One of the best Nikon prime lens for you is one which’ll connect to the digital camera you employ, greatest fit your wants and is reasonably priced.
On this article, we’ll undergo the greatest Nikon prime lenses on the market. And allow you to select the one that matches your wants greatest.[ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]
Nikon at present record 53 prime lenses for SLR cameras on their web site. Starting from the widest at 10.5 mm to the longest tremendous telephoto lens of 800mm. Seven totally different fashions of 50mm lenes are included. There are additionally specialty lenses resembling macro and tilt-shift.
Not listed on the website are the many out of manufacturing prime lenses that Nikon have had over the years. These can nonetheless be bought second hand. Any Nikon F mount lens will connect to any Nikon SLR digital camera produced later than 1959.
Just lately Nikon launched two mirrorless cameras with full body sensors. These cameras have a unique lens mount, they name the Z mount. Nikon SLR lenses use their F mount and are available FX and DX courses.
Least costly on the record is the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D which you’ll be able to decide up for underneath $150. In case your pockets are deeper and your wants extra particular you possibly can fork out slightly over $16,000 for the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR.
Let me take you thru the course of I’ve used many occasions in serving to me, and others, determine which is the greatest prime lens to purchase. First I’d like to share with you’re little of my background story and love of prime lenses.
- 1 Selecting Between a 50mm Prime Lens and a 35mm One
- 2 Calculating the Value
- 3 What Format Nikon Prime Lens Ought to You Buy?
- 4 Focal Size and Aperture Issues?
- 5 How to Discern Which Prime Lens Will Go well with You
- 6 4 Teams of Prime Lenses
- 7 Going Retro
- 8 Nonetheless Not Positive Which Nikon Prime Lens to Buy?
- 9 Lease Earlier than You Buy
- 10 Kevin Landwer-Johan
Selecting Between a 50mm Prime Lens and a 35mm One
I bought my first digital camera, a Nikkormat FTN, and a 50mm f1.four second hand in 1983. I continued utilizing this similar lens for 27 years till it was not all the time sharp.
I attempted to get it repaired, however the technician advised me to purchase a brand new one. It was like dropping an previous good friend. I nonetheless have the lens however not use it.
The photograph under is considered one of the final I made utilizing that 50mm prime lens.
Over the years I’ve owned many Nikon prime lenses and used many extra. Working as a newspaper photographer I had the alternative to work with lenses most people can’t afford. Utilizing 300mm f2.eight and 400mm f3.5 lenses to photograph sport.
I even obtained to use a 600mm f4 lens as soon as, (it was too huge to deal with simply). I had entry to tremendous large lenses for specialty conditions, however my 50mm f1.four was most frequently on my digital camera.
Changing my 50mm concerned some critical determination making. I liked the f1.four facet of the lens, however want to use a 35mm as a result of it’s simply that a lot wider.
A 35mm on a full body digital camera is nearer to the angle of view I see naturally than a 50mm lens.
I knew a 35mm f1.four lens can be far more costly. I additionally wanted to know what the bokeh was like on a 35mm f1.four lens. A fast on-line search confirmed me the bokeh was beautiful and the price ticket was excessive.
Calculating that I might get ten years of use with this lens I figured it will value me lower than zero.50c per day, so I purchased it.
Certainly one of the first pictures I took with my new 35mm f1.four lens was of my pal sitting on a purple sofa in the forest. The angle of view mixed with the shallow depth of subject was precisely what I had needed on this lens.
I’ve solely turn out to be extra glad with this the extra I’ve used it for each photographs and video.
Calculating the Value
Value ought to be the very first thing to think about when making decisions about buying a main lens. There’s no level in spending greater than you want to. Not spending sufficient on a lens that doesn’t meet your wants can also be counter productive.
Spending an excessive amount of on images gear is straightforward. Even narrowing down your choices to a Nikon prime lens, you continue to have loads of selection.
Should you determine on a 50mm lens, Nikon have seven totally different fashions you possibly can select from. There’s a $400 distinction between the costliest, a 50mm f1.2 guide focus lens and the least expensive, a 50mm f1.8D.
Determine in your finances. Give some thought to how you’ll use the lens and the way a lot use you’ll get from it. Calculate the every day value. Challenge the variety of years you’ll use it and divide the worth by the variety of days.
I spend extra on espresso every day over a ten yr interval than what my 35mm f1.four lens value me.
What Format Nikon Prime Lens Ought to You Buy?
Totally different Nikon lenses are designed to accommodate totally different digital camera sensor codecs.. DX lenses are made for crop sensor cameras. FX lenses are made for full body SLR cameras.
