#9. "RE: which Nikon to buy?" In response to In response to 8 Wed 16-Sep-09 12:44 PM by blw
I agree with Randy. I think it's extremely clear that Nikon has gone down the strategic path of built-in focusing motors. There hasn't been a new screwdriver AF lens from Nikon since July 2003 - the 10.5mm fisheye. Aside from that one, there has never been a DX lens without AFS, and furthermore every single other lens introduced by Nikon since September 2000 has had one form of AFS or another(*).
There are, however, a pretty fair number of current AF lenses that use screwdriver AF, including some of the best ones Nikon make: 85/f1.4, 105/f2, 135/f2, 200/f4 Micro, as well as some of the best value propositions: 50/f1.8 and 35/f2. If you think you'll be wanting one of these soon, a body with a focusing motor may be a good idea.
Finally, if you're enough of a value-hunter that you might opt for an older AF lens instead of a newer AFS one, again, the price differential may suggest a body with a motor. For example, if you're inclined to the 28-105/f3.5-4.5 AFD instead of something like the 24-70/f2.8 AFS (at a street price differential of around $1600), a somewhat more expensive body may look like a bargin. These two lenses aren't completely equivalent, but for some purposes it's an open question as to which is preferrable. And there are other examples; this isn't a one-off thing. Oh - another good example is the current 80-200/f2.8 AFD ($1000) vs the 70-200/f2.8 AFS VR-II ($2400). That's a big chunk of change difference for faster focusing and VR, but the older lens uses screwdriver AF.
Nikon feel that most users at the entry level of the range are fine with buying new glass from the AFS selection, and the popularity of these bodies suggests that they're right. But if you're in the groups described above, this might not be the right choice.
(*) Nit pick: that excludes the three perspective control lenses, which aren't even auto focus at all.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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