If you read last week’s post, you will know that I have been super happy with the lighting and background improvements I’ve made to my photography setup recently. But, I have also had my eye on a couple prime camera lenses. We were recently able to make the plunge and get the TWO prime lenses I have been eyeing for a while. (I know, I feel like a pretty lucky girl!)
Full- vs Cropped- Frame Camera Lenses
One thing I knew for sure, as I start to invest in a few camera lenses, is that I want to purchase full-frame format lenses. If you know DSLR cameras at all, you will know that there are full-frame (FX for Nikon) and cropped-frame (DX for Nikon) cameras. The cropped-frame cameras, both the bodies and the lenses, are a less expensive way to enter the DSLR market. There are a number of great articles describing the differences between these two camera formats. (Here’s Nikon’s description of the two.) The cropped-frame cameras are a great choice, and some people never upgrade from them. However, full-frame cameras will allow for a better dynamic range, and better performance in low lighting conditions.
Today I own a Nikon cropped-frame D7200, and have been shooting with the kit lenses for years. But in case I decide to upgrade to a full-frame camera one day, I wanted to be sure any prime lens investment I make today will also work optimally on a full-frame camera. Thus my decision to purchase FX camera lenses even though I am shooting with a DX camera today. The crop factor is a little different when using an FX lens on a DX camera. But the lenses work amazingly! And this will ensure I can grow into a new camera body should I ever choose to.
So, which camera lenses did I decide to invest in?
Camera aficionados fondly refer to this lens as the “nifty fifty.” It’s inexpensive as prime lenses go, but you can do so much with it. And the image quality is excellent. I have been VERY happy as I’ve started to use this lens. The images are crisp and clean with beautiful color balance. There is also so much more flexibility with its larger f/1.8 aperture max. (My kit lenses didn’t go below f/3.5.) I can now get a nice lovely bokeh (blurred background in order to accentuate the subject). Or I can leverage the larger aperture to allow more light into the frame while keeping the shutter speed fast enough to take a handheld shot.
Take these (adorable) close ups of Reggie and Aria. I took these in the kitchen at night, with plain old overhead lighting. By dropping the aperture down to f/1.8 and f/2.5 respectively, I was able to get good exposure while keeping the shutter speed fast enough to shoot freehand. I also love in this first one, how the focus is on Reggie’s snout, while everything else fades into the background 🙂
Then, with this same “nifty fifty” lens, I can decrease the aperture, thus increasing focus across a broader depth of field in the frame. Take a look at this nice portrait shot of Reggie and his BFF.
Lastly, you can also use this lens to get an up-close (nearly macro) shot with exquisite detail. Take a look at the hairs on this strawberry stem!
The other lens I have wanted for a very long time, is a macro lens. I finally settled on this one, and I am SO excited to start playing around with it!
I have always been drawn to macro photography. Maybe it’s the ability to capture something in exquisite detail, even more so than you could fully appreciate by eye. There are more nuances to learn when shooting with this lens, but I am so excited for the journey. Focus is key with these images, landing it in just the right spot. The plane of focus is also very narrow with this lens. You have to thoughtfully place it in order to maximize the image effect.
I am already over the moon with the results from some of these first pictures I took! What do you think?
I can’t wait to get more experience under my belt with these new camera lenses! And to see what images I can capture to share with you!