cgc0202 11:53pm, 1 January 2007
Note: Please Vote here: What lens do you use most in your photography?

even if you respond to this post. [There were quite a number of respondents who have not actually voted, based from the actual responses here and the actual View Result of the poll.]

Happy New Year everyone!

Sam, one of the Admins of this group, initiated "What is your favorite lens?" on 27th July 2005. Down the line, Sam also requested:

"If someone has the time it would be interesting to add up everyone's favorites and post the results. We could then answer find out what lenses are the most popular."

This is a response to Sam's request. However, instead of a single individual collating the results, the goal and strategy in this thread, is to invite and involve all members of the Nikon Digital group to help create this information database by participating in this Poll:

What lens do you use most in your photography?***

This is a collaborative effort, that will be a very useful resource to beginners who have just started finding their ways in photography.

However, before you do anything, please read the guidelines, included in the "first response". Then:

Vote here:
What lens do you use most in your photography?

Next use the back button to get back on this page then click

View Result

to find the latest update. If there is enough response to this poll: What lens do you use most in your photography?, more focused polls will be created also for:

*Zoom: General Purpose ~ Walk around~Travel
*Prime lenses
*Zoom: Telephoto Lenses
*Wide angle Lenses
*Macro Photography

This specific poll and the others planned, in the future, may help beginners find the optimal combination of lenses for their specific focus in photography. So, I hope you participate.


cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago

*Please tag your photos, especially those using the lens you chose, and kindly indicate your focus in photography, to help others understand your choice.

*The lens choices included were collated from those posted by respondents to Sam's "What is your favorite lens?".
If your most used lens is not in the list, please respond to this post and indicate the specifics of your lens. It will be included in the Poll.

*The Poll: What lens do you use most in your photography? will provide just numbers and percentage (%)
To make the information even more useful to beginners, please provide a brief explanation here for your selection by answering the following questions:
Why did you select that lens? This will be best understood if you provide information about the focus of your photography. Some of us cannot afford the more expensive Nikon lenses, and thus opted for third party lenses. Please provide more information about how you selected these third party lenses.

*Abbreviations and Conventions:
Prefix: N - Nikon, S - Sigma, TM - Tamron and TK - Tokina

The abbreviations:
-- "N17-55f2.8" refers to Nikon 17-55mm and constant f/2.8 from 17-55mm
-- "N18-55*" refers to the kit lens Nikon18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED DX
-- etc.

*Please share your ideas and suggestions to make this Poll: What lens do you use most in your photography? and planned future polls -- to make them even more useful to others, especially those just beginning in photography.
photopath Posted 12 years ago. Edited by photopath (member) 12 years ago
I was surprised to see no 50 f1.8's in there and the 33.3% of us used the 50 f1.4

Then I spotted that there were only 3 votes!


I'll check back in a day or 6

Edit for clarity - I was surprised to see no 50 f1.8 USERS in there.....
photofarmer 12 years ago
I use the 18-200VR. I don't have any other lenses (yet). I got this because it provides a good range of focal lengths and has VR and AF. I don't have to ever change lenses. Since I'm just starting in dSLR work this is a good one to start with. It's pricey, but since it's in demand I can always sell it and get whatever else I want later. After a couple thousand shots I find that I'm shooting more wide angle, so I will probably "focus" on the shorter lenses first. It would be nice to have more aperture also. Naturally, this reflects my personal use of the camera (a lot of casual photos) and will likely be different for someone else.
photofarmer Posted 12 years ago. Edited by photofarmer (moderator) 12 years ago
@photopath: There were only 2 after I voted. I guess I'll have to start typing faster.
striped cabbage [deleted] 12 years ago
I'm using the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 D. It's the only lens I have at the moment. I'm hoping to get the Nikon 18-200mm VR in the near future. I imagine it will become my main lens once I do.
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago
There is a 50mm f/1.8 in the list -- just below N50 f/1.4. It is the 12th in the list, included in the prime lenses. ..., N50 f/1.2, N50 f/1.4, N50 f/1.8, etc....

I had to abbreviate the presentation, otherwise the name for each lens would take too much space, and be more confusing.

Tito Herrera 12 years ago
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8
David.S.L 12 years ago
18-70 DX for about 70% of the time
Rune T 12 years ago
I use my Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 a lot, but I probably use my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 even more.
head.zoo.keeper 12 years ago
Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 AF-D

Why did you select that lens?
Well, I do a lot of low-light candid photography so I need a fast lens and I've always liked the results from this particular Nikkor -- good edge-to-edge sharpness wide-open; pleasing bokeh.

I also use the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AIS a lot but the 85mm is probably on my camera slightly more often.
Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4 60% of the time. Not on list & not surprised... Versatile, sharp, with nice colour rendition...
DSP (Digital Soft Paw) 12 years ago
Nikkor 28-70/2.8
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago
Thanks, Tito Herrera, Rune T, Monday Morning Photography. DSP (Digital Soft Paw) for the added input on the lens.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4, Nikkor 28-70/2.8 , Sigma 30mm f/1.4 will be abbreviated as





respectively; but, they will be placed at the bottom, because inserting the among the zooms, at the top, willl mess up the ongoing stat, otherwise.

Aardvark For Freedom 12 years ago
Tokina 12-24mm f/4. Works for the majority of what I shoot. Just bought thier new 10-17mm though. Hopefully I will be using that one a bit more than the 12-24 soon.
cgc0202 12 years ago
Ardvark for Freedom:
That choice -- Tokina 12-24mm f/4 -- is at the very top as TK12-24f4. Please signify your choice.

What is the brand (manufacturer) and f value for the 10-17mm? Aside from the obvious muchh wider angle, are there reasons why you think you will like the 10-17mm over the Tokina 12-24mm f/4?

Are there specific uses for it that cannot be done by each?


Aardvark For Freedom 12 years ago
The Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 "fisheye" is their new lens, and is very difficult to find at the moment. I like it because it gives a dramatic curvature but maintains sharpness. Best results are from f/8-11 as far as DOF is concerned. Another cool feature I like is that it works in Capture NX as a 10mm Nikkor f/2.8 "fisheye". If you want to straighten out the curvature you can use NX to do that rather easily turning the lens into an "ultra wide angle".
instinctive humor [deleted] Posted 12 years ago. Edited by instinctive humor (member) 12 years ago
For an accurate analysis of my shooting habbits I have used a freeware tool It can read JPG & RAW and show statistics of focal length aperture and much more.

This is the plot showing my lens usage -- I just added the Manufacturers names

cgc0202 12 years ago
Ardvark for Freedom. I included the Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 "fisheye". Is there a good and detailed review for the Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5? There is a great overlap between this and the 12-24mm, does this mean that you will sell the latter? Or, does it have uses and advantages that could not be done with the Tokina 10-17?

stargazer95050. Very graphic indeed. Just curious, how come there are two bar graph entries for 105mm f/2.8?

Thanks for sharing.

instinctive humor [deleted] 12 years ago
maybe the resolution isn't good enough. One is 105mm (Micro) the other is 10.5mm (Fisheye)
What is more interesting is the distribution of the focal length used -- but that was not the question of this thread
cgc0202 12 years ago
My mistake stargazer95050 -- bad eyes and poor lighting. I did not look closely at the extra zero, after the "105". Yes, I looked at your focal length distribution too. Very interesting, indeed. It does reveal how the 18-200 gets a lot of use, and also that of the special lenses that you own

instinctive humor [deleted] 12 years ago
Thanks to eBay I got some older but good lenses for a bargain.
e.g a 50mm f/2.8 Micro for $25.
inkdude 12 years ago
Love my Nikon 12-24 DX for landscapes. Just bought 70-200 VR and am very impressed with it so far.
alforque 12 years ago
My focus in photography is to capture moments in the lives of family members, especially my niece and nephew. Unfortunately, all of those shots are hidden from the public (family only).

For the vote, I used the lens for which most of my photos were taken: Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D. However, the 50mm f/1.8D has produced some of my favorites.

I strive to take better portrait shots with the 85mm. Posted 12 years ago. Edited by (member) 12 years ago
I wanted to vote, but my Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D is not listed. I use it the most for sure.
Sadly, I had it stolen recently with my other gear. This will be the first lens I will replace when (if?) I get money from insurance.

Why this lens. Well, first I still shoot film as well as digital so I don't buy DX lenses.
Next, this lens is one of the most highly rated lenses in it's range period. From any manufacturer. Here is just one test showing this (thanks mawz for the excellent link).
I like the range. I wish it was maybe 16mm to start but I will survive.
I love the contrast and colour this lens renders.
The build quality is truly impressive.

I tag all my photos to the Nikkor Groups tag list.
My 17-35mm photos.

Edit: I primarily do people and event photos. I shoot the occasional wedding and take the occasional trip.
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago
inkdude and alforque: thanks for sharing and participating. I just added the Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D as


Please check the list near the wide angle zoom lens. [Note Upldate: I revised the arrangements of the lenses, so that the list grouped the zoom lenses and then another group for the prime lenses.]

Thanks for the detailed responses, alforque and others who provided more info why a specific lens was chosen.

Etep 12 years ago
My first lens was actually the Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6. Just recently (past couple of weeks) I have finally bought a couple new lenses. I bought the Sigma 10-20 for a wide and just grabbed the N50mm 1.4. I was just going to buy a new filter but then saw that lense and I really liked it. So looking forward to getting some shallow DOF with it. I didn't realize it was so popular. Seems to be a great lens especially for the price.
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago
Etep I have included both of the lenses you stated.

Update: for What lens do you use most in your photography? (Nikon Users)

The list was rearranged so that the "Zoom Lenses" and grouped together and arranged based on the minimum focal length value (see below) . The "Prime Lenses" were similarly grouped and arranged, immediately after the "Zoom Lenses".

Please if your most used lens is not in the list below, respond to this post so that it will be included.

Zoom Lenses


Prime Lenses
N35 f/2
N50 f/1.2
N50 f/1.4
N50 f/1.8
S150 f/2.8

my used lense at the moment is a tamron SP DI 17-35mm f2.8-4
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago
brett in japan: I just included your choice -- tamron SP DI 17-35mm f2.8-4 -- as


in the Poll. You may vote for it now.

cheers cornelio,

will be intersting to see how the result come back over time.

Ryan Brenizer Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Ryan Brenizer (admin) 12 years ago
Voted 17-55 f/2.8, (the 85mm f/1.4 is close behind).
Jeff Clow 12 years ago
Interesting study - I also voted.

I currently use the Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens 95% of the time. It covers a wide range of shots and even does a decent job on macro.

And the VR (vibration reduction) really reduces the number of shaken or blurred images.
tasteful balance [deleted] 12 years ago
Very interesting, indeed. Although there are only a few votes so far (<50 at the time of writing), there is close to a tie between the 18-70 kit lens, the 18-200VR and the two fast 50mm primes. It's not surprising that these are in the lead, but I would have expected these 4 lenses to count for more than just about half the votes. It will be interesting to follow the result as more people join in.
MerlinsMan 12 years ago
These days the super sharp Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is my most used walk-about lens. I'm starting to use the 18-200 VR Nikkor more often again now that it is supported by DxO Optics Pro 4.1.
well-made car [deleted] 12 years ago
AF Nikkor 28-80G (most) and a Nikkor AF 70-300G.
johndohrn 12 years ago
150 2.8 sigma macro
lecates 12 years ago
28mm f/1.4: I know it's price and (lack of) availability means it wont win any popularity contest, but it almost never comes off my camera. It's what I use most at this point.
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago
I have added all lenses that you posted that were not originally in the list.

There is a trend developing actually, especially if the capabilties and uses of the lenses are grouped as:

Prime Lenses
Wide Angle (Scenery)
Close-up (Macro)

Thanks to all who have participated, so far. I hope other members will participate.

RoninVision 12 years ago
50mm f/1.8
70-200mm f/2.8 VR
LebronPhoto 12 years ago

Scenery - Nikkor 18-70 DX
Portraits - Sigma 105mm 2.8 EX DG Macro
Macro Photos - Same as above
Wildlife and other far away scenes - Quantaray (Sigma) 135 -400 APO Zoom.
broad cellar [deleted] 12 years ago
Nikon 17-35mm f2.8
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago

You have to cast your vote so that your choice will be recorded in the Poll

As of this post, there are at least 3 who selected Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 and one Sigma 150mm f/2.8. These choices are not reflected in the Poll.

For this Poll, select your most used lens. In the future, we will have more focused Polls where you may select one lens for each of the following categories.

Prime Lenses
Wide Angle (Scenery)
Close-up (Macro)


Cheryl Pedemonti 12 years ago
HI: I am brand new to your group because I just received a Nikon D50 for Christmas. I've already taken about 1,000 photos (not that I kept them all) and can't believe what a superb camera I now own. The stock 18-55mm lens was not in stock at Ritz Camera where my camera was purchased so I paid extra for the 18-135 mm f/3.5 lens. I knew it would take care of everything from wide angle to zoom. It does a great job with the macro photos I have taken also. I guess this is the only lens I know, so the 18-135 mm would be my favorite for now! I do want an macro lens at some point with an f/1.8 aperture.
Baron Von Aaron 12 years ago
@Cheryl--a macro with a 1.8 would be hard to find, and pointless. Most people who are dedicated to macro advise shooting with a flash and higher apertures to get greater DoF and sharpness.. Usually the "sweet spot" is between 8 and 11, but sometimes I use 16.
Baron Von Aaron 12 years ago
Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 APO EX DG Macro HSM
guarded quiver [deleted] 12 years ago
Nikkor 50mm and Nikkor 70 - 210mm
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago
Cheryl: I almost bought the 18-135 mm myself, but opted to find two or three lenses, for specific purposes, starting with the 50mm f/1.8. I was planning to get a decent wide angle and then a zoom macro. I like the 50mm quite a lot but I realized I could have used an all around lens too -- to have more practice and understand what sort of photography I want to do

Baron and zubynu: I just included both the

S70-200 f/2.8Macro

(note that there are many variations of this lens, ever the years, thus, the asterisk "*" in N70-210* )

They ready for selection, when you have time.

Könrad 12 years ago
Nikkor AF 50 mm 1.8 for walk around in the night

Nikkor AF 18-55 mm 3.5-5.6 for walk around in the morning and wide angle shots

Nikkor AF 85 mm 1.8 for Portraits Reportage, Indoor Shots.

About tele zoom, i have 55-200 but apart concert, i don't use it so much.

No macro photography, not interested in.

sjnewton 12 years ago
Another N18-200VR user here - it only rarely leaves the camera. I winced when I bought it, but for all-round flexibility, you can't beat it...wish I could afford the N12-24 as well!
SCFiasco 12 years ago
It's bulky and hefty, but I've fallen in love with my 35-70mm 2.8-4 Nikkor zoom. It gives me the balance I need using my "boat-anchor" D1x. Because of it's zoom I can pretty much choose any distance and still bracket to a good composition.

Otherwise, I usually have my 50mm 1.8 and 75-300mm 4.5-5.6 in my bag just in case... I've given up on the 24-120mm non-vr lens I bought and will probably put it up for auction on ebay soon.

Weapons of Choice
LebronPhoto 12 years ago
I would have to say it's my Nikkor 18-70 DX.
STOUCHIE 12 years ago
Sigma DG 18-200mm
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago
SC Fiasco and STOUCHIE, I have added your choices as


you may vote here now: What lens do you use most in your photography?.

I hope those who have responded here, with their choices, will vote here too so that your choice will be reflected in the result of the Poll.


photofarmer 12 years ago
Nothing for 6 days? Only 75 responses, better statistics needed.
cgc0202 12 years ago
Some of those who responded here did not vote. There is a trend actually, if you group the lenses as "wide-angle", "all around", telephoto", portraiture, "primes", etc.
aqui-ali Posted 12 years ago. Edited by aqui-ali (member) 12 years ago
Toss up Sigma 30mm 1.4 and Nikon 85mm 1.8 for night/party/people (sigma gets a little more use)

Toss up between Tokina 12-24 and Nikon 80-200 f2.8 for street wandering

Tokina 12-24 for architecture interiors.

Almost never use my midrange Nikon 17-80 DX. I expect that midrange usage will change when I upgrade to the 17-55 2.8 in May/June.
Beyond Forgetting 12 years ago
If you have only one lens, then that is the one you use most, OK?
Even if y ou want to use another lens, it is not going to happen .....the statistic is going to be skew .....toward those with only a few lens VS those with zillion.
Beyond Forgetting Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Beyond Forgetting (member) 12 years ago
Ergo - the falacy of drawing conclusion from this universe. Maybe, we should let Gallop do this ..... he he he he.
hollow structure [deleted] Posted 12 years ago. Edited by hollow structure (member) 12 years ago
I use all three I have and none that I don't have. ;)

I probably use the 50mm f/1.8 and the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro more than the 18-55mm kit lens though.
Beyond Forgetting Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Beyond Forgetting (member) 12 years ago
I do not favor a lens over another ... it is the object that I photograph that determines what lens I use and the situation at hand for in the final analysis, the resultant photo or picture ... one cannot determine what lens was used given the fact that most often we print most of the time ... post-card size and the one who looks at the picture does not subject such photo to a micro-analysis nor does that person have the facilities or equipment to perform such analysis nor will he undertake this tedious act of analysing a post-card size picture. Later in life, one will probably discover that this is a lot of hot air that when we look at pictures by Ansel Adam we do not know what the lens is nor do I even care what camera was used by those playboy photographers.

