Best Nikon Lenses for Landscape Photography

What are the best Nikon lenses for landscape photography? After I posted my last article on “Best Nikon Lenses for Wedding Photography“, I have been getting many requests from our readers to also talk about lenses for photographing landscapes, nature and wildlife (another post on best Nikon wildlife lenses will be published soon). In this post I will not only talk about which Nikon lenses I believe are the best for photographing landscapes, but also when I use a particular lens, along with plenty of image samples from each lens. Please keep in mind that the information I present below is a personal opinion based on my experience so far, which is subject to change. No third party lenses are presented either, although some Zeiss, Sigma, Tamron and Samyang lenses are phenomenal for landscapes. If you have a favorite lens of yours for landscape photography that is not listed below, please feel free to add a comment on the bottom of the page with some information and links to pictures (if you have any that you would like to share).

1) Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G

I want to start out with a lens that I have a love and hate relationship with. On one side, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G is one of the sharpest lenses ever produced by Nikon. It has phenomenal optics (center to corner, throughout the frame and aperture range), beautiful colors, super fast autofocus and an extremely useful focal range for wide-angle photography. On the other hand, it is a heavy, bulky and expensive lens that cannot accommodate filters. Sadly, not just circular filters and filter holders but pretty much any kind of hand-holdable filter. Its round front element shape and the built-in lens hood just make it impossible to use filters. Sure, you can buy a filter holder system from Lee and other manufacturers for this lens to accommodate filters, but it is not cheap and you would have to purchase a set of large 150mm filters, so forget about using your existing filters. I really wish Nikon allowed us to use small replaceable filters close to the lens mount, just like on telephoto lenses and this lens would have been irreplaceable.

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

If you do not heavily rely on various filters like I do, then you will never be disappointed with this lens – yes, it is that good. If ability to use filters is a must, the only other full-frame lens from Nikon I would consider would be the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR lens (see my Nikon 16-35mm VR Review). If you are a DX shooter, the Nikon 12-24mm f/4 is superb.

Here are some sample images from the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G:

Castle Tunnel

NIKON D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 24mm, ISO 800, 1/5, f/3.5


NIKON D700 @ 14mm, ISO 200, 1/80, f/10.0


NIKON D700 @ 16mm, ISO 200, 1/500, f/10.0

See my detailed Nikon 14-24mm Review for more information on this lens.

2) Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G

Year after year, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G has been my #1 most used workhorse lens for landscape photography. While its performance is not as impressive as on the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G, especially in the corners at large apertures, it just needs to be stopped down to f/5.6 and smaller to unveil its true performance. It has a lighting quick AF, beautiful color rendering, extremely useful zoom range on full-frame cameras and it takes filters! But similar to the 14-24mm it also has a few problems – it is bulky, heavy, expensive and has no VR.

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

Ever since the superb Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR (see my Nikon 24-120mm VR Review) has been released, I have been thinking more and more about switching to it. I have not done it for one major reason: lens build and weather sealing. The Nikon 24-70mm is built like a tank and has suffered all kinds of abuse from me. I have dropped it, exposed it to sub-zero / extremely hot temperatures, used it in very windy and dusty environments, exposed it to extreme humidity and the list goes on and on…it has survived it all and it is still performing like a champ. I honestly do not think the 24-120mm would have survived all that.

I would not recommend it for DX shooters, because it has a not-so-useful 36-105mm equivalent focal length due to the 1.5x crop factor, so something like the Nikon 16-85mm VR would be a great low-cost alternative. I had a hard time picking my favorite images from this lens, because there are too many, so here are a couple from this year:

Glacier NP #8

NIKON D3S + 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62mm, ISO 400, 1/8, f/11.0

Glacier NP #5

NIKON D3S + 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 28mm, ISO 400, 25/10, f/11.0

Mt Rainier NP #11

NIKON D3S + 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm, ISO 200, 6/1, f/9.0

Most of the landscape wallpapers on this website have been shot with this lens. See my detailed Nikon 24-70mm Review for more information on this lens.

3) Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II

I’m sure you saw this coming – how could I not have the whole “lens trinity” with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II in this article? I was once approached by another photographer, who asked me what lenses I typically take with me when photographing landscapes. When I showed him my lenses and told him that I rarely leave without my 70-200mm, he was rather surprised. He thought that the 70-200mm was too long for landscape photography and asked me why I would even bother taking this bulky and heavy lens. I showed him a couple of pictures from the day before that I shot with the 70-200mm lens and right after he saw my images, he told me that he would buy it as soon as he returned home.

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Landscape photography is not always just about capturing wide-angles and endless panoramas. I find myself often discovering interesting subjects that my 24-70mm is not long enough to capture and that’s when I switch to the 70-200mm to get close and tight. The Nikon 70-200mm is not just a portrait lens as you probably have come to known it – its optical performance is phenomenal for pretty much any kind of photography. The only thing you have to be careful about when shooting landscapes, is not to include any foreground elements that are close to you, or you will have a hard time getting everything in focus, unless your goal is to isolate a subject. The lens is ideal for shooting overlooks or other subjects from a distance. Every once in a while, I use the 70-200mm to shoot large panoramas as well. The only downside of this lens is its bulk and weight.

Here are some image samples of landscapes that I have shot with the Nikon 70-200mm lens:


NIKON D300 + 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 86mm, ISO 200, 1/1000, f/8.0


NIKON D3S + 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 145mm, ISO 100, 1/2, f/16.0

Glacier NP #15

If you have a DX camera, I would skip this lens and rather have a two lens kit comprised of the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR and Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR, which would cover most of your needs. These two lenses are also great for full-frame cameras as a lower-cost alternative to the Nikon “trinity”.

See my detailed Nikon 70-200mm Review for more information on this lens.

4) Nikon 24mm f/3.5D PC-E

The Nikon 24mm f/3.5D PC-E is a special-purpose wide-angle tilt/shift or “perspective control” lens that is ideal for landscape photography. One of the biggest challenges of landscape photography is to bring everything from the closest foreground element to the farthest object in the background into perfect focus. While stopping down the lens certainly helps, you will often find yourself in situations, where you have to emphasize a foreground object by staying very close to it and yet stopping down the lens will not provide sufficient depth of field to capture everything in focus. In addition, stopping down lenses beyond f/11 on full-frame cameras and beyond f/8 on cropped-sensors cameras reduces image quality due to an optical phenomenon known as diffraction. Hence, it is often not a good idea to stop down too much. One option is to use a focus stacking technique, where you take a series of images focused at different points and then use post-processing software to combine those images. However, focus stacking only works well if your scene is very still and none of the objects are moving, so wind and immediate changes in ambient light could spoil the result.

Nikon 24mm f/3.5D PC-E

By using a tilt/shift lens, you can tilt the focus plane in such a way that you could bring the entire scene in perfect focus even at large aperture values. The lens physically tilts up, down, left and right to give you full control over depth of field. There are several potential issues with using this lens. First, it is a manual focus lens. Second, it is a fixed focal length lens, which means that you will have to move around to compose your shot. Third, it only properly fits pro-level DSLRs like Nikon D700 and Nikon D3s and has limited movement on smaller DSLRs. And finally, it is not an easy lens to use and you will have to learn how to properly use the tilt/shift capability and compute depth of field depending on the tilt position. Once you master this lens, it is hard to find anything else that could beat it. Needless to say, its sharpness, contrast and colors are top notch.

Here are some of my image samples from this gem:

Sample #10

NIKON D700 + 24mm f/3.5 @ 24mm, ISO 800, 1/25, f/8.0

Sample #1

NIKON D3S + 24mm f/3.5 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/160, f/10.0

See my detailed Nikon 24mm PC-E Review for more information on this lens.

5) Nikon 24mm f/1.4G

If you are looking for the sharpest lens Nikon has ever produced, check out the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G – it is practically flawless in terms of optical performance. This is one lens that I would not hesitate using on any camera body, even the upcoming high-resolution full-frame Nikon DSLRs, because it is one of those lenses that will out-resolve any sensor out there. Aside from its astounding sharpness, contrast and colors, it has a very wide aperture range from f/1.4 to f/16, giving you the versatility to use it for multiple photography needs – from landscape photography to portraiture (especially low-light situations).

Nikon 24mm f/1.4G

Some photographers initially complained about autofocus issues with this lens, but I believe that they might have gotten some bad samples from the first batch, because I have shot with three different samples by now and I did not have any AF problems whatsoever. Lola and I rely on this lens quite heavily for our photography work. Here are some image samples from this beautiful lens:

San Juan Streets

NIKON D700 + 24mm f/1.4 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/200, f/8.0

Ocean View

NIKON D700 + 24mm f/1.4 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/250, f/8.0

Beach at Night

NIKON D700 + 24mm f/1.4 @ 24mm, ISO 3200, 1/8, f/2.0

Great Sand Dunes Sunset

NIKON D3S + 24mm f/1.4 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/125, f/10.0

See my detailed Nikon 24mm f/1.4G Review for more information on this lens.

Please let me know if you have any questions!


  1. 1) John Jensen
    December 20, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Hi Nasim.

    I just want to say that I really love your articles – they are always great to read.

    Merry Christmas and greetings from Denmark, Europe.


    • December 20, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      Thank you John, Marry Christmas to you and your family as well!

      • 1.1.1) Bill
        June 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

        Hi Nasim,

        i really love your website and articles.
        with the best Nikon lenses you recommended for landscape, can you also please recommend some of best lenses from Sigma and Tamron (Nikon is too expensive) for landscape?
        Thanks & regards

    • 1.2) David Harding
      January 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Hey, thanks for another great article :)

      What do you think of the Nikon 17-55mm f2.8G for the Nikon D90? I noticed you hadn’t a review which made me sad, because this is where I go to read reviews

      thanks for all the effort you put into this


  2. 2) Doru
    December 20, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Nice site, i visit weekly.

    I have the Nikon 70-200 VRII and agreed with you, that is a good lens and we Nikon people don’t have many other alternative . But from the wide lensens mentioned by you, only 24mm F1.4 and 16-35mm are viable solution for general use. And if you choose the 24mm F1.4 maybe the need for something wider apear?

    What you will pick for your wide lens on Full Frame? I am just curious.

    • December 20, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      Doru, what do you mean by “only 24mm f/1.4 and 16-35mm are viable solution”? You don’t think the lenses I presented here are viable?

      I would not hesitate to use the 16-35mm as a wide-angle lens on full-frame…

      • 2.1.1) Doru
        December 21, 2011 at 12:37 am

        Thanks for respons !
        What i meant is that the 14-24mm is a amazing lens, but chan’t use filters and for lendscape i thing that is imperative to use them.
        The 24mm F.35 PC is a very special purpose wide lens and for a general use with the manual focus and the size is…hard.
        So in the final word the 24mm 1.4 and 16-35mm are the more viable solutions for a wide lens for general propose.

        Nasim, this is what i like and i am not saying that your recomandation is not good just this is what i thing i will decinde from for general wide lens.

        Have a Hapy Holyday!

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          December 21, 2011 at 1:32 am

          Doru, now I understand :) Yes, in that regard, the Nikon 16-35mm is a good zoom alternative to the 14-24mm, which is why I mentioned it in this article. There are some good options for DX, but not much for FX besides the 16-35mm.

          • Doru
            February 18, 2012 at 11:17 pm

            How about for your future D800? What lens it will be for landscape? :)

  3. 3) Sonia
    December 20, 2011 at 4:06 am

    I can imagine how much efforts you put for each article. Kudos to you! Appreciate your work.
    Well, this post is much advanced for me as I’m only novice photographer with Nikon D90. I wonder if you can throw some light on some Nikon/Tamron/Sigma lens suggestions for food-photography and general photography as well. It’s just my suggestion. :-)

    • December 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Thank you for your feedback Sonia!

      I will post a separate article on best lenses for food photography later, but for now, I would get the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G – it is a phenomenal lens with great bokeh, which is what you want for food photography.

      • 3.1.1) Sonia
        December 25, 2011 at 4:00 am

        Thank you Nasim. I have only lens Nikon 50mm f/1.8D and it’s great and still have to learn a lot. I’m very novice to all these photography terms and I know it’s long way to go. Would love to read your article in future. Thanks for your support :)

        Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  4. 4) Don
    December 20, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Another masterpiece Nasim. I have the “trinity” as well and feel the same way about the 14-24mm. I simply love the lens. I use it for panoramas as well as some closeup shots. It is soooooooo wide that it allows you to get up close and personal with whatever you are shooting. Thanks for the great site and info.

    • December 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Thank you Don! Happy holidays to you and your family!

  5. 5) Cheryl
    December 20, 2011 at 6:07 am

    You have just answered a question that has been on my mind these past few weeks and I’ve been searching, researching and asking questions with no specific answer, so thank you, Nasim :-)

    I’ll take this opportunity to wish you and yours all the very best of the Festive Season. Stay warm whilst we will be trying to stay cool :-)

    Best wishes from Oz!

    • December 20, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      Thank you Cheryl, Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  6. December 20, 2011 at 6:56 am


    I can’t disagree with you, the 2.8 trio is a real golden group of lenses. 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 may cover every situation in landscape.

    But do we really NEED thoses lenses for landscape ? They’re technically the best, of course, but are the overall the best ?

    Just pick another trio.

    Imagine nikon 18-35 f/3.5-4.5, nikon 24-85 f/28-4 and nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR. Should they do the job ?

    Those three lenses are much cheeper. Fully opened, they are not as crisp as the pro lenses. But is it really a matter ? For landscape photography, you usually want a greater depth of field, and you can use those lenses on their best aperture. For example the 24-85 on f/11 is a real match for the 24-70. Seriously, you can’t tell the difference.

    Those lenses have a bit of distorsion. But every serious photographer that uses lightroom or aperture or another soft can correct distorsion. It’s really easy nowadays.

    Vignetting and CA ? They have almost none when not wide open.

    So, for weeding, you need fast lense, with superb performance. For landscape photography, your lens need to be sharp but not necessary wide open. Same thing for the camera. You don’t need super high iso performance : you use a tripod and low iso.

    For example, photographer Robert Mekis uses a cheap canon 18-55 for his landscape photography. And they are gorgeous :

    Finally, aside from money, weight should be considered.

    A 18-35, a 24-85 and a 70-300 it’s almost 35% less weight. After a long trip round a town or a landscape, it’s a important matter.

    But this is just my opinion.

    Hope it helps.

    • December 21, 2011 at 12:18 am

      Laurent, again, it all depends on what you shoot and how often you shoot. For occasional landscape photography, I would not hesitate to use the lenses you mentioned. The Nikon 24-120mm f/4 also falls in a much more affordable category and it is a great lens that beats the 24-70mm in some aspects. However, if photography is your bread and butter or you heavily use and abuse your gear, then the pro-quality glass is what you want. Like I have already mentioned, I do not think the Nikon 24-120mm would have survived if I used it the same way I used my 24-70mm. There is a reason why that glass is so heavy and expensive – it has its uses.

      As for shooting landscapes stopped down, I agree – most of my photographs are taken between f/5.6 and f/11. Many other lenses are very sharp at these apertures and could probably give me similar results. However, there are situations when good wide-open performance is really needed – whether for shooting stars or to increase the shutter speed in windy conditions or to capture an image hand-held. I could show you a number of images such as this one, where I would have not been able to produce a good-quality image, if I did not have the right lens with me. In the example of the above image, had it been shot even a stop smaller, my shutter speed would have doubled in length and the stars would have looked like long lines. There is a huge difference between 30 seconds and 1 minute in astrophotography and that difference is only a stop (f/2.8 vs f/4.0).

      Let’s put it to a different perspective. If you look at modern cameras, most of them are capable of capturing great images. An entry-level DSLR for $500 today costs 10 times less than a pro-level DSLR, but it is definitely not 10 times worse in terms of functionality and image quality. Why do pros buy high-end DSLRs then? Because it gives them the edge. Gives them some extra features that do come in handy, even if those features are not used every day. The same goes with lenses, tripods, accessories, etc.

      So coming back to “what you shoot and how often you shoot”, I want to add another piece to it – what are you doing with the photos you capture? If I only took pictures to post them on the web, then I would be perfectly fine with a compact camera like the Nikon 1 V1. However, if my goal is to print large images and sell them, then I would invest in a good DSLR/medium/large format camera system with the best lenses I can find…

  7. 7) Murray Foote
    December 20, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I have a different approach.

    I have mainly stayed with primes partly because I do a significant amount of live music photography and primes tend to be often faster, often they have a better T-stop even when the F-stop ratings are the same and often they are sharper wide open. I went to Patagonia, Antarctica & Easter Island with a Nikon D3s + 14-24 + 50mm f1.4 + 85mm f1.4 + 105mm f2 + 180mm f2.8 + 300mm f2.8: .

    I am expecting to go soon to Japan with 14-24 + 85mm f1.4 + 180mm f2.8 + 300mm f2.8 plus a Fujifilm X100 for more casual urban shots. I don’t feel I’m missing out by not having a 24-70mm or a 70-200mm.

    • December 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

      Murray, I guess different needs call for different lenses :) I occasionally shoot events and weddings with Lola and prime lenses are very useful (especially the ones you are using). For landscape photography, however, I do prefer zooms to primes, because there are situations where you cannot physically move around to get the right angle, composition, etc. Zoom lenses can be very useful in those situations. When I take my 24mm primes with me, I always take the 24-70mm as a backup, especially when hiking.

      • 7.1.1) Murray Foote
        December 21, 2011 at 3:58 am

        I don’t think I’d make much use of a 24-70mm; I tend to favour ultrawide, moderate telephoto or long telephoto. I picked up a 35-70mm to check whether I might use a mid-range zoom and found I didn’t.

        Perhaps I might make good use of a 70-200mm (I used to have a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm years ago) but I haven’t felt tempted as yet. I don’t feel I miss many shots by not having a telephoto zoom. I find I start to see shots in terms of what lenses I have available and consequently find different compositions. I am no doubt in a small minority in my use of primes but it seems to make sense for me.

        Both 24mm lenses are tempting, perhaps especially the f1.4 for me. I would like to see Nikon produce a 17mm PC lens as Canon does. That might be very tempting.

        Another lens I have that I should possibly use more for landscapes is my old 16mm f3.5 AI fisheye – very sharp, no flare against the sun and much wider than the 14-24mm. With care, you can take shots that aren’t obviously fisheye, even without perspective correction in post-production.

    • December 21, 2011 at 12:32 am

      Murray, I think I have already told you this before, but your travel photos are amazing. Keep up the great work! :)

      • 7.2.1) Murray Foote
        December 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

        Thanks very much, Nasim

  8. 8) Peter
    December 20, 2011 at 7:36 am

    I have the “old trinity” all f/2.8: 17-35, 35-70, and 70-200.

    However, I must admit that the 24-120 I bought as a result of Nasim’s review is also a great landscape lens. If I ever need more than 24 for a landscape, I just take a 2-shot panorama.

    • December 21, 2011 at 12:34 am

      Peter, those are also great lenses, especially when stopped down a little!

  9. 9) Kevin
    December 20, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Great review!!!Good job. I am very keen and eager to know which lenses will you recommend for wildlife. Hope you can recommend lenses between peoples with High or Low budget. Like 300 f4 for low budget and 300 f2.8 high budget. ofcos taking account of the weight and performance.

    • December 21, 2011 at 12:35 am

      Kevin, I will be posting that article later this week! I will surely make low-budget recommendations, just like in this article.

  10. 10) Don
    December 20, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I have to disagree with you here completely based on your own words: “Those three lenses are much cheeper. Fully opened, they are not as crisp as the pro lenses.” This is the point of Nasim’s article. Pro glass yields pro results. The three lenses you mentioned perform less than the pro glass because they are lesser lenses. It is pretty simple to understand. I have all three “trinity” lenses and would not trade one of them for all three of the lenses you mentioned. I want pro glass on my D3S to yield pro level results. Heavy lenses are part of the trade when you want high quality pro glass. I have a Nikon 28-300mm lens for the times when I am not overly concerned with the image quality but want portability. Do I expect this lens to deliver pro quality? Of course not as it is not a pro level lens. We can agree to disagree.

    • 10.1) laurent
      December 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks for participating to the debate.

      As you say, pro glass yeld pro result all the time. “expert” grade lens yeld “pro” result for part of their use. Specifically, for example, the 24-85 wich I konw well. On 4 or 5.6, it’s a crap compared to 24-70, I totally agree. But screw the lens to f/8, and it’s as good as the much heavier and expensive 24-70.

      I repeat myself, for landscape pictures, it’s as good. Not speaking of portrait, wedding, macro, beauty shots, etc… But for landscape photography, they’re as good. Who shoots landscape at 2.8 in full frame ? Seriously ? All the picture by Nasim on this page are minima f/8, except for the night shot. The exif are present, you can look.

      Of course, photographers seldom do only landscape. But for those who are limited in budget, it’s a very interesting field.

      I’ve travelled with very heavy material in moutain until I realized that in mountain, cheaper, lighter material could do the job.

      Have a look at mekis site. I know a lot of photographer who could not achieve with expensive gears what he is doing with a canon 300D and a poor 18-55.

      Pro glass are always on top, it’s true. Expert glass are on top only for landscape. This is a limitation. But the article was about landscape photography ?

      • 10.1.1) Murray Foote
        December 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

        “Who shoots landscape at 2.8 in full frame ? Seriously ?”

        I do. Over 10% of the shots on my Antarctic trip were f2.8 or faster. Distant vistas from a ship in low light. Low light on a monopod. Wildlife in low light.

        Lloyd Chambers advocates landscape photography wide open – “Stopping down for maximum detail is hardly the only way to shoot landscapes, even banal at times.”.

        Also, some landscapes have inherently little depth of focus and some lenses such as 14-24 f2.8 and 300mm f2.8 are optimised for use wide open or close to that.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          December 21, 2011 at 1:26 am

          Murray, I agree – good performance at fast apertures saved some images for me as well…those fast lenses surely do come in handy in low light situations.

      • 10.1.2) Don
        December 20, 2011 at 11:52 pm

        The article as I understand it was about which lenses are best for landscape photography. Nasim laid out a great argument, and I agree with it 100%. The only thing the lenses you offer have as an advantage is price, and maybe some weight, but again, if you buy pro glass, you get the advantages as well as disadvantages. You are willing to accept these disadvantages because of the higher performance that the lenses offer. It comes down to this as far as I am concerned, buy what is right for you. I can afford all of the lenses quite easily as well as the D3S so your argument about price is lost on me. Second, as I want to shoot images at the highest quality possible, I am willing to pay the price to get it. I am not looking for a compromise. This is where we differ. You are willing to accept second best while, I’m not. Nothing wrong with this. We both have different priorities.

      • December 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

        Laurent, you and Don have different views here. Your argument is that cheaper and lighter versions are as good to pro glass at f/8 and smaller, while Don’s point is that he wants to get the best quality he can get. Since this article is called “Best Nikon lenses for landscape photography”, I have to take sides with Don here – we are talking about THE best tools from Nikon here, not the cheaper alternatives (although, I have provided some info on some cheaper alternatives as well).

        Can low-end lenses create beautiful images? Of course they can. I was impressed by what the Nikon 1 cameras and lenses can do. However, would I use the Nikon 1 to make large prints and sell my work? No, I would not. Every camera and lens has its use. Robert Mekis has some great shots in his portfolio, but you are looking at low-resolution images. I am sure you would see the difference between his shots printed large and the same shots from a higher-end DSLR and lens. I am sure if things go well for him, he will at some point buy a better camera system.

    • December 21, 2011 at 12:37 am

      Don, see my response to Laurent above :)

      • 10.2.1) Don
        December 21, 2011 at 1:14 am

        Thanks for the reply Nasim. I too have a 24-120mm, f3.5-5.6 (the older one) and it works well. I also have a Sigma 120-400mm, 4.5-5.6. Both are great lenses but in terms of quality, you can see immediately that these are inferior lens when compared to pro level kit. As I do not shoot the Sigma that often, I opted to purchase a 2 x doubler to put on the end of the 70-200mm, f2.8 for those times when I really want to reach out there. For me, IQ is more important than price. When I go out to shoot with the “trinity” I know that it will be a long, heavy day but the payoff is worth it. But again this is MY opinion. I do not mind sacrificing a bit of discomfort knowing that I am bringing the best equipment with me.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          December 21, 2011 at 1:29 am

          Agreed, I am the same way. My back hurts, but I know I got the best possible results! :) When you spend thousands of dollars on a trip and put every effort into taking pictures, the last thing you want is come back home and realize that your images are not as good as they should be, because of a particular lens you chose to use. Happened to me a few times before…

          • Tom Crossan
            March 30, 2013 at 10:22 pm

            I agree. I spent $$$thousands on a trip only to realise when I got back that my images, while were good, were not great. I am now planning other $$$photo trips within Australia and am looking at “better” lenses, and this article is very true.

            I have a couple of Nikon lenes which are not really up to the job.

            You get what you pay for in lens. I am now looking at Zeiss prime lenses for my Nikon.

  11. 11) ken
    December 21, 2011 at 2:53 am

    All are Nikon most expensive lens, so it is always true. Simple, everyone can create this list.

  12. 12) James
    December 21, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I own the Nikon D300s and have the following Nikon lenses; Nikon prime 50mm, Nikon 70-300mm VR, Nikon 16-85mm VR.
    I looked at the price of Nikon’s wide angle lens, it was too expensive for me. I did a lot of reseach and chose Tokina 11-16mm. It’s a fantastic lens, and I am able to use my 77mm circular polarizing filter.

    Test results by an independant lens review site showed that the Tokina out performed opticaly the Nikon lens. The Nikon lens was also “twice” the price of the Tokina.

    I enjoy your web site, and look forward to the next posting.

    Merry Christmas from the UK

    • December 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      James, I heard a lot of good things about the Tokina 11-16mm – too bad that it is limited to DX cameras only… Tokina had some really good price incentives this holiday season.

      • 12.1.1) Eric Uglande
        February 24, 2012 at 6:57 am

        I shoot on a Nikon D2Hs and the Tokina 11-16mm is probably my go to for landscape. It’s so sharp it’s a bit frightening, but I do wish there was an FX model. Havin to give up that lens is partly the reason I’ve yet to get a D3.

        • Mike
          February 24, 2012 at 7:51 am

          I had the 11-16 and loved it, but switched to the Nikkor 14-24 in preparation for a move to FX. It’s a better lens, just as sharp or sharper with less distortion. Doesn’t go as wide on DX but is actually wider on FX in terms of coverage.

          A D3/14-24 combo is superior to the D2H/11-16, though obviously more expensive.

  13. 13) Roman
    December 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Hello again, Nasim.

    I wonder if you plan on reviewing the 80-200 f2.8 AF-D/AF-S lenses. I’ve heard they are very good optically, -only lacking stabilization. I rarely need something this long and thus can’t justify the 70-200 VR II, but those seem like nice alternatives for a lot less money.

    It would be nice to compare the performance, although I’m sure they are both great and it’s more of a curiosity than a necessity.

    Would appreciate it, though :)

    Hope you’re doing great,

    • December 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      Roman, one day :) With all new cameras and lenses coming out, I am having a hard time keeping up with all the reviews…

      It is a great lens, almost as good as the original 70-200mm VR. But the 70-200mm VR II is definitely much better in terms of optics, especially towards the corners.

      • 13.1.1) Roman
        December 24, 2011 at 3:49 am

        Well, *most* of the time, optics are not a top priority for me – I need them to be good enough, that’s all. For a lens I won’t use all that often, I think the older 80-200 would be great, although I’d prefer the AF-S, which is, unfortunately, more expensive.

