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Under the famous Nikon brand, a wide variety of equipment for photographers is produced – both amateur and professional. This also applies to “carcasses”, and lenses, and accessories. It is the original Nikon lenses that will be the topic of today’s special thematic review of Expertology magazine.

Our experts have sorted the most worthy models into two groups: the first – entry-level / mid-level at an affordable price; the second is professional premium lenses with no cost restrictions. Each group will feature lenses of different specializations – reportage, portrait, macro and other types.

Rating of the best Nikon lenses

Nomination place Name of product price

The best entry-level and mid-level Nikon lenses

one

Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G

9 940 ₽

2

Nikkor AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

14 950 ₽

3

Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 40mm f/2.8G

17 190 ₽

four

Nikkor AF-P DX 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

20 490 ₽

5

Nikkor AF-S VR Zoom 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

33 990 ₽

6

Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

37 000 ₽

The Best Professional Nikon Lenses

one

Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S

79 990 ₽

2

Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED AF-S VR

62 490 ₽

3

Nikkor 14-24MM F/2.8G ED AF-S

76 990 ₽

four

Nikkor AF 10.5mm f/2.8G ED DX Fisheye

50 990 ₽

5

Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

104 880 ₽

6

Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR II Zoom

108 990 ₽

The best entry-level and mid-level Nikon lenses

So, let’s start with relatively inexpensive Nikon lenses. Here we mean not the cheapest, but the most worthy models for beginner photographers and for those who are already mature enough to replace whale glass with a more conscious choice. The price of individual copies can exceed $ 500, but still this is not a premium segment, but quite affordable for those who have serious intentions in mastering photography as a profession or art.

Also Read: Best Canon Cameras

Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G

Rating: 4.7

Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G

And we will be the first of the first to consider the most inexpensive in the selection, the most standard and, in combination, the most understandable lens. This is the first obvious candidate to replace whale glass, however good it may be. It delivers surprisingly fast aperture, beautiful bokeh and overall impressive image quality. Suitable for any non-full-frame Nikon cameras (not compatible with FX format). The model was announced in 2009, and after more than 10 years it does not lose in demand.

This is a classic lens, small – 70mm in diameter and a maximum of 52.5mm in length, and lightweight – only 200g. Nikon DX mount. The body is plastic, but the mount is metal. The focal length is fixed – 35mm.

There are no moving external parts in the front of the lens, that is, filters can be installed without hindrance. 8 optical elements in 6 groups, including one aspherical. Only the rear lens is responsible for the focus – it moves, but does not rotate. Of the controls on the body, there are only a compact focusing ring and an autofocus switch.

The Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G achieves good sharpness at all apertures without any problems. Rarely, but it can “smear”, so in special cases it makes sense to make a series and control the sharpness in the process. But for the most part, good detail is guaranteed even at f/1.8, but with a slight loss of contrast around the edges. At f/2.8–4, this effect disappears. The optimal range is f / 5.6–8, and at f / 11 diffraction will already be noticeable.

Frankly, the weak point of this model is pronounced distortion. Of course, it is not the same as with wide-angles, but still an attentive eye will notice it. This is a little strange for a lens with such an ordinary focal length, but it is a fact. Therefore, “in-camera” correction functions or post-processing in graphics applications will be necessary.

As for vignetting, it can be noticeable wide open. If you cover it, the effect almost disappears and will be noticeable only when shooting a solid light background. For portrait photography, the effect is often even more useful than harmful.

As a summary, the Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G is a versatile solution for amateur and semi-professional photography both indoors and during a photo walk. He shows himself best in portrait photography.

The official warranty for this and all subsequent entry-level and mid-level models in the review is 24 months, unless otherwise indicated.

Advantages

  • compact and durable body;

  • no retractable parts;

  • quality drawing;

  • one of the best aperture ratios in the amateur segment;

  • high-quality portrait photography;

  • good detail;

  • price performance ratio

  • two year manufacturer’s warranty.

Flaws

  • noticeable distortion.

Nikkor AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Rating: 4.6

Nikkor AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

The second model in the selection of the best amateur Nikon lenses is half the price of the previous one, but the purpose here is different. This is a super zoom with powerful stabilization that can cover most of the needs of a novice photographer. It is equally well suited for both portrait and landscape photography – in this it is as versatile as the previous one, but with an expanded range of possibilities.

