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Top Recommended Lenses for Nikon D810 and D850

Top Recommended Lenses for Nikon D810 and D850

What lenses are best for the Nikon D810  and the recently launched D850? The D810 and D850 can use variety of Nikon DX & F-mount lenses. For best performance a FX (full-frame) format lens is recommended. While the D810  can use DX (APS-C or crop frame) lenses, it will only produce smaller 10.5MP images using the central part of the lens, and the effective focal length would be 1.5X the focal length of the lens.

Nikon has produced tens of millions of F-mount lenses since 1959. Almost all of these will work on the D810 and D850. However, the best performance will be experienced with the more recent AF-S lenses with the autofocus motor (silent wave) built into the lens. Recent lenses also have advanced coatings to reduce ghosting and flares and improve contrast. Further features which are beneficial include vibration reduction (VR) for all focal lengths but especially longer telephoto lenses as well as Extra-low Dispersion glass (ED) which reduces chromatic aberration.

To find the best lens for your D810 or D850, first decide which focal length or lengths would suit your preferred style of photography. While fixed focal length (or prime) lenses may provide the absolute best technical image quality, they lack the flexibility of a zoom lens. Budget and size/weight preferences further define which lens may preferred. Below is a list of lenses from budget to specialty lenses along with advice about why one may be preferred over another.

Order a Nikon D810. (price drop) or the New Nikon D850

Top Recommended Lenses for Nikon D810 and nikon D850 are:

[To check the prices click on images or blue headings]

Budget lenses for the Nikon D810 and Nikon D850

While the best advice may be to invest in lenses and not camera bodies, the fact is you probably have (or are considering buying) a Nikon D810 and Nikon D850. With that accomplished, you may have a limited budget, at least initially, for a good lens or two. These lenses will allow your wallet more flexibility, while still providing excellent image quality.

Budget Zoom Lenses for the Nikon D810 and Nikon D850

Nikon 24Nikon 24-85mm VR lens85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens 
While often bundled as the kit lens with entry-level FX cameras, this lens is very capable. It offers VR to help stabilize hand-held images you may find for many purposes that it eliminates the need for a tripod. This lens uses the latest technology: three aspherical elements, one ED element, Nikon Super Integrated Coating and internal focusing. The truth is this lens is sharp, relatively lightweight (465 grams), flexiable 3.5X zoom range from wide angle to telephoto and focuses as close as 1.25 feet. The best value of current FX lenses.

Nikon 18-35mm LensNikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Lens 
This lens was released in 2013. It provides the focal range from ultra wide angle to normal and renders extremely sharp images. In includes aspherical and ED glass elements for outstanding image quality. At only 385 grams it is relatively light and also compact at 3.7-inches in length. For those seeking wide angle for landscapes, interiors or dramatic effect, this is the go-to lens. It would be right at home on your new Nikon D810 or D850.

Nikon 70-300mm VRNikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens 
For a telephoto lens, no other Nikon lens comes close to offering the combination of range, size, weight and price of this lens. Although it does not offer the fastest aperture, the VR helps stabilize images. If telephoto is not your primary range, this lens will open a world of new possibilities. For the traveler it deserves a place in your bag. While there are more expensive options that may have slightly better technical image quality, they cost at least twice as much and weigh much more.

Nikon 28-300mm VR lensNikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR 
This ultra zoom is the do-it-all and the only lens you may need. It is very capable of producing sharp images and has more zoom range (10X) and close focusing abilities (18 inches) that might otherwise require a whole bag of lenses. Perhaps an ideal travel lens for those who don’t want to bother changing lenses but don’t mind the 1.75 lb (800 gram) weight. It also features the latest VR, two ED glass elements, three aspherical elements, and Nikon SIC lens coatings. If you want only one lens for your D810 or new D850, make it this one.

[To check the prices click on images or blue headings]

Budget Prime Lenses for the Nikon D810 and Nikon D850

Nikon 28mm 1.8GNikon 28mm f/1.8G Lens 
Wide angle with fast aperture. This lens will provide a dramatic angle and capture objects along with their environment. Although not ideal for traditional portraits it will capture a lot of background. For landscape, travel and interiors it is a very versatile focal length. Great for low-light, night photography and fast focusing.

Nikon 35mm 1.8GNikon 35mm f/1.8G ED FX Lens 
Some consider a 35mm lens to be ideal. It is not too wide and yet not quite “normal” such as a 50mm. If you are moving up from DX to FX for the first time with the D810 and shot at 24mm on the DX camera, this 35mm on FX would give a similar angle of view. This could be a good choice for many types of photography if you just want to carry one lens. It is lightweight, sharp, compact and perfect for general family and travel shots. (Note: this is the FX version of the lens, a similar DX version is available but does not cover the entire frame of a full-frame camera.)

Nikon 50mm 1.8GNikon 50mm f/1.8G Lens 
One of the least expensive yet most sharp FX lenes available, the 50mm is the first prime lens many photographers choose. Its fast f/1.8 aperture is perfect for low-light and night photography, while its focal length is just long enough to provide pleasant background blur for isolating subjects and making them pop. Often called a “normal” lens for its ability to capture a perspective that looks normal to the human eye. Given its affordable price, consider the 50mm a required lens with the Nikon D810 / D850 (unless you opt for the more expensivef/1.4 version).

Nikon 85mm 1.8GNikon 85mm f/1.8G Lens
  The 85mm 1.8G is an outstanding portrait lens and rivals lenses costing at least twice as much. The lens is sharp, low distortion and provides pleasant background blur qualities (bokeh). There is no better value in a portrait lens in the Nikon lineup. If you need a portrait lens for your new Nikon D850 or D810, this is should be on your list.

[To check the prices click on images or blue headings]

General advice for Nikon D810 or D850 photographers on a budget: Decide which focal length(s) you want and don’t limit yourself by overlapping too many focal lengths. Unless you specialize in wide angle, one zoom or prime that covers that range will do. For longer telephoto you will generally be using zooms if on a budget. One or two prime lenses spread out in focal length are more useful than a pair of lenses that are close (28mm and 35mm are very similar, while 35mm and 85mm are sufficiently different). A big advantage of prime lenses is a fast aperture, which budget zoom lenses lack especially toward longer focal lengths. Adding a fast 50mm or 85mm prime will provide a whole new range of photographic possibilities which would be missing with a zoom lens that is f/5.6 aperture at 50mm or 85mm).

Mid-Range Lenses for the D810 and D850

Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR lensNikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II Lens 
There is a lot to like about the 16-35mm f/4 VR. It offers an extreme wide angle and yet can take normal shots at 35mm. It has a constant aperture throughout the range and VR which makes it great for video. It is extremely sharp. It doesn’t cost anywhere near as much as the 14-24mm ultra wide zoom, and is much lighter and can take filters. It does have some extreme distortion at the widest focal length and it is “only” f/4. Even with those shortcomings, this lens hits the “sweet spot” for many, especially on the Nikon D810 and D850.

NikonNikon 70-200mm f/4 VR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikkor Zoom Lens 
If you shoot wildlife or sports you may wish for a specialized lens that offers better image quality than the consumer zooms (28-300mm or 70-300mm). The 70-200mm f/2.8 professional-grade alternative may be out of the budget for many, but this lens is hardly a compromise. It focuses nearly as fast and is half the weight of the f/2.8 lens. The f/4 version is extremely sharp, has advanced VR to eliminate blur when shooting handheld and offers a constant aperture throughout the zoom range for recording video. Given the high-ISO performance of the D810 and D850, this f/4 version offers enough speed for almost any photographic purpose.

[To check the prices click on images or blue headings]

Professional Lenses for the D810 and D850

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens 
The landscape photographer’s best companion. This lens offers the image quality of a prime lens and a wide angle of view to capture breathtaking scenes. Its fast f/2.8 aperture enables low-light photography. It is a specialty lens: big, heavy and will not take traditional filters (there are third party options). Yet it is considered one of the best wide angle lenses available, of all camera systems. It would be right at home on the Nikon D810 and D850.

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Lens 
The professional’s everyday lens choice. Fast, sharp, outstanding contrast and close-focusing down to 15 inches. For many working professionals this lens has replaced a bag of prime lenses. It is the cornerstone of the &quto;Holy Trinity” which also includes the 14-24mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8. As a standard zoom lens it will provide the best image quality for the Nikon D810. Many find this is their favorite and most-used lens.

Nikon 70-200mNikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR IIm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens 
The sports photographer’s first choice and the wildlife photographer’s go-to lens. This lens delivers fast-focusing, low-light telephoto capabilities with advanced vibration reduction VR-II. It has near optical perfection and excellent close-focusing capabilities. This would be an excellent choice to match with the new D850 or Nikon D810 for capturing all-out extreme action. No pro should be without this lens in their bag (on on their camera at all times!).

Nikon 85mm f/1.4Nikon 85mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR
This is the modern version of the classic 85mm portrait lens. It delivers creamy, smooth out-of-focus areas and extreme sharpness from f/1.4 produces statement images. It should be the first choice in a portrait lens for the Nikon D810 or D850. All the latest technology is incorporated to provude vivid color, high contrast and excellent flare resistance. Its flattering focal length will please your subjects.

Nikon 105mm f2.8 VR MacroNikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR Macro Lens 
For capturing fine detail in the smallest subjects, the 105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor is the preferred choice. Its 105mm focal length provides ample working distance for many subjects, and it is capable of 1:1 magnification. The focal length also allows it to take portraits and telephoto shots where VR adds versatility. Flowers, insects, jewelry and more will come to life using this lens on your Nikon D810 or D850.


[To check the prices click on images or blue headings]

Which is your favorite lens and why? Let us know in comments below.

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  1. On the Macro end, why is the touted Nikkor 200mm F4 not in the recommended lenses??

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