Chapter 4: Selecting and Using Lenses with the Nikon D800

Lenses are the most critical accessories you can buy for your camera. The lens that you put on your camera has an enormous impact not only on image quality, but also on the end result of the image appearance. Higher-quality lenses invariably lead to superior image quality. Your photographs will appear sharper with more detail.

Perhaps the greatest thing about photography is the ability to use your lens choice to show your perception of the world around you. For example, ultrawide lenses distort spatial reality in a way that is much different than we can see, and macro lenses allow you to get up close to a subject in a way that’s unique from human perspective.


A good high-quality lens is an investment that should last you throughout many dSLR camera bodies.

Deciphering Nikon’s Lens Codes

When shopping for lenses, you may notice all sorts of letter designations in the lens name. So, what do all those letters mean? Here’s a simple list to help you decipher them:

AI/AIS. These are auto-indexing lenses that automatically adjust the aperture diaphragm down when the Shutter Release button is pressed. All lenses, including AF lenses, made after 1977 are auto-indexing, but when referring to AI lenses most people generally mean the older MF lenses.

E. These lenses were Nikon’s budget series lenses, made to go with the ...

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