Do you know why 2016 was an excellent year for photographers? Do you think it is because of the Olympics?
Partially, true. Many sports photographers had the opportunity to shoot the most important sporting event in the world.
But the real answer to this question is – because in 2016. Nikon has released its flagship Camera, Nikon D5.
The sport-oriented full-frame camera has indeed changed the world of photography and made a powerful impact on the market. It packed an all-new, 20.8 full-frame sensor with ISO range from 100 to 102,400. D5 also comes with 153-point phase-detection, and what got my attention – it can record in 4K.
New fancy, yet robust, magnesium-alloy full-frame beast is a powerful machine whose performances are equally adored by wedding photographers and hardcore landscapes. Its performance can further be improved by upgrading a lens set. Therefore, I have tested five best lenses for 2016’s Nikon, which I’m about to share.
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Best Prime Lens for Portraits
In terms of primes, my sweet spot would be Nikon Af-S FX NIKKOR 50 mm f/.4G. I had a round of testing in low light conditions, including shooting indoors with ambient, yet low artificial light.
It showed great results due to Super integrated coating made by Nikon. It reduced flare by a few notches, and it produced superior color consistency.
The lens is excellent in every aspect. Some photographers could object to the size and weight, but I didn’t face any issues. The overall use of materials is very well utilized, and plastic and metal are fitted nicely in this case.
I’m also very content with the manual focus; it is smooth and fast and provides excellent depth of field and extremely sharp images.
All of the photos I got with this lens were sharp, bright, and overall, exposed nicely. It is also worth mentioning that I managed to focus around two feet, which I think is a good deal for this model.
- 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
Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 is the best wide-angle lens I have tested for the D5 camera. I was satisfied with its performance.
The ultra-wide-angle zoom provided me with excellent image quality on the go. Image stabilization is incredible on this lens, and I managed to get ½ second exposure in near fully-dark areas, with well-fitted subjects in the foreground.
And I did it with the camera in my hand, without the tripod! The full-time manual focus works great, and I utilized it quite often, so you can expect to make easy and fast adjustments based on the situation.
However, this lens is too heavy for my taste, but landscape photographers probably won’t mind it. I did testing with 4K video recording to get an improved field of view, and I wasn’t disappointed with the crispy record.
Since it is a landscape lens, it is meant to be durable, so you will be thrilled to hear that it packs fluorine coating, making it possible to shoot in challenging conditions.
- 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 24-120mm f/4G ED has climbed the list as my top all-around lens for everyday use for few reasons. I got great images in the full range from a standard focal length at 24 mm to telephoto at 120 mm, which means this zoom lens can deliver impressive image quality.
It offers sharpness and excellent color correction, even at the wider aperture. One thing I noticed is the non-existence of chromatic aberration, and I was happy about it.
This lens also enables its users to change between manual and autofocus modes quickly. In terms of image quality, I was surprised by natural, realistic colors, and smooth transitions between subjects and backgrounds.
I took this lens to the theater and did some shooting at f/4. Images I got were superb, no dark non-usable areas, nor any blown out parts.
So it makes it an excellent choice for event photography. It is a much more practical choice for everyday use than 24-70 mm lenses I have used. So, in conclusion, it is an excellent lens for regular 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
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS FLD comes with optical stabilization from the manufacturer, and so far it is working great. Image quality is excellent, in the range of high-end Nikon lenses.
To truly test the sharpness, I zoomed in on some of the subjects and snapped shots with 200 mm at f/2.8 I proceeded to zoom in, and I was surprised by the number of details and the crystal clear picture I got. The center of every image is razor-sharp.
However, I did notice a bit of distortion at 70 mm, but I proceeded to counteract it in post-production. The manual focus ring works great, though it turns in the opposite direction from Nikon’s lenses, so it will take some time for users to get used to it.
I highly recommend this lens for anyone looking for a good and fast lens in terms of an f-stop.
- Great VR
- Long zoom and good colors
- Sharp pictures
- Performs well with proper lighting
Best Macro Lens for Macro Photography
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40 mm f/2.8G is the lens of my choice for macro photography. It is fair to say it is a lens designed and optimized specifically for Nikon cameras. It has built-in SWM for ultrafast and quiet procedures.
During the testing, I made lots of switching between manual and autofocus mode and found the manual to be slightly better and more accurate. 40 mm is an excellent lens for everyday photography, but it also gave rock-solid results in macro usage.
It is not among the fastest lenses on the market, especially considering autofocus, but it is a competent and versatile lens.
I took numerous shots at f/2.8, and I wasn’t disappointed by the richness of details, natural-rendering colors, and generally, good exposure. The lens allows its user to get close to the subject of shooting, and the blur effect you get in the background is more than reasonable.
It is one right quality lens that is compact and doesn’t weigh much. Also, it is affordable, which makes it a suitable choice for a broader range of users.
- 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 D5 – Conclusion
Nikon D5 is truly a magnificent piece of engineering. It is one of the best full-frame cameras I have encountered and is definitely worth the money you will pay.
The lenses I have described above work well with the new, powerful Nikon sensor. If you are on a lookout for an effective way to make D5 even better, pair with any lens mentioned.