FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

Started Sep 27, 2012 | Discussions
Lena Hale Regular Member • Posts: 125
FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

Is it impossible to use an FX lens on a DX body, or will it just cause image abnormalities? I know that it's possible, just not recommended, to use a DX lens on a 35mm body and I want to know if it works the other way too.

pavi1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,852
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

It will work perfectly and the one who recomended not to use DX lens on FX is not someone you should be taking advice from.

Lena Hale wrote:

Is it impossible to use an FX lens on a DX body, or will it just cause image abnormalities? I know that it's possible, just not recommended, to use a DX lens on a 35mm body and I want to know if it works the other way too.

-- hide signature --

Everything happens for a reason. #1 reason: poor planning
WSSA #44

JamesRL Senior Member • Posts: 2,341
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

Just to add to Pavi's correct assessment, many lenses that Nikon sells in large numbers to DX camera owners are in fact FX lenses that work just fine on either camera format.

The 70 -300 Nikkor is one example.

In fact most of my lenses are FX:
(28, 50 and 135 mm AI/AIS manual prime lenses)
70-300 G Nikkor lens
Vivitar 100mm macro

My "standard" lens is a 16-85mm DX lens though.

 JamesRL's gear list:JamesRL's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +6 more
Retzius
Retzius Contributing Member • Posts: 675
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

FX lens on DX will work fine but will change the effective focal length.
DX lens on FX will work but will give vignetting (not recommended).

 Retzius's gear list:Retzius's gear list
Olympus TG-5 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM +2 more
Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 17,700
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

Retzius wrote:

FX lens on DX will work fine but will change the effective focal length.

Yes, but to clarify, an FX lens on DX looks the same as a DX lens on DX. (A DX 35/1.8 gives you the same field of view as an FX 35/2 ... it's just that on DX, either of them gives you a FOV similar to a 50mm lens on FX). I only say that because some newbies think that DX lenses have FLs that aren't subject to the crop factor and that therefore are somehow different from FX lenses marked with the same FLs.

DX lens on FX will work but will give vignetting (not recommended).

Depending on the manufacturer & model, the full frame camera might simply give you an APS-C crop with an APS-C lens attached. And sometimes the APS-C lens will only vignette at the wide end of the zoom range and/or fastest aperture settings.

  • Dennis

-- hide signature --
slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,071
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

The only difference is the imaging circle the lenses produce. DX lenses don't produce a big enough image circle for an FX sensor, but FX lenses can be used on either. In fact they only use the 'sweet spot' from the centre when used on DX.

Some FX lenses will be the best choice even on DX, but generally speaking they will be bigger and more expensive than you may need.
--
http://www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon D700 Nikon D200
joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

slimandy wrote:

Some FX lenses will be the best choice even on DX, but generally speaking they will be bigger and more expensive than you may need.

Yup, the 35/1.4G ($1600) is great on DX but if you don't own or plan to own an FX camera soon, it kinda stinks to pay that much for a lens that's only the equivalent of a 50/1.8G ($200) on FX.

 joejack951's gear list:joejack951's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon D300S Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR +5 more
danielholzer Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

joejack951 wrote:

slimandy wrote:

Some FX lenses will be the best choice even on DX, but generally speaking they will be bigger and more expensive than you may need.

Yup, the 35/1.4G ($1600) is great on DX but if you don't own or plan to own an FX camera soon, it kinda stinks to pay that much for a lens that's only the equivalent of a 50/1.8G ($200) on FX.

I think that you have it backwards (a 35/1.4G on FX is roughly the equivalent of the 50m 1.8G on DX).

However, to echo several other sentiments, there are many FX lenses that are wonderful on DX (although most suffer from being far heavier and far more expensive than lenses designed for DX). The 70-200/2.8G VRI was my favorite on DX.

 danielholzer's gear list:danielholzer's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS +2 more
Velde New Member • Posts: 8
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

danielholzer wrote:

joejack951 wrote:

slimandy wrote:

Some FX lenses will be the best choice even on DX, but generally speaking they will be bigger and more expensive than you may need.

Yup, the 35/1.4G ($1600) is great on DX but if you don't own or plan to own an FX camera soon, it kinda stinks to pay that much for a lens that's only the equivalent of a 50/1.8G ($200) on FX.

I think that you have it backwards (a 35/1.4G on FX is roughly the equivalent of the 50m 1.8G on DX).

No, joejack951 said it correctly, the 35mm lens on DX will give you approximately the same FOV as 50mm lens on FX.

intensity studios Contributing Member • Posts: 668
Don't buy DX lenses

Because when the day comes that you want to buy a full frame camera, your DX lens collection will be useless. FX lenses aren't much more expensive or heavy and will work with both sensor sizes.

Yes, I know you can put DX lenses on an FX body and use DX mode, but that is a hack technology and causes you to lose critical image resolution size

-- hide signature --
 intensity studios's gear list:intensity studios's gear list
Nikon D3200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II Adobe Photoshop CS6 +4 more
Guidenet
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
A few mistakes. Maybe typos.

pavi1 wrote:

It will work perfectly and the one who recomended not to use DX lens on FX is not someone you should be taking advice from.

