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Lesson 16 from: Nikon D5 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

16. Lenses

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Lesson Info


So, Nikon has two main sets of lenses that are available and can be used with this camera, the FX lenses and the DX lenses. And somewhat confusingly, the DX lenses are clearly labeled, but the FX lenses are not labeled, and so if there's no label, it's an FX, if it is labeled, it's a DX. So, the difference of course, on these lenses is the type of sensors that they're designed for. The FX is designed for the full frame sensor, so it casts a large image circle that covers the entire image area of the full frame sensor. The DX sensor is a smaller image area, which covers enough for the smaller sensors used on some of the other Nikon cameras. Where things get interesting is when you start swapping lenses and bodies, and so if you take a DX lens, and you mount it on your D5, it does not have the image area to cover the entire scene, and so you are gonna get a smaller image in the frame. One of the options is that you can turn your camera into a AUTO DX crop mode, where it will automaticall...

y crop and give you just that smaller amount of information area, or you can take the whole thing with all the vignetting and the darkening corners. If you take your FX lenses and you mount them on, say a D500 or any of the other DX bodies that Nikon has, it kind of overshoots and uses more information gathering light in some ways, and you're just simply getting a cropped area in the middle, and all of them are gonna have a magnification ratio of 1.5. So, we've got the FX lenses, which is what I would most recommend for this camera. I don't recommend it, but it can be used with the DX lenses, you're just gonna get a cropped image from it. And finally, just be aware that there is another series of lenses from Nikon for their Nikon Mirrorless camera, their Nikon 1 system, and these use a very different system. These lenses are not gonna work in any way, shape or form on this camera, so you don't wanna use those, or try to mount those on the camera at all. Nikon makes many different beautiful lenses. They have many great features to 'em. The features that they are most proud about, they get a letter, and they get a badge on the lens, and so here are few of the features that some of their Nikon lenses will have on them. Each of them is talking about some particular feature that you are gonna derive great benefit from. And so, looking at a particular lens, there's gonna be the CPU contacts, the lens mark that we talked about. Zoom lenses, you'll have a zoom ring on 'em, and then we're gonna have a bunch of information towards the middle which talks about the focal length and where we are on the zoom setting if it's a zoom lens. The focus ring, if we want to manually focus, we can grab that and turn that. Most all the lenses will have a removable hood that you can attach or reverse to save space in the camera bag. Each lens usually has its own very dedicated lens hood, which is specifically designed for giving maximum coverage. Most of the lenses will have the availability for using filters, but they have different size filters according to what lens it is, and so there'll be a little circle with slash through it indicating the diagonal or the diameter of that lens and what size filters that it uses. The lenses will usually have either an A and M switch, which is pretty simple. It's either auto focus or manual focus, or it might have an M/A switch, which means that you can either manually focus, or you can auto focus with a manual override option. It means that you can grab the focus ring at any time, and a clutch motor will allow you to adjust and manually focus that lens. So, typically their higher end lenses will have that M/A option any time that you want to manually focus overriding the auto focus system. So, let me talk about a few of my favorite most recommended lenses for a camera of this nature, the workhorse lenses for most professional photographers are going to be the 24-70, 2.8 and the 70-200, 2.8. These are both fantastic lenses. The new 24-70 is the VR version, which looks to be quite nice, but there is also a non-VR version as well. On the wide end, we have the 14-24 a legendary lens, if I must say so myself, a fantastic quality does not have the vibration reduction on that one. And the previous version of the 24-70 is still sticking around, that's the one we have here demo on the camera in front of us. It is a little bit smaller, and some think it may be a little bit sharper than the new VR version of it, which is bigger, but has the VR, and so we're gonna have both 24-70s around for a little bit it looks like. So, all of these are real good workhorse lenses. I'm a big fan of the f/4 lenses. It's great for a lot of landscape photography and travel photography, which is what I enjoy, and so the 16-35, 24-120 which is a great walk around lens, and the 70-200 is just one of the best ways to get high quality lenses in a smaller package. The 200-400, definitely not on the small side, but that was one of the most rented lenses at the last Olympics. It's just a very good versatile lens for wildlife