Best Nikon Lenses

By Reviewed.com Staff

Buying a new lens is tough, but it's especially tricky when shopping for a Nikon-compatible lens. Since Nikon DSLRs are compatible with pretty much any F-Mount lens from the past forty years, you have a world of options to choose from. Below you'll find the top-scoring Nikon lenses that we've tested, with an emphasis on lenses that provide impeccable image quality above all else.

One thing to keep in mind: not all Nikon lenses will autofocus properly on entry-level Nikon DSLRs. If you've got an entry-level model like the Nikon D3300 or the Nikon D5500, you'll need to get a lens that has its own autofocus motor, such as any of the "AF-S" lenses in Nikon's stable. Other lenses will still work, but you'll need to focus them manually.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Updated February 15, 2017

Advertisement
Expert Score
9.4

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

If you're shooting a Nikon DSLR and you want a top-notch portrait lens, it's hard to do better than the AF-S 85mm f/1.8G. While the pricier f/1.4 has smoother bokeh and shallower depth of field, the f/1.8 arguably has better image quality, is cheaper, and is lighter. It's a perfect storm of portrait goodness that outperformed the 85mm f/1.4 in our lab tests, and at under $500 it won't break the bank, either.

Read Our Review

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G

If you're looking for a pro-grade prime with a normal focal length and a crazy large aperture, Nikon's 35mm f/1.4 certainly fits the bill. One problem? It's very, very expensive, even if it's also very, very good. At well over $1,500 and with the 35mm f/1.8 offering nearly as much quality at a much lower price, you need to think long and hard about whether the extra large f/1.4 aperture is worth the money.

Read Our Review

Where To Buy

$1,533.09 Amazon Buy $1,696.95 Adorama Buy $1,699.99 Best Buy Buy $1,696.95 Walmart Buy

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G ED

Nikon currently has a whopping five 35mm primes in its stable, and this is probably the most appealing of all of them. Though it's not quite as good as the 35mm f/1.4, it also costs almost $1,000 less most of the time. Though having an f/1.4 aperture is appealing for some kinds of photography, this is the Nikon 35mm that nearly everyone should pick up instead.

Read Our Review

Where To Buy

$526.95 Amazon Buy $526.95 Adorama Buy $526.95 Walmart Buy $529.95 Crutchfield Buy

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G

The 50mm lens (or something equivalent to it) is the gold standard for every lens system. Nikon knows: it's got seven different 50mm lenses currently. That's crazy. If you just want the best bang for your buck, skip the others and get this. It's a true pro-grade slab of glass that costs less than $500. That's rare, and every Nikon owner would be wise to snap this up and make it the centerpiece of their kit.

Read Our Review

Where To Buy

$446.95 Amazon Buy $446.95 Adorama Buy $449.99 Best Buy Buy $446.95 Walmart Buy
Advertisement