First Nikon DSLR and Lens

Recently, I have been asked by my readers to suggest what Nikon DLSR camera and lens to get for someone who is switching over from a point and shoot camera. Since I spent a considerable amount of time responding to the emails, I decided to write a quick post on what DSLR and lenses I suggest to buy.

1) For a budget below $1,000 USD, I recommend buying the Nikon D3100 camera with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX lens. The Nikon D3100 DSLR is a great DSLR to begin your photography journey and its image quality is outstanding. The 18-55mm kit lens will cover the wide-angles and will give you the zoom flexibility, while the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX lens is a very inexpensive (only $200), sharp lens that will deliver great results when shooting portraits and in low light.

2) For a budget above $1,000 and between $1,500 USD, I recommend buying the Nikon D7000 camera with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G lens. The Nikon D7000 is a phenomenal weather-sealed camera (see my Nikon D7000 Review) that can command external flashes, has a bigger viewfinder, dual SD cards and works with older lenses that do not have an autofocus motor. It has an excellent 16 megapixel sensor that can deliver practically noise-free images. The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G lens is a very lightweight and sharp lens that can produce beautiful images with good-looking bokeh and its focal length is perfect on DX sensors. If you want an even better lens for portraits and beautiful bokeh, check out the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G. See my Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Review for details.

Lenses with fixed focal lengths are called “prime” lenses, while variable focal length lenses are called “zoom” lenses. Why do I recommend a prime lens over a zoom lens? Because prime lenses are cheaper, lighter, sharper, faster (in low-light conditions), more resistant to dust and are generally less prone to optical distortions. Prime lenses are simpler to make than zoom lenses, which is why they are so much smaller and lighter than zoom lenses.

What about the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-f/5.6 VRII lens? Another reader asked me if he should get the Nikon 18-200mm as the first lens for his camera, because everyone keeps telling him it is a very good lens. While the Nikon 18-200mm might sound like a “Jack of all trades”, you cannot even compare it to a prime lens such as the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G. It is slow, not as sharp, has distortion and other optical issues at higher focal lengths. I, too, used to have this lens and I ended up selling it, because it was not good enough when compared to even some of the worst prime lenses. The bokeh on 18-200mm is disappointing, to say the least.

I highly recommend reading one of my articles on how to buy a DSLR and this post on first Nikon lens that I wrote a while ago.

Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.


  1. January 3, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Great post… as one of your write-in readers… I can say that after renting the 50mm to check it out on my nikon d80… it was a winner… now to buy it!!! Thanks for all the great info.

    • January 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      Deana, thank you for your feedback! Like I said before, once you try out the 50mm lens, you will want to keep it on your camera for good :) It almost stays glued to my Nikon D300.

  2. January 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    hmm =) I think that D90 with kit lense Nikkor 18-105 VR – is better choise for people who just started make a photo.
    18-105 is sharp, quick and make good shoots when a light is enought. anyway usually apperture higher than 1.4 or 2.8 when you shoot landscapes, city and etc.
    50mm f/1.4 f/1.8, 85mm f/1.4 f/1.8, 105mm f/2.8 is portrait lenses (85mm and 105mm is too expensive)

    So, for budget $1000 – $1500 i suppose d90 + kit lense + 70-300mm for first time. and when photographer deсide, what kind of photo preferable for him, he can make clever choise =)

    Sorry for bad english =) Hope u understend me =)

    • January 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm

      Medvezhutka, thanks for posting in English, you are making lots of progress bro! :) Getting ready for your trip in March? :)

      As for kit lenses, I would only get them if I’m getting a killer deal, where the kit lens is coming almost free of charge or at a great price. Even then, I would carefully evaluate the price difference and think twice before buying it. Is the 18-105mm VR worth the $400? I personally think that it is not. I would much rather get the 35mm f/1.8 and the 18-55mm VR, than have one “more versatile” lens. With these two lenses, I can shoot in low light conditions and can capture landscapes and other scenes where a wide-angle lens is needed.

      And I wouldn’t necessarily call the 35mm f/1.8 or the 50mm f/1.4/1.8 just portrait lenses. I use my 50mm for food photography, panoramas and other types of photography where a beautiful bokeh is important.

      Forget about good bokeh with kit zoom lenses – they are not designed optically to produce pleasant background blur.

      For wildlife photography and other work where longer focal lengths are required, the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-f/5.6 VR lens is without a doubt, a great choice.

      • 2.1.1) medvezhutka
        January 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm

        haha thanx =) i try to do ma best =)))
        May be you right about 35 and 50 mm lenses, but using that lenses in roadtrip or city walking is so complicated (imho). Fix lenses good for shoots with some preparation like a studio work, lightbox, landscape (when you choise shootpoint and time).
        actually i bought 18-135 lense for $270 that much better than 18-55 (without VR).

        I repeat again, i said only about camera kit for $1000-$1500 budget and for ppl who do not have expirience.

  3. 3) Tair_gt
    January 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    You’ve given a very nice review about Nikon cameras and lenses. Could you make the same kind of review of canon cameras and lenses? I mean, i know you’re using Nikon camera and can give more information about cameras of this brand, however maybe you could do smth like this?

    • January 3, 2010 at 4:14 pm

      Tair, let me consult with my Canon gurus first, then I will write another post about Canon DSLRs and lenses :)

      • 3.1.1) Tair_gt
        January 4, 2010 at 1:50 am

        ok, thank you in advance) the thing is that having 18-200 canon Kit lense im not really satisfied whit the sharpness of images, although it’s very convinient because of a wide range from wide to telephoto, there are some problems. I’ve ordered 50mm lens which is coming in couple days, however im not sure that 50mm will be enough. Besides i don’t really know what kind of lenses are better Canon or Sigma’s another problem in chosing lenses. thnx.

      • 3.1.2) Vijay Jayaraman
        December 12, 2011 at 11:56 pm

        Have you made a post on canon lenses? I am unable to find it in this website, please post the link if you have written the post yet.

  4. 4) shams
    January 3, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    It’s ridiculous those mentioned lenses above are so expensive in the UK and my 18-55vr sucks :( it’s totally blind. Funny thing is i think my lens needs a lens (or glasses)

    • January 3, 2010 at 11:36 pm

      Why does your 18-55mm VR suck? Is it defective? If it is, then you should send it back to Nikon for repair. When you say “totally blind”, I would love to hear what it actually means, along with some image samples, if possible.

      And the above lenses are some of the cheapest (the 35mm f/1.8 or the 50mm f/1.8) lenses in the market today. The 50mm f/1.8 is the cheapest Nikon lens period.

      Remember, it’s the photographer that takes great pictures, not the camera or the lens.

  5. 5) Thomas Fitzgerald
    January 4, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I think you would be better off going with a 35mm lens for a cropped sensor camera. I think that 50mm is too long for standard use unless you have a full frame camera like the D700. Especially if you are considering getting it as your only lens. 35mm on a cropped sensor camera is the equivalent of 50mm in 35mm terms. I have the 35mm f1.8 dx and its sharpness is excellent. The only issue with it is some bad fringing when used at 1.8. But otherwise an excellent lens.

    • January 4, 2010 at 11:01 am

      Thomas, thanks so much for your feedback! I agree, the 35mm f/1.8 is ideal on a DX body. It’s not too long or too short and the price is also very attractive.

      I will be posting a comparison between 35mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.4G/1.4D very soon.

  6. 6) April Russell
    January 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    How do you feel about the Nikon D40? That is what I have been using and really like it. I know there is probably better but they aren’t in my price range right now!

    • January 4, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      April, the Nikon D40 is also a great camera, but it has been discontinued. It was first replaced by Nikon D60, then by Nikon D3000.

  7. 7) Kim
    January 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I am about to buy a Nikon D90 and it is my first DSLR camera. I will definately buy the 50mm f/1.4. I definately want a telephoto lens as well. I can’t deceide between the Nikkor 18-200 VR II and the 55-200 VR. I am aiming towards the 18-200, but the cost is obviously much more. I am also trying to not change lenses when I could need both and feel that the 18-200 would allow for that. However, I also don’t want to spend the extra money if I don’t have to.