Lena Hale wrote:

Is it impossible to use an FX lens on a DX body, or will it just cause image abnormalities? I know that it's possible, just not recommended, to use a DX lens on a 35mm body and I want to know if it works the other way too.

Lena several answers seem to be not correct. Here's how it works. Slimandy has it correct and maybe some others.

Using a FX lens on a DX camera. No problem whatso ever and in fact is what many of us do when using a DX camera. There are just too many areas where there is no good choice amoung DX lenses to choose what you need. Besides, there are several FX lenses that are of better quality than what is available in DX. There are no strange abnormalities one might have doing this. It's normal.

Using a DX lens on an FX body. The DX lens is not designed to project a large enough image circle to cover the FX sensor, but sometimes you can get away with it in certain situations. I'd not recommend it though. For example, the DX 35 f/1.8 will mount on an FX camera and you can tell the camera to stay in FX mode. At f/1.8 there will be a very slight vignetting, but stopping down to f/8 will show a sharp delination in the vignetting emphasizing the image circle.

Some other DX lenses like Nikon's excellent pro-grade 12-24 f/4 DX are usable through part of their zoom range. In this case the lens is usable in FX mode from 18mm to 24mm. This lens is too expensive to be messing around, buying it only for part of it's zoom range. Most DX buyers buy the consumer Nikon 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 DX variable aperture.

DX on an FX body in DX mode. All DX lenses can be used on all FX bodies if you tell the camera to automatically change to DX mode when a DX lens is attached. The only problem is that you're only using less than half of the sensor. You're wasting much of the reason for buying an FX camera. However, it might give you some use from your DX lenses while you're slowly upgrading to FX lenses.

That all said, remember that a 100mm lens is a 100mm lens regardless on whether it's DX or FX. You apply the same crop factor on a DX body to determine the field of view. It's only field of view that changes, not reach or magnification. It's not the equivalent of a longer lens. It just crops a smaller rectangle from the same image circle. No magic happened. There's a lot of people who agree the focal length doesn't change, then they immediately want to change it by claiming a longer focal lenth. It's not easy sometimes to get your head around it.

  • So, FX lens fits on either FX or DX camera without issue but a DX lens only is recommended on a DX camera.

One more thing to think about. Many of us love to shoot super-wide angles. We love our 14-24, 16-35, 17-35 and 17-40 lenses on FX cameras. They are all pretty wide on the wide side. My favorite is my Nikon 16-35 f/4. Put that on DX though and the field of view becomes like a 24-50, not that wide. Even Nikon's 14-24 works out to be a 21-36 which is wide, but not that wide either. Sigma makes a fairly good FX 12-24 and it works out to be 18-36 which is also not quite enough for my blood. They just don't make an FX lens that is wide enough to translate into a good superwide on DX. So, if you're like many of us and love that super wide side, you'll have to consider a DX lens for your DX camera. Otherwise you'll always be fighting that "not wide enough" concern.

Most of all, have fun and welcome to our world of photography.
--
Cheers, Craig

Follow me on Twitter @craighardingsr : Equipment in Profile

 Guidenet's gear list:Guidenet's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Nikon D700 Nikon D300 Nikon D3S Nikon D800 +31 more
Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 13,335
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

Part off topic, any wide angle FX lens usually performs better on DX at wider apertures than on FX.
Optically it is not possible to have top corner quality wide open on FX lenses.
The not so good FX corners get cropped out on DX.

Interestingly the recent 35mm f1.8 DX is shown as performing better on DX at f1.8 than the 23 year old optical design 35mm FX f2 on DX in Nikon's full aperture MTF information.
--
Leonard Shepherd

Many problems turn out to be a lack of intimate knowledge of complex modern camera equipment.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +20 more
Chuck Yadmark
Chuck Yadmark Veteran Member • Posts: 3,971
Re: Don't buy DX lenses

As an absolute statement this is not good advice.

First of all, the day may never come that you get a full frame camera, many people won't and won't have to, as DX is completely adequate for most purposes

Second, the DX lenses don't become useless. I have a full array of FX cameras and lenses and still have some DX lenses because I have DX cameras for more casual occasions.

Using FX lenses on DX gets very expensive or even impossible when you're trying to replicate wide and superwide.

A Nikon 10-24 DX costs about 600? The 14-24 FX is about 2000?

Worst case scenario is you someday decide FX is totally for you, you can sell the DX or keep em, they're cheaper anyways.

intensity studios wrote:

Because when the day comes that you want to buy a full frame camera, your DX lens collection will be useless. FX lenses aren't much more expensive or heavy and will work with both sensor sizes.

