Best Nikon Full Frame Lenses [2022 Review]

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Even the best camera in the world will not allow you to capture outstanding pictures if you do not pair it with the best lens. It is not the camera that shoots the image but the lens.

This being said, you need a lens that is designed with state-of-the-art technology and updated specifications to help you create an awesome portfolio.   

Choosing a lens can be difficult. To make this task easier, we have listed here some of the best full-frame lenses that will work and fit seamlessly with your Nikon camera. You can easily weigh their performance and features before choosing the one that is perfect for your needs.

Review of the Best Nikon Full Frame Lenses

Owning a Nikon camera is an exciting prospect, but choosing the right full-frame lens for it can be quite daunting. To help you wade through the wide variety of lenses, we have shortlisted some of our favorite lenses below:

Brand
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR
Sigma
Nikon AF-S Nikkor
Product
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED...
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Nikon F
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
Aperture
28-300mm
24-70mm
50mm
Focal Length
f/3.5-5.6G
f/2.8
f/1.8G
Brand
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR
Product
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED...
Aperture
28-300mm
Focal Length
f/3.5-5.6G
Brand
Sigma
Product
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Nikon F
Aperture
24-70mm
Focal Length
f/2.8
Brand
Nikon AF-S Nikkor
Product
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
Aperture
50mm
Focal Length
f/1.8G

Best Overall: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED...

PROS

  • Silent Wave Motor ensures accurate autofocus
  • VR image stabilization assures sharper images and videos 
  • Advanced lens that helps Nikon DSLRs achieve peak performance
  • Features a focusing mode that enables effortless switching from automatic to manual
  • Offers a broad focal length range that makes it perfect for various photography styles   

CONS

  • Distortion is high at the top and bottom of the zoom range

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have used Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G lens indoors, outdoors, in dark churches with no flash, and the sun, and are surprised with the quality of the shots it produces. It is a great all-around lens that is perfect for portraits, birds, landscapes, and macro (flowers). 

Buyers also report that it is not very heavy and hangs nicely slung over the shoulder. Moreover, it is a great travel lens, and buyers are happy that they do not have to carry two or three heavy lenses in their bag when traveling. They can just take this one and capture sharp images. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 has a variable aperture that makes it ideal for professionals and enthusiast photographers who want a single, all-in-one lens for travel and everyday photography. 

It is equipped with several optical technologies that make it one of the best zoom lenses available. It features the latest generation of vibration reduction (VR II) technology that allows users to shoot at slower shutter speeds without experiencing camera shake. 

Moreover, it is equipped with an AF-S silent-wave focus motor that ensures quiet and accurate focus in various lighting conditions. The zoom ring is very easy to rotate while the lens feels very solid. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm is a lens for all seasons. It has a broad zoom range and built-in vibration reduction. It is compact, easily portable, and quite reasonably priced. 

It works as a great option to have as a take-anywhere, all-purpose lens for general-use or travel photography. Plus, it is equipped with world-renowned Nikko quality glass and some of Nikon’s most advanced lens technologies, thus ensuring unrivaled performance in video applications and photography.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED...
  • Versatile 107x zoom lens with ED glass and VR II image stabilization
  • Optimized for edge to edge sharpness on both FX and DX-format
  • Covers a wide range of focal lengths to get the best out of every subject. Minimum Focus Distance-...

Runner-up: Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Nikon F

PROS

  • Ensures a beautiful circular bokeh and stunning image quality
  • Designed with Sigma’s latest software and most advanced mechanical systems
  • Features a rugged metal barrel and an optical system that minimizes distortion
  • Large-diameter standard zoom is perfect for the latest ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras
  • Four aspherical lens elements and three SLD glass lens elements help minimize optical aberrations

CONS

  • A bit heavy for an f/2.8 zoom 

What Recent Buyers Report

The amazing quality of Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 lens has made it the go-to choice of recent buyers for portraits and night photography. It is equipped with everything that buyers want in a zoom lens – true color reproduction, tack sharp images, fast autofocus, and excellent build quality. They claim that it provides great value for money and beats other brands, hands down.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 is a fabulous lens. It has the look and feels of a precision-engineered, professional-grade lens. It’s hugely impressive in terms of handling, the performance of its stabilization and autofocus systems, and build quality. Moreover, it delivers superior image quality.  

The autofocus of this lens is whisper-quiet and very fast. It is designed with an upgraded ultrasonic drive system that has a third more torque than its predecessor. The image quality is simply outstanding and the contrast and sharpness are amazing throughout the entire zoom range. 

