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  1. #1
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Advice wanted on AF Nikkor

    I have used manual focus 35 mm Nikon equipment for 30+ years but have no experience of autofocus (and no AF body). I recently bought a lot of Nikon gear which included a 50 mm AF Nikkor. This focuses cleanly by manual means. It has a small slider switch just to the right of the marking "50mm 1:1.8" on the barrel. This switch is stuck in its lower position opposite a red line and will not move upwards. I presume this switch is an AF/MF selector. Am I right in thinking this means the AF function on this lens is unusable, or is there some weird interlock, for example the lens can be switched to AF only when on an AF body? Advice appreciated!

    Regards,

    David

  2. #2

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    Hi David. Try rotating the aperture ring fully to the right (try switch) then fully to the left (try switch). Might work.

    Mike

  3. #3

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    The switch might be the minimum aperture lock. It only operates when the aperture ring is stopped down fully, and prevents the ring from being turned. The idea is that on an AF body, the aperture is controlled by a command dial but the lens must be fully stopped down to allow the full range to be set from the body.

    I have the latest version of the 50/1.8 AF-D and mine has no AF/MF selection on the lens. On an MF body, treat it just like an MF lens. On an AF body you won't be able to turn the lens focus ring without a lot of effort because the "screwdriver" of the body AF mechanism will be engaged with the lens.

    Ian

  4. #4
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan160 View Post
    The switch might be the minimum aperture lock. It only operates when the aperture ring is stopped down fully, and prevents the ring from being turned. ...
    Spot on - it is!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan160 View Post
    I have the latest version of the 50/1.8 AF-D and mine has no AF/MF selection on the lens. On an MF body, treat it just like an MF lens. On an AF body you won't be able to turn the lens focus ring without a lot of effort because the "screwdriver" of the body AF mechanism will be engaged with the lens.

    Ian
    This explains it - the only AF system I have is Pentax, and so I expect to hear a whirring noise when I focus an AF lens manually with the AF engaged. If Nikon AF lens have no motors in them, obviously I won't hear anything!

    Thanks to both respondents for info!

    Regards,

    David

  5. #5
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    David;

    The newest Nikon AF lenses have a motor in them, not in the body. So, under some circumstances such as old body and new lens, you can have 2 motors. It causes no problem except that there are now 3 different contact arrangements on Nikon AF cameras. I forget the number of contact points on the top arc of the lenses. If the contact arc is all filled then it is the newest type of lens, but if there are gaps, then the lens is older.

    The newest ones are the fastest and most quiet. Some of the very old ones will cause some auto functions to freeze and you have to go into a specific mode such as "P". Then it works. It depends on mode and lens type.

    Enjoy your new stuff.

    PE

  6. #6
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Go get yourself an AF Nikon body now. I love the intercompatibility of Nikon gear. Sure, there are some wrinkles and exceptions one needs to learn about, but I use gear interchangeably all the time. My AI 105/2.5 is often on my F5 and my AF-S 17-35/2.8D and AF 50/1.4D are often on my F3HP.

    A few AF Nikkors have an AF/MF switch on them. All of the AF-S lenses with built-in AF motors do. The odd non-motor lens (e.g. AF 20-35/2.8D, AF 80-200/2.8) also have switches. On these latter lenses, you have to disable AF on the lens in order to be able to focus manually. (On the 80-200 the focus ring spins freely if you don't, doing nothing, and on the 20-35 the focus ring is locked if you don't).
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  7. #7
    simulatordan's Avatar
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    hello David,

    The later Nikon cameras e.g F65/N65 uses control wheel to set fstops from the camera; the 'G' generation of lenses do not have fstop control on the lens itself. non 'G' type lenses have the little switch on them so that they can be used on earlier cameras e.g F5, F50, F501 as you would expect by setting the fstop from the lens. On the later cameras you set the lens to f22 select the switch to lock the rotation of the aperture ring and set the fstop using the on camera controls.

    I use a 50mm AFD f1.8, 28mm - 70mm zoom AFD f 3.5 - 4.5, and a 80mm - 300mm zoom AFD F 4.0 - 5.3 with this switch arrangement on a F501 and a F65 in this way a so save having to have lots of different generation lenses

    Regards Daniel

  8. #8
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatordan View Post
    On the later cameras you set the lens to f22 select the switch to lock the rotation of the aperture ring and set the fstop using the on camera controls.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but there might be inexperienced folks reading this thread. It's not always f:22, but as Stan160 has mentioned, the smallest aperture on the given lens that has the locking position.

    Lee

  9. #9

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    @Photo Engineer: It's the newest 'G' lenses, not the old ones that have mode requirements. The G lenses only work with P and S modes on some older bodies (the ones that require you to use the aperture ring in A and M modes to set aperture). All Nikon AF film cameras support in-body AF motors except the rare F3AF (Which you'll likely never see). The lens-motor equipped lenses are AF-I or AF-S with the latter being the most common (there's also two lenses for the F3AF that once again, you'll never see). only some bodies support AF with these lenses (F4, F5, F6,F90/F90x, F100, F80, F75, F65 and IIRC F60). The AF system is for the most part similar to Pentax's from an operators point of view. The Nikons will be faster and work better in low light as Pentax AF is slow apart from the MZ-S which is middling.

  10. #10
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Well, I cannot go into all the detail you have, but some of my cameras lock up with the 2x telextender from Nikon, but others don't and etc and etc. It is a mix and match condition there where one has to look at the contact arc of about 5, 7 and 12 contacts and match with the body.

    I have 3 bodies that are mutually incompatible and I have to select my lenses carefully.

    PE

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