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A lens is a very important part of your DSLR. This is especially true if you are a professional photographer. Nikon has almost unlimited options when it comes to lens options. So, what Nikon lenses do professional photographers use?
- What Nikon Lenses Do Professional Photographers Use?
- How To Choose A Professional Lens
- Related Questions
What Nikon Lenses Do Professional Photographers Use?
Professional photographers use a wide range of Nikon lenses including prime, zoon, macro, telephoto, and wide angle lenses. The type of lens selected is based on what the photographer is shooting, along with their personal preferences.
Nikon carries their own line of Nikon lenses which professional photographers use, and there are some third party lenses such as Sigma and Tamron that Nikon shooters also use.
As a professional photographer, you’ll need lenses that meet your needs in terms of focal length, aperture, and portability. Here are the main types of Nikon lenses used by professionals:
A prime lens is a lens with a fixed focal length, which means you can’t zoom in or out with the lens. If you want to get closer to your subject, you need to move your feet instead. Prime lenses are also called “fixed focal length” or “single focus length” lenses.
The primary benefit of using a prime lens is that it has a wider maximum aperture than zoom lenses, making it great for low-light photography and for shooting portraits with a beautiful bokeh effect.
A wide aperture allows photographers to set lower shutter speeds and still get sharp images. Two very popular Nikon prime lenses are 50mm and 35mm lenses.
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G
If you’re looking for an affordable but high quality lens then look no further than this one! The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G has been a staple in many professional photographer’s bags. It’s an all-around great prime lens that gives you plenty of flexibility.
It’s ideal for portraits because of its ability to capture beautiful bokeh when shot wide open at its maximum aperture of f/1.4, it’s also great for shooting landscapes because its focal length makes it perfect for capturing details without distortion from wide angles or telephoto lenses (like those used on DSLRs).
- Lightweight and portable: Prime lenses are generally lighter and more portable than zoom lenses, making them god for travel photography
- Wide Aperture: The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G has an aperture of f/1.4, making it ideal for low light situations
- The autofocus mechanism is quick and quiet which allows for accurate focusing in both fast-paced situations
- Compact and lightweight compared to telephoto lenses (and other prime lenses)
- Fast maximum aperture (f/1.4) lets in lots of light
- Fixed focal length means you have to move your feet to adjust your shot rather than zooming in or out—this is particularly challenging for subjects that are in motion, such as sports or wildlife
- F1.4 maximum aperture; F16 minimum
- Ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing, 58mm filters
- Minimum focus Distance : 0.45m/17.72 Inches. Lens Hood: HB-47
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G
This 35mm lens is one of the most popular prime lenses on the market today. It offers a wide aperture of f/1.8, which makes it great for low light photography, and it’s also very sharp. The lens has a good focal length range, which makes it ideal for everything from landscapes to portraits to street photography.
For many professionals, a prime lens is the go-to for those times when you want to take good photos and don’t want to fuss with a lot of equipment. The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is one such lens.
- Silent Wave Motor: This lens also includes a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for fast and accurate autofocusing, which is great when you’re shooting video with your DSLR camera or if you need to capture shots quickly in dim lighting conditions
- Sharp and Compact: Its sharp optics and fast ƒ/1.8 aperture make it ideal for everything from portraits to landscapes, while its lightweight construction makes it a great travel companion
- Great lens for portraiture because of how sharp it is
- Easy for beginners to use
- Is a great walk-around lens that can be used for a variety of shoots
- There is no stabilization of any kind (VR), so if you have shaky hands you may notice some blurriness in photos
One of the best things about Nikon lenses is that you can use them for video and photoshoots. The zoom lens gives photographers the ability to take pictures from different angles without moving the camera position each time.
The zoom lens is perfect for photographers who want to capture a wide shot but don’t have enough space around them. You can also use it if you want to get close-up shots of people or objects that are far away, such as a flower blooming in your garden or an animal running through fields outside your home. Two zoom lenses that pros use are the 24-70mm and the 16-80mm lens.
