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Buying a camera lens

Can I use a manual focus lens in the automatic mode on a SLR camera?

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  • kakima May 11, 2010

    A manual focus lens will not autofocus on any camera.

    If you're asking about auto-exposure, the answer is "it depends." Would you care to provide a little more detail about the lens, such as the manufacturer (and the mount, if it's a third-party lens)?

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Presumably you intend to use a DSLR. The automatic nature of modes relates to exposure. Lenses autofocus assuming you have turned the autofocus switch on. Switch the autofocus off if you want to manually focus. Whichever you use will not affect the modes

Posted on Mar 19, 2010

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My Nikon Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S for Digital SLR lens does not seem to auto focus well. Sometimes the lens will focus and unfocus and refocus constinely. Is this normal??


You did not say which camera body you are using, but you probably have three different auto-focus modes on you camera. You might be using the wrong one.

The modes are as follows:
AF-A Mode: Camera automatically selects single-servo autofocus when AF-A subject is stationary, continuous-servo autofocus when subject is moving. Shutter can only be released if camera is able to focus. AF-S Mode: For stationary subjects. Focus locks when shutter-release button AF-S is pressed halfway. Shutter can only be released when in-focus indicator is displayed.
AF-C Mode: For moving subjects. Camera focuses continuously while AF-C shutter-release button is pressed halfway. Photographs can be taken even when in-focus indicator is not displayed.

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I have a AF Nikkor 70-210 which I use with a DSRL camera. But I want to buy a analogic one. Should I buy an AF one, or the lens will still full working (including the autofocus) with a manual one, like a...


The lens will work with any Nikon film SLR, including the FG-20. However, the FG-20 is not an autofocus camera. Whether the lens is capable of autofocusing or not, you'll still have to focus manually. With a newer autofocus camera, such as the N75 and N80, the lens will autofocus.

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I am new so do I keep the f22 lock on when auto focusing?


No. You only need to do that when using any exposure modes where the camera needs to take full control of the aperture setting for you (basically everything except full manual metering and aperture priority metering). The idea is that by setting the lens to the minimum f-number (aperture) the camera can then automatically set the actual aperture required by the exposure meter and exposure program to anything between maximum aperture (lowest f-number) and the f22 set on the lens.

Aperture settings are independent of autofocus on all SLR cameras. If you're new to SLR photography then I highly recommend the latest (2009) edition of John Hedgecoe's New Manual of Photography. The link is just to show you the book and not an endorsement of the featured supplier; I'm sure that you'll want to make your own buying choices.

I hope this has helped, if so please return the favour by taking a moment to rate my answer. If not then please explain your problem in more detail and I'll be happy to offer further assistance.

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Depending on how new your Minolta SLR film camera was, the lens may or may not work on a Minolta Digital SLR. In many cases, a lens with the correct mount (in this case, a Minolta mount) can be used on the same brand of camera in the digital format.

One thing you should know is that DSLR sensors are, generally speaking, smaller than the size of a 35mm film negative. Long story short, that means that your lens will have a magnification factor on the DSLR. Usually, it is in the range of 150%, so a 70-300 lens from a film camera would cover 105 to 450 on a Digital SLR.

To be sure about the mount, you'll need to seek advice specific to Minoltas -- probably best to take your lens to a local camera shop and see for sure if it fits and what features will work (aperature, auto-focus, etc) and which won't work on the DSLR.

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My lens is also doing that same thing... and I just posted pretty much the exact thing you said...Mine squeaks and goes in and out really fast.. I do know that you can put the camera on manual mode and focus manually on mine, but would like to have the auto focus sometimes too. If I dont get an answer soon, I may send it in... I believe its a motor problem in the lens....

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Hey Embroiteri,
I hate giving out bad news, but it sounds to me like your focusing motor is broken. I am of course going on the assumption you have the camera set to AF mode, and the lens still doesn't focus. In my experience with SLR lens is that if there are scratching or grinding noises when either focusing or zooming there is almost always something broken inside.

Sincerely,
Allan
Go Ahead. Use Us.

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Manual Focussing failure with Canon EF 100-400mm SLR zoom lens


I doubt if there is anything you can do yourself. The manual focus may have debris under the ring or is in need of parts. I would leave this one to a tech.

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