Focal length comparison on Nikon DX (1.5 crop factor) cameras

This test shows focal length comparison on a 1.5 crop factor camera (all Nikon DX cameras) from 12mm to 500mm. All images were taken on Nikon D300 with ISO 200, f/10. The focal lengths are not 100% accurate because of different lens sizes and mounts (when short lenses such as the 50mm f/1.4 were used, the camera was mounted on the tripod, while zoom lenses had to be mounted via lens collars). The tripod was never moved (just slightly re-adjusted to focus on the top-left portion of the blue ornament). The 420 and 500mm shots are a little soft because of slight vibration and use of a teleconverter.

The shots were taken indoors because it was too cold outside :)

12mm 18mm

24mm 35mm

50mm 70mm

100mm 135mm

150mm 200mm

250mm 300mm

420mm 500mm


  1. 1) Kirby
    June 7, 2008 at 6:23 am

    Very useful, thank you! I was deciding between the Nikon 135mm f/2 and the 180mm f/2.8 for my D300, bearing in mind that I’ll be buying a D3 when finances allow it. I’ll go with the faster aperture lens and attach it to the (DX sensor-sized) D300 when I want a really cropped closeup. So many of the other sites which compare focal lengths do so with fancy flash graphics which prevent me making a proper comparison.

    • October 4, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      Kirby, you are most welcome! I have heard a lot of good things about the 135mm f/2, so I think you made the right choice.

  2. 2) robertB
    October 4, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Hi Sir,
    (I hope this message will still be read..since this article is a bit old :) )

    i currently have the nikorr 35mm 1.8 lens which i love but i want another lens which i can use for landscape (wide) and be able to zoom (maybe for events where zoom reach is important..for ex the – you are not allowed to go any closer thing).. but i cannot decide which lens to buy.. since budget is a bit constraint for now (e.g. 18-200mm).. i’m just thinking between the 18-105mm and the 55-200mm.. i can’t decide if i should sacrifice the 18-55 (for the 55-200) or the 105-200 (for the 18-105)… need your advice between the two or any other lens (for ex. 3rd party lenses)..


    • October 4, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      Robert, if your primary focus is landscapes, go for the Nikon 18-105mm. If you are shooting wildlife, then go for the 70-300mm VR instead or get the new 55-300mm…

  3. 3) Qihong Wang
    October 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I know a 18mm FX lens on a DX body will get an equivalent angle as a 18*1.5 mm on FX body. How about a DX lens on a DX body? Will a 18mm DX lens on a DX body still get an equivalent angle as a 18*1.5 on Fx body?

    • November 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      Qihong, I have written about this recently in my “Equivalent Focal Length” article – the focal length is an attribute of a lens, so to get a similar field of view, you multiply the focal length with 1.5 on DX bodies. 18mm is 18mm on FX.

  4. 4) jay
    January 28, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Hello Nasim,

    Thank you very much for all the helpful information and tips you’ve been sharing to all of us.
    My question is, Nikon are producing DX lenses too. If this DX lenses (eg.35mm) is mounted to a DX camera, is the equivalent focal length would still be 35mm? or approximately 50mm?

    Thank you very much and I do hope you will answer my querry.

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