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4.3 Rating
Photograph the Classic Holiday Light Bokeh Effect

Tips for shooting lights as soft globes of color

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4.8 Rating
Caring for your Nikon 1 Waterproof Housing

Regular maintenence and care of the WP-N1/WP-N2/WP-N3 will ensure its…

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4.3 Rating
In a New York Minute: Images of a Long Weekend

Lindsay Silverman spends a weekend shooting with only one D-SLR and lens…

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4.4 Rating
Marketplace: One and Only

Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof, shockproof interchangeable lens camera

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4.2 Rating
Shooting Abstract Photos that Make the Viewer Guess

Sometimes showing just a hint of your subject can be more compelling…

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3.3 Rating
3D Focus Tracking

3D focus tracking automatically shifts the focus point to follow the movement of the subject. With the…

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4.1 Rating
Nikon 1 Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System

Revolutionary camera system designed for today’s picture taker.

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4.9 Rating
Speedlight Tutorial: Day to Night Technique

David Tejada uses Speedlights to create the illusion of a night scene

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4.5 Rating
Take Better Portraits

Tips for taking a good portrait photo

Beginner

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3.5 Rating
VR Image Stabilization

VR image stabilization technology detects vertical and horizontal movement and offsets it by…

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3.7 Rating
Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is a phenomenon in which light rays passing through a lens focus at different…

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4.6 Rating
5 Easy Composition Guidelines

Follow 5 easy tips for better photo compositions

Beginner

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4.5 Rating
A Basic Look at the Basics of Exposure

The relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO is the basis of every…

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3.7 Rating
DX NIKKOR Lenses

Nikon Digital SLRs FX and DX sensors

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4.8 Rating
Family Photos—Capturing the Moments

Nikon School's Family Photos—Capturing the Moments is full of tips for taking fun…

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4.3 Rating
Using Variable Neutral Density Filters to Adjust Exposure in DSLR Video

Adjusting exposure with Variable ND filters

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4.4 Rating
Zoo and Wildlife Photography

Spend a day at the zoo with wildlife photographer Julie Larsen Maher

Beginner

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4.3 Rating
Polarizing Filters Add POW to Pictures

An Easy to Use Accessory, Polarizing Filters Bring out the Color and Definition in…

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4.6 Rating
The Challenge of Bird Photography

Moose Peterson tells why photographing birds in the field is well worth the challenge.

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4.2 Rating
D-Movie Mode

Nikon advances D-Movie functionality with groundbreaking technologies.

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4.5 Rating
Using the D810A DSLR for Deep Space and Nebulae Astrophotography

Photographing Nebulae and other celestial objects with…

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4.1 Rating
Taking Pictures of Fireworks

Learn how to get great fireworks shots this summer.

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4.4 Rating
Benefits of Using the AF-ON Button for Autofocus

Three pros discuss using the AF-ON button for AF control

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4.8 Rating
Professional Video Camera Equipment for Your HDSLR

Using third-party rigs, rail systems and other accessories

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3.1 Rating
Taking Pictures at Dusk and at Night

How do I take pictures at dusk and at night?

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4.2 Rating
Macro Photography Tips: Photographing Insects and Other Small Creatures

A few quick tips on macro photography

Beginner

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4.4 Rating
Video Tutorial Series: Getting Started with your Nikon D3300 DSLR

Series of six videos to help you set-up and shoot and…

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4.4 Rating
John Shaw: A Photographer's Vision Simplified

See how one of the foremost nature, outdoor and natural history…

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Jim Richardson: Why Fast Lenses Make All the Difference

When You’re Constantly on the Move, Fast Glass Makes Tough Shots…

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4.9 Rating
Brian Skerry: Below the Surface

An underwater photojournalist's stunning images

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4.2 Rating
Top Photography Tips from Nikon School Instructors

Learn photography the easy way, at Nikon School

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4.3 Rating
Understanding Auto ISO

Auto ISO can simplify shooting under changing lighting conditions

Beginner

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Bright Idea: Adding Star Power
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Bright Idea: Adding Star Power

