Digital SLR Cameras Forum

Digital SLRs Forum Discuss digital SLRs, lenses, RAW conversion, or anything else related to digital SLRs. You may also want to see the Nikon, Canon, and Sony camera forums.
Digital Camera Pro Reviews >>
Read and Write Digital SLR Reviews >>
Digital SLR Buyer's Guide >>
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    France
    Posts
    12

    Question in-body or in-lens AF?

    Hi everyone,

    i know this question has already been asked on this forum, but in my case, I didn't get a clear answer and it doesn't helps me in choosing a camera..

    I have two options:
    - Nikon D5000
    - Nikon D90

    Why those two? Well, I prefer Nikon and many people say Nikon lenses are better, so that adds some 'force' to my choice (sorry for the english )

    The problem I have is that there is little documentation about autofocus (not what it is but for example how fast one can focus manually (in general , a mole will have difficulties to focus fast , lol). I read many pros actually disable autofocus in some circumstances (could you repeat me which?).

    This will be my first DSLR camera and I will mainly using it for nature (low-light), portrait and macros. Eventually some sports events (car, motorbike, .. ). So yes, a wide-range use. This doesn't make the choice easier. Because some shots will need fast focussing.

    For me, the main difference (please make corrections if needed) between D90 and D5000 is the in-body AF motor (or not). I have two pentax lenses and I don't even know if they will fit on the DSLR. I still have to check that out. I can give you references later on, if someone can help me on that.

    So, this leads me to several questions:
    - how important is autofocus for the use I will have? (for macro, should I buy a prime lens with or w/o AF?).
    - is there a big difference in price between AF and non-AF lenses (since there are more and more AF lenses). What will the future be like?
    - What is the better AF, lens or body? (like VR is better in-lens)


    Thanks in advance for the help!!
    Last edited by ezechiel; 07-20-2009 at 05:37 AM.

  2. #2
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    wa state
    Posts
    11,195

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    First I'd like to say welcome to the forums! Hope you stick around and share some of your work after you decide.

    Second, the pentax lenses will NOT work on a Nikon.

    The portrait, low light nature, and macro photography you will be doing can and sometimes should be done with manual focus. You have static subjects and don't need to shoot quickly. You mention some people turn the vr off on their lenses. They do this when using a tripod, most likely. VR is used to overcome the photographers motion. Nobody can hold a camera perfectly still. It allows you to shoot with slower shutter speeds when the result would otherwise be blurry. Up to a point depending on how steady your hands are.
    The sports, cars, motorbikes is a whole different story especially when they are moving and/or you have to be able to shoot quickly.
    I don't even know if they make non-autofocus lenses but they probably do.
    A D90 will work with all the Nikon auto focus lenses. The D500 has to have ones with AFS. These are the ones with a motor in the lens.
    The D90 is the far better camera especially in low light when you have to push the iso and would get noisy pictures otherwise. You can pick up some older lenses like the 50mm f/1.8 for a hundred bucks and it will auto on the D90 but not on the D500 for which you would have to get a newer 50mm for, I think, around 4 or 5 hundred. So you may be able to save money in the long run on lenses. If you are only going to be buying newer lenses, then you would save money by buying the D5000.
    If you are really serious about getting the best quality, get the D90. If you want to take nice pictures, get the 5000.

    Are you really sure you want a Nikon? Pentax has their stabilization built into their body and not their lenses so every lens they use is stabilized. I'm not a Pentax user so someone else will have to say whether the lenses you have are still compatible with the new Pentax cameras. I believe they would be.
    Sorry my answer is so long but your questions are more comples than they would appear.
    Keep Shooting!

    CHECK OUT THE PHOTO PROJECT FORUM
    http://forums.photographyreview.com/...splay.php?f=34

    Please refrain from editing my photos without asking.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    France
    Posts
    12

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Hi,

    thanks for the answer!

    AFS - AF-?
    ------------------
    Oops, I made a mistake about the AF..
    I know that D5000 needs AFS lenses (so, in-lens motor). I just made a mistake by
    saying "lenses without AF". I should have said, AF lenses without motor (AF-I ?).

