A Prime Lens Gift Guide for the Nikon DSLR owner

Nikon’s sample image AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G EDfor Shutter speed 1/45 second Aperture f/1.4 Focal length 24mm

So last year someone may have received a new Nikon DSLR or could of have had one for a long time and have not updated his or her gear in a long time. This holiday season is a great time to get them something special, help the Nikon take some fabulous pictures in the New Year. A prime lens amongst other things can be a gift that brings a tear to their eye and probably get you a nice portrait afterward. Also be sure to check out our listing of the best budget lenses.

The Classics

amera Nikon D90 Exposure 1/3200 sec Aperture f/1.8 Focal Length 35 mm ISO Speed 400

Those Nikon photographers who have cameras like the DX format cameras (Nikon D7000, New D3100) and do not have prime lenses may be due for an upgrade. Two lenses, which would make great gifts, are inexpensive, and are a great way to learn to shoot better. The Nikon 35mm 1.8G, a DX Format lens is an ideal lens. You can shoot landscapes, street photography and even portraits. The Nikon 50mm 1.8D is a fantastic a Nikon Lens for FX Format cameras like the Nikon D3s and D700. It is sharp and fast, on DX camera it is effectively a 75mm lens—even better for portrait, and has very low profile.

Exposure 0.025 sec (1/40) Aperture f/2.8 Focal Length 50 mm ISO Speed 200

Nikons New Primes Lenses

I got to look at the new primes in Nikon lens line up. I must say I’ve developed lens lust. I would love to own these lenses, and they would make fantastic gifts. If you have been paying attention to Nikon, you may have noticed they have been refreshing their lenses, particularly their primes. They have added AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED, which we have already reviewed, the NIKKOR AF-S 35mm f/1.4G , AF-S 85mm f/1.4G and AF-S 200mm f/2G ED VR II. From what I have seen of these lenses so far, they are all top quality and deserve some attention.

The 24mm f/1.4G ED Lens

It was a great lens to review. The 24mm F/1.4 performed well no matter what situation I put it in. Being F/1.4, the lens let you shoot hand held in low light without cranking up the ISO way up. If you caught the right angle with this lens, some pictures almost looked like they were in 3D due to the brilliant separation of the subject and the soft background the F/1.4 aperture helped to create. When shooting wide with this lens it gave my Nikon D90 a 61-degree pictures perspective, which would have been 84 degrees on a FX format camera. This lens is excellent for landscape photography.

NIKKOR AF-S 35mm f/1.4G

This lens, an update from the 35mm f/2 D, holds a lot of promise and will be coming in for review soon. The Nikkor 35mm 1.4 is another lens that gives delicious bokeh with crisp subjects. It has a classic wide angle back ground, which could be good for weddings, architecture, travel and photojournalism. When mounted on a Nikon DX-format or an FX-format D-SLR within the DX Crop Mode, the 35mm f/1.4 has an angle of view that is equivalent to a focal length of 52.5mm in FX/35mm format. This lens has a rear focus system for autofocusing, which eliminates barrel rotation. The sample images I saw from this lens were nothing less than marvelous.

Nikon's sample image Shutter speed 1/3s Aperture f/2 Focal length 35mm

NIKKOR AF-S 85mm f/1.4G

If you’ve ever read Why Everyone Needs an 85mm by Chris Gampat, you will understand the underlying importance of this lens. However, this 85mm lens is an f/1.4. This may be the ultimate portrait lens for Nikon Shooters. This lens’s low light performance will afford you the opportunity to play with lighting schemes when shooting portraits. Like the other previously mentioned lenses, this lens will let you generate an astonishingly shallow depth of field with uncanny detail on the subject. This lens also has internal focus (IF) so the barrel length does not change at all. The 85mm 1.4 also has a Nano Crystal coating to help reduce ghosting and flare. From just the specifications alone, I feel this lens is necessary for any professional portrait studio, which uses Nikon Cameras.

Nikon's sample image Shutter speed 1/200s Aperture f/1.6 Focal length 85mm


AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G

This lens is also an update. It is a telephoto lens with and incredibly fast aperture. The AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G is also a Vibration Reduction (VR) II lens that provides 4 stops of correction to really help create blur free images. This lens also has a tripod detection mode, which by design, compensates for little vibrations when attached to a tripod and permits users to keep VR image stabilization on and active. The 200mm f/2 is optimal for all types of shooting including weddings, portraits, sports, nature, and fashion and allows the photographer to be discreet and a good distance away.

Nikon's sample image Shutter speed 1/1000s Aperture f/2 Focal length 200mm

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.