Video: Comparing autofocus motor noise on camera lenses

by Klaus on November 28, 2010

in Photography

One of the reasons I picked the Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM II over Tamron’s 70-200/2.8 was because of the faster – and quieter autofocus motor – in the Sigma, so I decided to throw together a quick video to demonstrate the differences in autofocus motor noise on the following lenses:

  • Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM II
  • Nikkor 18-200mm VR AF-S
  • Nikkor 50mm/1.8 D
  • Nikkor 35mm/1.8 AF-S
  • Tamron 90mm BIM Macro

The Nikkor 50mm doesn’t have a built-in autofocus motor, so it’s using Nikon D7000’s own motor, which is quite noisy, to be honest. Tamron 90mm macro with BIM (Built-in Motor) is also quite noisy. The rest of the lenses are rather quiet and I’m surprised at how quiet the Sigma 70-200/2.8 really is in daily use, you don’t really pay attention to it. I’ve had a Tamron 70-300mm lens once and it was quite noisy so if Tamron’s 70-200/2.8 is as noisy, then I’m glad I went with the Sigma.

This weeks, Photo of the Week, was actually shot with my new Sigma 70-200/2.8 lens: Birth of Christ.

So, here’s the video I recorded (with an iPhone 4):


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob McCance November 30, 2010 at 03:02

Really cool video and comparison.

I shoot Canon and have never heard one of my lenses focus, ever.

They use “USM” which stands for Ultrasonic Motor and are basically silent. Or maybe they make a ton of noise, but it’s all ultrasonic! LOL.

I’ll ask my dog.

Calgary Search Engine Optimization December 2, 2010 at 10:09

Great Article! I am really interested in photography especially in dealing with camera since I’m just new to this kind of career or hobby. I have this Nikon d5000 and I really want to upgrade my lens to make it more great. I hope I could consult to someone who knows more about Nikon products. Thanks.

aaron December 3, 2010 at 20:20

I don’t own a tamron lens but wow tamron is so loud compare to nikkor..!

Paul Tech December 13, 2010 at 08:42

The autofocus motor noise is not too much of a nuisance for me.. but after viewing the video, I guess there is much room for improvement indeed.


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