    What is sure is that I will buy a kit with a 18-50 (or something) or x-108 or x-200 lens.
    And in addition (later on), buy a lens for macro. (does it have to be a prime lens for
    reverse-mount to use for macro? Or may a 18-50 do the job also?)

    I heard people saying that AFS lenses are getting cheaper over time. And I wont buy an additional lens in the first two-three years I guess.
    So if AFS lenses are getting cheaper, i maybe won't need an in-body motor?

    VR
    ------
    About VR, Nikon says it is better in-lens (VR is not a big criteria for me, always took pictures without before and the result is satisfying for fast shutter speeds) because if the VR is in-body, the image is shaking also on the body mirrors, while in-lens, the image is shaking during a shorter period and less reflections, so it should be better.
    (They say so, I'm not a specialist in opticals ^^ )

    So, another question, why is the D90 better in low light? I thought they had the same sensors. Are there other criteria that change quality in low-light?
    Or in general, why is the D90 better if they have the same sensor (besides the in-built AF motor)? I don't understand it really.. :s And that's why I also have difficulties to choose.

    Pentax
    -------------
    I will take a look at Pentax, but always preferred Nikon. (I get the Pentax i have from my uncle. He's a photographer and switched to Nikon at the time of the F1, so a loooong time ago. My pentax is thus a dinosaur ^^

    vari-angle lcd
    -------------------
    Is this really helpfull? In some cases yes, but isn't it better to look in the viewfinder
    to have a better idea of what the picture will look like?

    A lot of questions, I know, but I don't have the money to say afterwards:
    oh, I've should have bought the D90, which is a few hundred dollars more expensive.
    And with that money I could buy another lens.. (I know, ebay exists ^_-)

  4. #4
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    3,367

    Forget non-AFS lenses

    I don't think Nikon have introduced a single non-AF-S lens in the last 5 years. They are in the process of upgrading their whole lens line with AF-S motors and better optics to follow the resolution of digital sensors.

    Reasons to buy the D90 rather than the D5000 are:

    - ability to focus with older lenses (already said)
    - better viewfinder
    - better build

    Apart from that they have the same sensor, image processor and focussing system. if I had the money I would go for the D90.

    Get the 60mm f2.8 AF-S macro. Forget about reverse mounting. Apparently the kit 18-55 focusses quite close but I haven't tried it yet

    Forget manual focussing except possibly for macro shots where the subject is still. For anything moving (sports, animals) you need the autofocus to follow the movement. Note one advantage of AF-S lenses (except the very cheapest ones) is the ability to retouch the focus manually just by moving the focus ring. You can't do it with the lenses that use the in-camera motor.

    For VR - the in-lens system is better because the elements being moved are lighter but the in-body system is only about one stop behind (according to Chasseurs d'Images).

    Afterthought: If you get the 60mm f2.8 then don't get a 50mm as well, it's almost the same view. The 35mm f1.8 DX is a great available light lens and it's only 220 Euros in FNAC
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Apple Valley, Ca - USA
    Posts
    588

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    my $0.02

    In body everything-

    Here's why- VR (IS or whatever) technology gets better. AF motors are better or worse form one camera body to the next. You are more likely to replace camera bodies than you are lenses. Therefore, with each new camera release, or camera upgrade, you get the latest and greatest in the two technologies, where your $1000+ 70-200 2.8 VR stays static, as does the AF speed of your lower end micro motor lenses...

    BM
    Sony A700
    Sony CZ 16-80 F3.5-4.5
    Sony 50 F1.4
    Minolta 70-210 F4
    Sony F56-AM Flash

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    France
    Posts
    12

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Ok, thanks for the info.
    Merci ŕ toi, franglais ;)

    I think I'll go for the D90 then. No vari-angle screen, but what the heck, do I really need it?
    And price is rather close to the D5000's price.

