The Lenses I Use The Most - TOP 5


Lightroom allows you to do some pretty nifty things with metadata, in this instance I took all of my “keepers” currently in my collections and sorted them by lenses used on my Nikon D750 (so we aren’t including the Nikon Z6 yet!). Here are the lenses I use the most (and why) in reverse order.

#5 - Rokinon 135mm f/2

Summer Portrait - Mady | Nikon D750 | Rokinon 135mm f/2 @ f/2 | 1/800s | ISO 110

I bought the Rokinon 135mm just after it was released as at the time it was one of the few modern 135mm lenses available for the Nikon F mount at a reasonable price (around $500 then). To this day it is one of the sharpest lenses I’ve ever used, and beautifully separates subjects and backgrounds. It comes with one major caveat though, it’s a manual focus lens. There’s no other way to put it than it is very difficult to focus manually on a DSLR at 135mm and f/2, even with Nikon’s focus assist. While I love to use the Rokinon it only comes out when I have the time to finesse with it, and even then missing tack sharp eyes by a few millimeters because I or the model breathed means there are much fewer keepers overall.

#4 - Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG

Heathcliff | Nikon D750 | Sigma 105mm f/2.8 @ f/2.8 | 1/250s | ISO 560

A new-to-me recent addition to my camera bag, the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 is a macro lens, but I also find myself using it for portraits. It’s an older lens, and I would describe the images from it as having a lot of “character.” It’s not the most contrast-y lens but it is sharp and lets me mess around with fun macro perspectives.

#3 - Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2

Erie Fashion Portraits - Dana | Nikon D750 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 @ 70mm f/4 | 1/1600s | ISO 100

The workhorse, the breadwinner, whatever you want to call it the 24-70 zoom is the all-rounder that makes your life easier. The Tamron 24-70mm doesn’t break the bank doing it either. Sharpness, distortion, and chromatic aberration control are all dealt with well enough. It may not always outclass the more specialty primes, but its so convenient you don’t mind leaving it on. This was also my go-to lens for shooting video on the D750 thanks to its optical image stabilization.

It’s really only #3 because I typically take on jobs where I have more time to switch lenses and use the primes I really love. Whenever wedding season comes around though, this lens is almost glued to my camera. I never want to get caught missing a moment because I was in-between lenses!


#2 - Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART

Mill Creek Portrait - Arika | Nikon D750 | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4 | 1/200s | ISO 140

Mill Creek Portrait - Arika | Nikon D750 | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4 | 1/200s | ISO 140

Topping over 3,000 photos in my library, the Sigma 35 ART very quickly became one of my favorite lenses. 35mm is an extremely versatile focal length, and one that I didn’t use very often in the past. It’s excellent for environmental portraits, while the f/1.4 aperture allows great low-light performance and subject/background separation. If I had to knock it for something, its really big and heavy for a prime. That hasn’t bothered me yet though, and it makes a perfect pairing for my number one lens…

#1 - Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G

Vintage Portraits - A’ary | Nikon D750 | Nikon 85mm f/1.8 @ f/2.8 | 1/2500s | ISO 100

Vintage Portraits - A’ary | Nikon D750 | Nikon 85mm f/1.8 @ f/2.8 | 1/2500s | ISO 100

When I start a portrait photoshoot, I start with the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G. This was the 3rd lens I got for my camera when I started to build up my kit but it is absolutely my most used. The 85mm focal length gets in just close enough to keep away distortion, while still fitting everything into frame or having to stand in a separate room from your subject. It could be sharper, and the chromatic aberration control could be better. Perhaps the rumored Nikon 85mm f/1.8 S coming next year will replace this in my bag, but for now this is always with me as my most-used lens. To do some number crunching, the Nikon 85mm and Sigma 35mm together make up almost 73% of my photos! It’s been interesting to look back and see how often I use each lens (and a great way to keep Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.) under control).

What is your favorite lens?