DX vs FX Lens: Difference and Comparison

These lenses are used in a camera to shoot images according to the focal lengths. Every image that we capture through the camera is made to radiate a circle on the sensor. 

Both the lenses, DX and FX, cast or radiate circles to match the size of each sensor.

Key Takeaways

  1. DX lenses are designed for Nikon’s APS-C format cameras, offering a smaller image circle and lighter weight.
  2. FX lenses cater to Nikon’s full-frame cameras, providing a larger image circle and superior image quality.
  3. DX lenses are more affordable, while FX lenses deliver better low-light performance and a wider field of view.

DX vs FX Lens

DX lenses have a smaller image circle and are optimized for use with the smaller APS-C sensors, resulting in a narrower field of view compared to FX lenses when used on a full-frame camera. FX lenses have a larger image circle, designed to cover the full frame of Nikon cameras with larger sensors.

DX vs FX Lens
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DX lenses are developed and manufactured with the user in mind. The importance of convenience cannot be overstated. These lenses are sharp but not as sharp as high-end pro lenses designed primarily for working photographers.

The DX lenses are primarily meant as kit lenses for less experienced users rather than luxury lenses.

Another name for the FX lens camera is the “Full-Frame” camera. The concave curvature of the FX lens results in a larger image circle.

With higher sensitivity and lower noise, these lenses have the sensors in a rectangular shape that also results in the images in a rectangular shape.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDX LensFX Lens
What is it?FX lens sensors have a 36×24 mm approx volume used for shooting and filming.FX lens sensors have 36×24 mm approx volume used for shooting and filming.
Dynamic RangeLess dynamic rangeHigh dynamic range
Lens Compatibility with each otherThe DX lens is incompatible with FX due to the smaller image circle.The FX lens on the DX camera works perfectly fine.
Lens diffractionMore diffraction Less diffraction
Size and weightNot much heavy Heavier than DX

What is DX Lens?

Multiple lenses have been created to fit various active sensor types. DX cameras feature smaller sensors, hence corresponding DX lenses have been produced that are suited for usage with the DX sensor.

The DX mark can be found in the lens name, such as AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 12-24mm.

These lenses are thinner and lighter in size, and they fill a hole in the existing market for economical, high-performance lenses with a wide range of focal lengths and zoom possibilities.

A 1.5x crop factor is used since the DX sensor covers a lesser percentage of the image projected by the lens (so named because the smaller sensor crops the image compared to an image from a 35mm film frame). 

This implies that, for example, a 24mm lens on a DX sensor camera will give you a 36mm vision.

The DX-format uses a 1.5 crop ratio, thus, if you use a 50mm lens on a DX camera, the effective focal length will be around 75mm, and the picture will be smaller than if you used the same lens on an FX camera.

Ultimately, DX lenses are made specifically for the DX (APS-C) image sensor, which is less expensive, lighter, and smaller. 

FX lenses, conversely, are built for cameras with a full-frame sensor. You can use a DX lens on an FX body, however, the image may have some softness around the borders and vignetting.

dx lens

What is FX Lens?

A comprehensive camera is denoted by the letter FX. The FX-format employs a 36×24 mm sensor, which is similar to a 35 mm film.

The Advantages of FX Lens:

  • The centre of the lens is the sharpest, while the edges are weaker. Because you’re using an FX lens, the cropped portion of the image will be sharper than one taken with a DX lens.
  • The FX lens ensures that you can upgrade to the FX camera body without throwing away your existing lens collection. The FX body will transition to DX mode if you use a DX lens on it.
  • In the FX range, superior lenses (sharper optics, lower aperture, higher performance) are offered.
  • The FX range is the only place where you can get premium lenses. Fixed aperture zoom lenses, for example, are exclusively available in the FX line.

The Disadvantages of FX Lens:

  • The price. An equivalent FX lens can cost up to 1.5 times as much. On average, the FX lens costs twice as much as a standard lens and can cost up to ten times as much.
  • The FX lens will be at least twice as heavy as the standard lens.
  • FX lenses are meaningless if you are certain you will never upgrade to an FX camera body.
fx lens

Main Differences Between DX And FX Lens

  1. While the image cover of the DX lens covers a 15.7 × 23.5 mm crop frame, the FX lens covers the full 24 × 36 mm frame.
  1. The rear element on a DX lens is convex, and the FX is concave.
  1. DX uses a smaller format lens, which results in a smaller imaging circle proportionate to the crop factor’s inverted square. Whereas the FX lens has a bigger format lens which is designated for casting a bigger image circle on the bigger rectangular sensor.
  1. The images shot on the DX lens have vignetting around the edges of the image, whereas the images shot on the FX lens have a crop sensor on them.
  1. The size and weight of the cameras with DX sensors are lighter than the cameras with FX sensors.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 06 01T114054.363
References
  1. https://www.lensrentals.com/product-assets/34880cbf04d8a5db8ce0f3d6269bd73c71fa62a3/Speed%20Booster%20White%20Paper.pdf
  2. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA633523483&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=00308277&p=AONE&sw=w
  3. https://search.proquest.com/openview/9f4e3638d45365d0d4a2a748bb33597f/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=29772

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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