As for a superzoom, this model is very compact – 78x97mm in size. Weighs 490g. Mount – Nikon F (DX). Compatible with Nikon DX format cameras. The focal length here varies from 18 to 140mm. 7 blade aperture F3.50 – F5.60. There is an optical stabilization unit. 17 optical elements in 12 groups, including one aspherical lens and one low dispersion. Viewing angle ranging from 76 to 113 degrees. min. The smallest focusing distance is 0.45m. The focus motor is ultrasonic. Thread for filter 67mm in diameter.

The wide rubberized zoom ring takes up more lens area when retracted. When zooming to the maximum, and even with a hood on, its length doubles. In general, users give the ergonomics the highest marks.

Thanks to the 7.8x optical zoom, the model is quite suitable for shooting objects at very remote distances. The possibility of lubrication is minimized due to effective vibration damping. It also allows you to easily shoot with a slower shutter speed than usual – up to four stops. The vibration compensation system itself works silently both when shooting photos and videos.

The combination of an aspherical lens and an extra-low dispersion (ED) lens guarantees high resolution and the same high contrast, with low levels of color distortion and aberrations.

Finally, a wide range of positions allows you to easily convert the lens from wide-angle to telescopic with all intermediate positions on the fly. Thus, it is optimally suited for travelers and travel bloggers to shoot a wide variety of pictures – from wide colorful landscapes to individual distant objects in high detail.

Claims to the lens from users are minimal, and mostly come from very picky photographers. The only thing that almost everyone is unhappy with is the package. The lens does not come with a lens hood, or even a case or at least a cover.

Advantages

  • compact and lightweight (as for a superzoom);

  • high-quality optics;

  • wide range of positions;

  • one low dispersion lens;

  • ultrasonic focus engine;

  • silent and effective vibration suppression system;

  • ergonomics;

  • value for money, quality and features.

Flaws

  • poor set.

Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 40mm f/2.8G

Rating: 4.5

Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 40mm f/2.8G

Now let’s make a significant transition from the universal superzoom to the macro lens. However, it is also not focused on a narrow topic and is quite versatile – it can be used for quite ordinary shooting, including portraiture. This is due to the focal length of 40mm. It is only slightly more expensive than the previous model.

This model is also compact – 68x64mm in size and twice as light as the previous one – 235g. The case is plastic, the bayonet is metal. The front lens extends considerably when focusing, but does not rotate, so gradient and polarizing filters can be used without hindrance. 9 optical elements in 7 groups. There are no aspherical and low dispersion lenses. Mount – Nikon F (DX). The aperture here is F2.80, the minimum value is F22. Viewing angle – 38.50 degrees. min. The minimum focusing distance is 0.163m. Thread for filter 52mm in diameter.

This model has a built-in autofocus engine, and the lens can be mounted on Nikon D3XXX and D5XXX series cameras. Focusing speed is average, and in macro mode it is frankly slow, albeit reliable. The autofocus engine is very noisy – you will hear it when shooting a video, and this is the second drawback of this model.

Here we have a whole step lower aperture than the first model in the review, but Expertology experts do not consider this a disadvantage, highlighting the advantage – the ability to focus at close range and the ability to give a scale of 1: 1. However, it is worth remembering about aperture ratio and knowing that corresponding artifacts are inevitable in poor lighting conditions.

At an open aperture, the model gives very good detail, only slightly lower in comparison with the Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G. But as soon as the diaphragm starts to cover, the situation changes radically for the better. We get optimal results at f / 8.

What else is good about this model is minimal geometric distortion. So, the distortion is so insignificant that for the vast majority of shots, correction will not be needed. Vignetting is only apparent when the aperture is wide open.

Finally, about subject shooting and macro. The minimum focusing distance of 0.163m is minimal in every respect. At such a distance, the lens will hardly rest against the object being shot with the front lens. But there is also a “pitfall” here – the camera will block the light source. But to expect such miracles as from professional lenses with a focal length of 200mm in this case is naive.

Advantages

  • compact and lightweight;

  • universal – macro, city and portrait shooting;

  • high detail;

  • slight vignetting;

  • low geometric distortion.

Flaws

  • noisy autofocus engine;

  • slow autofocus in macro mode.

Also Read: 14 Best Full Frame Cameras

Nikkor AF-P DX 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

Rating: 4.5

Nikkor AF-P DX 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

The next type of lens selected by our experts in Nikon’s range of high-quality amateur “glass” is wide-angle and even with the prefix “super”. At the same time, it is also as compact and light as it is possible even for an entry-level. Its main purpose is obvious – shooting where the maximum viewing angle is needed.

