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Background: I have a Nikkor 70–300 AF-S G lens. Somehow, the VR and AF systems stopped working. It was working perfectly fine, then for 2–3 months it stayed inside the bag, in a wardrobe, without even touching it and the next time, I mounted it on my D7000, it just didn't work — no AF, no VR.

I sent it to service and it appeared, that the fix would cost me more, than buying a completely new copy of the lens.

Now, as far as I know, the Nikkor 70–300 AF (note: without -S) works fine on bodies with internal motor; for example, with D7000.

That made me wonder why, in manual focus (M) mode, the 70–300 AF-S does not work with the built-in motor, when the body's mode is AF?

And is there a way my "broken" 70–300 mm could be autofocused with the camera's internal body's motor?

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If you are asking why AF-S lens with broken motor does not auto-focus on body with built-in motor then the answer is simple. AF-S lenses are not designed to be driven by in body motor - they simply lack screw necessary for that. They are always focused by internal motor on any Nikon body.

So unfortunately your lens may be used only with manual focus...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You mean, that that little screw, near the DoF preview button, is the one, that controls the autofocus in AF and AF-D lens: static.borrowlenses.com/images/store/D7000_front_rgb.jpg ? And that AF-S lens does not use that screw, right? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 7:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahaaa, I finally found it in the web. Thanks, I haven't noticed that before. I think it's not in my D7000's manual. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 7:21
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The AF-S lens uses an internal motor. Therefore it lacks the connection to the body's motor.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, +1. I accepted the other answer, because it helped me understand the way, the body controls the AF/AF-D lens, as I didn't know what exactly does "connection" mean. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 7:22
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AF-S and AF-P lens have their own autofocus motors; AF-S have Nikon's "Silent Wave Motor"; AF-P lenses have a "Pulse" stepper motor. From Nikon's product pages for AF-S and AF-P lenses:

Silent Wave Motor

AF-S NIKKOR lenses feature Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM). This technology converts “traveling waves” into rotational energy to focus the optics. This enables high-speed autofocusing that's extremely accurate and super quiet.

Pulse Motor

Nikon's "P" series of NIKKOR lenses use a pulse motor (utilizing stepping motors) to focus smoother and quieter than previous drive systems. This quiet drive system makes the lenses ideal for use when shooting video.

These lenses only autofocus with their internal motors; they do not rely on, or fall back to, the camera's internal autofocus motor. The camera's internal motor on recent bodies is only for compatibility with older F-mount autofocus-capable lenses that required the camera's internal motor to drive the lens's focus rack.

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