    What are your thoughs? Or is there another lens I should be considering for what I want

    • January 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm

      Kim, thanks for visiting us. The Nikon D90 is surely a great camera and you’ve made the right choice.

      As far as lenses, what is your budget? When you say that you want a telephoto lens, can you tell me what you want to use it for?

  8. 8) aawad
    January 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks for all your guidance. I love your website.
    After much research, I’ve decided that I’ll buy the D90 as my first DSLR camera. But I need you opinion.
    I can get that camera (body only for $790, or a kit that comes with the 18-105 VR lens for $275 more. Regardless of that decision I am also buying the 50mmf/1.4G
    What should I do?? Should I go with the kit or use those $275 towards another lens (a zoom maybe) . I have no clue of what I am doing here so I need guidance. I have around $1,500 to start my new hobbie!
    By the way, as soon as I get my camera I’ll start photography lessons! =)

    • January 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm

      aawad, you are most welcome!

      As far as the Nikon D90, you’ve made the right choice. As far as the lens, what are you going to be primarily shooting? The 18-105mm VR will give you a wide range with some telephoto capability, while the 70-300mm VR is great for wildlife, but is useless for landscapes.

      If you just need a good lens for the reach, get the 70-300mm VR. If you need to cover the wide side for landscapes, then the 18-105mm VR would be a better choice…

      Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

  9. 9) aawad
    January 22, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Another alternative would be to get a kit that has the D90 and the Nikon 70-300 VR Lens. The lens adds $455 to the price of the body.
    Thanks for your input!

    • January 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      aawad, just like I posted above, if you will be shooting primarily wildlife, then the 70-300mm is a very good choice!

  10. 10) aawad
    January 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks for your feedback! One last questionne. Can you think of one lense that might do what those to do? Landscapes and wildlife? Since I am just starting I can not buy the 2, and I am looking for a lense that will work when I go take photography classes, when I go to my son’s socker games, or his horseback riding lessons. Play dates at the park, picnics etc.. To start with I am sure I’ll be mostly taking pictures of my family. I need a lense that can “do a lot” outdoors. Indoors I’ll use the 50mm f/1.4

    • January 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm

      aawad, there is a Nikon lens “18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II” that can be used for both landscapes and telephoto, which should also be good enough for family pictures outside. I used to have one and I ended up selling it, because I wasn’t very satisfied with its optical performance. But that’s what you get for having such a large optical range…

  11. 11) Jetron Lamanilao
    February 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Your write-ups are so useful. i always read them anytime i’m not doing anything here in the office. your site is too organized and relevant.
    Hope you could provide more articles and reviews on other gears.

    keep it up.


    • February 3, 2010 at 12:54 am

      Jetron, thank you for your feedback :) I will continue posting more articles and reviews!

  12. 12) WASCHBAER30
    February 8, 2010 at 6:49 pm



    • February 9, 2010 at 12:29 am

      Waschbaer30, excellent choice, you will love the D300s!

      As far as the lens, what is your budget? How far are you going to be standing relative to horses and sport events?

      Let me know and I will give you some suggestions.

      • 12.1.1) WASCHBAER30
        February 9, 2010 at 7:51 am

        Hi Nasim,

        My budget is hopefully not exceeding $1000 and the distance is from 15metres to 60metres.

        • Nasim Mansurov
          February 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm

          If you are shooting from that far away, then I would definitely recommend a good telephoto lens. I personally use the Nikon 300mm f/4.0 AF-S lens and love the results, but it is around $1500. You can also use the excellent Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens as an alternative and it is currently selling for about $590.

          Hope this helps :)

  13. February 13, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I just got a Nikkon D5000 2 weeks ago and i am learning my camera, so i am haapy for any suggestiong and reading.

  14. 14) Phoenix
    March 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm


    I need your advice on which lens to choose. Which is better lens to buy? Tamron AF70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 or Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Compact Super Telephoto Zoom Lens? Please kindly advise. Thank you.

    • March 14, 2010 at 10:48 am

      Phoenix, what body are you shooting with?

      Unfortunately, I do not know much about the Sony cameras/lenses, so I am not sure if I could provide good feedback on those lenses…

      • 14.1.1) Phoenix
        March 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm


        It’s Sony Alpha 230. I hope you could at least give me some advice based on your experience. Thank you.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          March 18, 2010 at 12:15 am

          Phoenix, both lenses seem to be very similar in functionality. Check out this thread on Flickr that discusses and compares these lenses. I think the Tamron is a little better, but they also advice to check out the Sigma lens.

          • Phoenix
            March 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

            Thank you so much for your reply, Nasim. I personally think Tamron lens is better too…Thank you for your advice. I deeply appreciate it.

  15. 15) Sam L.Pin
    April 1, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Nasim, I’m considering to get one of these lens.
    So, hope to get some advice from you:

    1) AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm F2.8-4D IF (zoom)
    2) AF Nikkor 85mm F1.8D (telephoto)

    These 2 lens are within my budget but which one is good for portraiture?

    I saw some reviews of AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, it’s a superb lens but it’s way too expensive for me. I’ve already owned a prime lens 50mm F1.4D.. I just intend to get a longer lens with F2.8…

    Thanks in advance for ur advice.

    • April 2, 2010 at 1:49 am

      Sam, go for the 85mm f/1.8D for portraiture, as long as you are not using an entry-level DSLR like D3000/D5000.

  16. 16) gry planszowe sklep
    April 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Nice template , what is the name of tamplate you used in your blog

    • April 17, 2010 at 3:39 am

      The theme I used is called “LightWord”.

      Hope this helps!

  17. 17) Pankaj
    April 30, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    I am from India. I recently was in the market for an entry level DSLR and did a lot of research on this subject. The choice was between Canon 500D and Nikon D5000. After reading your post, decided to go with Nikon. I have gone for a D5000 kit with a 18-55 VR lens. I paid around 810$ US equivalent with a 2 year Nikon warranty. The gray market version was available for about 80-100 $ less.

    I also had a look at the D90 version but that was available at around US$1200 with an 18-135 VR lens, but that was way too much for my budget now. So I went with your suggestion of going in for a D5000 and get an extra lens when budget permits.

    I would be using mostly for shooting family/portraits, party/wedding scenes and occasional travel scenes/landscapes. So what is the next lens that I should go in for? the 35mm or the 55-200mm? Do I require both? If I have to prioritize, then what should be the order? Keep in mind I am not a professional and would not like to spend too much on a single lens.

    • May 5, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Pankaj, go for the 35mm f/1.8 DX for now and you will know what to get next, based on your needs after a while…

      • 17.1.1) Pankaj
        May 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm

        Hi Nasim,

        the 35mm Dx would indeed be a good choice as far as the reviews go. You have also mentioned in your post that this needs to be the main lens (for budget less than 1000) with 18-55 VR being the backup. Would you like to expand on this? If the 35mm lens is sharp and lets in more light and from what I think can be used in almost all type of needs – potraits to landscapes; then where is the need for a 18-55mm?
        Also will the absence of VR in the 35mm be an issue?

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          May 10, 2010 at 12:17 pm

          Pankaj, the problem with the 35mm is that while it is good in low light, it is a little too long on a DX body for landscapes. 35mm is equivalent of 50mm lens on a DX body, which is ideal for portraits and general photography, but not very good for wide landscape shots. The 18-55mm is better in this regard, because you can use it at 18mm for landscapes.

          Do not worry about the absence of VR on the 35mm – Nikon does not have VR on short focal length lenses, except for Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 VR.

          • Pankaj
            November 22, 2010 at 1:33 am

            Hi Nasim,

            So, I did go in for the 35mm lens and am quite happy with it. On the aperture priority mode, i tend to keep it at the widest aperture – I know it is not correct and I have to learn to understand the relation between the light and aperture ( but that is another story).

