Few days ago, I found an old Nikon 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6 AF lens and when I paired it with my D5200, the body knew that the lens required an internal/in-built AF motor like the high-end bodies have, so it automatically switched to MF and there was no focus confirmation.

I have a lot of old (but great) manual focus lenses that I use all the time and a week ago I wanted to order a dandelion chip so I can confirm my focus with the manual lenses. But, now seeing that the D5200 only uses it's autofocus system on AF-S or AF-I lenses, I have a question:

Does the Dandelion Chip acts as an AF-S Lens chip, because if it doesn't (which I think is the case), the dandelion will just work with bodies with in-built focus-motor...?


1 Answer 1


The 28-80 has everything your D5200 needs to function in manual mode, including focus confirmation. AF-S or AF-I are required for the body to focus the lens, but the parts that determine whether or not the image is in focus don't need it.

Lenses like that one tend to have lightweight, low-drag mechanicals that make it easy for the in-body focus motor to focus rapidly and precisely. Lenses built for manual-focus only tend to have some drag that makes precise focusing by hand much easier.

When you're trying to focus a low-drag lens by hand, it's very easy to pass the very-small point where the AF system thinks the image is in focus, making it look like you're not getting confirmation at all. There's a custom setting (a4 on the D5200, a-something-else on other Nikon bodies) that will switch the exposure meter in the viewfinder to a rangefinder that indicates of how close to in focus you are and which direction.

Adding a Dandelion chip to your other lenses will turn them into CPU lenses that give the body enough information to enable in-camera metering. It won't do anything focus-related.

  • \$\begingroup\$ My bad... Because I have never heard the beep when using manual lenses, I didn't even notice that the focus confirmation dot was telling me all I wanted to know. The dandelion would enable the beep, but that's just unnecessary... (or a firmware hack :D) The rangefinder tip is going to come in handy when using the 28-80mm. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 20:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ I knew that the focus indicator dot works with manual focus lens, but I didn't know about the rangefinder setting. I often struggle to focus my 1100mm, so that could be a very helpful tip. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 20:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MitkoNikov As I understand it, the beep means that the camera has finished focusing rather than an audible version of the focus indicator. But in 15 years of shooting Nikon digital bodies, I've never turned it on. \$\endgroup\$
    – Blrfl
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 22:53

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