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Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses

Lesson 22 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses

Lesson 22 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

22. Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses


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 Standard Zoom Lenses

We're finally at the time where we can start diving into actual lenses, and so this is where we're going to talk about zoom lenses now are seems kind of strange because when I proposed this class is going to talk about zoom lenses before prime lenses. Well, yeah, this is the way most people get started in photography with his versatile zoom lens that applies to a lot of different types of needs. When you get more particular and more focused on what you're doing, then you end up with a prime land, so we're going to talk about the zoom lenses in this section, we're going to take a look at all of the zoom lenses, and so we'll be looking first that they normals and then wides and then super zooms really large range ones and then tell a photos as well. So let's, start off with the standard zoom we talk about a standard zoom. We're talking about something that zooms back and forth around the fifty millimeter range in many cases it's in the twenty four to one hundred general purpose range. So...

the first group of these little lenses are all in the d x category, and just as we go through this, you'll notice in the upper right hand corner. You'll notice whether I'm talking about the dx lenses for the crop frame sensor or the fx lenses, which are not labeled as fx know lenses say fx on it by not having a dx it's, an fx on our lenses, just a za further note, I like to know how old is this design? Is this something that's twenty years old that I can expect to be a new version coming around? Or is this the latest generation of land? So I've added in the date that these lenses were introduced, and I think that just kind of helps you kind of see the era of that particular lands because things change from time to time. And so we have our first grouping these air, all eighteen to fifty five three point five to five point six lenses. They were all packaged as kit lenses that came with their basic entry level cameras, and they've just kind of gone through some progressions on the earlier version here. It did not have vibration reduction. In fact, there was a generation before this, but it's no longer available. I know that because this is aversion to lens, it says so right there, but the next version, they went to a v r but it's not a three version because v r is in integral to the naming of the lands and now they are at v r too and so this v r two lands it's kind of unusual I think maybe do a little live demo here because I think I got one over on the table here so this eighteen to fifty five is a really inexpensive lightweight small lands these air all kind of of the lowest quality, lowest caliber lenses that nikon makes a lot of plastics they make him in very high quantities probably their most popular lens and so something like this is going to be acceptable if you're getting into photography you want something very lightweight but I think somebody who has higher aspirations that starts liking those things like manual focusing rings and focusing collars and appreciates the metal tripod mount our metal lens mount on it because they're changing lenses more frequently but as a starter lands this was basically my first starter lands I mean it was this particular one but it was one like this and I look back on it with terrible lens but you know what? I was a terrible photographer and it matched me really well and so your lenses should matter to you are it doesn't mean that you could just buy a good lens and be a good photographer but there is a bit of a match that is going on so this is their first v r in this little lens and it's a very affordable little lands it's round two hundred bucks I'm not going to get in money very frequently just cause it changes in depending on where you live it doesn't have a lot of meaning because things change so quickly and so optically it's going to be virtually identical to the rest of them in this category and the fact of the matter is is that you can use this and you can use this or any of these three lenses and get very sharp images all right? It may not be the sharpest if you're shooting and wide open they may not be the sharpest if you're not using the right technique they may not have all the heavy duty fancy construction and fancy materials and the but they're basically decent sharp lenses if you shoot him in the right way the newest version is an interesting one because they're trying to reduce the size I think they're trying to compete with the mirror lists cameras that are out on the market that are very small I'm going to see if I can grab one of these not sure if I have this one I think I do over here where is it? Is it possible I have too many lenses? I'm not sure this is not the lens but it has a technology that's very similar and so what happens on this is not the same lands, but it's, the same idea is it has a special button on the lens, and it has a retract locked position on it, and the lens doesn't zoom into you, press that button and get it out to its shooting position, so it has a retracted position to help safe size, so that when you put it in camera bag or when you're not using it, you can retract it, and so this is getting it into its shooting position, and then you consume back and forth, and they've come out with two lenses that are designed for kind of their entry level cameras that are for people who want really the smallest, lightest thing possible. And so we were just talking in the last section about a lens that has a lot of extension, so this lands has a lot of extension and moving parts on it, where it's kind of sucking a lot of things back and forth, but in here, the priority was get me the smallest package possible, and that's, what this new eighteen to fifty five lens is doing, and so thoughts about this, so it is very small, and that retracted position, its smallest, lightest zoom that you can get for your camera, so if you're, you're hiking the pacific crest trail for months on end and weight is of critical importance. Yes, you can get good, sharp pictures with this at the various lightest weight possible leads. So when it comes down to these three lenses, you are basically getting the exact same optical quality. But you're getting vibration reduction, and then a new, more compact lands, at least when it's in its retract, did position. But optically speaking, mechanically speaking, they're very similar lenses. All right, our next group of standard zoom lenses are all in the dx category, so they're for the crop frame sensor. And these air the upscale. All right. A little bit better quality lenses. And so we have either more telephoto, more wide angle, faster apertures. So something is making it better in one of those three categories, the first of these is the eighteen to one or five, and this has been packaged with a lot of the camera. So it's, kind of a kit lens as well. And quality wise. It fits right in there with the eighteen to fifty five mechanical quality of the lens itself. Ah, a lot of plastics in there. Not a lot of heavy duty construction. Optically speaking, yes, you can get decent, sharp pictures with it, this one is ah. Pretty convenient range tohave, however it's kind of an odd range in the sense when you are doing that eighteen the one or five on this type of camera, the question really becomes, do I need a telephoto lens or not? Because when you take a one or five, you multiply it by the crop factor of one or five that gets shipped around a one sixty millimeter lands, and I said earlier in the class that I think everyone should have a two hundred millimeter lands, so if you're at one sixty, do you really need to take that extra step to get a two hundred it's kind of like your you're almost there? And, you know, I don't want to get a telephoto lens, but you can't, I don't need it, and so it's less clear. And so what ends up happening is people sometimes by this lens, and they end up selling it and buying two separate lenses that due to different things. But if you wanted one pretty lightweight lens that that was long enough for you, it's, a good value in that regard. Now, I much prefer this land's over anything that we've seen so far, and one of the reasons this is just because I personally like twenty four millimeter focal length and this gets down to sixteen and sixteen is the equivalent angle of view for twenty four millimeter lands I think once you have a twenty four millimeter lands, you're going to be quite satisfied with how much wide angle you have there's a good chance that if you buy a sixteen something you're not going to need a winding a wider angle lens this is fully going to satisfy your thirst for wide angle for many people grads with the eighteen that kind of once again leaves you in that area where can I like get just a little bit more but is it really worth spending a whole bunch of money on a whole new lands just to get a little bit wider? So if you get this, you might not need that extra wide angle lens that we'll talk about hearing a little bit sixteen eighty five is a nice, valuable walk around range, I think, which means walk around tourism just a little bit of this little bit of that nice amenities, which means look at this we got the focusing distance in here, we've got a nice focussing ring and so a little bit better quality lands in the number we can actually see over here on the edge it's got that m a, which means it has the manual override, which means you can just grab the lens and turn it on this lens up here, which we haven't even talked about yet but similar ones you'll notice if we get a fairly close up shot on the side of it we haven't a switch in an m switch for being in focus and let me get this out to a shooting position and if I put this in manual focus I can turn this focusing ring pretty smoothly if I switch it over into automatic it doesn't want to turn but if I want teo I'm not gonna do it you could force it but that kind of burns the motors on it and so that's something that is not quite as nice for those people who want to get in and manually control focus from time to time and that's something that you can do and we can tell that because it's got the m a switch on the side of it all right another sixteen eighty but this one take note what's the letter that's really important here it's the e because remember we talked about that new electro magnetic aperture control which means that this is going to be limited capabilities compatibility with some of the older cameras works with all the current cameras just fine. So if you have a camera within the last five years no worries, no worries it's just some of those earlier digital cameras or if you want to use it back on a film camera, for instance not a good choice for that but a very good valuable range and I do like this aperture that now gets down to two point eight, at least when you're at sixteen, when you zoom up to eighty it's f or I don't like the fact that it changes, but at least it's a little half stop better than all the rest has got the good edie glass it's got the vibration reduction in there good, good, solid walk around travel lands, good general purpose lands that I very much could live with. I think then this is kind of their premium this's probably their best quality lands in the dx category, so for their crop frame sensors, this is a really well made lands, and so this really feels like they're top of the line stuff. And so this is a seventeen, two, fifty five two point eight, and I love those two point eight zooms that stay at two point eight the entire time, and so you're going to notice definite increase in the wait our previous lenses were around a pound, and we're up to one point, seven pounds on this lens now, so you know they're using better quality glass, better quality metal construction in there, and this is going to be a little bit heavy, I will admit that. There are going to be some people who might be attracted to the statistics of this lens, but when it comes to actually walking around disneyland all day long with this camera over their neck, they're going to be tired and really happy to put their camera down at the end of the day. So in this group of kind of upscale dx lenses you are paying more for the extended range you are paying more for the faster apertures whether it's worth it I can't say and a lot of people I know can are asking in the chat rooms what's the lens for me it's possible that I could recommend every single different lens that nikon makes in some situation that's what their needs the financial, their desire for what they want to shoot there is a reason for every lens in the lineup and so I could recommend any one of these. But the problem with asking me what lends to buy and I'm asking you not to ask me is because there are to whom many factors involved unless you can really narrow it down to saying I have six hundred dollars I want to shoot basketball what lens should I buy and here's where I'm shooting from and so I need about three or four points of data that would be exactly specific next to that I'm just guessing on these things and so as we go through this there will be hopefully little bits of information that I will be giving you that may not be even relevant to that particular piece of equipment, but it's relevant to everything. And so that's. Why, even though you might not be interested in these two lenses, I might have something to say that applies to other type of photography and that's. Why I think what we're doing right now is lenses to me or kind of like countries around the world, there's like two hundred countries, there's all these different lenses, and each one is kind of related to the other one, and we're just doing a quick tour around the world to see about the different styles and way things are done in different places and so different lenses. Now we're talking about standard zooms fx, though, for full frame cameras, but you can use these on a d x if you like these particular focal links on a on a dx lands and some people will tell you well, that's, an awkward focal length on it, it's a matter of personal opinion a little bit, but these are going to be most attracted to people using full frame cameras twenty four, eighty five okay, this is like the perfect focal length, twenty four hits me right where I like to feel good on a twenty four wide angle lens, eighty five is right where so many people, including myself like to be for portrait work so absolutely perfect. It's a two, eight that's, nice zooms up deaf or don't like that, but it's better than it could be. It is a little bit older design. It does have the old aperture ring on this, which may be good or bad, depending on you know what air of lens you want, because it's an older deal, ends it's not even a g linds it's, not any lens, and so I really like the range on this land, and that aperture is a little bit faster, it's about a half stop faster than your average lens, and so I think this is pretty good. The downside is that it doesn't have the new v r system, so no vibration the next lens has, I think, it's either the same are very similar focal range, but it does have the e r and the new apertura. And so this one, I kind of think it's, kind of a secret older lens that a lot of people don't pay attention to, because it doesn't have the new v our technology, but it's a good, solid basic full frame lands. So this is kind of the new version. It is the same focal length. Twenty four, eighty five. We've taken off the aperture ring, so this is now a g lands all right. And we've added the dvr technology. So if you really like the v r because you're doing handheld work without a tripod and you find that valuable, then that would be a nice thing to have. And so it's got a little bit slower on the aperture. So if you were shooting action shots, people doing stuff, the previous lens would be a little bit better than this one. And so they kind of have these two lenses and one of the things that was a bit of a challenge for me. And I guess I should address this. Now is to any other time nikon has one of the I would, I would say the widest range of new and old style lenses. And so I had to make some decisions when making this class. Okay, I'm going to include everything. That's, brand new course. Should I include this lens? That's, ten years old. Well, what about this ones that fifteen years old? What about this one that's still being sold that's twenty five years old? And at a certain point, I kind of had to start no, we're not going to talk about that lens. And so most of the stuff is currently available either through ni connor through their subsidiaries in various countries, and so forth in some cases could be discontinued. I don't know when you're watching this class, and so which one of these lenses it's best for you kind of depends on the era, and so they have two lenses that do essentially the same thing, but one is kind of reaching forward, and one is reaching backwards as faras the technology and the cameras that it's useful. So why do they keep that of their lens around? For people who are using the older cameras, most of the newer users would probably be attracted to this, but I still think that there's something's attractive about that older lands and so that's kind of for their older technology, because it's got the old apertura ring on it, and we have the newer one with the technology, and actually the newer one is a little bit cheaper because they went with a little bit slower lands, so you do pay a little bit more for that faster glass over there, you get what you pay for, how about that interesting? All right, now, it's time to get into the good stuff here. All right, so these are the lenses that have a fixed maximum aperture these are the ones that I really like. I really prefer lands with fixed maximum aperture that way when I've got my camera all set up for the lighting situation and I want to zoom back and forth to adjust my composition because sometimes I feel artistic I don't have to worry about changing exposure. It's set it's right? It's done so we got three different lenses one of them's brand new so it's not actually a huge collection here, but the twenty four to one twenty came out a little while ago and I thought, wow, that would be a really nice lands for walking around the streets of europe with and I'm not you don't even need to bring a telephoto now one twenty doesn't get me up to the two hundred that I like to get to, but for a walk around lands keeping that fast aperture I don't know of another company that has a twenty four up to something that stays it f or that gets beyond one twenty and so having a big range but a reasonably fast aperture this is a sweet spot, this is nice and I think it's a great walk around range it is a little bit big and heavy all right, so if you are wanting that valuable of arrange at that slightly faster, convenient aperture, you're gonna pay for it a little bit. One point, six pound it's, just a little bit heavier chunk of glass hanging off the front of your lands. The twenty four to seventy two point eight. These twenty of these lenses had been around for twenty years or so. They they were twenty eight to seventies for a while. Then we got him down to twenty four to seven years before that, when they were actually thirty five to seventies. And so we extended the range a little bit and these have been the mainstay. The first item, a serious professional who shoots a wide variety of events would get in there camera back. For many professional photographers, this will be the most valuable lands. It covers a wide range of focal links, and it does so at a fast two point eight aperture in an incredibly high quality constructed housing with very sharp class it's, heavy and it's expensive. But it will last for years. And it's just a really, really good quality lands. And I was just reading an article about someone who basically hit tough times, had to get rid of everything but this one lands. And during the recession used this one lands worked his way out of the hole and this is the lens that made his career basically always shot with for years depending on the type of work you do you shoot bird photography this is your only lands you are going to be out of a job whatever job that would be very quickly all right but for good general purpose absolutely fantastic and we recently just saw the new version of this come out and so what they've done is they've taken the lens and they've added v r to it so now for the first time nikon has vibration reduction in a twenty four to seventy of two point eight and this one is going to be a very pretty penny for you and so that dvr technology ads about five hundred dollars to the price do you need it? You really started got asked I'm not asking that question of course we would like to have it'd be nice to have but you know if you're a wedding photographer and you're shooting the bride coming down the aisle and you're shooting the guests dancing at the reception's the v r technology does very little to help you out because you need fast shutter speeds to stop their actions and that does not change with vibration reduction so for some people who are shooting action and events the e r would be nice but it's not critical for the travel photographer capturing a scene of the city on the other side of the river, and they're just trying to hold the camera steady that's when it helps out a lot and so kind of interesting. The, uh this is part of what they called the three big dragons and these air the fast to eight zoom lenses, and this is what they referred to. I actually hadn't heard of it before. I started doing a lot of research for this class, because I don't know among my group of friends, they've also been known as the holy trinity of lenses, and so these are the fast to eight zooms, so if you have those three to eight zooms, you can really do anything, and so I haven't seen this lands I haven't laid this lens, we don't have this lens over here. The downside to this is that the other twenty four to seventy is big and heavy, and this is even bigger and even heavier. So for a general walk around lands it's, it's, a good chunk. I mean, look at this two point four pounds, we were at one and then two pounds now a two point four pounds, so it's, a big, heavy lens, but it's a really valuable tool for the professional, and so as we look at these you're paying more for that faster aperture. You're paying more for that vibration reduction that you're getting no in the twenty four to one twenty, you do get v r, you get v r and range, but you don't get the aperture, and so it depends on what you're doing. If I was doing travel photography, which is what I like to do, a lot of the twenty four to one twenty would probably be fine unless I am specifically shooting people, doing things in low light conditions.

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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