and sports photography. So, Nikon has been updating some of their lenses lately, and they have come out with just some of the best fast lenses out. These things are really well built. Love the giant smooth focusing rings on 'em. The newest lens is the 105, 1.4 lens, which looks to be just a fantastic portrait lens, and so all of these lenses up here, I can't recommend enough. The 58 is kind of a particular one, so that's kind of a little bit of an odd ball, but all of these lenses are just really high quality lenses. They're all pretty expensive, I mean the cheapest of these is around 1,600 U.S. dollars, ranging up to around $2,000, but if you have a need and can make use of one of these, and you have the budget for it, it works really well, and it's nicely balanced on a camera of this nature. There is some other nice slightly lower priced options. If you still want a fast lens, but you don't quite need the 1.4, they don't have the official name for it, but a lot of people are just calling them the 1.8 series. They are a little bit smaller, little bit lighter, a lot less money. These are gonna be in the several hundred dollar range. None of these are over $1,000, but these are all good, very usable lenses that have more than enough resolution on this camera that you're gonna get fantastic results. And so, if you don't need the cutting edge of what photography has to offer, these are some really good options, and they've all been relatively recently updated, so they're all pretty modern technology you might say. And of course, for all of you wildlife and sports photographers, any of their big monster big guns are gonna be awesome lenses. And so, these were all relatively recently introduced as far as upgraded. Now some of these, you'll notice, are E lenses, and some of them are G lenses. And the E ones are using an electronic aperture control, which will not allow those lenses to be used with some older cameras, even some digital cameras, and so if you had, say A D2X, you're gonna really want to check out to see if these E lenses are gonna work with your level of digital camera. And so, the evolution is continuing with Nikon, and E is the current version, their latest generation with the electronic diaphragm operation, but it can't be used with the older film cameras in auto focus, and it can't even be used with some of the earlier digital cameras. So, you're gonna wanna look at some of the technical information from Nikon to really understand which lenses work with which bodies. If you want to know more about lenses, I put everything I know about lenses into this two day class dedicated to Nikon lenses. And so, if you are going to be in the Nikon system for awhile, you have an interest in lenses, this is, well, it's a bit of a geek-fest, if I don't mind saying so myself. We get into and look at all the different lenses from Nikon. It's a recent class, and so it's got pretty much all the lenses Nikon's introduced, one or two lenses since then, and so we cover pretty much everything in their system, but we go through all the different things that you would wanna know about lenses. And Nikon's got a lot of history and a lot of evolution to their lenses, and so this really goes through and breaks down all the subtle different changes that Nikon's been using over the years in their lenses. And I think for anyone in photography, you gotta be a lens aficionado 'cause we just use it in everything, and I love lenses. It's one of the things I love most about cameras with interchangeable lenses, and Nikon's got a lot of great lenses and a great history to it. And so, that's a fun class for anybody who wants to really know about lenses.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon® D5 Recommended Settings
Nkon® D5 Fast Start Class Slides

Ratings and Reviews

Michelle Mealing

As usual, John Greengo has provided me with a wealth of information, this time to decide on my next Nikon camera purchase. John has a talent for explaining technical aspects in a simply to understand, yet intelligent, language. I feel very lucky to be able to tap into the knowledge of such experts and thank the day I found out about Creative Live. Unfortunately I had to miss a little part of the live broadcast due to international time differences. I will definitely be watching the class again and again (there's so much content). Thanks John and Creative Live. Looking forward to my next class.

a Creativelive Student

Already set the Fn3 button for Voice Memo - easy peasy thanks to this and so many other "buried" ( in the manual ) treasures. Notwithstanding three years with the D4 and one year with the D5, I am substantially more familiar and comfortable with the available tools / features of this amazing camera, Nikon's D5. Thank you, John, for the relaxed, easy-to-follow yet informative, professional instruction - well done!

Dave Safley

John Greengo does a fantastic job of going over all the great features of this camera. Yes, there is a lot of information, but the format of the class enabled me to drive right into the features I needed for an upcoming shoot. I am new to Creative Live but this class is showing me the fantastic value of this platform. Happy Shooting!

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