What Lenses to Choose for Your Nikon Camera

  • Reviews
  • 15 min read
lenses for nikon camera

Nikon’s Lens range is a bit less rich than Canon’s, but it can take advantage of older lenses – Nikon hasn’t changed its mount and you can quite mount 40-year-old lens on a recent device. As important as Canon in the world of SLR, Nikon also benefits from a wide range of compatible lenses developed by third party manufacturers – Sigma, Tamron, etc…

Nikon offers three types of mounts: the FX mount for its full-format sensor housings (D700, D800, etc.), the DX mount for APS-C sensor devices (D7100, D5300, etc.) and the CX mount for its Nikon 1 (V1, V2, J3, etc.) 1-inch sensor devices.

FX Mount

Compatible Devices: Originally intended for full-format sensor devices (D1, D1X, D1H, D2H, D2X, d2hs, D3, D3x,D3s, D4, D700, D800, D800E, D600, D610, Df) EF lenses are also mounted on APS-C sensor devices, but the focal length is changed by a factor of x1.5 due to the smaller sensor size.

Example: A 20 mm becomes a 30 mm. They can also be mounted on the Nikon 1, but the conversion factor changes to x2.7.

Example: A 20 mm becomes a 54 mm on a Nikon 1.

1. Tamron 24-70 mm f/2.8 SP VC USD

Tamron 24-70 mm
Tamron 24-70 mm

Its constant f/2.8 aperture, stabilization, good optical quality and very low price (twice cheaper than Canon’s 24-70 mm f/2.8) make this lens our favorite zoom lens.

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2. Nikon 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-S G ED VR

Nikon 24-85 mm
Nikon 24-85 mm

Rather light for a full-format zoom of this amplitude (x3, 5), this new zoom “kit” for full Frame SLR is a good choice for those who work with fixed focal lengths, but need a zoom very occasionally or very tight budgets that have already invested a lot in the case.

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3. Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S VR ED

Nikon 28-300 mm
Nikon 28-300 mm

If it is less efficient than its rival from Nikon, this lens is also three times cheaper. A zoom to do everything convenient when you have to take only one lens, but you have to vary the focal lengths.

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4. Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 SP VC USD

Tamron 70-200 mm
Tamron 70-200 mm

The new version of the Tamron 70-200 is a great success. If its weight imposes 1.47 kg, the optical quality is largely at the level of what Nikon offers at f/2.8 for a much lower price.

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5. Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G If-ED AF-S VR

Nikon 70-300 mm

Excellent value for money, this entry-level zoom allows you to start in the world of the powerful telephoto lens without too much ruin.

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6. Sigma 120-400 mm f/4.4-5.6 DG APO OS HSM

Sigma 120-400 mm
Sigma 120-400 mm

Better than the 70-300 mm for just 200 dollars more, this 120-400 is a great choice for all lovers looking for a very long quality focal length. Only limit: it is necessary to diaphragm to f/8 (or even f/11) to enjoy a good pique. Tripod or monopod recommended.

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7. Nikon 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR AF-S

Nikon 80-400 mm
Nikon 80-400 mm

If its price is high approx. $2300 – this very versatile zoom covers most of the needs of the nature/sport photo with its wide focal range. Unlike cheaper optics, it already gives very stitched shots at full opening.

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8. Sigma 12-24 mm f/4.5-5.6 II DG HSM

Sigma 12-24 mm
Sigma 12-24 mm

Very good workmanship, this ultra-wide-angle zoom offers a smaller viewing angle than the 8-16 mm, which allows it to be used in reporting, deformations are much less visible at 24 mm (36 mm in equivalent 24 x 36).

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9. Nikon 18-35 mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED AF-S

Nikon 18-35 mm
Nikon 18-35 mm

At less than 700 dollars, this is the first “Nikon” price in the field of wide-angle zooms. Brighter, however, it is narrower (18 mm instead of 12 mm) than the Sigma.

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10. Nikon 16-35 mm f/4 AF-S G ED VR

Nikon 16-35 mm
Nikon 16-35 mm

Expensive, this zoom remains a reference of wide-angle zooms on Nikon mount – much cheaper than the 14-24. Which costs $1600 with excellent manufacturing quality and good stitching from f/4. An all-terrain optics with impeccable finish.

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11. Tamron 90 mm f/2.8 SP Macro VC USD

Tamron 90 mm
Tamron 90 mm

Heir to the legendary “SP The Macro”, this new version “SP The Macro VC USD” improves the excellent optical quality of its predecessor while continuing to be offered at canon prices-less than 450 dollars.

