"forcing" manual focus on D2X

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by Joseph S. Wisniewski, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Joseph S. Wisniewski

    Joseph S. Wisniewski

    Aug 11, 2005
    One thing I noticed on my D2X is that the camera, when not focusing, doesn't have a great deal of resistance to having its AF drive turned.

    On a D100, D70, F100, 8008, etc. if you accidentally turn the focus ring of an AF Nikkor like th e50mm f1.4 or 20mm f2.8, you really notice that you're not in AF. There's the feeling of turning the cameras gear train, that the gear ratio is pretty high, and you encounter a lot of resistance.

    The D2X turns quite easily, as if the gear ratio in the camera were much lower, and the powered off focus motor offers virtually no resistance. In fact, it's a rather nice manual focus feeling. It's a pity that this is probably a "bad thing" to do to the camera, because the feel is good enough that it's tempting to use it as a "touch up" manual focus, especially when you're used to using the AF-ON button on the camera, instead of the shutter release for focusing, so you're not focusing every shot.

    OK, am I nuts, or has anyone else unthinkingly twisted the MF collar, and noticed this? I'm tempted to write Nikon and say "come on, this is so close, give us a focus override that works this way for the non-AF-S lenses".
  2. Happens to me all the time. I used to be scared when it happened on my other AF bodies. But yes, it is smooth on D2 bodies... I don't know if it can harm the AF though... Maybe someone can tell exactly?
  3. Joe,
    Enjoy your posts on all the forums, glad to see you here. Unfortunately I have nothing to offer, other than my Nikkor 70-180 zoom seems to have the same resistance, but of course this is because I have switched from "A" to "M" on the zoom itself.
  4. Joseph S. Wisniewski

    Joseph S. Wisniewski

    Aug 11, 2005
    Hi Paul.

    Thanks for the compliment.

    There's no problem with lenses that have a manual/auto focus collar, like your 70-180mm (nice lens, that) or my 85mm f1.4. For those lenses, the focusing collar is never connected to the camera's gears, at all. When the lens is set to auto focus, the connection between the focus collar and the lens's focusing mechanism is broken. When the lens is set to manual focus, it breaks the mechanical connection from the lens to the camera's focusing motor.

    The only lenses you'll observe this "feel the gears" behavior with are the wide primes and normals, and the slower zooms. No fast zooms, telephoto primes, or macros.
  5. Thanks, Joe. Just tried both my D2X and D70 with my Nikkor 70-300 F4/5.6 ED and bingo, much easier to turn on the D2X (and of course this is one of the slower zooms).
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