            The reason I am writing is that I am facing a problem. While on travel, sometime I am shooting landscapes and sometimes a family photograph with/without some landmark in the background. I am using the kit lens 18-55 for landscapes, but am changing to 35mm for closeups, this is kind of cumbersome and often the moment is lost. So what is the suggestion?

  18. 18) Faiz
    May 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Nasim..

    I’m considering to buy a Nikon d90… but still not clear about the lenses.
    Whats your comment and please make comparison on these lenses:

    1.AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens
    2.Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Autofocus Lens
    3.Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR AF-S DX Nikkor Lens
    *I’m not considering buying AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Lens

    I thought maybe I will buy 2 from these 4 lenses..
    So, which one do you prefer?? I want to use my DSLR for indoor and landscape

    Do i need to get a tripod too?? if yes, whats ur tripod suggestion?

    About the circular polarizer.. what is the best choice for the lenses that you recommended for me…

    Thanks for everything that I learned from your website..^_^

    • June 5, 2010 at 11:15 am

      Faiz, go for the 18-105mm and the 50mm f/1.4G. If the budget is smaller, go for the 18-55 + 50mm.

      Yes, I would definitely recommend to get a tripod. Check out my “how to buy a tripod” article for recommendations.

      In terms of circular polarizer, get a B+W 77mm polarizer with step-up rings.

      • 18.1.1) Faiz
        June 5, 2010 at 11:29 am

        okay.. thanks!!!

  19. 19) Anup Bhide
    June 5, 2010 at 2:51 pm


    Thank you for your reply to my earlier query regarding the Nikon D5000. You have recommended getting the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX lens for a second lens. Is there anything this lens can do that the 18-55mm Vr lens that came with the camera can’t do? Since 35 is between 18 and 55 mm, wouldnt i just be paying for something that the 18-55 mm lens can already do.

    Thanks in advance,


    • June 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      Anup, absolutely! The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G can shoot in far larger aperture than 18-55mm can. It is a much faster lens and it can take images in low light, while 18-55mm would struggle. The lenses are completely different from each other and serve different purposes. If you were to choose between 18-55mm and 35mm, I would say go for the 35mm instead, but some people really like to shoot wide and would disagree with me. That’s why I recommend both.

  20. 20) Anup Bhide
    June 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm


    Once again thanks for your superb advice. I think its great that you take the time and effort to share your knowledge about photography with complete beginners like myself! It is much appreciated. I took your advice and bought the Nikon D5000 last week and so far, I love it!!!!
    Regarding the 35 mm f 1.8 G, i am quite tempted to buy this at a later stage. You said the 35 mm serves different purposes. Would that be mainly portraits and night photography (cities)? Or can it do other things?
    The 18-55 mm lens came with the D5000 at very little extra cost, so i am thinking of making the 35 mm my second lens at some point! I would love to own a wide angle lens but they are so expensive!

    Kind regards,


    • June 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm

      Anup, you are most welcome. The Nikon 35mm f/1.8 has a good focal length that is good for many kinds of photography, but most notably, it is good for low-light situations.

      And yes, it is a great lens to be used as a second lens to your 18-55mm.

    June 19, 2010 at 3:01 am

    Nice presentations!
    I have recently bought a Nikon D300S together with a Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD lens. I am still experimenting with them, thus I cannot post any opinions. However, I plan to buy 2 more lenses as follows:
    1) 50mm f/1.4G (or 1.8). Will be used for portrait/indoors photography (and will primarily be depended upon available budget). By the way, does it have to be Nikon or any other brand will do?
    2) Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR
    I will appreciate your position on my future purchases..

    • June 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      Dimitris, go with both Nikon 50mm f/1.4G and Nikon 70-300mm VR – they are excellent lenses. Yes, the brand does matter and I would recommend to stay with Nikon instead of other manufacturers for both.

  22. 22) davina day
    June 24, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I will be getting the D90 soon. I would like a walk around lens that could preferably fit many shooting situations as I do not like carrying too many lenses. Can you advise if the kit lens 18-105mm or the more advanced 16-85mm is better? Although I personally prefer wide more than zoom, I also bring into consideration of the pricing as the 16-85 is about twice the amount. Can you recommend any other better more affordable lenses of the other brands that works just as good?



    • June 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm

      Davina, I would just go with the 18-105mm if I were you. If you want to shoot wide, take a look at Nikon 12-24mm f/4.0 or Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G instead…

      In terms of brands, I have not had good experience with Sigma or Tamron, so I would recommend to use Nikon instead.

      • 22.1.1) davina day
        June 30, 2010 at 1:19 am

        Hi Nasim,

        Thank you for your respond. I have just gotten my D90 last week and loving it. But after going around it, something popped into my mind.

        After trying out the P,S,A and Auto mode, I am trying the M (Manual) mode. My question is on the focusing ring. Is it only used in Manual mode and not the Auto, P, S, and A?

        Do I have to also set the 18-105 lens from A To M and the Focus Mode switch (located on the front side of the D90 body) to M as well once I turned the D90 to M mode? I tried reading the Nikon manual but there isn’t any full explaination to that. I am afraid of damaging the ring if I happen to use them in other modes. Let me know which is the best way.

        As for the wide angle, I was giving plenty recommendation but my main criteria will be on sharpness and lightweight if possible as the D90 body is a little weighty by itself. Price wise I hope to be around $400 -500.



  23. 23) sophea
    June 24, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Nasim,
    For the pass week, I’ve been reading your advices and comments on the D90 and D5000 which help me me alot. Very good advices by the way.

    I love to take pictures but only used the point and shoot camera. So now I decided to move up a little. A friend suggested I should get the D90 but after reading your posts, I decide on the D5000.

    The main purpose for this camera is to take pictures of my children playing high school sports and family pictures plus just random pictures.

    I found a bundle on For $839.99 plus tax, this is what I get:

    Nikon D5000 Digital SLR Camera
    AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Image Stabilization)
    AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED (Image Stabilization
    4GB SD Card
    Carrying Case
    EN-EL9a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
    Quick Charger
    USB Cable
    A/V Cable
    Software Suite CD-ROM

    What do you think? Good deal? What about the lenses? Is it worthwhile or should I get a different lenses? The bundle end on 6/26.

    Again, thanks for the wonderful post! Will add you on my facebook! :)

  24. 24) Elsa
    July 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Your advice and reviews have helped me narrowed down and purchased D5000 + AF 18-55 VR lens kit + AF 55 – 200 mm VR. Thank you!! In addition, after I read reviews of the 35mm f1.8, I bought it too because I like low light photography. I’ve tried it out and I love the details!! Sharp!

    I am going to travel to Quebec City soon, and if I love a building or landscape behind me and I want to take a picture in front of it. Would it blurrs the background since the 35mm has great bokeh?? Please advice! Thank you so much!! :)

    • July 9, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      Elsa, thank you for your feedback!

      If you want to blur the background with the 35mm f/1.8, set your aperture to f/1.8 and then take a picture from a relatively close distance – the background will certainly be blurred.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

  25. 25) Dimitrios
    July 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    When it comes to the faster primes I can’t make up my mind as to wether I should go for Nikkors 35mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4 or 1.8, & 85mm 1.8, I also have Sigma 50mm 1.4 in mind. I like to shoot mostly faces as well as lots of pictures of my son. What is your opinion?

    • July 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      Dimitrios, if you will be primarily shooting faces, go for the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D (as long as you have a camera body that can autofocus with older lenses such as Nikon D90).

  26. 26) Elsa
    July 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Can I still use the 35mm f1.8 to have a clear background? For instance, if I want to take a picture of a church with someone in front of it. How can I achieve that? Thanks!

    • July 17, 2010 at 1:24 am

      Elsa, of course you can. All you have to do is stand a little further away, then use a larger aperture like f/8 or f/10 and you will capture both. If the church is very big, you will have to stand even further away though, since the 35mm is not a wide-angle lens.

  27. 27) Sarena
    July 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Im a newbie and just bought Nikon D90 last wk. Since it comes with 18-105mm lense, is this lense good enough for me or do i have to purchase the 18-55mm lense? Fyi, i love to take pictures during our vacations. Is this considered potrait / landscape photography?

    Pls guide me :)


    • July 17, 2010 at 1:25 am

      Sarena, your D90 with the 18-105mm is a good setup – you don’t need the 18-55mm lens. The 18-105mm is a good overall lens and certainly works great for landscapes.

  28. 28) thiengco
    July 27, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Nasim,
    I just “found” your blog that gives me a lot of useful DSLRS informations and the more important thing is the friendly way you replied to every single reader.
    I’d like to ask you a question before I purchase a Nikon D90. What do you think of a combination of
    Nikon D90+Nikon 18-105mm VR Lens + 70-3000mm VR Lens ? B&H is offerring this combo at a price of $1,579.90 and this rebate is going to end of this July.
    Thank you for your time,

    • July 30, 2010 at 1:47 am

      Sorry for a late reply!

      Are you referring to this deal at $100 off? If you are, then yes, it is a great setup that is worth buying at that price. Both lenses are excellent and will serve you well for years. In the future, you might want to get a small prime lens like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 or a 50mm lens for portraits and low-light situations, but first learn to use the above two lenses and the camera :)

      • 28.1.1) thiengco
        July 30, 2010 at 6:55 am

        Thanks a lot, Nasim.

  29. 29) davina day
    September 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Would be nice if you could advise on the best hours in the morning and afternoon for photography. I know light and shadow plays a good role. Just wondering if a picture which is taken in with plenty strong light and shadow make good picture? Or is it better to take when the sun is not too strong i.e on a cloudy day?



    • September 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

      Davina, light is what makes a picture look good or bad. Here are my best hours for photography:
      1) Sunrise/Sunset
      2) 1-2 hours after sunrise
      3) 1-2 hours before sunset

      If you live in the northern or southern countries, you can shoot all day long and not worry about light. The light makes the shadows look bad when it is direct. And yes, cloudy days are awesome for portrait photography, since the light is diffused and the shadows look soft and beautiful.

      • 29.1.1) davina day
        September 2, 2010 at 12:53 am

        Hi Nasim,

        Thanks and regards.


  30. 30) davina day
    September 15, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I have this 50mm 1.4 ais nikkor lens (an old lens which I used on my FM2 film slr previously).

    When I got my D90, I fix the lens to to it as well. The lens does not seem so tack sharp on my D90 although it has some nice bokeh when doing macro shot with the aid of a close up filter. Tried using it as a potrait lens when snapping my little nephew but notice I keep failing to get his face sharply in focus, its either the other feature is sharp like his ears, eyebrow or hair but his face is not or vice-versa.

    Is the lens not suitable on a D90 or is it my focusing is lousy?



    • September 17, 2010 at 1:27 am

      Davina, either your focusing is lousy or you have a back-focus/front-focus issue with your lens.

      • 30.1.1) davina day
        September 21, 2010 at 8:33 pm

        Thank you Nasim. Guess I will need plenty of practice on the lens till I get it perfected. I am also interested in landscape photography. Thinking to get the Sigma 10-22 or the Tokina 11-16. Do you have better suggestions? And also, what is the differences on a 50mm 1.4 and 50mm 1.8 lens? Which among them is the better one?

        Thanks again


        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          October 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm

          Davina, I have heard a lot of good things about the Sigma 10-22mm, but not sure about the Tokina 11-16mm. As far as differences between 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.8, it depends on whether you are looking at the AF-D version of 50mm or AF-S. Either way, the 50mm f/1.4 is a better lens than the f/1.8.

        • Sunarto Djuardi
          May 29, 2011 at 9:01 am

          I have Tokina 11-16 on my D300s…just sharp and great..for such a kind of super wide angle with very reasonable price.

          • Sunarto Djuardi
            May 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

            Dear Nasim

            Its my first time to see you here and really great and helpful explanation for me as “beginner”, it was long time ago with film 35 mm and mostly missed everything :-)

            I just bought D300s and lenses Nikon 18-200 VRII, Af 50mm/f1.4, Tokina 11-16.
            Based on reading your comments some lenses are in my mind :
            16-35 mm
            24-70 mm
            105 mm
            85 mm

            Any advise from you what should I add ,,,if I wanna buy 2 more lenses.

            Tks n Rgds
            70-200 mm

  31. 31) Swapnil
    October 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you for the great recommendations. This article finally helped me to narrow my decision to by D5000 & 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX lens. You also recommend the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 VR lens. Is this the kit lens with D5000? I am debating whether to buy just the body or the kit (which costs about $50 more). What do you recommend?

    I will be mostly taking family + landscape photos.


    • October 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm

      Swapnil, if the difference is only $50, I would get the kit (body+lens) in addition to the 35mm f/1.8G.

      • 31.1.1) Swapnil
        October 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm

        Thanks for the feedback.

        Just to confirm though – your recommended 18-55mm lens is the same as kit lens, correct? If not, I don’t mind saving the $50 and putting it towards another lens.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          October 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm

          Swapnil, yes, I did recommend the 18-55mm kit lens if you are going to only buy the 35mm f/1.8G. However, if you have a bigger budget, you might want to get something like the Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G so that you have a little more range. In that case it might make sense to use the $50 towards 18-105…

  32. 32) davina day
    October 5, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Thank you Nasim.

    I read somewhere that a filter (polarizer, skylight etc etc) cannot be placed in front of a wide angle lens due to the w.angle glass construction. Is that true? If it is so, how can I go about protecting the glass?
    I use skylight filters on my kit and my 50mm lens to protect it from getting scratched.



    • October 21, 2010 at 6:22 pm

      Davina, that’s not true – you can buy a clear/UV filter and put it on any lens, except for the ones that do not have a filter thread (such as Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G).

      Where you have to be careful, however, is using polarizing filters on ultra-wide angle lenses. A polarizing filter might result in an inconsistent sky that is dark blue on one side and light blue on another. But the effect is very noticeable and you will see such problems on the LCD while taking pictures. Just watch the sky and zoom in a little to minimize the effect. Read my “how to use a polarizing filter” article to understand this in better detail.

  33. 33) davina day
    October 21, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Your explaination has helps clear the air. Thanks a lot Nasim.

  34. November 16, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I’m following your blog for last 1 month and getting addicted on photography. I lost my hobby for couple of years , but now I think I will start again. I don’t have any DSLR till now and I’m planning to buy D90 very soon. Also my budget is not more than $1000. So make this decision on lens
    1. 50mm – f/1.8 or 35 mm f/1.8 G
    2. 18-55 mm VR kit lens

    Please let me for prime lens which lens I need to take 50mm or 35 mm. And for the wide zoom lens whether I’m taking the correct decision or not. Hope I will get your reply soon, as I want to buy it this month only. Also if you suggest which retailer I should go for it that would be really helpful. Thanks in Advance.


    • November 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm

      Pritam, I would go with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G to be your prime lens to cover your needs – the 50mm might feel a little “too long” on the D90.

      I believe you have a good choice of the camera and lenses. As always, I would recommend to buy these from B&H – they have the best prices and service when it comes to photo/video equipment.

      • November 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm

        Thanks for your reply Nasim. Do you think I need the 18-55mm or 18- 105 mm zoom lens if I already have a 35mm f/1.8G lens? If yes then which lens I should prefer. 18-55 or 18-105 mm.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          November 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm

          You are welcome Pritam!

          I would go with the 18-105mm, since it will give you more reach.

  35. 35) davina day
    November 17, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Nasim.

    Is the focal range of 24 on a 18-105 zoom lens consider the same as 24 on a 12-24 wide angle lens? And do both give same picture shot range?

    Btw what do you think of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED? Is a fixed wide angle lens better or a zoom one is better?



    • November 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

      Davina, yes, the 24mm focal length of the 18-105mm should give you the same field of view as 24mm on the 12-24mm. However, don’t expect the quality to be the same – the 12-24mm is one hell of a lens! The 10-24mm is also good, but I like the 12-24mm better.

      • 35.1.1) davina day
        November 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm

        Hi Nasim,

        Thank you for your reply. :)

        Actually I am rather confused at the 10-24 and 12-24 range. For your info, I would like to take landscape, building, parties, people and hope the lens I am going for will not give too much distortion or vignetting on my D90.

        And will a zoom wide angle lens is better or a fixed one? If a fixed one, which wide angle lens is considered just good enough to cover the shooting purposes like I mentioned on top?

        I am on a tight budget so I hope to get one good W.A lens that can help be it zoom or fixed.



        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          December 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm


          I apologize for a late reply. A zoom lens is typically not better than a prime lens when it comes to sharpness and colors. However, a zoom lens is certainly more versatile than a prime lens, since you can zoom in and out instead of having to move. If you are looking at fixes lenses, the old Nikon 20mm f/2.8D is a great choice. Another one, but less wide is the Nikon 28mm f/2.8D – also a great wide angle lens.

          Hope this helps.

          • davina day
            December 8, 2010 at 2:54 am

            Thanks Nasim :)

  36. 36) looloo dunnam
    November 23, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I just placed an order for the Nikon d3100. I also ordered the 50mm f/1.8D Autofocus Lens. i have been reading and it looks like the lens may not work with camera in af mode because neither have the motor required. Just wondering if I should change the camera or the lens. I wanted this particular lens to take pictures of my children with the blurred background.

    • December 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      Looloo, congratulations with your purchase, but the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D is NOT going to autofocus on the Nikon D3100. Instead of swapping the camera body, change the lens to the excellent Nikon 35mm f/1.8G instead.

  37. 37) Bekhzod
    November 26, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Dear Nasim,

    I have read this post several times. Now, I’m plannig to buy DSLR camera. I’m looking at Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR-DX lense. But one of my friends suggesting me to my something more professional so to buy it once and use for a long time. But actually, I don’t have a experiece of using DSLR.

    What do you suggest?

    Thanks in advance!

    • December 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      Bekhzod, I apologize for a late response.

      If budget is not an issue, I would getter a higher end DSLR like the Nikon D90 and a good prime lens like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G. If budget is an issue, then the Nikon D3100 would be a better choice than Nikon D3000 (since D3000 is now discontinued).

      Hope this helps!

  38. 38) Jeanne
    December 8, 2010 at 1:34 am

    I read with delight in each and every of your postings. I sent you a posting some 2 weeks back that I just bought my 1st DSLR D7000 and in a haste I ask for a potraits lens and was given a 50mm – f/1.8 lens. Guess I am partially regretting for my mistake after your recommendation of 50mm – f/1.4. To avoid further mistakes (I like travelling) am planning on purchasing a lens for landscape and thru most your replies to the posts you mentioned Nikon 70-200mm VR II. My question here are:- 1) should i stick with the 50mm – f1/8 or purchase another 50mm – f1/4.
    2) can D7000 support 70-200mm VR II? 3) what micro lens would you recommend that i should get?

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • December 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm

      Jeanne, if you can afford the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G, I would exchange your f/1.8 with it. As for the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II – absolutely! The 70-200mm works perfectly well on the Nikon D7000 and is a great lens for portraiture. If you are looking for a good lens for taking pictures of landscapes, check out the Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0G VR lens. It is very wide and will give you great results when used on the D7000.

      For macro, I personally have the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR and I really love it.

      • 38.1.1) Jeanne
        December 12, 2010 at 7:15 pm

        Thank you Mr. Nasim

  39. 39) Willis
    December 8, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your expertise. It has made the jump to a DSLR from a point and shoot, much easier. I have bought the Nikon D5000 w/ the 18-55 mm VR and the 70-200 mm VR lenses for my wife as a Christmas present. She teaches school and takes a LOT of pictures of her children in class, as well as our own. I have already saved your site to our favorites, as I am sure we will use it quite often for help and tips. Thanks again.

    • December 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm

      Willis, you are most welcome! Looks like you got your wife very nice presents that I am sure she will appreciate! :) Thanks for stopping by and dropping a comment and have a great xmas!

  40. 40) Jaime
    December 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Happy Holidays Lola and Nasim!

    “Santa” aka my husband was very good to me this year and I am the proud owner of a D700! The lens my husband purchased with it is the 50mm 1.4 and I am startled at the superb performance! Simply amazing!!! This was an upgrade from my 5 year old D50 so I feel almost unworthy of this magnificent camera. Since the 50mm is a fixed lens is there another that you would recommend for general photography? I mostly take pictures of my three children and our adventures… I plan on keeping the 50mm but I can see it will not be practical for all situations. Secondly, is there a website or book you suggest to explain the specifics of the D700? The owner’s manual has my head spinning! I managed to get it in Aperture mode, but there are quite a few differences from my D50. I’m going to review your photography tips but may need help specific to the D700.

    Thank you so much for all your advice and help,


    • January 5, 2011 at 5:21 pm

      Nice Jaime! I answered your question about whether to go with the 28-300mm or 24-70mm, so I hope it helps. In terms of info on D700, there are a couple of good books out there. Start with Ken Rockwell’s D700 manual and see where it takes you. If you want to learn more, there are plenty of books on D700 that you can find on

  41. 41) Jesse
    January 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Nasim. I found your website about a week ago and can’t stop reading everything on it! I’m looking to make a lens purchase in the next couple months. I currently have a D5000 with the kit lenses and I just bought the 35mm f/1.8 (and love it). With it in mind that in the next year or two I’m going to upgrade to FX, I’m thinking about the 50mm f/1.4, but I’m open to suggestion. Would the 50mm be useless on my D5000?

    • January 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      Jesse, absolutely not! The 50mm will perform beautifully on your D5000 and you will love to use it for portraits.

      • 41.1.1) Jesse
        January 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm

        Thank you so much for responding! If you can, straighten me out on one thing…I have a DX camera with the 35mm f/1.8 DX lens. Because it’s a DX lens, is it a true 35mm because it’s on the DX body. Furthermore, if I buy the 50mm f/1.4, that is not a DX lens, will it act more like an 80-85mm lens on the DX body? If that’s the case, I don’t truly have a 50mm lens.?

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          January 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

          Jesse, there is no such thing as 35mm f/1.8G DX being “true” 35mm on a DX sensor. The focal length never changes, so you would still have to multiple 35mm by 1.5x to get an “equivalent focal length”. Please read my article on “equivalent focal length and field of view” to understand this in more detail.

  42. 42) Vinicius
    January 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Hi Nassim,

    I am going to buy a D7000 and what to take pictures of travels, and portraits of my wife and children. Do you think that the 35mm 1.8 DX is enough for both purpose? Or should I use the 35mm for travel and buy the 50mm 1.4G for portrait?

    And one last doubt, I may buy the 60d instead of the D7000. In that case, do you know if the canon prime lens 28mm 1.8 USM is as good as the 35mm 1.8 DX from nikon?

    Best Regards,

    • February 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      Vinicius, yes, I believe the 35mm is a great lens for your needs. Don’t worry about the 50mm for now.

      As for Canon, I am sorry, but I don’t shoot Canon so I cannot really give you a good recommendation.

  43. 43) Rose
    January 24, 2011 at 10:14 pm


    First thank you for your site . I have a Nikon D 200 and an 18-200 that it came with . I have a wish list of other lens that I would like to add and have been doing some of reading . would love your input on these and what would be your first 3 to add to my set. Bare in mind we are looking to add another body sometime in the next year . Looking at the D700 or the D300S. Deciding on the Nikon Full Frame .

    But back to the lens wish list .

    50mm 1.4G $ or the 1.8 ( How much am I gaining with the 1.4 as to the 1.8 ) or should I be looking at the 85 mm

    35mm 2
    12-24mm 1.8
    24mm 2.8
    105mm Micro

    • February 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      Rose, I would start with the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G – it is a great lens that works on both DX and FX (in case you decide to go with the D700) and add more lenses later, if you feel that you need them.

  44. 44) Mallory
    January 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I have a Nikon D3000 Can you suggest a few lens for me?

    • February 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      Mallory, I updated the article with lens recommendations for the D3100.

  45. 45) nagulan
    February 9, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Hi Nasim.

    I would like to know,I bought D300s,with VR 18-200
    I am going to do wedding photo soon,this lens enough to start? also I need to do HD video ( out door) clip. please give me,what it is the best lens to use it for both.


    • February 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      Nagulan, for normal “point and shoot” shots, the Nikon 18-200mm is a great lens. For portraits with good bokeh or other purposes, the 18-200mm is pretty weak. I would add a good fast prime like the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G for portraits.

  46. 46) ivy
    March 10, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I’m getting my first DSLR which is a Nikon D90. I will be travelling to Europe for the next 5-6 months..I like wide angle lens and portraits lens.. but at the same time I don’t want to carry too much lens with me all the time. I’m thinking getting a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 (as you suggested for portrait) … what about Tamron SP AP 17-50mm VR? My budget is between $1000-1500. I’m leaving in a bout a week and I don’t know a lot about cameras and lens.. please give me some suggestions.

    Thank you very much,

    • August 23, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      Ivy, I apologize for not being able to respond to your comment earlier – looks like I somehow missed it.

  47. 47) Nani Allen
    March 27, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Hello Nasim,

    Thank you for your wonderful reviews and observations. The helpful information you share on this site has helped me to pick my first DSLR, a D3100 with the kit lens18-55mm together with a 35mm f/1.8 prime as you suggested for those on a budget. Just curious, should the third lens in a bag be another prime, the 50mm you mention or save up some money and get the 55-200mm or perhaps the 55-300mm?


    • August 23, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      Nani, I apologize for such a late response – I somehow missed comments on this article. Why do you need another lens? I would just shoot with what you have for a while and you will know what you are missing…

  48. 48) Steeve Dourcy
    April 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Hello, First I would like to thank you for all your job provided in this blog. It was very helpfull for me.

    I’m From Belgium and plan to come to NY and canada in 20 days… I bought my d700 and had my old 50 1.8 on it since 1 month. But I still can’t make a choice on what should be the best travel kit to buy… Hope you could help me.

    First I have to say I had 2 dslr before I got the d700. Olympus e510, d300 and so now, my first FF the d700.

    I’m an achitect and so photography is done as an amateur who loves nice pictures and bokeh ;)

    Can you tell me what you would have chosen if you had to do it for a that trip.

    First of all byt hard to justify in money cost :

    a) 24-70, 70-300, 85 1.4 and 105 vr (I need a macro lens for my corals in my aquarium :)
    In this combo, I feel i’ll be too short on wide angle without the 16-35? won’t I?

    b)16-35, 28-300 (afraid of the IQ lose vs the 24-70), 85 1.4 or maybe 1.8 and change in a year, 105 vr

    c)16-35, 85 1.4, 105 vr + my 50 1.8 or change to the G version.

    Isn’t it a big deal switching all time with lens?

    What I really want in the combo is to bring the most colorfull and sharpness in my pictures.

    Thank you.


    • August 23, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Steve, I apologize for not being able to respond earlier, looks like I missed your comment.

  49. 49) Valerie
    April 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Hi! Thank you for your posts they are very helpful! I do have one question though, I recently bought a nikon D3100 and I have been searching for the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D lens but I have not found one that will work properly with this camera. I have searched on ebay and i have been told that the lens will not auto focus on my camera. I was wondering if there was a 50mm nikon lens that would work properly with my camera both manual and auto focus. Also I dont even know if i should even be looking into the D lens (50mm f1.8 D).


    • August 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      Valerie, I apologize for such a late response – just noticed your comment. Have you checked out the new Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens? It will work perfectly well on your D3100.

  50. 50) Deanna
    May 13, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I just came across your website, and I want to thank you for sharing your expertise! I am making the jump to a DSLR, in hopes of taking classes to get into the field of photography. I have always loved taking I am going to follow that passion. I’m confused as to which camera to purchase. I have read great things about the D7000. In your opinion, is this a good camera for what I’ve described? From what I’ve read this is a semi-professional type camera. Or would I be better off going with the D300s?
    Thanks again,

  51. 51) Richard Milan
    June 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    I am moving from point and shoot to DSLR and have decided on the Nikon D90. My preference initially is for a single lens, a jack of all trades, to take walk around shots, street architecture, low light inside Churches, sunsets, generally wide depth of field, and occasionally landscapes.

    The photos in this link are the sort of photos we would like to take:

    I was interested in the Nikon 18-200 but am starting to be swayed towards the Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G DX VR as my walk around, single, travel lens……..realising that I am an enthusiastic rather than professional photographer, and the move to DSLR should be better than P&S no matter what I do…..I hope and think.

    Am I heading in the right direction for the lens?

    Many thanks for your advice.

    • 51.1) Sunarto Djuardi
      June 28, 2011 at 9:05 am

      Dear Richard

      I just wanna share with you.
      While comsidering to invest in 14-24 and 24-70, I am now having 18-200.
      Result of this 18-20 was really good to me or even more than my expectation during my last 2 weeks travelling to Vancouver,Seattle and Las Vegas.
      I have no regret at all own this lens based o the result , either landscape,golf course, day and night scenery,building,etc.
      Most of the day shot are handheld , tripod was used only for night scenery.If you wanna see the result I can share some pix to you.


    • August 23, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Richard, while I personally do not like any of the superzoom lenses like the 18-200mm, if you are looking for a single lens that will always stay on the camera, then the Nikon 18-200mm would be a good choice instead of the 18-105mm.

  52. June 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I just discovered your site today an I like it a lot!

  53. 53) Raj
    July 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Hello Nasim Sir,
    I am Rajeev from India. I am going to purchase Nikon D3100 DSLR camera kit with 18-55 mm vr lens. it will be my first DSLR camera.
    I want to know that which lens should be better for Macro Shooting.

    • August 23, 2011 at 10:14 pm

      Raj, I would first explore the D3100 with the kit lens, and then decide on buying another lens in the future.

  54. 54) Chris L
    July 18, 2011 at 8:04 am

    This wonderful article was written 3 Jan 2010 by the looks of it. Today 18 Jul 2011. Is the D90/50mm f/1.4G AF-S combination still the best purchase in the $1000-$1500 range?

  55. 55) Nikhil
    August 11, 2011 at 7:07 am

    hello Nasim
    I am beginner.Juss year ago i took Nikon coolpix is not DSLR.As i am started clicking photos and am in love with it.. I am juss planning to explore my hobby n take it forward.
    I am looking forward to buy SLR.but ma budget is not more enough.. so please suggest me which SLR would i take..

    • August 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      Nikhil, why don’t you get either the Nikon D3100 or the D5100?

      • 55.1.1) nikhil
        September 4, 2011 at 4:28 am

        thank you Nasim…! I am taking 3100,, will consult with u if ill having any difficulty,

  56. 56) Ray S
    August 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Hello Nasim,

    Thanks for the great post. I learned a lot from it. I have a D3100 and would like to get a wide angle lens since the 18-55mm doesn’t really offer any wider than 60 degrees. I am looking at the AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm. Do you have any experience with this lens? Would like to hear from you before I purchase this lens.


  57. 57) Aaron
    August 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Hello Nasim!
    I want to purchase my first DSLR camera just for learning photography. After a couple of years I’ll be moving to FX format and will build my system from scratch. So I don’t want to invest too much now. I’ve narrowed down my choices to D5100 and D90. My budget is approx 2000 to 2400 USD including lenses.

