I can’t be bothered by auto-focus being a selling point for me anymore.
So, here’s the deal: I just can’t let the feature of auto-focus be a significant bullet-point when shopping for lenses anymore. There are just too many other truly image altering factors that come into play and take precedence.
I’m wracking my brain over a budget camera with focus peaking vs Nikkor manual-only and then DX/FX compatible(where auto-focus is usually the differing feature) and it’s too head-splitting to treat auto-focusing so importantly, while trying to balance other features.
Don’t make the mistake I did and treat the feature of auto-focus so highly. Shove it way down on your list. Especially if you have a DX format camera and are trying to decide things like future-proof lenses for a later purchase of an FX format camera.
I was recently fretting over a Nikon 24mm lens that will auto-focus on FX cameras but not on my current DX. I was also looking at a budget 85mm that will do peaking but not auto-focus on DX or FX and may not meter. Then I started comparing to some 14-24mm and it just got overwhelming.
I realized if I relegated auto-focus to almost a non-issue, it became a lot easier for me to focus on what I really wanted out of the lenses.
This is a side note, but the world of photography really has a lot of breathing room within lens purchasing. Honestly. You can buy a third-party lens that others may laugh at that could out-perform another name-brand that costs a thousand dollars more.
Sure there are some linear paths based on performance, materials and expectations, but there’s still a lot of breathing room for just buying what YOU want and what YOU like.
For instance – I’m looking at a budget Pro Optic 85mm lens that is fairly well rated and much cheaper than lenses it was scored against. It even out performed some that are more expensive and one of the few rated better than it (A Nikkor 85mm) costs significantly more.
My Tamron 90mm Macro lens is awesome. Yes, I sometimes don’t like all the results, but it’s an amazing lens I’ve been happy with and I attribute most results to my lack of experience.
Point is – there’s a lot of room to truly just buy what YOU like, with some caveats of course that accurately point to better equipment that affects results.