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12. Nikon 60 mm f/2.8 ED AF-S Micro

Nikon 60 mm
Nikon 60 mm

If you are looking for a standard optics this one is not far from the 50 mm. With macro capabilities this 60 mm is a great choice, because more versatile than longer focal lengths.

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13. Nikon 105 mm f/2.8 IF-ED MC AF-S

Nikon 105 mm
Nikon 105 mm

Excellent stitching, superb workmanship and acceptable price. It is often less than 750 dollars. The Nikon 105 mm is a high-volley macro lens. The only flaw – Its weight since it weighs no less than 790 gm: rigor tripod.

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14. Nikon 35 mm f/2 D AF

Nikon 35 mm
Nikon 35 mm

This aging optics is the only way to get a 35 mm not too expensive ($350) on full format Nikon, the f/1.4 model being much too expensive (often at more than $1600…). A lens that is a bit damaged by the 36 MPIX sensors of the D800 and D800E.

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15. Sigma 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART

Sigma 35 mm
Sigma 35 mm

If the Nikon 35 mm f/1.4 is un-affordable (besides being heavy), the Sigma model costs 900 dollars less and it is also good. Weighing 665 gm (compared to 600 gm for Nikon’s f/1.4), it’s a bit heavy for reporters, but its image quality is truly exceptional.

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16. Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 G AF-S

Nikon 50 mm
Nikon 50 mm

Better than Canon’s 50 mm f/1.4, this “standard” fixed focal length from Nikon is a benchmark in terms of optical quality/weight/price. If you have a full-format Nikon SLR, it is an optical almost mandatory so it is good.

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17. Nikon 85 mm f/1.8 AF-S G

 Nikon 85 mm
Nikon 85 mm

If the f/1.4 version is the reference of Nikon’s portrait lens, this f/1.8 version offers already excellent results for a third of the price.

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Right Mount

Compatible Devices: For APS-C sensor housings (D100, D200, D300, D300S, D70, D70s, D80, D90, D7000, D7100, D40, D50, D40x, D60, D5000, D5100, D5200, D3000, D3100, D3200), DX optics can be mounted on full-format sensor housings, but the image circle being much smaller, only a portion of the center of the sensor will capture the image.

1. Sigma 17-70 mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Contemporary

Sigma 17-70 mm
Sigma 17-70 mm

Our preferred standard zoom for all APS-C sensor SLRs. bright and very good workmanship, this lens offers a stunning price/quality ratio-450 euro on average. Ideal for limited budgets.

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2. Nikon 18-140 mm F 3.5-5.6 G ED VR AF-S DX

Nikon 18-140 mm
Nikon 18-140 mm

The new all-in-one zoom from Nikon is a good travel companion since it offers a fairly good image quality for a reasonable price and a moderate footprint (490 g).

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3. Tamron 18-270 mm f/3.5-6.3 DI II VC PZD

Tamron 18-270 mm
Tamron 18-270 mm

If it is not a goldsmith’s piece, this Optics offers a very high zoom power for a suitable weight and above all a floor price 450 dollar.

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4. Tamron 70-300 mm SP f/4-5.6 DI VC USD

Tamron 70-300 mm
Tamron 70-300 mm

Very affordable-less than 350 dollars – this telephoto lens offers an excellent value for money. A good choice for photographers who have a very punctual need for a telephoto lens and who do not want to invest too much money in their lenses. Attention: auto focus is not cut for action.

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5. Sigma 120-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM

Sigma 120-400 mm
Sigma 120-400 mm

If it is not very bright, this telephoto lens offers a huge focal range: 192-640 mm on an APS-C case. Ideal to start in the photo of nature, especially since its price is not delusional-below 800 dollars. However, pay attention to the weight, the animal weighing 1.75 kg.

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6. Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 SP VC USD

Tamron 70-200 mm
Tamron 70-200 mm

The new version of the Tamron 70-200 is a great success. If its weight imposes – 1.47 kg-the optical quality is largely at the level of what Nikon offers at f / 2.8 for a much lower price.

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7. Sigma 8-16 mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM

Sigma 8-16 mm
Sigma 8-16 mm

The ultra-wide-angle par excellence for APS-C sensors. This 12-24 mm equivalent is a magnificent pebble that, at less than 700 dollars, offers everything you can need in the field of very wide angle. Be careful however, its wide viewing angle requires some adaptation time to master the exposure.

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8. Sigma 12-24 mm f/4.5-5.6 II DG HSM

Sigma 12-24 mm
Sigma 12-24 mm

Very good workmanship, this ultra-wide-angle zoom offers a smaller viewing angle than the 8-16 mm, which allows it to be used in reporting – deformations are much less visible at 24 mm (36 mm in equivalent 24 x 36).

