Why the sluggish AFS primes?

Started Jun 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Why the sluggish AFS primes?
Jun 19, 2012

I just received my new 28 1.8G and the AF is slow.

My 85 1.4G and my 60G are also slow.

According to posts here, the 50G's and the 35G and 24G the AF is also SLOW.

This befuddles me! Compared to older screw drive AFD prime lenses, these new and excellent lenses vary from SLOW to SLOWER! The AF is not more accurate, but they are nicer to manually focus, which I don't do very often.

Compared to the 24-70 or 70-200 they are painfully slow.

In theory this does not bother me. In practice, in photo journalistic situations, they are slow enough to miss shots when using the focus-lock-recompose-shoot sequence. With my 85G I have had to train myself to wait a beat before recomposing and to double check that the green AF Lock light is on in the viewfinder. If I quickly recompose because it looks like it is done focusing in the viewfinder I sometimes miss the shot because it is not "locked" and won't fire or it focuses on something else after I have recomposed and the shot is out of focus. With my 85 1.4G at weddings I miss more shots than did with my 85 1.8AFD.

Why is this? It defies the whole point of AFS internal motor lenses. I never use AFS's other feature that allows the user to manually override the AF .

Are prime lenses no longer considered a tool for action stopping photojournalism? Are these lenses slower because they give a better MF experience than the older AFD lenses? Do any of you have any tricks to get better AF performance from these lenses?

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