Building the ideal equipment of lenses in which you will rely on during your adventure as a photographer can be difficult, not just because of the large number of options and alternatives available, but also because of the diverse amount of technical details, numbers and nomenclatures that they present.

For instance, Nikon offers more than 200 alternatives in its own lens range called Nikkor, which are meant to allow you to transform the picture you visualize in your mind into a real one. Each of these lenses is designed for a particular type of photography.

If you do a web search or directly investigate a little on the manufacturer’s website, you will realize how difficult is for an amateur photographer to build an ideal lens equipment.

In today’s article I have prepared a list with the “5 essential Nikon lenses” trying to cover the different situations that you could find as a photographer. Let’s take a look at them with an emphasis on the most important aspect of the lens: the photo. For each lens that I am presenting I will show some photos, so you can check real examples taken with the actual lens.

I hope you find it useful!

The 5 best lenses for Nikon for the amateur and advanced photographer

1 – Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f / 1.8 G

Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f / 1.8 G

Whether you want a lens for social media or to capture an excellent portrait, the Nikkor 35mm 1.8G is for sure one of the best options. Why? Because for only 200 dollars you will get a comfortable lens, light, extremely sharp, bright, very fast focusing and with a solid construction. What else you could ask for?

Its effective focal length is 50mm (35mm x 1.5 which is the crop factor of the DX-format), so it can be said that it is the “Prince of effective lenses”, ideal for taking social pictures, events, some great portraits with completely blurred background, landscapes and even for macro photos, since despite being a fixed lens, it is extremely versatile.

This lens will be a great ally to defeat your worst enemy: low-light conditions.

2 – Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm f / 4.5-5.6 G

Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm f / 4.5-5.6 G

This telephoto zoom lens is another one that should not be missing in your photography backpack. The Nikkor 70-300mm VR is the best option you have if you want to “get close” to everything, not only for its price around 500 dollars but for its size, weight, focus speed and above all, its exceptional image quality.

This lens is ideal for taking photos of sports and nature, even though its performance is really good in almost any situation, especially for portraits. However, this is true provided that lighting conditions are adequate, as it does not perform good in low-light conditions.

The Nikkor 70-300 VR is compatible with both DX and FX “Full Frame” cameras. If you plan to use it in a DX camera its effective focal length will be equal to 450 mm (300 x 1.5), but if you use it in a FX one it will be 300 mm. Anyway, if you have a Full Frame camera, I would recommend to get a telephoto zoom lens according to the price range of the camera.

3 – Nikkor AF-S VR Micro 105mm f/2.8 G IF-ED

Nikkor AF-S VR Micro 105mm f/2.8 G IF-ED

Regarding “macro” or close-up photography, this Nikon lens is the best. It currently is the best Japanese giant’s micro lens and one of the best on the market.

Despite not being as low-cost as the other lenses shown here, its price difference is justified: its excellent build, luminosity (f/2.8) and outstanding quality will guarantee your investment. How much does it cost? Approximately 900 dollars on Amazon, and even if it seems quite excessive, it is worth every penny.

This lens is ideal for close-up photography and portraits, or as a short telephoto lens. It is extremely luminous, which will guarantee getting not only correctly exposed photographs, but also a very appealing blur.

The Nikkor 105 f / 2.8 VR is almost perfect, except for a small detail: when using the internal autofocus motor, the image shifts too much while focusing, which can be very annoying in macro mode. This is easily solved by approaching or moving away directly from the subject.

You can discover a whole new world with this lens. A world of detail.

4 – Nikkor AF-S DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 G

Nikkor AF-S DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 G

If you had to make up a Nikon lenses “dream team”, this incredible wide-angle lens is a must.

You can use this lens in different situations. However, thanks to its variable focal length, it is designed ideally for landscape photography, interiors, architectural photography or any kind of photo where you need to shoot a large scene.

The Nikkor 10-24 mm is a high-quality wide-angle lens specially designed for medium format or DX cameras, so its effective focal length, equivalent to 15-36 mm, is ideal for this type of photos. You can use it in any of the brand’s DX cameras since it has an internal autofocus motor.

This wide-angle lens is also quite expensive: around 900 dollars on Amazon, but it will last for a long time as long as you do not switch to a full frame camera.

5 – AF Fisheye Nikkor D 10.5mm f/2.8 lens

AF Fisheye Nikkor D 10.5mm f/2.8 lens

If you are thinking about changing your photos radically, then you need this fisheye lens.

A fisheye lens is an “ultra wide-angle lens”, so fisheye lenses and wide-angle lenses are not mutually exclusive. Actually, you would do well to buy both if you have the money. This lens costs around 771 dollars on Amazon, but you will not lose money if you invest in this lens.

There is so much you can do with this lens: from landscape and street photography to macro photography since its minimum focus distance is very short. The sky is the limit when using the fisheye lenses.


Have you decided on your next lens yet? Was this list helpful? I hope so. =) Please, remember to vote for or recommend this article on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Thanks in advance.

Read More:
Buying Guide for Choosing a Wide-Angle Lens
Best Lenses For Your Canon DSLR Camera
Best Wide-angle lenses for landscape photography