Best Nikon lenses

Susan Fernandez June 06 2022

If you're looking for the best Nikon lenses, you've come to the right place. We've rounded up a selection of our favorite Nikon lenses, from wide-angle to telephoto and everything in between.

No matter what kind of photography you're into, there's a Nikon lens that's perfect for you. So take a look at our picks for the best Nikon lenses and see which one is right for your needs.

Which Nikon lens is best for photoshoots?

Nikon 50mm f/1.8:

This lens features a fast maximum aperture of f/1.8, making it ideal for low-light photography and getting creative with a shallow depth of field effects. The 50mm focal length is also great for general purpose shooting, whether you're taking portraits, landscapes, or street photos.

Those who have recently upgraded from a smaller compact camera to a Nikon DSLR are sometimes concerned about the weight of their new equipment. As a result, the lightweight Nikon 50mm f/1.8D is an excellent match. The picture quality produced by this magnificent Nikon lens is nothing short of remarkable, especially when you consider its affordability.

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8D is a fantastic portrait lens because it may be used on both a full-frame (FX) and cropped sensor (DX) Nikon DSLR. On a Nikon DX camera, the focal length would be 75mm, making the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D a flattering portrait lens. Although it isn't the best lens for portraits, it can still stand up to the bigger guys.

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ED:

With this Nikon lens, you would be able to capture stunning photos and videos with beautiful bokeh effects. It is a versatile lens that can be used for a range of purposes such as landscape, portrait, wedding, street, and even astrophotography.

One of the best things about this Nikon lens is that it is very lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around with you on your travels. The 35mm focal length is also perfect for capturing wide-angle shots without distorting your subject.

The Nikon f/1.8G lens range (28, 50, and 85mm) offers exceptional value for money when you consider the image quality. If you're searching for some cheap (or backup) wedding photography equipment, these amazing lenses are ideal.

The 35mm focal length is a popular choice for photographers of all kinds since it is versatile: wide enough to tell a narrative while also being perfect for portraits. When comparing 35mm vs 50mm, the former is considerably more flexible. When used on a cropped sensor Nikon DSLR, the effective focal length would be 52.5mm. This is still a wide-angle lens, but it's not as wide as the 35mm f/1.8G ED.

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5:

It would be a nice option for photographers with a limited budget. The only trade-off is the slightly slower maximum aperture, which is f/3.5 at the wide end and f/4.5 when zoomed in. This Tamron lens is a great choice for landscape photographers who want to capture as much of the scene as possible. The ultra-wide angle of view allows you to get close to your subject while still fitting everything into the frame.

The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 lens is compatible with FX and DX Nikon camera bodies. The 10-24mm lens on a DX is equivalent to 15-36mm in APS-C terms, allowing you to capture more of a scene in one frame than the 18-55mm Nikkor kit lens can do on an APS-C sensor camera. It makes the shot much more panoramic.

The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 is a great value for the money in terms of performance. The HLD (High/Low torque-modulated Drive) autofocus is extremely rapid and almost always correct. It's also virtually silent (except when recording video). As a photographer, you may wonder whether this lens is better than the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR.

Although the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 has a significant amount of sharpness when wide open in low light, it does have some issues when wide open in low light conditions. We haven't yet found a wide-angle lens in this price range that doesn't have that problem.

Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6:

The AF-P focusing is quick, precise, and silent. The amazing continuous auto-focus capability is more similar to that of a mirrorless camera, but when you use Live View, the difference becomes apparent. It's far quicker than lenses with autofocus. This is a great advantage when shooting videos or taking photos of moving subjects.

The Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with a field of view that's equivalent to 15-30mm on a full-frame camera. It's a great choice for landscape photography, cityscapes, and astrophotography. The built-in vibration reduction (VR) system helps to keep your images sharp, even when shooting handheld in low light conditions.

The Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 is also small and light, weighing in at just 1.2 lbs (0.5 kg). To make it so lightweight, Nikon had to eliminate all buttons from the Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 Macro conversion lens, which means you'll have to set the VR ON/OFF and AF/MF settings on your camera's menu screen. This can be inconvenient if you frequently modify these settings because you'll have to take your eye off the viewfinder or LCD screen to do so.

The f/4.5 maximum aperture isn't going to win any awards, but it's fine for most purposes and won't be a deal-breaker as long as you're using it in mostly well-lit situations and not for things like astrophotography or indoor sports.

Nikon 24mm f/1.8G ED:

One of the best Nikon lenses because it's fast, sharp, and has low distortion for a wide-angle lens. The Nikon 24mm f/1.8G ED is a great choice for landscape photography, night photography, and astrophotography.

The only drawback of this lens is that it's not compatible with Nikon's teleconverters, so you can't extend its reach. However, the Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED does have built-in vibration reduction (VR), which helps to keep your images sharp when shooting handheld in low light conditions.

