Tips and tricks with Nikon’s new DX prime lens
Test your creativity and get the best out of the NIKKOR Z DX 24mm f/1.7 prime with these challenges
The new NIKKOR Z DX 24mm f/1.7 is the next step on your journey in photography. As the first prime (fixed focal length) lens for Nikon DX cameras (the Nikon Z 30, Z 50 and Z fc), its wide aperture means you can get that amazing, professional-looking background blur, and a field of view that is incredibly versatile – great for shooting anything from cityscapes to small details. Here are a few ways to get the best out of this fantastic piece of kit.
Take it to the streets
With its small size and a full frame equivalent focal length of 36mm, the NIKKOR Z DX 24mm f/1.7 is a perfect choice for creative street photography. Matched with a DX camera such as the Nikon Z 30, Z 50 and Z fc), your set-up can look less intimidating than a big full-frame camera with a large zoom lens if you’re shooting strangers. And the more relaxed people are, the better the shots or footage will be.
Upskill quickly with a prime
With one less thing to adjust, attaching a prime lens is a great way to learn about photography. As the focal length is fixed, you can concentrate on creative uses of aperture and shutter speed. And, with no zooming to do, you can be faster off the mark when you see a shot that you want to take.
Get on the move
Using a prime lens is different from using a zoom. With a zoom, you can stand in the same place and twist the lens barrel to get closer to a subject. With a prime, you have to physically move closer (the old saying is that with a prime lens you zoom with your feet!). Prime lenses are therefore a great tool for making you think about composition and will push you to be creative in ways that a zoom won’t.
DIY ultra-wide angle
Taking cityscapes with the 24mm focal length is a breeze, but what if you want a bigger panorama? Try taking a few shots moving to the side a little each time and you can seamlessly stitch them together with your editing software to create a great cinematic effect to the final image.
Close in on the detail
Prime lenses often have larger apertures than zoom lenses and will give you a more blurry background – or bokeh, as it’s called. Try using the NIKKOR Z DX 24mm f/1.7 for close-up shots and videos with the aperture wide open to create the effect. The separation of subject and background is pronounced, giving you lots of creative options. And, with a minimum focus distance of 0.18m, you can get really close. Try shooting some flowers this way, or a still life, or perhaps a small detail in an otherwise busy street scene.
Crop for closeness
Remember that the sensor on your Nikon DX camera, combined with the Z mount, is picking up enormous amounts of light and detail in your images. So, if you can’t get physically closer to a subject, you can frame your composition with a crop in mind, so you can zoom in on the action while editing and still retain amazing image quality.
Although the versatility of a zoom lens is great for video work, a prime lens can often bring out more creativity in your content. That bigger aperture can create great depth to your video, and also provide a consistent ‘look’ if you’re creating a series for your feed. And remember, some of the greatest movies of all time were shot using just one prime lens – The Godfather, The Royal Tenenbaums, Chinatown and Psycho, to name just a few – so you’ll be in good company.
For limitless creativity