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Nikon Lens Systems

Lesson 53 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

Nikon Lens Systems

Lesson 53 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

53. Nikon Lens Systems

Next Lesson: Lens Maintenance


Class Trailer



Nikon Lens Class Introduction


Nikon Lens Basics


Focal Length: Angle of View


Focal Length: Normal Lenses


Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses


Focal Length: Telephoto Lens


Focal Length Rule of Thumb


Field of View


Aperture Basics


Equivalent Aperture


Depth of Field


Maximum Sharpness




Hyper Focal Distance


Nikon Mount Systems


Nikon Cine Lenses


Nikon Lens Design


Focusing and Autofocus with Nikon Lenses


Nikon Lens Vibration Reduction


Image Quality


Aperture Control and General Info


Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses


Nikon Super Zoom Lenses


Nikon Wide Angle Lenses


Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses


3rd Party Zooms Overview


3rd Party Zooms: Sigma


3rd Party Zooms: Tamron


3rd Party Zooms: Tokina




Nikon Prime Lens: Normal


Nikon Prime Lens: Wide Angle


Nikon Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Nikon Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto


3rd Party Primes: Sigma


3rd Party Primes: Zeiss


3rd Party Primes: Samyang


Lens Accessories: Filters


Lens Accessories: Lens Hood


Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount


Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Lens Accessories: Teleconverters


Macro Photography


Nikon Micro Lens Selection


Fisheye Lenses


Tilt Shift Photography Overview


Tilt Shift Lenses


Building a Nikon System


Making a Choice: Nikon Portrait Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Sport Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Landscape Lenses


Nikon Lens Systems


Lens Maintenance


Buying and Selling Lenses


Final Q&A


What's in the Frame


Lesson Info

Nikon Lens Systems

So let's, talk about some lens systems. Now, I don't know that any of you are going to take my advice and actually buy what I recommend here, but it's more the philosophy and the reason, and the justification for making these choices so a beginner is likely to buy and into level camera, and it comes with the eighteen to fifty five. All right, what you were more likely than not going to want to buy is the fifty five to two hundred it's kind of the matching telephoto lands. It's, small, it's, lightweight, it's, not much money, and most people that's it and it's, a nice basic system. It has one gaping hole that can be easily plugged, and that is, you do not have a fast lands that works with shallow depth of field, and this thirty five one point eight lands, which is not that much money. It's. Only about two hundred bucks will fill that hole and rounds that system out and makes it a little bit more interesting in my mind. And so something like this little system here, relatively small, rel...

