Best Lenses for the D700, D3, and D3x

August 10, 2008 - By 

So, you just bought your first full frame Nikon camera? Congratulations! Now, throw out that kit lens and put some REAL glass on that beautiful new camera. These three lenses are my favorites.

1. Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S


I bit the bullet and bought the expensive, and heavy, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S. It has been totally worth it so far. I would recommend this lens to any full-frame Nikon user. It is sharper and more contrasty than any of my primes. You can leave this on your camera for almost everything. The widest angle (24mm) is plenty wide for gorgous landscapes and the 70mm zoom is just enough to get a nice portrait. The only time it has come of my camera is to put on my other favorite lens…

2. Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF

Fun for walkabout trips, this lens is great to shoot just about everything. The 1.4 aperture allows the background to really blur to a beautiful wash of color. It’s also a great lens for shooting in extremely low light. The 50mm view has that perfect “not too wide, not too close up” feel to it on a full frame sensor. This shot shows this great lens shooting hot bokeh background action.
UPDATE: The new AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G has been announced and will be hitting the market soon. It will be more expensive, but the new curved diaphragm design should help keep that beautiful bokeh when stopping the lens. down. I will update this post when I get my hands on one.

Nikon 85mm f/1.4 D AF

This lens has quickly become my favorite for portraits. It’s extremely shallow depth of field throws everything out of focus except for the subject making it perfect for isolating people from the background. The bokeh is the best looking and smoothest of any Nikon lens I have uesd. Be careful though, or that shallow DOF will come back and bite you. I have lost TONS of shots to bad focus with this thing. Just make sure to shoot a ton (especially with kids) and check your focus on your shots with the zoom function on your camera and you will get great shots over and over with this lens.

Are these lenses expensive? Yea… But you bought a great camera body, don’t put cheap glass on it. Still can’t justify the cost? Nikon Lenses are investment. Your brand new full frame Nikon body will be obsolete and almost worthless in a few years, but you Nikon Glass will hold their market value and give you beautiful shots on ANY body for years to come.

If you choose to get these lenses, I recommend getting them new at Amazon or used at KEH.

Amazon Links
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens

Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

Posted In:  Digital Cameras Reviews
  • i’ve been trying to pare down the lens collection a bit, or at least what i carry often. i picked up canon’s 24-70 2.8 a couple months ago and it’s pretty much been glued to the 5D since. the 50 f/1.2 and 35 f/1.4 are really calling me though.

  • Im hoping Nikon will release a 50 1.2. That would be awesome.

  • I was hoping to see a list of like 10 lenses or something… but this is fine too 😉
    These two are still awesome. I had the 17-55mm on the D300 so it’s pretty much just like the 24-70mm on the D700 as far as focal length.
    I was looking at the 17-35mm f/2.8 for when my D700 arrives, any thoughts on that? I will be keeping my 50mm and and 70-200mm.

  • “Im hoping Nikon will release a 50 1.2. That would be awesome.”

    Nikon already has a Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS. It’s not as widely regarded as the 1.4 however.

  • I will be purchasing the D700 shortly, and I need advise on what lens to purchase. I have the 18-200mm, and I plan to use the D700 for family pictures/landscapes, I am on a budget, and I would appreciate your input.

  • Which lens do you recommend for the D700 that can be used both for studio portraits and weddings. Or would i need to purchase two diff. lenses.

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