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4.0 Rating
Photograph Family and Friends During the Holidays

The holidays are prime picture-taking time. Get some great tips on…

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4.8 Rating
Lucas Gilman

Adventure sports and multimedia storyteller Lucas Gilman is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his…

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How to Choose Your Next Nikon 1 Lens

Go beyond your Nikon 1 camera's kit lens

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4.2 Rating
Using Teleconverters

Teleconverters let you extend your photographic reach

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Which NIKKOR Lens Type is Right for Your DSLR?

Learn what the different types of NIKKOR lenses are and which ones will…

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Bokeh for Beginners

Have your subjects stand apart from the background with this easy technique

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4.4 Rating
How To Grow Your Garden Photography Skills

Taking great photographs of your own garden is easy with a few simple tips

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4.4 Rating
Quick Tips for Taking Better Portraits

Suggested Lens choices, exposure settings and focus modes

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3.5 Rating
1 NIKKOR Technology: Retractable Lens Barrel

Retractable lens barrel technology offers ultra-compact lens design.

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4.7 Rating
Destination Europe: Do a Little Research, Then Go Light on the Gear

Blaine Harrington on travel photography in Europe

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4.4 Rating
Using legacy NIKKOR lenses with the Nikon Df

How to set the Df to accept legacy Non-Ai or Ai lenses

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My Lens Choices for Weddings

Jerry Ghionis discusses his favorite lenses for wedding photography

Beginner

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4.4 Rating
Zoo and Wildlife Photography

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

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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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4.3 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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4.1 Rating
Taking Pictures of Fireworks

Learn how to get great fireworks shots this summer.

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4.6 Rating
One Shot: City Lights

Mark Alberhasky's silhouette of people against bright Times Square signage

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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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4.6 Rating
Panoramas

Simple Steps to Big Pictures

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

A few quick tips on macro photography

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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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4.3 Rating
How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse

Learn the techniques needed to shoot solar eclipses from Mr. Eclipse, Fred Espenak

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4.7 Rating
Joe McNally

Commercial photojournalist Joe McNally is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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One Shot: After Image

Jack Dyking on seeing in color and thinking in B&W

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For Memorable Family Vacation Photos, Focus First on Family

Tamara Lackey on taking great photos during family vacations

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3.2 Rating
How to Film Using Autofocus, Rack Focus and Manual Focus Techniques

Focusing tips for HDSLR video shooting

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ISO Control

For digital photography, ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera's sensor. The ISO setting is one of…

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Underwater Photography

Tips for getting started shooting underwater with David Doubilet

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Nikon F-Mount

The Nikon F-mount makes a host of lenses available to photographers.

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3D Color Matrix Metering II

This system of evaluating light determines the best possible exposure for a particular…

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Nikon Electronic Format (NEF)

Nikon's RAW file format contains all the image information captured by the camera's sensor.

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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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How a Sports Illustrated Photographer Shoots his Kid's Games

What can a Sports Illustrated photographer teach you about…

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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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4.6 Rating
Action and People Photography

For those who want to take better people and action photos

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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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A New Sharp Shooter

Mike Corrado on shooting with the Nikon D810

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4.3 Rating
Shooting with Remote Cameras

Andrew Hancock discusses the art of shooting sports with remote cameras

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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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3.9 Rating
Tips and Techniques For High Flying Photos

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

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4.7 Rating
Take a New Look at an Everyday Object

Robin Layton discusses opening your eyes to looking at subjects differently

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Building Your Creative Team

Dixie Dixon on building a creative support team

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4.5 Rating
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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