    @Franglais:
    do you know where I could get refurbished cameras in France (internet or not)?
    I took a look on alibaba but only chinese fake sellers :s

    LENSES
    -------------
    Correction, I don't have the pentax any more.. gave it back to my uncle.
    Didn't used it for a couple of years..
    The one I have is an Exakta RTL 1000 with two Meyer Optik lenses:

    - Meyer Optik Görlitz, Oreston, ?-50 / f1.8 - f22
    - Meyer Optik Görlitz, Orestor, ?-135 / f2.8 - f32

    Can anyone give me some feedback on those lenses? (should I open a new post?)
    I read that someone mounted a Meyer Optik on a Canon 5D, so maybe I could use them
    on a Nikon? (don't worry, I'll use the "search" option too ^^ )

    ( Pentax: I took a look at the Pentax K7, seems to be a nice one too (but expensive too )
    Last edited by ezechiel; 07-21-2009 at 02:26 AM.

  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
    Posts
    15,422

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    The D90 is the far better camera especially in low light when you have to push the iso and would get noisy pictures otherwise.
    The D90 and D5000 should have the exact same image quality as they use the same sensor. I've been using the D5000, working on a review, and the high ISO image quality is excellent. So I don't think that image quality should be an issue at all when choosing between these two cameras.

    Personally, I think I'd buy the D5000 just because of the tilting LCD - especially if you plan to shoot a lot of landscape and macro photos. If I'm working on a tripod I prefer to compose and shoot using Live View with a tilting LCD.
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Mustang, Oklahoma USA
    Posts
    88

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    I feel differently about this. If I had the extra money I would go with the D90. To me one of the best values out there as far as lenses go is the 50mm 1.8. It is non AFS so you have to manually focus it on the D5000. I tried doing this on my D40x and it is possible but a huge pain. I picked up a used D200 and I couldn't be happier with the combo. Also, the D90 can act a commander so you can use a speedlight off camera. I don't believe the D5000 can do this.

  9. #9
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    wa state
    Posts
    11,195

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    My error on the low light .....hadn't researched D5000 enough to know it had same good iso quality.
    Keep Shooting!

    CHECK OUT THE PHOTO PROJECT FORUM
    http://forums.photographyreview.com/...splay.php?f=34

    Please refrain from editing my photos without asking.

  10. #10
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    3,367

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    >@Franglais:
    >do you know where I could get refurbished cameras in France (internet or not)?
    >I took a look on alibaba but only chinese fake sellers :s

    Boulevard Beaumarchais in Paris is the best bet, though you mostly find old lenses. Many of the shops have web sites where you can look up what they have to offer

    The Photo Fair in Bievres has a huge variety of used gear but it's only once a year, first weekend in June so you've missed it

    >LENSES
    -------------
    >The one I have is an Exakta RTL 1000 with two Meyer Optik lenses:
    > Meyer Optik Görlitz, Oreston, ?-50 / f1.8 - f22
    > Meyer Optik Görlitz, Orestor, ?-135 / f2.8 - f32
    >
    >Can anyone give me some feedback on those lenses? (should I open a new post?)
    >I read that someone mounted a Meyer Optik on a Canon 5D, so maybe I could use them
    >on a Nikon? (don't worry, I'll use the "search" option too ^^

    Wow that's old. The Exacta RTL is based on the Practica L body which was actually my first serious camera, fitted with the same Meyer 50mm f1.8 lens. It was not bad, but it was really soft wide open. If I were you I'd forget about trying to fit it on a modern Nikon - no autofocus, no metering. Buy your D90/D5000 in a kit with a nice 18-105VR or 18-55VR, they are much better lenses
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  11. #11
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
    Posts
    15,422

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    My error on the low light .....hadn't researched D5000 enough to know it had same good iso quality.
    That's ok. It's my job to keep up (try to) on this stuff
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    France
    Posts
    12

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    @Franglais:
    Thanks for the info! I'll take a look right away!


    So, to resume...
    Reasons for buying :

    D90
    -----
    - better viewfinder (0.96x, D5000:0.78x)
    - access to older or non-AFS lenses (thus generally cheaper I guess)

    D5000
    ---------
    - nice swivel screen (but lower resolution than D90)

    I think I have to sleep on this. The two are really close!! This doesn't make it an easy choice! Is there a possibility to create an opinion poll post in this forum?

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    France
    Posts
    12

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    UPDATE:

    Nikon OFFERS 100€ for buying a D90 or a D90 kit until 31 august 2009!!
    (only in France...)

