1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

G vs D vs DX?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Mitchell, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Can someone please explain to me about the different postscripts on these lenses? I frequent other web sites and all the Canon folk are constantly praising their "L" glass. What is the Nikon equivelent of this professional grade glass?

  2. patrickh


    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Nikon does not have a "pro" indicator such as the Canon "L".

    "G" refers to lenses that do not have an aperture ring - the aperture is set by the camera

    "D" refers to lenses that have the chip that sends back distance information for the flash system.

    "DX" refers to lenses that have been optimized for the smaller CCD's of the digital systems - there is a question mark over the level of performace that could be obtained with them on a full frame camera.

    If you go to the Nikon users forum (Nikonians) ther are many general infomatin sources linked.
  3. The nearest term in Nikon lenses for "L" equivalent is ED glass, sometimes. It is Nikon's own technology, not always necessarily pro grade lenses, but usually good ones. G and D and DX have their pros and their consumers.....some good consumer lenses have ED....for instance the 18-70 DX, 24-120 VR, 28-200.....
    Many of the really good lenses have a bigger number of ED elements.
    G means D-Type technology with auto-aperture control without aperture ring. Don't listen to people who say they are cheap lenses and aren't worth their salt...the first G lenses were consumer models, but now the G-type design is making its way into the latest lenses, particularly those with technology no longer usable on old cameras. Examples include 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX, 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR, 200mm f/2.0G ED-IF AF-S VR, 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR, 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX, 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR.
    D means Distance, meaning the CPU in the lens has the ability to transfer distance information to the camera for better exposure metering, particularly with flash. D-type Nikkors have aperture rings, for older cameras, which need to be locked at the orange number to meter with new cameras. Basically all of the AF lenses produced in the last decade with the exception, of course, of most of the VR lenses, the DX lenses, and new lenses in general.
    Examples include: 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 28-70mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 50mm f/1.8D and f/1.4D AF, 70-300 f/4-5.6D ED AF, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF VR, 300mm f/2.8D AF-S ED-IF I/II (non-VR), 400mm f/2.8D AF-S ED-IF I/II, 500 and 600mm f/4D AF-S ED-IF I/II.
    DX simply means digital-only. These lenses save on size and weight by producing an image circle sufficient for DX-sized sensors, which is smaller than 35mm film.
    The full line of DX lenses by nikon is:
    10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF Fisheye DX, 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX, 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX, 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S.
  4. Harrison,
    Thanks for your quick reply. Am I obsessing over nothing? Why do I want to have the Nikon version of "L" glass from Canon? Are you telling me that all of the Nikon lenses are pro quality?

    I have also been told that the D2X is a very unforgiving camera which will highlight the flaws of inferior lenses. Are people talking about inferior Nikon glass or other manufacturers such as Sigma and Tokina?

    I have a D70 now with several different Nikon lenses. I just want to know what to look for when I purchase new glass in the future.

  5. Hi Mitch.
    I don't necessarily think you are obsessing over nothing. Just because they do or don't say its pro quality doesn't mean it will or will not measure up. If I were you I would depend on the merits of the specific lens to determine what to buy.
    All the Nikon lenses are not pro-quality, and I think I mentioned that every one of the suffixes has its good and bad lenses.
    Generally, Nikon F/2.8 constant aperture lenses, or the expensive F/4 constant ones are among the best. Yes, the D2X is extremely unforgiving....I wouldn't dare use a 28-80 AF or 70-300 G or maybe even 70-300 ED on it.
    If you haven't seen Bjorn's site, check it out.....
    Go to the lenses section. He is a very well respected photographer and even a member of this site. He has one of the biggest lens collections and he has ratings for them with different cameras.
    A few lenses from other manufacturers like Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron, will not pass muster, and a few will be excellent. You have to rely on reviews or trying them out yourself.
    You can't really go wrong though with many lenses though....
    17-55 DX, 17-35 AFS, 28-70 AFS, 70-200 VR, 200 f/2VR, 300 2.8VR, 200-400 VR, 12-24 from Nikon or Tokina or even sigma, really, any of the super telephoto lenses, 50mm, 28mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 etc.

    There are lots of lenses that are also totally inadequate. However the ones listed above are pretty much among the best of the best.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.