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  • The Power of Prime: exploring NIKKOR lenses with pro-photographer Jürgen Müller (part 1 of 5)


    When photographers, beginner and pro alike, think of a lens, arguably the zoom lens is first to come to mind. Accoridng to photographer Jürgen Müller, there is another type of lens that also ought to come to mind: that’s the prime lens.

    Apart from its managable price, the light, compact, sharp and fast prime lenses bring a lot to your kit bag. In this five-piece blog series entitled ‘Power of Prime’, we teamed up with Müller: an avid, well-exprienced Nikon photographer to show what prime leses can do.

    Photographer, Jürgen Müller, prime lens, prime lenses, what's great about prime lenses
    Photographer, Jürgen Müller: The Power of Prime


    For over  25 years, Jürgen Müller has successfully worked as a professional photographer and is known for his minimalist style, specialising in commercial, portrait and architectural photography. Throughout his career, Müller has established himself as a leader in the photography industry.


    Müller is also no stranger to Nikon. Having regularly lead workshops and seminars which encourage aspiring photographers to develop their creative potential, and having run the Nikon School in Hamburg for 10 years, he was happy to get involved in a new project highlighting the power of choosing the right lens.


    “Buying the right lens is an investment, but one that will pay off, and the proof is in the imagery you take”, he explains as he discusses his love for the NIKKOR prime lenses range.


    As part of this project, which champions the ‘power of prime’ lenses, we follow Jürgen as he travels to various locations in Germany to capture portrait and landscape images, such as the photograph below taken on the NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED, demonstrating the quality of the NIKKOR prime lenses.


    “For me, photography is about emotion above everything else. It’s intense – particularly when using a prime lens, which forces you to be more focused. With a zoom lens, there’s always the danger of being lazy, or just changing the focal length for the sake of it – a quality prime lens is different. Without the ability to zoom, you need to think harder about how your composition, but for me, the extra thinking pays off and results are superior. That’s why it’s something I’d choose as my main lens.”


    A sandy shoreline meeting a green national park in Darß, a southern shore of the Baltic sea. Photographed by Jürgen Müller.
    Darß, a southern shore of the Baltic Sea. Nikon D800 + NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G | 1/100s | f/4 | 35mm | ISO 100 | © Jürgen Müller



    Nikon 35mm f/1.4, prime lens, landscape lens, landscape photography
    The NIKKOR 35MM F/1.4G


    The Locations

    For this project, Jürgen travelled to two different locations in Germany; Darß and Sylt. Darß is on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, surrounded by a picturesque national park. To the west of Darß is a beach called Westrand, named one of the top ten natural beaches in the world. It can only be accessed on foot, and Jürgen chose this spot as, “the landscape is similar to one you would see in a painting.” Jurgen shot beautiful landscape photography here, such as the above image of the shoreline, making the most of the natural colours in the environment.


    On a stormy day, a flock of birds fly low on the shoreline of Sylt, an island just north of Germany. Photographed by Jürgen Müller.
    Sylt, an island just north of Germany. Nikon D800E + NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G @ 1/400s | f/9 |24mm | ISO 100 © Jürgen Müller


    NIKKOR 24MM F/1.4G ED, landscape photography lens
    The NIKKOR 24MM F/1.4G ED


    The second location, Sylt, an island just north of Germany, offered a variety of different landscapes to capture. From impressive sand dunes to amazing coastal scenes, Jurgen shot from sunrise to sunset, using a variety of the lenses at each location.


    The Lenses

    Choosing the right lens is vital, and each one that he used “offered something different and unique”.

    Exploring how the right prime lens can take an image to the next level, Jürgen tested the following: the AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED, AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED, AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G, AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G and the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F1.4G. Each complimented the locations he was shooting, and type of imagery he was taking, in a different way.


    Stay tuned:  In the next blog we follow Jurgen to the North of Germany, where he tests the lens that has become known as the ‘King of bokeh’, the 105mm!