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9. Nikon 12-24 mm f/4 G AF-S IF ED

Nikon 12-24 mm
Nikon 12-24 mm

Reserved in DX format, this 26-36 mm equivalent is the competitor of the Sigma in “plus” mode: brighter, more luxurious, more piquant and… more expensive.

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10. Tamron 90 mm f/2.8 SP macro VC USD

Tamron 90 mm
Tamron 90 mm

Heir to the legendary “SP The Macro”, this new version “SP The Macro USD” improves the excellent optical quality of its predecessor while continuing to be offered at canon prices-less than 450 dollars.

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11. Nikon 40 mm f/2.8 G AF – S DX Micro

Nikon 40 mm
Nikon 40 mm

Little brother of the 60 mm Micro for full-format sensors, this 40 mm of recent design offers the same focal range (40 mm x coef. 1.5 = 60 mm) which makes it a more versatile optics than longer focal lengths – it can also be used in portrait or even reportage. Its optical quality is very good and, weight argument, it is very affordable-less than $250.

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12. Nikon 85 mm f/3.5 G ED VRII AF – S DX Micro

Nikon 85 mm
Nikon 85 mm

More affordable than the 105 mm full format, this lens in APS-C format offers an excellent quality/price ratio and above all an excellent Pique.

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13. Sigma 18-35 mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art

Sigma 18-35 mm
Sigma 18-35 mm

This is the great optical innovation of the year 2013. Dedicated to APS-C sensor devices, it is the brightest zoom in the world. Covering a focal range of 27 to 52 mm, it does not offer the same amplitude as traditional zooms, but its constant aperture f/1.8 allows it to advantageously replace the 3 traditional fixed focal lengths of the report (28, 35 and 50 mm). A jewel whose only flaw is weight-810 G.

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14. Sigma 24 mm f/1.8 DG EX

Sigma 24 mm
Sigma 24 mm

The only optics that allows you to enjoy a 35 mm on Nikon APS-C sensor-the Nikon 24 mm f/2.8 D being a bit dated. Not a racing beast, but the image quality is quite suitable and the large aperture allows shooting even in low lights.

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15. Nikon 35 mm f/1.8 AF-S DX G

Nikon 35 mm
Nikon 35 mm

Cheap and very light – 200 g – this “normal” focal length is a weight asset for reporters who use DX cases. We add to this a good Pique from f/2.8 and a floor price-less than 200 dollars – that make this 35 mm (equivalent 52.5 mm) an optical not to be missed.

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16. Nikon 50 mm f/1.4 AF-S G

Nikon 50 mm
Nikon 50 mm

Like the 50 mm Canon on APS-C case, this 50 mm f/1.8 from Nikon becomes a beautiful portrait optics on DX cases. Its manufacturing quality is very good, its sting and its AF speed a bit better than at Canon: what more to ask.

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CX Mount

Compatible Devices: J1, J2, J3, S1, V1, V2 and AW1.

1. Nikon 1 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 VR

Nikon 1 10-100 mm
Nikon 1 10-100 mm

Equivalent to a 27-270 mm, this all-purpose zoom is a good travel optics.

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2. Nikon 1 10-100 mm f/4.5-5.6 VR PD-ZOOM

Nikon 1 10-100 mm 4.5 - 5.6
Nikon 1 10-100 mm 4.5 – 5.6

If the optical range of 10-100 mm is similar to the previous lens, this model is rather dedicated to video since the zoom is motorized.

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3. Nikon 1 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 VR

Nikon 1 30-110 mm
Nikon 1 30-110 mm

The only true telephoto lens for Nikon 1 is not very bright, but it is very light-180 g – and will not unbalance Nikon 1 cases too much (to by the S series).

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4. Nikon 1 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 1 6.7-13 mm
Nikon 1 6.7-13 mm

Equivalent to a 18-35 mm, this small 125 g optics is a companion of choice for the Nikon 1 system.

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5. Nikon 1 10 mm f/2.8

Nikon 1 10 mm
Nikon 1 10 mm

This moderate wide angle (28 mm in EQ. 24×36 mm) does not weigh heavy in the backpack-77 gm – and provides quite good results.

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6. Nikon 1 18.5 mm f/1.8

Nikon 1 18.5 mm
Nikon 1 18.5 mm

Equivalent to a 50 mm in 24×36, this is our favorite CX Mount optics. In addition to its great lightness (70 gm) it offers a very good Pique, even at full opening.

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7. Nikon 1 32 mm f/1.2

Nikon 1 32 mm f/1.2
Nikon 1 32 mm f/1.2

Equivalent to an 85 mm, it is the brightest optics in the CX system and, with the 18.5 mm, the only one to offer good quality blurred backgrounds.

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