The 10 Best Nikon Lenses

Rating: 5.00 based on 2 Ratings
Nathaniel Eames
September 17, 2017 By Nathaniel Eames
The 10 Best Nikon Lenses www.sleeklens.com

Nikon lenses are often given a lot less respect than what they really deserve. While, often times, this brand rarely comes up when discussing the best lenses for your DSLR camera available out there, the truth is that a great lens from Nikon is every bit as good as a great lens from brands like Canon, Leica, or the rest of the top names in camera lenses. And, they even have their own colored ring system to differentiate the levels of quality, just like Canon. For Nikon, gold rings are supposedly the best, but there are some sleeper picks, that you might not be aware of, in their lineup as well.

In this guide, we’ll go over the 10 best lenses that Nikon produces, Looking closely at features such as focal range, maximum aperture, sharpness, build quality, overall image quality, and of course the price. But before we jump into the list, let’s go over a few things that you will need to know about Nikon lenses.

Our Top 3 Picks

 
AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4 G ED
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4 G ED
  • 5 out of 5
  • Amazing sharpness
  • Price: See Here
Check on Amazon!
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AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
  • 4.5 out of 5
  • Great for general use
  • Price: See Here
Check on Amazon!
Jump to Full Review
AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
  • AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
  • 4.3 out of 5
  • Great price
  • Price: See Here
Check on Amazon!
Jump to Full Review

best nikon lenses

Generally, like every DSLR maker, Nikon’s cameras come in APS-C and full-frame sensors. This means that their lenses are divided into two main segments, one for each of these sensor sizes. Full-frame cameras work only with FX lenses. APS-C cameras work DX lenses or FX lenses. While DX lenses are designed specifically for APS-C cameras, FX lenses will also work well, though they do tend to be more expensive.

Still, for photographers who are just starting out with an APS-C Nikon, you may want to consider buying only FX lenses. That way, if you ever decide to upgrade to a full-frame Nikon, you’ll have all the lenses you need. Because FX lenses work for every Nikon DSLR—and because they tend to work better than DX lenses—we will be focusing mostly on these lenses for this review.

all nikon lenses

One last thing before we start: Nikon’s naming abbreviations; it’s the way in which Nikon prefers to classify its wide range of products for us potential customers to get them, and this classification system, that uses abbreviations as labels, works in relation to each lens’s features in which we can classify them. Here’s a simple guide to what all those abbreviations stand for with regards to Nikon Lenses:

AF — Autofocus, which means that the lens will automatically assign a focus through the camera

AF-D — Autofocus with Distance information. Really useful for metering, though it’s not longer used in modern lenses

AF-I — Autofocus with integrated focus motor (can be labeled as AF-S ancestor) – no longer used in modern lenses

AI-PManual focus lenses with a computerized system for exposure metering. No longer used on modern lenses

AF-S — Autofocus with a Silent Wave Motor in the lens, necessary for certain camera models

CRC – Close Range Correction – A label for lenses that are optimized for close focusing distances

D — Distance to subject measured and sent to camera, helps with color mapping

DC — Defocus control, great for controlling the bokeh in portraits

DX — Abbreviation for “Crop Factor” lenses

E – Another new label for lenses; this one, in particular, refers to a lens that features electronic diaphragm control. By implementing this new system, the lenses will not have the aperture lever on the back of the lens, meaning they are fully electronic, so there is no way to manually adjust the aperture anymore. These are a step ahead of the G lenses as they are considered to be more accurate, though more expensive as well.

ED — Extra low dispersion glass elements, offers better image quality by boosting sharpness and reducing Chromatic Aberration

FL – Used for new lenses (post 2013), Fluorite Lens elements are optically superior and significantly lighter than glass elements

FX – Abbreviation indicates “Full-Frame”, as in 35mm film equivalent

G — No physical aperture ring on the lens, won’t work on most film cameras

IF —Internal focusing, allows the lens to focus faster but now included in most lenses

Micro – Lenses meant to be for close-up work

N – Assigned to lenses with Nano Crystal Coat, which is Nikon’s newest technology for handling color performance, reducing ghosting/flare effects while enhancing sharpness

RF – Rear Focusing – the focusing is done by moving the rear element inside of the lens

SIC – Lenses with Super Integrated Coating – It’s a system prior to Nano Crystal Coating, which gives better color performance and reduces ghosting/flare effects