Also, it features Sigma’s Super Multi-layer coating that helps reduce ghosting and flare and delivers high-contrast, sharp images, even in backlit conditions.

Bottom Line

Designed with an emphasis on abundant expressive power and sophisticated optical performance, the Sigma 24-70mm allows users to deliver high-level artistic expression. It is ideal for portraits, landscapes, close-ups, casual snaps, and still-lifes, which makes it a powerful ally in every type of photography. If you want to nurture the artist in you, then this is the lens for you!

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Nikon F
  • OS functionality and newly designed HSM for success on any shoot
  • Lens barrel designed for high rigidity
  • This all-new 24-70mm F2.8 lens from SIGMA delivers the performance and functionality that help pros...
 

Best for the Money: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens

PROS

  • Has a solid build and a highly accurate autofocus
  • Designed to work on both Nikon DX and FX sensors
  • Convenient placement of the focus ring makes it easy to focus manually 
  • Newly developed optical design with seven optical elements in six groups
  • Equipped with a rubber gasket on a lens mount that provides effective sealing against dust

CONS

  • No aperture ring or vibration reduction

What Recent Buyers Report

Beautiful contrast, smooth and creamy bokeh, fast autofocus, outstanding sharpness, and good low-lighting performance – this is how recent buyers praise Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. It has become their favorite lens as it is ideal for close-ups, portraits, and various other situations.

Some buyers also report that the use of this lens has greatly improved their photography. It allows them to make adjustments quickly, which gives them some amazing shots.     

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Nikon AFS 50mm is an ideal lens for enthusiasts and seasonal pros who want quality optics of a fixed portrait lens without putting a strain on their budget. Its f/1.8 aperture is great for low-light photography, while the shallow depth of field renders beautiful bokeh.

It features a larger lens barrel and improved optical design, which makes it more durable. This also makes filter holders and circular filters easy to use. 

Equipped with a silent wave motor, this lens not only provides almost silent focus operation but also ensures that it can be used on entry-level DSLRs, including Nikon D3100 and D5100.

Bottom Line

This is a high-quality, inexpensive standard prime lens for Nikon’s DX (APS-C) and FX (full-frame) DSLRs. It is amazingly versatile and delivers high optical quality at a very low price. This lightweight, no-frills lens is particularly useful for low-light candid photography and portraiture at a bargain price.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
  • Fast, upgraded f/1.8, compact FX format prime lens. The picture angle with 35 millimeter (135)...
  • Focal length 50 millimeter, minimum focus distance 1.48 feet (0.45 meter)
  • Newly developed optical system with aspherical lens element, exclusive Nikon silent wave motor (SWM)

Best Wide Angle Lens for Nikon Full Frame: Rokinon 14mm f/2.8

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Ultra Wide Angle...

PROS

  • Features a built-in petal-type hood
  • Multi-layer coating helps to reduce ghosting and flare
  • Delivers an ultra-wide angle of view on APS-C and full-frame cameras
  • Comes with front and rear lens caps, lens pouch, and a one-year warranty
  • Superior build quality and exceptional construction for razor-sharp images

CONS

  • Sides of your shots may look distorted/stretched 

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens has a solid built, is not overly heavy, well put together, and perfect for learning various types of photography. They have used this super wide-angle lens for landscapes, astrophotography, real estate, and long exposure work and have captured some pretty amazing shots. Some buyers also claim that for this price, this lens gets an A++ in their book. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Rokinon 14mm ultra-wide-angle lens is designed to deliver a dramatic 115.7° view on full-frame cameras that makes it perfect for real estate imagery, astrophotography, and landscapes. It is available in nearly every camera mount, including Nikon, Fujifilm X-Mount, Sony, and Canon. 

With its highly affordable price, it is arguably the best, most economical super-wide-angle lens available. This lens focuses mainly on optics. It produces very sharp images on sub-frame and full-frame cameras with better chromatic aberration control. Being such a wide lens, it can be fun and challenging to use at the same time. 

Bottom Line

All in all, the Rokinon is a fantastic option for a full-frame ultra-wide-angle prime lens that is ideal for astrophotography and landscapes. It produces sharply defined images with minimum chromatic aberrations and distortion. It is constructed with a metal mount and high-quality plastics. The aperture ring and the focus ring are smooth but tight to prevent any accidental bumps.

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Ultra Wide Angle...
  • Lens not Zoomable
  • Minimum Focusing Distance of 10.8 inches
  • Focal Length -14 mm

Best Sigma Full Frame Lenses for Nikon: Sigma 85mm f/1.4

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F...