Lens dimensions – 77x73mm, weight – 230g. The case is plastic and the mount is also plastic. This is slightly alarming, but there are no systematic complaints, but only comments on this fact. The front lens does not rotate, so polarizing filters can be used without restriction. Inside there are 14 optical elements in 11 groups, of which three are aspherical lenses.

Here it is worth making an important remark. This is the only model in the group that uses an AF-P autofocus engine. Its advantage is that it is quieter and faster than almost all AF-S motors. But the technology itself is relatively new, and the lens is inextricably linked with the “carcass” in a number of ways. Therefore, autofocus will only work on Nikon cameras not older than 2013. On some older cameras, even manual focus will not work. But if the camera is new enough, AF-S technology will definitely please: focus is extremely fast, accurate and silent.

The focal length of this model is from 10 to 20mm. A DX sensor will have the same coverage as 15-30mm on a full frame sensor. The viewing angle at 10mm is 107 degrees, which is a lot, and you can shoot everything around without retreating anywhere.

As for the features of the resulting image, the vignetting will not be very noticeable, and at f / 8 it becomes completely invisible, in fact, disappears. Sharpness at the minimum focal length is satisfactory even when the aperture is open, and as you close it becomes higher and higher, and significantly. Above f/11, sharpness begins to decrease due to diffraction. At the edges of the frame, the sharpness differs noticeably from the center towards blur, but for an inexpensive ultra-wide angle, this is quite the norm.

As for distortion, there are no surprises here – it simply cannot be absent here. The means of struggle is standard – internal camera correction tools or third-party software like Adobe Lightroom / Camera RAW. We do not even consider this circumstance a disadvantage.

Advantages

  • compact and lightweight;

  • effective stabilizer;

  • ultra-wide viewing angle;

  • slight vignetting;

  • high detail at certain aperture values;

  • fast, accurate and silent autofocus;

  • quality video recording.

Flaws

  • switching focus and stabilizer only through the menu;

  • zero backward compatibility with cameras older than 2013;

  • plastic bayonet.

Nikkor AF-S VR Zoom 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

Rating: 4.5

Nikkor AF-S VR Zoom 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

Next in Expertology’s selection of the best amateur and mid-level Nikon lenses is an inexpensive classic telephoto lens with stabilizer and zoom. Its most frequent and appropriate use is shooting sports, various living creatures in the wild, as well as portrait photography.

Let’s start with the design. Lens dimensions – 80 × 143.5mm, weight – 745g. Such striking differences from previous lightweight and compact models are evident as it is a full-frame telephoto lens. In comparison, this model has a worthy alternative – Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300 mm f / 3.5-5.6G ED VR, but the presented lens is half the price and even better in a number of parameters (vignetting, distortion). The body is mostly plastic, the Nikon F (FX) mount is metal. The front lens block moves forward when zooming, but not as dramatically as it happens with superzooms, and does not rotate.

The focal length of this model is variable from 70 to 300mm. 9-blade aperture – F4.50-F5.60 with a minimum value of F32. There is autofocus and optical stabilization. 17 optical elements in 12 groups, including two low dispersion ED elements. The range of viewing angles is from 8.10 to 34.20 degrees. min. The minimum focusing distance is 1.5m. Thread for filter 67mm in diameter.

The Nikkor AF-S VR Zoom 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED is the best value solution for those who prefer shooting distant subjects. There is not such a wide range of focal lengths as the next model in the review and due to this it is less versatile, but in terms of optical characteristics, the lens is certainly good. Here, vignetting is minimally pronounced, sharpness is higher, and distortion is almost completely absent. We have already mentioned its affordable price and compatibility with full-frame cameras, but we will recall.

Points that can be annoying in this lens include a drop in autofocus speed when working in tele mode, as well as a drop in detail when wide open at the same telephoto position. But its advantages, and in particular broad compatibility with both APS-C DX cameras and full-frame cameras alike, far outweigh the disadvantages.

Advantages

  • relatively compact and light for a telephoto lens;

  • effective optical stabilization;

  • compatibility with full-frame cameras;

  • almost complete absence of distortion;

  • minimal vignetting;

  • affordable price for a lens of this type and class.

Flaws

  • at telephoto on an open aperture, detail is reduced;

  • at telephoto, the autofocus speed is relatively slow.

Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Rating: 4.5

Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Completing the selection of the best entry-level and mid-range Nikon lenses according to Expertology magazine is another superzoom, despite the fact that we have already considered this type of lens above. Here, everything is simply decided by the widest range of focal lengths and a number of other characteristics that make this model three times more expensive than the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-140mm f / 3.5-5.6G ED VR described above.

So, here we are dealing with a universal lens with powerful optical stabilization, and its main advantage is the coverage of all conceivable focal lengths – from 18 to 300mm. The lens is also compact (comparatively, taking into account the range of focal lengths) – 83x120mm in size with a very significant weight of 830g. If compared with the closest classic example – Nikon 70-200 2.8, then the reviewed model is two times smaller. This is one of the few super zooms that is so versatile and can be used successfully for shooting wildlife, wide landscapes, and at the same time portraits.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the key features. 9-blade aperture F3.50 – F5.60 with a minimum value of F22-32. Mount – Nikon F (DX). 19 optical elements in 14 groups, including 3 aspherical and 3 low dispersion lenses. Viewing angle – 5.20-76 degrees. min. The minimum focusing distance is 0.45m. Focusing internal on the ultrasonic engine. Thread for filter 77mm in diameter.

Now let’s describe how this lens behaves in operation. Firstly, there is a purely mechanical feature here – when zooming, the front lens extends so far that it lengthens the lens up to three times. To prevent the zoom from accidentally extending the lens while walking, a latch is provided on the body to hold the telescopic structure folded. There is also a small life hack for an additional guarantee not to hit the lens against the wall when walking – never remove the lens hood, which will serve as a buffer.

According to the characteristics of the resulting image, this model, unfortunately, has drawbacks. So, for example, the lens gives a pronounced distortion and noticeable vignetting. So post-processing in special programs or internal camera tools will be necessary. At an open aperture, sharpness will noticeably decrease from the center to the edges. A drop in autofocus speed at longer focal lengths is the lesser of two evils, but it can also be annoying.

Advantages

  • the widest coverage of focal lengths;

  • universality;

  • relatively compact and lightweight;

  • effective stabilization;

  • Compatible with all Nikon amateur cameras.

Flaws

  • pronounced distortion and vignetting;

  • at significant focal lengths, a drop in autofocus speed;

  • at an open aperture, sharpness decreases from the center to the edges.

Summary

Let’s sum up a little in order to guide our readers as accurately as possible in the choice. The presented lenses differ in purpose, dimensions, zoom, weight and cost. In many ways they overlap in scope and subject matter, but there are some commonalities.

So, for example, if you know for sure that you will shoot portraits, landscapes and portraits against landscapes, then the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-140mm f / 3.5-5.6G ED VR will suit you well. If you are going to shoot something in dynamics – sports, events, wildlife, then you need a large focal length, and superzoom telephotos like the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f / 3.5-5.6G ED VR or Nikkor AF-S VR Zoom 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. The Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G is a reliable companion for every day, including difficult shooting conditions. Well, the Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 40mm f/2.8G will be able to do almost everything, plus 1:1 macro photography.

In general, to cover all the requests of a beginner, but actively developing photographer, you may need several lenses of different types at once. All of the above applies to professional lenses, which we will now consider.

The Best Professional Nikon Lenses

The second group of models are the real stars of Nikon’s professional range. Their distinguishing feature, which is visible to the naked eye, is a gold border around the circumference of the lens body. The prices are different, but they amount to tens of thousands of rubles, and individual copies are more expensive than 100 thousand rubles. But those who are ready to engage in photography professionally are well aware that with the right approach, such an investment will quickly pay off.

Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S

Rating: 4.9

Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S

Let’s first consider the lens, which, according to its cumulative characteristics, falls under the conditional category of reportage models. In practice, it is often used by professional photographers to shoot important celebrations and events. Thanks to a sufficiently powerful zoom, the lens allows you to easily shoot distant objects.

The key technical characteristics and features of the lens are as follows. Case dimensions – 83x133mm, weight – 900g. Mount – Nikon F (FX) with rubber O-ring. Focal length – from 24 to 70mm. Aperture of 9 blades – F2.80 with a minimum value of F22. Lens system of 15 optical elements in 11 groups, 3 of which are aspherical. Viewing angle – 34.20 – 84 degrees. min. The minimum focus distance is 0.38m. Thread for filter 77mm in diameter.

