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Nikon D500 Fast Start

Lesson 18 of 31

Nikon Lenses Overview

John Greengo

Nikon D500 Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

18. Nikon Lenses Overview

Lesson Info

Nikon Lenses Overview

Alright, since we're one the front side of the camera let's talk a little bit about lenses. We have our lens alignment mark, where you wanna get those two white dots aligned up. Let me do a quick little demo here for you, and so let me get my camera pointed towards our camera. And so what you wanna be looking for on these lenses and the thing, word of warning with Nikon is they like to be different and for anyone who knows about tightening screws, righty tighty, you know how you turn your screws, make sure they're tight. It is opposite on Nikon cameras and so it's lefty tighty, righty loosey on these ones. And so it kind of turns opposite, I don't know why. Don't ask me why, I just know that it does it. Be aware of that when you're changing lenses. Lens release, gotta press down on that to get the release pin taken off. Now, as far as the lenses go, we have two major categories of lenses. FX lenses and DX lenses. And it's pretty easy to tell DX lenses cause they are labeled as DX lense...

s. If they are not labeled, then they're an FX lens. They don't say FX on them. These are designed for the full frame sensor and the crop frame sensor used in the Nikon cameras. So, as light goes through the full frame sensor, it creates a large image circle which covers that full frame sensor area. The DX lenses are specially designed with a smaller image circle, which is designed for the smaller sensor size built into these cameras that have the APS sensor or the DX sensor as Nikon likes to call it. Where things get interesting is if you swap lenses, so if you take your DX lens for the D and you put it on a D5 or D800 or something like that, it's not gonna be able to cover the full sensor area. So, you are either going to get dark corners or your camera will automatically DX crop it and you'll get a portion in the middle of the frame. And so you can either choose in your full frame cameras whether you wanna get the whole area with the dark corners or you just wanna get a clean image in the middle of the frame. As an owner of a D500, feel free to purchase FX lenses because they don't have any negative impact on your sensor. Choose a very large image circle, and you're going to be capturing a smaller area in the middle. Don't get too confused by lenses, I know, you're like well do I have different numbers, no a 200 millimeter lens is a 200 millimeter lens. But with this camera, what you see is gonna be a little bit different, what you see through the viewfinder, is exactly what you get. So Nikon, to be honest with you, has three different lenses, so they have the DX lenses, which are designed for the small sensor like the one in the D500. They have their FX lenses designed for their full frame which will work perfectly well on this camera and when you look at telephoto lenses, you're not gonna find very many DX lenses. They're gonna be FX lenses that you just use on this lens on this camera. And they do also make another little subcategory, this is for their little mirrorless system, they have something called the Nikon 1 series and these are designed for a very small sensor, eight by 13 millimeters. And these don't work on any of the SLR's, it does not work on this camera at all. Doesn't mount on, there's no adapters and so just be aware, just because it says Nikon, just make sure that it's the right type of Nikon lens for this camera. So the 16 to 80 is a nice basic lens for the camera and Nikon's got a lot of great features when it comes to their lenses. And the features that they are most proud about, get letters, that get printed on the lens. And so these are some of the different features or functions or attributes to this particular lens, we're not gonna go through what each of these means right here we don't have time for it. But they are all descriptions of the lens in some way or another. All the lenses, well most all the lenses, will have different size filter threads so make sure that you check that if you wanna get polarizers or UV filters for your lens, I recommend using the hood mount, or the hood as much as possible to block stray light from causing flare or loss of contrast. Zoom lenses will have a big zoom ring and a little focal length indicator to let you know what focal length you are currently at. Focusing rings will vary from lens to lens but that's what those two rings are for. The distancing scale is there, to let you know where the lens is focused at. Now the camera is automatically gonna focus for you in most situations, but if you do wanna manually focus this can be a benefit. Our lens info, which will tell us all of the informaton about the lens, and then our lens mount mark and our CPU contacts. Now, something that is slightly confusing about some of the Nikon lenses is the focusing switch. The A and M one is pretty easy to figure out, manual focus and let's move it over, auto focus. Now some of the fancier lenses, you're either in manual focus or you are in auto focus that has a manual override option. The lens that we have here, if we wanna get a close shot of this you will see that it says M/A on it and what that means is I can focus with the lens, and let's see if I can turn it down here a little bit. So you can see that I'm focusing and if I want to, with my finger left halfway down on the shutter release, I can come in here and I can readjust focus if I want to. It doesn't damage the camera in any way or the lens. If it just says M, don't go grab the focusing ring and try to manually focus when the camera is auto focusing. So this just allows us to go in and tweak the focusing so that we can take another shot with an adjusted focus on it and so that's what the higher end, auto focus lenses will typically have. So the basic zooms you might encounter with this camera, the 16 to 80 is a good general purpose lens. If you want more range, you can look at the 18 to 200. If you want to get into telephoto, the 70 to 300 is pretty nice, and the 80 to 400 is generally the biggest lens that you're gonna feel comfortable hand-holding for a fair length of time. Since this camera is so good at telephoto, I imagine this camera is gonna be matched up with that 80 to 400, it's a little bit higher quality lens than the 70 to 300, just in the overall construction of the lens. If you're wanting a zoom lens that lets in a bit more light, the Nikon 17 to 55 is their only, kind of general purpose lens that goes down to 2. for this camera, so that's a good choice. Very good quality lens, great quality optics, does have some strong competition out on the market. Tamrom makes a very good one that I like, that's quite a bit less money, but I think is a very good value. Sigma makes the fastest ones, they make kind of a normal zoom and they make a telephoto zoom that is a 1.8 aperture on it, which is incredible, those are the fastest zooms that you can get, and so if you really want a zoom and you wanna let in a lot of light, take a look at those Sigma lenses. They're also, optically, very very good. And they're a little bit expensive and big. So, having a crop frame sensor means that you have to kind of get into the right lenses to get wide angles, so the Nikon 10 to would probably be the first choice for most photographers. Some other good choices for people on a budget, look at the Tamron, they have a good value one. If you want the widest lens you can get, you go with the Sigma eight to 16. My favorite are the Tokina's, I really like the 11 to 20 2.8, I think that's fast enough for most uses but it gives you a pretty good range. But if you wanted the fastest wide angle lens, they have a f/2, 14 to 20. And I have no qualms at all about recommending Tokina, Tamron, or Sigma here. I think, perfectly good choices in this situation. They offer something that Nikon doesn't offer. For the premium zooms, you can look at the 24 to 120, 24 to 70, these constant either f/4 or two eight zooms, and of course kind of their premium telephoto zoom, the 70 to 200, 2.8, legendary lens, fantastic, it's gonna work very good with this camera. Highly recommend almost for everyone, is having at least one prime lens. Nikon has recently been introducing a number of really nice f/1.8 lenses. And so the 35, the 85 here are some really nice lenses that let in a lot of light, relatively small for what they are. But are some really nice lenses as well as the other ones listed up here. So if you wanna know more about lenses, I could talk all day, in fact I could talk for two days on this. In fact, I've done that already, I do have a class. I love the Nikon lenses and I'd like to go into it in this two-day class, I go through every imaginable aspect about lenses, how they work, the features, the technology, what's really going on inside the lens, I mean I even talk about how to buy and sell your lenses, and so if you wanna know everything there is to know about lenses this is the class that you wanna look at because it is fully dedicated just to Nikon lenses and I don't worry about anything else on there. Nikon lens class, another good class, good companion class for this class.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But dense technical manuals make for a terrible first date. Get the most out of your new Nikon® D500 with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features.

