What Is a Prime Lens Nikon: Facts and Buying Guide

What Is a Prime Lens Nikon: Facts and Buying Guide

One major advantage of using DSLR or mirrorless camera systems is the ability to use different lenses to match specific shooting needs. While the zoom lens is versatile, the prime lens has better advantages. There are various brands but what is a prime lens Nikon? Is it better than any other brands?

To help out, we will discuss bits of information about Nikon prime lenses, their advantages, factors to consider when buying one, and more.

What Is a Prime Lens Nikon?

In general, a prime lens covers only a single focal length. A prime lens Nikon is the particular brand of prime lenses. It is a variety of a specific prime lens that matches the photography skills and budget of the user.


Although you have more freedom to adjust the focal length in the zoom lenses, there are many reasons why prime lenses are also worth it.

1. Allows more light in the camera

The wider maximum aperture of prime lenses enables more light to get into the camera. The lens opens up widely; hence, more amount of light gets inside while the shutter is open.

This is truly a big advantage when shooting in low-light conditions. As such you don’t have to minimize the shutter speed or increase the ISO.

2. Shallower depth of field

What makes a sharp, clear shot is the one that focuses on the subject while blurring out the background. This is made possible by the lens’ depth of field. The wider maximum aperture of the prime lens makes this shot possible and easy.

3. Good value for money

Prime lenses come at various prices. If you are a beginner, there is no doubt that this is a good choice as you have more affordable options. You can compare the cost of the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens to the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens which is more expensive, but both have good qualities.

Examples of Budget-Friendly Nikon Prime Lenses

With the Nikon brand alone, they come in different prices and features to match specific user needs and wants. Among the most affordable Nikon prime lenses today are the following:

1. Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens

Starting with the most affordable prime lenses is the Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens which is an upgrade of the AF-D 50mm f/1.8 lens. However, buyers should not underestimate its features and capabilities.

It is best for taking beautiful photographs outdoors, portrait shots, and sharp images. It is compatible with many modern Nikon DSLR cameras, even the D3200 model without a motor.

2. Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G lens

The size, built, weight, and features of this prime lens are satisfying. More importantly, the qualities of photographs taken with this prime lens are superb.

It is a cheaper alternative to the AF-S 50mm f/1.8G which is usually used by professionals. Aside from the cheaper cost, this AF-S 50mm f/1.4G lens has two-thirds of a stop aperture larger than its expensive rival.

3. Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8G lens

Although it is relatively expensive for beginners, the Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8G lens has more specialized and longer focal length at 85mm f/1.8G. It is excellent for taking photographs in low-light situations and capturing full-body frames because of its wide angle of view.

Factors to Consider When Buying Prime Lenses

With the availability of various kinds of prime lenses, choosing the best one can be quite overwhelming. Among the major factors to consider when buying one is the kind of shot where you intend or plan to use it. If it is your first time to buy a prime lens, here are some important factors to keep in mind.

1. What do you want to shoot?

The kind of shot you intend to use the prime lens for is an important consideration for buying. For portrait shots, lenses between 24mm and 200mm are recommended.

Generally, telephoto lenses show less of the environment and scene. For shooting landscape, lenses between 12mm and 35mm are advised. For shooting farther landscapes, a telephoto lens such as the 200mm or 300mm can do a great job.

2. The location and time where and when you intend to shoot.

If you love taking photographs during the day, slower lenses (lens with higher F number) are more appropriate and less expensive. On the other hand, shooting in low-light conditions require a faster lens or the lens with a slower “F” number.

3. The sensor of the camera.

The type of camera sensor is also an important buying consideration. For example, an APS-C sensor is approximately a 1.5x to 1.6x crop, while a Micro Four Thirds sensor is a full-frame 35mm sensor with 2x crop capability.

Also, you should know where the sensor size recommendation you use is based on. This is to allow you to convert the bigger sensor recommendation into one that suits your sensor.

What Are the Most Utilized Focal Lengths?

Prime lenses work with various focal lengths. Among the lenses that are being or were produced are or near the 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 105mm focal lengths. For the aforementioned focal lengths, lens manufacturers produce two or more lenses with similar focal length but not with the same maximum apertures.

Particularly for the 35mm and full-frame cameras, the focal length is as follows:

  • Ultra-wide (12 to 21mm) for shooting at very near distance
  • Wide (24 to 35mm) for capturing a wider field of view
  • Standard (50 mm) for shooting diagonal objects at 44mm and a human vision point of view
  • Portrait (85mm) for shooting longer subjects and image framing
  • Telephoto (135 mm) for capturing fast-paced objects
  • Super telephoto (200 to 500 mm) used for action and wildlife photography


Undoubtedly, there are a few advantages of using prime lenses. Knowing what is a prime lens Nikon is the easiest way to choose high-quality lenses without spending too much. They are especially recommended for beginners but are also loved by experienced photographers who aim at shooting sharper, clearer images.

Nikon offers various prime lenses that vary in focal length, aperture, etc., and each of which best matches specific photography skills and preferences. Determine what kind of image you are going to shoot with the prime lens you intend to buy.

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