VR — Vibration reduction, moves internal elements to counteract lens shake

Prime Lenses

 

AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4 G EDGo to Amazon
This lens has one of the largest apertures of any wide-angle out there. Plus, it’s sharp. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better 24mm prime from any lens maker. But of course, with outstanding quality comes a very high price tag.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
90
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100
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Weight:
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90
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Features:
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Pros
  • Superior sharpness
  • Silent
  • AF Capable
Cons
  • Expensive
  • A bit slow
Click to read the full Review
A lens that was launched in February 2010, and since then has become a classic go to choice for any landscape or architectural photograph. This lens Nikon 24 mm f/1. 4 g has been designed for demanding professionals who seek high quality optics of a fixed wide angle lens for low light situations or to create pronounced effects of depth of field. The result is a lens of exceptional sharpness, both in the center and towards the edges of the lens; resistant to demanding weather conditions and sealed to protect the lens from dust; keeping a silent profile in the process.

Handling: As it's mainly a weather-resistant lens, it well constructed of a sturdy plastic material, which, at first glance, gives the impression of metallic construction. It wisely combines the technology of Autofocus with a manual focus ring located in the front of the barrel, allowing us to force the focus to convenience.

Focus speed and precision: despite what's mentioned above the focus speed of this lens is not one of its strongest points. Compared with some other Nikon lenses, we found that its focus speed just meets the basic requirement for the middle range of Nikon lenses; however, thanks to the Silent Wave Motor (SWM), Nikon compensates for that delay with exceptional sharpness without any noise, A feature envied by many other lenses.

Contrast: In comparison with the new models of Prime Lenses, the contrast of the Nikon 24 mm f/1. 4 g is a plus; getting an amazing range of tones uncommonly seen in Prime Lenses - however, it does not act in as sharp as current lenses would do so.

Bokeh: It is not the highlight of this lens (a feature like this is primarily attributed to portrait lenses), but it does meet our expectations with convincing results.

Vignetting can be appreciated while in value of maximum aperture (f/1.4); being considerably reduced at f/2.8. In regards to unwanted lighting, Nano-Coating Technology collaborates us by significantly reducing flares when photographing landscapes during the day.
It is necessary to compensate for the distortion of the lens in perspective - Photographers find themselves mostly prone to this while being closer to the object that they are photographing.

AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8GGo to Amazon
The only DX lens on this list, this one is a great alternative to the 50mm listed below. On a DX camera, that 50mm will perform like an 85mm, and this 35mm will perform like a 50mm. So if you’re considering an affordable, general use prime lens for your DX camera, this is probably your best bet.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
79
Performance:
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85
100
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Weight:
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100
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60
100
Pros
  • Cheap
  • AF-Capable
  • Exceptional quality for its price
  • Little focus shift
  • Acceptable handling of ghosting and flare
  • Good performance in low light conditions
Cons
  • Doesn't feature Nano Crystal Coating
  • High Vignetting levels
  • High amount of Chromatic Aberration
  • Doesn't handle Bokeh in a comfortable way
Click to read the full Review
This compact and lightweight lens (which really is super light-weight), as well as being incredibly efficient is very economical, is definitely a must-have for your Nikon camera kit.

The 35mm format is considered to be "in the middle", as far as the focal length is concerned. It is not too broad as a wide angle nor is it as narrow as a telephoto, allowing for a wide range of scenarios to be covered, from landscape to portraits. This is actually one of the options preferred by the street photographers, since it is a lens "on the go": practical, lightweight and versatile.

Also, it can be used in both Full Frame and Crop Factor cameras, making it an economical choice for your kit that will certainly last for years. From capturing images with poor lighting conditions to creating interesting Bokeh effects, the Nikon 35 mm f/1.8G ED won't leave you disappointed.

The ED denomination used for this lens refers to the Extra-Low Dispersion system, which references a technology designed to reduce chromatic aberration; which added to a Silent Wave Motor (SWM/AF-S), will ensure greater shooting accuracy without compromising the speed of capture.

