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  • Cindy Ellis

Nikon Lens Mounts Mirrorless & DSLR

It is important to choose the correct Nikon lens mount for your camera. Z mount lenses are only for mirrorless cameras.

Nikon Z Mirrorless Lens System

  • Z series lenses are designed for the Z series mirrorless cameras and cannot be used on traditional DSLR. Since mirrorless cameras do not have a mirror, their lenses can mount closer to the sensor and are often smaller than those for DSLR.

  • FTZ adapters allow AF-S lens to be used on Z mount. AF lens will mount but will have limit functions.

  • Z series lenses include full and cropped frame lens. Cropped frames lenses (DX) are made specially for the smaller cropped sensor.

  • Crop frame DX camera like Z50 Z30 ZFc take both FX and DX Z lenses. While full frame mirrorless Z (Z5, Z6, Z7, Z8, Z9, ZF) will take both cropped and full frame Z lens however DX lens does not cover the larger sensor thus your image size and image area will decrease.

  • ·S-Line lenses offer superior resolution. Objects as thin as a human hair are sharply resolved with no color fringing. These lenses feature superb point-image reproduction, even at the widest apertures. Bokeh is natural and smooth, delivering a sense of depth which emphasizes the subject. Resolution of minute details reproduces naturally at close distances through infinity.

  • Z series vs F mount

Nikon AF/AF-S lens for Nikon DSLRs

  • These lenses are made for traditional DSLR cameras (digital single lens reflex)—those with mirrors.

  • AF-S lens have built in motors. AF does not have a built in motor = lens will not autofocus on some smaller bodies that do not have the focus motor like D3000 and D5000 series, D40, D50.

  • AF-P lens contain the pulse motor. Check the compatibility chart since they are not compatible with many DSLRs especially ones manufactured prior to 2015. Nikon's "P" series of NIKKOR lenses use a pulse motor (utilizing stepping motors) to focus smoother and quieter than previous drive system.·This quiet drive system makes the lenses ideal for use when shooting video. Compatibility chart : Which NIKKOR chart (

  • · There are full frame (FX) like the D3,D4, D5, D6, d800 series, d700 series as well as cropped frame (DX) like the d500, d300, D3000, d5000, d40, d60, d70, and D90 series version of Nikon DSLR lens. DX lenses are made specifically and are often smaller for cropped frame cameras. Cropped frame cameras can take both FX and DX lens without issue. If you use cropped frame camera on a full frame camera the DX lens does not cover the larger sensor thus your image size and image area will decrease.

Others lens notations include

  • NANO COAT: Coatings are important. The nano crystal cost is the best. Nano cost is an anti-reflective coating developed by Nikon that virtually eliminates internal lens element reflections.

  • Internal focus: Lens with internal focus often decrease the chance of dust coming into the camera when you zoom in and out since the lens barrel does not go out. Often lenses with internal focus are longer than those without.

More Nikon lens history including film lenses visit

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