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  Nikkor telephoto prime lenses
 
 

Lenses with a focal range above 50mm are commonly known as telephoto models. These fit less in, and are therefore ideal for getting closer to distant subjects or picking out detail; they also give a more flattering effect when taking photos of people. In contrast to wide-angle, lenses with longer focal lengths have an inherently smaller depth-of-field, which means it’s easier to get a blurred background effect – again ideal for portrait, wildlife and sports photography.

Good focal lengths for portraits are typically between 85mm and 135mm – these are often known as short telephotos. Appropriate focal lengths for sports or wildlife are generally much longer – at least 200mm, and ideally 300mm or more. Professional sports and wildlife photographers often use 600mm lenses, or even longer still. These are known as super-telephotos.

Lenses with smaller f-numbers gather more light thanks to their bigger apertures, which makes them better in dim conditions and for minimising the depth-of-field. Bigger apertures however mean a larger, heavier and more expensive lens.

 

As focal lengths increase, the risk of camera-shake becomes greater, so telephoto zooms with vibration reduction are preferred. Nikon refers to these models with the letters VR and these can let you handhold shots with shutter speeds three to four times slower than normal. Note these won’t stop a moving subject from blurring though, which brings many enthusiasts back to large aperture models.

As always, bear in mind any reduction in field due to your DSLRs sensor when choosing a lens. All of Nikon's DSLRs (apart from full-frame FX models like the D3) have a reduction factor of 1.5x, which effectively multiply lens focal lengths by 1.5 times. So if you're after a portrait lens with an equivalent focal length of 85 to 135mm, you'll need a model with an actual focal length of around 50 to 85mm.

Also note Nikon DSLRs without built-in focusing motors, like the D40, D40x and D60, will only auto-focus with AF-S Nikkor lenses. If you use an AF Nikkor lens on these bodies, they will be manual focus only.

Note: Nikkor's DX lenses are not compatible with its full-frame (FX) DSLRs like the D3. For a full explanation of lens specifications and examples of coverage at different focal lengths, check out our Camera Labs Lens Buyers Guide.

   
Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4D IF
     
Focal length: 85mm
Aperture: f1.4
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 128mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 85cm
Filter thread: 77mm
Lens hood: HN-31
Construction: 9 el. / 8 groups
Diaphragm blade: 9
Weight: 550g
Size (diam x length):80x73mm

   
Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.8D

     
Focal length: 85mm
Aperture: f1.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 128mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 85cm
Filter thread: 62mm
Lens hood: HN-23
Construction: 6 el. / 6 groups
Diaphragm blades:9
Weight: 380g
Size (diam x length): 72x59mm


   
Nikkor AF DC 105mm f/2D

     
Focal length: 105mm
Aperture: f2
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 158mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 90cm
Filter thread: 72mm
Lens hood: Built-in
Construction: 6 el. / 6 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight:640g
Size (diam x length): 79x111mm


   
Nikkor AF DC 135mm f/2D

     
Focal length: 135mm
Aperture: f2
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 203mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 110cm
Filter thread: 72mm
Lens hood: Built-in
Construction: 7 el. / 6 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 815g
Size (diam x length): 79x120mm


   
Nikkor AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED

     
Focal length: 180mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 270mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 150cm
Filter thread: 72mm
Lens hood: Built-in
Construction: 8 el. / 6 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight:760g
Size (diam x length): 79x144mm


   
Nikkor AF-S 200mm f/2G IF-ED VR

     
Focal length: 200mm
Aperture: f2
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 300mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: Yes
AF motor: SWM
  Closest focus: 190cm
Filter thread: 52mm
Lens hood: HK-31
Construction: 13 el. / 9 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 2,900g
Size (diam x length): 124x203mm



   
Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR

     
Focal length: 300mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 450mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: Yes
AF motor: SWM
  Closest focus: 220cm
Filter thread: 52mm
Lens hood: HK-30
Construction: 11 el. / 8 groups
Diaphragm blades:9
Weight: 2,850g
Size (diam x length): 124x268mm




   
  Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II

     
Focal length: 300mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 450mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: Yes VR II
AF motor: SWM
  Closest focus: 230cm
Filter thread: 52mm
Lens hood: HK-30
Construction: 11 el. / 8 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 2,900g
Size (diam x length): 124x268mm

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