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The best Nikon lenses you can buy

The best Nikon lenses can take your photography to the next level.
February 5, 2022
Macro photography photo of Nikon lens
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Nikon lenses are in high demand, given that 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 searching for the 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.

First: Learn the most important photography terms

The best Nikon lenses

Editor’s note: This list of the best Nikon lenses will be updated regularly as new products launch.

The best Nikon DSLR lenses

Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon lens AF S FX Nikkor 50mm f1.8G
My Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens is by far my most valuable investment in photographyEdgar Cervantes

My 50mm f/1.8 is by far my most valuable investment in photography — I shoot about 70% of my photos with it. These prime lenses have excellent 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 on this list, and it is definitely one of the best Nikon lenses you can get. We believe every photographer should have this Nikon lens.

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

Nikon lenses AF S VR Micro NIKKOR 105mm f2.8G 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.

More: What is macro photography, and how do you shoot it?

This is great for getting close-up shots of everything, but it is also remarkable for general photography and portraits. Not to mention its f/2.8 aperture and long focal distance create beautiful bokeh. Though it is not a cheap Nikon lens, it is an industry favorite and costs under a grand.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Nikon AF S FX NIKKOR 14 24mm f2.8G ED

If you want the absolute best wide-angle Nikon lens and money is no impediment, this one is an absolute jewel. This lens has 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.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR

Nikon AF S FX NIKKOR 24 70 f2.8E
The 24-70mm f/2.8 is the holy grail of Nikon lenses.Edgar Cervantes

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. It doesn’t get much better than this Nikon lens, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for it.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 70 200mm f2.8G ED VR II

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. This is the third lens in the “holy trinity,” and it’s amazing.

Related: The best DSLR cameras you can buy

Glass quality is superb, and it allows you to get very close to faraway subjects while keeping an f/2.8 aperture throughout the focal spectrum. This Nikon lens is incredibly luring to nature photographers, sports shooters, and other action photographers who need high zoom capabilities.

The best Nikon mirrorless lenses

Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Nikon Z 50mm f1.8 S lens

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.

Here: Looking for a mirrorless camera? These are the best!

The 50mm focal length is the closest to what the human eye can see, and these Nikon lens offers excellent image quality, even if this product is not as cheap as its DSLR counterpart.

Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S

Nikon Z 24 70mm F2.8 S lens

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. It’s the favorite focal range out of the holy trinity, so if you’re going to splurge on any lens, it might as well be this one.

Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Z 70 200mm f2.8 VR S

Nikon mirrorless cameras can zoom in, too. You just need the right lens, and this is one of the best Nikon lenses when it comes to telephoto options. The constant f/2.8 aperture is very nice for a lens that can zoom so much, and it will create some gorgeous imagery for portraits, too, offering smooth bokeh and a great perspective.

Nikon Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S

Z MC 105mm f2.8 VR S

Macro lenses are essential for close-up photos, and Nikon now has a great option for its mirrorless cameras. This lens has plenty to offer aside from the 105mm focal length and great f2.8 aperture. You get VR for minimizing shaking blur, and it can focus as close as 0.29m. It will be great for shooting insects, small objects, and other subjects up close.

Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S

Z 50mm f1.2 S

The other 50mm f/1.8 mirrorless lens in this list is great as a best-value proposition, but those who want the absolute best prime lens with a 50mm focal length have another option. The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S comes with an amazingly wide f/1.2 aperture, making it a better alternative for low-light photography, faster shutter speed shooting, and stunning bokeh. The thing about this lens is that it’s costly, but it’s the best of its kind.

Are you looking for a good camera? We have a list of the best Nikon cameras to pair with these lenses. You should also look at our guide of the best cameras for every type of user, and see if any of those convince you to switch brands. Also, keep in mind that while having the best equipment helps, it’s not the most important factor. Check out our photography tips and tricks to improve your images even with lesser quality gear.