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I have purchased a Nikon D5000 camera with 18-55 from eBay.

The lens focuses automatically, but should the lens also zoom automatically or is this controlled manually by the zoom ring.

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2 Answers 2

No, the lens do not zoom automatically.

Almost all SLR zoom lenses are zoomed using the zoom ring, very few have motorized zoom mechanism.

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Interesting! I didn't know a power zoom for DSLR even exists! I just looked it up and I find this tool, but for videography there are better and more useful tools, like DSLR video rigs... –  Omne Jan 13 '13 at 12:48
@Omne - I know of the sigma 200-500 that has motorized zoom (operated by a zoom ring) because the lens elements are too heavy to be moved by hand and a very old Canon power zoom lens that doesn't work reliably on modern DSLRs (don't remember teh focal range). and from what I've seen videographers prefer manual follow focus and not power zoom systems. –  Nir Jan 13 '13 at 13:09
And there were the Minolta xi lenses that would zoom as they focused to provide subject size lock (very useful for runway fashion, which doesn't move too quickly; I don't know about anything else). –  user2719 Jan 13 '13 at 13:49
And as a note: manual zoom is generally much better, as it's faster and more precise than most motorized zooms. Point and shoot cameras use powered zoom not really as a feature but because it'd be tricky to fit manual zoom into those tiny lenses. –  mattdm Jan 13 '13 at 15:18
Tricky yes, but not impossible. A mechanical zoom can even fit in a 1.3" thick compact. However, point-and-shoot also have been shooting video for a long time where an electric zoom has the advantage being smoother. That is why we seen more electric zoom among mirrorless cameras which are aimed to upgrade the market of compact camera owners. –  Itai Jan 13 '13 at 16:44

Every SLR and DLSR lens that I know of has manual zoom. This is because manual zoom gives you a higher degree of control than motorized, and also includes less complicated mechanisms in the lens and camera body, reducing the number of things which can break, as well as reducing the weight of the (often already very heavy) camera components.

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