I have to buy a lens and I have a Nikon d7000. I want to know which lenses have AF motors and which do not, as the D7000 has an AF motor built into the body. How do I tell whether a lens has a motor or not?
This question is only relevant if you have a camera without a built-in AF motor in the camera, like the D3300. In this case, you would need an AF-S lens that has a motor in the lens itself.
In your case, the D7000 does have a built-in AF motor. This means any AF lens, whether or not it has a motor in the lens itself, will autofocus.
Why is it important whether it has motor or not? The important question is: will it have autofocus on your camera body.
There is a large lens compatibility table on nikonians.org.
Look for the D7000 line, and make sure you scroll below to see the actual descriptions in "NOTES", especially of "NO!" (with exclamation mark) and "NO" (without exclamation mark).
In general, choose an auto-focus lens, do not use a "F3AF" (little chance :-)) , and you will have autofocus. "AF" lenses will not have 3D matrix exposure mode, and you will only have VR if you use a D or G type VR lens.
Now, if you really want to know whether there is a built-in motor in the lens, you can check it on the Nikon site, or at Ken Rockwell's site. Both show compatibility data, too, the latter also shows data for non-Nikkor lenses.
The easy answer is that it has an autofocus motor if the lens specification says so!
For Nikon lenses, this is easy: All AF-S and AF-P lenses which have super-sonic and stepping motors, respectively. All other ones in the current lineup do not have an internal focus motor.
For third party lenses, you have to look more carefully at the naming and specifications:
- Sigma designates their lenses with super-sonic as HSM but they have ones with standard motors too. Those have no designation in the name but the full specification will say so.
- Tokina does not include the type of focus motor whether there is one in the name, so you have to look at the specifications directly.
- Tamron is not entirely consistent. Some lenses with motors have no hint in their names while some are labeled PZD or USD, the latter is the ultra-sonic variant.
- Samyang and Zeiss also make Nikon F-mount lenses but none has a focus motor until now.
In case you are not familiar with Neocamera, you can easily search for this using our Lens Search. Simply select your mount and then you can choose between Lens Standard or Lens Super Sonic for the Focus Motor option. Conversely, choose Body if you want to find lenses without motors.
Current Nikon lenses designated as AF-S have a focus motor in them. (So do older telephoto/supertelephoto lenses designated as AF-I, but these are relatively rare and do not exist in the current lens lineup).
On a D7000, you'll know if the lens has a focus motor or not by how quiet/fast the autofocusing is. AF-S means the lens has a "Silent Wave" motor, which makes it nearly silent and can speed up AF performance. See also: