Using DX Lenses on an FX Body

Making the move from a crop sensor camera to a full frame sensor sort of renders any crop sensor lenses I have useless. I say ‘sort of’ because, depending on what you like, useless doesn’t apply…

In a nutshell, the crop sensor lenses are made to cover a smaller sensor size, so tend to vignette when placed on a full frame body. Full frame lenses tend to be more expensive because they are generally bigger with more glass. The beauty of Nikon full frame bodies is the ability to use them in native crop sensor mode, but where’s the fun in that?! It’s FX or nothing…

I’ve chosen to test a couple of my DX lenses for the purposes of this article – one because it’s fun to use and one because it was my favourite lens on my d7000.

First up is the Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye which is an insanely fun lens to use. At 10mm it vignettes so much that a large percentage of the frame is taken up by the built in lens hood:


d750 – iso 100 – 10mm – f/3.5 – 1/640s

Pretty funky! However, by 17mm it’s cleared up and just becomes an nice ultrawide.


d750 – iso 100 – 17mm – f/4.5 – 1/640s

Another couple of examples…


d750 – iso 100 – 10mm – f/3.5 – 1/400s


d750 – iso 320 – 17mm – f/5 – 1/320s

The second lens I wanted to test is the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G. I love this lens and and pleased to report it’s rather useable on a full frame…
The next two images highlight the vignette – firstly, wide open at f/1.8 it’s probably no more of a vignette than I’d add in post-production anyway! By f/16 it’s more pronounced but a small crop and/or some Lightroom lens correction can remove this anyway. To be fair, I mainly shoot this lens wide open so I can’t see this being an issue. For a cheap full frame street lens, look no further.


d750 – iso 100 – 35mm – f/1.8 – 1/4000s


d750 – iso 500 – 35mm – f/16 – 1/320s

So, it vignettes a bit… it’s still sharp as a tack and it’s going to stay a firm fixture on my full frame…


d750 – iso 100 – 35mm – f/2 – 1/1250s


d750 – iso 500 – 35mm – f/2.8 – 1/125s

In conclusion… don’t write off those DX lenses when you go full frame Nikon because they could still be little gems.

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