What Are Nikon DX Lenses?

  • Print this article

Nikon makes over 200 different types of optical glass for its extensive line of lenses. Nikon uses this glass to manufacture its DX and non-DX camera lenses. Nikon designed its DX lens line to meet the needs of consumers using the company's smaller format line of cameras. DX lenses offer you Nikon quality at a price comparable to third-party lens manufacturers.

  1. DX vs. FX

    • Nikon makes two digital SLR camera sensor sizes -- DX and FX. FX sensors represent a sensor size equivalent to a frame of 35 mm film, or 36 mm by 24 mm in size. The DX sensor measures only 24 mm by 16 mm in size. This smaller sensor utilizes only a portion of the field of view of a lens designed to fit on an FX sensor camera body. Nikon has designed a family of lenses to specifically fit the smaller frame, DX camera bodies. These lenses have a "DX" designation on the lens body and also in the naming convention of the lens, such as the AF-S DX Nikkor 35 mm f/1.8G.

    Why DX Lenses?

    • Because Nikon has designed the DX lens line to work specifically with the company's DX camera bodies, the lenses are lighter weight and less expensive than lenses made for full-frame FX bodies. Lenses designed for Nikon full-frame bodies typically cost a premium over DX lenses because of the additional manufacturing cost associated with their production. Additionally, DX body cameras like the Nikon D90, D3100 and D5000 can also accommodate full-frame non-DX lenses. Although some functionality may get lost during use -- auto-focus and some metering modes -- the ability to use non-DX lenses opens up the available lens options for DX camera owners.

    The Crop Factor

    • Because DX camera bodies have smaller sensors than a standard frame of 35 mm film, any lens used on a DX body must have a crop factor applied to its focal length. In essence, any lens used on a DX camera, including DX and non-DX lenses, must have the focal length multiplied by a factor of 1.5X. The crop factor approximates the focal length of the lens as if it were used on a 35 mm full-frame FX body camera. For instance, a 100 mm lens on an FX body has a field of view that reflects its focal length of 100 mms. Put the same lens on a DX body and the field of view no longer resembles a 100 mm lens but a 150 mm lens. That's because on the DX body the focal length, 100 mm, is multiplied by a factor of 1.5, making the 100 mm lens view like a 150 mm lens.

    Considerations

    • DX lenses certainly have a few factors in their favor -- less cost and less weight being the two biggest. However, DX lenses don't come in as many different varieties and specialties as non-DX lenses. For example, an architectural photographer typically requires lenses that have tilt/shift or perspective control movements. These movements aren't available in DX lenses. Also, as of early 2011 Nikon doesn't make any super-telephoto lenses in the DX format.

Related Searches

References

Comments

You May Also Like

  • The Best Lenses for a Nikon D40

    The Best Lenses for a Nikon D40. The best lenses for a Nikon D40 digital camera vary according to the intended style...

  • FX Vs. DX Format

    In film photography, all 35 mm cameras use film that measures 24 mm by 36 mm. During the photography industry's switch to...

  • Nikon Lens History

    Nikon is Japan's oldest manufacturer of camera lenses. Prior to making camera lenses, the company specialized in high-end optics. Nikon has a...

  • Nikkor Lenses vs. Nikon Lenses

    Nikon is a corporate giant that makes numerous optical, electronic devices. But the company's history revolves around top-notch cameras and some of...

  • Nikon D40 Lens Options

    Nikon makes four of the top-ten selling DSLR cameras sold in 2010. During Nikon's long history of manufacturing optics, the company's signature...

  • The Difference Between DX & FX

    DX and FX refers to the image sensor size. digital camera age image by Steve Brase from Fotolia.com

  • Panasonic FS Vs. FX

    Panasonic Lumix has manufactured models in the DMC-FS and DMC-FX series for most of the past decade. Generally, the FS models are...

  • How to Understand DX & VR Lenses for a Nikon

    Nikon DX lenses are designed specifically for the APS-C image sensor found on many Nikon digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras. The...

  • Difference Between Telephoto and Zoom Lens

    A telephoto lens magnifies an image at a specific distance--and within a specific field of vision--so it appears closer than it is,...

  • Can DX Format Lenses Be Used on the D-80 Camera?

    The Nikon D80 camera is a crop sensor digital Single Lens Reflex camera. The term "crop sensor" refers to the size of...

  • Sigma Vs. Nikon Lenses

    When choosing lenses for your Nikon DSLR, you have a choice between Nikon lenses and other brands, such as Sigma. When shopping...

  • What Is an FX Format SLR Camera?

    Digital cameras come in two basic sensor sizes: 35-millimeter film equivalent and less than 35 mm film equivalent. The 35 mm film-equivalent...

  • How to Use Non CPU Lens With Nikon D60

    The Nikon D60 is a compact and easy-to-use digital SLR (DSLR) camera. The D60 shares most of its features and compatible accessories...

  • How to Select Nikon Lenses

    Nikon produces a number of cameras that allow you to use different lenses to suit changing shooting situations, namely its single-lens reflex...

Related Ads

Featured
View Mobile Site