    1. If I choose D5100, is it going to be very basic? I want to choose a camera that should not limit my learning and creativity in terms of equipment and other parameters. Isn’t D90 too old now to be chosen over D5100?

    2. Is there too much difference between the kit lens AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED (almost 12 times costlier that 17-55mm)? Is that price justified?

    3. Shall I get the 17-55mm kit lens with D5100?

    4. Please suggest some lenses right from wide angle to short telephoto (200mm is enough for me) that offers good quality. I’ll will be printing in A4 size.

    5. Is AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED good for DX bodies also? Will it work the same way on them?

    6. Which of these is better for portrait photography on DX body- AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/I.4G or AF-S DX NlKKOR 35mm f/1.8G? I know 35mm will be 50mm on DX body and 50mm will be 75mm, If 85mm is great for portraiture would 50mm be better on DX for that as it is providing very near to 85mm?

    Hope you answer all my queries soon.

    Thanks and regards

    • August 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      Aaron, since you are planning to move over to full frame in the future, I would invest in full-frame lenses instead of buying DX lenses like the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G. Since your budget is around $2K, why don’t you get the Nikon D7000 with a couple of good FX lenses? The D7000 will cost you $1,200 for body-only, which leaves roughly – $800-1200 for lenses. If you want to get a really good wide angle lens for both FX and DX, then I would highly recommend the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR. I have a detailed review of the 16-35mm on my “Nikon Lens Reviews” page. But the 16-35mm alone will fill up your budget…

      If you do not mind shooting with a DX lens for now and selling it later, I would consider the really good Nikon 16-85mm DX. Then, you can get the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G in addition to the 16-85mm for portraiture and low light photography. The 50mm f/1.8G is a superb lens and you can read my review through the link I provided above.

      I would not buy any superzoom lenses that go from 18mm to 200mm, since you will be compromising quality and sharpness.

      Hope this helps and good luck!

      • 57.1.1) Aaron
        August 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm

        Thanks for replying.

        How about getting the kit lens 17-55 + AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED for wide angle photography + AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED or AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED apart from 50mm(already shortlisted that for my collection)?

        Thanks and regards

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          August 24, 2011 at 9:13 pm

          Aaron, I thought I already recommended not to buy the 17-55mm? Why waste so much money on such an expensive lens that is limited to DX cameras? Again, my choice is either 16-35mm (FX) or 16-85mm (DX) for wide-angle photography. The 10-24mm and 12-24mm DX lenses are excellent if you need to go super wide and don’t mind spending close to $1,000 on just the wide side. The lenses you have listed would be around $2,800, which is more than your total budget for lenses and cameras. Just start with a two lens kit, one with a wide-angle zoom and one prime. Shoot for a year or two and you will know what you need.

          • Aaron
            August 25, 2011 at 8:02 am

            Thanks a lot for your advice. Actually I meant to say 18-55 kit lens (not 17-55). It was a typing mistake. I think 16-85 has good image quality from what I can in the sample galleries for many users. Looking forward to purchase 16-85.
            Also, I’ve heard a lot about D7000’s stuck, dead and hot pixels. Whenever I type Nikon hot pixel in google search, D7000 tops the list. How easy is to correct these in software?


            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              August 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

              Aaron, don’t worry about hot/dead pixels – see my article about those I posted a week or so ago.

  58. 58) Gaurav Rai
    September 20, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I really love your website, you must keep up the good work.
    I recently bought a Nikon D3100 along with the 18-55mm kit lens. I find macro photography really fascinating but lack the budget to buy a macro lens. I got to know about extension tubes. Are they a good alternative for a limited budget? Kindly suggest me a decent one for my devicce. Should i buy the one with auto focus?


    • October 26, 2011 at 2:38 am

      Gaurav, no, don’t go down the path of extension tubes – those are tough to use for a beginner. Get the new Nikon 40mm f/2.8G DX. It is cheap and superb for macro work.

  59. 59) Sarah
    October 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I’m interested in taking up Photography as a new hobby and possibly down the road use it as a small side business to make some extra money. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to purchase the Nikon D7000, but I’m interested in getting advice as to which lens to buy.
    I’m pretty sure I want to take portraits and photos at weddings (where I could possibly make money down the road) and I would love to take pictures at night.
    For my first lens I would like to stay around $200.
    Any suggestions?!

  60. 60) Sony
    October 31, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog all the way here in the Philippines!
    I’m planning to get the D90 and contemplating whether to avail the kit lens (18-105mm) or just the body then invest the remaining money on lenses 18-55mm and 50mm.
    I’ll be taking pictures mostly of people and events (occasions, stage performances and sports).
    Hope you could guide me.


    • 60.1) Sony
      November 3, 2011 at 4:37 am

      Sorry forgot to mention that I had experience with film SLRs. But this will be my 1st time to “own” a DSLR (been borrowing/playing with some before).

      I’m quite hesitant about the 18-105mm lens as I remember I read somewhere here before that you said it’s quite slow or not good of a quality?

      So should I keep the 18-105 or go with 18-55 plus a telephoto lens like 70-200/300?

  61. 61) deepa
    November 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Bought d 7000 with kit lens 18 to 105 and 70 t0 300 vr , 50mm 1.8 should I keep or return kit lens.

  62. 62) deepa
    November 2, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Dear Mansur,
    Tomorrow I will get my B&h shipment of d 7000 with 18 to 105 kit,50mm1.8,70 300 vr lense I still can return kit lens need you advise keep it ,return it replace it your early reply will helpme to decide ,leaving for vacation in 10 days

    • November 2, 2011 at 11:27 am

      It is Nasim :) No need to return the kit lens, since it will give you wide-angle coverage. Looks like you got a nice set of lenses!

  63. 63) Aaron
    November 17, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Hello Nasim,
    I am planning on purchasing the Nikon D5100. I am looking at two lenses, the kit lens 18-55 VR and the Nikon 35mm 1.8. I can only afford one of these lenses at the moment. Which one would you suggest I start with? I am a hobbyist and am upgrading from a point and shoot.


    • 63.1) tatan
      November 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      Aaron… for me, it is better to get the kit lens 18-55mm as starter lens… when the first time i bought my first DSLR, i barrowed 50mm prime lens… at the beggining i was not enjoying the 50mm coz i need to use my feet as zoom.. in a narrow area and shooting with a lot of people around you or in limited space, 18mm is much better..

      in 18-55mm you have a lot of option to do… but it’s only my opinion, you still have your rights to decide.. good luck..

    • 63.2) Claudia
      January 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Aaron, I have a D5100 and have the 18-55, 55-300, 50mm 1.8….the first two lenses came with my camera…so I didn’t have too many options, I want to take nice pictures of kids and portraits so I bought the 50mm…(I can’t afford a $1000 zoom lens and this one is very professional) I believe I was very limited with the 18-55…I would sell my kit lenses but you never know when you are going to need it…and I can’t afford a more expensive zoom lens)

      If you want to use your camera just to take nice pictures of your family and friends in small spaces the 18-55 gives you many zoom capabilities, nice pictures…with the 35 mm or 50mm you need to “work” more to get the picture that you want, I mean move closer or further…I would buy 35mm 1.8…(it is not a big focal length)

  64. 64) Claudia
    December 2, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Thank you very much for this website!…I want to buy my first DSLR to do some children and family photography. (I don’t know if it is too pretentious to think that I can start to make some money out of it). I know you recommend to buy an entry-level amateur camera if this is your first SLR. But I am between D5100 and d7000. The money matters but I can get financing for the body (not for the lenses). I also have 2 old Nikkor lenses AF (28-80 3.3-5.6 & 70-300 4.5-5.6) which can work on the D7000 but not too good on the D5100 as you know.

