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Nikon Prime Lens: Normal

Lesson 30 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

Nikon Prime Lens: Normal

Lesson 30 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

30. Nikon Prime Lens: Normal


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 Prime Lens: Normal

So yesterday we went through all the zoom lenses and now it's time to go into the prime lenses and this is where we are getting really into a dedicated, very specific task in many ways. Now I know I'm guilty of this myself talking about zoom lenses being very versatile, but you know, what's really versatile to me is a fast lands a lens that you could open up really wide you can shoot shallow depth of field, you can shoot low light that to me is also a versatile lens, and so just because it zooms that's, only one type of versatility low light capability is another versatility and that's what? We're going to see a lot more up here in the prime lenses so let's go ahead and get started with the prime, also known as the fixed lens is there's not an official name it's like the name prime on it sounds very important. All right, so we're just going to be basically making our way through we'll start off with the normals, work our way into the white angles and then go up to the tele photos and t...

hen of course we'll talk about the third party lenses as well, so ones from sigma and so forth all right, so when we talk about normal, we're talking about normal lenses for full frame cameras, which would be fifty millimeters this is going to be good for a normal or standard perspective, so if you like the way things look with your own eyes as faras the perspective of an object or subject in the foreground versus one in the background, this is where you want to be. Sometimes people just call it straight photography because it's very normal, it's not deceptive in any way, also very good in low lights because it's relatively easy to make these lenses very wide open that allowing a lot of light. So if you need a low light lands, this is the least expensive, easiest way to get into it. I think pretty much every photographer should have one of these lenses at some point in their career, there's a good chance that once you have one of these, you're going to keep it and you're going to have it around for a long period of time if you haven't experienced a prime lands it's, it's, a learning experience and it's a good experience to have in photography and a lot of people get started with one zoom, and then they get a second zoom, and then sometimes they just kind of stopped there, and they're not sure what to do. This is generally the next best direction that I point people towards. And nikon has many different lenses in here. The first is actually a thirty five millimeter lands that is designed for the d x group. So the crop frame group. So the d three thousands and five thousands this is going to be your normal ends. And this is great, because, frankly speaking, not all the manufacturers make a nice, normal lens for their crop frame cameras, and doing so at a reasonable price is a very reasonable price. Small lands. And this once again just adds a different type of versatility to somebody who might own a basic camera and one or two zoom lenses that ability to shoot relatively shallow depth of field and under low light conditions. With that one point eight aperture, I think it's just a really good value, and it might be nice khan's best selling land it could be. It actually should be, because it's, just such a valuable little item runs about two hundred bucks. And, you know, optically you could test it and say that it's not their ultimate best lands but it's more than good enough for the vast majority of work that pretty much everyone's going to do. And so I would not have a problem at all using this for equality reasons. All right, so now we're gonna get into the fx lenses for the full frame camera. This is where they've traditionally had a lot of fifty millimeter lenses and this is where most of their options are the fifty one eight and we're gonna be talking a little bit about fifty one eight versus the one for how much of a difference is there? This is a very nice fifty one eight if you know the history of nikon auto focus lens is the fifty one eight has gone through some pretty bad times there's there's been some low in fifty one eight's out there, and this is, I think, probably the nicest one cosmetically construction wise, optically speaking it's still quite good. Now you can use this on a dx camera, of course, but you get a crop view off of it and this becomes a really nice portrait lands and so there is kind of a choice is to whether you would prefer to get the thirty five or fifty if you have a crop frame camera and I can't tell you which one is better because they're just different angles of you in different styles, but if you are more interested in a tighter headshot, a shallower depth of field, you will get that with this over the thirty five one point eight and some people who own this land's feel that it seems a little bit plasticky and cheap on the feel on it, but optically it's it's a good lens and it autofocus is very quickly. You can see the m a switch over here on the side, which means it has the manual focus override, which is really nice for those of you who like to manually focus now they do make an identical version of that lands in their special edition. This came out with the nikon d f and we have a chrome ring around here and I think it's like a couple of grams heavier because I think there's a little bit extra metal in here. But it's the same optical quality it's the same glass in here, and so it kind of falls into the same characteristics as the previous fifty one eight fifty one four very nice little lands very similar in construction in size and style to the fifty one eight and the difference between one four and one point eight it's two thirds of a stop, which is very insignificant. And so you kind of have to really want it that extra two thirds of a stop to pay for it, because it is more than double the price of the fifty one eight but it is a different optical formula, and it is a little better glass in here and so this has been their standard fifty one for us kind of a lot of times what they photographed with their cameras with it it's just kind of the standard piece and so it's a favorite and a lot of people who want something fast and really small gets down to one point four that's gonna be the easiest way to do it all right this character is a little different, okay? Nikon has a little bit of a history making fifty eight's they used to make a fifty eight one point two nocturnal lands which was a special lens for nighttime photography it had special lens is built to correct for problems when you're shooting at night with highlights so the coma and flair problems were reduced and this while it's a fifty eight mil millones is not that nocturnal lends it is not a one point two it's a one point four and it's been kind of interesting because they brought this out and the price of this is multi times more than any of the lenses we've talked about so far in this section here and they made this lens very nice it's of their highest quality lenses and the strange thing is is that a lot of testing that's been done on this people found that it's not the sharpest lens that nikon makes what it is is it's really nice for people who want to shoot shallow depth of field there is and it's it's kind of hard to put it into words, but there's a special look to the out of focus area and so if you like shallow depth of field, this is a lens that I think would do you very well but it's it's a very it's, a unique item and it's, not an item that I would generally recommend for the average photographer. This is for somebody who is looking for something that's just a little bit different, and they really don't have a budget because it's almost two thousand dollars for just this one lands and in and of itself on the surface it's a terrible value for a general purpose lands I think it's a terrible value, its oversized it's over built it's not incredibly, incredibly sharp I mean it's sharp but it's not a sharp of some of the other candle incense. So this one is is kind of a unique special lands and if anyone out there owns an icon and they have friends that air cannon and you liketo batter back and forth about, you know who's better and stuff cannon has a lens that's a fifty millimeter one point two and you can give him a quiz what has shallower depth of field fifty millimeter, one point two or fifty eight one point four and the answer is the fifty eight one point four has a shallower depth of field, and so if you are interested in that shallow depth of field but it's still a normal look, that extra eight millimeters allows you to get that extra shallow depth of field. So little bragging point for you night coney ins out there. So this is our group of normals we have a nice little normal for our dxe land, you can see the extreme price of our fifty eight millimeter, one point four lens, and so probably the biggest question that I don't really know how to answer is, should I get the fifty one point eight? Or should I get the fifty one point four? And I think if if you're not sure about the answer, the best value is going to be with the one point eight, because that two thirds of a stop just isn't that big a deal, unless you know that it is for your type of photography and it's, what is it, it's like two hundred bucks versus five hundred bucks and so it's, noticeably less. And so I think there are a smaller group of people who are really going to be able to appreciate and make use of that extra two thirds of a stop on the extra little fraction and sharpness on the one four. And part of my bias on that is just cause that fifty one eight is, I think, the nicest fifty one eight that night cons made today all right, one of the things about nikon and we talked a bit about this yesterday that they have a long legacy of lenses that had been evolving over time with their cameras and because they have people that are using older cameras, whether their film cameras, if someone asked me and I'd like to shoot all different types of equipment, they say, john, I want to get into film photography. What type of camera should I buy? I would say take a look at like the nikon f one hundred, nikon f six there's a bunch of use in icons, and the great thing about nikon is that they have such a long legacy of manual focus. Auto focus lens is up to their new digital lenses, which can still be used if they have the aperture column on and so nikon has a long history, and they've been keeping these lenses around look at this made in nineteen, eighty one nineteen, eighty one, and they're still making these lenses well, I think they're making the lenses I'm not a hundred percent certain if they made a whole bunch of nineteen eighty one and they have a big warehouse full of them that there's still selling but I think they're still new because that greece needs to be replaced in some of these lenses, and so they keep a lot of these lenses around for a long period of time. Uh, for those of you who are using older nikon cameras, and this is one of the lower in one point eight some not so excited about the ergonomics on it, but it works and it's not too much money. So it's a nice, cheap lands on dh so let's just kind of quickly run through these classic glass ones, and so you'll save a little bit of money here. Remember, if you have a d three thousand siri's or five thousand siri's, you can't use these lenses because they have their capturing on him and they have a drive shaft focusing system on him, and your camera doesn't have a drive chef. So you your cameras will not focus with us, so you do need kind of their medium to hire and cameras to work with these older lenses, at least in the controlling the apertures and for focusing a swell on dh. So I guess maybe I should clarify it's, the focusing that won't work, I believe if you set this on the apertures, it could work, and you just have to manually focus. In that case and so optically a little weak on the white open side but not much money small in size there good old classic fifty one for that'll still work on a lot of the cameras once again won't work on the d three thousand siri's in the five thousand siri's because it has that driveshaft technology and so they sold a lot of these very small good good sharp plans nothing wrong with this one and that's going to work on probably the widest range of cameras available from nikon they do make their old manual focus lenses and I got to say that photography it reached a peak about late nineteen eighties and then when they introduced auto focus in my mind it just took a downturn and some of the early autofocus lenses from nikon arab all my gosh they were ugly they had these tiny little focusing rings that you couldn't grab and there's a couple of lenses from nikon they're just gloriously bad as far the objects the glasses good night contest a good job with class but the ergonomics they kind of miscalculated the market they figured oh if we have auto focus people won't want to manually focus and so we're going to take away the manual focus rings and they have a couple lenses that were out for one two three years before they were being replaced because they found out so quickly that people didn't appreciate him and they had been building manual focus lenses for quite some time and they really made a nice, solid piece of equipment. These are the type of lenses that could last you twenty or thirty years and so if you appreciate manual focus, you know if you want to use one of the older film cameras, these old manual focus lenses are just fantastic when it comes to their mechanical quality. Now they have actually updated the glass in the newer lenses and so they're not quite as sharp but there's still extremely good and I would highly recommend him for people who are doing that particular type of photography they make a fifty millimeter one point to a lot of people forget about this and it's relatively affordable compared to the very few selection of other fifty millimeter one point two lenses out there now granted it's going to be a little limited on which cameras you're going to want to use this on because it is manual focus and so forth but it does allow you to get down to that one point two been around for quite a while though classic lens so those are some of your older fifties that you can use and you will pay a bit more for that fifty one point two but it's well under a thousand dollars buy a brand new fifty millimeter one point two lands just gotta manually focus

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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