Do you like to compare facelift versions of cars and gadgets to previous versions? Do you think that upgrades can be significant and offer much more? If you answered positively, then you are going to nod in agreement.
Nikon D3S camera is a un upgrade of the Nikon D3 camera, offering more catalog life.
Nikon has the tradition of upgrading its cameras, but this time it is something I genuinely like. D3S is a beast when it comes to photographing sports events and action scenes.
Compared to D3, the younger brother offers a 12 MPX full-frame sensor, a dedicated info button, a live view button, and a sensor cleaner. It comes with quiet modes, like the one seen on the D5000.
I further increased the capabilities of Nikon’s facelift camera with the right set of lenses. What are those? Keep reading to find out!
The best prime lens for this round of testing is Sigma 50 mm F1.4 Art DG HSM. This lens allows lots of light inside, offering excellent performance with full-frame sensors. I started shooting at smaller f-stops and continued down to the broadest possible. The photo quality improved gradually.
The bokeh effect is the excellent, smoothly blurred background behind sharp subjects, even when zoomed in on a screen. Focus speed is satisfactory and accurate, with zero distortion. I didn’t notice any chromatic aberrations, but I did see an excellent contrast and color rendition, which deserved praise.
I shoot a round of portraits indoors and outdoors, and on both occasions, I was happy with the result. Colors were natural, and the transition between foreground and background is professionally leveled.
Generally speaking, it is a lens to be used all the time, since the overall quality of pictures is mesmerizing. The lens is made out of excellent metal and plastic materials, with the ergonomic manual focus ring, and it comes with a lens cap that doesn’t pop off and first well.
- Excellent color transmission
- Professional build quality
- Excellent lens cap
- Amazing picture quality overall
- Storage dock-cap is loose
- It is large and heavy
Best Wide-Angle Lens for Landscapes
Tamron AFA012N700 SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC is a lens that allows taking pictures handheld, without losing images in a split second after pressing shutter due to camera shake. I do lots of photo shooting on a tripod, but it is good to know I can count on taking pictures handheld. In this way, I can enjoy shooting at pow ISO and get the maximum sharpness.
15 mm is excellent for achieving sharp images. Shooting at a focal length of 30 mm, I didn’t notice distortion nor vignetting. Also, I must say, this Tamron comes with excellent zoom range possibilities. Vibration stabilization works well, and it also contributes to a better quality of handheld photos.
It also comes with an excellent, nice cap for protection, which is useful, considering it is a lens meant to be used outdoors. The design is on point. It is excellent and smooth, sealed, and resistant to various weather conditions, and it is a promise from Tamron that users will love to use it in the wilderness.
- Great value for the money
- Good control over vignetting
- Minimal chromatic aberrations
- Excellent central sharpness
- Barrel distortion at 15 mm
- Big and heavy
Best All-Around lens for everyday photography
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120 mm f/4G ED delivers superb photo quality at any aperture or focal length. Its range from 24 mm to 120 mm (telephoto) provides a wide range of shooting options with great image quality and excellent sharpness. This lens enables quick changes between manual focus and autofocus, which is quiet and fast.
It also retains working distance throughout the focus range. I like the fact it comes with a silent wave motor from Nikon that ensures quiet autofocus. Images that come out are rendered with the natural appearance of out-of-focus areas. The focused area of the image is more than good, with crisp and sharp lines and magnificent bokeh at 120 mm f/4 with just a little bit of, an easily removable, aberration.
It works well in low-light situations, so it can also be used indoors, even for night events, such as parties or concerts. The built of the lens deserves every praise, and it is, without a doubt, a lens you will want to keep around for travel and everyday use.
- Vibration reduction works well
- Comes with lens hood
- Pro level color and contrast
- Center sharpness is very good
- Color fringing
- Sharpness fade on the edges
Best Telephoto Lens for Wildlife Photography
I love shooting wildlife and moving objects, so the telephoto lens is of utmost importance in my arsenal. Nikon 70-200 mm f/4G ED VR goes great with DS3, and it offers extraordinary performance. Even though it is a telephoto lens with a range from 70 to 200 mm, you won’t have any issues carrying the lens around. It is light and easily portable.
VR is an excellent addition to the lens. The technology helps keep the gear steady, and it is useful when you need to take photos with the lowest ISO possible and maximum image quality. I was surprised how well the lens performs in low-light situations, considering it is an f/4 lens. Speaking of autofocus, I must say it is reasonably silent and very accurate and didn’t disappoint, not even once. I went shooting in the wilderness, and some small wild animals kept popping out.
The lens also comes with a switch to limit the minimum focus to 3m if you want to focus on a more distant subject. If you shoot in full focus range, setting minimum focus to 1m yields excellent results. Optical performance is unique, with pleasing bokeh and sharp pictures when the lens is wide open.
- 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
Sigma 105 mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM showed great results as a macro lens used indoors, shooting at f/2.8. Also, it is excellent in natural light during the golden and blue hours. However, I spotted some unnecessary shadows, so it would be wise to have some external light available to minimize it. Or you can try switching angles while shooting.
Autofocus on f/2.8 is as sharp as a razor! I didn’t have issues losing focus, although it was tricky at first. I had to do a round of autofocus hunt, which I don’t like, but after a short period, I mastered the autofocus on this lens. The bonus is that the autofocus is also silent.
Sigma also offers excellent stabilization. I find this feature extremely important since I wouldn’t say I like to use a tripod when shooting macros. The design is fantastic, considering it is made out of plastic and cheaper metal. It is not heavy and is enjoyable to use.
- 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 D3S – Wrapping Up
There are many lenses out on the market, but I found these five to complement Nikon D3S the best. The camera itself is an excellent upgrade of primary D3.
This version is a nice facelift. I tried D3s with a variety of lenses, and it was a heavenly body, to begin with. If you pair them with any of the lenses mentioned above, your photo game will only get better.