- F mount lens/DX format. Picture angle with Nikon DX format 44 degree
- 52.5 millimeter (35-millimeter equivalent). Rear focusing; Manual focus override
- Aperture range: F/1.8 to 22; Dimensions(approx.) 70 x 52.5 millimeter
Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
The Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is a professional-grade lens designed for use with Nikon’s new Z-series full-frame mirrorless cameras. This offers a wide maximum aperture at every focal length, making it the best pro lens for portrait, landscape, and street photography.
The optical design includes 16 elements in 12 groups, with two extra-low dispersion (ED) elements, three aspherical elements, and Nano Crystal coatings to reduce flare and ghosting for improved contrast.
The autofocus is fast and accurate, thanks to Nikon’s latest stepping motor technology and advanced autofocus algorithms. The focus ring features a rubberized ribbed grip that makes manually adjusting the focus while shooting video or taking still shots.
- Fast aperture: Nikon has opted for a fast f/2.8 aperture across all focal lengths, which makes it a solid performer in low light, given that the light falloff at maximum aperture is more petite than 1EV in all but one case (at 24mm)
- Great focus: The lens offers close focusing from 0.38m at all focal lengths and offers a maximum magnification ratio of 0.5x, which translates to a reproduction ratio of 1:2 at 70mm
- Aspherical elements are present: There’s an aspherical element and three ED elements, along with Nikon’s ARNEO and Nano Crystal coatings to limit flare and ghosting
- Low distortion levels, chromatic aberration, and vignetting make this an ideal choice for photographers who don’t want to spend time correcting images in post-processing
- The large f/2.8 aperture allows you to use faster shutter speeds or lower ISO settings in low light
- A nine-blade diaphragm creates smooth out-of-focus backgrounds (bokeh) when using a shallow depth of field
- The 87 mm front filter thread will take many different filters without requiring more significant accessories
- It is large and heavy
- There’s no weather sealing on the lens barrel, so if you’re using it in inclement weather, you’ll want to make sure your camera body is adequately sealed
- NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/ 2.8 is a compact mid-range zoom that is indispensable for a wide range of photo...
- With an f/2.8 constant maximum aperture, exposure is consistent across the entire zoom range
- Lens incorporates an all-new Multi-Focusing System, consisting of 2 AF drive units, precisely...
Nikkor Z DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
The NIKKOR Z DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR is a high-quality lens that captures beautiful images by making the most of the advantages of a DX-format lens. This lens covers a wide range of 16mm to 80mm with a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8-4.
It offers sharp, clear rendering performance from the center to the edges of the frame, even at the maximum aperture, and with minimal vignetting. A compact, lightweight design makes it easy to carry around and shoot for extended periods.
In addition, the lens has an ALT (Auto Lens Terminator) system that avoids overexposure by restricting light entering the lens when an optional teleconverter is added.
- Fast aperture: 16-80mm focal length with a fast f/2.8 aperture at the wide-angle end, making it ideal for travel and low light photography
- Lightweight: The compact size makes it easy to carry, especially for photographers using mirrorless cameras
- Image stabilization: VR image stabilization technology helps to minimize camera shake by up to 4.5 stops, helping you take sharp photos of still objects and reducing the need for a tripod
- Aspherical elements are present: ED, aspherical and Super Integrated Lens Coating (SIC) elements help eliminate chromatic aberration, ghosting, and flare for high resolution and contrast
- The lens is small, lightweight, and easy to carry around all day
- The build quality and feel are excellent
- The focus is fast and very quiet, which is great for video recording
- The image quality of this lens is excellent, and it should meet the needs of most photographers looking for a versatile zoom with good quality
- Noticeable distortion and some edge softness
A macro lens is specifically designed to get up close and personal with small subjects like insects or flowers. Macro lenses can focus much closer than standard lenses, allowing you to capture tiny subjects and see them in intricate detail.
For example, the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR IF-ED AF-S focuses twice as close as a standard telephoto lens, allowing it to capture subjects in outstanding detail.
