If you are selecting a lens for your Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera, the selection of a lens will depend on many factors and we will attempt to summarise here some of the issues.
We have many lens reviews and summaries on this site, for most of the current Nikon lenses available, see them here at Nikon Lens Reviews and recommendations, where the full range of DX and FX lenses are categorised. The choices of lens are difficult and some of the following information and comments may assist in your selection.
Nikon DX Cameras and Lenses
The Nikon DX cameras use a smaller sensor than the full frame cameras, the DX sensor is essentially a cropped format, and has a 16 x 24mm sensor size, compared to the FX sensor size of 24×36mm.
The DX lenses only cover the area of the smaller sensor and if a DX lens is used on an FX camera the corners of the image will vignette and consequently be darker.
- DX cameras can use DX lenses and full frame FX lenses. The current range of DX cameras is D300s, D7000, D5100, D3100 and D3000.
- FX full frame cameras can only use the full frame FX lenses. The current range of FX cameras is D3X, D3s and D700.
In the Nikon lens range, the AF-S lenses have a built in motor within the lens for automatic focussing of the lens. Non AF-S lenses do not have built in focussing motors and rely on the camera internal motor for focussing. All the new release lenses from Nikon in recent times do have AF-S motors but older lenses do not have the focussing motors. If a non AF-S lens is used on a camera with no focussing motor, then the lens will have to be manually focussed which may be unacceptable to many photographers.
All the current FX cameras D3X, D3s and D700 do have the in camera AF-S focussing motors and consequently can accept AF-S and non AF-S lenses and provide auto focussing functionality.
The following current DX cameras have in camera AF-S focussing motors, D300s and D7000 and can accept AF-S and non AF-S lenses with full auto focussing. Other cameras may require the lens to be focussed manually.