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I'm having a problem deciding on a course of action to replace my Nikon F401X. I only have a Sigma 70-210 1:4-5.6 lens in the mix.

My dilemma is this: I am considering buying a Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR with a 30X zoom which is considered a bridge camera. My other option is to buy a Nikon D3100/5100 replacement which would come with a standard 18 - 55VR lens and use the sigma 70 - 210 lens which I already have for telephoto. Will the Sigma lens autofocus on these two Nikons?

The lens barrel says autofocus.At the business end the lens writing says " SIGMA UC ZOOM 70-210 1:4-5.6 MULTI-Coated Lens MADE in JAPAN 52. Back end of lens has 5 small pins protruding around the barrel in one group of 4 pins and a space and then a single pin, 5 pins in total. It has a manual F stop adjustment at the trailing edge of the lens. There appears to be a serial number which reads 2017941. The lens is quite heavy if that helps.

Now I imagine that the purist will have difficulty understanding why I would even consider a Fujifilm camera but these have improved greatly over the years and work very well. My interests are in landscapes and scenery with some macro and people pictures. For about the same money, both of these options are attainable. Can you help me to value pro and cons of these alternatives?

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2 Answers 2

From what i've been able to find your Sigma is AF-D lens and as such lacks autofocus motor, so sadly it will not autofocus on D5100/D3100 because these bodies lack in body motor. You will need Nikon D90 or D7000 to autofocus with this lens.

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The lens barrel says autofocus.At the business end the lens writing says " SIGMA UC ZOOM 70-210 1:4-5.6 MULTI-Coated Lens MADE in JAPAN 52. Back end of lens has 5 small pins protruding around the barrel in one group of 4 pins and a space and then a single pin, 5 pins in total. It has a manual F stop adjustment at the trailing edge of the lens. There appears to be a serial number which reads 2017941. The lens is quite heavy if that helps. I suspect it has a drive motor incorporated. –  James Bernt Sep 22 '12 at 18:49
    
@JamesBernt - look carefully at the rear of the lens. If you see what looks like a slotted screw head (as opposed to a Phillips-style) at the rear, opposite the electrical contacts (if the center of the contact group is at 12:00, the screw will be at about 5:00), that's the focus drive screw, and it needs a focus motor in the camera body to autofocus. –  user2719 Sep 22 '12 at 19:40
    
it does.... Thanks for the clarification –  James Bernt Sep 22 '12 at 20:50

Can you help me to value pro and cons of these alternatives?

Image quality

The HS30EXR has a 1/2" sensor (6.4 x 4.8 mm). The D5100, D90 and D7000 have an APS-C sized sensor (23.6 x 15.7 mm) - this will make a difference to image quality.

Macro

The advertised macro capability of superzooms usually specify closest focus distance at widest-angle. I find this is almost never a useful scenario. Take a small thing to a shop and try the camera to get a realistic idea of macro ability. Obviously, the DSLRs can take a true macro lens (e.g. at some point in the future). Some really good macro photos are taken using an inexpensive reversing ring on a DSLR lens.

Focus speed

DSLRs use phase-shift detection for autofocus, this is usually significantly faster than the contrast-detection method used in most mirrorless cameras includng the HS30EXR.

Bulk & Weight

The bridge camera will be much easier to carry around than the DSLRs listed above with an equivalent range of lenses.

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