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Nikkor wide-angle prime lenses
 
 

Lenses with focal lengths below 50mm are known as wide-angles. The shorter the focal length, the wider the lens becomes and the bigger the field of view you’ll capture. So if you’re stood in the same position, a wide angle lens can literally squeeze in more, which is useful whether you’re trying to photograph a large building from inside or out, a sweeping landscape view, or even just a big group shot. They’re invaluable when you can’t step back any further.

By squeezing more into your photos, wide angle lenses inevitably have greater distortion, especially towards the edges. This may not be that noticeable on natural landscapes, but can appear unflattering on portrait shots unless the person (or people) are placed in the middle of the frame. That said, this effect can also produce pleasing results and be used to exaggerate perspective – a popular wide angle technique is to get very close to a foreground subject so it appears large compared to the background. Wide angle lenses also have large depths of field, which means it’s easier to get lots in sharp focus from close-up to far away.

 
 

28mm is the most common wide angle focal length and can produce quite natural-looking results. Focal lengths below 20mm are generally known as ultra wide-angle and can produce quite extreme results. The most extreme of all come from fish-eye lenses which deliberately produce a highly curved result, while capturing an extremely large field of view.

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’d like 28mm equivalent coverage, you’ll need to fit them with an 18mm lens.

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.

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.

Also 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 DX Fisheye 10.5mm f/2.8G ED
     
Focal length: 10.5mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: DX
Equiv on DX DSLR: 16mm
Full-frame compatible: No
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires: AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 14cm
Filter thread: Rear filter
Lens hood: Built-in
Construction: 10 el. / 7 groups
Diaphragm blades: 7
Weight: 305g
Size (diam x length): 63x63mm

   
Nikkor AF 14mm f/2.8D ED

     
Focal length: 14mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 21mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires: AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 20cm
Filter thread: Rear filter
Lens hood: Built-in
Construction: 14 el. / 12 groups
Diaphragm blades: 7
Weight: 670g
Size (diam x length): 87x87mm


   
Nikkor AF Fisheye 16mm f/2.8D

     
Focal length: 16mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 24mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires: AF motor in DSLR
  Closest focus: 25cm
Filter thread: Rear filter
Lens hood: Built-in
Construction: 8 el. / 5 groups
Diaphragm blades: 7
Weight:290g
Size (diam x length): 63x57mm


Nikkor AF 18mm f/2.8D

   
Focal length: 18mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX DSLR: 27mm
Full-frame compatible: Yes
  Anti-shake: No
AF motor: requires: AF motor in DSLR
Closest focus: 25cm
Filter thread:77mm
Lens hood: HB-8
  Construction: 13 el. / 10 groups
Diaphragm blades:7
Weight: 380g
Size (diam x length): 82x58mm


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