Yes, I know you can put DX lenses on an FX body and use DX mode, but that is a hack technology and causes you to lose critical image resolution size

-- hide signature --
-- hide signature --

http://www.sportsshooter.com/cyadmark
Ann Arbor, MI USA

Equipment in profile

 Chuck Yadmark's gear list:Chuck Yadmark's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4D ED-IF II Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR Nikon Coolpix P7700 +17 more
slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,071
Re: Don't buy DX lenses

intensity studios wrote:

Because when the day comes that you want to buy a full frame camera, your DX lens collection will be useless.

Who knows if you will ever go FX? If you do who knows when you will?

If you avoid buying a DX lens because it is DX you might me missing out an the best lens for the job and paying too much into the bargain.

Buy the DX lens. Use it. Sell it on when you no longer need it. It has not been useless.
--
http://www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon D700 Nikon D200
marzal Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

Yes, FX lenses work very well on DX bodies, you will get a 1.5x mag when using the FX lens without exception. Some FX lenses will not however focus automatically on some DX bodies depending on the model of nikon you own, this will have to checked out before you choose your lens. Usually its the more budget end of bodies that dont have the necessary connections within the body to couple up

Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 17,700
And while we're dispensing advice ...

intensity studios wrote:

Because when the day comes that you want to buy a full frame camera, your DX lens collection will be useless. FX lenses aren't much more expensive or heavy and will work with both sensor sizes.

Also, don't ever buy a house with less than 3 bedrooms, because when the day comes that you want to have 2 children, your small house will be useless.

Same goes for compact cars - don't do it - buy the minivan. You'll need it someday and the small car will be useless.

  • Dennis

-- hide signature --
slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,071
Re: And while we're dispensing advice ...

Don't buy your kids size 5 shoes because one day they'll need size 6.

Am I getting a bit off track?

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon D700 Nikon D200
Guidenet
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Re: And while we're dispensing advice ...

Dennis wrote:

intensity studios wrote:

Because when the day comes that you want to buy a full frame camera, your DX lens collection will be useless. FX lenses aren't much more expensive or heavy and will work with both sensor sizes.

Also, don't ever buy a house with less than 3 bedrooms, because when the day comes that you want to have 2 children, your small house will be useless.

Same goes for compact cars - don't do it - buy the minivan. You'll need it someday and the small car will be useless.

  • Dennis

Hey Dennis. You know, Swords and Analogies can be dangerous because they can cut in both directions. This is one reason they are not accepted in formal debate so excuse my use here.

Buying a three bedroom home may truly be the wise choice if you were planning on a family in the near future. That two bedroom home might indeed be a poor choice. The same would hold true if your wife were expecting twins. The minivan might also be a wise buy.

Does either your or my analogy have anything to do with the planning of lens purchases? Is photo gear similar to houses or are cameras similar to children? No, not really. An analogy is properly used to simplify something complex by substituting some easier concept. It's not properly used to compare in order to prove something. The consideration of moving to FX and therefore purchasing FX glass for a DX camera is not a complex hard to understand concept and therefore certainly doesn't need an analogy to explain.

If A=B and C=D, one cannot make the assumtion that A has anything to do with C or D. That said, I love to use analogies too.

-- hide signature --

Cheers, Craig

Follow me on Twitter @craighardingsr : Equipment in Profile

 Guidenet's gear list:Guidenet's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Nikon D700 Nikon D300 Nikon D3S Nikon D800 +31 more
Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 17,700
Re: And while we're dispensing advice ...

Guidenet wrote:

Dennis wrote:

intensity studios wrote:

Because when the day comes that you want to buy a full frame camera, your DX lens collection will be useless. FX lenses aren't much more expensive or heavy and will work with both sensor sizes.

Also, don't ever buy a house with less than 3 bedrooms, because when the day comes that you want to have 2 children, your small house will be useless.

Same goes for compact cars - don't do it - buy the minivan. You'll need it someday and the small car will be useless.

  • Dennis

Hey Dennis. You know, Swords and Analogies can be dangerous because they can cut in both directions. This is one reason they are not accepted in formal debate so excuse my use here.

Buying a three bedroom home may truly be the wise choice if you were planning on a family in the near future. That two bedroom home might indeed be a poor choice. The same would hold true if your wife were expecting twins. The minivan might also be a wise buy.

I agree - and buying only FX lenses may be a wise choice. The key in both cases is the condition "if you were planning on". But the advice (to buy FX lenses) was presumptious.

Does either your or my analogy have anything to do with the planning of lens purchases?

Mine wasn't intended as advice, but rather to demonstrate the absurdity of someone elses advice which was expressed as an absolute.

Not only was the advice given with the assumption that anyone reading it will upgrade to FX; it's also flawed in stating that DX gear will be "useless". I attempted to poke holes in that with my analogies because in none of those cases is the thing you're upgrading from "useless".

So while the analogies may be irrelevant, the same logic that demonstrates the flaws in one shows the flaws in the other.

  • Dennis

-- hide signature --
slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,071
Re: FX/35mm lens on a DX body?

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

Part off topic, any wide angle FX lens usually performs better on DX at wider apertures than on FX.

Except not as wide, so if you want wide, not as good!

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon D700 Nikon D200
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads