Do you love compelling, full-frame cameras aimed at shooting fast-moving objects? Do you like shooting wildlife, sports events, and anything that moves at speed, compared to a rate of light?
If you answered correctly, you would smile when you see the camera I used for this round of lens testing.
The Nikon D4 is a 16MPX, full-frame pro DSLR camera that shoots at 11 FPS (or 10 FPS with continuous autofocus).
Ergonomically speaking, it is a considerable improvement compared to DS3. This camera comes with a 91,000 pixel metering sensor and powerful autofocus, which can work in low-light conditions, even with a small aperture lens.
The ISO can be expanded to incredible 204,800 and has rear-mounted controls to make the process of shooting easier, even in the dark.
If you wonder how I managed to squeeze even more power out of this beast camera, keep on reading.
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Best Prime Lens for Portraits
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50 mm f/1.4G is a great lens, no doubt about it. The Aspherical lens element removes chromatic and other sorts of aberrations from photos, even at the widest aperture. It is meant to be used with full-frame cameras, and that is why D4 utilized all of its power.
The picture quality is terrific. All of the images I got were very sharp and with crispy details. Since I mainly used it and tested it as a prime lens, I’m delighted with the quality of the bokeh effect in the background. The depth of field is fantastic, and it is no wonder. It is, after all, an f/1.4 lens.
I tried out the studio’s lens, doing photo shooting of live subjects and was surprised by the image quality, even without all of the studio equipment.
I didn’t have to face unwanted shadows or blown-out parts of the image. It works great in a low-light, so you will be able to shoot excellent portraits during blue hour or indoors, even without intense artificial light.
- Excellent balance of contrast
- You can open it up to f1.4
- Fast, bright and sharp
- Great low-light performance
- No aperture ring
- Color fringing is noticeable
Best Wide-Angle Lens for Landscapes
Speaking about wide-angled lenses, Tamron AFA012N700 SP 15-30 mm f/2.8 Di VC is my top choice. It comes packed with a silent ultrasonic motor to ensure the autofocus is on point: fast, accurate, and quiet. For a full-frame DSLR camera, this lens is the right solution since it comes with a nine-blade round aperture, which creates perfect bokeh effects.
The focus is high-speed, which can come in handy, considering you might want to shoot moving things in the open field. It is a wide-angle lens aimed at shooting landscapes and nature so that some photographers might object to the weight and size.
The lens is quite big, but it comes with zoom and focuses rings that are somewhat stiff yet, comfortable to use. I took lots of photos using this lens without the tripod and didn’t experience any issues. The f/2.8 ensures lots of light comes in, and with the use of a monopod, you can easily use this lens as your primary tool for astrophotography.
One of the best qualities of this lens is high image quality and sharpness in all corners. It is constructed brilliantly and ergonomically. Although it is a massive lens and made mostly of plastic, the material is well utilized, and it gives away an impression of high-quality plastic.
- 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
Why is Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120 mm a great lens? Because it is a perfect full-frame format standard zoom lens aimed at landscapes, portraits, weddings, and distant subjects.
All of that while offering a maximum aperture at all times throughout the whole zoom range. It also comes with VR II image stabilization, so you now handheld shooting will not be an annoyance.
The lens focuses quite fast and offers sharp lines and realistic colors. At 70 mm, I was able to shoot some distant objects, but at 120 mm, it was easy to capture spires of churches and mountain summits. The extra zoom of 120 mm can come in handy in many situations, so I’m sure lots of professional photographers will use this lens.
When it comes to the wide-angled lens, vignetting and aberrations are often the primary concern. During the testing, I saw that sharpness was good at all edges and on all zoom settings. However, there are some troubles with distortion and vignette control, but it is an easy fix in Lightroom or Photoshop.
- 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
Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS FLD is my winner in the telephoto category. The focal length changes the angle of view of the image, meaning that the longer the focal length, the smaller the angle of view, thus a higher the magnification.
This particular lens comes with Sigma’s optical stabilization system and allows the use of shutter speed four stops lower than it would be possible without it. It is a useful function, and it makes the telephoto shooting more enjoyable.
Zooming feels very smooth, and the externals of the lens are of the highest quality. The images I managed to take were of high quality as well. Of course, it is due to say the motor is pretty quiet, and it doesn’t cause any noise issues. All of the images in the full range of focal lengths were clear, crisp, quite clear, and very well exposed.
The fact that I can drop the aperture to f/2.8 at the wides point is fantastic for getting that bokeh and smooth depth of field. The only objection some may point out is the size and the weight.
It is a heavy lens, meant to be used with a tripod. But considering it is a 200 mm and used for telephoto shooting, it is not an inconvenience, and I didn’t have any trouble handheld shooting.
- Great VR
- Long zoom and good colors
- Sharp pictures
- Performs well with proper lighting
Best Macro Lens for Macro Photography
In the end, Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105 mm f/2.8G IF-ED makes a list as the first choice for macro photography. This versatile lens is suitable for any photographic situation.
It also comes with nano-crystal coating, which enhances image quality, because it reduces flare and any possible aberrations. The particular lens we have here is massive, and often you will have to use a tripod to take photos.
However, after some time, you will get used to it, and you will make great images handheld, so a tripod is just a convenience, not a must with this lens. Image quality is more than good, and it has a bokeh I rarely saw before.
When focusing, autofocus does an excellent job, but for close-ups that are too close to a subject, you will do better if you use a manual mode. I used it to take photos of a human model and was surprised by significant details on the face.
The shots were incredibly crisp, and the autofocus was superb from the portrait distance. Since it is an f/2.8 lens, you can expect excellent performance in low-light situations.
It is a fixed lens with no zoom, so bear in mind that you will have to “learn to zoom with your feet “when using it. Some will call it a drawback, but for me, it is just another creative way to utilize photographic skills.
- Great manual focus feel
- Macro feature works like a charm
- Lens is lightweight
- f/2.8 is great for general photography
- Made from plastic
Best lenses for Nikon D4 – Verdict
Nikon D4 is a genuinely professional camera that will not disappoint you, not even in the most demanding situation. To make sure you walk away with the right knowledge about sets of lenses you can use, I did thorough testing.
I found out that the lenses described above fit the best with the D4. Since it is a high-end DSLR from Nikon, you’ll want to be equipped with the right lenses. If you decide to use any of those I have tested out, you will be delighted with the outcomes.