Focal Length: Normal Lenses


Nikon® Lenses: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Focal Length: Normal Lenses

So let's first talk about normal lenses and so in this case we're talking about fifty millimeter lens for the most part, when we're talking about a full frame sensor, we're talking about a thirty five millimeter lands for the crop frame users seize forty degrees from side to side and it could be a very useful lens for a wide variety of purposes. I think it's a great lens tohave when you have a lot of subject working area if you have a subject that you can get closer to let's say I just want to take a picture of this table and I can walk over here or I can walk up here well, if I want a certain point of view I could decide where I want to be. I'm not just going to stand here and zoom the lens back and forth if I decide oh, you know what? This would really look better from this point of view and I have the working space the fifty millimeters nice to have so in this case I have a doorway and it's just, you know, big open, paved area and I can walk up closer and I could walk further back d...

epending on what type of shot I want, and so I think if you have interesting and good content, the fifty millimeter is kind of the default position to start with and then you decide. Well, either I need wide angle or more telephoto, but I think a fifty millimeter lens is a great way to learn photography. That's one of the things that I had to do when I was in college is the first assignment was okay, you're going to go out and shoot photos, but all you can uses a fifty millimeter lands all right means you really gotta look for good content now, one of the other nice side benefits of a fifty millimeter lens because the fact that it's fairly normal is that it's relatively easy to make, and they can make it very fast where it lets in a lot of light. And we get this very shallow depth of field look, and so you could get into a fifty millimeter lands that allows you to shoot really shallow depth of field for not much money. So if you're on a budget, this is the place to get a shallow depth of field less. Because there's so many nice options, it works really nicely for street photography. So travel photography just walking down the street, you see something you want to take a a picture of it often works well depending on the size of subject you're looking at because there relatively simple to make bacon let in a lot of light that shallow depth of field allows you to shoot under very low lighting conditions, so if you work in a very dark environment fifty millimeters a great place to be traditionally we're going to talk a lot about portrait photography and which lenses are best fifty millimeter makes a very nice portrait last now it depends on what you consider a portrait as faras a head and shoulders or a photograph of a person I think it's the perfect lands for doing a head to toe shot of somebody, but it works very nicely even in a little bit closer they say that you shouldn't shoot head and shoulder portrait's with fifty millimeter lens, but the reality I do a lot of travel photography is sometimes you don't have the right lens on your camera and you got to make work what you have there. And so I think in this case fifty does a perfectly suitable suitable job could it possibly be better? Yes, but the moment would be gone and I would have to be on a bus on to somewhere else, and so it can work very well in those regards so still in the normal range thirty five millimeter lands slightly wide angle yeah, a little bit this is something that I kind of think of is a journalistic lance and so we're including a little bit more of our environment around us tow let us let the viewer see a little bit more about what's going on with our subject it very much mimics the way we see with our own eyes and so it's going to play into all the same characteristics of the fifty millimeter lens for the most part when you have good content you can use a thirty five millimeter lens you don't need to play any optical games with your subject works very good for travel in street photography documenting the landscape around you a little bit very good for what is known as environmental portrait ce there's a subject but you get to see the environment that they live one of the things about this these lenses is that you're probably not going to get anyone commenting on your photos with a comment that says wow, what lens did you use? Because this is a very common ordinary lenz this is the lands that I would say has taken more photos than all the other lenses combined and if simply for the laugh act of the last four years all the selfie shots that were taken with phones are which are using a slightly wide angle thirty five millimeter equivalent lance and so this is what all the phones have on them for the most part give or take a few millimeters and so it's a very, very standard normal that slightly wide angle last but as I said if you've got good content you don't need a fancy lands and so having great content is always a nice thing to have besides I would rather have great content in the great lance that would be my preference but I would take both both are nice all right so some thoughts with working with the normal lands thirty five to fifty range so this is going to have a similar angle of you to your own eye so if it just looks good to you naturally that's probably a good place to start natural or normal perspective a ce faras the relationship between the foreground and the background we're going to talk more about this is we get in the wide angle and distortion and the compression effect in telephoto and so once again working with subjects that have a good working space so if you're just working with a subject that you can approach and move back on it's really nice to be able to have that fifty millimeter lens I know sometimes you're on a boardwalk and you can't get closer there's a fence or there's a cliff and you can't get closer and that's when it's really nice to have that zoom lens so that you can kind of reach out and get a different angle of you but if you can walk right up to something, consider using one of these normal lenses really emphasizes the subject and not the process