Autofocus allows you to focus on the subject without exerting any physical effort (such as twisting the focus ring or trying to determine by eye whether a subject is in the sharp focus).
Truth is, with the advent of autofocus, the everyday life of a photographer became much simpler and more fun.
Of course, some may disagree with me, arguing that the whole romance of the process of shooting is gone. But those who don’t agree can romantically continue using their hands (with manual focus). 😜
The lens you choose for your camera can have a significant impact on the photos you take and the experience you get, so it’s important to understand the types of glass before making a purchase.
There are two types of Nikon lenses: AF (auto focus) and AF-S (auto focus with silent wave motor). AF are generally the older lenses that will only work in the manual mode. AF-S lenses work on all Nikon digital cameras, and have a fast and silent autofocus.
With that being said, you’ll learn:
a bit of history and design of Nikon AF and AF-S lenses,
how does the company benefit from selling the AF-S glass,
and why these will make your life as a photographer easier.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Nikon AF vs AF-S (A Bit of History)
Nikon began to produce lenses and cameras with autofocus (AF) as early as 1986. Back then all the lenses were labeled as AF.
In 1986, the operation of the autofocus mechanism was pretty simple. A reducer was installed on a particular lens (as seen in the image below):
And on the camera there is a drive:
Basically, it’s a screw thread that is fine spiral on the lens that interlocks with a corresponding fine spiral on the camera body to mount the lens.
Like a screw and a nut.
This way, the camera determines the required distance to the subject, the drive rotates the reducer, and voila!
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