Don't be concerned about the depth-of-field nuances of f/1.4 vs f/1.8; when you use wide-angle lenses, you have to get extremely close to the subject in order to profit from any minor difference in subject distance between f/1.4 and f/1.8. We've covered that, now let's look at why we think the Nikon 24mm f/1.8G is a fantastic wide-angle lens for Nikon FX cameras.

In case you need another incentive to choose the Nikon 24mm f/1.8G as my top Nikon wide-angle lens, it'll work on any DX-format Nikon DSLR. The focal length is a very flexible 36mm when used with a 1.5x crop factor of the DX sensor.

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED:

Usually, lenses that have 24-70mm in their name are all-purpose lenses. They're not usually exceptional at anything, but they're competent enough to get the job done in a variety of scenarios. The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED is different; it's a true workhorse lens that excels in a variety of situations, from landscape photography to portrait photography.

The build quality is excellent, and the autofocus is fast and accurate. The images are razor-sharp, even when shooting wide open at f/2.8. There is some vignetting at 24mm, but it's not severe and can easily be corrected in post-processing. If you're a Nikon zoom lens wedding photographer, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED is almost certainly your go-to lens. It's an unbeatable combination when used with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. The zoom range would be converted to 36-105mm, which is rather unusual, but it can be utilized on a DX camera and gives outstanding results.

In a pinch, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED can also be used for a cheeky macro shot at 70mm with the lens zoomed to 70mm and stopped down. Later editing of the file is not an issue since the pictures are so sharp. The build quality of this Nikon pro zoom is excellent, as it is with all Nikon pro zooms. This is one lens that will serve you well for many years to come.

Nikon 85mm f/1.4G:

That is definitely a lot of money to spend on a lens, but if you're a Nikon portrait photographer, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is worth every penny. The build quality is excellent, and the autofocus is fast and accurate. The images are razor-sharp, even when shooting wide open at f/1.4. There is some vignetting at 85mm, but it's not severe and can easily be corrected in post-processing.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is also great for shooting video with your Nikon DSLR. The focus is smooth and silent, which is important when you're trying to capture audio along with the video.

The bokeh is the second reason photographers from all corners of the globe adore this lens. Shooting the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G wide open will produce a sea of creaminess in every background. Blurring the background in this manner is an extremely useful technique, especially if you're caught in a tight situation where something behind the subject is distracting.

Finally, we can tell that this lens is extremely sharp and has great color rendering. The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is a bit warmer than some of the other lenses on this list, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

This is an excellent all-purpose lens, and if you're only going to buy one fast prime for your Nikon DSLR, make it the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ED. It's great for everything from landscapes to portraits to street photography.

What is the difference between Nikon and Nikkor?

Today most Nikon lenses are branded as Nikkor. Nikon used to make lenses under the "Nikon" brand name as well but now uses Nikkor for all of its lenses. The Nikkor brand connotes high quality and is used on Nikon's professional line of lenses, while the Nikon brand is used on the company's lower-end offerings.

However, there are some distinct differences between the two lines. Nikon's professional lenses are designed for heavy use and offer superior optics, while the company's cheaper lenses are geared more towards amateur shooters and may not withstand the same level of abuse. At the same time, Nikkor is usually cheaper than comparable Nikon-branded lenses.

So, if you're looking for the best possible image quality, you'll want to stick with Nikkor lenses. But if you're on a budget, Nikon's cheaper offerings may be a better option. either way, you can't go wrong with either brand.

Are old Nikon lenses better?

The newer models have less contrast and color saturation than their predecessors. The only lenses that approximate the color quality of the older Nikkor are the Zeiss distal and Voigtlander proximal lenses. The new ones lack contrast as well as color intensity. Micro-contrast is also lacking in comparison to previous versions.

The new lenses have better sharpness in the center, but the corners are softer. The old lenses had more even sharpness across the frame. There is no simple answer to this question. It depends on what you're looking for in a lens. If you're looking for the best possible image quality, then you'll want to stick with older Nikkor lenses. But if you're on a budget, or if you need a lighter and smaller lens, then the newer Nikon offerings may be a better option.

What lens is good for portraits?

There are some zoom lenses that overlap the desirable focal lengths typically associated with portrait photography: 85mm, 105mm, and 135mm. The 70-200mm, 24-105mm, and 70-300mm are a few examples of these lenses. The most popular is the 70-200 lens.

The focal length you choose will depend on how close you can get to your subject. If you're shooting full-body portraits, you'll need a lens with a longer focal length. For headshots and close-ups, a shorter focal length will suffice. In general, primes are better for portraits than zooms because they offer wider apertures that allow for a shallower depth of field. This blurriness behind the subject helps to isolate them from the background and makes them pop.

Some of the best portrait lenses for Nikon DSLRs are the 85mm f/1.4G, 105mm f/1.4E ED, and 135mm f/2 DC. All three of these lenses offer superb image quality and wide apertures that allow for a shallow depth of field.