        My top priority is always aesthetical quality over the technical. That’s why my favorite peace of gear, at least until I bought that Yashica MAT TLR or a Mamiya C-series TLR, is my Kiev 4 :)

  14. 14) peachy
    December 21, 2011 at 10:27 am

    i’m new to your website and i’m neophyte also in photography. I just bought my first dslr that’s why i what to learn more about photography. Right now, i have the kit lens 18-55mm but i dont understand what the F number stands for… i hope you can lighten me up on this part or if you can share a link or an article or website where i can fully understand or learn about this things and photography in a lay-man’s term :-)
    i find your posts informative but too advance for me for now because i’m just starting to learn ….i hope you can help me. Thanks and advance Merry Christmas

    • 14.1) Murray Foote
      December 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      The f-number is the aperture – how large the “hole” is inside the lens that lets light through. The smaller the f-number the more light it lets through and the “faster” the lens because you can use it in lower light situations. Your exposure for an image is determined by the aperture, the shutter speed and the ISO (or how sensitive to light you set the sensor as being).

      f-numbers show on the lens as specific numbers such as f2, f2.8, f4, f5.6, f8, f11, f16. In each of the numbers shown, going up or down one notch in the series represents a doubling or a halving of light respectively. This is also known as going up or down a “stop”.

      With the lower f-numbers (or larger apertures) you have less “depth of field” in your image so that only a narrow band may be in focus. With a lower f-number (or smaller aperture) you havd more depth of field.

      Most lenses are not quite as sharp wide open (the smallest f-number) and often are sharpest two “stops” down. If you close a lens down too far, you lose sharpness from “diffraction” (light bouncing around inside the lens).

      • 14.1.1) Murray Foote
        December 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

        “With a lower f-number (or smaller aperture) you havd more depth of field.”

        Sorry, that should have said “With a LARGER f-number (or smaller aperture) you have more depth of field.”

        • peachy
          December 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

          thanks! but im wondering more on the lenses example this “80-200 f2.8 AF-D/AF-S lenses”. what does the f2.8 mean, the only F of that lens ?

          • Murray Foote
            December 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm

            It’s the maximum aperture. The aperture choices for that lens will range from f2.8 down to about f16. That’s a fast lens for a zoom though primes can be faster.

    • December 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

      Peachy, have you seen my “photography tips for beginners” page? I would start from the top of the page and read each article one by one – you will find most answers to your questions in those articles :)

  15. 15) Jorge Balarin
    December 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Dear Nasim, talking about the 14-24 mm f/2.8 you said: “If ability to use filters is a must, the only other full-frame lens from Nikon I would consider would be the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR lens”, but then you didn’t include this lens last lens in your list. Wich lens do you prefer for landscape the 24- 70 mm or the 16-35 f/4 ? Greetings, Jorge.

    • December 23, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      Jorge, I did include the 16-35mm in the list – I mentioned it as a good alternative :)

      As for 24-70mm vs 16-35mm – I would pick the 24-70mm, but only if I were shooting full-frame. For DX, 16-35mm without a question :)

      • 15.1.1) Jorge
        December 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm

        Thank you very much Nasin, and I wish you merry christmas and a happy new year.

      • 15.1.2) Dino
        March 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm

        Hi Nasim,

        Right now I’m torn between the Nikon 16-35mm and the Nikon 24-70. Based on your review between the two, the 16-35 slightly has an advantage over the 24-70 with regards to sharpness but then again I’d have to consider my personal workable focal length that suits me. Just curious why pick 24-70 over the 16-35 for landscape? I’ve plan of buying either of the two this week.

        Thank you very much and regards.

  16. 16) Peter
    December 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Nasim, I appreciate your above responses to all these comments; they are, above all, pragmatic and realistic.

    I have “Pro” and “Non-Pro” Nikkor lenses, and, if used properly, I can’t tell the difference between them. I’ve done side-by-side comparisons in Photoshop, enlarging the photos from a zoom v. prime, etc. and I can’t tell the difference. Much ado about nothing.

    Now, maybe in my advanced stage of life, I’ve lost some visual acuity, but I don’t think so. After 50+ years of buying Nikkor lenses, I have never found a bad one nor have I ever returned one. Call me lucky, but I think all this nit-picking about lens issues is…well, I think you know what I was going to say.

    Poor Ansel Adams, deprived of all these great modern lenses. How did he survive?

    • December 23, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Peter, as I have said before, the difference between a pro and a non-pro lens is marginal. When shot at small apertures, most lenses perform very well. Where the “pro” lenses shine, is in their ability to do specific things like better low-light capability, better build quality, sharper extreme corners, better colors and contrast at large apertures, etc – that’s what you pay the premium price for.

      Ansel Adams used the best tools available for his time. He was the worst gear-head you could ever find :) Had he been alive today, you would be seeing him with a $50K Hasselblad + a boatload of the best lenses. Oh and he would be post-processing the hell out of his images in Photoshop :)

  17. 17) Kenny Chew
    December 21, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Nasim, Thank you for the sharing.

    I would like to ask is Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm f/4G VRII good for landscaping too?
    Just curious about it.

    • 17.1) Peter
      December 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      I’m not Nasim, but Ii can tell you that the 24-120 VRII is excellent for landscape. Use it all the time.
      Have fun with it.

      • 17.1.1) Peter
        December 23, 2011 at 8:55 am

        Follow-up: I use this lens on the full-frame D700.

        • Don
          December 23, 2011 at 9:00 am

          Hi Peter,

          I have the older version: 24-120, f3.5-5-6. It is a great lens that I slap on my D3S and hit the street. It is pretty light and the IQ is not bad. While not being my favorite lens (the 24-70mm, f2.8 is my go to lens), I am happy with the 24-120mm. My daughter fell in love with it. I gave her a D700 a few weeks ago. I think I made a mistake though. She likes the 24-70mm also. :)

          • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
            December 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm

            Don, hehe, she will soon take your D3s :)

    • December 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      Kenny, absolutely! The 24-120mm is a wonderful lens.

  18. 18) Brian
    December 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    A little surprised you didn’t make the 16-35mm a prime candidate, but only an an alternative to the 14-24mm!

    • 18.1) Don
      December 23, 2011 at 1:28 am

      Maybe it is because the 16-35mm is limited to only f4 while the 14-24mm stops down to 2.8. For most people the f4 might be enough, but I have used my 14-24mm on f2.8 often at night. While you miss a bit with the 14-24mm by way of the lack of filters, those extra stops are worth it in my book, but again to each his or her own. You have to go with what works for you.

      • 18.1.1) Brian
        December 23, 2011 at 8:15 am

        In landscapes I think people would enjoy the use of filters much more than the ability to go f2.8.

        In fact, the VR makes a very good substitute for the faster apertures. At 16mm you can get usable shots with just 1/8 of a second.

        • Don
          December 23, 2011 at 8:53 am

          At 14-24mm, or even 24-70mm (f2.8) I see very little need for VR. I think at these focal lengths VR is not really a requirement. Nasim can you weigh in here?

          • Brian
            December 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

            For landscape photography, filters, tripods are very common. You can’t “photoshop” the effects of a polarizing filter for example.

            Most landscape photography needs depth of field to get things in focus. And most landscape shots there’s enough light to stop down.

            Another big advantage to the 16-35mm is the price.

            You can never discount VR. The ability to shoot at shutter speeds of 1/8 a second handheld is a very nice option. It’s a great substitute for abilities of having f2.8, with the exception of stopping motion blur.

            I’ve been following this website since the beginning and this is probably the first time I disagree with Nasim at putting the 14-24mm in the spotlight in place of the 16-35mm with reference to LANDSCAPE photography.

            To me, the 14-24mm is more suited for wide angle low-light photography.

            Things like concerts, Interior Shots and architecture, photojournalism.

            • Murray Foote
              December 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

              I can’t agree with most of this.

              What filters do you want to put on a 14-24mm anyway? I used to use filters extensively with film but I’ve gone right away from that with digital, including UV filters. The only filters I use these days are polarising filters and in most circumstances you can’t use them on a lens such as the 14-24mm. Graduated ND filters I don’t favour because I believe the gradation boundary is too crude for many compositions and you can do it better with Lightroom/Photoshop adjustments or intelligent HDR. ND filters to simulate long exposures perhaps have a limited place but I haven’t been able to persuade myself to get one, I’d rather do the real thing after dark.

              Price is largely irrelevant here because we are talking about the best lenses, not the best value.

              One thing that’s missing here in most comments is recognition of what the criterion is for image quality. If it were just to view images on the web, that wouldn’t require very much. I think it has to be for images that can potentially print large, A2 or larger, with impressive image quality. In terms of sharpness, there’s a difference between adequate sharpness and optimal sharpness. Apart from post-processing technique, this often requires a very good tripod and mirror lockup, perhaps even live view, and even for the 14-24. After all, the best light is often the lowest light.

              So, where is the boundary between accurate tripod technique and hand holding so that there is zero loss of sharpness? There’s no simple answer for that because technique for both is highly variable with the individual. The only way to really find out is to do exhaustive testing with a resolution target. I suggest that a lot of people underestimate what is truly sharp when they make shortcuts in technique.

              I’ve got both a 17-35 and a 14-24. Like Allan Wood, I don’t feel compelled to upgrade the 17-35 to a 16-35. I got the 14-24 specifically for landscapes and I still think of it in those terms. True, I also would prefer it for interior shots and architecture. However, I predominately use the 17-35 for live music because I find the focal range more appropriate and the lens is much more compact. I would never use the 14-24 for photojournalism because it is far too large and obtrusive; I don’t tend to use the 17-35 either, my preferred weapon of choice is a Fujifilm X100.

              There’s a simple reason why the 14-24 should be the pre-eminent choice for landscape photography rather than the 16-35 and that’s image quality. The 16-35 is a very good lens while the 14-24 is an outstanding lens. It’s generally acknowledged to be the best wide angle lens produced by any manufacturer. It’s the one Nikon lens that some Canon users use (on manual) with a converter. Those extra 2mm at the wide end are a significant advantage for landscape photography, too.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              December 23, 2011 at 10:50 pm


              The 16-35mm VR is a great value, I have to agree with you on that. However, the 16-35mm is just not on par with the 14-24mm in terms of optical quality (in addition to distortion and heavy vignetting). Heck, even most primes stopped down cannot beat the 14-24mm lens wide open! The 14-24mm comes with its problems though, which is why I have a love and hate relationship with it. It would have been perfect if it had a filter thread + VR and cost less than $2500 :) But we don’t have that option today and those that use filters either choose the 16-35mm or the 17-35mm. That’s why I stated that if filter use is important, the 16-35mm is a better choice. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 16-35mm lens – that’s why I mentioned it right under the 14-24mm lens as an alternative.

          • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
            December 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm

            Don, sorry, but I have to disagree. VR is always useful, even for wide-angle lenses. You should try out the 16-35mm on FX with VR on to see what I mean. Shooting at 1-2 seconds hand-held is amazing. Unfortunately, Nikon and Canon have been playing this game of not giving us VR on the best lenses. We get VR on crappy kit lenses and not on the pro lenses that truly need it. The Nikon 24-70mm, for example, would hugely benefit from VR. All prime lenses above 24mm also badly need VR…

            • Don
              December 23, 2011 at 11:09 pm

              Hi Nasim,

              Thanks for the info. I mean this honestly when I say that this is why I come to your site. The info is concise, helpful, and without the sometimes emotional baggage the KR’s site can sometimes have. I do like his site as well. I guess the fact that Nikon did not include VR on the 24-70mm convinced me that it does not need it. :)

          • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
            December 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm

            Don, I really appreciate the feedback! :)

            I love Nikon, but I don’t like the dirty games it plays with Canon and other manufacturers out there. Some people say that the 24-70mm does not need VR because: a) the focal length is short enough on FX that it doesn’t need it, b) it would add to the cost of the lens and c) it would make the lens bigger and heavier. I disagree with all three arguments, because VR is very useful on anything above 24mm (and in the case of the 16-35mm, it is even useful at 16mm), VR is not a huge cost to add ($200 kit lenses have it) and it certainly won’t make the lens marginally larger/heavier.

            Clearly, the only two reasons why Nikon is not doing it, is because the competition is not doing it and they want people to want to upgrade their existing 24-70mm lenses when a VR version comes out (and I believe it will, within the next couple of years)…

            This is a marketing game!

            • Don
              December 24, 2011 at 12:47 am

              Nikon. The Apple of the camera world. :)

              I did things backwards in my road to photography. I started out with a D80, jumped to a D300, then a few months later went to the D300S, and a few months later jumped to the D3S and the “trinity” lens group. I did all of this in the space of just over a year. So in many ways, I am playing catchup to most here but I am diligent and try to be a good student. I shoot, shoot, shoot, and shoot again to try and hone my technique and skill level. I’ve taken 7 or 8 online camera courses as I travel often so sitting in a static class would not work. I look for sites like yours as well as a few others to get the info I need to help me make informed decisions. I remember the big 28-300mm discussion thread of a few months ago. Outstanding. I recommended it to quite a few KR friends who were looking for a different prospective. Some turned away from it while others gave it a try and are happy.

      • 18.1.2) Brian
        December 23, 2011 at 8:16 am

        Not to mention for landscapes most people have a tripod.

        • Don
          December 23, 2011 at 8:51 am

          Maybe, but I like moving around rather than being fixed to a tripod. Because of the incredible low light capabilities of the D3S, I rarely use a tripod. I usually bump the ISO a bit and shoot a way. I do use a polarizing and a few ND filters that attach to my 24-70mm, and 70-200mm. Other than that, I can adjust things in Aperture or Photoshop Elements. It was a tossup when I purchased the 14-24mm. I was trying to decide how I shoot, as well as the characteristics of the camera that I use. For me, the the combo that I use suits my style perfectly. As Nasim said, if you need filters and rely on them, the 14-24mm is not the lens for you.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          December 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm

          Brian, it depends on what you shoot and your style of photography as well. I often find myself leaving the tripod in the car when travelling, unless I have a specific spot that I need to hit where I can sit and relax and use a tripod. Surprisingly, most of my shooting is done hand-held (even panoramas), because it is much faster that way. I am not saying that what I do is correct or good – I have a few friends that can’t even compose a shot without using a tripod. Who knows, maybe I will change in the future. That D3s has definitely spoiled me! :)

          • Don
            December 23, 2011 at 11:11 pm

            Spot on Nasim. The D3S simply makes a tripod irrelevant in “some” (want to put a disclaimer here so I don’t get flamed) cases. I like the fact that I can push the ISO a bit and get the same shot that I would have to use a tripod for.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              December 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm

              Don, I am getting emails from friends, asking whether they should be selling their D3s cameras, since the D4 is coming out in January! Darn, it will be hard to resist more MP and 1+ stops of difference…

          • Don
            December 24, 2011 at 12:20 am

            Did you say: JANUARY !!!!!!!!!!???????