and it's it's really fun playing games and using a fisheye or telephoto or some crazy type lens tio create a look that most people don't have in their photographs. But as I say, this is a great type of lens to have when you have a really good subject and you just want to showcase the subject and the subject is doing all the talking you might say you don't need to do anything other than just let their greatness show through in your photo. When we were looking at the comparing the angle of view of the zoom lenses, I noticed there was a big color shift was thatjust was that retouched just for the photograph itself? Or is that actually also a change in the amount of light that's coming in? Okay, so you're talking about when I shot it on the road, right way jump from one hundred, two hundred. I notice that, right? Yeah, there's a little bit of a color ship because I actually shot with different lenses, and I had to reposition myself out there and there's different lenses, even from the same manufacturer. I have slightly different properties to them, and just so that, you know, that was a really difficult suit to do because I had to shoot with nine lenses. Deal with traffic, but worse than traffic. And this diving is something else. Uh, there was a lot of other photographers out there in the middle of the street photographing and I had but for that particular thing, yeah, I noticed that too. And ideally, I could have fakes. The shot had one high resolution shot that I went in and out, but I wanted actual shots that I got from the camera. Craig. Why? Says who's from vancouver. John mentioned the nikon makes cameras and lenses for two formance the full frame and the dx the a p s. See what about nikon? Smaller see x for the mirror list format, or we're gonna be covering that as well. The classes is going to be mostly on their f mt, which is for their full frame. And there d excellence is I will address the sea excellence is ill talk about them. I will talk about the compatibility with the different cameras in the different lenses so I will cover them, but not in depth. And so we do have a question in class as well. Currently I have a dx format, body, camera body. Should I be buying fx lenses or dx maybe knowing that I would like to upgrade my camera body later? Right? So that's a thought process that a lot of people have is how should I be buying lenses? So one of the things that I have gotten very comfortable with that maybe not everyone else has got comfortable with is that when I buy a lands for me it's not like a marriage where ok, this is for ever I think this is the one baby that's what I'm gonna have forever lenses, a tool that you're going to have for a period of time and the more comfortable you are saying this is a tool I'm going to use and then I'm going to sell all is better and so you should be comfortable selling your lenses because every lens that I no longer currently have I sold to somebody else and now they get to use okay? And so you need to have the right equipment that fits your current and immediate future needs. And so if you said I want to go full frame but I think it's going to take me two years to save up, don't go by a bunch of the wrong lens is that the next two years were gonna be a struggle for you to work with buy lenses that you need now you can resell them, you're going to lose a little bit of money but that's one of the great things about lenses is that they hold a lot of value but if you know that you're going to get that christmas bonus and you know you're going to be getting a full frame camera in a few months then yeah then I would probably make a little bit of a compromise right now and plan for the future and so it depends on what your specific needs are how soon do you think that change is gonna happen but I want to shortchange yourself for too long a period of time because lindsay's hold their value and you could resell them whether it's on online or if you live in a good metropolitan area like here in seattle I sell stuff all the time on craigslist because you no longer need it I'll let someone else use it and I think that's kind of a good way to approach equipment it's not like well I threw all my money away and I'm just gonna throw this lens away when I'm done now going to use it for a while you take care of it and you pass it on to the next photographer another question I have that same question and along that line I'm struggling with wind to make the leap to the full frame not not that I know is this very, very much more expensive and also heavier I just wondered what your thoughts in that work wow you know that's a question that I go through a little bit more in another class about how to choose the right camera and we don't really have the time to go through all the implications because I like to dive into these things really hard on dh win to make that choice, that is, that is a tough one, because the biggest thing that people don't understand, I think when they are making that jump, is that when you jump up camera quality, you need to bring your lenses upin quality as well. I've seen people spend a lot of money on the camera body, not much money on the lenses, and they become very dissatisfied with their image quality because it's not what they're expecting, and so you really gotta have a lot of momentum to make that jump it's like, ok, everybody, we're moving up and you've got to get got to get that whole lineup set up. You know, whether it's just two lenses, that may be kind of easy, but if you have three or four lenses it's going to be more costly, so you gotta really be ready to make that jump with all the lenses and john now we're getting questions about buying and selling lenses, so everybody stay tuned, we are covering that towards the end of the class, so just stay tuned right back over to you. I know I do have some great stuff on buying and selling some tips. Because I sell, I buy. I used to. I used to be the buyer. They used buyer for a camera company so I would buy equipment from people. I have sole. I have bought and sold literally thousands of lenses, and so I have some very specific tips for you. But that is not until the very end of class. So we have many more out there important things to talk about.