You need to use a DX lens on a full body Nikon digital camera. Solely the central a part of the sensor, the similar measurement as a DX sensor, shall be used. On movie cameras with a DX lens fitted, a black circle might be seen round the edges of the body.
FX prime lenses can be utilized on DX digital camera our bodies.
Most Nikon lenses will match most Nikon cameras. The brand new full body mirrorless cameras Nikon have launched use a special lens mounting system. F mount lenses designed for Nikon SLR cameras won’t match the Z mount mirrorless cameras and vice versa.
All 4 Nikon DX prime lenses are G collection lenses so can’t be used on older digital cameras or movie cameras.
Nikon produce prime lenses with inner motors to auto-focus the lens. These lenses are labelled AF-S. Lenses with the AF label, (with out the ‘S’,) haven’t any motor in the lens. AF Lenses depend on the autofocus motor in the digital camera physique.
When you personal a Nikon digital camera with out an autofocus motor you’ll need to purchase an AF-S lens to find a way to have it focus mechanically.
Google your digital camera mannequin and the lens you’re looking to buy to be sure they’re suitable. Some older Nikon prime lenses might match newer cameras, however they is probably not absolutely practical.
Focal Size and Aperture Issues?
Now that you’ve thought-about the monetary and practical elements of selecting a Nikon prime lens, it’s time to deal with the huge query.
What focal size lens will go well with the fashion of images you take pleasure in or need to develop?
I really like my 35mm f1.four lens. It fits my type.
Environmental portraiture, journey and road, documentary images are what I do most. My 35mm Nikon prime lens is a superb match for a majority of these images. I additionally make portraits in a studio-like setting, and my 105mm f2.eight lens is right for these.
A 35mm on a full body digital camera could be very shut to what we see with our eyes, (not together with our peripheral imaginative and prescient).
I feel this focal size creates extra pure wanting pictures than a lot wider or extra telephoto lenses do. With a 35mm lens, you’ll be able to embrace sufficient of the background in your composition to give a way of the environment.
My 105mm can also be one other favourite Nikon prime lens. It’s best suited for portraiture. I virtually all the time use it when I’m taking portraits with individuals in my outside studio.
With a 105mm on a full body digital camera there’s a good quantity of compression. You can too be an inexpensive distance out of your topic. Not so shut they are going to be uncomfortable and never so distant you will have to shout for them to hear you.
How to Discern Which Prime Lens Will Go well with You
In case you are a extra skilled photographer you’ll know extra of your images preferences and elegance. You’ll have a good suggestion of what you want to photograph and the way you want to work.
Beginning out in images chances are you’ll not have such a robust choice for the type you need to obtain.
Ask your self these questions to assist work out what focal size prime lens could also be greatest for you to buy;
- What topics do you favor to photograph?
- What type of images do you take pleasure in?
- Who evokes you?
- Are you daring or are you extra snug standing again from the motion/topic?
Wanting although your pictures will enable you to reply a few of these questions. Open up Lightroom, or no matter software program you employ to view albums of your photographs.
Have a look by way of all the photographs you’ve made throughout the previous yr or two. Concentrate to what topics you might have photographed the most. Are you able to see a definite type? Are you typically shut to your topic of additional again?
Make Use of Focal Size Metadata
In Lightroom you’ll be able to view metadata to present you what number of pictures in a listing or over a date vary have been made with a specific lens.
At the prime of your window if you end up in Grid view click on on Metadata. You will notice a drop down listing of the lenses you’ve gotten used and the variety of photographs taken with every lens.
Click on on the lens you employ the most. Grid view will now solely show the photographs you’ve made with this lens. When you have been utilizing a zoom lens you can even view an inventory of focal lengths you have got used inside the zoom vary.
If the Focal Size panel is just not displaying up, you possibly can open it by clicking Library>Filter by Metadata>Add Column from the prime menu. At the prime of the new column click on None after which Focal Size.
Flick through your photographs based mostly on the Focal Size filter. At what focal size have you ever made your favorite pictures? The place are you able to see gaps? Do you assume your images is missing a wider lens or an extended lens?
4 Teams of Prime Lenses
Extensive Angle Nikon Prime Lenses
Lenses with a focal size of 35mm or much less are thought-about to be ‘wide angle’ on a full body digital camera, (24mm or much less on a crop sensor digital camera).
Some widespread makes use of for these lenses is photographing landscapes, road, and environmental portraiture.
Medium Size Nikon Prime Lenses
From 40mm on a full body (28mm on a crop sensor,) to 80mm, (50mm on a crop sensor,) is taken into account a medium size lens.
Medium prime lenses are sometimes used for basic functions. Some widespread makes use of for these lenses are weddings, portraits, and road images.
Tele/Supertele Nikon Prime Lenses
This group of lenses ranges from 85mm full body, (about 55mm on a crop sensor,) proper up to 800mm.