            I am all set. Too bad I did not know this sooner as I could have given my D3S to my daughter but I think it might be a bit to heavy for her and she is only 16, but has decided that she wants to be a pro photog. She will survive with the D700 I guess. I thought the D4 was coming out in time for the Olympics. Either way, I will be getting one for sure. I have a few good friends in Kuwait and Iran asking me about my D3S so I am sure it will find a happy home. :) Happy holidays to you and yours Nasim.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              December 24, 2011 at 12:27 am

              That’s correct Don, early January announcement, with hopefully immediate or Feb/March availability! Same to you and your family, Merry Christmas!

            • mark allen
              June 4, 2012 at 8:05 am

              Don -You have given your 16 year old daughter a D700! holy flame man you must be much richer than I, D700 is a gorgeous camera, sometimes I think we get far too hooked on equipment.

              Thanks for the page Nasim I think I will stick to my kit lens for now, until I make a decision about maybe going to full frame.

              Nasim- what do you think of the old 20 mm MF nikon glass on FX? I would love to use this lens for landscape but not really wide enough on DX also my D5100 wont expose with it. I really like the idea of a basic small lens that is sharp and wide and has a usable aperture ring ( on the D700 any way). I wouldn’t mind manual focus for landscapes and I have seen them for £200 online.

    • December 23, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Brian, I was referring to the “best” Nikon lenses, which is why 16-35mm is an alternative :)

  19. 19) Joseph
    December 23, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Nasim —

    Your website single-handedly rekindled my interest in photography, which had been really waning over the past few months. Thank you so much for your advice and insight!


    • December 23, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you for your feedback Joseph! Happy upcoming holidays to you and your family!

  20. December 23, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I wonder why you did not mention the Nikon 17-35mm1:2.8D (77 mm filter) which I use a lot on my D700. The lens is bulky and heavy but being a ‘pro level’ tool is built like a tank. I think it is a fabulous lens, focuses fast, with very few issues (such as slight vignette at 17 mm) and it suits me very well. I am glad I bought it. I also use an old 70-120 mm 1:4-5.6D (not ‘pro level’) and have yet to replace that as I cannot afford to. So, I am quite well covered with these lenses, except for my desire to consolidate to a single filter size (77mm). Thanks for your reviews.

    • 20.1) Peter
      December 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      I got the 17-35 eight years ago when i retired. It is a beauty.

      • 20.1.1) Brian
        December 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm

        The only downside is that the cheaper, lighter, newer 16-35mm f4 VR performs better.

        • Don
          December 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm


          You have piqued my curiosity. Now I have to go and try out a 16-35mm. I can give my 14-24mm to my daughter. She has been sniffing around for it anyway to use. So considering I just bought her a D700, I might as well get her an FX lens as well. :)

          • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
            December 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm

            Don, like I told you, she will soon away take your D3s + 14-24mm :)

            Seriously though, give 16-35mm a try – it is a beautiful lens! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

        • Peter
          December 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm

          Offer your proof that it performs better than the 17-35. How much better? 2%, 10% , 20%?Have you done a side-by-by-side comparison? Real world stuff, not brick walls.

          The 17-35 is a 2.8 lens and reviewed as one on the sharpest lenses Nikon has ever made.

          • Brian
            December 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm
            • Peter
              December 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

              From another reviewer:

              The 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S is Nikon’s basic wide-angle professional zoom for film and FX Digital. Almost every pro has one of these on one body, and a 70-200mm VR on his other body. It is one of the two or three lenses everyone with a D700, D3 or F6 should own.

              This 17-35mm is sharp at all apertures, has great ghost resistance, less falloff than fixed lenses, only moderate distortion, is built like a tank and weighs about as much, too. It’s made of solid metal, not the toy-store painted plastic. The only gotcha is that if you are dumb enough to shoot at f/2.8 in daylight at 17mm and then look in the farthest corners with a microscope, it’s soft. Pros don’t do that, but online experts might.

            • Don
              December 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

              Ding, ding, ding !!!!!!

              We have a winner Peter…. :)

          • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
            December 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm

            Peter, the center sharpness of the 17-35mm is very impressive, but it is rather weak in the corners, especially at 17mm. As I have already stated above, I find the 17-35mm to be a hit and miss. Some samples are great, others are very bad with heavy front/back focus issues out there. I was rather frustrated with the 17-35mm lens because of all the focus issues. Try out the 16-35mm and see how you like it in comparison…

            I have a few friends here in Denver that ended up selling their 14-24mm and 17-35mm lenses in favor of the 16-35mm (those who sold their 14-24mm lenses did it because they wanted to use filters). Yes, it is that good and I am not just talking about lab tests with charts and bricks…

          • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
            December 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

            Peter, Ken Rockwell’s review that you are referring to was written before the 16-35mm lens came out :) See his 16-35mm review, where he says “Compared to the hard-to-get professional 17-35mm f/2.8, this 16-35mm VR is $500 less expensive and otherwise similar in size and weight. This 16-35mm VR is however a little lighter, a little longer, and it’s sharper if you’re picky. This 16-35mm f/4 VR just became my top recommendation for an FX ultrawide zoom. Bravo, Nikon!”

            So, seems like Ken had a similar experience as me with the 16-35mm. Again, if you have a chance, give 16-35mm a try! I don’t think I would trade the 17-35mm for the 16-35mm (if I already owned it), but for a person who is considering a wide-angle lens with filters, the 16-35mm is a great choice now, especially with its lower price and VR…

            • Peter
              December 24, 2011 at 7:36 am

              Yes, I already own it and it cost me $0.00. Now, you have to admit, that is one hell of a value!

              And I agree, I’m keeping it; I guess I have a good copy.

              I’m getting too old to look for the mythical perfect lens…that can be a very expensive trip for every year a new and “better” lens comes out. But, if I didn’t have the 17-35, I probably would buy the 16-35.

              One question, however: Why does the 17-35 sell for $1955 and the 16-35 for $1260 (Nikon site)? That is quite a big price differential. What’s the extra $700 for in order to own a 17-35?
              Quality? Build? Glass? Greed?

    • December 23, 2011 at 11:09 pm

      Allan, the 17-35mm is a great lens, if you can find a good copy :) Seriously, I have tried three different 17-35mm copies and only one seemed to not have any focus issues. When I put it against the 16-35mm, the latter was sharper in the corners. Stopped down to f/8, both lenses are very sharp, but the 16-35mm is clearly better in the corners at larger apertures, as I have shown in my 16-35mm review. I just find the 16-35mm to be better overall for my style of shooting; plus, it has VR! For photographing people and events, the 17-35mm might be a better option – people seem to love it for its “natural” vignetting when shooting at f/2.8.

  21. December 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I am impressed by the 16-35 f4 vr. However, regardless of the 16-35 f4 vr, I am not going out to replace the 17-35 1:2.8D. As long as a photog knows the limitations on a lens, then simply work within those ‘bounds’. Since I work with long exposures a lot, no vr is going to help. So, I use a tripod a lot and if I do not go down to 17 mm and inspect the edges and corners, I get what I need without any issues. The 17-35 saves me a lot of post processing outside of any ‘creative’ stuff I may desire. The 17-35 is designed for 35mm/full frame, so putting it on a crop sensor I think is a bit of a waste.

    • December 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm

      Allan, why replace a lens if you are happy with it? :) I agree, if you know the limitations and know how to work around them, why get something new that you will have to learn and adapt to?

      Lenses are just our tools, it is all about the photographer!

  22. 22) Don
    December 24, 2011 at 12:51 am

    On this same note, I read over on KR’s site that he feels no pro photog would ever use a medium focus lens, i.e. 24-70mm. He said most carry the wide 14-24mm, and big zooms, starting at 70-200mm. He said in the middle most pros carry a 50mm, f1.4 and either walk up or move back. What do you think about this?

    • 22.1) Brian
      December 24, 2011 at 1:33 am

      It’s just his opinion.

      • 22.1.1) Don
        December 24, 2011 at 5:37 am

        Well, yeah. Everyone knows that KR can be a bit difficult when it comes to his “opinion”. I was wondering what Nasim might say regarding this. Personally, I think KR is wrong. I have the 50mm but there are times when I haven’t been able to hone my walking on water skills to the level that I need so I’ve had to rely on the zoom feature of my 24-70mm.

    • 22.2) Jorge
      December 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      I have two 50mm (f/1.4 AF-D and f/1.8 G) and I don’t have the 24-70mm, but I’m going to buy it, because in some situations I really need it . Par example, yesterday night I was sitting down with a 50mm, on a regular size familiar table during our christmas diner, and it was very hard to do photos. I was forced to invade the space of the people that was sitting down beside me, and even so I couldn’t do it as I wanted. It was really a frustrating experience. I would have not problems with a 55mm if the table would be very small, but it was not the case.
      Many times it is not possible to move, or that results annoying, it is for that reason – and not to beat the optic quality of primes, that zooms were developed. So I thing that it is not always true that you don’t need a middle zoom.

    • December 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      Don, EVERY pro I know personally that shoots Nikon has a 24-70mm :) Some of them are world-known photographers!

      • 22.3.1) Don
        December 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm

        Hi Nasim,

        Agreed. The 24-70mm is always on my camera. I have a 24-120mm, and the much discussed 28-300mm, but the 24-70mm is my pride and joy (my girls of course are number one in case they are reading this), :) and I get the results that I want. Maybe KR was having a KR day and needed to vent. I have not seen one other person recommend getting or owning that lens. Your comments cements that fact that I’ve made a good investment. Now if Nikon would stop playing around and release the D4. My credit card is anxiously waiting. :)

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          December 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm

          Don, the 24-70mm is the lens that is mounted to my D3s by default when I travel – I just love its focal range, but I have to say that I would not use it on a DX body :)

          As for Nikon announcements, trust me, everyone who owns a full-frame camera is waiting for an update from Nikon :) I am really anxious about both the D4 and the D800, both of which I will be testing the day they are available!

          • Don
            December 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm

            My daughter was using the 24-70mm on her D3100 and she was okay with it, but once she put it on her D700, I have had to look for the lens on several occasions. :) I don’t want to buy another lens, but I might have to. :)

  23. December 24, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I agree that KR can often be difficult. Sometimes I think KR can be inconsistent as well. I do not agree with his opinion in this case, since also my walking on water skills need work. What a photog uses really depends on the style of work, and of course the situation.

  24. 24) Peter
    December 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Here are the DxO scores for the 16-35 v. 17-35 used on a D700, in that order:

    DxO mark Score: 19 v. 14
    Resolution: 46lp/mm v. 45lp/mm
    Transmission: 4.6 TStop v. 3.1TStop
    Distortion: 0.5% v. 0.4%
    Vignetting -1.2EV v. -1.6EV
    Chr. Aberration: 9um v. 18um

    Nice debate, but does it really make any difference? Especially if you a Photoshop expert.

    • 24.1) Brian
      December 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      The difference, is why spend 600+ extra dollars for marginally poorer performance? I would say the 17-35mm has a TINY bit better build quality.

      That, and if going to f2.8 matters for bokeh.

      • 24.1.1) Peter
        December 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm

        So, if you had a 17-35 you’d sell it for $1200 and buy a 16-35 for $1265?

        My 17-35 cost me $0.00. So, I should dump it and get a 16-35 ? What say you?

        • Brian
          December 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm

          First tell me how you managed to get it for $0. Ha!

          If you got it for free?? You could sell it for $1500 used probably! Someone would buy it on ebay or craiglists. Then use the money to buy 16-35mm. You’d MAKE some money on the tranaction.

          I guess you gotta ask yourself.

          -Do you want the marginally better image quality?
          -Do you care about the 17-35mm’s performance? ie. Is it good enough? I’m sure it’s probably good enough.
          -Do you want to go through the trouble of this transaction.
          -Do you need f2.8? (I’d guess probably not) I think f4 + VR is much deadlier combo. Since you don’t use these kinds of lenses for bokeh effect anyway)
          -Do you want the extra 1mm? If you shoot video, the 16-35mm is a no brainer w/ the VR for video.

          • Peter
            December 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

            The 17-35 was a retirement present along with a Nikkor 35-70.

            I have used the 35-70 to copy textiles and tapestry and you can see the stitches and weave shooting from 6 feet. It is one sharp lens.

  25. 25) Peter
    December 25, 2011 at 8:17 am

    If you look long enough you’ll always find something that agrees with your bias when it comes to photo equipment.

    Check out the Photzone reviews on the 16-35 and the 17-35, in that order.
    Optical quality: 2.5 v. 3 stars
    Mechanical quality: 4.5 v. 4.5 stars
    price/performance: 2.5 v. 3 stars

    Overall, there seems to be no strong reason to dump a 17-35 to get a 16-35.
    This is a case closed for me.

    • 25.1) Don
      December 25, 2011 at 9:41 am

      Is this still going on? Maybe Nasim will try to pick a more neutral topic next time….

      • 25.1.1) Peter
        December 25, 2011 at 9:53 am

        We can’t help it. It’s “lens Lust” and these endless comments are the result of that lust.
        It’s one of the 7 deadly camera sins, and we must bear the strain.
        As the italians say: “Non fa niente.”

        • Don
          December 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

          Fugetaboutit. :)

    • 25.2) Brian
      December 25, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      Not switching to a 14-24?? :)

      • 25.2.1) Don
        December 26, 2011 at 6:28 am

        I already have one of these and simply love it. No way in the world would I switch to something else. While I may miss out on filters all else is right with this lens. Sometimes you have to give to get…. and I try not to be so pedantic about little things.

    • 25.3) Brian
      December 25, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      One important detail about the photozone review. They used a D200 for the 17-35mm. This will crop the corners. I don’t think they would have the same conclusion if they tested on full frame .

