The AF Zoom Nikkor 20-35mm f2.8D
It is hard to follow up with lenses when the AF revolution started. As everybody knows modern lenses are not as simple as it used to be, where those days, apart from tackling key areas in optical designs, developing new glass type, how to make lenses more compact while faster, focuses nearer and maintain high optical performance both at shorter and longer focal lengths etc. Eventually, when photographers acknowledge the convenience and started to feel comfortable with the quality of the new breed high performance zoom lenses, the center of focus shifted to zoom lens development. The biggest breakthrough was on the initial success of the Minolta Maxxium autofocus camera, where interest to SLR was revived by public, it sold very well. Naturally, manufacturers turned their attention, much of their R&D effort to developing new technologies in autofocusing, although priority is still on point and shoot market.
I have been staying away from autofocus cameras & lenses since its inception into the SLR photography. Why ? Because when things turn digital or electronic, it changes fast and could be painful at times as well and I never have the belief that AF has settled down and found its footing. Which means it is not wise to start investing into new hardware Another main reason was being I don't think I have utilized my system to its full potential as a photographer. It means I took less pictures than ever, and that period was the darkest time in my photographic journal, which I had pooled full concentration & attention to my few budding businesses.
Though out from the photographic scenes, not necessarily I had zero time for this embedded interest that was in my system and I have been follow and monitoring the development of the AF advances since 1986.
Only after 11 years, since I have the luxury of first handled the Nikon F4 (Where Shriro flown a unit from Japan immediately after its announcement for a special private demo session and use, tested it for a week or so). I realized there is still a long way off for AF to advance. Finally, I bought a F5 for my personal use.
Am I happy or comfortable with AF now ? you may ask.
To answer this question depends on which perspective of your individual prime applications you are interested in with your camera system. I am not a pro, not even a serious user now, while most of the time, I think more than I shoot (And what a pity...). That is why I told one of friend, now I am a photographer that never shoot pictures. Instead, I observe more, write (Not my strongest asset and never enjoying it) and preferred to promote others' works. It is much better than I totally avoid or drop a medium that I have been enjoying so much for the last 15 years or so. Well, not a sad state, other than what I have done, it still contribute something to the website that I am owning (with some friends of common interest and visions).
So, my investment is partly due to the purpose of updating myself and kind of a necessity in certain ways (this is private, ha!). The only AF lenses that I have bought along with the camera was a AF Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D and a 28mm f/1.4D. I have been struggling to made up my mind between he 28mm prime lens or invest into the AF 20-35mm f/2.8D and eventually, I decide and settled for the 28mm - just because I have been using my 20mm manual lens for the last 10 years and I don't want to abandon my old "gal friend" and since all my wide angles and to medium telephotos have been "high-jacked" by the studio boys and left me with only three lenses.
The new and more exciting series of lenses launched lately did raised some of my interest and have the urge to do some new purchases, but this would not be the right timing as some of the new technologies may need sometime to do the transition to other focal lengths. For instance, as a Nikon user, the new AF-S (with Silent wave motors built in) and Aspherical lens elements could be the prime factors to revive some photographer's interest back to SLR photography - if only the cost can be lowered down for general average consumers. But recent financial development in Asia could made this even a distant reality. I am just curious of how Japanese manufacturers react to these problems for the next one or two years to come - after the episode of the ill fated Nikon RS which has to be discontinued after an lack illustrious financial return on its huge investment. I do hope those mentioned lens technologies can be transfer smoothly to lower, affordable general purpose lenses within the Nikkor family (But seems unlikely, even though traditionally, all Japanese manufacturers do have some form of common understanding to share "resources" in R&D effort, Canon has waited too long to these...).
Until then, as what I said in the Aspherical section, use the older ones and wait patiently.
IF this is not convincing, add another factor here...
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