Handling: Much of this lens's light weight is due to its carefully planned construction from rigid plastic; while the material is less damage resistant when compared to the metal materials used in the zoom models, we must simply keep that in mind when operating in order to avoid unnecessary shock or wear from consistent use. Despite the overall plastic construction, the stud is made with metal, and has a rubber gasket installed to prevent dust and other environmental elements from accessing the internal workings of the camera. Additionally, this lens is so light that it is comfortable to operate without the need of a tripod, even in scenarios where we cannot allow even the slightest movement. With a considerably thick focus ring, you can easily adjust the manual focus at any time without having to change the position of the camera. It also includes an HB-70 Lens Hood, which is removable.

Focus Speed and Accuracy: Unlike what many might expect, This lens has a much more agile behavior than the older model, the f/1.4G. With a Silent Wave Motor system, this is a fast, accurate and quiet lens. As far as its Autofocus goes, it has good performance in poor lighting conditions, which reinforces the idea of cost-effectiveness.

Contrast: For being a 35mm lens we can expect pretty consistent behavior at any point of the lens area; however, this lens has excellent color and contrast in the center, noticeable enough to make it stand out when compared to other similar models from the competition, as well as some of the others produced by Nikon. Despite being an old lens, even in comparison with more modern lenses, this one still has plenty to be admired.

Bokeh: As this isn't a lens designed for portraits, we cannot expect an excellent performance with regards to Bokeh. Being the midpoint between wide-angle and telephoto, The user just has to remember not to get too close to the subject, as this tends to produce distortions. For situations like that, the f/1.4G would a considerably better option.

The Vignetting effects are clearly visible with this lens, especially around the larger aperture values. As it lacks the Nano Crystal Coating System (f/1.4G does implement it), this lens relies on the Super Integrated Coating (SIC) technology to reduce issues such as ghosting and flare. Not a first quality result like what you would see with 'N' lenses, but given its price, that is something that could probably be ignored.

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8GGo to Amazon
One of the lowest priced lenses that Nikon produces also happens to be one of their best. If you search for a 50mm Nikon, you’ll find a few, very similar options. To be honest, they’re all great and perform almost the same. But this one is half the price of the f/1.4 option, works on FX cameras, and also works really well for video too.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
79
Performance:
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80
100
Focus Speed:
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85
100
Weight:
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90
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Features:
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60
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Pros
  • Cheap
  • Lightweight
  • AF-Capable
  • Extremely sharp images
  • Great for street, wedding, landscape or portrait photography
Cons
  • Considerable Distortion
  • Heavy Vignetting
  • Complicated to clean the front glass element
Click to read the full Review
When the Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 g came to the market in 2011, the intention was to offer a good quality portrait photography lens for either amateur public or professionals, under affordable terms.

Designed as an update of the old Nikon 50 mm f/1.8D, in comparison with its predecessor, adds more optical elements in 6 groups (optical 7 elements in 6 groups compared to the 6 optical elements in 5 groups in the 2002 model). With this upgrade, Nikon guarantees to reduce the Chromatic Aberrations of its predecessor, and to improve the quality of the focus.

Handling: Like most of the Nikon Prime lens models, this one is built with from durable plastic with a metal mount. The addition of a rubber gasket ensures that the camera is not affected by the dust and dirt that might exist in the particular environment where you may be shooting - the 50 mm f/1.8D did not implement this gasket. The change in size in relation to its predecessor is also pretty noticeable, being almost a third of the size larger; however, it is just 95 grams heavier than the Nikon 50 mm f/1.8D. One thing which is important to keep in mind is that, although there is a protective gasket, this is not a weather sealed lens. Exposure to undesirable climates such as rain, snow or extreme temperatures can prove to be risk for this particular lens.

Focus Speed and Accuracy: In comparison with the more expensive version of this lens, the 50mm f/1.4G, it has a better focus speed - speed that sadly acquires by sacrificing a quieter profile. It was not intended to perform exceptionaly in bad lighting conditions, in fact, There are occasions which will require the use of the AF-Assist Lamp to ensure a more accurate focus.

Contrast: This lens does provide excellent performance both in sharpness and reproduction of the captured colors.

Bokeh: It is in the Bokeh effects where this lens has performs incredibly well compared to some of its competitors on the market. If we compare the quality of the Bokeh with its predecessor or the f/1.4, the results will be fairly similar to the f/1.4, but in a 7 blade instead of the 9 system of the first model. In terms of quality vs price, f/1.8 wins.