  26. 26) Peter
    December 25, 2011 at 11:47 am


    On this 25th day of December 2011, it is ordered that no further comments be made about the 16-35 or 17-35 Nikkor lenses.

    Those disobeying this edict will be stricken down with warts and boils and their lenses shall be destroyed. From this day forth those miscreants will only be able to use Vivitar lenses.

    Sir Don will monitor this site and notify me of any infractions. Be warned, he is vigilant and swift in his work .

    • 26.1) Don
      December 25, 2011 at 11:50 am

      You forgot to mention the throw away cameras. :) That is the new punishment. No more DSLR’s. :)

      • 26.1.1) Peter
        December 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm

        You, indeed, are swift in your retribution.

    • December 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      Hahaha Peter, you are the best! :)

  27. 27) Shawn
    December 25, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I’ve to say I really like your article and pictures. Though English is not my mother language , I’ve learned a lot from you. Especially the article about Nikon 55-300 VR, there is no related article released in chinese…

    BTW, I’m a little disappointed that you did not list Nikon 17-55 f2.8 in your favorite lens…hah~

    • December 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      Shawn, don’t worry, English is not my mother tongue either :)

      I did not include the 17-55mm f/2.8 for two major reasons – it is an expensive lens and it is limited to DX sensors. Sure it is optically great, but I can’t use it on FX. There are other great choices out there for DX that offer great performance at a much lower price.

      • 27.1.1) Martin
        January 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

        Hello Nasim
        all the best for 2012 to you your familiy and to the Mansurovs’ community. I am preparing a trip and I will test first my equipment on the Top of Europe, which is the Jungfraujoch at some minus celsius , I need definitely polarizing filters and graduation filters, which one is it know to take along with the FX camera in addition to my 24-70 and 70-200: the 16-35mm? In North Norway I will shoot next year in extreme conditions and not a lot of light. But the angles must become spectacular, otherwise who cares? Thank you for your advice, yours

    • 27.2) Albert Ang
      January 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      +1. Im pretty surprised also you didn’ t mention 17-55. Surely it’s an expensive lens, but it’s very sharp and offers weather sealing, very important for outdoor imo. I doubt there’s any other lens which offer both (I believe Tamron and Sigma 17-50, Nikon 17-85 are not weather-sealed and not as sharp).

      • 27.2.1) Don
        January 3, 2012 at 2:56 am

        Didn’t you read Nasim’s reason for not including the 17-55mm f/2.8? It is a DX lens. He’s using an FX camera. Come on dude. It can’t be that hard.

        • Albert Ang
          January 3, 2012 at 3:13 am

          Chill. Its not the end of the world and i had no intention to attack mansurov. I know he’s shooting FX but the article is about the Nikon best landscape lens. He mentioned the DX alternative lenses (12-24mm. 16-85VR), so imo, 17-55 is a better alternative of 24-70 than 16-85 due to better optic and weather seal.

          • Don
            January 3, 2012 at 3:21 am

            Hey Albert,

            No harm, no foul. I may have been a bit swift. What might have been better is if Nasim “initially” had stated this was an FX review. Several others have dropped the 17-55mm into the debate, only to be told that it is a DX lens. To be honest, I hadn’t even considered it as I am using a D3S. DX lenses are lost on me.

  28. 28) Pavan
    December 26, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Hi Nasim, Greetings!

    Wish you & your family a Happy X-mas and a Proseperous New Year 2012!!

    Nasim, I’m looking for a landscape lens and I’m confused as to which lens should I opt for. Currently I’m looking at the below options:

    Nikon 10-24 f3.5-5.6
    Nikon 12-24 f4
    Sigma 10-20 f3.5-5.6
    Tokina 11-16 f2.8

    I would really appreciate and greatful if you can throw up some light here and give your valuable advice.


    • December 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      Pavan, the 10-24mm is the best image quality and wider angle and the Tokina is the best value. Get either one and you won’t be disappointed.

  29. 29) Mike
    January 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Nasim, thanks for a good article. I own several lenses, including the 14-24, 24-70, 80-200 and still have my 11-16 Tokina which is on loan to a friend. The 70-200 is likely next on my list, but to be honest the 80-200 is no slouch. Optically, I would say it’s almost as good as the 70-200 when shooting landscapes but it doesn’t have VR if you need to hand hold a shot.

    Anyway, I’m curious why you would have three lenses that cover the 24mm focal length. Since the 14-24 is so good, why not use that? I suppose in situations when you need filters, you can’t use it but then why not the 24-70? If you already have the 14-24 and 24-70, what situation would you use a 24 prime where one of the other two lenses would not work? Seems like an expensive addition to the gear bag to add yet another 24mm option.

    • 29.1) Mike
      January 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm


      Any input on the question above? We may be days away from the D800 announcement, which is the camera I’m hoping for. In the article above, you actually have 4 lenses that cover 24mm, can you compare them in a bit more detail? I know the PC-E lens is specialized, but the other three are somewhat different. My biggest question is if the 24mm prime is worth adding if you have two other lenses that cover the range?


  30. 30) Mike
    January 3, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Happy new year!

    Thanks for the good article.

    I’m using currently a D90 + Nikon 10-24mm + 50mm 1.8G. But now I’m going to buy a D700 + 27-70mm.
    I’m sure I will miss my 10-24mm because I use it the most time. I’m not sure which uww I should buy for my new FX…

    How big is the quality jump from DX + uww -> FX + uww?

    Did someone the same switch and how was the experience?


    Greetings, Mike

    • 30.1) Mike
      January 3, 2012 at 11:13 am

      For FX, there is no sense in looking at any wide angle other than the 14-24 f/2.8. It’s stellar and even wider on a D700 than your 10-24 on the D90. A D700 with a 14-24 will be a significant jump in quality over a D90 with a 10-24, but at the end of the day it’s all in how you use the tools.

      • 30.1.1) Mike
        January 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm

        He Mike,

        thanks for your answer!

        I’m looking forward to get my D700 ;-)
        I’m sure I will love it ;-)
        Greetings, Mike

  31. 31) Alvin
    January 4, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Thank you, Nasim. I really like your articals.

    I enjoy your reviews on D7000. After reading your artical I found out that I had shift focus on this camera. I have to fine adjust the focus system to -20 to get acceptable focus.

    I bought 50 1.8G instead of 50 1.4G after reading you review :)

  32. 32) Zafer islamoğlu
    January 5, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Thank you.

    Best dx lens for Landscape Photo……


  33. 33) Pervaiz Iqbal
    January 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Very simple question

    I have nikon D 7000 ( lens 18-105) What extra lens do I need for bright ,clear and sharp land scape photos

  34. 34) Михаил
    January 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Привет Насим! С насупившими праздниками!
    Вобщем твоя статья на меня произвела огромное впечатление! выбыирал между 16-35 и 14-24. !4-24 пока нет в наличии, взял 24 1.4- это сказка. И боке, и резкость для пейзажа, и возможность одевать фильтры- сделали свое дело. Я видел твои примеры с него, и я даже не думал. Дорого конечно, но он того стоит.
    и еще, прошу простить за офф.
    Вопрос. 50 1.4G 24 1.4 G 85 1.4d 135 2.0 – какие обьективы разрешат матрицу от 24 мгп и выше?
    С уважением,

  35. 35) ingram
    January 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hi. Nasim,

    my first time to check your website and i’m impressed:) i really want a landscape photography but due to expensive Nikkor Lenses, i would rather result to 3rd party lenses. i saw that you recommend the Tokina 11-16mm. which is better? the Tokina 11-16mmf/2.8 or the Tokina 12-24mmf/4?

    also, i know that Tokina lenses before do “peel” but they managed to fix it, what model of the lenses now doesn’t peel? Thanks in advance for your advise:)


  36. 36) Michael
    January 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    He Nasim,

    great website! I like your comparison tests – so should it be in magazines too ;-)

    I have a question – in summer we are going to visit the USA. Our trip will bring us to many NP Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, …
    I’m not sure which lens I have to carry with me. Is the D700 + 24-70mm + 70-300mm enogh to get great pictures of the landscape?
    May I’m going to buy a 14-24mm 2.8 for this trip. Would you say it is then perfect? I think in Arches it is important to have a really good wide angle lens.

    How do you think about buying?

    Do you know a website where I can get informations about the perfect time for each NP or hits in general?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    Greetings from Europe, Michael

    • February 8, 2012 at 1:21 am

      Michael, if you can bring a 14-24mm, 24-70mm and your 70-300mm lenses, you would not need anything else with your D700! All three are stellar and more than enough for a trip like that.

      • 36.1.1) Mike
        February 8, 2012 at 1:32 am

        Dear Nasim,

        thanks for your answer! Two day’s ago I bought the 14-24.
        Now I’m looking for the weekend to have a shooting ;-)

        Thanks for your great website!
        I like your comparing tests!

        Greetings from Europe, Michael

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          February 8, 2012 at 1:33 am

          You are most welcome Mike. You will absolutely love the 14-24mm – it is a stellar lens!

          • Mike
            February 8, 2012 at 1:46 am




  37. 37) Stephane
    February 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    selecting the right lens for wideangle landscape photography on tripod is a key decision for me moving to FX. I own the D300 which is now going to be replaced by a D800 (E or not E is another question). I got already the 24-70mm 2.8 which is great lens already on D300 but I will for sure discover it again on FX. now I need to replace my 12-24mm . the 14-24mm seems to me too heavy and not practical (I am leaving in the Alps and the weight in the bag is critical especially when you are backpacking). I read different reviews on the 16-35mm f4. I was surprise by the reduced quality in the corner between D3 and D3x usage, and I am concerned by what could be the result on a D800… So my question is : what about a 18mm f3.5 or 21mm f2.8 Zeiss distagon? or shall I stick to the 14-24mm and back again to the beginning of the paragraph…..

    Best Regards from France

    • February 8, 2012 at 1:20 am

      Stephane, that’s a good question – not sure how well the 16-35mm will perform on the D800, will need to recheck that lens again. The Nikon 14-24mm is a safe buy for the D800, but it has its limitations. The Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 sounds like a great candidate, but I have not had a chance to test it yet…

      • 37.1.1) Chris
        February 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

        Nasim, Nasim, Nasim… You just ruined my day! I have the 14-24, which I bought some years ago, after my D700. I then acquired the 16-35 about eight months ago, because I found the 14-24’s weight an impediment to my using it as much as I should — I NEVER took it when traveling by air. I’ve done my own tests, and confirmed that the 16-35, while an outstanding lens its own right, and in many ways more flexible than the 14-24, is simply not the match for its older brother when it comes down solely to IQ on my D700. I have a D800 on order, and the plan was to sell both the D700 and 14-24 to salve my conscious and cover the cost. Of course, it’s never easy to part with excellence, and so before letting it go I’ve religiously studied your reviews and comments to confirm my decision. I had just about steeled my determination to pull the trigger and sell the 14-24, and here, toward the end of this string of comments, after you’ve praised the 16-35, you put the dagger in my heart with your comment, “…not sure how well the 16-35mm will perform on the D800, will need to recheck that lens again. The Nikon 14-24mm is a safe buy for the D800…”

        This is just what I was afraid of — that the 16-35, while a very good lens on a 12MP camera, will not be up to the demands of the D800. I guess I’ll just have to wait until the new camera arrives, and we have a chance to see how it will actually perform on the new platform.

        But I warn you, if it doesn’t work out, and I’m forced to keep the 14-24 (note how I used the word “forced”), you can expect an irate phone call, or worse — a visit, from my wife, since I intend to blame you! :-)


        PS – Can you give me your home address, so I can give it to my wife?

  38. 38) Peter Zak
    February 8, 2012 at 1:15 am

    i’m very glad to have found your website, i like the reviews a lot. There’s one shot which i never could get really right – – chiefly because i get awful haze in the distance, which loses me the structure of the hills. How to solve that ?

    Thanks a lot.

    • February 8, 2012 at 1:17 am

      Peter, two things you can do:
      1) Get a polarizing filter to reduce haze
      2) Try to shoot early in the morning on a clear and cold day to avoid haze.

  39. 39) Ron
    February 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm


    I am currently a dual system user.My current lens selection for landscape is the 24mm,45mmTSE II,Zeiss 21,35,50MP,100MP,14-24,24-70,70-200 II.I cant help but state that the title of this article is BEST lanscape lenses.In my experience the best are Zeiss 21,50MP,100MP 14-24,24 PC-E/TSE,45 PC-E/TSE
    The 70-200 is great if not hiking,200mm f2 is even better if weight and size is not an issue.All the others are great,but not the best.That my opinion.

  40. 40) Bryan Agoncillo
    February 12, 2012 at 3:21 am

    I have personally used most of the lens that you have written about on this article. I personally love the 24-70mm lens I use this a lot during weddings. It is a good thing I have two D3s so I don’t have to continuously switch from one lens to another.

  41. 41) Denise
    March 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Any recommendations for a landscape lens to add on to my 18-200mm Nikon VR II lens? i was thinking a fisheye or a wide angle. I am also in CO, but we are headed to Glacier National Park and Jasper National Park (Canada). I am using a Nikon D50 and a Nikon 300s. Thanks!

    • 41.1) Mike
      March 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Tokina 11-16mm. Best wide angle DX lens in my opinion.

      • 41.1.1) DavidL
        March 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm

        What about the Nikon 10-24mm? Do you think the Tonika is better?

        • Mike
          March 29, 2012 at 1:43 am


          I had the Nikon 10-24mm for a while. It is much better than the Sigma 10-20 and the Tonika!
          But the best is the 14-24 which I use now ;-)
          Greetings, Mike

        • Mike
          March 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

          Yes, I personally think the Tokina is better. It’s an f/2.8 throughout its (admittedly short) range and has a better build quality. It’s also cheaper. If you want the bigger range, go for the Nikon but I almost always shot this lens at 11mm so the range wasn’t a big deal to me.

  42. 42) Nick Jackson
    March 13, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Hi Nasim, I’m a big fan of your website and really appreciate your easy-to-understand explanations.

    I’d like to buy a new lens set but on a budget. Do these lenses make sense or are there better similar-priced options out there:

    Portrait Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4 G Lens
    Wildlife Nikon AF-S 70-300mm VR Lens
    Landscape Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens
    Macro Nikon AF-S 40mm f/2.8G DX Micro Lens


  43. 43) Sunil
    March 15, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Hi Nizam,
    I am reading your articles and must say your simple easy to understand description along with example is mindblowing. I am new to photography altogether with DSLR and I am planning to get D3100 due to limited budget. I am interested in landscape, portrait & wildlife photography and I need your help in knowing which minimum lens I need to get which are best suited for D3100 camera body.

    Thanks in advance…….

  44. 44) Aldo Alberto
    March 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Mr. Nasim, warm greet from Indonesia

    Recently, I found a link in forum nikongears that bring me here to your website. I already read some of your lens review about 16-35mm f/4, 24mm f/1.8, and the 14-24mm f/2.8. I really like the review and how you keep it simple, it’s awsome ! !

    I’m wondering about an answer & opinion from you about my story & question here :

    Firstly I do photography for hobby not for a living, and I’m still in college. Until now I’m still using my nikon d300 with 17-55mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8g, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II. For the next few days i granted permission from my parents to upgrade it for a FX body. For the FX body, I rather choose d700 over d800 for some reasons (1. price does matter, 2. 36mp; video; SDslot; & updates, is not necessary for me, 3. i agree with your review about d700 [5fps to 8fps] rather than d800 [4fps to 6fps])

    My interest are street and travel photography

    I already mention at begining I also own a 17-55mm f/2.8 which it must be replace with FX lens since it’s a DX lens. I’m still confused here what lens will i get for change? Is it 14-24mm f/2.8 or 16-35mm f/4? I also read many article suggest that for travel 16-35mm f/4 are better cause it practicality, VR, Filter, and weight (for this i don’t really care).

    My major concern for 14-24mm f/2.8 is not capable with filter (LEE is not worthed, IMHO), and for the 16-35mm f/4 are it is f/4 not f/2.8 (i do care for bokeh, low light, and sharpness) and does it VR works really well? I read in KenRockwell (no offense sir) that what Nikon claim is different in Ken’s claim for f-stop improvement.

    So what i want to asked you is :

    1. How do you think about my choice for d700?
    2. If you become me, and you must choose one of this lens for travel & street (i do get confused cause many people who created an article about this have these 2 lens, 14-24mm f/2.8 for special purpose and 16-35mm f/4 for daily uses), which lens will you buy consider my thought and opinion above?

    Thank you so much, from Indonesia

    Albert Lawu

  45. 45) Saqib Khan
    March 18, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Hi Nasim

    I am an amateur photographer, and practising photography as a hobby. My interests are landscape and friends & family portraiture photography. I own Nikon D90 with DX 18-200mm, DX 10-24mm and 50mm 1.4/D lenses with their related accessories. I am considering to leap to full-frame gear!

    I am considering the newest full-frame Nikon D800. I am likely to purchase this camera and will use it with 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-120mm f/4 and, my exisitng, 50mm f/1.4D lenses.

    I need your advice on how do you think these FX lenses would perform when bolted in front of the 36mp sensor of Nikon D800? I read number of reviews and visited various forums where contributors were of the opinion that optics of the existing FX lenses could become a limitation once these lenses are used with this camera. Any observation(s) or advice from you on my selection, please?


    Saqib from Saudi

  46. 46) Richard L
    March 20, 2012 at 3:44 am

    I am seeking a recommendation on a zoom lens for the D5100. my interest is nature photography and family shots of on the go grandchildren.

    Which do you recommend?

    Nikon lens notes:

    I discovered your reviews last week. They were very helpful.
    I am trying to select an FX zoom lens for use in capturing nature and active children on the run.
    Do you recommend one of these below?

    1. Nikon  55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR [Vibration Reduction] Nikkor Zoom LensPrice:
    2.  Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras 


  47. 47) Srini
    March 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Would you not include Nikon 16-35 please?

  48. 48) Matt Robinson
    April 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I am very interested in landscape photography but, I am a college student on budget. What landscape lenses would you recommend for around $500. I am using a d5100.


    PS-I love the website. Your articles have been incredibly helpful

    • 48.1) Peter Zak
      April 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      Well as numerous times stated, this isn’t just about the wide lens really, surprisingly a telephoto comes into action quite often too.

      If you want a wide, maybe get a used sigma 10-20 f4.5-5,6 , i’ve had it and i was quite happy with the results. True, autofocus isn’t nikon-like, however due the big depth of field you have while shooting landscapes, it’s not very necessary. It’s quite fine optically and has very little distortion.

      The telephoto which is nice is 70-300 vr, it’s really a great small lens.

  49. 49) Dmitriy
    April 6, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Назим, а что ты думаешь о 80-200 вместо 70-200 для пейзажей? при съемках со штатива ВР2 не нужен, да и быстрый фокус тоже – можно ли заменить новый объектив более старым, будут ли сильные потери в резкости и разрешении?

    и почему нет ничего о Цейссе 21? это мой любимый пейзажник на любой камере (сейчас на Д800). стоит ли при наличии этого объектива думать о покупки Никон 24/1.4?

    и как насчет тилт-шифт 45? стоит ли его взять в качестве первого такого объектива вместо аналога на 24?


  50. 50) Ram
    May 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I have Nikon D90 with 18-105 lense and trying to buy one another landscape lense but no idea so will u please suggest me what lense should I need to buy for beginner ? I am looking economy and easy to use .
    Ram Moktan

    • 50.1) Murray Foote
      May 7, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      It’s a difficult question to respond to because you don’t say why you want a new lens. It’s bit like saying “I’m thinking of buying another car. What car should I buy?” – with no more detail than that.

      If you’re asking how to improve your images, it might be that the most important things are to improve your technique and vision by going out and taking lots of shots and analysing them, going to new places, trying different kinds of images you don’t usually do, joining a camera club or learning to use Lightroom effectively. It might help to systematically test your lens at different apertures with different means of camera support to help understand what it takes to get a sharp image, perhaps then for landscapes to get a better tripod or use one more.

      In terms of a new lens, though, what would be most appropriate would depend on the way you see an image and what sort of things you like to take. The lens that you have is OK (–nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/410-nikkor_18105_3556vr). You say you’re a beginner so maybe not an ultrawide such as a Tokina 12-24mm, you may not know how to climb inside an ultrawide image and make it work for you. This may or may not be the case but it’s a risk. A telephoto may be an option such as a Nikon 70-300mm. What I would suggest is a prime – probably a 50mm f1.8G (–nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/217-nikkor-af-50mm-f18-d-review–test-report – review for the old D version). This will be inexpensive, sharper than your current lens when stopped down and much more capable in low light. It’s also good experience to see images through a prime lens.

    • 50.2) Peter Zak
      May 10, 2012 at 8:15 am

      I would suggest a 35 f1.8 lens, which is really a great lens, and considering it’s price, it’s stunning. However it’s more suitable for portraits and things like that.

      Landscape lens, quite maybe surprisingly, gets a lot of use for a telephoto.

      I would suggest you to get a 70-300 VR which is very good and works well. VR is quite great there too..

      • 50.2.1) Nick
        May 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

        I completely agree with Peter here- I bought a D7000 and wanted to upgrade my lens kit from very basic ones I used to have. I couldn’t afford The Trinity, but invested in a 35mm 1.8, the 70-300 and a 16-85mm to cover off all ranges and am very happy. All 3 lenses came in at under £1k and the quality is fantastic for my needs.

  51. 51) Shuvro
    May 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Thanks for the tremendous work you do!
    Going to Yosemite in 3 weeks. I am an enthusiast and have bought a D7000 recently. I am mostly interested in landscapes. Thinking of upgrading from my kit 18-55. If I have to rent a lens for this trip what should I get? Also what should be the ideal combination of the trinity for the D7000? I have the 50mm 1.8, the 70-300 kit and the 18-55 kit. I hardly use the tele. What should be the next lens that I should buy?

  52. 52) Martin
    May 10, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Hello Nasim,
    First of all I would like to say all your time and efforts are appreciated, you’ve explained in lay-man’s terms on how to get maximum performance out of a camera. So much so that I am going to put off the ‘700 purchase for a while and get out with the ’90 a bit more and put your helpful tips into use.
    All the best for the future.
    With regards from Bangkok,

  53. 53) Ash
    May 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Hi Nasim, I have read most o your pages, and I simply appreciate your patience to write to us in detail, also I admire your love for photography.

    I’m new to the dslr world though I have been fiddling with manual digital camera aperture and zoom since I was four year old.

    Now Iam new to the lens terms, I own a D5100, and would like to know more what lens to use or back focus or landsacpes while blurring people in front. Also what lens can I use or miniature like pollens within a flower. It would be great i you mentioned lens that are multipurpose, I have a 3YO and ind really hard to shoot her, she is always on the move. I use autofocus most of the time, however i’m not happy with the 18-55 kit lens perormance. I would love own lens low f-stops, I mean widest aperture.

  54. 54) Ash
    May 11, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Nasim please suffix ‘f’ where I have mentioned or, its actually for.

  55. 55) Indranil
    May 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Although Nikkor 14-24 does not take standard filters, but anybody shooting RAW is not restricted by that aspect very much, I think. However, the optical quality of this lens is almost unparalleled. There are lots of excellent and famous landscape artists using this lens, which I am sure, you are aware of.

    Thank you for your reviews and this beautiful website.


  56. 56) Fanie
    May 26, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Hello Nasim,
    Thank you for all you articles, after weeks of looking for advice, yours is by far the best.

    Please help me, I am a sports wildlife photographer, although i am anxious to improve my landscape skills. I have a D7000 looking to upgrade to a full frame in the future. please can you help me what lens to get. You convinced me to choose the 16 – 35 f4 vr, although i don’t have full frame… is it still wort it…. as well as the nikon 24 – 70. i know this is different lenses, which one would be the most useful in the future? I would rather buy the best value, best and practical lens and just adapt to the lens range then. any other lense you can recomend?
    i looked ate the 10 -24 dx (wish it wasnt dx) and the tokina 11 -16… sigma 10 -20

    Thanks Nasim

  57. 57) kursat
    June 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Just what I was looking for, thanks a lot for the detailed info. It helped me a lot. Keep up the good work.

  58. 58) Damian Small
    June 4, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Discovered your website and it has given me some great advice for my part time photography work and my own fun stuff.

    I want/need a wide angle lens. I have a Nikon DX sensor with my D300S. I was thinking of Nikon 12-24 as you suggest above. However, I have read that the Tokina 11-16 is a better quality and better built alternative. Anyone enlighten me further on this? Thanks in advance.

    • 58.1) Mike
      June 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

      I have used both and thought the Tokina was the better of the two in terms of image quality.

  59. 59) Lemon Tree
    June 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Dear Nasim. Thanks for an excellent post about landscape photography lens.

    I would like to know on which of the above lens we can add a Circular Polarizing filter as it is very useful whole shooting in bright sun?

    • 59.1) Mike
      June 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

      All of them will take filters except with the 14-24 you need a specialized adapter and very large filter.

      • 59.1.1) Lemon Tree
        June 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

        Thanks Mike.

        14-24 is a great lens for landscape photography as per the review but the place where I live is hot and has lot of sunlight. So a poloriser is must else there is no colour in photographs.

        Shall I go with any other wide angle lens. No Nikon? Just for the landscape photographs. Something like 10mm or 11mm? Can you give me any info on this?

        • Mike
          June 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm

          I assume by your interest in a 10mm you are shooting a crop body (DX). If so, I would go with the Tokina 11-16mm. I had that lens, it’s awesome, very sharp, and takes filters. That is likely your best bet.

        • Murray Foote
          June 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm

          I have a 14-24mm and it is a great lens and I don’t miss not having a polariser, even though I live in Australia where sunlight can be very harsh. Polarisers don’t work well on ultrawides because they have different effects according to the angle to the sun and that varies throughout an ultrawide sky. If you need to enhance colours or even just the sky, that’s easy enough to do in post-production and for the most part, all you need is Lightroom.

          A 14-24mm would be wasted on a crop sensor body, unless perhaps as a temporary step before going full-frame. Assuming you do have a crop sensor body, Mike’s already given a good answer.

      • 59.1.2) Jorge
        June 8, 2012 at 4:50 am

        Hi Mike,

        I red that the people of “Lee” filters just designed a special filter holder for the Nikon 14-24mm. Greetings, Jorge.

        • Mike
          June 8, 2012 at 8:58 am

          Yes, there are a couple of filter options for the 14-24 on the market, Lee being one of them. That is what I was referring to in my original post. The kits are expensive and work only on the 14-24 as far as I know, so you REALLY need to want filters with the lens to buy them.

  60. 60) Mita
    June 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Nasim,
    I have read most o your pages, and I simply appreciate your patience to write to us in detail, also I admire your love for photography.

    Could you please name must have just three basic lenses. My requirement is for miniature close-ups, portraits landscape/telephoto. Great if they have widest aperture.

  61. 61) Andrew
    June 16, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Hello everyone, I am a complete photography noob and am really confused, just trying to figure out what to get. I have two months to get my gear and learn as much about photography as I can before I go to Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina. I will be backpacking/trekking/mountaineering for a year and want to keep my gear as light as possible. For this reason I have been trying to figure out if I can just get one all around lens. Even though I haven’t taken any actual pictures yet, I think I would like to focus on landscapes.

    It seems my best two options would either be a D3100 or a D90 but then I’m confused about all the lens options. I want to keep my total cost for camera + lens around $1000. I can get a D90 body for $590 and a lot of people seem to like the 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G which is $550 used on Amazon (can I get this new?). Or a D90 with a 18-105mm would be $1100. The plain D3100 and 18-55mm is just $550, should I stick to that?

    My main concerns are price, weight, durability ( going to be up in cold mountains and places like Patagonia).

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    • June 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

      Hello Andrew

      You’re going to have a great time. I went to Patagonia last year and there are lots of great places there. The most important thing about photography is not technical. All the technical stuff comes in time. It’s to see – and to see what you want to end up with as a final image framed in your viewfinder. Then to think about what you got and how to improve it.