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    France
    Posts
    12

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Well, how to say..

    I fell in love with the Pentax K7 :blush2:

    But there's a rumor going on that says that Nikon lenses are better (or the best).
    Is that true? Pentax has also good experience in lenses (did photography before and now high-end medical optics).. But there is no rumor about pentax lenses ^^

    The body is important, but lenses are more important, aren't they?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    3,430

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    But there's a rumor going on that says that Nikon lenses are better (or the best).
    There are plenty of nuts out there who claim X brand has the best lens, be it Zeiss, Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Pentax, Olympus, so on and on and on. The truth of the matter is they ALL have GREAT lens. This whole 'this brand has the best lens' is the never ending and most pointless argument in photography. The truth of the matter is, even under the most scientific and advanced scrutiny, there is no declared 'winner', and as such, just get whatever Camera brand you want and ENJOY!

    Nikon does have more lens selection than Pentax, and you will find Nikon lens more easily than Pentax at your local camera shops. Other then that, there really is no significant advantage for one over the other.

    Personally speaking, I don't like Nikon's choice to exclude in-body AF motor in many of their new cameras. It makes me wonder if they will apply this to all of their line before too long, if so - basically saying that bean counting is more important than full backwards compatibility. I would never ever ever buy a camera body without an in-body AF motor, its a pointless exclusion and it limits your lens choices significantly. As such, if you do choose Nikon, I would have a VERY strong inclination towards the D90 over the D5000.

    I would also look at your other options, Canon 40D/50D, Sony A350/A700.

  16. #16
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    3,367

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Check out this month's Chasseurs d'Images. They test a number of consumer and prosumer Pentax lenses with the K7. The results are about the same as the Nikon equivalent.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  17. #17
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    3,367

    Correction

    Quote Originally Posted by ezechiel
    ...
    But there's a rumor going on that says that Nikon lenses are better (or the best).
    Check out "Le Monde de la Photo" magazine for August/September. They test the "Expert" camera kits available, including my 16-85VR and the 18-105VR. The Nikons are clearly ahead of everybody
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  18. #18
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    3,430

    Re: Correction

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    Check out "Le Monde de la Photo" magazine for August/September. They test the "Expert" camera kits available, including my 16-85VR and the 18-105VR. The Nikons are clearly ahead of everybody
    Look also at the Sony 70-400G, or look at Canons 70-200 f/4L.

    Saying "Brand Y has better lens then Brand Z" is an impossible generalization. There are a hundred types of lens at all lengths, and performance isn't so easily equated. A more reasonable conclusion to draw is "All current DSLR brands offer equipment that can satisfy the most picky photographers." Performance differences are give and take with them all, all also being very minor - even minuscule. The only few major differences are in function, not performance or quality. Its a pretty bogus way of recommending gear by saying 'this brand has better optics'.

    *edit - understanding that the hype of a brand of optics is the misnomer and phantom quarter truth that deceptively drives sales. Take the newer Nikon commercials with Ashton Kutcher - their closing statement is 'Its lens makes it a Nikon'. But, they've said that for some of their cameras that have everyday, ordinary, run of the mill plain old lens. So, why do they say that? Because its true, or because its good market deception, without technically being legally false advertising? You tell me. If its so clear, it would be more clear then just for some obscure french photography magazine, right? They couldn't be the only ones who know this clear and apparent truth. right?

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    France
    Posts
    12

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    ok, seeing all these comments confirm my choice: I'll go for the K7. Even if Pentax has indeed less choice in lenses. But luckily there are brands such as Sigma and Tamron.
    They aren't "tropicalized" but (whatever and) seen the price of the K7, I think I'll stick with the kit lens for a while.. It's a pitty that the biggest aperture is already 3.5

    Oh, can someone explain me why big aperture lenses (f1.4, 1.8 even 2.8) are so rare and especially expensive?? Same for prime lenses (less material -not equal to- cheaper).. Better glass then? Or what could be the reasons for that?
    (sorry , didn't search for a topic about this yet)

  20. #20
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    3,430

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    The smaller the f-number, the wider the diaphragm opens. An f/1 means its a hollow tube without any diaphragm, f/1.4 means theres very little diaphragm. Smaller numbered f-stops also means that it requires bigger optical elements to pull the image through the glass. They also perform much better, as theyre built to higher standards, and they have a much greater "sweet spot" of the lens. Your kit isn't actually an f/3.5, its and f/3.5-5.6. I would at least start off by getting a 50mm f/1.8.

