multi-CAM 3500FX af module in the D700 is no slouch, so my question is: have you optimized your AF settings to maximiza the D700's AF tracking?
  14. @Keith, yes.
    @ Everyone else... you know I love photo.net... but It's becoming real, real apparent why folks suggest this site is in decline, if one can't ask a question like:
    "Whats the fastest focusing lens between 50-150mm, for under 1K new or used"
    and not get a single lens recomendation, but get 12 more questions back.
    Forget it. I quit.
    I just bought a used AF-S 24-85 3.5-4.5 I'll let YOU guys know how fast it is when I get it.
  15. Geez, Leigh. You posted less than 24 hours ago, and you "gave up" on the posters for not helping you ? Come on, you only posted what camera you had 12 hours after you started the thread ! I don't think the site is in decline, as you say, it's only some peoples attention span that seems out of sorts. Of COURSE you got questions back. You didn't provide all the info they needed. Like your camera body.
  16. With all of your parameters including AF speed, compactness, optical performance, focal length, etc it is obvious the perfect lens for you is the 85/1.4 AF-S. Problem is it hasn't been introduced yet.
  17. @Raymond: I'd shoot my dog for an 85 f1.4 or f1.8 AF-S... though I'll tell ya, I got the 50 1.4 AF-S it was not any faster (focusing) than the regular old AF-D version. I wonder if the any theoretical 85mm AF-S would be faster focusing with a SWM?
    @John: thanks for the reality check. I guess I'd hoped that folks would make certain inferences from my OP like:
    Geeze, he says he's got 2 screwdriver lenses, he probably has a body that can focus with one. He asked for something close to 100mm, so it' doesn't matter if it's FX or DX, since the OP knows what focal length he wants and is probably accounting for the crop-factor, if there is one.
    And of course the OP did say he wanted a fast-focusing lens for available light (but was willing to give up a stop or two), so he's probably photographing moving subjects. Maybe kids, maybe dogs, maybe adolescent velociraptors? Is it relevant?
    Now I know that here is a difference in how fast the screw-driver turns between bodies like the D90 and the D700, so that might be relevant, but not, if (as chances are) the fastest sub-thousand-dollar lens you can buy is an AF-S.

    Now, I'm neither new here, nor altogether ignorant of the technology of photography. And was merely trying to seek the opinions of trusted friends and peers, as I tried to fill out my kit. Imagine my frustration if I WERE NEW HERE, and we'd gone 16 posts and still , nobody has offered up a suggestion (other than that perhaps I'm both impatient and stupid for failing to provide exact details on everything I own, circumstances of use, and configuration).
  18. It's great to blame others for you're inability to write a coherent post and to assume that everyone can read your mind.
    Your sense of entitlement is breathtaking.
  19. Agreed. And I don't see this thread getting any better. Perhaps we can try again in a new thread in which the OP provides more specific information about the equipment, types of subjects and situations, goals, experience with existing equipment and other useful information, including following up more promptly with courteous replies to responses offered.

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