What lens to get for your Nikon D850?
Released in September 2017, the Nikon D850 (see on Amazon.com) is a professional SLR that replaces the old Nikon D810 and has a 45.4 million pixel ultra high definition full-format sensor and is simply one of the best SLRs Nikon has to offer in terms of its technical specifications. Ergonomically speaking, it has been a little reworked, but it keeps almost the same design as its predecessor, with a comfortable handle, except that we now find a very practical AF collimator joystick and backlit buttons. It has one port for SD card UHSII and another for XQD card: provide a significant memory because the RAW files of the Nikon D850 can go up to 90MB! Very robust, it’s completely tropicalized and can be used even in difficult conditions (rain, dust, cold…).
The D850’s screen is in high definition and offers a very good image quality, it’s tiltable and tactile (to navigate through the menus, zoom and switch from one image to another, focus). On the video side, it can shoot in 4K at 30 fps, and it also has an 8K Timelapse function.
In short, the Nikon D850 is a super reflex camera that delivers exceptional image quality with an impressive sharpness, and is also comfortable in low-light conditions. However, its large sensor will need to be coupled with high quality lenses to get the most out of it.
Here is a selection of the best lenses compatible with the Nikon D850 that should help you equip yourself for any situation, whether it’s travelling, portraiture or landscape photography. The list of available lenses being very long, it was necessary to make concessions, do not hesitate to leave a comment if you have enough suggestions or ideas to improve this list! Note also that the lenses available for Nikon D850 cost an arm, which can be a brake…
If you do not yet own the Nikon D850, you can find it in stock at Amazon.com.
Note: Product links in this article lead to Amazon.com
- Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR
- Nikon AF-S 85 mm f/1.4G
- Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
- Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.4G
- Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM
- Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR
- Nikon 20 mm f/1.8 AF-S G ED
- Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
- Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary
- Comparative Table
- Useful accessories & links
A basic lens that any Nikon D850 owner should have because it’s very versatile: you can take landscapes, street pictures or portraits. If you don’t want to waste time changing lenses, it’s a great tool. This Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8E ED VR replaces the old existing model (it’s larger and heavier).
Since the Nikon D850 does not have integrated optical stabilization, the 24-70mm VR system allows clear images to be obtained by hand even in low light conditions. The constant aperture of f/2.8 is also a big advantage, and its very short focusing distance makes it possible to make close shots. Quality of construction is solid, completely tropicalized. For the negative points, it’s quite cumbersome and heavy. Some tests also report chromatic aberrations and slightly noticeable vignetting. However, it’s easy to use and combined with a D850 it offers excellent image quality. Its relatively high price makes it ideal for photo professionals who want to invest in a reliable lens that offers great performance.
This 85mm f/1.4, is considered as a reference for portrait photography, and this for all brands.
Its optical quality is impeccable, with superb image sharpness, colour rendering and sublime contrast. It’s also known for its magnificent bokeh that allows you to isolate the subject with an impression of a 3D effect thanks to its 1.4 opening.
We just regret that there is no integrated optical stabilization.
Given the price at which it’s sold, the quality of construction is of course excellent (it’s tropicalized). Its price reserves it for professionals or amateurs who really want to enjoy themselves but at this price it’s one of the best portrait lenses available on the market.
To cover a wide variety of photographic conditions, whether portrait, reportage or even landscape, this Sigma 50mm is a versatile focal length that delivers a remarkable overall image quality that will make the most of the Nikon D850’s 45.4MP sensor. Coupled with an excellent quality of construction and a sober and discreet design. The very bright maximum aperture of f/1.4 provides a superb background blur. The minimum focusing distance is 40 cm. The HSM motorization allows you to benefit from a particularly discreet, fast and precise focusing.
A few downsides: a rather marked vignetting up to f/2.8, and a lack of homogeneity of the piqué at f/1.4 but beyond that it offers photos of a remarkable sharpness, even on the edges of the image.
It should also be noted that there is no optical stabilization, although the usefulness of such a technology on a standard focal length at f/1.4 is not really useful. It’s a target with a significant weight (800g) and it’s not tropicalized. This may seem like a lot of negative points, but in this category of fixed focal length it’s the best thing to do.
A USB dock is available for updates and to adjust the accuracy of the autofocus.
Weight: 600 g
Filter size: 67 mm
It’s therefore very useful when travelling or even for portraits. The opening of f/1.4 allows you to shoot in difficult lighting conditions and offers a magnificent bokeh. However, autofocus is not as fast as other Nikon lenses, but it remains accurate and silent.
Overall, this Nikon 35mm f/1.4G allows you to capture images of really excellent quality. The big negative point of the Nikon 35mm is its price, among the most expensive of this selection.
Complicated to choose from the many macro lenses available, but since you have to select one, the Sigma 105mm f2.8 is very good, its practical focal length to avoid having to stick to the subject, it gives images with an extra sharp focus and beautiful background blur, the autofocus is efficient and fast, and its big advantage is that it’s sold at a reasonable price. It has an integrated OS stabilizer that is effective for freehand photography! It’s sold with a protective cover.
