A lot of people wonder what to buy because their first Nikon lens. Most people a new comer to digital photography and DSLRs don’ big t bother reading about cameras plus lenses as much since there is too much info and too many recommendations. They finish up purchasing a kit lens that they make use of for a year or two, only to realize that they need something better. Yes, kit lens are a good deal but are they really worth the purchase? While it makes sense for many people to buy kit lenses with digital cameras, I personally stay away from cheap entry-level zooms and prefer solid all-purpose primary lenses instead. Read on to find out more regarding my personal recommendations, aimed at someone who is simply getting into photography.
When I bought my very first DSLR, the Nikon D80, this came with a 18-135mm f/3. 5-5. 6 kit lens. Anything appeared better compared to my Sony Cybershot point and shoot, so I has been very happy for about 6 months. Then I began getting into photography more and more. I was reading through books and spending a lot of time examining the camera in different conditions. I absolutely loved the pictures in daytime out of 18-135mm when there was sufficient light, but low-light conditions maintained frustrating me and indoor picture taking without a flash was quite difficult. Any camera shake resulted in fuzzy photos which I wouldn’ t actually notice until seeing the image on my computer monitor (the lens had no image leveling / VR). I ended up promoting the lens for a lot much less and spent more money getting better equipment, or so I thought. The new lens has been better ( 18-200mm VR ) due to picture stabilization and I was quite delighted for a while, but I started experiencing other problems such as sub-par picture quality at different focal measures. And the f/3. 5-5. 6 minimal aperture was still a restricting factor just like on the 18-135mm zoom lens. As I read and researched a lot more, I wanted to be able to shoot in reduced light, have better background object rendering capability or “ bokeh ” and crisper image quality, so I got the 50mm f/1. 4 lens following. Truth be told, I ended up realizing it turned out all me that failed to consider good pictures, always relying on the particular capabilities of my camera plus lens, rather than focusing on my ability as a photographer. But that small prime taught me a lot of matters and made me a better professional photographer, because I could not rely on cruising in and out anymore – the zoom lens forced me to move and consider composing images, rather than taking stage and shoot snapshots.
I’ m sure a lot of people experience a similar experiences, sometimes more or less unpleasant. After doing an analysis various lenses and testing them, We created my own list of lenses that needs to be first on the purchase list. Lens that will force you to change the method you take pictures and ideally make you a better photographer as a result. Yet always remember – cameras and lens are only tools, it is the person at the rear of the camera that matters!
I separated the list directly into two categories. One is for basic DSLRs with smaller APS-C and DX sensors (cropped sensors) and another for full-frame cameras that are obtaining more and more affordable lately.
For entry-level DSLRs such as Nikon D3400/D5600 and more advanced Digital slrs like D7200, along with older digital cameras with smaller APS-C sensors (DX):
- Nikkor 35mm f/1. 8G DX – a great everyday lens with outstanding sharpness, great low-light and issue isolation capabilities.
- Nikkor 16-85mm f/3. 5-5. 6G DX VR – a great and flexible zoom lens for situations where you require wider or longer than 35mm. Excellent sharpness throughout the range plus image stabilization (VR) for low-light situations.
For full-frame DLSRs like Nikon D610 and D750 (FX):
- Nikkor 50mm f/1. 8G – consider this lens equal to the 35mm f/1. 8G DX listed above, since it gives a similar position of view when used on the full-frame camera. Excellent sharpness in comparison with the more expensive Nikkor 50mm f/1. 4G, as shown in my 50mm f/1. 4-G vs f/1. 8G comparison article. And at just $220, you simply cannot beat the value! Take a look at my evaluation of this lens to learn more.
- Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G VR – a sharp, professional zoom lens for photographing everything else. One of my personal favorite zoom lenses in Nikon’ t line today. Versatile zoom variety, image stabilization and nano covering deliver excellent results. For more information, check out the 24-120mm lens review .
I’ m not really taking into account special type of photography (such as macro or super telephoto) – the above lenses are good for many types of photography. I’ m furthermore not including rare / exotic lens, because the article is targeted at newbies. If you just want to buy a couple of exceptional lenses, the above would definitely satisfy the majority of your needs. If you can only afford a single lens, I would start out with the 35mm f/1. 8G for DX plus 50mm f/1. 8G for FOREX. If you have been shooting only with focus lenses so far, give prime lens a try – I promise you will not regret and your pictures may have a completely different look and feel to them! Focus lenses are great for some situations, however they often make us lazy and they also cannot match the performance associated with prime lenses. The only exception could be the Sigma 18-35mm f/1. 8 zoom lens (for DX cameras), which is the very first zoom lens with a fast f/1. 7 aperture. At a hefty price tag associated with $800 it is not for everyone though; in addition, the 16-85mm has a more flexible zoom range than the 18-35mm zoom lens. If you are shopping for a third party lens, a much better candidate would be the Sigma 17-50mm f/2. 8 , which has a better range and a quick aperture of f/2. 8.
If you would like to read about our tips for Nikon prime lenses, check out Roman’ s article on choosing the first prime zoom lens . He covers plenty of best lenses for different needs in that post.