Nikon D5100's autofocus with lenses

PaulLambeth

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In April I'll be receiving my Nikon D5100 (no questioning that, it's bought, it's with my mum who's flying over in April), with kit zoom lens, and after much reading I've concluded that I want a prime lens in addition. Ideally I would like the Nikon 50mm f1.8 - everyone raves about it, it seems to produce very sharp photos and has a high upper aperture, great for low-lit situations. I will be shooting mainly street photography, for which it seems ideal. Unfortunately, I've read that it can not autofocus with the D5100 - the D5100 has "no support for screwdrive autofocus". I *think* this is irritating, because I have never tried to use manual focus before. I'm a newbie photographer. However, another side to me tells me it'll be a great important learning experience to not be relying on autofocus all the time, especially in the street where autofocus might not pick up the subject I'm looking for.

Would it be better for me to get a lens that it could autofocus with, and if so, is there an equivalently great cheap lens I should go for? I'm not sure what the lens choice would be that could autofocus with the D5100.

Or would it be fine to just get the 50mm f1.8, and spend a couple of months teaching myself to manually focus properly? Is this a realistic goal, in a relatively active situation on the street?

Thanks very much in advance. I'm afraid of putting myself in an awkward situation with a manual focus lens from the get go. But I don't want to sacrifice quality for autofocus.
 

Mach0

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The 50 1.8 AF-D will not autofocus on your body. If you don't mind manual focus then it's a great buy for 100 bucks. Or you can get the 50 1.8g. It's an AF-S lens and will autofocus on your body. It's only a hundred more. Shop around.
 

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PaulLambeth said:
In April I'll be receiving my Nikon D5100 (no questioning that, it's bought, it's with my mum who's flying over in April), with kit zoom lens, and after much reading I've concluded that I want a prime lens in addition. Ideally I would like the Nikon 50mm f1.8 - everyone raves about it, it seems to produce very sharp photos and has a high upper aperture, great for low-lit situations. I will be shooting mainly street photography, for which it seems ideal. Unfortunately, I've read that it can not autofocus with the D5100 - the D5100 has "no support for screwdrive autofocus". I *think* this is irritating, because I have never tried to use manual focus before. I'm a newbie photographer. However, another side to me tells me it'll be a great important learning experience to not be relying on autofocus all the time, especially in the street where autofocus might not pick up the subject I'm looking for.

Would it be better for me to get a lens that it could autofocus with, and if so, is there an equivalently great cheap lens I should go for? I'm not sure what the lens choice would be that could autofocus with the D5100.

Or would it be fine to just get the 50mm f1.8, and spend a couple of months teaching myself to manually focus properly? Is this a realistic goal, in a relatively active situation on the street?

Thanks very much in advance. I'm afraid of putting myself in an awkward situation with a manual focus lens from the get go. But I don't want to sacrifice quality for autofocus.

The 50mm 1.8g af-s lens will autofocus on the d5100. It's like 200.00 new but it will work fine.

The 50mm 1.8d af lens will not autofocus
 
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PaulLambeth

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Thanks for the tips about the 1.8G.

I've heard a couple of negatives about the G compared to other models, like it doesn't have an aperture ring (I take it that's okay if it's with the D5100? I can set aperture from the body itself?) and poorer distortion compared to other 1.8s. Do these complaints (noted from Ken Rockwell) hold up? The difference in price is a little annoying but nothing was going to be as cheap as the 1.8d.

I'm figuring from your responses that I WOULD mind having only manual focus. That's one thing I wanted to get at with this thread.
 

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DIstortion and Ken Rockwell...Ken is one of the BIGGEST worry-warts about distortion. Distortion can be corrected in software these days, and pretty darned well too. Unless one is shooting very strictly rectilinear subjects, and often, or is an architecture shooter, distortion is simply invisible to almost every viewer--unless it is absolutely HORRIFIC!

Distortion is one thing Ken talks about a lot. Not sure why though...almost nobody else gives a rat's a$$ about it on a 50mm lens...
 
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PaulLambeth

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Haha, okay, I'll bear that in mind. Looks like if there's no complaints (except my wallet crying an extra hundred dollars) I'll get the 50mm 1.8G AF-S. Thanks all. Looking like a grand forum already.
 

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Thank you for sharing and good luck with the thread.
g.php
 

zamanakhan

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DIstortion and Ken Rockwell...Ken is one of the BIGGEST worry-warts about distortion. Distortion can be corrected in software these days, and pretty darned well too. Unless one is shooting very strictly rectilinear subjects, and often, or is an architecture shooter, distortion is simply invisible to almost every viewer--unless it is absolutely HORRIFIC!

Distortion is one thing Ken talks about a lot. Not sure why though...almost nobody else gives a rat's a$$ about it on a 50mm lens...

this is true... take everything ken says with a grain of salt, on one page he will go off about how bad distortion is and in another he goes off saying how great his fisheye is because he can remove distortion with softwares like dxo optics of fisheye hele (i think thats what its called.) He contradicts himself ALOT, most of his reviews consist of one decent point then him smashing the keyboard followed by exactly what he thinks everyone should be doing. Do yourself a favor, check out his albums. Ken rockwell has maybe 4 really good picures, all from years ago the rest are just generic pics, he is more of a snapshot shooter with knowledge about camera equipment than natural ability.

Having said all that, some of his articles are very useful such as the compatibility chart. Some of his opinions are actually pretty useful as well and do make a ton of sense, but very often he goes off on some rant that completely contradicts something he said in another article. The guy most definitely has more experience in the photography world that i do, and while his particular style of photography does nothing for me, he definitely has the experience to deserve some respect.

In my n00bish days of owning my first slr i checked his site VERY often and took everything he said very seriously. As i gained more experience i started to realize this chap and i are on very different fields and his needs are very different than those of mine.

if you already have the kit lens i'd pick up the 50 1.8g. If you want to use the prime as a lens that sits on your camera more, than i would pick up the 35mm 1.8. the 35mm and 18-55 kit lenses are better for street photography i think more so than the 50 1.8. The 50 is better on a full frame camera. Also i found the 35 1.8 to be sharper than the 50 1.8 AF lens, might of been my copy buy the 50 was hazier and didn't look a thing like the 35 did at 1.8.

You'll have fun with the 50 1.8g in addition to the 18-55mm, have fun!!!
 

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I've got the d5100 with the 50mm 1.8 without the focusing motor. It is a left over from my film camera. I wouldn't dream of BUYING anything that wouldn't autofocus. The screen on the D5100 is poor at best for manual focusing. True the electronic range finder does help but, only in descent light. If you are in low light, manual focusing is darn near impossible. Get the one that will auto focus. You won't be sorry.
 

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