Lenses (Auto-Focus)

Nikkor Optics

Nikkor AF lenses are the finest in the world for wildlife and other photography. While I actually prefer to use manual focus lenses, many times when I am hiking in the field (and only have a split-second to react), or if I am photographing an event (wedding, birthday, bar-mitzvah), and need to have immediate response, Nikon’s classy “Gold Series” AF lenses are the only lenses I trust to get the job done, flawlessly and beautifully.

Regarding my preferred focal lengths, I operate by The Rule of Doubles, selecting prime focal lengths roughly-double to the focal length of the lens before it. (E.g., 15mm, 28mm, 50mm, 100mm, etc.) Please note, I rarely use zooms. I use primes, nearly exclusively, because they simply render and perform better than zooms. Others may disagree, but that is my credo. I have only one AF zoom (my 8-15mm fisheye) and three MF zooms. That’s it.

That said, regarding AF lenses, this is an interesting time, as Nikon is currently updating all of its ‘G’ lenses (mechanical diaphragm) to ‘E‘ versions (electromagnetic diaphragm), with a corresponding upgrade in glass quality. While I am loyal to Nikon, I am also loyal to my readers, so I will be adding only Nikkor E generation AF lenses to my portfolio, over the next 1-2 years, as these focal lengths suit me for specific, non-macro applications. For macro (and personal pleasure), I much prefer to utilize vintage manual focus lenses; though I also appreciate what AF lenses bring to the table. Here are mine:

Nikkor AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR

The Most Versatile Tool I Own

Let’s clear the air: I got rid of my fantastic 300 f/2.8G ED VR II lens to purchase this (admittedly slower, but delightfully-lighter) 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens. The f/2.8G VR II was absolutely-excellent, but the weight 6.39 lb (2.90 kg) was too much for me to enjoy casual hiking with it. The 300 f/4E PF is a fantastic instrument in its own right, and (at a modest 1.7 lb / .76 kg) it is far more user-friendly. Aside from the more manageable weight, what makes this lens so great is, with my 2 bodies (and a 2x extender), I have the option of shooting at 300mm, 450mm, 600mm, or 900mm, depending on which body I choose (the D810 or D500), and depending on whether or not I want to add the 2x TC III. It is, without question, the most-used and most important lens I bring.

See @ Nikon: Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR

Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

The Ultimate Portrait Lens

This lens is on my wishlist.

See @ Nikon: Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

NIKKOR AF-S 28mm f/1.4E ED

The Auto Focus 'Otus'

This lens is on my wish list.

See @ Nikon: Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.4E ED

Nikkor AF-S 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED (FishEye)

A Creative Wildcard

This lens is on my wish list.

See @ Nikon: Nikkor AF-S 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED