Time for another mailbox moment from “Ask Raw.” Today’s question is from Dan, who asks:
What lenses can I get for this camera [Nikon D40], esp zoom?
Well Dan, lens compatibility with Nikon’s entry-level bodies (the D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, and D5000) has been an often asked question ever since the D40 debuted, and unfortunately the answer isn’t really simple. But, the reason for the problem is. To save space and weight (and cost), these smaller bodies don’t have a built-in focus motor that powered Nikon’s auto-focus lenses before they switched to using built-in lens motors.
So, on to your answer. Technically, all current Nikon lenses will mount to and work on a D40 (or those others in this category). Nikon has used the same F-Mount forever now, and the D40 is a DX body, meaning it can take both DX and ‘FX’ lenses. What most people mean when they ask if a lens will work, though, is “will it auto-focus.” Only Nikon lenses marked as “AF-S” will mount to a D40 with auto-focus capability. The good news is that Nikon has been updating its line to AF-S for some time now, and most any lens in their current line-up will have it.
And, Nikon’s not the only one with lenses made for the motorless bodies. Tamron’s lenses have built-in motors, and Sigma has staring making BIM (built-in motor) lenses for the motorless Nikon bodies, too.