      I won’t comment much about camera and lenses because I use full-frame and mainly primes. Without looking at the specs, I would think a D90 is a better proposition because you’ll have more control, even if you grow into it. Others will offer advice on lenses but also look at lens review sites, such as

      One important thing is that you should get your equipment well before you leave and become familiar with it. You’re going to encounter rain and wind and probably snow so I would suggest getting a rain cover for the camera. I use an expensive one but you can get quite cheap ones. Make sure you test them before you go to find how well they work. A sturdy lightweight tripod is also a good idea if you are interested in landscapes. The best images are often in the lowest light.

      Especially for landscape, it’s best to shoot RAW and learn how to use Lightroom to process the images, even if you mainly do that when get back. You’re also going to need storage and backup. Perhaps a small laptop and a couple of compact backup drives.

      Hope that helps.


    • 61.2) Jorge Balarin
      June 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Andrew,

      In Ecuador, Peru and Argentina your main concern must be to not lose your gear. You must have your hands always over it. I have some lenses, but to do a travel like yours I would choose something like my all purposes 28-300mm zoom (mid range price) and a 50mm f/1.8

      Recently I was in Africa with a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm, but with a single body (D700), and I must tell you that in some situations I did miss my 28-300mm zoom, that is a very practical zoom.

      • 61.2.1) Andrew
        June 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm

        Yes, I know that I will have to baby it, I’m researching that as well. But these lenses are still messing with me. I need spend under $1000 on my camera and lens. Now I’m considering Canon too, it seems their cheap stuff is cheaper than nikon’s. I can get the T2i and 18-135mm for $800 which seems like a good idea right now. Or maybe the T1i body and get 1-2 lenses.

  62. 62) BJ
    June 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Nasim, we are indebted to you for your efforts. May you prosper.

    When I owned a D80 I bought the 70-200 f2.8 VR, and was delighted with it. Then I replaced the D80 with a D700, only to be told that my 70-200 VR was unsuitable, though I am damned if I can see its shortcomings. Is my eyesight failing?

    Again, thank you for your guidance.

  63. July 8, 2012 at 6:07 am

    HI Nasim,

    Thanks for the article very informative.

    I do not know much about the more pro end Nikon glass as quite frankly its out of my budget! So its interesting to see what’s on offer. I was saving up for a wide angle lens for my landscapes ( I have a 35mm 1.8G which I use for portraiture and objects) but realised I would probably have to spend at least £300-£500 on a Nikon or possibly Sigma/Tochina. After reading your blog and lots of reviews I have decided to spend that money on a holiday to a beautiful place in the world with Mountains and waterfalls and take pics with my kit lens instead! I figure a used and loved kit lens is better than a frustrated and unused Nikon 14-24! I am thinking of going Fx one day and getting a D700. I love the idea of getting an a 1980s manual focus 20mm lens. Do you know of any issues with the D700 and Nikon 20mm MF f4 or f3.5 ? I know that this article is more based on new lenses but do you have much experience with older MF lenses for landscapes?

    Thanks once again for your site.


  64. 64) AJ
    August 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I hope you’re doing well.

    I’m a beginner and want to buy a Nikon 3200 for landscape photography.

    Any suggestion for a decent lenses for the camera?


    • 64.1) DrZak
      August 20, 2012 at 2:03 am

      you should get 10-24 and a 70-300 vr from second hand, both are really great quality and will allow you quite a nice deal of creativity. As mentioned above nobody says landscapes are about very wide lenses, but you can get a nice picture on 20-24 and still have some fun in 10-20 ranges :)

  65. August 24, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Hello Nasim
    i just loved what you wrote it gave me a great deal about nikon.
    i travel around teh world and am new in nikon, am not profissional at all but i love a nice picture for the memmory.
    i have Nikon D90 what is the right lens to have for all kind pictures in same time it will give me a real nice shoots.
    i just need so help to be happy with my photos
    Thanx a million

    • 65.1) Mark
      August 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      I have acquired other lenses, probably too many. But I too have a D90, and my first two lenses for it were the 18-200 and the 35/1.8. You can do a lot with those two lenses in almost any type of photography. The 18-200 gets criticized sometime for being too much of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. But a lot of superb shots have been captured with it; you just need to get familiar with it. Remember the rule that for most lenses the sweet spot is two stops down from wide open.

  66. 66) Benson
    August 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I was amazed by your pictures. I have one question here. The colors are so rich and beautiful. Do you use any software to enhance the image sharpness and color? Or They are just raw image and without much processing? Thanks.

    • 66.1) Don
      August 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      If you shoot in RAW, 9 times out of 10 you have to post process the colors a bit as RAW images are flat.

      • 66.1.1) Benson
        August 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm

        Thanks for the reply. I am kind of new to this. So, like in lightroom, most time, what are the key elements need to be adjusted to make the vivid color and sharpness you get. Thanks for your help.

        • Don
          August 25, 2012 at 1:25 am

          Moi (Hello in FInnish) :),

          I am not a Lightroom user. I use Aperture however, there should be settings for Saturation and Vibrancy. You can also choose a color picker and boost these a bit. Be careful though as sometimes many people saturate the colors to the point where they look unnatural, and avoid the HDR hype.

  67. 67) Benson
    August 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Appreciate your help.

    I will learn things from experts like you. Hope to get better with all my equiments. U have a nice day! :)

  68. 68) Sonny
    September 19, 2012 at 10:59 am


    I am new to DSLR photography. I picked up the craft from my love of the outdoors and national parks. I recently visited Yosemite. Before going, I decided it was time to purchase an entry-level DSLR. I purchased a Nikon D5100 and bought the kit lens. I also purchased a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8. I personally think the Prime lens takes much sharper photographs and does an excellent job of portraying the colours of the sky properly when compared to the kit lens (Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-f/5.6). Unfortunately, I had to resort to using the Kit lens to properly photograph the Tunnel View and Valley View photograph at Yosemite. The 35mm was not wide enough given the crop factor of my DX sensor.

    I read your article about alternative lenses. Unfortunately, the price ranges of the lenses your recommend are out of my league currently. I want to learn to photograph for a few years before spending that much money on a lens. Is there a cheaper lens you could recommend to a beginner like myself with high aspirations of learning photography? I was hoping for a wide-angle lens so I do not run into the dilemma I faced at Valley View/Tunnel View again.. I plan to visit National Parks several times a year. I have also read your article on using polarizing and neutral density filters for shooting landscapes and waterfalls.. And will be investing in those soon.

    Thank you in advance!

  69. 69) mridul singh
    December 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    First of all thank you so much for the articles, extremely helpful . I am new to D-SLR and i m trying to get my hands into landscape photography. I have Nikon D5100 with kit lens 18-55. I am planing to buy a lens for landscape shooting and it would be gr8 if the lens would be helpful for portrait shots as well. (No mandate). I am on a tight budget and wanted to check with you, which would be the best cheapest possible lens to go for.

    Thank you in advance.

    • December 20, 2012 at 11:46 pm


      The cheapest possible lens to go for is the one you already have. You will probably gain more from improving your images with that lens than just buying another. For landscapes you may need to stop it down a bit for edge definition but for portraits that might not matter. Optimise your composition and exposure. Consider when you need camera support (and better still, test to see what works). Investigate what improvements you will get from post-processing, for example in Lightroom.

      After that (not that that process ever stops) the question would be – Is your lens limiting you and if so, why? A supplementary question would be how do you see images and what sorts of things do you like to photograph? Then, do you need more reach? Do you need a faster lens for low light? Do you need a wider angle? Possible answers might then be a 70-300mm, 50mm f1.8 (or other focal length, depending on how you see images) or an ultrawide zoom.

      With a 5100 you don’t have the option of old AI manual lenses, they’ll have to be AFS but second hand is an option and pretty safe from B&H, Adorama or KEH. But it may be that you’re better off first working out how to get the best results possible with the equipment you have.

  70. 70) Sonny
    December 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm


    If you are on a tight budget: I would recommend the Nikon 35mm f/1.8g lens. It may not be perfect for landscape because of the fixed focal length (can not zoom), but it is a very versatile lens and takes very sharp photos with the D5100. Just know that this lens is only made for the cropped sensor (DX) of your Nikon 5100. If you ever upgrade to an FX sensor (for example: D600) the equivalent focal length would be 50mm lens.

    You will not be disappointed with the photos! This lens is especially good in low light situations and has good autofocus speed!

  71. 71) Graeme chow
    December 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Nassim and you guys, I have been shooting the D800E for 2 months and recently I just got the nikon 50mm f1.8g and very pleased with the low light use and contrast color too. I have a DX len Tokina 12-24mm f4.0 and tried on the D800E and I can only used for wide angle from 19mm to 24mm. I shot from f8 to f11 from this range, the images seen OK to me. Do you think I need to get the Nikon 28mm f1.8g WHICH I have been undecided to get it . Seek your guys for my doubt!

    • December 25, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      The 28mm f1.8G is a fine lens and should work well with the D800E, especially stopped down a bit. As to whether you need it, I think that’s probably a question for yourself. For example, I don’t tend to favour the 28mm focal length but that’s just me; I’m not suggesting it has to apply to you.

  72. December 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Hmmm, further thoughts. 28mm is rather close to 24mm. Perhaps another option is to sell the 12-24mm and get a 16-35mm. Probably about the same as the 28mm f1.8 at 28mm, a bit soft in the corners at other focal lengths, probably better than the 12-24mm in the range you’re using it. May depend whether you’re still shooting DX.

  73. 73) Fawad Ahmed
    December 25, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Hello! Dear Nasim

    In dire need of your advice about buying a cheap and useful lens for my Nikon D-3100 as i know nothing about photogrpahy, but my inclination towards capturing good moments has made me buy so. i am using basic 18-55 kit, at nights while capturing having very low aperture my photo’s gets blurry and camera respond too slow. guide me through for the lens or anything else.

    Many Thanks

  74. 74) Solace2003
    February 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Wide Angle- Ok so I have a D7000 and am just starting my photography adventure although it’s been a passion my whole life. So, I love love love landscape and I purchased a Tamron 10-24mm 3.5-4.5. I do notice a smidgen of distortion at 10mm on the sides. I guess what I am wondering is if I should return this lens and go for the Nikkor 10-24mm? I am just wondering if I will notice a difference in my photos between the two or if I should save my $300. Thanks

  75. 75) Cassandra
    March 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Which lens would be best for macro pictures and landscapes?

    • March 14, 2013 at 1:31 am

      There’s no real answer for that. It depends on your camera, your budget, your intended form of output (web or large print), your expectations of quality and how you see images. You can take good landscape images with almost any current or recent equipment provided you work within its limitations for example by stopping down, using a good tripod and keeping to low ISOs. Landscape lenses can also be almost anything from ultra wide angle to long telephoto and zoom or prime.

      For macro outside the studio it is better to have a longer focal length, say 85mm to 180mm for a DX prime. Dedicated macro lenses are usually primes; the Tamron 90mm is a cheap example with a good reputation. An old manual macro prime would be fine provided your camera accepts it. You can get zooms with macro function but some are better than others. You could also get some cheap manual extension tubes and play with them.

      I’d suggest first work with what you have and explore how to get the best out of it. If it’s restricting you, ask yourself why. Joining a camera club or posting images on good online fora (that give thoughtful comments, not just emotive responses) may help you produce images and lots of practice always helps. If the problem is the equipment, knowing what is restricting you will help you know what to look for.

    • 75.2) RVB
      April 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Look at the nikkor 60mm micro G….

  76. 76) Steve Z
    March 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Another great article, Nasim. Thank you very much.

    What would be your suggestion for a third lens after the lower-tier 16-35 f/4 VR and 24-120 f/4 VR for an FX body? 70-200 f/4 VR? It seems there is a lot of overlap there, but that I suppose might not always be a bad thing. . . maybe add a TC14?

    Living in NW Montana, landscape and wildlife photography are natural temptations almost anytime I venture out.

    Thanks again,

    Steve Z

  77. 77) Mohamed Usman
    June 27, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Hello Nasim,

    I own a Nikon D5100 and is my first camera to explore and learn Photography and I never upgraded it to the next level. I am not a Pro but would like to learn more when I can get enough time from work.

    I would really appreciate if you could give your valuable suggestions on what lens I should buy for my visit to Kashmir, India.

    1. The VR lens which came pre-installed is 18-55mm and since Kashmir is a valley with landscapes, mountains, beautiful gardens and excellent scenic views, which lens would be the best choice for this purpose. (is 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR (AF-S DX) a good option)

    2. Also please recommend which lens is good for close-up shots for face portraits when outside in landscape/garden and also for taking close-up shots of flower/take-off of an insect etc.,

    Since I am not a Pro, I would prefer a VR lens for both options. There is retail shop which sells most of the Nikkor lenses. Please inform the model numbers.

    Thanks and regards,

  78. 78) Boe Baty
    July 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I have a Nikon D7100. What lens would you recommend for landscape photography? Cost isn’t really a big issue. Looking for a lens that gives the best performance. Looking primarily for 1 lens that works great in most situations.

    Also figured I’d ask this question since I was already writing: I currently have the newer Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G VR that I got for wildlife photography, birds predominantly, but have read some not so great reviews about it recently. I read your wildlife lens review and your review on the 80-400 mm lens (unfortunately after I already purchased it). Do you think that this is a good lens for bird photography or would you recommend something else? Looking for whatever is going to give me the best sharpness/AF/performance.

    Thank you!

    • July 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Boe, there is no “one lens” that can do it all for landscapes. For your D7100, I would have a close look at the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR and the Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G VR DX. The first one is a better investment, because it works on full-frame cameras, which means you can keep it if you decide to move up to FX. The second one is a DX-only lens, but provides more zoom range…

      As for the 80-400mm, it is not a bad lens at all, just has some quirks like the AF chatter problem. Personally, I favor the 300mm f/4 AF-S over the 80-400mm, but if you already bought it, don’t worry about switching. The only real upgrade from that lens is the expensive telephoto line, which will cost you a lot more!