  21. #21
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    3,367

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Quote Originally Posted by ezechiel
    ...
    Oh, can someone explain me why big aperture lenses (f1.4, 1.8 even 2.8) are so rare and especially expensive?? Same for prime lenses (less material -not equal to- cheaper).. Better glass then? Or what could be the reasons for that?
    ..
    My simple view on why wide-aperture lenses are more expensive than small-apertures ones:

    - wide-aperture = bigger hole on the front to collect the light
    - bigger hole = bigger lens elements are more difficult to make perfectly and more rejects in the manufacturing process
    - bigger hole = need to bend the light more to arrive on the sensor which is the same size = more distortion and errors like chromatic aberation = need to have more lens elements to correct the errors
    - following the above the lens is inevitably more expensive = it will only be bought by professionals who need the best results and a product that lasts for years = much more solid construction

    Example: the plastic 18-55 f3.5-5.6 has only 7 lens elements while the 17-55 f2.8 has 14 elements

    A prime lenses is cheaper than a zoom with the same focal length and maximum aperture - when it exists - but remember that most of them are designed for the bigger 24x36mm format
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  22. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    France
    Posts
    12

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Ok, this explains that. It is quite logic after all.

    The problem is that for a f2.8 lens (or bigger aperture (thus smaller number) (is the term "bigger" correct?) ) I need at least 300-400€ (pentax mount).

    Now, I can have the following:
    K7 body: 1049€
    k7 + pentax 18-55 WR (3.5-5.6): 1149€
    k7 + pentax 18-55 WR + 50 - 200 WR: 1299€ (same price as body only in France).

    So the last option seems really interesting, but maximum aperture is only 3.5
    I searched for reviews but found nothing about the DOF and bokeh quality. I'm used to a f1.8 so I'm afraid that there will be almost no blur at maximum aperture like with P&S cameras.

    I could by only the body and another "good" lens, but 250€ for those 2 WR lenses is really cheap in my opinion, no? Another dilemma..

    Oh, and another question.. The lens specs say :
    Maximum aperture F3.5-5.6
    Minimum aperture F22-38

    Why 3.5-5.6?? :idea: those are two different values. Didn't find something about that yet

  23. #23
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    3,430

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    First off - you wont find a zoom that has an f/1.8 aperture. Secondly, the 3.5-5.6 is the variable range of the zoom. Meaning, at 18mm it will be at f/3.5, and at 55 it will be at f/5.6, and the maximum aperture will vary in the zoom range. f/22-38 is the same thing on minimum aperture.

  24. #24
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    France
    Posts
    12

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Ok, thanks. Things are clear now.

    About the lenses, I know I won't find a zoom at f1.8, but even the f2.8 are expensive.
    Unless someone knows some not-too-expensive f2.8 zoom lenses for pentax (eg. sigma, tamron) There is also a brand I don't know: Tokina

    So the choice is between two weather resistant lenses for 250€ or one lens with bigger aperture at 300-400€.. Versatility or quality??

    What should you do (I'm not a pro, but prosumer)?
    Last edited by ezechiel; 08-03-2009 at 08:09 AM.

  25. #25
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    3,367

    Re: in-body or in-lens AF?

    Professionals care about having "tropicalised" equipement because they have to go out in all weather. Not me. First sign of rain and the gear stays in the bag. For me WR wouldn't be a deciding factor.

    About this-bokeh-out-of-focus stuff at f1.8 - you do realise that the more telephoto the lens the less the depth-of-field?

    Here's an image I did of the arrival of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysees from behind a wall of spectators. Didn't see a single cyclist. It's done on a consumer 55-200mm f4-F5.6 lens at 112mm and maximum aperture (=f4.8 - remember the varying aperture). The depth-of-field is very small. The only thing that is really in focus is the screen
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails in-body or in-lens AF?-4268-081.jpg  
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •