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I have an 18-55 IS STM and it focuses instantly almost and without even a single noise. Should I be concerned if a nikon 24-70 f2.8 (brand new) makes noise when focusing? Also, in bad light (night, but tungsten filled room) it kind of stutters at the end, like it needs JUST a bit more movement to get it right, whereas the entry level canon lens would make it so you could push the shutter button all the way down in a single move. Is this normal? I know they are different focal lengths, different manufacturers, and different focus systems, but I expect the nikon lens which is 10x more expensive to also focus fast, if not completely silent (since STM is sold for video most of the times and silence is important)?

Do I have a faulty lens?

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    The Canon lenses that are 50x the cost of your 18-55 STM, such as the EF 600mm f/4, also focus a little slower than it. This is because the glass moved when focusing them probably weighs 50x as much as the glass moved when the 18-55 focuses. – Michael C May 30 '15 at 15:31
  • Yes, it makes sense, really. I guess that I expected it to be a miracle lens or something, since it's the first 'pro' lens that I own. – CosminO May 30 '15 at 21:11
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Probably not. It's just that making the 24-70 silent was not a priority when it was designed. For most of the time SLR cameras have had auto focus lenses the emphasis has been on speed. Video only really took off in the last decade or so. AF has been widespread in the SLR market since the late 1980s. The newest version of the 24-70 f/2.8 from Nikon was released in 2007. Although the Canon 5D had been out a couple of years and was in the middle of revolutionizing the whole concept of shooting video with a DSLR, Nikon did not have any DSLR bodies available at that time that shoot video, and probably didn't expect to offer a DSLR body intended for serious video work any time soon until the lens was already very late in the development process. Even then, the serious videographers using DSLRs for commercial productions were sticking with manual focus, and still do.

Not being a Nikon shooter I can't tell you how the AF speed of your Nikon 24-70 lens should compare to your Canon 18-55 IS STM, but I can tell you that within the Canon product lines the STM lenses are generally a little slower than their USM counterparts that are about the same size and have the same amount of glass to move when focusing.

There does come a point, though, where the much larger and heavier USM lenses require longer to focus if the heavier lens elements that move during focusing have to move a significant portion of their total travel. Any full frame 24-70 f/2.8 has a lot more glass to move when focusing than an APS-C only 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6.

  • Today I had a friend of mine who also owns the same 24-70 f2.8 have a go with it in a pub. He said he doesn't find anything strange about its functionality, compared to his. – CosminO May 30 '15 at 21:06
  • Nikon makes Silent Wave Motor (SWM) lenses. If its not SWM, then it is not going to be silent. – A K Jun 1 '15 at 0:54
  • Just because it is marketed as Silent Wave doesn't mean it will actually be imperceptibly silent, either. – Michael C Jun 1 '15 at 4:14
  • And the latest version if the 24-70mm f/2.8 is an SWM lens. – Michael C Jun 1 '15 at 4:17

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