As a wide angle lens that is, the effects of Vignetting will be very evident, so it will be necessary to resort to photo editing tools to compensate for these values. Distortion values are so rare that they should not be taken into account in most cases.

Ghosting and Glare situations are properly regulated, despite not having Nano Crystal Coating (works with SIC); which can be even improved using a lens hood or a UV filter.

AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8GGo to Amazon
Although a budget portrait lens, this one really performs well above its price range. If you’re adding to your lineup with some lower cost prime lenses, this is a great portrait lens to have. It’s not fancy, but it gets the job done with very few restrictions.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
62
Performance:
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75
100
Focus Speed:
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80
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Weight:
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52
100
Features:
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40
100
Pros
  • AF-Capable
  • Exceptional resolution and contrast
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
Cons
  • A bit expensive for being a prime lens
  • Heavy Chromatic Aberration
  • Prone to Distortions
  • Can show some Ghosting
  • Front/back focusing issues
  • Not weather sealed
Click to read the full Review
The first Prime lens designed for portrait photography in this list. It was released in January of 2012, falling into the modern category of lenses (this is the reason why its price tends be slightly higher when compared to similar models). First of all, we must keep in mind that, unlike zoom lenses, this lens has more of a consumer approach to it - which does not imply that it may not be used by professionals.

Designed to work well with both Crop Factor (DX) cameras and Full Frame (FX) cameras; to be the equivalent to 128mm when used with the Crop Factor, which can be considerably narrow for portrait photography in many cases.

Handling: Similar to other Nikon models, this model is built with a durable plastic and metal mount, then adding a rubber gasket to ensure that the camera is not affected by dust or other elements that may exist in the environment where you are shooting. Despite having a larger appearance than its close relative, the f/1.4G, this model is actually much lighter, having nearly half of its weight. This lens was not designed to be exposed to extreme weather conditions (unlike the zoom models), so it should not be a surprise that it is not weather sealed. It is a good idea to be a little cautious of the environments and climates that this lens is used in.

Focus Speed and Accuracy: compared to similar models on the market, it has more than an acceptable level of performance; not being full appreciated for its differences between photographs captured either indoors or outdoors. Note that it is particularly important to be mindful of the need to calibrate the focus in very low light situations.

Contrast: This lens displays excellent performance both in sharpness and the correct reproduction of the captured colors.

Bokeh: Bokeh effects are one of the strong points of this lens, creating very convincing results to different viewers.

Given its similarity to wide angle lenses, Vignetting effects are going to be very evident, so it will be necessary to resort to photo editing tools to compensate for these values. The distortion values are so rare that they should not be taken into account in most cases.

AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-EDGo to Amazon
This is the macro lens to get for your Nikon camera. With the 1:1 magnification ratio, combined with its long focal length, this lens has the ability to capture some incredibly detailed images. It’s fairly heavy, but that probably won't seem like a big deal once you see what this lens can really do.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
75
Performance:
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90
100
Focus Speed:
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80
100
Weight:
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50
100
Features:
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80
100
Pros
  • AF-Capable
  • Nano Crystal Coating technology
  • Internal Focussing
  • Extremely Sharp images
  • Lovely Bokeh Effects
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • tendency to experience minor vibration
Click to read the full Review
introduced by Nikon (in 2006) as the world's first macro lens equipped with the Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and Vibration Reduction (VR) system, this lens is a jewel as far as technology is concerned. Additionally, this lens features Nano Crystal Coating (N), Extra Low Dispersion (ED) and Internal Focusing (IF) as well.

Handling: Given the fact that this is a larger sized model because of being macro lens (focal length), it will be considerably heavier than most other Prime lenses that you may be familiar with. Like a lot of Nikon's other lenses, this model is also constructed of durable plastic with a metal mount. The AF-S VR Micro also has a rubber gasket to prevent elements such as dust from entering the inside the camera. It is not a weather sealed lens, so as with other lenses mentioned previously, is entirely up to the user whether or not to expose the gear to extreme weather conditions.

Focus Speed and Accuracy: Thanks to VRII system built into this lens, photographers can work, in terms of shutter speed, up to 4 times lower than the usual values; however the closer you get, it tends to produce minimum (expected) vibration. Depending on the case, this may compromise the end result, with regards to sharpness.