Have we ever ask what paint or brush was used by the one who painted the Mona Lisa???
Tanglaw 12 years ago
I use the lens attached to the camera ... I have no choice
heartofglass 12 years ago
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF
eight double 12 years ago
nikon 20mm f/2.8 for my walking around lens.
nikon 50mm f/1.8 for portraits.
Ninfa Z. Bito 12 years ago
nikon 17-35mm f2.8ED / nikon 80-200mm
Letsemgo Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Letsemgo (member) 12 years ago
How about the Tamron 28-75 F/2.8(walk around)+Nikon 70-300mmVR?? Thats what I'm using :)
cgc0202 Posted 12 years ago. Edited by cgc0202 (member) 12 years ago
OK, thanks. I will add the Tamron as T28-75f/2.8 and the Nikon as N70-300VR
daleong 12 years ago
Nikon 70-300mm VR now, 70-300mm G before
photofarmer 12 years ago
Well, as of the beginning of February (about 1 month of data collection), it appears that there are only 94 Nikonists who use lenses. They must be very busy to account for all the good pictures appearing on flickr.

So it appears to me the most popular ones with the limited statistics presented are the 18-200, 18-70, and 50f1.8 (although the 50f1.4 is probably similar given the sample size).
swanky ground [deleted] 12 years ago
I'm using Nikon 50 mm 1.8 D- for portraits and 18-70 mm DX
nimble photography 12 years ago
then: nikon 50mm f1.8
now: tamron 28-75mm f2.8
later(this year): sigma 30mm f1.4
much later: tamron 17-50mm f2.8
Joits 12 years ago
my everyday lens is the 24-120mm vr lens... i do own a 50mm f1.8 and an 80-200mm f2.8 as well.
Дон Андре Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Дон Андре (member) 12 years ago
leahscarborough 12 years ago
Nikon 18-200: general use
Nikon 105mm (no VR): macro and portrait
Sigma 10-20mm: new toy
Nikon 80-400: wildlife
nschaden 12 years ago
Voted for the Nikkor 35mm f/2, my common walkaround as a "normal" prime lens.

Tokina 12-24: Close second with virtually all landscape and architectural shots
Nikkor 85mm f/1.8: Portraits, abstracts
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4: Low light, portraits, abstracts
opiomar 12 years ago
Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 I prefer short range zooms
fabulous paper [deleted] 12 years ago
Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 - most used
Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 - 2nd
cgc0202 12 years ago

I just bought the Tokina 12-24mm about two weeks ago, to add to my other lens (Nikon 50mm). I opted for the Tokina instead of the more versatile Tamron 17-50mm because I know I would like the ultrawide. it has been the lens I used the most since. I especially like it for landscapes. However, the slanting buildings even at 24mm kind of annoys me a bit.

Is there a reason why you do not use your 35mm f/2 mainly for architecture and instead opted for the Tokina? What are the pros and cons using the 35mm for architecture?

drackar 12 years ago
Of the three lenses I have, the one that stays on my camera and is used by default is my 50 f1.4.

I Love this lens...Though I will be getting a 10-22 tamron which quite likely will likely see just abut as much use as my 50.
 Paul_Gallian  12 years ago
N18-200VR currently at nikon - trying to find out why it does not focus very sharp.

N105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR -- very sharp focus

cgc0202 12 years ago
Yes, I do like the ultrawide lens a lot. Mine is a Tokina 12-24mm and the one I use most right now because I do not like changing lens outside and it cold weather. I might revert back to my 50mm when I have run out of sites that could use the 12-24 range.
instinctive humor [deleted] 12 years ago
This tool can create useful statistics about your preferred lens and also the preferred focal length (and more)
cgc0202 12 years ago
moving up
victormarshall 12 years ago
af fisheye nikkor 10.5mm 2.8
i love it and i also love the fact that no one on this post has mentioned it. the fisheye is not something you can just go out and shoot anything with, its challenging at times. this lens is amazing tho, extemely sharp with minimal barrel distortion. the best lens in my bag....
oh yea my 2nd fav would be the 18-135mm nikkor zoom lens, it was the kit lens with my d80 and id say im very pleased with purchase would be a 50mm 1.4
digitalfrog 12 years ago
Fisheye 10.5 - Looks like it's at least 2 of us :-)

The vast majority of pictures I take is in crowded nightclubs, and the fisheye does miracles there....

It's pretty much bolted to my camera...
Sam Scholes 12 years ago
Great idea cgc0202, thanks so much.
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