I think you are doing a great job with your cameras, lenses and accessories. The entry-level series that started with the smaller form-factor Nikon D40 through the current D3000 and D5000 has been a real hit. The D40 is a fantastic little camera that you have continued to build upon over the past several models in this line. The D5000 is now one of the best bang-for-your-buck DSLR cameras on the market.
I understand that you needed to pull the AF motor out of these camera bodies in order to make them smaller. I totally get that. I will also say that you have done a good job with your lens selection since the D40 was introduced. There are so many great AF-S lenses available now and you seem committed to continuing this trend. To that end, kudos to you.
That said, we are all missing one crucial AF-S lens that is not in your lineup at this time – an AF-S 50mm f/1.8 lens.
See, the great thing about your current 50mm f/1.8 lens is that is makes the perfect little portrait lens on your DX-format DSLRs . . . and, of course, it’s inexpensive.
The bad thing about it? No AF motor.
Sure, you’ve done all that you can by giving us focus-confirmation in the viewfinder to help us manually focus with non-AF-S lenses. (Thanks for that.) Still yet, that leaves many D40-D5000 camera owners chasing their kiddos around while trying to focus manually on an otherwise perfect companion lens for these entry-level cameras. Additionally, we’re talking about cameras that are geared toward the consumer end of the spectrum, many of whom have never tried to manually focus a camera.
Before you point me to the AF-S 35mm f/1.8G lens, let me say that you’ve also done a great job with it, and it’s nice to have a “normal” lens for the DX format with a built-in AF motor. However, it’s just not the same as the portraiture field of view that we get from a 50mm lens on these DX-format cameras. There are tons of D40-D5000 owners dying to get an affordable 50mm lens for portrait use.
The Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G lens might be an option for some users; however, we’re talking about budget-friendly DSLRs that cost just a little more than 50mm f/1.4 lens, which runs around $430 street. That’s a tough pill for consumers to swallow – especially when Canon DSLR owners have the option of the EF 50mm f/1.8 lens, which runs about $100 – a real tough pill.
I’m not the only one that feels this way either. Within the past week, I have had two different conversations with D40 owners about the lack of an AF-S 50mm f/1.8 lens in your lineup, along with points about the stretch required and/or unwillingness to reach up to the $430 AF-S 50mm f/1.4G lens. Additionally, let me point you to some discussions about this lens deficiency around the web:
- Flickr Group Discussion
- Photo.net Forum Discussion
- Nikonians Forum Discussion
- Amazon Customer Discussion Board
- Amazon Customer Discussion Board #2
- Photo Malaysia Forum Discussion
- Digital Camera HQ Discussion – “I purchased the Nikkor AF 50mm F/1.8D Lens – I cant get auto focus to work”
- Yahoo Answers Discussion
- Yahoo Answers Discussion #2
- The Photo Forum Discussion
This is only a small sampling of some of the discussions concerning the lack of an affordable Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8 around the web. I encourage you to do some searching on this topic and you will find many more similar discussions.
In summary, an affordable 50mm lens with built-in AF is a high-demand lens for Nikon D40-D5000 users for a number of reasons.
- The existing 50mm f/1.8 lens does not autofocus with these entry-level cameras.
- The AF-S 50mm f/1.4 lens is far too expensive for many entry-level DSLR owners to realistically consider.
- The AF-S 35mm f/1.8G lens, while filling a gap for a “normal” field of view, is lacking as a “portraiture” replacement for the 50mm f/1.8 lens.
- Your primary competitor, Canon, offers an excellent bargain on its EF 50mm f/1.8 lens at around $100.
As a result, on behalf of many eager Nikon D40-D5000 owners, I urge you deliver such a lens for the large and continually-growing user base.