Contrast: This lens offers excellent performance in both sharpness and the reproduction of captured colors.
Bokeh: The performance in this respect is enviable for creating Bokeh effects! Nikon certainly doesn't disappoint with this one, this lens is equipped with a 9-blade diaphragm system, capable of creating realistic bokeh effects.

With regards to vignetting, the effect is not quite as noticeable in contrast to other Primes lenses out there; perhaps because of its proximity of characteristics to Zoom models.

Geometric distortions could possibly be noticeable, but only in cases of being very close to the subject and, above all, with situations like architecture,landscape, and urban photography.

AF DC-NIKKOR 135 f/2DGo to Amazon
This unique lens features a “defocusing control,” which allows you to control the effect of out-of-focus areas. It’s hard to describe but if you scroll through these Flickr images taken with this lens, you’ll see why people love it. It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you want to add a recognizable quality to your images, then this lens can’t be beat. But be careful, it's older technology that may not be compatible with all modern DSLRs.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
68
Performance:
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80
100
Focus Speed:
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80
100
Weight:
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40
100
Features:
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70
100
Pros
  • AF-Capable
  • great for Portraits
  • Ideal Bokeh effects
Cons
  • Expensive, Heavy, Doesn't have many electronic improvements
Click to read the full Review
It is known to the experts by many names, but many share the same position, that this lens is definition of a "Portrait Lens", especially with regards to its characteristics and overall performance.

With the nomenclature DC (referring to De-Focus Control) in its name, this lens is designed to have greater control of the Bokeh effects by avoiding things like focus softening or anti-aliasing effects. How is the Bokeh effect actually controlled? The lens will display a ring with options for the aperture numerical range, from F to R. Values for F will show a greater focus in the background, while the values for R mellow it out a bit, disappearing with Bokeh effect. These effects are not as pronounced as they seem; being more significant after capturing the image rather than when looking through the viewfinder. And what happens if we leave the ring at the midpoint? This setting will give the user an excellent lens for portrait photography, offering incredible sharpness quality.

Handling: Due to its general build and capabilities, this considerably larger sized lens; mainly made of mechanical elements, its weight is something worth considering for some. The lens is constructed mostly of high strength materials, with a metal mount and that familiar rubber gasket. Unlike other Prime lenses, this model does feature weather sealing to protect its more complex mechanical interior, so it withstand a lot more different types of environments. This make it especially great for traveling.

Focus Speed and Accuracy: Considering that this lens designed with 1995 technology, electronic focus optimization systems were virtually non-existent, so 75% of the time, or more, The user will most likely need to rely manual focus. Although, this can be a good thing for some users.
Contrast: It offers excellent performance with regards to sharpness, as well as an accurate reproduction of the colors which are captured.

Bokeh: This model performs well with creating realistic Bokeh effects! Since Nikon tends not to disappoint with this, the lens is equipped with a 9-blade diaphragm system, which is more than capable getting the job done well.

Regarding the Vignetting, The effect is not very noticeable, especially in comparison to other Prime lenses. Perhaps this is partially due to its similarity in characteristics to Zoom models.

Geometric distortions may be noticeable in situations where the camera is used in very close proximity to the subject, or in environments such as architecture, landscape or urban photography.

Zooms

 

AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G EDGo to Amazon
This is arguably the absolute best lens that Nikon makes. It might be the best lens in the world. No joke. The focal range encompasses basically every wide-angle, aside from fish eyes, in a fairly compact form. It’s a super useful lens. But it is also as sharp as or sharper than any prime lens. That’s basically a miracle for any zoom lens, let alone a wide-angle zoom. If you can afford this lens, then definitely get it.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
77
Performance:
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97
100
Focus Speed:
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92
100
Weight:
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50
100
Features:
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70
100
Pros
  • AF-Capable
  • Ultra Wide Angle lens
  • Extreme Sharpness
  • Fish-Eye related
Cons
  • Really Expensive
  • Heavy
  • incompatible with Filters
Click to read the full Review
An outstanding from all the way back in August of 2007, this one is still going strong! Designated as Nikon's flagship of ultra wide-angle lenses, the Nikon 14-24 mm f/2.8 G is the world's first 14 mm lens with a constant aperture of f/2. 8 g; with the capability of surpassing many others on the long list of lenses of its kind.

