Congrats on buying your first DSLR camera. If your here reading this article, that means you likely own a Nikon camera or are at least researching Nikon cameras. And I wanted to help you pick what nikon lens to purchase next besides the kit lens that came with your camera.
The kit lens that comes with most entry-level Nikons is the 18-55mm zoom lens.
Although a good lens to get started with, you may find it lacking in low-light, portraits and maybe even a little boring.
Enter the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX prime lens (Amazon Affiliate Link). This little lens packs a punch, is great in low-light conditions and can add that sought after blurry background effect for portraits. It’s also super affordable!
After purchasing mine to use with my Nikon D3000, it stayed glued to that camera. I rarely ever changed the lens. It helped me improve my image composition, camera settings and helped boost my picture taking confidence.
Why should I buy this lens? And how I do use it best?
Prime lenses are fixed and don’t zoom so you have to zoom with your feet to get closer/further away. This can force you to get creative and help improve how you compose your shot.
And to be able to take advantage of the f/1.8 level on this lens, you need to switch your camera setting out of ‘Auto’. You can start in ‘Aperture Priority’ (or ‘A’) and then work you can way up too full ‘Manual’ mode. That’ll come with more practice.
By switching to ‘Aperture Priority’ you are allowing yourself to shoot ‘wide open’ and get some sweet bokeh (or blurred background).
- Select ‘A’ on the ‘M, A, S, P, Auto’ dial
- Use the thumb wheel to change your f-stop number. The lower the number=more background blur, basically
- Voilà, ready to shoot. Congrats you’ve begun your journey away from full ‘auto’
A lower f-stop number also helps bring in more light. Which is helpful when taking images indoors without a flash.
Fun Tip: Change your AF Area Mode to ‘Single Point’ instead of ‘Auto Area’. This way you select what you want to focus on and blur out the rest. This can be useful when taking headshots/portraits or singular objects.
Which Nikon cameras will it work with?
The Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX works best with Nikon DX model cameras. Such as the Nikon D3300, D3400, D5600, or D7500.
The camera series comes out with a new model every couple years, so the number may vary slightly. For example; Nikon D3400 has recently been updated to D3500.
Will this work for my shooting style?
This lens is great for portraits/headshots, family photography, street, and general all-around use.
I’ve used mine for landscape/travel pictures even though its not a wide angle. Again, it forced me to get creative and helped me produce unique images.
Where do I buy one?
This lens can purchased just about everywhere that sells camera gear for about $200. Just make sure to select the DX model and not the FX model.
Use the ‘Shop Now’ button below to purchase on Amazon. And gives me a small commission if purchased on Amazon.
I appreciate all the support.
And although I recently upgraded to a different Nikon camera (and bought all new lenses) I still have a lot of respect for the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX. It helped me become the photographer I am today.
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