Do you like new features in tech gadgets? Do you think that every once in a while, a product should get refreshed with new options? I’m sure that you do, and if I’m right, you will agree with me when I say this:
Nikon D3 is the camera that packed so much tech stuff under the hood!
It is the first-ever Nikon DSLR with a full-frame sensor (36 x 24 mm), paired with a 12.1 MPX full-frame sensor, with ISO ranging from 200-6400.
It also has an entirely new shutter, new autofocus sensor, 9 FPS continuous shooting, and a new standard image processor.
This full-frame beast from Nikon can further be enhanced with the right lenses? Which are those? Well, I’m going to tell you in a second.
Let’s start with primes. Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G came up as the best lens for shooting portraits. Creamy bokeh it creates comes out clean and sharp, at any distance.
The lens is fast and accurate in low-light situations, especially on a full-frame body. It is bright enough when opened at the widest possible aperture and gets even sharper if you stop just a notch before to it.
The autofocus is fast and performs best when used as a portrait gear. However, I did some shooting in social events, and I was not disappointed with the results. It is safe to say it can be used as an all-around lens.
Nikon 85mm lens is quite a focal length considering it is prime with no zoom. So it can be used for taking shots of more extensive scenes. Also, f/1.8 ensures lots of light will enter the sensor so that you can use it as a studio or indoor lens.
- Excellent wide-open performance
- Beautiful bokeh for lovely portraits
- Fast focusing speed
- Great sharpness even at the low end
- Focusing isn’t silent as advertised
- Small amount of barrel distortion
Best Wide-Angle Lens for Landscapes
Moving out to a wide lens, I would like to praise Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II. Aperture ranges from f/2.8 to f/22, with two aspheric lens elements and two super-low dispersion elements.
Optically speaking, it is great stopped down, but it shines out when wide open. I didn’t notice distortion nor vignetting of importance.
It is a lens intended to be used outside, so the design is the one that can withstand a lot. It is, in a sense, a heavy and massive lens, so it might be tricky to carry it around a neck the whole time, but it is something you get used to it. The only issue for some users will be pull-push in changing from autofocus to manual.
The autofocus itself is very loud and might deter some, but it compensates accuracy and speed. I love the fact this lens provides a perfect corner to corner sharpness and creates detailed scenes. During the test, I did get some superb shots of wide scenes with ideal lighting and barely noticeable lens flare.
- Sharp from 12mm to 16mm
- Effective manual/auto slip ring
- It feels very well built
- Excellent value
- Slight vignetting at 11mm
- Short focal range compared to others
Best All-Around lens for everyday photography
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED is a genuinely remarkable zoom lens for full-frame cameras. It offers excellent sharpness and a big zoom range, with f/5.6 at the telephoto end. It comes with vibration reduction, which ensures image stabilization.
Practically, it means you can use this lens handheld still get dramatic, sharp images.
These qualities make it a very versatile, all-around lens. I did a round of experimenting and found out that portraits to be great at 300 mm. autofocus is quite loud, which can be a slight annoyance, but it is fast in return.
Although it is not a prime lens and such sharpness is not expected, this lens provides sharp images, with just a little bit of flare and chromatic aberrations.
However, they can be removed in post-production. It is a big lens that triples the size of one physical lens when zoomed in. There are three switches on the left side that work excellently, and I didn’t have trouble using it. The lens performed well in low-light conditions, so it is safe to say it is the best all-around choice.
- Good picture quality
- It has longer reach
- VR is instant lockup
- Fast and silent autofocus
- Zoom ring is not smooth
- This lens is heavy
Best Telephoto Lens for Wildlife Photography
Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikkor has one of the best noise-performance sensors. I have taken numerous pictures at 200 mm f/4 1/30 with nice sharpness handheld.
It is a truly excellent performance. Vibration reduction this lens offers is useful in low-light conditions when you cannot raise ISO without having to deal with a lot of noise.
It can also mitigate blur and slower shutter speeds, which can mean a world in handheld shooting. Image quality is outstanding, with clear pictures, lots of contrast, excellent clarity, and even color distribution. I am yet to notice any fringe issues with this lens, and the color distribution is superb.
However, there is a small type of vignetting at f/4, but it disappears as soon as you stop down to f/5,6. The focus ring is a world of its own, very smooth and accurate.
Autofocus offers a silent and precise system. Optical performance is astonishingly good, and bokeh is pleasing, and I must say the lens reproduces high-quality pictures at f/4.
- Useable Focal Length
- Long zoom and good colors
- Metal mount gives a sturdy feel
- Performs well with proper lighting
- Mediocre low-light performance
Best Macro Lens for Macro Photography
The last comes the macro lens, with Sigma 105 mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM being the winner. This lens focuses down to 1:1 magnification at its closest working distance of 12.3 inches.
It is a gear that works quite well indoors when shooting at f/2.8. You can have a dimmed out room or a concert hall with ambient light, and you will still get good pictures.
Autofocus is extremely fast and silent, which is the right combination. I must praise the stabilization of the lens, which offers benefits to photographers who don’t fancy tripods. The image quality is superb, with sharp lines. Optical stabilizers work well for shaky hands, so it is easy to say tripod haters will love this lens.
Macro lenses generally offer sharp images, but this one stands out with great clarity and smooth bokeh transitions of what is behind your main subject. Design-wise, it is a well-built lens with quality materials and modern design, so it is a full package.
- Great manual focus feel
- Macro feature works like a charm
- Lens is lightweight
- f/2.8 is great for general photography
- Auto-focus performance in low-light
- You must get close to subject for 1:1
Best lenses for Nikon D3 – Wrapping Up
Nikon D3 is a modern camera that introduced lots of high-tech stuff to the world of photography. What impressed me the most about it is how much better the D3 camera body got with the right set of lenses.
Follow the advice given above when buying, and your Nikon will rise to its full shooting potential with the best Nikon D3 lens in 2021.