AF-S or HSM Prime lenses?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Antithesis, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do these things even exist? I have a d40x and I don't mind most of the limitations, I was just curious if there was a decent 50mm prime lens that will auto-focus with the d40/d40x? I like my zoom lenses (18-55 kit lens, 55-200) but I feel like they almost make me lazy. After shooting a film camera with a prime lens I found I moved around a lot more and my pictures came out a lot more interesting and dynamic. I'm also attracted to the significantly wider aperatures on these lenses so I can hand-hold my camera a little more often. The kit lens is kind of a joke in that regard.
     
  2. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

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    There are several Nikkor AF-S primes, but the widest one is a 105mm macro.

    Sigma's 30mm f/1.4 HSM is a favorite of many photographers. Its 30mm on a 1.5x crop sensor is nearly equal to the FOV of a 50mm on FF/35mm.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The Sigma 30mm F1.4 is fantastic.
     
  4. seafoxfla

    seafoxfla TPF Noob!

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    Agreed, great lens
     
  5. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am going to get a Sigma 1.4 one of these days... everybody raves about how sharp they are.
     
  6. shivaswrath

    shivaswrath TPF Noob!

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    I read this lens has issues, posted here

    summary of issues:
    front focus issue (sounds like user problem)
    blurry corners (limitation of lens?)
    barrel distortion (limitation of lens)
    doesn't focus as close (user problem?)

    I haven't used this lens, I'm still learning on my Nikor 55-200mm, but I'm just offering this other opinions since I considered this prime lens. . .
     
  7. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good to know. Finding out that none of the shorter nikon primes were af-s made me kick myself for the umpteenth time for buying a d40x.

    I looked on their website earlier and it seems I looked right over it. Silly me. What's the build quality like on Sigma lenses? It seems like it should be pretty good at $640.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, I just picked up my 30mm day before yesterday and I can say that it is a good idea to do a focus chart test on any new lens you purchase.

    My copy does back focus ever so lightly but it is not enough to be visible, even when taking pics close to the minimum focus distance and F/1.4 but I would not have known this had I not done the test:

    The focus chart test is available here:
    http://focustestchart.com/chart.html


    The DOF is razor thin of course, and you will discover one more characteristic about this lens that may or may not annoy you... blurred lights are not seen as the typical round shape but rather a heart shapped with this lens. This is a non issue for me and I am enjoying it a lot.

    [​IMG]

    One thing that did impress me is the size/weight of the Sigma prime. It is about 2-3 times heavier than my 50mm F/1.8 Nikkor that I was expecting to be dimensioned similarly. Nowhere near that. The Nikkor is a lot smaller and lighter. Build quality seems excellent, it feels like a little tank! there were some reports of the lens paint coming off near the serial number area. Looking at mine, I cannot see how, but time will tell.

    If you get a good copy of this lens, you will wonder how you ever did without it and why you did not get it earlier!
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_30_14/index.htm Hmmm even the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 outperforms this one, and that's saying something :er:

    There's no real need for AF-S motors in shorter lenses. What is it you're trying to photograph? It makes sense for the 70-200mm and the 300mm plus primes which are used for sports photography and the like. It also makes sense for the 105mm macro to anyone who's every tried handheld shooting up close and realised that sometimes your AF can't keep up with your movements. But at 50mm especially with elements which are so small the in camera AF motors are perfectly capable of moving the lenses quickly, and it's not expected that a subject will move fast enough to drop out of the DOF.
     
  10. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The d40x won't focus with anything besides AF-S or I would spring for one of the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8's because of how incredibly cheap they are. I'm sure I could get by without autofocus as the lens would most likely be used for street photography and urban photography. I'm just lazy :lol:, but then again, the extra $500 might not be even worth autofocus.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Now you're getting into the spirit of things! It may even help you become a little more creative!
     

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