I am set to buy a 2nd lens to my d7000 kit lens.

I’m close to deciding between the 35 or 50 mm, I will likely go for the f1.4 version and wanted to determine if I would need or appreciate the G (missing aperture ring) or not.

I am ok with setting the aperture on the camera body of my d7000 but feel there is more to this and wanted to dig deeper.

Is it fast and simple to make frequent changes with the G version? Are there any differences in images? Lens build? Quality hardware?

I’m trying to get an idea what to expect from the G version as opposed to the non G version.

Thanks all.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've never even thought of this, since most lens apertures these days are solely controlled by the body, at least on Canon. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 5:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ See also photo.stackexchange.com/q/71117/15871 \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 2:10

4 Answers 4


Since you are using a D7000 which allows you to set the aperture with the camera body, you will be fine. The real disadvantage to a G model lens is that you cannot use them with a manual focus camera because you will have no way to set the aperture. If you can't control the aperture on the camera then the lens will always shoot at the smallest aperture.

There are numerous sources online explaining the shortcomings of the G models, none of which apply to you. One such source is here, which I read to double check and make sure I remembered what I read before :-). Note that it says "G eliminates many features with older cameras." (emphasis added by me).

Hope this helps.


I should have added more info about the G vs the D lens. I thought you were just asking about whether "G" mattered.

If I were you, I would read this review from cameralabs which actually talks a little about both lenses.

Note that the G model is also AF-S which means that it has the "silent" motor autofocus so it focuses quietly. The G model is also much bigger than the D model. Overall it seems to have better performance (although not in all situations) and I think I've read in multiple places that the bokeh is better on the G model (because it has more aperture blades?).


The G is apparently quite a bit sharper wide-open than the D is. Is it $100-150 better? Over the long haul, you may think so. That's one of the problems getting into photography -- there's the "getting your toes wet" price level and the "getting your money's worth" price level, and there's often a big gap between the two. You can always opt for the D and trade in at a later date, though -- Nikon glass tends to retain a lot of its value. You may even find a used D at a reasonable price.


On my D200, I used the setting that enabled setting the aperture on the lens when it has an aperture ring. I used it on my AF lenses. However, when I started using the 35/1.8 AF-S G I found it was easier to just set the aperture from the body on all lenses where this is possible.

It's a bit of an adjustment but you quickly get used to it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ so we should all embrace the G factor? those of us at least that don't have any legacy bodies or non digital camera that is. \$\endgroup\$
    – kacalapy
    Commented Jan 9, 2011 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately it's not like there's a lot of choice if you want the latest optics! OTOH there are a lot of older lenses that work well with older film cameras, and there are a ton of older film cameras that work with G lenses too. \$\endgroup\$
    – gerikson
    Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 6:16

There is an excellent guide to this at photo.net, here's the key parts copied. I'll let you decide from this information.

AF-S is "silentwave motor". Old-style Nikon autofocus lenses did not have motors in the lens, but relied on a screwdriver blade in the camera body to turn the focus ring. An AF-S lens has a built-in ultrasonic motor, a technology copied from the Canon EOS system. When using an AF-S lens, the photographer can push the shutter release (or a button on the rear of the camera, if a custom function is set) and let the autofocus system do its best, then touch up the focus manually by twisting the lens ring. The AF-S lenses also focus faster and more quietly.

"G" lenses are Nikon's newest lenses. They don't have an aperture ring, which is a shame because it means that you are forced to adjust the aperture with a command wheel on the camera. The G lenses don't work on older bodies.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do Nikon bodies work transparently in effective Av mode if you use the lens's aperture dial instead of the control wheel? With Pentax, if the lens has no A setting or if you choose something else, you have to use manual mode and stop-down metering. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm, it depends on the body and the lens because the lens has to tell the body what it's set to. I've heard that professional bodies (e.g. D1) and lenses have a mode option that lets you do that, but most prosumer bodies do not. \$\endgroup\$
    – staticsan
    Commented Jan 6, 2011 at 2:38

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