It was designed for a wide variety of scenarios: from landscape or architectural photography, to fashion or press photography. Although it was designed for use with Full-Frame cameras, it can be adapted to the Crop Factor function, turning it into a long term investment. (keep in mind that when used with Crop Factor , the lens would become a 21 - 36 mm equivalent, losing 7 mm in the process, which is significant).
The ED denomination in this lens's title refers to the Extra-Low Dispersion system, which refers to the technology designed to reduce chromatic aberration; which combined with a Silent Wave Motor (SWM/AF-S), will ensure greater shooting accuracy without compromising the capture speed. Nano Crystal Coating is added to this lens as well, which is intended to reduce the effects of ghosting and flares.

Despite being a considerably heavy lens (a common feature in the zoom lens), its atcual major drawback is the inability to use filters due to its ultra wide angle (the natural curvature of the lens does not physically allow the use of filters). This can be a serious drawback in committed lighting situations or if the photographer is too used to incorporating filters in a lot of their work.

Handling: As well as other top-class Nikon models, this lens is constructed primarily of metal, which explains its characteristic weight; however, the non-removable hood is made of plastic. Having a fixed hood can be annoying at first, especially if you are not used to working with hoods; and because of this the length of the lens does not change in spite of adjusting the focal length. the lens is resistant to multiple types of weather conditions, such as snow or heavy rain; it is also capable of working under extreme temperatures.

Focus Speed and Accuracy: An agile lens, this model provides a more than adequate amount of performance in most situations. The SWM (Silent Wave Motor) system ensures perfect image quality; despite terrible lighting conditions, its maximum aperture value (like others) will not have any problem meeting the challenges of such a scenario, achieving a clear and precise focus.

Contrast: When working with a fixed f/2.8 lens the corner and mid-frame performance it is not the same in comparison to other zoom lenses. The user will notice that the focus plane will experience a slight curvature to spherical mode, which will produce a picture with great focus and detail in the center, then softening towards the edges. The contrast will be incredible, deserving to be labeled as Nikon's flagship lens, in this respect.

Bokeh: Bokeh effects will not be the forte of this particular lens, given its characteristic of being ultra wide-angle, and also by the notorious Vignetting around the edges.

As an ultra wide-angle lens, This model will be susceptible to a pronounced Vignetting as well as considerable optical distortions (perhaps even more than in other lenses, especially if we capture images at a relatively close distance to the subject of the photograph). Further correction through photo editing software will be absolutely necessary.

AF-S NIKKOR 24-70 f/2.8G EDGo to Amazon
Just about every manufacturer has a lens just like this one, and they’re all very good. The photography industry as a whole has figured this lens out. Manufacturers know how to make it, and photographers want it because this type of lens basically covers every focal length that you would generally need. If you could only have one Nikon lens, this is probably your best bet.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
63
Performance:
0
92
100
Focus Speed:
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90
100
Weight:
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30
100
Features:
0
40
100
Pros
  • AF-Capable
  • Superb Contrast and Color
  • Solid construction with superior weather sealing
  • Works great with Circular Filters
Cons
  • Really Expensive, Heavy, Does not include Hood, Requires a tripod
  • Some heavy vignetting may be noticeable at 24 mm
Click to read the full Review
This is another lens that has done well in the market for quite a while (launched in 2007), so it definitely shouldn't be discarded. Versatile and practical, this is a lens that should be part of the basic equipment used by any dedicated photographer.

It was intended mainly for wide-angle landscapes, such as panoramic photographs; however, it also works very well for portraits and different kinds of events. Given its constant aperture of f/2.8 it can be used more comfortably in a variety of weather conditions and lighting without compromising image sharpness, richness of tones and contrast quality.

It has 15 lens elements in 11 groups, with 3 of them ED (Extra Low Dispersion) to ensure chromatic aberration reduction and sharpness. At the same time, it also implements the technology signified as N, which denotes the use of Nano Crystal Coating. As we have seen in other lenses with this technology, it is intended to minimize the effects of intense lighting.

Handling: One thing that is important to keep in mind, is that this lens is a member of the Nikon investment club: Very expensive, but capable of lasting for a lifetime; It is primarily built of sturdy metal, which, while it affects our performance by its weight, it allows us to use it in more extreme temperatures (below - 20 ° C or above 40 ° C), or even under normally compromising conditions such as snow or torrential rain.