Join expert photographer John Greengo for a fast-track introduction, and unlock your camera’s full potential.  

In this class you'll learn:

  • How to use the D500’s various shooting modes
  • How to use and customize the D500’s menus
  • How to master the 4K video function
John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. He has extensive experience teaching the technical minutiae that makes any camera an effective tool: aperture, ISO, the Rule of Thirds, and the kinds of lenses you’ll need to suit your camera body. This Fast Start includes a complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the Nikon D500’s settings to work for your style of photography.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon D500 Recommended Settings

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Carl Vanderweyden

John Greengo is the best! I purchased a Nikon D500 and this course around the same time. Because of this camera being so complex, I felt that a course would be beneficial. This course that John teaches is exactly what I needed. His knowledge of this camera as well as photography in general is exceptional. In fact, I own a couple of other courses presented by John and I also bought a couple of his books! I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to know the ins-and-outs of this D500! Thanks again John for a great course and your great way of explaining things with clear dialect and great visuals!

M Jo

Wow! What a great class! John is a natural teacher, moving at a good pace and explaining things carefully, never assuming you already know more than you might. I just got my D500 last week and am so pleased to have gone through this entire class. I learned a LOT and took some notes to refer back to. I've also just bought a Z6 and have purchased John's class for that. Can't wait to dive in!!!

Christina Brittain

By The class. John is the gold standard for teaching. He repairs lessons to perfection. He speaks in ways students comprehend all that he presents. Never waste words. Never bores. Always demonstrates his points. I will continue to purchase his classes as they provide the best learning I have found. He is making me a much better photographer, both technically and creatively. You can't make good images if you don't know your gear. Hope he teaches lessons in Portland Oregon one day. I know Pro Photo Supply would sponsor him.