PROS

  • Optimized to avoid distortion
  • Single switch to activate or deactivate autofocus 
  • Designed with Sigma’s HyperSonic motor for smooth autofocus
  • Super Multi-layer Compensation prevents ghosting and reflections
  • Consists of nine aperture blades that create a very pleasant bokeh

CONS

  • Not suitable for traveling

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are so happy with Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens that they feel if they had the choice to buy this or some other lens, they would pick this one again. This lens is a beast with fast and precise focusing and creamy and glorious bokeh. It has a fantastic build quality, and the giant focusing ring is conveniently placed and a pleasure to use for videos and photos.   

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a beautifully designed lens from Sigma that delivers highly impressive image quality, making it an excellent option for portrait photography. Similar to the other lenses in the Art series, this lens is highly superior in terms of construction, build quality, and design. It also features an autofocus that can be easily adjusted manually. 

Moreover, this lens focuses very precisely. It has a very small depth of field if you want to take a close-up portrait at full aperture. If you focus on the iris, the eyelashes are already out of the depth of field. 

Bottom Line

The Sigma 85mm is an impressive lens in every aspect, and you will feel that as soon as you hold it in your hand. It can deliver an extremely precise bokeh, minimized chromatic aberrations, outstanding resolving power, and a high-resolution focus area. If you are looking for the ultimate in portrait lenses, then this one should be on top of your list.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F...
  • The Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM Art is the latest addition to the world renowned Sigma Global Vision Line
  • It has equipped newly designed hyper sonic motor (HSM) for nimble AF control, 1.3 times better...
  • Compatible with the Enthusiast APS-C Nikon D7100, D7200, D500, and D3100, D3200, D3300, D5100,...

Best Tamron Full Frame Lenses for Nikon: Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens for Nikon F

PROS

  • Whisper quiet, fast, and accurate autofocus
  • Locking lens hood ensures precise positioning
  • Dynamic rolling cam mechanism enables rapid focusing
  • Well-controlled longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberrations
  • Highly durable Fluorine coating and moisture-resistant coating

CONS

  • Does not feature image stabilization

What Recent Byers Report

Tamron is spot-on with Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 lens, according to recent buyers. The colors are fantastic, and there is no distortion from edge to edge. It also has a low price as compared to other such lenses, which is why buyers who were on a budget found this one to be highly desirable.

They love the versatility of this lens and are all praise for the beautiful images and smooth and buttery bokeh that it creates.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The goal that defines the concept behind the Tamron SP 35mm is to create the perfect image for photography lovers. Its exceptional image quality and uncompromising resolution at a wide-open aperture together with a velvety bokeh helps users create unforgettable images. This lens is designed with the advanced BBAR-G2 coating, which helps to suppress ghosting and flare to the utmost degree. 

Moreover, the exclusive Dynamic Rolling-cam mechanism ensures f/1.4 focusing with incredible accuracy at high-speed, thus delivering excellent AF performance. It also improves reliability in every shooting situation, including low and high-temperature extremes.

Moreover, it features a Full-Time Manual Focus override system, which allows photographers to instantly make adjustments, even in the AF mode, to the point of focus.   

Bottom Line

The Tamron SP 35mm endeavors to deliver ultra-high-quality where every image is captured with perfect fidelity. It removes optical aberrations that may reduce image quality. It consists of 14 elements in ten groups and includes a generous arrangement of special glasses, three GM (Glass Molded Aspherical), and four LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements.

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens for Nikon F
  • Consummate image quality across the entire frame from edge-to-edge
  • Exceptionally reliable, fast and accurate AF
  • Next-generation BBAR-G2 Coating

Best Nikon Full Frame Zoom Lens: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED Vibration...

PROS

  • Full weather sealing and high-quality build
  • Professional-grade lens design that shows outstanding performance
  • Excellent autofocus accuracy, whether you shoot in daylight or at night
  • Highest optical precision due to Nikon’s first-ever Aspherical ED lens element
  • Workhorse lens for photographers as it is suitable for various types of photography

CONS

  • Edges of the images may suffer at wide apertures 

What Recent Buyers Report

Users can’t say enough good things about Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E incredible lens. They knew that they had a winner after their very first shoot.

According to them, this lens is far superior to its predecessor, has edge-to-edge sharpness, beautiful color rendering, extremely sharp images from 24-70mm on all apertures, and extremely fast and accurate autofocus.

It has a fantastic build and features vibration reduction, which they find comes in handy for both stills and videos. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Nikon AF-S 24-70mm is an amazing lens that works great for everything, from studio work to weddings and landscapes to press events. Its f/2.8 constant aperture delivers fast shutter speeds to capture fast action, creates beautiful, creamy bokeh blur, and shows outstanding performance in low light. 

