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Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question
  
 
RSHPhotography
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


Ok. So my fab lens is my 70-200 2.8 VR2. Why? Because it gives me flexibility, with nearly the same image quality of a prime. Only big difference, and it matters since I'm a wedding shooter is the autofocus speed.
Now, I'd love to get some more Nikon primes, but man, their focus speed and accuracy SUCKS! Having come from Canon, and being used to the 35mm 1.4L and my 85mm 1.8 combo. They were hands down faster than their Nikon equivalent! It wasn't even close. Hell, the Canon 85 is 20 years old and whoops the 85mm 1.8g. Is there a technical reason why Nikon's prime lenses have slow autofocus speeds? I'm using 2 D700 bodies if that matters.



Jun 13, 2014 at 01:45 PM
Lance B
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


Possibly to do with focus throw, ie how far they focus from minimum focus to infinity. The longer the focus throw, theoretically the more accurate the focus as there is more fine tune to the focus. However, without seeing a Canon prime lens, I am only speculating.


Jun 13, 2014 at 02:03 PM
Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


One word Sigma. The sigma primes 35,50 and 85 are faster than both Nikon and Canons primes.


Jun 13, 2014 at 02:12 PM
RSHPhotography
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


There is no chance the Sigma 35mm 1.4 focuses faster than the Canon 35mm. But the sigma is an amazing lens. The Nikon 35mm 1.4 is too slow. Shocking considering the 28mm 1.8g focuses quite quick.

That's one of my issues with Nikon primes. They're so wildly inconsistent with their picture quality and AF speeds from lens to lens.



Jun 13, 2014 at 03:26 PM
mmarconi
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


Got a say I agree with the OP (sans the Canon stuff, never used).

I recently acquired a 35mm 1.8 and was surprised at how slow the AF was. This was the DX version, I know its a cheap $200 lens but still I expected better.

My 300 2.8 and 500 f4 are fast, with the 500 being wicked fast, still amazed every time I use it, almost instantaneous, noticeably better than the 300, and its great.

Nikon seems to use a very wide quality/performance range of AF components in it's lens. That and how they engineer the hyper focal distance for each model I believe are the culprits.

Concerning Sigma, just bought their 180 macro. Very impressed with it's AF performance. Using the limiter it's on par with my 300. Even in macro mode down to about 1:2.5 the AF is still very good, past that AF is pointless IMHO.



Jun 13, 2014 at 04:13 PM
rondphoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


I gotta disagree. I used to shoot D700's and shot with a NIkon 24, 50, 85. There was nothing spectacular about the 50, but the 24 and 85 always had pretty damn fast focus response. When I moved to D4 bodies, the speed was increased even more. I didn't shoot with a 35mm prime until recently, but I opted for the Sigma, and that is fast...just as fast as my Nikon primes.

I think a lot of it comes down to technique like knowing where to focus. I also only use 1 AF point so that I can focus and recompose.



Jun 13, 2014 at 05:14 PM
chuhsi1
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


yes, nikon primes are really slow focuses compared to the pro zooms. My first experience with this was when i rented an 85mm 1.4. It was so abnormally slow compared my zoom reference point that I thought the lens or my camera was broken.

No idea why. I've read that it's to give more focus accuracy, but i don't buy that.



Jun 13, 2014 at 08:51 PM
 

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Nathan Padgett
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


The Sigma actually focuses exactly the same speed as the Nikon 1.4G from min distance to infinity. It seems faster for some reason but it's really not.


Jun 14, 2014 at 06:37 AM
2of9
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


D700 + 50mm 1.4G
50mm
f/3.2
1/60
ISO2500

D700 + 50mm 1.4G

Was testing some panning shots on my Vegas trip with the D700 and it's a worlds change compared to my D90. Focus was much faster at night. But, I thought it'd be a tad faster. It was just a bit laggy but then again, there were many spots on subjects that had the D700 scrambling to focus on. Still amazed it focused on spot, especially at night. All around, I still love using the D700.



Jun 19, 2014 at 01:08 PM
johnctharp
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


This is going to be one of Nikon's issues going forward, comparing to Canon's system- Canon has been putting in fast AF and IS into their 'slow' primes as they update them, with 24/28/35 done and 50/85 next on the block. On top of generally better IQ, all Canon lacks is a sensor that can compete with Sony's base-ISO performance; they have high-ISO down.

Particularly, that the 58/1.4G and 85/1.8G are such very nice lenses yet focus unimaginably slow for anything that moves has to be frustrating. I can't shoot my 85/1.8 USM below f/2.8 and expect great quality, but it can hit anything, and from f/2.8 on it's the Nikon's equal. Choices .



Jun 19, 2014 at 05:03 PM
mshi
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


There are two types of AFS motors that Nikon uses and the pro zooms use the more powerful one.


Jun 19, 2014 at 05:17 PM
ana2jal
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


Yes, I am waiting for better faster Nikko.


Jun 21, 2014 at 12:35 PM
James R
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Nikon Prime lens focus speeds question


johnctharp wrote:
This is going to be one of Nikon's issues going forward, comparing to Canon's system- Canon has been putting in fast AF and IS into their 'slow' primes as they update them, with 24/28/35 done and 50/85 next on the block. On top of generally better IQ, all Canon lacks is a sensor that can compete with Sony's base-ISO performance; they have high-ISO down.

Particularly, that the 58/1.4G and 85/1.8G are such very nice lenses yet focus unimaginably slow for anything that moves has to be frustrating. I can't shoot my 85/1.8 USM below f/2.8 and expect great quality, but it
...Show more

John, I don't agree with your appraisal that these lenses suffer from "unimaginable slow" focus. I shoot both with a D4s and find the 58 quick for its intended use, and 85's focus very snappy. I mainly shoot events and people with these lenses, so, I can't speak to their handling of sports photography. I also have not shot the D700. But, you are a Canon guy, so I must ask what Nikon cameras you shoot? Hopefully, you have shot more than a few frames and more than one copy of these lenses.



Jun 21, 2014 at 05:50 PM





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