For the sharpness test, we used the , which we are in the process of evaluating for an upcoming review. The lens was mounted on the Nikon D810 and shot in Mirror Lock Up mode, with EFCS (Electronic Front Curtain Shutter) enabled, as detailed in our article. While the numbers are not yet final (only one sample was tested with a high-resolution chart at a very close distance, which can skew mid-frame and corner numbers), you can see that the lens looks absolutely amazing, almost Zeiss Otus-like in terms of center sharpness – definitely one of the sharpest Nikon prime lenses we have ever tested.
Buying a DSLR often means having several accessories to go with it, among which are lenses. But choosing your first lens isn’t easy – there are so many choices available at so many different price points, which can make it quite confusing for a beginner to find a lens for a particular need. In this article, I will discuss several budget Nikon fast prime lenses most suitable as a first step into the fixed focal length world. Which Nikon prime should you buy first? Which one would make the most sense? You need a lens to stay on your camera for years to come, you need it to be good for family portraits and some occasional snaps. Or maybe even for your future photography business – who knows?
I think the Nikon prime lens lineup is pretty awkward for DX shooters. For my D80 I had 24/2.8, 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 for a very long time. Only recently did I add a Voigtlander 40/2 to those three, and that takes some of the work away from the 50/1.8, but I'm not convinced it is quite as sharp as the 50 (maybe it's just my technique though). I still miss a 30-35mm lens, as well as something in between the 50 and 85, but I am not planning to make those purchases, because I want to move to FX soon. Unlike most DX shooters, I really don't need anything wider than 24mm, and I could do without the 50mm focal length if I had something in that 30-35 range.
In this article, I presented you with several fast budget Nikon prime lenses. All of these lenses are quite different, yet all can be great as all-round solutions. It all depends on what your main subject is, of course. Do you prefer group shots of your friends, or maybe fancy some street photography every now and then? Then 28mm f/1.8G may be the most suitable choice for you. And what if you do mostly portraits? Well, the 85mm f/1.8G is likely to suite you best with it’s flattering compression and soft out of focus regions. Do you find yourself somewhere in the middle? Either a 50mm or 35mm lens can save you here and become your favorite prime lens for the time being. Make your choice based on your subject and you won’t be disappointed by any of these great optics.