Class Description

The world of interchangeable lenses can be both exciting and confusing to all levels of photographers. Nikon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will help you choose the right lens and get the most out of all of your lens investments.

John Greengo is the master of making complex photography concepts easy to understand and in this class, he’ll bring all of your Nikon® DSLR lens options and operations into focus. You’ll learn about:

  • Focal length and aperture
  • Nikon® zoom lenses
  • Which lens accessories to buy
  • Third-party lenses
  • Maintaining a lens system
John will cover the full range of Nikon® lenses, from ultra-wide to super-telephoto, zooms to primes, fisheye to tilt-shift. You’ll learn how to match the lens to your needs and get insights on the best ways to use it.

Whether you are looking to buy a new lens or just want to get the most out of what you already have, John Greengo will help you to become a master of the Nikon® lens.


1Nikon® Lens Class Introduction 2Nikon® Lens Basics 3Focal Length: Angle of View 4Focal Length: Normal Lenses 5Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses 6Focal Length: Telephoto Lens 7Focal Length Rule of Thumb 8Field of View 9Aperture Basics 10Equivalent Aperture 11Depth of Field 12Maximum Sharpness 13Starburst 14Hyper Focal Distance 15Nikon® Mount Systems 16Nikon® Cine Lenses 17Nikon® Lens Design 18Focusing and Autofocus with Nikon® Lenses 19Nikon® Lens Vibration Reduction 20Image Quality 21Aperture Control and General Info 22Nikon® Standard Zoom Lenses 23Nikon® Super Zoom Lenses 24Nikon® Wide Angle Lenses 25Nikon® Telephoto Zoom Lenses 263rd Party Zooms Overview 273rd Party Zooms: Sigma 283rd Party Zooms: Tamron 293rd Party Zooms: Tokina 1Nikon® Prime Lens: Normal 2Nikon® Prime Lens: Wide Angle 3Nikon® Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide 4Nikon® Prime Lens: Short Telephoto 5Nikon® Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto 6Nikon® Prime Lens: Super Telephoto 73rd Party Primes: Sigma 83rd Party Primes: Zeiss 93rd Party Primes: Samyang 10Lens Accessories: Filters 11Lens Accessories: Lens Hood 12Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount 13Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes 14Lens Accessories: Teleconverters 15Macro Photography 16Nikon® Micro Lens Selection 17Fisheye Lenses 18Tilt Shift Photography Overview 19Tilt Shift Lenses 20Building a Nikon® System 21Making a Choice: Nikon® Portrait Lenses 22Making a Choice: Nikon® Sport Lenses 23Making a Choice: Nikon® Landscape Lenses 24Nikon® Lens Systems 25Lens Maintenance 26Buying and Selling Lenses 27Final Q&A 28What's in the Frame



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.

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.