Creating a starburst in your photographs

Beginner

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4.7 Rating
Photographing the Night Sky

Astrophotography: tips for making great images of the stars, moon and night sky time-lapse

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4.6 Rating
Ski Photography 101

Tips and tricks for getting great photos of skiers and snowboarders

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4.7 Rating
Extra Added Attraction: How to Boost the Reach of Your Nikon 1

Mark Alberhasky on using the FT-1 and NIKKOR lenses on…

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4.2 Rating
When to Use Graduated Neutral Density Filters

How to use a graduated neutral density filter to decrease extreme light to…

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3.5 Rating
Have Fun Shooting Selfies (Self-Portrait) Photos

Tips and tricks for taking great Selfies

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4.5 Rating
How a Sports Illustrated Photographer Shoots his Kid's Games

What can a Sports Illustrated photographer teach you about…

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Action and People Photography

For those who want to take better people and action photos

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Matthew Jordan Smith

Celebrity and fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his…

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Taking Better Photographs on the Water

Harbors, bays, oceans and rivers all have one thing in common—interesting and…

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The Power and Beauty of Bears and Other Animals

When the animal in the viewfinder is a bear, this photographer knows…

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4.9 Rating
A New Sharp Shooter

Mike Corrado on shooting with the Nikon D810

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3.8 Rating
Tips and Techniques For High Flying Photos

Tom Bol discusses taking photos from hot air balloons, planes and helicopters

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3.9 Rating
Making Pictures in the Rain

Just because it's raining doesn't mean there aren't great pictures waiting to be made.

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4.7 Rating
Moose Peterson

Wildlife and aviation photographer Moose Peterson is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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How to Use Aperture and ND Filters to Control the Depth-of-Field in Movies

Depth-of-field for video

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Prime Lenses

What is a prime lens? Well, it's a lens that isn't a zoom. A prime lens has a fixed focal length which means it has only one focal length. Examples of NIKKOR prime lenses are the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G and AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II, and the new AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G. Some prime lenses are designed for specific uses, such as the Micro-NIKKOR (AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR), Perspective Control (PC-E Micro NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8D), and Fisheye (AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8D ED) lenses.

If a prime lens gives you only one focal length, but a zoom gives you a range of focal lengths, what are the benefits to using a prime lens?

Prime lenses, are smaller, lighter and more compact than zoom lenses and tend to be faster, offering wide apertures of f/2.8, f/1.8 or even f/1.4. The large apertures let in more light, which benefits the photographer in a number of ways. First, you can use fast shutter speeds with large apertures to freeze motion. This becomes important when you're shooting in low light. By using a high ISO, and wide aperture, you'll be able to use high enough shutter speeds so you can hand-hold the camera.

Secondly, because fast lenses let in lots of light, the viewfinder will be brighter, and so it will be easier to confirm focus, ensuring your images will be sharp.

One of the most sought after benefits of using a prime lens is for the Bokeh achievable by photographers, especially portrait shooters. Bokeh refers to the pleasing diffused softness of the blurred background in an image with shallow depth-of-field.

According to many photographers, a byproduct of using a prime lens is that you physically have to walk into- or step back from your subject(s) when shooting—since you can't zoom in and out. This will often cause them to be more creative in their picture making.


Using a Prime Lens for Video

When shooting HD video, prime lenses are ideal to use. They give you the ability to achieve the same shallow depth-of-field at wide open apertures for your video footage as you already get with your still photography. This is something that is generally difficult to do using a traditional video camera. Many photographers who are shooting HD video with their Nikon D-SLRs will appreciate the prime lenses ability to autofocus precisely and quickly when AF-F (Full-time AF) is selected or even to manually focus, which will lessen the occurrence of noise from the lens being picked up by the camera's internal microphone.

Prime lenses are well suited to a variety of subjects including; portraits, architecture, nature, landscape, sports and action, flora and low light. Nikon offers a range of prime or fixed focal length lenses. Click here to view the full line of NIKKOR prime / fixed focal length lenses.

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