Although I was forewarned by reviews, I'm still annoyed by the limited autofocus when using the FT1: center autofocus point in AF-S or MF modes only.
Can anybody think of legitimate technical reasons for this limitation?
BTW, the FT1 and AF work with my Sigma lenses. One lens causes the camera to complain that I have no lens attached for about a second after I turn it on. After that it's happy. It also works in MF mode with a screw drive Tamron lens.
Sigma, Tamron and Tokina have always had to reverse-engineer Nikon's AF interface because they (understandably) don't want to pay the royalty fees to gain full access. So every time Nikon has released a new DSLR or F-mount interface like the FT-1, it's reasonable to assume they tweaked the internals. I remember the good old chaotic days when Sigma had to scramble to get popular lenses like the 70-200/2.8 HSM (non OS, non DG) working with the the newly released D100 - Japan was backlogged for months on the parts. It's fair to say that third-party lens experience with the FT-1 ends up being a hit-or-miss affair. I'm personally curious to know if it will work with the likes of Tamron's 17-50/2.8 VC, since that micro-motor may or may not be recognized by the adapter. It will be many more months (or maybe even years) before those same makers decide there's a market to be had in 3rd party CX native mounts...
I contacted Tamron USA today and they indicated they had not tested any of their coreless motor (older microshaft drive and newer USD) lenses with the FT-1. So the question still stands - it will be a hit-or-miss situation.
"Can anybody think of legitimate technical reasons for this limitation?"
My first thought was that the battery may not be able to drive the lenses continually but of course the V1/J1 battery is the same one used in the D7000. The battery certainly has the capacity.
However, it still could be an electrical supply issue. I am speculating here. ....
I bet that the D7000 drives the lens motors from a capacitor rather than a direct draw of power from the battery. So, is it possible that to keep the body small the Nikon 1 bodies would have smaller capacitors and therefore they cannot continuously drive the lens motor for focus tracking?
Dave - that was my thought as well. Driving any coreless motors have to pull a high load off the battery. Nikon obviously optimized it for the new CX lenses with their Stepping Motor (STM) drives, but some compromises must have been made to drive focus on the larger AFS lenses.
Hit and miss with 3rd party lenses. My V1 does not accept my Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 OS lens (current version). Not that I'm about to switch to this combo for wildlife, but a stabilized 810mm F2.8 lens would have been fun!
RRRoger - maybe you can ask your Sigma rep next time you see her what their policy might be on their current lenses that are not coupling? It's probably unlikely they will update lens firmware, but if they do release Nikon 1 mount lenses they might review FT1 compatibility of their current F mount lineup?
My Sigma 500mm f/4.5 causes the camera to think a second before starting up. It is also sometimes unwilling to start autofocus. I don't think the problem is the capacitor capacity issue because once the camera decides to start it can move the lens the full focus range and then some more. More likely the big lens is so far out of focus that the autofocus circuits have no idea where to begin. This Sigma is an older one with the D200 compatibility bug (AF-ON doesn't work with D200, does with D300 and newer).
The Sigma 150mm macro lens works better.
I think the 500mm isn't sharp enough to work with the small pixels of the V1. I haven't done a fair test yet, on a tripod. I'm used to AF-C and assume the lens will keep adjusting focus until I shoot.