Nikkor lens - difference in D and G

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kanwar_bajwa, May 16, 2011.

  1. Nikon lens names have D or G at the end. What does D and G denote. Also what is difference in AF-S and only AF.
    I am trying to understand difference between AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G and AF 50mm f/1.8D
    Could someone help me become less dumber???
     
  2. Lenses with the 'G' designation don't have an aperture ring. Aperture has to be set through the camera. AFS lenses have the focusing motor built into the lens. Usually much quieter and faster focusing than regular AF lenses that have the focusing motor in the body and mechanically focus the lens. AFS lenses will not autofocus on AF only bodies. Bodies that are AFS only will not autofocus with regular AF lenses.
     
  3. One difference is you have manual aperture on the D. And none on the G; the aperture is set via camera.
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    AFS lenses will not autofocus on AF only bodies.​
    Only a few Nikon AF film bodies fall into that category; most of them are from the few years before and after 1990, such as the N8008/F801. All Nikon digital SLRs can auto focus with AF-S lenses.
    Bodies that are AFS only will not autofocus with regular AF lenses.​
    Some of the recent lower-end DSLRs fall into that category, from the D40 to the current D3100 and D5100. Given that pretty much all new AF lenses are AF-S, this is not a major issue. However, some of the current Tokina lenses are not of the AF-S type, such as the 11-16mm/f2.8 Tokina, etc.
     
  5. As far as those two lenses are concerned, though, yes, the "D" won't focus on D40/40X/60/3000/3100/5000/5100 (although it will meter)... but also...
    The "G" lens has a totally new optical formula. Nikon claims better bokeh (and better CA control perhaps), but the jury is out on that. It's probably going to be better. Normally "new" formulations of lenses these days are better than those they replace... What camera(s) will you use this lens on?
     
  6. Also, I am pretty sure that all "G" lenses are AF-S, but most "D" lenses are not.
    And, btw, you are NOT dumb. It's very confusing.
     
  7. The 10.5mm Fisheye is not AF-S but it's G. There's always an exception :)
     
  8. Also, I am pretty sure that all "G" lenses are AF-S​
    Most are, but not all...I can think of 2, (the 10.5mm DX Fisheye and 70-300mm ED-IF non-VR), that are G lenses, but not AF-S.
    Either way...
    "D" lenses are of an older lens design and they transmit Distance information to the camera's metering system.
    "G" lenses are Gelded, which means that they do not have an aperture ring and the aperture must be controlled by the camera.
    or, From NikonUSA:
    D: Distance
    D-type AF-Nikkor lenses relay subject-to-camera distance information to Nikon SLR cameras that feature 3D Color Matrix Metering, 3D Matrix Metering, and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash.

    G: The lens has no aperture control ring and is designed to be used with cameras that allow setting the aperture from the camera body. G lenses also provide Distance information to the camera.​
    Hope this helps,
    RS
     
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    There are a few G lenses that are not AF-S. The 10.5mm/f2.8 DX fisheye is one, and I own one. In fact, that is the only Nikon DX lens that is not AF-S. Also the "cheap" 70-300mm/f4-5.6 G lens is not AF-S; that lens is typically sold for less than $150 new and has a plastic mount. (Note that it is a 70-300 from f4 on the 70mm end. The AF-S VR version is f4.5 at 70mm and a lot more expensive.)
     
  10. Uh oh... are we giving information overload? Did we help, Kanwar? Please let us know? Here at photo.net, if you ask us what time it is, we love to give you a treatise on the history of clockmaking and timepieces...
     
  11. D lenses are significantlly less costly in todays market; available to purchase while lots of G lenses are out of stock, and the D lenses are available in the secondary market from sellers like KEH. on the other hand, the G lenses are way cooler looking, and more fun to use, with better lens hood mounts.
     
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Peter, whenever you have a tiny bit of error in your facts, be assured that you will be corrected on this forum. :)
    I hope the OP has gotten the info he/she wants.
     
  13. "we love to give you a treatise" -probably.
    It usually takes many posters to get all the relevant information out, even if is not asked for, and this thread is good example of it. E.g. Peter did not provide some vital information, and it required Richard to step in and explain other aspects.
     
  14. on the other hand, the G lenses are way cooler looking, and more fun to use, with better lens hood mounts.​
    I always thought the D lenses were cooler, with their manual aperture rings, allowing them to be used on older cameras that wouldn't support a G lens. Nikon discontinued the 24-85mm G and left the 24-85mm D lens still in production, probably because it outsold the G lens due to its faster maximum aperture (f2.8 vs f3.5).
     