Compared to comparable amateur models in terms of key characteristics, this lens has significant advantages characteristic of its level. This is expressed both in a significantly higher quality of certain types of materials, and in individual large and small improvements: from the sealing ring for the bayonet to the nanocrystalline lens coating, designed to eliminate the effect of ghosting and glare.

Optically, this model is worked out deeply and qualitatively. Geometric distortions are minimal, and they appear mainly only in the wide-angle position – distortion and perspective distortion are visible. Chromatic aberrations are not perceptible. One of the strengths of this model is an incredibly tenacious, high-quality and silent autofocus. The tracking autofocus function is practically flawless at all – many independent tests showed a vanishingly small number of “defective” frames.

The developers did a good job of filtering out glare, splitting and all kinds of stray highlights. But, miracles do not happen, and they still slip through, especially with backlight. Sharpness and detail can sag a little at the edges of the frame, but only at an open aperture. Starting from F / 5.6, the difference with an open aperture will be dramatic for the better. The reason for the drop in sharpness at the edges is diffraction, so an open aperture should be avoided. Alternatively, use a quality ND filter.

Advantages

  • impeccable materials and assembly;

  • developers’ attention to detail (bayonet seal, etc.);

  • wide coverage of focal lengths;

  • nanocrystalline lens coating to prevent glare and ghosting;

  • dust and splash protection.

Flaws

  • no stabilizer;

  • imperfect balance with compact “carcasses” in wide-angle mode.

See also: 12 best Nikon cameras according to customer reviews

Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED AF-S VR

Rating: 4.8

Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED AF-S VR

The second in the review of the best professional Nikon lenses is a wide-angle model in every sense. This is a wide-angle lens with zoom functionality. Designed to work on full frame cameras.

Let’s clarify right away – the full-frame focus of this model does not limit the use of the lens with crop cameras. But here you need to remember that the crop factor will destroy one of the main advantages of the lens – a wide angle of view.

Structurally, this model commands respect, like almost the entire series of top-end Nikon lenses with a gold border. A durable metal case, high-quality materials, impeccable solid assembly, high-quality dust and moisture protection – all these are signs of a premium class. Case dimensions – 82.5x125mm, weight – 685g. Focal lengths – from 16 to 35mm. Aperture F4 with a minimum value of F22. Mount – Nikon F (FX). The lens system consists of 17 optical elements in 13 groups, including three aspherical lenses and two low dispersion ones. Viewing angle – 63-107 degrees. min. Focusing distance is at least 0.28m. The thread for the filter is 77mm in diameter.

The strength of this model is its excellent tenacious, accurate and silent autofocus on the ultrasonic SWM engine. There is a mechanical switch for auto-focus and manual focus modes on the lens barrel. It also supports manual fine-tuning autofocus.

Another notable advantage is the effective stabilization based on the second-generation VR II optical stabilization unit. It is able to compensate for shaking when shooting video, and also allows you to take normal high-quality handheld shots with a relatively slow shutter speed.

Drawing a conclusion, we can say the same thing with which we started, but in more detail. The Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED AF-S VR is a versatile professional lens capable of shooting landscapes and action reports, portraits and architecture. A wide angle of view combined with a full-frame camera will allow you to fit a lot in the frame. True, here it will not do without geometric distortions, however, not too critical – a small barrel-shaped distortion at a minimum focal length.

Advantages

  • strong metal case;

  • impeccable materials and assembly;

  • dust and moisture protection;

  • fast and quiet ultrasonic autofocus engine;

  • manual fine-tuning autofocus;

  • effective stabilization.

Flaws

  • drop in sharpness at the edges with an open aperture at minimum focal lengths;

  • a slight manifestation of distortion at minimum focal lengths.

Nikkor 14-24MM F/2.8G ED AF-S

Rating: 4.8

Nikkor 14-24MM F/2.8G ED AF-S

Next up in Nikon’s selection of the best professional glass is another wide-angle zoom lens with similar, but still slightly different characteristics than the previous model. Nikon has been releasing this lens since 2013, and it is now in high demand in 2020. Pros agree that this lens is one of the best on the market for landscape photography.

Let’s go through the technical specifications. Case dimensions – 98 x 131.5mm, weight – 1000g. The range of focal lengths is from 14 to 24mm. Aperture of 9 blades – F2.80 with a minimum value of F22. Bayonet – Nikon F (FX). Autofocus. 14 optical elements in 11 groups, including 3 aspherical lenses and two low dispersion. Viewing angle – 84 – 114 degrees. min. The minimum focusing distance is 0.28m.

