Is it actually true that the AF motors on the pro bodies are too strong for the lower-priced third party lenses and might wreck them? I've heard this, but I think it was more sarcasm or even toungue-in-cheek Nikkor elitest snobbery than anything. Has anyone actually ruined lenses in this way? Sigma 18-50mm DC (the slow apertured 5.6 one) for instance.
Yes, it happened to me once but using D1H at AF-C. I used Tarmon 11-18mm F/3.5-F/4.5. I was shooting cheerleaders at a football game in AF-C mode then D1H completely killed the lens. The front barrel of this lens fell off during shooting then I can hear a hideous crack from the inside so I checked, the whole rear element of lens cracked into pieces and the lens mount (on the lens, not the camera) broke in half.
Never never never purchase third-party lens for D1/D2 series that has screwer-drive AF.
There are a lot of people out there who use Tokina 12-24's on high end bodies. How about the Tamron 28-75/f2.8? Or, for that matter, the Sigma 70-300 APO? Yes, on a D2 series. And don't forget that it's not just the D2. The accusation equally applies to the F6 (CAM2000 like the D2's) as well as the F5 and F100 (CAM1300 like the D1's), both of which have been around for a very long time. Don't forget that until recently, ALL third party lenses were screwdriver. There have been a LOT of third party lenses used on these more powerful bodies over the years.
I personally happen to use a Tamron 90/f2.8 on my D2h, and I've used it on an F5 fairly extensively too. Certainly it's usually used in MF mode, but it certainly can withstand these two bodies.
Frankly, it's not so clear to me that Nikon screwdriver lenses are any more robustly built than many of the third party lenses. Comparing a Nikon 70-300 G with the Tokina 12-24 or a Tamron 200-500 seems heavily weighted in favor of the third parties, for example.
Finally, have you ever seen the inside of one of these lenses? They have small gears in them. Even if the AF module is broken and attempts to power past the end of the focusing helicoid, I would estimate that the first thing you'd do is to strip the teeth off the little gears. It's highly unlikely to break a glass element into multiple pieces, simply because there isn't enough inertia there to do that. Consider how many times people have reported dropping a lens from a meter or two onto concrete. How often can you remember hearing about an element that cracked up into multiple pieces? Dropping a one-pound item a meter onto concrete results in about a 50G shock. The focusing helicoid in a superwide angle lens can't move the elements more than about two inches. The story is in effect claiming that the AF motors propel the helicoids an order of magnitude more powerfully than gravity?
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
It does seem a bit much damage. I fell over a 150ft cliff with my 35mm f/1.4 mounted on an F4 tubling along side me and they both still fuctioned. I use the lens to this day (but it is UGLY). I think we should write to "Myth Busters", Brian! This one would be great fun to watch.
Bill North Wisdom cannot be given, it must be gathered...
That made my online session today! It just sounds like you're humoring my initial post. Can't be true...unless....
Well, that would depend.
In any case, this whole "does a D1 rip a lens to shreds" has to be the most bizarre topic I've ever seen anyone post. I didn't literally mean rip it to shreds. Maybe to chunks..but shreds are a little excessive I now realize.
I had an older (1990ish) 28-70 or 28-80 f/4.5 Nikkor (worth $30 at most). This lens would 'sing' on the D2X as it focused... but it NEVER seemed in danger of breaking.
I was interested if you could 'really' see the difference in image quality between inexpensive and expensive Nikkors. The images were without question of lesser quality than the 28-70 f/2.8. After my 'testing', I gave it to a new Nikonian that had just purchased a D80 and didn't yet have a lens. Now the 18-70 DX version... wait if I write any more, this will get moved to the Nikkors forum