Why doesn't my Nikon 50 f/1.4 G not auto focus with the N8008?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by mark_stephan|2, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. I was given a Nikon N8008 this past summer and I'm planning to use it for fall colors soon. I've read that theses old camera are compatible with Nikon's G lenses as long as I shoot in Program or Shutter Priority modes. I mounted my Nikon AF-s 50 f/1.4 G lens to the camera and it does not auto focus, I get left and right arrows and sometimes an X. When I try to focus manually the image doesn't come in to focus. I tried turning the focus ring in the direction of the arrows and no luck. The focus confirmation light doesn't turn on when focusing. Luckily the N8008 came with a AF-D 35-105 f/3.5-4.5 which works. I'd forgotten how LOUD the camera is when focusing which I know is normal because I started my Nikon journey with a N6006. What am I doing wrong? My old F5 doesn't care what type of AF lens is attached to the camera, it focuses just fine. I have to remember to use the aperture ring when shooting in M or S modes.

    I just checked my Tokina 16-28 f/2.8 and 35 f/1.8 DX lens and got the same results as my 50 lens. Maybe it hates modern lenses.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  2. The Nikon N8008 (F801 outside the U.S., if memory serves) performs autofocus by means of a motor in the body that drives a screw in the lens. Nikon built lenses (including your Nikon AF-s 50 f/1.4 G) with motors controlled electronically by the camera body. That is what the AF-S part of the lens designation means. Such lenses don't have the screw drive. Many later bodies, including higher-end DSLRs, have both mechanisms, so they are compatible with older and newer lenses.
  3. My copys of F-801 and 35mm DX manually focus just fine, assist arrows and focus confirmation works and camera gives positive viewfinder image as focus is right. If I had to shoot with this pair, might be S program and 1/60.
  4. As said, the N8008 is not compatible with any lenses that have an in-lens focus motor. This includes AF-S and AF-I lenses.

    If you want AF with this lens, you need(off hand) and F4, F5, F6, N80, N90, or F100. I know those cameras will work for sure-there may be others.

    The F4 and N90 also come with a big asterisk in that you can only use G lenses(like your 50mm) in P and S modes.

    IMO, the N80 is probably the best BARGAIN around for a film SLR that will work with modern lenses(except AF-P and E). I regularly see them for ~$20. They give you full operation of AF-S and VR lenses along with multi-point AF and an interface that many DSLR users will find familiar. I actually don't own an N80, but I have a couple of DSLRs that are built on an N80 body.

    With all of that said, when I have DSLRs out I've found that the F100 is the best all-around camera for me to toss in my bag with them. There again, with the exception of AF-P and E lenses(which I don't buy) it gives full compatibility with both modern lenses and everything back to AI lenses(albeit without matrix metering on non-CPU lenses). The user interface is derived from the F5, but is very similar in operation to high end non-pro Nikon DSLRs like the D8xx series, D200, D300, D500, and D700. The only clunky part of it is the custom functions, but basically they're a one-time deal for me to set up the way I want and I can do that at home. If you intend to change them on the fly, it's advisable to carry a cheater card, although if you only change certain functions you will likely remember them.
  5. Duh! I forgot it needed screw drive lenses. Why does the F5 work with both types of AF lenses?
  6. The best logical answer I can come up with(and I don't know if this is true) is that AF-S probably uses the same communication protocol as AF-I. Chances are AF-I was at least on the drawing board when the F4 was designed, which is why it works with AF-S. It also wouldn't surprise me if AF-S and VR were both at least in development when the F5 was released, and Nikon wanted as much forward compatibility as possible.

    The first lenses the F5 didn't full support mechanically/electrically were "E" aperture lenses.

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