It also features an electromagnetic diaphragm that ensures fast auto-exposure control while the front and rear glasses are provided excellent protection by Nikon’s fluorine coating.

This lens is equipped with Nikon’s Vibration Reduction image stabilization technology, which provides four stops of vibration reduction. With this, you can capture sharp stills and steady HD videos in low light at slow shutter speed without sacrificing sharpness.

Bottom Line

All in all, this lens from Nikon provides photographers with an exciting new level of optical precision. Photos and videos captured with it deliver a perfect balance of sharpness and soft bokeh, virtually free of ghosting, coma, flare, and chromatic or spherical aberrations, even at the edges of the frame. For photographers who are looking for image quality, the Nikon AF-S 24-70mm definitely delivers.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED Vibration...
  • Fast f/2.8 constant aperture with an electromagnetic diaphragm
  • Sensational image quality and sharpness with virtually no distortion, Focal Length Range : 24 to 70...
  • Minimum Focus Distance : 35 to 50 millimeter focal length : 1.2 feet (0.38 meter) from focal plane;...

Nikon Full Frame Macro Lens: Sigma 180mm f/2.8

Sigma 180mm F2.8 EX APO DG HSM OS Macro for Nikon...

PROS

  • Silent and accurate autofocus
  • Manual focus is precise, smooth, and quiet
  • Enables stable image rendering from infinity to 1:1 magnification
  • Equipped with a floating inner focusing system that minimizes aberrations
  • Features Sigma’s exclusive Optical Stabilizer system that enables impressive close-up photography

CONS

  • Size and weight can be a little too much for long shoots

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers have no regrets on their purchase of Sigma 180mm f/2.8. It is designed with high-quality materials and shows great workmanship. This lens offers great sharpness and features optical stabilization, which buyers feel is comparable to the image stabilization delivered by Canon.

Its performance for both portrait and macro is outstanding as it delivers contrasty and super-sharp images.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is a general misconception that a macro lens should only be used to photograph small objects. But the Sigma 180mm, which is equipped with image stabilization and offers a constant f/2.8 brightness, serves exceptionally well as a razor-sharp portrait or telephoto lens. It feels pretty solid, with most of the rear part of the lens made from metal and the barrel from high-quality plastics. 

This lens has a nice and wide focus ring, which operates very smoothly. With the shortest distance setting of 44cm, you can bring your subjects in very close. Meanwhile, the long focal length means that you can photograph butterflies and small animals without getting close, thus eliminating the chance of scaring them away.  

Bottom Line

The Sigma 180mm f/2.8 is a complete lens that offers a fast 2.8 aperture, 1:1 macro ability, image stabilization, useful focus limiter, and great optics. You can use it as a dedicated macro lens and a fast telephoto lens as well. Moreover, it comes with a removable tripod collar that makes it easier to attach support.

Sigma 180mm F2.8 EX APO DG HSM OS Macro for Nikon...
  • Focusing distance of 47cm/18.5-Inch
  • Equipped with Sigma's own propriety OS (Optical Stabilizer) system, this lens offers the use of...
  • This lens incorporates Sigma's floating inner focusing system. This minimizes aberrations which...

Comparison of the Best Nikon Full Frame Lenses

What to Look For When Buying a Full Frame Lens

Irrespective of the kind of camera you own, you are spoilt for choice with the wide range of lenses available to suit all budgets. The problem is that the sheer number of lenses available can make choosing one quite confusing. 

So how do you pick the best lens for you? Here is a quick guide on the considerations you should take into account when choosing a lens:   

Type of Photography

The type of photography that you will shoot is fundamental in making the right choice. Architecture and landscape photographers prefer wide-angle lenses as they will be able to capture more of the scene. 

Portrait photographers, on the other hand, look for a mid-range, sharper lens that can create beautiful bokeh. Wildlife photographers and bird watchers opt for a telephoto lens as it allows them to shoot animals discreetly from a distance. 

Weather Sealed

Although lenses are at a lower risk from the elements as compared to camera bodies, they can still be damaged by moisture, dust, or any other thing that can seep inside. You want to invest in a lens with a high-quality build as they will be able to withstand the elements more successfully. Typically, such lenses are a bit expensive, so you will have to keep your budget in mind.  

Prime and Zoom Lenses

The focal length is the distance between the image sensor and the lens and is typically measured in millimeters. Telephoto lenses have long focal lengths, while wide-angle lenses have short focal length. This focal length can be adjustable (zoom lenses) or fixed (prime lenses). 

