I've seen many reviews that say Nikon FX lenses like the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G or Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G have great sharpness and bokeh and of course work on Nikon APS-C sensor cameras like my D5300. But I've also watched a video from Tony Northrup (#10) that says putting an FX lens on a APS-C cameras doesn't work as expected and does not have the sharpness we see on full-frame cameras.

Every lens I've gone through has been marked as FX. First of all does it work as expected when I use FX lenses on my D5300? Is there anyone who has the experience of using prime FX lenses on a D5300? Is there any softness or flaw? What are the alternatives?

  • 1
    It is not that the lens is less effective on the D5300 than on a FF camera, it's that the D5300 under certain conditions may be less effective at capturing the performance of the lens than a FF camera would be. Please see photo.stackexchange.com/questions/3370/…
    – Michael C
    Mar 9, 2016 at 14:43
  • 1
  • 3
    In that video, Tony said that the "common wisdom" that good FF lenses will perform well on crop bodies is not always true, talked about 2 anecdotes from his and a friend's experiences, then using those 2 anecdotes, generalized the opposite of the conventional wisdom. There was a lot of handwaving and zero explanation. Tony might have some good advice, but that video was 44 minutes of fluff with no meat.
    – scottbb
    Mar 9, 2016 at 14:50

3 Answers 3


First of all does it work as expected when I use FX lenses on my d5300 camera?

The FX objective is fully functional on DX body except that it has smaller FoV compared to the case when used on FX camera.

Is there any unsharpness or flaw?

An objective has a resolution characteristic, too. You will get best resolution if you use whole available image circle, there probably are no exceptions to this rule (have not seen any to the moment). If you use the smaller image circle you are limiting the resolution.

What are the alternatives?

If you want same resolution as FX lenses on FX cameras have (at least with same pixel count), there is only one alternative to getting FX camera: you may try Sigma SD1 which may give more detailed 15MP image than 24MP image of a Bayer FX sensor. Be ready for a bunch of drawbacks though. Review with live comparison.

Another way of improving the image quality is start using RAW (NEF) files with appropriate software (if you aren't yet). JPEG is almost always worse than the output of RAW editing program with proper settings.


I own the 35mil 1.8 and a d5300 and it works well....at 1.8 it's soft but at around 2.2 or 2.8 it gets sharp...its a good lens, makes a noise while focusing despite of having a silent wave motor, the sound can be heard in onboard mic so that's a bummer. But the overall performance and focusing speed of the lens is pretty good!

  • Around 2.8? So investing on an f/1.8G lens is waste of money as in 2.8 you don't have the bokeh you expect at 1.8 :|
    – Alireza
    Mar 9, 2016 at 12:57
  • 2
    @AlirezaHos Fast lenses aren't magic. It is generally the case that lenses are sharper, show fewer artifacts, and (especially in modern lenses with many curved aperture blades) have nicer bokeh stopped down a little bit.
    – mattdm
    Mar 9, 2016 at 13:19
  • 1
    @AlirezaHos You seem very disappointed and suggest that the f/1.8G would be a waste of money. That implies to me some degree of, well, magical rather than practical thinking about lenses. For what a fast lens is, see What is a "fast" lens?
    – mattdm
    Mar 9, 2016 at 13:27
  • 3
    @AlirezaHos That doesn't follow. The Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8 G — designed for DX — also performs better stopped down to f/2.8.
    – mattdm
    Mar 9, 2016 at 13:59
  • 1
    @AlirezaHos, why do you want the image the be very sharp and have very shallow depth of field at the same time?
    – Carsten S
    Mar 9, 2016 at 14:29

I find Tony Northrup's attempts to "keep things simple" (or I'd call it "dumb things down") can sometimes result in misleading statements.

This is one of those times. You can safely ignore this statement. Sensor size does not inherently affect lens sharpness.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.