    Should I buy d5100 kit or d7000? Should I sell my lenses or keep them? In the future I want a FX of course! I plan to buy get 50 mm 1.8g for portraits? I need help please!

    Thank you,


  65. 65) Rashmin
    December 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Hello Nasim,
    Your site and blogs have wealth of information and find it very useful. Till now I am using Nikon point-shoot camera, but interested in buying DSLR since last few months. I know my budget would allow me only DX camera and I think that make sense for first timers. For now I am buying it for my hobby but if I turn into serious photographer then I may look at FX cameras.
    I was reading your site about what DSLR and lens are good for beginners like me and looks like it all based on individual’s budget and requirements. My budget is $2000 US and for now I will be using it for indoor and outdoor family pictures, indoor could be low to very low light location, outdoor could be park, lake(beach) or mountain. I love landscape photography.
    After reading few articles on your site I choose D7000 and Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S (portrait). This can change based on your advise. I am getting confused about what telephoto and wide angle lens or what other lenses I should buy. I will not be doing any wild-life photography but may need to capture far objects (rarely). Can you please advise what camera and lenses should I buy lookig at my budget and requirements? Your advice will be very helpful to buy the best in budget.
    Thanks in advance.
    Happy Holidays.

  66. 66) Natasha
    January 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Hello Nasim!

    Awesome website! Just saw it today! I loved you posts and very practical advise on buying camera and lens.

    I just bought a Nikon D7000 this week and Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens. I am an amature photographer and what to get into serious photography in near future and this is my first SLR.

    My question is: do you think instead of 50mm the 35mm would have been a better lens for the DX SLR that I have (I would want to invest in a full frame camera in future)? And what should be my second lens?

    Thanks in advance,

    • 66.1) Claudia
      January 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Hi, I am in your situation I just bought my first camera a month ago and followed Nasim’s advises…I’ve got the 50mm 1.8 yesterday, because 35mm works in a FX also (I have a DX)…the 35mm is for DXs only…Nasim has mentioned that the 35mm is a good choice because this is a 50mm in a DX but I really like the length (this is my opinion)…I live in a small apartment and I am taking pictures of my son’s face and the length is adequate…If I go outside I believe is going to work well.

      Just my opinion

      • 66.1.1) Natasha
        January 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        Thanks a lot Claudia for the reply! I still have to play around with the lens to know more about it!

        I also want to know, what is the major difference in the picture quality form a 50mm f/1.4G vs 50mm f1.8G?

        Would want to hear from Nasim too!

        Thanks again!

        • Natasha
          January 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

          I am planning to get, AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II (my second lens); Nasim, you mentioned in this post that it’s not a good lens. Please tell me, how is it bad and what could be a better telephoto + wide angle lens?

          Thanks in advance!

  67. 67) monique
    January 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Your site is amazing and so informative!

    We just purchased a Nikon D3100 as we have a small budget but wanted to purchase a SLR to take pics of our new baby. We are now doing our research on a good well priced lens. We will primarily be using it to take pictures of our little one. What would you recommend as the best well priced lens to take great pics of our little guy? Thank you!

  68. 68) Simon
    February 9, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Afternoon Mr.Nasim Mansurov. A week a go i have bought my first DSLR which is D7000. Before that i maked a survey for the lens between my friends which is also join in this photography hobby. All of my friends suggested me to buy 18-200mm but the shop promoter suggested me to take 3 different lens which is 18-55mm, 70-30mm and the wide+macro converter. He demonstrated to me the lens 70-300 vs 18-200 and tell me the differences. Though of the lens we snap at the 200(zoom) in P mode and we comparing the quality of the pictures. For the 70-300 the lens not cut the lighting and its most brightness but it is not wider than the 18-200 and the 18-200 is more wider but its cut the lighting and more darkness. The brightness pictures is using 70-300. Because of that lastly i bought the camera with the kit lens suggested from the shop promoter. Have i made a good choice. Thank You

  69. 69) Adon
    February 14, 2012 at 3:57 am

    dear mansur,
    how about d7000+tamron 17-50 f2.8 vc
    i’m newbie and need your advice?
    thanks before

    best regard


  70. 70) Phoenix
    March 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm


    What aperture do you use normally use for food photography and for people portrait when using 50mm f/1.8 lens to get tack sharp photos?

  71. 71) serdar
    April 2, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I just read your article Thank you so much
    I have a d5000 with 18-55 lens.
    you know what i did?
    I just click the B&H link and bought a 35mm lens :)
    I really wanted to buy that lens. I am curious about what other lenses should i get after 6 months?

  72. 72) Trevor
    April 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    My grandson is off shortly touring Asia & has bought a Nikon D3100 I told him he needed to buy a protection filter for lens,now I have several 52mm uv & polarizers which I used with my canon A1 & EOS many years ago. Could he use these or would you reccommend buying new

    Thank you


  73. 73) Abby Moeller
    April 24, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Hey!! I am enjoying your tutorials and advise. I do have the Nikon D3100 w/ AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G. My husband for Christmas gave me the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens and I just can’t seem to get the pictures as focused as I’d like. My friend says it isn’t using the Autofocus, but all I know to do is set hte lens to minimum aperture by aligning it w/ the aperture index and make the two orange dots align. That didn’t make a difference. Any tips?

  74. 74) Ramesh Preja
    July 13, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Hi, Nasim ,
    I’am from India, After reading you blog i have became one of you great fan, I have a question here I have just stepped in to DSLR i have brought d90 with 18-105 kit , am not happy with portrait and night shoots, am using this for my family outings and indoor birthday party so pls suggest me which is best lens to buy I have to shoot my son birthday party which is coming next moth,

  75. 75) Santosh
    October 9, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I came to visit your site while researching to buy my first DSLR.
    I am an amateur and went with Nikon D5100 with 18-55 lens which came along with the deal. Your articles have really helped me in taking this decision.
    I generally do portrait , food and landscape.
    Soon I was frustrated with portrait quality as I couldn’t get bokeh effect with kit lens while clicking portrait of my 6 year old kid.
    Now I feel it’s time to buy a lens to get my portraits right.
    Is there a single lens which can help me doing portrait, food and landscape with a reasonable quality?
    I am planning to buy Nikor 50mm 1.8g for portraits. Do I need to buy a lens for each type of photography or is there one for all lens available? My budget is not more than 400$ at the moment. Lenses in India cost more than in USA :(

    Kindly suggest if you find time to read my mail.

  76. 76) Gary Baker
    October 18, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Hi Nasim,

    There seems to be a lot to this thread so I just wanted to check I’d got the right view on things!

    I am about to purchase my first DSLR – Nikon D7000, having used a panasonic FZ18 Bridge camera for 6 years and a point and shoot olympus before that.

    I tend to photograph mostly landscapes with a proportion of family/ portrait type shots so I am thinking I will be ok with:-

    Kit Lens 18-105 VR as it comes with the deal at only £130


    Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D AF only a further £110

    Any further advice?

  77. 77) mahmoud
    November 27, 2013 at 7:59 am

    i want to asked about what is the best nikon cam for wedding photography in budget below 1000 —> 1500 ?
    and tnx so much.

  78. 78) mahmoud
    November 27, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Hi ,
    i want to asked about what is the best nikon cam for wedding photography in budget below 1000 —> 1500 ?
    and tnx so much.

  79. 79) yohan
    November 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I bought d3200 as my first dslr like 2 months ago, with about $500 most people told me that d3200 bundled with 18-55mm kit lens is actually a good buy. i’m considering to buy a 35mm or 50mm, you mentioned 35mm for d3100 but from most review i’ve read are promoting 50mm over 35mm, i know 35mm is better for thight area, but other than that can you please give something else to consider 35m over 50mm? and can you also please recommend a telephoto lens please, since i’m a beginner i’m leaning to something inexpensive, is nikon NIKON AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF ED VR the only option for me? or is there any 3rd party lens compatible with my d3200?

    Note: sorry for my bad english

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