Prime lenses work best in low light conditions and produce some pretty sharp images with an elegant bokeh effect. Zoom lenses are not as effective as prime lenses in low light conditions, but they are more versatile as they can cover multiple focal lengths. Choosing one of these options greatly depends on personal preference and the type of photograph you will be taking. 

What is a Full Frame Lens? 

A full-frame lens is one that is particularly designed for full-frame SLR cameras. With this lens, you can enjoy a full-frame camera’s full potential. Moreover, these lenses are highly professional.    

If you see the letters ‘DX’ in the title of a Nikon lens, it means that it can only be used for crop-frame DSLRs; however, if it has ‘FX’ in the title, it denotes that it is designed for full-frame cameras.  

How Does a Full Frame Lens Work? 

There are different lenses available that work best with different sensor sizes. Some work best with full-frame cameras, while some are designed to be used with smaller sensors. A full-frame lens is almost equal to a 35mm frame of the film, while the APS-C sensor is a bit smaller. 

When you pair a full-frame lens with an APS-C sensor, the crop factor comes into effect. This means that as the image circle on a full-frame lens is bigger than the camera’s sensor, you will only be recording an image from the middle. Thus, you will capture less of the scene when you use a full-frame lens with an APS-C sensor camera. 

However, when you mount a full-frame lens on a full-frame camera, the entire imaging circle of the lens is utilized, thus providing you with top-quality images.  

Comparison Overview 

There are numerous models of full frame lenses available from both Nikon and Canon. We have compared both here to find which will suit you best. Moreover, we have listed the similarities and differences between Nikon full frame and DX lenses so that you can understand which one is more suitable for a particular style of photography:   

Nikon vs Canon Full Frame

Like paper and plastic and Batman and Superman, the debate between Nikon and Canon has been raging for decades. These are two brands that typically come to mind when you think about buying a new camera. So, here’s how the two compare:

Variety

Both Canon and Nikon have a wide and an excellent selection of high-end models, mid-range bodies, and beginner options. These models also come under various price ranges, thus giving photographers freedom of choice.

black camera lens on a white surface

Image Quality

Photographers, both experienced and enthusiasts, have been using both these brands for decades and have produced some of the most amazing pictures. Some photographers may prefer one brand over the other; however, there is not much that truly separates them.

Design

Holding a Nikon feels different from holding a Canon, and ergonomics make up an essential part of the photography equation. The placement of command buttons and dials is quite different, and the grips have their own unique design.  

Nikon Full Frame vs DX

All lenses are different and have their strengths and weaknesses, which makes them suitable for various kinds of photography. The differences between Nikon full-frame and DX are as follows:

Cost

DX lenses are cheaper to manufacture, which makes them budget-friendly. On the other hand, the size and quality of the sensor used in full frame lenses can result in steeper manufacturing costs.

black camera on a white surface

Size and Weight

DX lenses are smaller and lighter than full-frame lenses. They are easier to carry around, which makes them great for traveling. 

Interchangeable

Unlike the Canon system, Nikon FX and DX lenses can be used interchangeably on either FX or DX cameras. However, the general rule is that DX lenses are designed for use with Nikon DX-format cameras like the D7100. On the other hand, FX-format lenses are generally acceptable to use on either the Nikon FX or DX-format cameras. 

FX lenses are backward compatible with DX lenses, meaning that they will work perfectly on DX bodies as well. If you use DX lenses but one day chooses to try FX, you will have to buy full-frame lenses to enjoy the versatility of the full-frame sensor. Although DX lenses are compatible with FX sensors, the smaller image circle provides only half the resolution.

person in a leather jacket with a black camera

People Also Ask

There are a wide array of full-frame lenses available with vast, detailed technical specifications that can be quite confusing to understand. Following are some of the common questions that most people ask when buying a full-frame lens:

How Can You Tell if a Lens is a Full Frame?

If the lens has the letters ‘EF’ in its title, then it can be used on both crop frame sensors and full-frame cameras. However, if you have a Nikon lens that has ‘DX’ in its title, then it is for crop-frame DSLRs only. Lenses that come with ‘FX’ in their title are specifically designed for full-frame.     

Are All Nikon Lens Compatible?

All Nikon lenses are compatible with all Nikon cameras except for the very old models designed before 1959. This is because Nikon cameras feature the same bayonet mount known as the Nikon-F mount, which has remained unchanged since 1959.

Conclusion 

We have given you detailed information about some of the top lenses and provided you with plenty of food for thought about the features that should be present in your next Nikon full-frame lens. Read the article carefully and be clear about the kind of photography you want to pursue; it will become easy to choose a lens from the ones we have reviewed here.