Nikon has an online preview and comparison tool for its Nikkor camera lenses, that allows you to view a sample scene, as if you were looking through the chosen lens and camera combination. Use the Nikon Nikkor Lens Simulator to get a better sense of a specific lens’ capabilities, such as how powerful the zoom is or how wide the angle of view is. The Nikon Lens Simulator can be useful for making comparisons when shopping for a new DSLR camera lens. It is likely more useful for a beginner to intermediate level photographer, though more experienced photographers may still find it valuable for quick comparisons.
Nikon Nikkor Lens Simulator
With the Nikon Nikkor Lens Simulator, you can preview and compare zoom power (focusing length) and viewing angle, for different combinations of Nikon DSLR cameras and Nikkor lenses. With your chosen camera and lens combination, it allows you to virtually zoom in and zoom out of a scene, while showing how the angle of view also changes.
While it is not a new tool, the Nikon Lens Simulator still proves to be useful since it “only lists products currently in production or in retail”. To use the Nikon Nikkor Lens Simulator:
- Choose a photo from the 3 sample photos available, to use as a sample scene (see box A in the screenshot below).
- Choose a Nikon DSLR cameras by its specific model number, from the list of either DX format or FX format cameras (see box B in the screenshot below).
- Choose a compatible Nikkor lens by its specific model number, from the list of either DX format or FX format lenses (see box C in the screenshot below).
- Adjust the “lens focusing length” slider to zoom in and out of the photo (see box D in the screenshot below). The sample scene will change to simulate the view through the chosen camera/lens combination, at various zooms or focusing lengths.
The “focusing length” minimum and maximum values automatically change, depending on your lens selection. While changing “focusing length”, the simulator also shows the current “angle of view”, which changes as you zoom in and out
If you are comparing between different lenses, then you can use the “keep combination” option to bookmark the current lens/camera combination, for quick access to compare between different combinations. For each combination you have saved, hover the mouse pointer over the lens or camera graphic to see the model number.
As a side note, Canon also has an online comparison, but it is strictly comparing focal lengths, and does not compare specific Canon lenses and Canon DSLR cameras. Instead it only offers a generic comparison of how it a specific sample scene looks using different focal lengths.
Finally, while the Nikon Lens Simulator would likely be useful to most camera lens shoppers, keep in mind that “real world combinations might produce a slightly different image”, as stated on the simulator page.