I bought a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S Zoom-Nikkor for my father. This lens is a “G” series lens, which means it does not have a manual aperture selection ring. Unfortunately, the only Nikon camera I have to test the lens against is a mechanical FM3A. I thought the lens would be usable, if only wide open, but it also lacks the mechanical exposure meter coupling ridge, which means it isn’t usable at all except maybe with a handheld meter.

One of Nikon’s main arguments was the compatibility in its lens line (unlike Canon who sacrificed compatibility when they replaced the manual-focus FD mount with the “fly-by-wire” EOS mount). Most newer Nikon bodies (including the $2100 D100) are no longer able to meter with manual-focus AI-S lenses (other than the 45mm f/2.8P), and now older Nikon bodies won’t be able to use newer lenses either.

The two worlds of Nikon manual-focus and autofocus systems will now inevitably diverge.

Update (2002-12-13):

Nikon recently announced they will be producing a new “DX” line of reduced-image-circle lenses specially designed to offer wideangle capabilities to APS-size sensor digital SLRs like the D100. The other shoe drops?