atively low price under a thousand dollars for all the lenses is going to give you a good image quality in some nice versatility. Now, there's a number of gaps in this system that it's not the top of the line glasses doesn't have doesn't have the manual focus override doesn't have the focusing scales the manual focus rings aren't the best in the world but it's a good system that will get you going and this is kind of the key to it that thirty five one point eight working with this is going to change the way you look at photography and it will do so for a very low price, so this is all in the dx category, so for the crop frame user ahh family photographer who really wants to capture a little bit wider range who wants a little bit more expanded range of what to do? I really think getting down from eighteen to sixteen makes a bit of difference when you got the full family sitting there at the thanksgiving table and you're trying to get everybody in one shot that's sixteen is going to help you out when when the kids were out playing softball or out swimming, you're going to be able to get a shot with a little bit longer lens at a seventy two, three hundred and so this is ahh higher quality lens system all the lenses well the fifties basically the same as the thirty five but everything here is a little bit higher quality and I did throw in the fifty remember the fifty on a dx lands becomes a very nice portrait lance so if you want to shoot a portrait of your kids really nice, beautiful face shots than that, fifty would be very good on that dx lands that shallow depth of field and just the right focal length, so this is going to cost you more money than that kind of basic system we just started with, but this is kind of that next level up. All right, what about the minimalist? Okay, I like this whole for thought photography thing, but I just need the both basic thing. And so what they often end up getting is in eighteen to two hundred, which is a good general purpose lens that has certain limitations that can be overcome with just one more lands. Now I know that they bought one big zoom lens so that they don't have to change zoom lenses, or they don't have to change lenses back and forth all the time, and with this sort of lands it's, not a back and forth fifty percent of the time you're changing lenses just ten or fifteen percent of the time you're switching into this normal thirty five millimeter lens. Once again, this is for rdx users. You're going to be switching into this normal ends because you either want the shallow depth of field you want the light gathering ability. Of a one point eight lands or maybe you're going around to dinner, and you just don't want to carry a camera with the big, old, chunky lynn's hanging off the front of it. And so this once again is not that much money to add to the system and it's, not something that you're constantly switching back and forth. It's just you occasionally have a back up to go to, and so I think this works out pretty good keeps the weight and size down a little bit there's not that much, linds changing and especially being able to put on that thirty five really, if you're a minimalist, just shoot with that thirty five on there that then you'll see minimalism, and this is still very reasonable in pride now, let's keep with the minimum of minimalist philosophy, but let's go up to full frame so you could do the same thing with full frame, and all we're doing here is we're swapping the lenses out to fit and kind of accommodate those same type of folk alike, so we're twenty eight to three hundred and fifty millimeter here, and so you could switch the fifty with a thirty five or the eighty five or whatever one focal length you found kind of handy, but I could see that is making a logical system that would work with and in my mind I love playing these games what would it be like to shoot with these three lenses? Because it's it's it's just it's a different outfit if you invite a different type of closing well, what if I wore shorts but a heavy coat? I'd stay warm on the top but I've got to keep my feet moving or what if I had heavy pants but just a teacher? Can I work with these different combinations next up? What if I this is a tough one? I decided to assign myself fifteen hundred dollars in nikon lenses. What would I buy? And this is very personal, so I don't care what you do. I don't care what you want. This is what I would do with fifteen hundred dollars on nikon lenses. I would get to twenty four to eighty five because I gotta have that twenty four and it's reasonably fast and then I needed telephoto seventy three hundred and then I would get a fifty millimeter, one point eight lands and as far as price wise, I'm ready for a wide variety of stuff. I got to be our lenses. I got one fast lands and I am just under fifteen hundred bucks, so I think this is the best buy for my type of photography under fifteen hundred dollars pretty good range the gaps in my system I'd kind of like to be wider than twenty four in some cases but twenty four usually gets the job done. I would like to have a longer lens that was faster than five six but that just brings the price up quite a bit and so I think this is just the best compromise in that and I really I really didn't like making that slide so I had to make the twenty five hundred dollars so this is ok now I got a lot more budget to work with. So twenty five hundred bucks what am I gonna buy a nice kind. Okay, I really like that eighteen to thirty five nice small lightweight I really probably don't need wider than eighteen gets me my twenty four and into that ultra white category I could get that very sweet seventy two, two hundred four constant aperture lands very well built vibration reduction those are two very nice lenses I got a little money left to spend I can't afford the new fifty but I could buy the old fifty millimeter one point four lands and so I can still because this is just a couple hundred bucks less if I could spend like, twenty, seven hundred get the new fifty but now I can get the old fifty it still works it still sharp it's a little slower on the focusing but I can live with that and so that's in lenses, not in cameras. Okay? And so these air very unique lenses. There's a gap here notice I go eighteen, thirty five, then it jumps to seventy, but I have this fifty to fill the gap. All right, so if I need something in between, I got the fifty that I could go to