Brief to medium telephoto prime lenses are sometimes used for portraiture, product, and meals images. These lenses are in the vary from 85mm to 135mm on a full body digital camera or 55mm to 90mm on a crop sensor digital camera.
These lenses usually have a wider most apertures and are lighter than the lengthy telephoto prime lenses.
Lenses longer than 135mm (90mm) to 200mm, (135mm) are thought-about medium telephoto lenses. This vary of lenses is usually used for portraiture, weddings, product, and meals images.
They’re good for taking photographs the place the background isn’t vital.
Lenses 300mm and longer are thought-about as tremendous telephoto. These are good for sport, wild life, fowl images and any topic you can’t get shut to.
They’re massive and heavy and most frequently are greatest used with the help of a tripod or monopod.
Specialty Nikon Prime Lenses
Nikon nonetheless make some very specialised lenses, however not in a lot selection as they used to. The tremendous large 14mm prime, 19mm perspective correcting or 60mm micro lens aren’t going to match many individuals’s wants, or budgets.
These lenses are designed for particular functions and to meet specific wants. Perspective correcting lenses are used primarily for structure images. They permit the photographer to management parallax error.
These lenses have been extra mandatory earlier than digital images. Now we’ve the means to make changes to perspective throughout submit manufacturing.
I took this photograph of a silk worm with a ravishing previous 55mm micro Nikon prime lens. I bought the lens as a part of a bag of drugs at a second hand public sale over twenty years in the past. I nonetheless get a number of use from this extremely sharp lens.
Only recently I took some pictures of a person trimming a palm tree on our neighbour’s property utilizing a Nikon 300mm f4.5 lens I purchased in 1988.
He was at the least 25 meters up the tree and I photographed him from our first flooring porch. I additionally recurrently use different previous, guide focus prime lenses. Previous glass is sweet glass.
Guide focus Nikon lenses are very robust. Often there’s no plastic in them they usually final for a few years if they’re properly taken care of. In prime lenses there are fewer shifting elements, so much less can go flawed with them.
Shopping for second hand all the time entails some danger and a specific amount of belief in the vendor. Used Nikon guide prime lenses can typically be picked up very cheaply as a result of most individuals want to use auto focus.
Issues to search for if you end up shopping for second hand lenses are;
- Indicators the lens has been dropped (dents and cracks);
- Mould on the glass (open the aperture and look by means of the lens);
- An excessive amount of put on and tear;
- Stiff or gritty feeling focus ring;
Nonetheless Not Positive Which Nikon Prime Lens to Buy?
In case you’re having hassle deciding which lens shall be your first prime, I recommend you decide up a 50mm f1.eight in case you are utilizing a full body digital camera.
When you’re utilizing a crop sensor digital camera, a 35mm f1.eight lens is the best choice to make a begin with.
Each these lenses are low cost. New they value lower than most Nikon zoom lenses. Lower than $200 just isn’t a lot to make investments.
Utilizing certainly one of these lenses, you’ll discover a distinction in your images. Not solely in your completed pictures, however in the approach you’ll go about making them.
Get used to zooming together with your ft. Be very cautious whenever you want to get a wider angle. Don’t step backwards off the curb into visitors! Significantly, you’ll have to assume in a different way about the way you need to compose your pictures.
That is one facet of utilizing a major lens that I contemplate may help new photographers study.
Composing with a normal prime lens takes some getting used to in case you are accustomed to utilizing a package zoom lens. As you apply frequently together with your prime lens you’ll get a really feel for it.
You’ll instinctively understand how shut to your topic you want to be to seize the picture you take into account.
Zooming together with your ft not solely means you’ll transfer nearer to or additional out of your topic. Probably you’ll begin shifting round your topic too, viewing it from totally different views. In case you are utilizing a zoom lens most frequently your ft are firmly planted in a single place.
Lease Earlier than You Buy
When you’ve narrowed down your choices of Nikon prime lenses it’s your decision to purchase, attempt renting one or two.
Plan your self a day of images. Organise to go some place you’re keen on to photograph with just one or two rented, or borrowed prime lenses. Even in case you can solely handle one morning or afternoon, this might be a worthwhile expertise. Spend it getting a really feel for the varieties of photographs you can also make with these lenses.
When you have the time and assets, do that train greater than as soon as. Lease a few totally different lenses every time so you’ll be able to examine them.
Use the technique I discussed earlier to research the metadata in Lightroom. See not simply what number of pictures you took with every focal size lens, however, extra importantly, which of the photographs you’re most glad with.
This provides you with a superb indication of which lens will probably be the greatest Nikon prime lens for you.
Thanks for studying…
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