This model provides a well-calibrated and well-thought-out range of focal lengths. The difference in the lower border with the previous model of 2mm is of great importance in this context. 14mm makes it possible to shoot voluminous landscapes with tangible depth and “bulge”, as well as to shoot from a low point with a closed aperture with an extended depth of field (DOF).

It is also worth saying that this is a fast lens, and the f / 2.8 aperture here does not open obvious horizons for everyone. So, if landscapes are most often shot on a closed aperture, then astrophotography requires the opposite. And the Nikkor 14-24MM F/2.8G ED AF-S is capable of capturing stunning images of the Milky Way, the Northern Lights and other mesmerizing objects in the night sky.

The lens provides outstanding sharpness, including wide open, and even at the edges of the frame. This is quite a rarity and is of particular importance when it is supposed to print a photo in a large size. There will still be a difference in sharpness between the center and the edges, especially at wide. But this will be the difference between “very sharp” and “sharp”, and not “sharp” and “blurry”.

And another notable advantage of this model is the vanishingly small geometric distortions of the horizon, even with strong camera tilts. The barrel effect is also extremely small. Natural vertical perspective distortion is masterfully used by professional photographers to change the scale of mountains and other hills, as well as to create a foreground expansion effect.

Advantages

  • strong metal case;

  • reliable protection against dust and moisture;

  • high-quality autofocus;

  • manual fine-tuning autofocus;

  • minimal geometric distortion;

  • outstanding sharpness, including with an open aperture and at the edges of the frame;

  • large aperture (can beautifully shoot the night sky).

Flaws

  • a lot of spurious reflections from lens surfaces;

  • user concern about an unprotected convex front lens.

Nikkor AF 10.5mm f/2.8G ED DX Fisheye

Rating: 4.7

Nikkor AF 10.5mm f/2.8G ED DX Fisheye

If we finished the review of the previous model on a convex front lens, then in the case of the Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED DX Fisheye, this same lens is most pronounced even in the name. This is a professional fisheye lens with the appropriate range of tasks to be solved.

This is not just a “fish”, even a professional one. Its equivalent focal length is 16mm, which means that on Nikon DX cameras it will be almost the full-frame equivalent of the full-frame Nikon AF Fisheye Nikkor 16mm 1: 2.8D. In addition, it provides a completely unthinkable at the time of the announcement, a 180-degree angle of view, an outstanding depth of field, and a number of other bright parameters.

Let’s take a look at the technical specifications of the Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED DX Fisheye. Case dimensions – 63×62.5mm, weight – 300g. Focal length – 10.5mm. Aperture of 7 blades – F2.80 with a minimum value of F22. Bayonet – Nikon F (DX). 10 optics in 7 groups including one ED lens. The viewing angle once again recall – 180 degrees. min. The minimum focusing distance is 0.14m.

Let’s clarify one point right away. This lens has a “screwdriver” focusing engine. This is not a flaw in the engineers, but purely “historical” reasons, but for this the model gets its well-deserved minus in the list of shortcomings. It will fully work only with “carcasses” that support AF optics, and on Nikon D40 / 60 cameras it loses the ability to autofocus. But at wide angles, this trouble does not look so critical, since the depth of field of the Nikkor AF 10.5mm f / 2.8G ED DX Fisheye has a significant margin.

One of the important advantages of this model is its minimum weight. This is one of the lightest and most compact “fish” for DSLRs. Another point that experts highlight in it is the ability to confidently hold the sun in the frame. As for glare, opinions are divided polarly, but information about the instability of the lens to glare raises doubts about complete objectivity.

When shooting objects at close range, it is important to consider that the minimum distance of this model is very short – only 0.14m, but at the same time it does not have internal focusing, and when aiming, the front lens moves forward slightly. That is, the camera should be brought too close to the object being filmed with extreme caution.

Advantages

  • compact and lightweight;

  • low dispersion lens in the system;

  • viewing angle 180 degrees;

  • luminosity;

  • depth of field;

  • speed.

Flaws

  • noisy;

  • “Screwdriver” autofocus drive.

See also: 11 best monitors for photographers

Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

Rating: 4.7

Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

There was a place in our review for Nikon’s top portrait optics. The presented professional model was released relatively recently, but immediately received the most positive feedback in professional circles.