Note however: it’s quite heavy and the stabilizer is slightly noisy.
In short, overall it’s a very good investment for those who want to have fun photographing small subjects (insects, flowers) or even doing portraits.
It’s hard to choose among the different wide angles available for the D850, but the Nikon 16-35mm stands out from the crowd thanks to its weight, optical qualities, versatile focal range and price. It has a constant f/4 aperture and offers a very good sharpness at all focal lengths (one of the best in wide-angle from this point of view).
Its manufacturing quality is good, filters can be screwed in (this is not the case for all Nikon wide angles), the autofocus does the job and it’s equipped with the VR vibration reduction system useful in some cases. There’s some distortion but it’s easy to retouch, in short there’s not much to blame it for. What about 14-24mm f/2.8? If you absolutely need an opening of f/2.8, you do architectural photography and you need a very solid wide angle, this may be an option to consider.
Many options are possible in the category of fixed focal length wide angles, either at Nikon or Sigma. Namely that this type of lens is especially interesting for its high brightness, the ability to make astrophotography and not have to carry a wide-angle zoom with little light and heavy.
The Nikon 20 mm f/1.8 AF-S G ED will therefore be chosen for its weight and compactness (only 355 g), as well as its affordable price compared to other lenses in its class. In terms of performance, it delivers very sharp images even in low light, and the aperture of f/1.8 makes it possible to achieve a superb bokeh. The minimum focusing distance of 20 cm makes it possible to make interesting close-ups. No integrated RV, but it’s a versatile and easy to carry when travelling. It will be especially useful for taking landscape photos thanks to the 45Mpx of the Nikon D850.
An exceptional telephoto lens that offers high-flying performance, whether in terms of autofocus reactivity, stabilization or manufacturing quality (it’s protected against the elements). In terms of image quality, this is one of the best lenses of this selection, with remarkable sharpness and contrast. The constant aperture of f/2.8 and VR stabilization help enormously in low light conditions.
However, there are two drawbacks: as usual with this type of lens, the weight and size are quite substantial, as is the price, which reserves it for demanding pros or amateurs who have the necessary budget and want to enjoy themselves. Be careful, do not confuse it with the previous VRI and VRII versions.
An ideal super zoom for nature or sports photographers, who have received numerous praise in the specialized press and on the web: it offers excellent image quality with an impressive level of detail. Its construction quality is excellent, it’s splash and dust resistant. The OS optical stabilization works perfectly and the autofocus is very precise.
For its weak points, we can mention its weight (nearly 2 kg), and the rather small opening which obliges to climb in the ISO. There is also some vignetting on all focal ranges. But these are the compromises to be made to benefit from a super telephoto lens that will allow you to take pictures from a distance. In short, this Sigma 150-600mm is an excellent choice for animal photography.
An optional USB dock is available for updates and to set up autofocus and other settings.
A “sport” version is also available, but its price is more for those who spend a lot of time outdoors: the main differences are in ergonomics but above all in the quality of construction, much more solid and almost waterproof. It also weighs almost 1kg more than the contemporary version! Otherwise, the image quality is the same. A choice to be studied, therefore, according to your needs.
All of the Nikon D850 compatible lenses mentioned above are included in this comparison chart to help you choose the right equipment. You will be able to compare them according to their price, the weight and the utility of each one to choose which will suit your budget and your style of photo.
|Sigma 105 mm f/2,8 DG OS HSM||$$$$$||725g||f/2,8||62mm||macro|
|Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art||$$$$$||820g||f/1.4||77mm||standard lens|
|Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART DG HSM Nikon||$$$$$||670g||f/1.4||67mm||standard lens|
|Nikon 20 mm f/1.8 AF-S G ED||$$$$$||355g||f/1.8||77mm||wide angle / prime lens|
|Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD||$$$$$||825g||f/2.8||82mm||standard|
|Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR||$$$$$||800 g||f/3.5-5.6||77mm||all-in-one|
|Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S contemporary||$$$$$||1930g||f/5-6.3||95mm||super zoom|
|Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR||$$$$$||680g||f/4||77mm||wide angle (architecture, landscape)|
|Tamron SP 24-70 mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2||$$$$$||900g||f/2.8||82mm||standard|
|Nikon AF-S 85 mm f/1.4G||$$$$$||595g||f/1.4||77mm||portrait|
|Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G||$$$$$||970g||f/2.8||pas de filtre||wide angle (architecture, landscape)|
|Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.4G||$$$$$||600g||f/2.8||67mm||standard lens|
|Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR||$$$$$||1,07kg||f/2.8||82mm||standard lens|
|Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR||$$$$$||1,43kg||f/2.8||77mm||zoom|
A small selection of useful accessories to have in addition to your lenses and your Nikon D850:
You will find detailed technical specifications of Nikon full-size compatible lenses on the Nikon.com website.