So many lenses. So little understanding. (AF, D, ED, G lenses)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by crowdspotting, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. I just bought a D50 and am thinking about which lenses to buy next.
    But I'm confused.

    It seems that there are many choices: Nikon AF-series, D, ED, G, and
    many more types that promise to work on the Nikon D series cameras.

    Does anyone know where I can find a site or a description of the
    differences? Why so many choices? Difference in quality, or just age?

    Is this a repeat of the days when Nikon first came out with the E
    Series lenses and everyone complained about the production quality?

    I searched first, but it's kind of a vague search term and
    I didn't have much luck.



    P.S. Life was so much easier when all I had to do was pick from AI or
    AI-S lenses for my old FMs. :)
  2. I certainly agree. Nikon has really complicated things. You really must be aware of the compatibility problems with which lens works 100% with a particular body. Sure, a 1960s lens may fit on a new body, but beyond that, compatibility is a problem.
    I am in need of a 70-200 zoom that I will use to take photos of running events and also want to use it for landscape. In order to to get a very fast autofocus lens I would need the VR lens but also a pro body. I like the F100, but it does not have mirror lockup. So this is too expensive for the average photographer unless possibly buying used. With Canon, I can buy their 70-200 f4 zoom, have an excellent quality lens and it will work well on a cheap body (Elan 7N). And, the 7N has mirror lockup. My son has used this combination with surprising results.

    When Canon change camera mounts a few years ago, they may have left many owners in the dust, but for the new buyer there lens system works very nice. However, Nikon does have an excellent, capable line of lenses, but, it may take some research to get just what you want.

    Oh, don't forget the term AF-S which I keep forgetting...does it mean silent motor, or is it fast motor, or both? Too many lens designations! Good luck.
  3. Every new dSLR owner should buy a 50mm f/1.8. It's dirt-cheap (I got mine new for $80),
    allows more than *eight times* the light of the 18-55 kit lens at that focal length, is
    incredibly sharp, and zooming with your feet can be an invaluable lesson. lists pretty much all of 'em.
  4. You can pick up a secondhand F5 (with mirror lockup) in Exc++ condition for less than a new F100; it's really a buyer's market for high-end used film camera nowadays. Incidentally, the mirror on the F100 is pretty well damped - you may need mirror lockup less often than you might imagine. And a mint F100 costs less than a new D50...
  5. It's actually fairly simple. You have a D50. You need AF lenses for it, as manual-focus lenses won't meter (With a couple of exceptions, the rare AI-P lenses).

    D lenses work better for flash work, and may focus faster than the plain AF equivalent, AF-N is plain AF as well. AF-S and AF-I lenses have a built-in motor which focuses faster, the only difference is AF-I lenses aren't silent. G lenses are D lenses without an aperture ring, so they won't work on many older bodies, but will work fine on your D50.

    ED means your lens has ED glass in it, which improves optical quality on zooms and telephotos.

    IF means internal focus, so the lens doesn't lengthen as you focus.

    VR is vibration reduction, which reduces blurryness when shooting with slow shutter speeds.

    DX is a digital-only lens

    You can essentially ignore all of these except VR, D/G and AF-S. Just remember you need AF lenses.
  6. Thanks for the great answers. Now I can better make a lens selection.


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