- World's lightest 5x zoom with an f/2.8-4 maximum aperture
- Inspiring image quality; ideal for daily life, travel, blogging, HD video and more
- Versatile zoom range that covers wide angle to portrait views. Minimum Focus Distance : 1.15...
Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR Micro
The Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR Micro is a great lens if you’re looking to take high-quality shots of small objects. The lens has an effective focal length of 150mm on DX cameras and 157.5mm on FX cameras.
The lens is optically stabilized, a great feature if you plan on taking handheld shots where the camera shake could cause blurriness. The VR (vibration reduction) system allows for up to 4 stops worth of stabilization.
The closest focusing distance of 0.31m combined with the maximum magnification ratio of 0.5x makes it easy to shoot small objects like flowers or insects.
- Lens construction: 12 elements in 9 groups, one ED lens and one HRI (High Refractive Index) lens.
- The angle of view: 23 degrees 30 minutes to 12 degrees 10 minutes (35mm format equivalent).
- Minimum focus distance: 1′ 0.3″ / 0.31 m (from the focal plane) at all zoom settings; 0′ 11″ / 0.28 m (from the front of the lens), Maximum reproduction ratio: 1x.
- The 105mm f/2.8 Macro VR lens delivers excellent sharpness from corner to corner, even when wide open at f/2.8
- The out-of-focus areas are rendered smoothly and without any harsh edges, making this lens well suited for portraiture
- The VR II feature enables this lens to capture handheld shots at shutter speeds of up to 4 stops slower than usually required, making it ideal for low-light photography
- The minimum focusing distance of this lens is 12 inches, which allows you to photograph subjects up to 1:1 life-size
- Autofocus performance in the macro range makes the camera takes a long time to focus on small subjects, especially when trying to focus on a single point at the minimum focusing distance at maximum magnification (1:1)
- The filter thread is 52mm, which is not standard for filters (77mm and 67mm are the most common)
A telephoto lens can magnify distant subjects, even those further than the human eye can see. A telephoto lens is ideal for sports and wildlife photography because it allows you to get close to the action without disturbing your subject.
The Nikon 70-200mm is one of Nikon’s best pro lenses and features the most extended focal length of any Nikon telephoto zoom lens on the market, consequently offering outstanding versatility and image quality.
- Designed for close-up and macro photography; versatile enough for virtually any photographic...
- Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 23°20'.Features new VR II vibration reduction technology, Focal...
- Nano-Crystal coat and ED glass elements that enhance overall image quality by further reducing flare...
Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S
The Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S is a high-end telephoto zoom lens for the company’s mirrorless Z-mount cameras. Announced in February 2020 and released in April, it completes Nikon’s trinity of ‘S’ series f/2.8 zooms, joining the 24-70mm and 14-30mm lenses.
While the 70-200mm focal length has long been a staple for many DSLR photographers, this is the first time that Nikon has offered a native, full-frame option for its mirrorless cameras. It also includes Nano Crystal Coat technology, which is Nikon’s term for the multi-layer coating to reduce flare and ghosting
The new constant f/2.8 aperture lens offers a 4.3x zoom range, with an optical design that includes two ED glass elements and three aspherical elements to help minimize chromatic aberration and coma.
- S-Line: Nikon’s new Z mount series of lenses include premium optical performance, the latest in optical technologies, and an ultra-compact design
- Folding Optics: Its lens folds, allowing for a smaller and more compact length. The 70-200mm is just 179.5mm long when collapsed
- Customizable controls: The control ring, zoom ring, and focus mode switch are all customizable to your preference
- High image quality throughout the entire zoom range, even when shooting at maximum aperture
- A stepping motor that delivers near-silent focusing and smooth autofocus transitions when shooting video
- Reliable dust- and drip-resistant construction for working in harsh environments
- Has a focus clutch mechanism, which allows you to switch from autofocus to manual focus by pulling back on the focus ring, making it easier and quicker to switch between autofocus and manual focus
- The front filter diameter is 1mm smaller than the filter diameter on the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens, making it easier to find polarizing filters
- Improved weather-sealing compared to the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lenses
- The lens is not recommended for full-frame cameras since its effective focal length will be 24-120mm
- The lens is large and heavy
A wide angle lens offers a broader field of view than standard lenses, making it ideal for capturing sweeping landscapes or architectural subjects that aren’t possible with standard lenses.
While wide angle lenses are not ones that professionals will likely use as often as other lenses, they are still great to have. Real estate photographers can use them to make a small room look more spacious, wedding photographers can use them to capture the entire ceremony space, and landscape photographers can use them for dramatic shots of the locations they’re traveling in.
- At 70mm, focus can be achieved as close as 0. 5m from the subject
- Lens utilizes standard 77mm filter thread
- Lens offers customizable Function buttons and control ring for versatility
Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD
The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD is a wide-angle zoom lens. It has been built with a new optical arrangement that delivers superior image quality across the entire zoom range and features Vibration Compensation (VC) image stabilization technology, making hand-held shooting more comfortable.
The lens also provides better close focusing capability — from 24cm to infinity at the wide end and from 44cm to infinity at the long end, allowing you to enjoy close-up shooting at an even more comprehensive range of settings.
The 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD features an ultra-wide-angle 10 to 24mm focal length range equivalent to 16 to 37mm in 35mm format, making it ideal for landscape and architectural photography as well as group or interior shots.
- Durability. Durable metal mount and enhanced moving parts provide smooth operation
- Fixed aperture. Constant f/3.5 aperture delivers consistent performance throughout the zoom range
- Compact and lightweight at just 400g (9.2oz) – the world’s lightest in its class
- Moisture-resistant construction helps prevent moisture from penetrating the lens
- The lens hood is included, and it does not have to be reversed for storage, which is a big plus
- It has image stabilization, so you can shoot at slower shutter speeds without experiencing much camera shake
- The lens is sharp and contrasty, even wide open
- Vignetting at the widest angles is a bit too strong
- You’ll need to use an adapter if you want to use filters or polarizing filters in particular
- VC (Vibration Compensation)
- HLD (High/Low torque-modulated Drive)
- Moisture-resistant construction
Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM | A
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM | A is an ultra-wide lens with a constant aperture and few compromises. It is designed for full-frame cameras and will work on APS-C cameras.
This super wide-angle lens has a 99.9° angle of view and features an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/22, making it ideal for landscape photography, architecture photography, and astrophotography.
This lens has been designed to minimize sagittal coma flare, making it ideal for astrophotography and other low light photography when shooting point sources of light against dark backgrounds. It creates an otherwise distracting halo effect (a common problem with most wide-angle lenses).
- Image quality. To keep image quality as high as possible across the entire frame, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art lens uses three aspherical lenses to minimize distortion and spherical aberration
- “Super Multi-Layer Coating”. This lens features Sigma’s Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting and help produce contrast-rich and color-neutral imagery, even in backlit conditions
- Autofocus with Manual Override. Autofocus is available when working with both full-frame and APS-C DSLRs, and a focus limiter switch is featured for faster-focusing performance. You can use a manual focus override for more precise control over focusing when needed
- Integrated Petal-Shaped Lens Hood. A petal-shaped lens hood is included with the lens to shield against stray light and provide some protection from accidental impacts
- The lens has a fast constant aperture of f/2.8, which is excellent for shooting in low light and portraits where you want to blur the background
- The AF system is high-speed and silent, with the help of its Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM)
- It offers excellent image quality, outstanding sharpness, contrast, and minimal aberration
- The focusing mechanism is noisy
- The lens has a complex optical design with 24 elements in 16 groups (including 5 SLD and 3 FLD elements)
- It allows photographers to enjoy the world of zero distortion that is ideal for landscape or...
- Continuing the tradition of the ultra wide angle range with incredible perspective, this new lens...
- With F4 throughout the zoom range, it is one stop brighter than the previous model, allowing...
Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S
The Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S is a wide-angle zoom lens that covers a focal range from 14 to 30mm. The optical design consists of 15 elements in 10 groups, including two aspherical elements and three ED glass elements. The front of the lens features a fluorine coating that, according to Nikon, repels dust, water, and dirt.
The wide-angle lens is a versatile optic that’s just as useful for landscapes and architecture as it is for astrophotography, photojournalism, and even events and weddings.
The lens also has a Nano Crystal Coat, which helps reduce flare and ghosting when shooting into the light. It has nine rounded diaphragm blades that should result in circular out-of-focus highlights when stopped down.
- Wide-angle. The Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S is a wide-angle zoom lens designed for Nikon’s full-frame Z-series mirrorless cameras
- Compact. The lens is compact, lightweight, and offers superb image quality, with the added benefit of being dust and drip-resistant
- Slim profile: This lens is about half the size of comparable F-mount lenses, which makes it more portable and easier to maneuver than ever before.
- Asperical elements: Its construction consists of 16 elements in 11 groups, including three ED glass elements and two aspherical elements to minimize optical aberrations
- The Nikon lens captures a broader field of view, so you can fit more into your shot
- It uses an electronic diaphragm, rendering it more reliable because mechanical parts are more likely to break than electronic ones
- The Nikon lens is smaller and lighter for greater portability
- The built-in lens hood is too short of offering absolute protection against bright lights hitting the front element. It provides only minimal protection against flare and ghosting.
- Zoom ring rotates when focusing, which could be an issue for some videographers
- No weather sealing like on the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S or Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lenses
- NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S is perfect for adding depth and drama to stills and video as the ideal...
- Compact 14-30mm zoom range with a fixed f/4 aperture and outstanding image quality
- Retractable lens mechanism collapses the lens down to a mere 3.5 inches for safe and minimal packing
How To Choose A Professional Lens
Choosing the right professional lens for the job can be confusing, but if you know how to ask the right questions, you can more quickly find the perfect fit. Here’s what to know before you buy your next lens.
A bigger aperture (smaller number) means nicer bokeh (the blurry background parts of an image). Aperture also affects how much of an image is in focus (called the depth-of-field).
With a wide aperture, only part of an image will be in focus (e.g., someone’s face but not their ears), whereas a smaller aperture gives everything equal sharpness. The smaller the f-stop number, the nicer your bokeh (the blurry background parts of an image) will be.
The focal length of a lens refers to the distance between the optical center of your lens and the sensor of your camera when the subject is in focus. The longer the focal length, the closer you can get to your subject without physically moving closer.
A longer focal length also lets you capture things that are far away more clearly than with a shorter focal length. Telephoto lenses generally have longer focal lengths than standard lenses do. If you want to take pictures of wildlife or nature, a telephoto lens might be a good option for you.
Image stabilization is one of the most important. We’ll explain how image stabilization helps reduce camera shake and how to choose the right amount of image stabilization for your needs. Image stabilization is essential for photographers who shoot without a tripod or monopod.
Some lenses have better image stabilization capabilities than others. These lenses have a higher maximum correction level and they are able to detect more types of motion than lenses with lesser image stabilization capabilities.
What Is the Sharpest Nikon Lens?
The sharpest lens Nikon makes is the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR. The combination of this lens and a D810 produced some of the sharpest images ever seen from a DSLR.
Which Nikon Lens Is Best for Portrait Photography?
The best lens for portraits is the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G. This fantastic lens offers you the ability to hang out at wide-open apertures like f/1.8, f/2, and f/2.8 when you want to isolate your subject from the background, or shoot in low light without flash.
Which Nikon Lens Is Best for a Photoshoot?
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens is known to be one of the best lenses for photoshoots. It has a great price, is very sharp, and has a large aperture which helps with low light situations and getting a blurred background.
If you’re looking to buy a new lens for your Nikon camera, you’ll want to choose with care to ensure that you’re making an informed decision. If the lifespan or quality of the lens is important to you, then invest in a more durable and reliable product for your best interest.