The dimensions of this “portrait” are quite decent – 94.5x106mm, and an impressive weight – 985g. Focal length – 105mm. Aperture of 9 rounded blades – f / 1.4 with a minimum value of f / 1.6. 14 optical elements in 9 groups, including 3 low dispersion lenses. Angle of view with full frame cameras is 23°10′ and 15°20′ with DX type cameras. The minimum focusing distance is 1 meter. Thread for filter 82mm in diameter. Some lenses (no exact information available) contain a fluorine-containing or Nano Crystal Coat.

This lens received from the developers a number of innovations and progressive approaches. For example, an updated electromagnetic diaphragm control mechanism has been introduced here. Thus, the capabilities of the camera in high-speed shooting are significantly increased. Also, one of the first points that immediately arouses approval from any user is fast autofocus.

On the other hand, against the background of the advantages, it looks strange and the lack of a stabilization system is very frustrating. This decision of the developers is at least strange. With any handheld portrait shooting, shaking and, as a result, blurring of the frame are inevitable. Photographers overcome this trouble by changing the shutter speed to critical values.

What gets literally rave reviews from professionals is bokeh. In this regard, this model is capable of miracles. This special magic is provided by a distinctive effect: at f/1.4–f/1.8, the background highlights at the edges of the frame take on an elongated shape, and above f/1.4 they become rounded throughout the frame, creating a mesmerizing symmetry.

There is vignetting at wide aperture, but it is not too intrusive and does not catch your eye. As for sharpness, here no one has any questions about this model – the design, quality of materials, modern and well-thought-out optical design are the key to sufficient sharpness over the entire area of ​​​​the frame.

Chromatic aberrations are almost inevitable at wide apertures, but already at f / 2 they almost completely disappear.

Advantages

  • innovation;

  • improved and accelerated diaphragm operation;

  • fast autofocus;

  • stunning bokeh;

  • sharpness;

  • slight vignetting even wide open.

Flaws

  • there is no stabilization system.

Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR II Zoom

Rating: 4.7

Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR II Zoom

And the review of the best Nikon lenses according to Expertology magazine is completed by a bright representative of the top line of Nikon optics – the fast telephoto lens Nikkor 70-200mm f / 2.8G ED AF-S VR II Zoom. The combination of performance and the quality of feedback from sophisticated photographers and prominent reporters, this is one of the best professional Nikon lenses.

First, let’s look at the main technical characteristics. The range of focal lengths for this model is from 70 to 200mm. Aperture F2.80 of 9 petals, the minimum value is F22. Bayonet – Nikon F (FX). Built-in autofocus and optical stabilization. 21 optical elements in 16 groups, of which as many as 7 low dispersion lenses. Viewing angles – from 12.20-34.20 deg.min. The minimum focusing distance is 1.4m. internal focus. Thread for filter 77mm in diameter. Full frame image format 36x24mm.

This is the largest and heaviest lens in our review – 87x209mm in size and 1540g in weight. Produced directly in Japan, and no one has any questions about assembly. There is no data on protection from external factors, but the presence of a rubber seal on the mount hints at at least basic dust and moisture protection.

One of the most effective optical image stabilization systems can be observed in this model. According to the manufacturer and the instructions of the documentation, stabilization compensates for up to three stops in shutter speed. In numerical terms, this means the ability to shoot at shutter speeds up to 8 times slower than with a lens without IS. And, by the way, the stabilizer does not turn on unconditionally – with a simple switch on the case, the stabilization system can be turned on and off.

Focusing on the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR II Zoom is fast and quiet thanks to the Wave SWM engine. The focusing distance for the entire range of focal lengths is large – 1.4 meters, but at the same time, at 200 mm focal length, the lens allows you to take macro shots with a magnification of 1: 8.3. However, such a large MDF is inconvenient, especially at 70mm focal length, so our experts count it as a disadvantage.

Another bottleneck in this model is the Focus Breathing effect, which manifests itself in a change in the viewing angle when focusing. This is only a feature, not a disadvantage, as it is an inevitable consequence of an important advantage – the internal type of focusing.

Advantages

  • wide range of focal lengths;

  • luminosity;

  • 7 low dispersion lenses;

  • internal focus;

  • effective stabilization;

  • one of the best Nikon lenses in terms of a combination of factors.

Flaws

  • too big MDF.