and so these air very distinct lenses. And so when I decided to shoot a picture, there is no question what lands I am putting on the camera because I'm either doing wide telephoto or something in the normal a very wide range from eighteen to two hundred. I really I really like the system and these these are all really good lenses, very sharp and itjust like maxes out at exactly twenty five hundred bucks. I'm going to use every dollar I can't. How about the prime lover? There are some people that enjoy working with simple prime lenses, and these are people who favor the simple life. I think they fantasize about retiring, buying a cabin on the beach, having a big bookshelf and just reading books all day long. A very simple life, you know, forget all the cluster of them chaos in the big city, just nice, simple life, and so this is one of the ways that you could do it it's very distinct and easy to choose which lends you want they're not too big they're not too heavy they're very sharp lenses this would be a fun way to go out to where you have a nice, simple small lenses they are easy choices to make you don't have any complicated I got this zoom in zoom and they overlap and so forth limited limit your range but you can do it very, very well a little under two thousand dollars for this set up then that could fit into a very small bag for the world traveler. This all depends on how much gear you're willing to carry on what you want to get, but I think that twenty four to one twenty is a really great range the f fourth reasonably fast aperture the seventy two, two hundred f or you know if you need those longer lenses, I really think the efforts are like the perfect travel lenses that lend you just a little bit of speed but versatility and size in there as well and then maybe throwing in that fifty one for when you go out to dinner or if you're in that really low light environment gives you that one option for that one fast street lands where you're walking down the street just need a normal perspective but you need to let in a lot of light and so I think that's a very valuable system these air some higher and lenses, so the whole system is going to end up costing more money if you're shooting sports it's pretty much the seventy two, two hundred to start with I don't care what sport you're going to shoot, you're going to end up needing that as a second lens for when subjects get closer, you're probably going to need something longer than that, depending on the sport, but that one's going to be a great first one having the camera bag, you're not going to be shooting a lot of the sports itself with twenty four to seventy, but you're going to be shooting a lot of the events around the sports the team gathering before they play the victory afterwards, getting ready and other things, the twenty forty seven is just a very versatile zoom range, and if you're really serious about it, you need the two point eight aperture so that you could get your faster shutter speeds and this is where we can throw in one of our tele converters. Don't forget it about our tele converters. We can use those as well on our higher end lenses, and once again, sports photography is not chief, this is going to cost you more money, but that two point eight aperture is a pretty serious level that you could shoot sports on many, many other lenses as we've already talked about but if you're pretty serious about it, this is what most people would go for. Finally, we'll talk about what if you're pro what if you want to go pro and you really want the serious stuff? Well, you're going to need those two point eight lenses that we just talked about twenty four to seventy, seventy, two hundred and maybe the fourteen to twenty four if you really need a lot of white angle work. And so this is what we call the holy trinity or the big three dragons, as they're known in japan and so fast, two point, eight glass, all premium quality stuff, and so this is going to be kind of where you start with, and then you're going to reserve the right to select two to three primes to be named later, depending on your exact needs. And so it really depends on which direction you are going with your photography. All right, so that's the end of kind of my recommended systems, as I say, I don't know that you're actually gonna go out and buy those specific lenses, but hopefully the justifications and the reasons and the philosophy why you're choosing different lenses to achieve different types of goals will help you out and choosing your lenses.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon® Lenses Part 1
Nikon® Lenses Part 2
Nikon® Lenses Part 3
Nikon® Lenses Part 4
Field of View
Nikon® Lenses Part 5
Nikon® Lenses Part 6
Nikon® Lenses Part 7
Nikon® Lenses Part 8
Nikon® Lens Data

Ratings and Reviews


Outstanding class! This is a must own. You will refer back to this class many times during your photog career. John has put a ton of work into this class and it shows. Being able to download the slides and other Nikon glass info is wonderful. Even if you're not a Nikon shooter you will still gleam tons of information from this class, John covers in great detail the strength and weaknesses of each lens and when you might consider using it. I was expecting a good class, but this turned into an epic class. I watched multiple videos several times. The only bad thing I can say is I "had" to order a few more lenses! Thank you John Greengo for making a truly amazing class.

Anna Fennell

Wow! What a course! Very in depth, lots of valuable information. John instructs with great knowledge and integrity. I have taken other online courses, NOT from Creative Live (my bad!) and was left feeling like a monkey who had learned tricks without understanding or knowledge. Now I feel I have the confidence to move forward on my photographic journey securely knowing how lenses function, what to look for and what price range I can expect. Bravo John! I'd love to see a 2020 update video as an addendum.

Fusako Hara

Finally I have some sense of what lens do, know what I have, what I would like to have, what lens to use, and how I can get images that I see. Best part of this session is it was made so clear, simple, logical, and practical. I am glad that I purchased this product. Now, I am going to look for more from John Greengo so I can take better understanding and take better images. Thank You.

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