      • 78.1.1) Boe Baty
        July 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

        Thanks, Nasim! I will check those lenses out. I probably will upgrade to FX at some point so the 16-35mm is most likely the way ill go.

        On the 80-400 I have noticed the chatter at times for sure but it did seem like it focused well in good light so I was happy with it until I started reading reviews about how much better other lenses were, but yeah almost all those lenses were in the pricy telephoto line.

        If you have enough people interested I would love to see a tutorial on your post-processing for wildlife (primarily bird images) in lightroom and photoshop. I know you have some bits here and there in the birding sections and hidden amongst some other articles, but to see what you do on average or maybe more specifically on the images that you spend more time on would be stellar. Some areas I’d be interested in are color enhancements / contrast that sorta thing. I know it varies by each image but just to see the process of where the image starts and where it ends would be amazing. Thanks again!


      • 78.1.2) Praveen
        October 25, 2013 at 8:28 am

        Hi Nasim,

        I have got D5200 9 months back and am happy with the Image quality. Am having 18-105 lens too. Now am planning to have a Wide angle lens which will sort out the Crop factor as well as help Landscape photography.

        My question which is best in case of Wide Angle Lens. Below are some familiar lens for me
        (1)Nikkon 10 – 24 – Image quality wil be good
        (2) Tamron 10-24 – Sharpness High but suffers chromatic aberration

        Can you pls guide me with more suggestions.


  79. 79) Felor Abedi
    August 4, 2013 at 5:40 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I am you can say a beginner photographer, which i recently found out I am a DX shooter, i have been surfing the net and speaking to sale persons for days on wide angle lens.

    I have a D90, i would like to capture landscape scenic views when I travel, I love wide angle pictures, but Im not quite sure which len to get.

    I have also read everything you and the comments which were posted. You recommended the 12-24mm f/4 for DX Shooters, and why not the 10-24mm?

    Like can you tell me the pro and cons of those two lens? or you would recommend me another lens?

    The way you describe the Nikon 14-24mm, i actually went to a store to get it and the guy at the store was like this isnt recommended for your camera D90.

    waiting for your reply

  80. 80) Felor Abedi
    August 4, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Hi again,

    I think what i meant in my previous comment .. what is the best, recommended and sharpest Nikon wide angle for D90 and which other Nikon lens can be used as an alliterative?


    • 80.1) Mark
      August 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      Nikon 12-24 DX and Tokina 10-16 are often recommended (I don’t have either so I can’t provide a personal recommendation).

  81. 81) Sherri
    August 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I am looking for some advice on the 10-25 lens for a Nikon D700 this lens would be used primarily for interior shots, housing situations.
    Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated.

  82. 82) Tom Crossan
    August 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I have found that the brand and size of lens depends a lot on the photographer. By that I mean for example:

    How good is your eyesight and can you focus the camera OK?

    If you use glasses, do you have ones just for photography?

    Have you set your camera up for your eyesight?

    How well do you know your camera?

    What software processing program are you using and how well do can you use it?

    What are you going to do with the digital images? Just download them to a HD or put on Flickr, or enlarge for private use or for sale?

    Sometimes I think a lot of us suffer from “lens envy” and ego.

    If you can, borrow or even hire a lens that you are looking at and use for a few days. If you are going to buy a “good” lens it can be an expensive $$$$mistake if you get the wrong one.

  83. 83) Mark
    August 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I have been thinking about the 14-24 for quite awhile. So many of the photographs that I like the most are made with wide and ultrawide lenses. However, reading various comments about the Nikon trinity of fast zooms, there seems to be a consensus that the 14-24 is the least used and most “special-purpose” of the three. It’s tough to spend that much money for a lens when others say they don’t use it as much as they expected to.

    I don’t want to compromise on sharpness and color rendition, but maybe I could get by with a slower lens at the wide focal lengths. Do you have any advice to give me?

    Thank you,

    • 83.1) trialcritic
      April 20, 2015 at 5:10 am

      If you are a landscape photographer, the 14-24 will not be a special purpose lens, it will be a go-to lens. Go for it, it is awesome.

  84. 84) Jason
    September 12, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Lovely article. Where was the picture of the sand dunes and mountains with the 24mm taken?

    This one:


  85. September 21, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Awesome article! Love the photos of Puerto Rico. I recently traveled there myself and identified the shots instantaneous! Old San Juan, Fort El morro, El Conquistador Resort. Awesome! I shot these places as well with my old Canon T4i. Recently made the change to a Nikon D600.

  86. 86) Praveen
    October 25, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I have got D5200 9 months back and am happy with the Image quality. Am having 18-105 lens too. Now am planning to have a Wide angle lens which will sort out the Crop factor as well as help Landscape photography.

    My question which is best in case of Wide Angle Lens. Below are some familiar lens for me
    (1)Nikkon 10 – 24 – Image quality wil be good
    (2) Tamron 10-24 – Sharpness High but suffers chromatic aberration

    Can you pls guide me with more suggestions.


  87. 87) Juliando
    November 4, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Hi Nasim,

    Very goed and usefull article!
    As a beginner i use Nikon D7100 + Nikon AF-S 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX.
    I am planning to get another lens but do not know which one. Can you give me some advices please?
    -Nikon AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II DX
    -Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
    -Nikon AF-S 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G DX ED VR

    Best regards,

    • 87.1) Malik
      February 24, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Nikon AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II DX is better as it has VR 2 option

  88. 88) Malik
    February 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Can Nikon 12-24 mm f/4 lens be used for handheld photography as it doesn’t have image stabilization

  89. 89) Omer
    February 27, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Hello Nasim, Do you have a suggestion about a good DX lens for landscape photography? For beginners i mean. I have a nikon D5100 and i expect to shoot landscape mostly.

    • 89.1) E. Sabir
      March 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      I am not sure what Nasim would recommend, but I also have a D5100. I have looked at many lenses, and frankly, I think you can get good landscape images from a 35 mm lens. And for a beginner, there is simply no lens out there that can beat 35 mm f1.8 DX lens in image quality (both in terms of sharpness and color retention). If I were you, that is the first lens I’d buy. I have seen images taken with it, and they are stunningly sharp. The only reason I have not purchased it because I am planning to upgrade to full frame camera, and DX lens is not really for a full frame camera. Having said that, I still have no ruled out the possibility of purchasing it because it is that good, and considering that it only sells for $196, it is the lens to buy for someone in your shoes.

    • January 23, 2015 at 1:27 am

      Omer, there are plenty of good choices. The 10-24mm is a great choice for wide-angle and your kit lens should do well for the mid-range…

  90. 90) Jamie Welton
    July 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Hi, i’m planning on upgrading to either D800/800E/D810 sometime in the next year or so from my D7000, and i’ve been wondering what lens would be best for landscape photography. I’ve obviously looked at most lenses, e.g. 14-24 f/2.8 but i dont fancy spending £300+ on a different filter system as I already have Lee filters.. the 24-70 f/2.8 also but what I have my eye on is the 17-35 f2.8D and I was wondering what you thought?


    • 90.1) trialcritic
      April 20, 2015 at 5:09 am

      Especially if you go to a D800, I suggest you get very good lenses. Being a high res camera, a normal lens will not get good pictures. Lenses are where you should invest it. Please go for the 14-24. I have this lens with my D800 and the images are outstanding.

  91. 91) bazliah ahmad
    August 31, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Good Morning ,

    Dear Mr.Nasim,

    I would like to take advise from you regarding the to purchase polarizing filter for NIKON D7000 camera kits lens.I have a D7000, I would like to capture landscape that can reduce light reflected from water glass or other shiny materials but I’m not quite sure which lens to get.

    Please do advise me for this situation in soonest in time.

    your prompt attention on this matter is highly appreciated.

    Thank you.



  92. 92) Michael Diegel
    September 7, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Great article. Have a 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 VRII, and a 16-35mm f4. Am debating about getting either the 24 mm f1.4 (landscape and night photography) OR the 14-24mm f2.8. Which of these two lenses (24 mm vs. 14-24 mm) would you advise I buy? Both cost $$$ and would prefer not to have buyers remorse. Thank you. Great pics in this article!!

  93. Profile photo of Guido 93) Guido
    November 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    I have discovered your website only recently and it is proving incredibly useful!

    I am trying to decide which lenses to buy on the wide side. My current setup is a Nikon D750, a 28-300mm zoom and a 50mm f/1.8 prime.
    I am looking for a wide lens for landscape, but I would also appreciate some versatility, e.g. being able to use to take pictures of group of people for dinner and similar. I am quite undecided between
    1) 16-35mm
    2 ) 20mm f/1.8 + 35 f/1.8, also complemented by the wide end of my zoom
    3) 24-70mm This I am quite unsure about as it is pricey and weighty and would overlap a lot with my current setup, but I also know that has a different quality and would also work very well for portraits (I am considering to also get the 85mm f/1.8 for portraits which maybe I could then avoid).

    What would you recommend? Thinking of quality only, is the 16-35 superior or inferior to the primes I have mentioned at the same focal length?
    Thanks a lot for your help!

    • 93.1) Mukhtar Ukhwah
      January 23, 2015 at 1:21 am

      for me, wide lens I would go with the tokina 11-16mm. Plus it has a f2.8 aperture. Plus its cheaper. Thats a bargain

      • January 23, 2015 at 1:29 am

        Tokina 11-16mm is a DX lens. It won’t cover the full image circle on the D750…

    • January 23, 2015 at 1:25 am

      Guido, aside from a couple of exceptions, prime lenses are always better optically than zooms. The 20mm f/1.8 + 35mm f/1.8 combo would give you amazing sharpness and versatility compared to the 16-35mm lens. Plus, you can do astrophotography with those lenses, while the 16-35mm is really not suited for those needs. Add the 24-70mm and you will have a killer setup. The 85mm f/1.8 is amazing for portraiture too.

      So my personal preference would be to go with the following setup:
      1) 20mm f/1.8G
      2) 35mm f/1.8G
      3) 24-70mm f/2.8G
      4) 85mm f/1.8G

  94. 94) Camera Doge
    December 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Great review, but are there any ‘entry level’ lenses for landscape photography? I have a Nikon D5200.

  95. 95) Mukhtar Ukhwah
    January 23, 2015 at 1:18 am

    Dear Nasim, I need your opinion about the 70-200mm lens. Hence I’m looking forward to buy a tele zoom lens.

    What did you mean about:

    “If you have a DX camera, I would skip this lens and rather have a two lens kit comprised of the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR and Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR, which would cover most of your needs. These two lenses are also great for full-frame cameras as a lower-cost alternative to the Nikon “trinity”.

    If a person is seeking to get the f2.8, why does he need to buy f/4? So I have a D7100 DX Camera, so it would not be suitable for the body?

    I found another lens that is similar and maybe could replace the 70-200mm, and that is 80-200mm f2.8

    What do you think about this lens?

    Thank You

    • January 23, 2015 at 1:21 am

      Mukhtar, because a DX camera would result in a different field of view and would appear longer. See this article for more information:

      In regards to the 80-200mm f/2.8 lens, it was a great lens in its time, but it is not suited for high resolution sensors. You will find its performance to be sub-par for landscape photography, particularly on the latest 24 MP sensors.

      • 95.1.1) Mukhtar Ukhwah
        January 23, 2015 at 1:23 am

        I’m looking for a fast aperture. What kind of tele zoom do you recommend? in terms of landscape, as well as other things.

        Thank you for the fast reply :)

        • Nasim Mansurov
          January 23, 2015 at 1:30 am

          If you need fast aperture and do not mind the narrower field of view on DX, then go for the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II. There are third party options available too, but none of them are going to be as good as the Nikkor, especially when it comes to AF reliability.

  96. 96) Red Cloud
    February 28, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Dear Nasim, this is such a great article – thank you.
    I’m sure you’re exceptionally busy but I’d appreciate your advice regarding purchasing a lens. I’m an amateur photographer with a Nikon D7000 and I would like to photograph landscapes and in particular mountains / mountain ranges. I shall be going to see the Alps and Himalayas this year but my current lens is very basic. I assume I will need a wide angle lens but I’m exceptionally ignorant about the matter. Unfortunately I only have a budget of GBP£700-£1000. Could you be so kind as to recommend a lens for me please?

  97. 97) kbklarry
    April 4, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I have read many of your wonderful articles over the years and just registered on your site so I can join in the discussions. What motivated me to join at this moment was how continually impressed I get with the beauty of your photos. You are truly a great photographer! And then I get more impressed when I think about how you can possibly have enough time to take these pictures and do so much writing. You must only need two hours of sleep a night;-)

  98. 98) Firzok Attaullah
    April 18, 2015 at 4:29 am

    Dear Nasim,
    I found your article quite interesting. However since I am a novice at photography so there is some technical stuff I don’t understand. I need your advice on purchasing a lens for outdoor landscape photography. I have Nikon D3300 with 18-55mm /3.5-5.6 lens, 50mm/1.8D and Tokina 35-105mm lens. I was thinking of buying 24-70 mm/2.8 G, but I saw that you do not recommend it with DX camera body. So can you please suggest real good lens for my D3300 Nikon. Thanks

  99. 99) Phill
    June 21, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    I’m looking for a lens that is versatile for architectural photography. Which one would you recommend?

    July 11, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Best articles i ever read really very beautifully defined and very beautiful pictures which you upload
    Actually i want to start my career in photography profession but i dont know how because i completed my Engineering
    Can you plz help me plz guide me for my good future sir

  101. 101) Dipan
    August 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Dear Nasim,
    I am a DX photographer doing landscape, nature, wildlife and architecture. Though I am a amateur photographer, I am passionate enough not to compromise a bit on quality. Often I get to capture excellent landscape during long treks or hikes. Hence to keep weight at minimum, I use to carry Tokina 11-16, Nikkor 18-140. But when I compare large printed images , images taken by a 24-70 on fX or 16-35 on DX are much better than 18-140. Do you think it will be a good idea to replace 18-140 with 17-55 f 2.8? What would be the optimal option for long shot considering the bulk – 70-200 vr2 or 70-300 or 55-200


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