Nikon lenses are sure to be in high demand, given the company is one of the two photography giants. Whether you are a beginner looking to upgrade from your kit lens, or a seasoned photographer looking for your next optical upgrade, there’s a wide selection of Nikon lenses at your disposal.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the best Nikon lens in a sea of options, so we are making the task easier by curating a list of the very best Nikon glass in the market.
The best Nikon lenses:
Editor’s note: This list of the best Nikon lenses will be updated regularly as new products launch.
1. Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
My Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens is by far my most valuable investment in photography
My 50mm f/1.8 is by far my most valuable investment in photography — I shoot like 70% of my photos with it. These prime lenses have great image quality. The 50mm focal length is ideal for many purposes, and the f/1.8 aperture is plenty fast. Most importantly, these 50mm f/1.8 lenses tend to be insanely affordable. This is the cheapest lens in this list, and it is definitely one of the best Nikon lenses you can get. We believe every photographer should have this Nikon lens in their bag.
2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR
Nikon lenses can get very expensive, so those looking to spend less on glass in the long run will love this product. The focal length on this Nikon lens is 24-120mm, which means it can be used for a wide variety of photos. Whether you want a wide shot of a scene or a sports close-up, this Nikon lens has you covered. And while the aperture isn’t as wide as some competitors, you get an f/4 aperture throughout the whole focal length. That’s not easy to find.
3. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
Everyone needs a good macro lens in their camera bag. Macro lenses allow the shooter to focus at very close distances, and this Nikon lens has a minimum focus distance of 1.03ft. That is very close considering the focal length is 105mm.
This is great for getting close-up shots of everything, but it is also amazing for general photography and portraits. Not to mention its f/2.8 aperture and long focal distance create a beautiful bokeh. Though it is not a cheap Nikon lens, it is an industry favorite and costs under a grand.
4. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
We don't like recommending Nikon DX lenses, but FX glass can cost five times the price.
We don’t like recommending DX lenses made for APS-C cameras because it’s better to future-proof yourself. By getting FX lenses you are able to take your expensive Nikon lenses with you once you upgrade to a full frame camera. With that said, we still wanted to include an relateively inexpensive Nikon lens for wide-angle shots, as the other worthy competitor is much more expensive. This lens can take great scenic photos thanks to its 12-24mm focal length. Its aperture is not as wide, but f/4 works well and the aperture is the same across the whole focal range.
5. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
If you want the absolute best wide-angle Nikon lens and money is no impediment, this one is a total jewel. This lens comes with a 14-24mm focal length and an f/2.8 non-variable aperture. This means the aperture doesn’t close up as you zoom in. This is the first lens of what photographers call the “holy trinity” of lenses, which is a collection of three lenses that should be in every pro photographer’s repertoire. The other two are right below.
6. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR
The 24-70mm f/2.8 is the holy grail of Nikon lenses.
The 24-70mm f/2.8 is considered the holy grail of Nikon lenses. Any professional has or wants this beauty for its great glass and wide f/2.8 aperture. The 24-70mm focal length is also great for most general photography purposes. It doesn’t get much better than this Nikon lens, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for it.
7. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR
While we are listing the best Nikon lenses money can buy, the company also offers a super expensive f/2.8 lens with a 70-200mm focal length.
Related: The best DSLR cameras you can buy
This is the third lens in the “holy trinity” and it’s amazing. Glass quality is superb and it allows you to get very close to faraway subjects while keeping an f/2.8 aperture all through the focal spectrum.
8. Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S
Mirrorless cameras are the future of photography, and those with a Nikon Z camera have newer, smaller lens options to choose from. If you are looking to invest in Nikon lenses using the Z mount, our first recommendation is a 50mm f/1.8 prime.
The 50mm focal length is the closest to what the human eye can see, and these Nikon lens offers great image quality, even if this product is not as cheap as its DSLR counterpart.
9. Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S
We keep praising the 50mm fast lenses, and this Nikon lens is definitely the best in its category. It definitely won’t come cheap, though. You best be prepared to pay over $2,000 for this one, but it’s all that and a bit more.
This 50mm lens is made for Z Mount mirrorless cameras and it comes with an f/1.2 aperture, which is nearly impossible to find unless you’re willing to pay up. This means you can capture more light and speed up your shutter speed. At the same time, it will create the creamiest and most gorgeous bokeh.
10. Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S
Get your wallets ready, because this high-end Z mount Nikon lens won’t come cheap! It costs well over two grand, but offers the ideal 24-70mm focal length and an f/2.8 non-variable aperture. It is also smaller than its DSLR counterpart, but image quality continues to trump everything else.
That’s it for our list of the best Nikon lenses you can currently buy. Happy shooting!
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