Nikon 17-55mm F2.8G
The Nikon 17-55mm F2.8G was my main normal zoom during most I my DX shooting. It’s a sharp and fast focusing lens with excellent build quality. Wide open it performs very well and stopped down a little this lens performs as well as any. The 17-55mm lens is solidly built and fairly heavy, making it a bit front heavy on small body cameras. It will balance well on any of Nikon’s pro DX bodies as well as the Fuji S2Pro and S3Pro.
Tamon 28-75mm F2.8
When I moved to FX I purchased the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 as my midrange zoom. It is light and has superb optical quality, almost on the same level as the huge Nikon 24-70mm. I’ve owned both the built in motor version (pictured) and the screw drive version. The screw drive version is preferable because of it’s much faster focusing. This lens is sharp in the center wide open and across the frame from F4. Colour and contrast are both excellent. This lens is the best value midrange zoom for Nikon FX cameras.
Nikon 85mm F1.8D
I purchased a new 85mm F1.8D when I bought the Fuji S2Pro. It was sold later to fund the 70-200mm, but I figure the sellers remorse must have hit me. I’ve owned another two of these lenses since. One non-D and one D type.
They are an excellent piece of glass that is sharp wide open and very sharp stopped down to F2.8 – across the frame. The border to border sharpness is better than the F1.4D version of this lens. The lens is very compact and competitively priced and perform equally well on DX or FX. I used an LC-77 lens cap on the front of the hood so I could leave the hood on the lens.
Nikon 50mm F1.8D
The other lens I started with on the Fuji S2Pro. This lens is very sharp, but the focal length was a bit long when paired up with the 85mm. A 35mm lens would have been a more suitable companion. This is another bargain in the Nikon camp and at some stage almost every photographer ends off owning one. Nikon have just released a G version of this lens with a more advanced optical formula that will be good to try on FX.
Nikon 50mm F1.4G
The 50mm F1.4G is a very competent performer, but the price is a bit high. The performance of this lens is a little better than the F1.8D, especially below F2.8. It is most useful for very low light work because of its fast aperture. For me, the “normal” focal lengths around 50mm have little interest. Most of my photos are either longer or wider. For the small amount of time I used this lens, I couldn’t justify keeping it.
This was my first mid range zoom on DX. It’s quite sharp when stopped down a little, but the build quality isn’t great. Excellent value for money for the DX user, but there are better option available. The 17-55mm F2.8 and 16-85mm f/3.5 – 5.6 VR are both better options, though quite a it more expensive.
My first experience with an ultra wide lens. One look through the viewfinder and I was hooked. The 18-35mm lens is very sharp and contrasty corner to corner when stopped down to F8 or so, however the distortion on the wide end is complex and can’t be easily fixed in post. Wide open corner performance is not good. It is compact and cheap and uses 77mm filters common with many of my other lenses.
If you want a cost effective ultra wide angle zoom lens for FX, this is an excellent one to try.
Nikon 35-70mm F2.8
I used this lens on my Fuji S2Pro for a while but its awkward focal length on DX made me sell it when I bought the 17-55mm. The 35-70mm lens is very sharp and produces colourful and contrasty images at all settings. I’d like to be able to try it again on FX.
Nikon 35mm F1.8G
This is a must have lens for anyone with a DX format Nikon camera! It’s image quality is excellent, it’s compact and it is very well priced.
Sigma 30mm F1.4
I never really liked this lens. I was continually fighting with it to produce sharp images on my old Fuji S2Pro. Occasionally it would show a flash of brilliance but I soon tired of its inconsistency. I sold it within a month of buying it.
Nikon 20mm F2.8D
Small and sharp across the frame when stopped down a bit, this lens was my ultra wide lens of choice before I purchased the 16-35mm. Distortion is complex and difficult to remove in post, not the best choice for architecture.
The only way I could successfully use filters on this lens was to use a 62-77mm step up ring. Even then a pair of stacked filters would cause some severe corner shading, though one worked well.