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Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 20 of 57

Image Quality


Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 20 of 57

Image Quality


Lesson Info

Image Quality

Okay? Moving into image quality, nikon publishes and you can find online empty f charts modulation transfer function charts which is basically a rating of the sharpness of their lenses and so if you want to see how sharp the lenses you could look at the graph and if you know how to read the graft you could tell how sharper lends it is now before I explain how to read the graph, I have to tell you these aren't totally accurate because they are theoretical they're not actual data that is tested they know that if they use this type of lens and this type of order this is the result that they should get in sharpness and so the actual lenses mayberry now to read the chart here's a couple of charts just to show you a good lens on the left and then not so good lands on the right zero indicates the middle of the lens remember I said the lenses sharper in the middle and less sharp he should go to the edge is well, the bottom access is working its way into the corner of the frame. All right? And ...

so what this says to me is that now I guess I'll give you the other part of it here the vertical access is explaining everything above point six indicates a good sharp lands everything above point eight is a very sharp lands so in the example, on the left, we have a very sharp lens in the center, and it still holds the sharpness, but not quite as good as we get off to the edges on the example on the right it's, sharp in the middle, but it loses sharpness way over to the edges. This is what I would expect from a large zoom lens, which has a little bit lower image quality. Now the colored lines and the dash lines and the dotted lines indicate different types of resolution, whether it's parallel or perpendicular to the middle of the frame, and whether it shot at the maximum aperture or att f eight or eleven, or depending what aperture they decide to choose shoot it at one of the interesting facts about this is that if you're interested in brok, the out of focus area of an image that one way can be judged is by looking at the empty f charts in the mohr the closer the lines are together, the better out of focus area you're going tohave so it's, not so much that the lines are at the top of the frame, but if this red line and the debt red dashed line are in line with each other, you're probably gonna have better, okay, so this lens would probably indicate not as good of out of focus brok area and so that's, another way to judge okay, from a technical standpoint, and so I'll share with you a few of the e f curves that nikon is actually published, that you can go find if you just type in nikon empty f the particular lens that you're interested in, and you'll find that very few lenses or anywhere close to perfect, you'll find that some of the best lenses are like their five hundred f or telephoto lenses. There are some lenses that are considered very good lenses, but from their empty f charts, they don't look so great has to do with how complicated and difficult that lenses to make one of the places you can go to judge how good your lenses is, a place called d x o mark dot com and what they do is they judge and test lenses, and they judge them in many different ways, and one of the ways that they test him is with a collection of features, sharpness, distortion, been getting transmission, chromatic aberration, which are all very important now. How they balance them may not be the way that you would balance him in importance, but they've ranked all the lenses and let's take a look at the ten worst nikon lenses, okay, and on the left will look at the top ten. Lenses. Now what you khun generally notice is in the right hand side, we have a lot of zoom lenses, and on the left hand side, we have a lot of prime lenses that have fairly fast apertures. Now, does this mean you shouldn't buy one of those lenses over on the right hand column? I would be perfectly happy I've owned lenses over on the right hand side. I would recommend those lenses in some cases just because okay, little bit lower image quality, but they have all the other characteristics that fit what you need. Image quality is but one link in the entire chain. In case you're wondering about aftermarket lenses, here are the top ten non nikon lenses that you can buy. We'll look and talk specifically about almost every one of these when we get into the prime lenses and look at that, we have a tamarin zoom lens in there, one of the top ten, and so we'll be talking about that one as well, and you can go to their website and you can check up the camera you use in which lenses are best for it, which is kind of fun.

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.


  1. Nikon Lens Class Introduction
  2. Nikon Lens Basics
  3. Focal Length: Angle of View
  4. Focal Length: Normal Lenses

    John Greengo goes in-depth on the difference focal lengths make when shooting with a Nikon® lens.

  5. Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses
  6. Focal Length: Telephoto Lens
  7. Focal Length Rule of Thumb
  8. Field of View
  9. Aperture Basics
  10. Equivalent Aperture
  11. Depth of Field
  12. Maximum Sharpness
  13. Starburst
  14. Hyper Focal Distance
  15. Nikon Mount Systems
  16. Nikon Cine Lenses
  17. Nikon Lens Design
  18. Focusing and Autofocus with Nikon Lenses
  19. Nikon Lens Vibration Reduction
  20. Image Quality
  21. Aperture Control and General Info
  22. Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses
  23. Nikon Super Zoom Lenses
  24. Nikon Wide Angle Lenses
  25. Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses
  26. 3rd Party Zooms Overview
  27. 3rd Party Zooms: Sigma
  28. 3rd Party Zooms: Tamron
  29. 3rd Party Zooms: Tokina
  1. Nikon Prime Lens: Normal
  2. Nikon Prime Lens: Wide Angle
  3. Nikon Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide
  4. Nikon Prime Lens: Short Telephoto
  5. Nikon Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto
  6. Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto
  7. 3rd Party Primes: Sigma
  8. 3rd Party Primes: Zeiss
  9. 3rd Party Primes: Samyang
  10. Lens Accessories: Filters
  11. Lens Accessories: Lens Hood
  12. Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount
  13. Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes
  14. Lens Accessories: Teleconverters
  15. Macro Photography
  16. Nikon Micro Lens Selection
  17. Fisheye Lenses
  18. Tilt Shift Photography Overview
  19. Tilt Shift Lenses
  20. Building a Nikon System
  21. Making a Choice: Nikon Portrait Lenses
  22. Making a Choice: Nikon Sport Lenses
  23. Making a Choice: Nikon Landscape Lenses
  24. Nikon Lens Systems
  25. Lens Maintenance
  26. Buying and Selling Lenses
  27. Final Q&A
  28. What'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.


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.