Focus Speed and Accuracy: Agile and able enough to provide an adequate amount of performance in most situations, the SWM (Silent Wave Motor) system ensures perfect image quality; in very bad lighting conditions is where this lens knows how to shine, ensuring the photographer a clear and precise.

Contrast: When working with a fixed f/2.8 aperture lens, the corner and mid-frame performance won't be the same in comparison to other zoom lenses. The most noticeable aspect is that the focus plane will experience a slight curvature to spherical mode, which will in turn produce an effect with great focus and detail in the center, then softening more towards the edges.

Bokeh: Bokeh really isn't one of the strong points of this lens, since it was not designed with the intention of capturing portraits; It is able to isolate elements to create interesting compositions, but you will not have the same power to recreate DOF effects that you would with some prime lenses.

In terms of optical performance, this lens is able to adapt to any scenario; however, with its maximum focal length of 24 mm you will experience Vignetting, which will become even more noticeable when using filters. If you stack several filters, the Vignetting effect will be too pronounced.

The optical distortion is also another one of the aspects to consider, given its 24 mm format, which can be quickly compensated for by using photo editing software.

70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR IIGo to Amazon
Part of the f/2.8 zoom trio, this lens has an impressive aperture and reach, while also incorporating Nikon’s latest image stabilization technology. And IS is particularly important with a telephoto lens like this, allowing the user to be able to get some sharp images, even in low light environments.
Watch video review
Overall rating:
74
Performance:
0
95
100
Focus Speed:
0
80
100
Weight:
0
20
100
Features:
0
100
100
Pros
  • AF-Capable
  • Superior Sharpness
  • Almost distortion-free model
  • Larger FoV
Cons
  • Really expensive
  • Heavy
  • Requires a tripod
Click to read the full Review
We conclude this list of the best lenses for Nikon cameras with this "petite" lens, which was introduced in 2009. It inherits a few of the features from the old Nikon 80-200 mm which was released back in the 1980s, and is a lens primarily used by photojournalists, action, wildlife photographers and even portrait photographers.

As part of its monitoring and review process, this lens was no exception. While it does maintain some of the older features from its predecessor, this model also includes new technology in its build such as Nano Crystal Coating (signified by the 'N' in the title), which, as we have seen in other lenses, is intended to minimize the effects of intense lighting conditions. Nikon also added more ED (Extra Low Dispersion), making this lens even sharper than its previous version. Additionally, the VR II vibration reduction system is also part of this updated version's design.

Handling: Lenses like this are quality pieces of equipment that will serve you well for a lifetime; While it is an expensive lens, it will be an investment more of a longterm investment, even more so if paired with a Full-Frame Camera. Constructed of solid metal, its weight is one drawback worth considering, so having a heavy duty tripod is a necessity. The lens has a focus ring near the end, which enables the user to utilize the manual focus when the situation requires it.

Focus Speed and Accuracy: In regards to focus speed, this is one of Nikon's trademarks. The SWM (Silent Wave Motor) system ensures picture-perfect quality, even in poor lighting conditions, without compromising too much of the capturing speed.

Contrast: As expected from a lens like this, characteristics like the contrast are first rate, without compromising the quality of the sharpness that this lens offer in the least.

Bokeh: Another amazing feature of this lens is the exceptional Bokeh effects that it allows the user to achieve. You will have clearly defined transitions that will collaborate perfectly with the final composition of the image, something that cannot always be said in the majority of situations.

Vignetting effects can be noticeable with backgrounds comprised of light colors, such as white, ivory or some greyscale. However, it is correctable by properly adjusting the camera aperture values. But, challenges like this should not intimidate the user to the point of thinking that they won't be able to capture a great photo.

We hope you found this guide to be useful for the future adventures with your Nikon camera. Good luck and happy shooting sessions!

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Rating: 5.00 based on 2 Ratings

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Nathaniel Eames
I'm a writer and photographer living in Brooklyn, specializing in product, architectural, and fine art photography. I have studied art in multiple mediums around the world and graduated with a degree in philosophy, art, and physics. Though I have been a practicing film photographer since I was 13 years old, I am also a tech-geek who keeps up-to-date on the latest advancements in the industry

Comments (1)

  1. Cat Guest
     

    The 24-70 and the 70-200 require a tripod?!? Only when you are too old to hold your camera. But then any other lens will also require a tripod.

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