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):

Comments & Leave a Comment


{ 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.
Rob McCance recently posted… Atlanta Real Estate and Atlanta Homes


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.
Paul Tech recently posted… Europe Readies for Self-Driving Cars


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