  15. Thanks everybody... This helped.. I love such forums where you get so many replies so quickly...
     
  16. Between AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G and AF 50mm f/1.8D, how much importance should I give to D over AF-S feature. I bought my Nikon D90 about 1.5 years ago, and I am trying to learn photography. Is D feature important to have or I should give preference to AF-S??
     
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    All Nikon G lenses are actually D lenses as well; i.e., all G lenses can relay focusing distance from the lens to the body, which is what D means.
    Nikon introduced the D capability in 1992 along with the F90/N90 body and SB-25 flash. All AF lenses introduced since 1992 are D. G lenses didn't appear until the late 1990's/early 2000's and they all have the D capability.
     
  18. Kanwar,
    There hasn't been any real reviews of the new G lens, so we can't tell you which is better. They will both meter and AF on the D90. The new G one is a new optical formula,a totally different lens.
     
  19. There are several older G lenses that aren't AF-S - at least a 28-80 and a 28-200 spring to mind (I own both). AF-S costs money, so cheap lenses introduced after "G" lenses started appearing but before the cheap Nikon bodies that don't have autofocus motors are the main candidates.

    Specifically comparing the 50mm f/1.8 options:

    1) If you want to use it on a camera that has no internal way of setting aperture (check a compatibility list for G lenses, but we're talking older/manual film cameras) or adapt the lens to another mount (e.g. put it on a 4/3 camera), it's probably better to go for the AF-D.

    2) If you're wanting to use it on a body without an autofocus motor (D40/40x/60/3000/3100/5000/5100) then only the AF-S lens will autofocus. The D90 will focus the AF-D lens perfectly well.

    3) The mechanical aperture stop of the non-G lens might be slightly more precise (see a thread about this lens being announced and using G lenses for time-lapse photography); I suspect this is unlikely to affect you unless you're using the lens for special purposes (time-lapse is an example).

    4) The AF-S lens has had a complete optical redesign, and is probably (according to the MTF charts) sharper, at least wide open and away from the centre. I've yet to see a full review of its optical features, but the old version's bokeh wasn't wonderful so I doubt the new one is worse.

    5) The AF-D lens is cheaper.

    Essentially, the AF-S lens is (probably) better, but costs more. You only *need* it if you have a cheap digital body. You (usually) only *need* the AF-D if you're using an older film camera. I hope that helps.
     
  20. Between AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G and AF 50mm f/1.8D, how much importance should I give to D over AF-S feature. I bought my Nikon D90 about 1.5 years ago, and I am trying to learn photography. Is D feature important to have or I should give preference to AF-S??​
    I'd definitely go with the AF-S G lens. As well as the AF being compatible with the lower end DSLRs, it will autofocus more quickly and smoothly than the AF-D. I've already pre-ordered the G even though I own two copies of the AF-D
    Long ago, I was biased towards the D lenses with mechanical aperture stops because I have a collection of older film cameras and I figured the internal design of the AF-D lens would be easier to repair when necessary. But I rarely shoot with those old bodies and the autofocus of the AF-D lenses can feel decidedly clunky in comparison to an AF-S lens.
    You will have this lens for a long, long time. The extra USD $90 is worth it.
     
  21. I'd definitely go with the AF-S G lens. As well as the AF being compatible with the lower end DSLRs, it will autofocus more quickly and smoothly than the AF-D. I've already pre-ordered the G even though I own two copies of the AF-D​
    I deliberately avoided mentioning autofocus speed, partly because I believe I've read that people have seen the 50mm f/1.4 AF-D focus faster than the AF-S version (although I may be confusing it with other lenses there). The 50mm f/1.8 AF-D is a lightweight and has very fast focus anyway, at least on my D700. The AF-S may be better, but I'll be surprised if it's significant. You do, however, get AF-S style manual-focus override, rather than having to disengage the focus screwdriver on the camera (with my 50mm AF-D, I mostly use this to crank the front in for storage). I've no direct experience with the G lens, however.
     
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    First of all, Nikon's 50mm/f1.8 AF-S has been announced but not yet released. Therefore, unless you have connection to Nikon and manage to have tried a pre-release sample, nobody has real experience with it yet.
    Generally speaking, apparently all Nikon f1.4 AF-S lenses have rather slow AF; they seem to design those lenses for precise AF rather than speed to accomodate the very shallow depth of field at f1.4. Therefore, the 50mm/f1.8 AF-S could well fall into the same situation.
     
  23. @ Shun .. I am not up to date with photography gear.. I looked at Nikon website and found this lens there.. Only after reading these replies I found out that this lens will come out in next few weeks...
    I guess I have to wait for its release and then read reviews before I buy.... Thanks everybody for your replies.....
     
  24. How much real world difference does high-end screw drive motor do anyway?
    If I'd use my D2Xs for example, would if focus faster with a 50 mm f/1.8 D than a 50 mm f/1.8 G?
     

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