Nikon Does not tell you all the truth of SWM Silent Wave Motor?


mousedeers

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Sep 24, 2007
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#1
Have you wondered why your Nikon SWM lens some focus very fast and some focus very slow. I have this thought long time ago but just can not get the information. Nikon does not tell you all the truth of the Silent Wave Motor. I have gathered some information of the Nikon AFS SWM Silent Wave Motor to share with all.

There are two types AFS SWM used in the Nikon lens. One is used the mini DC motor to drive the gear and rotate the focus. It is a cheap and small type of DC motor. It can be found in the children toy. It is small in size and the focus is slow.
The other type is called Ring-type of Silent Wave Motor. It is big in size fixed around the lens body. The focus is very fast and it is expensive. Nikon should not call the first type SWM, it is totally different type of motor use as compare to the Ring-Type motor. It should give a different name to differentia the two. May be it should call DCM and SWM.

It is not difficult to tell which lens use the Ring-Type motor, just look at the contacts point at the end of the lens. Ten contacts points mean it is Ring-Type motor use. Eight contacts point mean it is mini DC motor use. Another ways to check is to bring your lens close to you ear and listen the rotating sound while pressing the shutter switch. You will hear the different. Similarly Canon also uses two type of focus motor.

Lens use the Ring-Type motor to drive the focus is shown below:

1 AF-S 50/1.4G 环形
2 AF-S 200/2G IF-ED VR 环形
3 AF-S 300/4D IF-ED 环形
4 AF-S 300/2.8D IF-ED 环形
5 AF-S 300/2.8D IF-ED II 环形
6 AF-S 300/2.8G IF-ED VR 环形
7 AF-S 300/2.8G IF-ED VR II 环形
8 AF-S 400/2.8D IF-ED 环形
9 AF-S 400/2.8D IF-ED II 环形
10 AF-S 400/2.8G IF-ED VR 环形
11 AF-S 500/4D IF-ED 环形
12 AF-S 500/4D IF-ED II 环形
13 AF-S 500/4G IF-ED VR 环形
14 AF-S 600/4D IF-ED 环形
15 AF-S 600/4D IF-ED II 环形
16 AF-S 600/4G IF-ED VR 环形
17 AF-S 14-24/2.8G ED 环形
18 AF-S 17-35/2.8D IF-ED 环形
19 AF-S 24-70/2.8G ED 环形
20 AF-S 24-85/3.5-4.5G IF-ED 环形
21 AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR 环形
22 AF-S 28-70/2.8D IF-ED 环形
23 AF-S 70-200/2.8G IF-ED VR 环形
24 AF-S 70-200/2.8G IF-ED VR II 环形
25 AF-S 70-300/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR 环形
26 AF-S 80-200/2.8D IF-ED 环形
27 AF-S 200-400/4G IF-ED VR 环形
28 AF-S 200-400/4G IF-ED VR II 环形
29 AF-S 60/2.8G ED Micro 环形
30 AF-S 105/2.8G IF-ED Micro VR 环形
31 AF-S DX 10-24/3.5-4.5G ED 环形
32 AF-S DX 12-24/4G IF-ED 环形
33 AF-S DX 17-55/2.8G IF-ED 环形

Lens use the small DC motor to drive the focus is shown below:

1 AF-S 16-35/4G ED VR 微型
2 AF-S 85/1.4G 微型
3 AF-S 24/1.4G ED 微型
4 AF-S DX 18-55/3.5-5.6G ED II 微型
5 AF-S DX 18-55/3.5-5.6G VR 微型
6 AF-S DX 18-70/3.5-4.5G IF-ED 环形
7 AF-S DX 18-105/3.5-5.6G ED VR 微型
8 AF-S DX 18-135/3.5-5.6G IF-ED 微型
9 AF-S DX 18-200/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR 微型
10 AF-S DX 18-200/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR II 微型
11 AF-S DX 55-200/4-5.6G ED 微型
12 AF-S DX 55-200/4-5.6G IF-ED VR 微型
13 AF-S DX 55-300/4.5-5.6G VR 微型
14 AF-S DX 18-55/3.5-5.6G ED 微型
15 AF-S DX 16-85/3.5-5.6G ED VR 微型
16 AF-S DX 35/1.8G 微型
17 AF-S 28-300/3.5-5.6G VR 微型
18 AF-S 85/3.5G ED Micro 微型
19 AF-S 24-120/4G ED VR 微型
 

NikF601

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2010
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#6
Thanks for the info...
 

Scoop

New Member
Oct 27, 2009
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#7
Wow! Nice bit of research done here. Informative.
 

ZeroDivine

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2004
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#8
but the af-s 50 1.4G focus really slow... and it's supposed to be using the higher end 'ring type'...
hmm....
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#9
but the af-s 50 1.4G focus really slow... and it's supposed to be using the higher end 'ring type'...
hmm....
I suspected earlier that lens may be the micro type but I guess I'm wrong...

Btw, great info here! thanks!

Also, if you have the latest Nikkor catalogue...there is a mention of two types of motor (both that you've shown)... with images... but of course they didn't list what motor were in each lens.
 

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huggable

Senior Member
Nov 2, 2004
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#10
I remembered David (fatigue) did mentioned that the 18-70 DX is using a SWM, while the 18-105 DX is using a "compact" SWM. After trying out both lenses, I found the 18-70 focuses faster.
 

ZeroDivine

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#11
another thing is I am surprised they include the 'slower' motor in the 24 1.4, 85 1.4, both of which high end prime lens which deserve better motors.
interesting decision by Nikon. Maybe someone can go and email them to ask about this disparity :)
 

weegk

Senior Member
Jul 16, 2010
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#12
really thanks for sharing such infomation . . . i have added to my favorite for future reference when buying lens.

Apart from the listing, i also enjoy knowing the internal of the lens.
GREAT JOB. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#13
another thing is I am surprised they include the 'slower' motor in the 24 1.4, 85 1.4, both of which high end prime lens which deserve better motors.
interesting decision by Nikon. Maybe someone can go and email them to ask about this disparity :)
Agreed... these two should be on ring type given the price they are commanding... maybe that's why Nikon didn't want us to know... so they can use it interchangeably... hope I'm wrong...

However, I'm still curious to know why certain lenses like 17-35 commonly breaks down over time...
 

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ZeroDivine

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2004
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#14
Agreed... these two should be on ring type given the price they are commanding... maybe that's why Nikon didn't want us to know... so they can use it interchangeably... hope I'm wrong...
actually I thought the 16-35 f/4 and 24-120 f/4 shd be included too.. because looking at the list, even the DX 10-24 and 12-24 are inside. They should be about the same f/4 class.. weird weird.. hm...
maybe there r things they don't want us to know.. sigh
 

jaRv1s

New Member
Jun 5, 2009
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#15
AF speed also depends on:

1. weight of zoom group (same ring type on different lens not = equal speed)
2. AF sensor (same lens on higher end body almost always faster)

also, faster AF and higher accuracy doesn't go on the same way...

frankly i buy lens for the spec i need... as long as i find the AF speed usable for me, what kind of motor inside or even no motor inside is fine for me...
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#19
Don't guess, you'll be disappointed if it turns out differently... frankly as long as it works okay, I don't think matters. 17-35 was a popular lens only that its motor will break down according to users, even though it's on the large SWM... so what gives? Just be glad your motor doesn't go, even if it's on a small piece...