Nikon's new D40 Series – Farewell to Classic Nikon Lens Compatibility

Popular Photography magazine (and website) reports that the new entry-level Nikon D40 digital SLR camera no longer includes a built-in motor for autofocus lenses. The article points out that omitting the motor makes the camera body smaller and lighter (and, I would add, probably cheaper to make), but it prevents the D40 from using a lot of existing lenses, both those made for other Nikon DSLRs and those made for older Nikons. See the compatibility listing by clicking the Tech Specs tab here.

If you’re considering buying a D40 as your first Nikon SLR, limited compatibility with older Nikon and Nikon-compatible lenses might not matter (although current Tokina and Tamron lens lines won’t work, Sigma makes lots of lenses featuring HSM motorized autofocus that will).

However, if you’ve already invested in Nikon lenses, and especially if you want to use some classic Nikon F-series glass on a modern SLR, the D40 (6.1MP) or its higher-resolution sibling, the D40X (10.2MP) is not the best choice.

Sigma lens fans can read the compatibility listing here.,, Tech news

Technology Posts Roundup

In addition to blogging here at Traffic Circle 2.0, I also blog on technology subjects at Here’s a collection of my recent technology posts:

  • Put full-motion video on your Windows Vista Ultimate edition desktop as wallpaper with the newest Ultimate Extra, Dream Scene Preview, in More Vista Ultimate Extras.
  • If you’re learning Spanish and want a unique way to polish your skills and learn home networking at the same time, check out the Spanish-language version of my Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Home Networking. See The Spanish/English Home Networking Connection for more information.
  • I contributed five chapters to Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Vista, the latest volume in a long and respected series from Windows experts Bob Cowart and Brian Knittel. For details, see Vista, Vista Everywhere…Part 1.
  • Windows Vista Ultimate edition users get free utility and other programs through the Ultimate Extras feature. Learn more about the first two (a BitLocker full-disk encryption setup program and a Texas-style poker game) with Windows Vista Ultimate Extras Now on Tap.
  • I’ve written two books on do-it-yourself PC diagnosis and repair: PC Help Desk in a Book and Leo Laporte’s PC Help Desk. Confused? Read Battle of the PC Help Desk Titles to learn which book’s the best for you.

I’ve also written a Viewpoint op-ed for recently: Getting the Skinny on Vista Security. Read it to learn how Microsoft is finally taking security seriously, and the missing pieces you need to provide when you install Vista.