written by Beckie of beckiegkengle.com
I am part of a lot of different photography groups/forums on Facebook, and this question has been asked more than once recently on all of the groups, so I thought I’d talk about it here.
What is the difference between a Nikon “D” lens and a “G” lens?
(Unfortunately, I don’t have any “G” lenses to take a picture of, and all of my local photog friends shoot Canon)
There is actually a fairly easy explanation to this question. (though I’m sure I could go into lots more detail, I’ll keep it simple for now)
The “G” lens does not have an aperture ring and some versions can only be used on Nikon’s digital bodies (the lenses that are DX specific). It is typically lighter than a “D” lens, and is made mostly out of plastic, making it a light lens.
The “D” lens has the aperture ring, and can be used on Nikon’s digital line-up as well as the older Nikon F series (film) bodies! It has a more solid build to it, including the mount being made out of metal making it a little heavier than a “G” lens.
Both of them, however, do send distance information to the camera to help set the flash exposure more accurately. (for WAY more detailed info on lens types, visit Ken Rockwell’s site)
Is there a price difference? Yes, there is, however, I am not entirely sure why. Take the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 for example. The “D” version is approx $329, whereas the “G” version is approx $439 (prices currently on amazon.com for new). Some will argue because the “G” lens is better quality (and also works on entry-level bodies), and that the “D” lens is “old” technology and because they don’t work on entry-level bodies.
Which one is actually better? I think it all comes down to a personal preference! Myself? I LOVE the feel and function of the “D” lenses, so that is all I have in my bag! They are nice and solid, and while they do have some weight to them, it doesn’t bother me. I am very happy with my “D” lenses!