Nikon Lenses Buying Guide For Beginners

Lenses are the most valuable gears for every photographer to increase their skills and explore new capabilities of their DSLR cameras.

Why You Should Invest In New Lenses?

As you discover more about photography, the more you realize that getting the best shot depending on the lens you use more than the camera itself, they have the most impact so it’s wise to invest in new lenses better than upgrading the camera for many reasons:

  1. They keep their value for a long time after you’ve bought them.
  2. They fit more expensive cameras so you will use them after upgrading your camera.

There’s a wide range of different lenses for Nikon cameras for various uses and features so before looking for the right lens there’re very important nomenclatures you must get familiar with first in order to read and understand the lens capabilities and choose the right lens that compatible with your camera.

Nikon Lenses Buying Guide

1. Auto Focus – AF-P & AF-S Lenses

Autofocus Nikon LensThe AF in AF-S and AF-P stands for AutoFocus. The AF-S lenses feature a silent wave focusing motor and the AF-P lenses feature a stepping motor autofocus technology which is quieter and smoother than AF-P. Both are designed to deliver fast and quiet autofocusing. See the Nikon Lenses compatibility chart

How To Choose The Right Lens To AutoFocus With The Camera?

There’re many types of Nikon DSLR camera bodies, some have a built-in focus motor and some do not. So in order to get AutoFocus, you will need at least one focus motor either in the camera body or the lens. Therefore, the cameras with build-in AutoFocus motor can work with any lens type AF or AF-S & AF-P. And the cameras that don’t have built-in focus motor need AF-S or AF-P lenses in order to autofocus like Nikon’s entry-level cameras such as D3000, D5000, D7000 series. See the best lenses for Nikon D3400 & D3500

2. Vibration Reduction (VR)

Nikon Lens Vibration ReductionMany Nikon lenses, including the kit lens, offer Vibration Reduction. If you own a DSLR camera, you are likely familiar with the terms “Vibration Reduction” (VR) or “Image Stabilization” (IS). When shooting, there is an amount of camera shake resulting from handshaking that can produce blurry images. So the VR technology stabilizes the lens movement in order to get a sharper result, especially on slow shutter speeds. When using a tripod, With some lenses, you need to disable VR so that the camera doesn’t try to compensate for movement that isn’t occurring.

3. Focal Length

nikon lenses buying guideThe focal length is a basic description of a photographic lens that determines the angle of view, how much of the scene will be captured (field of view), and how much your photos are zoomed-in represented by a number in millimeter.

The lower the number, the less zoomed your lens will be, the lower the magnification and the wider field of view. The higher the number, the more zoomed your lens will be, the higher the magnification and the narrower field of view.

A lens with 50mm focal length is described as a standard lens, A lens with a focal length under 35mm is described as a wide-angle lens which is the best choice for landscape photography because of its wide field of view. A lens with a focal length higher than 80mm is considered as a telephoto zoom lens, this type of lenses is ideal for wildlife and sports photography.

4. Aperture

apertureThe aperture of the lens is one of the constituent elements of the image composition triangle which are the ISO, Shutter, and Aperture. It is a hole inside the lens made up of metal blades with a specific number that identifies the light inside the lens represented by a number. The smaller the number, the larger the hole and the more light is let in to reach the camera’s sensor. A small aperture is a great choice for low light photography at the maximum aperture of F/1.4.

5. Crop Factor

crop factorThe crop factor is a fixed number depending on the camera represent how much the camera sensor will crop the lens frame. For example, a lens with a 35mm focal length working on a full-frame camera (1 crop factor) will produce 35mm focal length. A camera with x1.5 crop factor like Nikon D3500 will produce an actual focal length of 53mm.



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