Guide to the Best Nikon Lenses to Buy in 2020

15/04/2020 6:03 AM

As anyone who owns a Nikon camera knows, mirrorless and DSLR cameras from the brand are content creating powerhouses. While Nikon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras take stunning photos and videos on their own, the right lens can take these to the next level and help you make the most of your camera.


But with so many options on the market, how do you know which is best for your camera and photography style? When it comes to choosing a camera lens, a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to cut it. Considerations like your camera type, photography style, and shooting preferences should all be taken into account. Read on to discover our guide to the best Nikon lenses in 2020 and work out which camera lens to buy for your Nikon this year.


Wide Angle Lenses

Most commonly used for architecture, urban, and landscape photography, wide angle lenses help you fit more into your frame. By allowing you to include more in your shot without having to step back,  wide angle lenses help you capture large, complex scenes without compromising on details like texture or colour. This quality also makes them a popular choice for everything from street photography to real estate and wedding photography. In short: They’re a great addition to almost every photographer’s tool kit.

 

 

If you’re ready to dive into the world of Nikon wide angle lenses in 2020, the following is our top pick.

 

 

Best Nikon Lenses - 2020
Best Nikon Lenses - 2020

 

 

 Nikon AF-P 10-20mm VR Zoom

 

  • Suitable for APS-C sensors
  • VR stabilisation
  • Fast AF system
  • Relatively portable
  • Closest focus of just 0.22m

Macro Lenses

 

 

Ideal for anyone who likes to get up close and personal with their subjects, macro lenses offer precise focus on even the smallest subjects. From bugs and insects to flowers and raindrops, macro lenses are a favourite amongst nature photography enthusiasts who appreciate fine details and texture. 

 

Certain macro lenseseven allow 1:1 magnification, which lets you fill your frame with smaller details shown in stunning accuracy. But contrary to what their name suggests, these lenses aren’t just good for close-range captures! Macro lenses can also be put to use for taking intimate, well-focused portrait shots.

 

 

If you’re looking for a Nikon macro lens, the first thing to be mindful of is that the company prefers to use the term “micro”. We recommend the following models.

 

 

 

Best Nikon Lenses - 2020
Best Nikon Lenses - 2020

 

 

 

Nikon AF-S 105mm f2.8 G VR

 

  • VR Stabilisation - handheld macro images are possible
  • F2.8 maximum aperture - creates a good amount of background blur
  • 1:1 magnification
  • Silent Wave Motor - fast, quiet operation
  • Long focal length - gets you up close and personal with your subjects

 

Nikon AF-S 60mm f2.8 G

 

  • Shorter focal length suitable for crop-sensor DSLRs
  • F2.8 maximum aperture - creates a good amount of background blur
  • 1:1 magnification
  • Compact and lightweight
  • ED glass - reduces aberrations and allows crystal clear, detailed images

Telephoto Lenses

 

 

Fan of sports or wildlife photography? Also known as telephoto zoom lenses, telephoto lenses can help close the distance between you and your subject and allow you to shoot far away objects in incredible detail. Wedding photographersalso rely on these lenses to get intimate shots of the happy couple and their guests without getting too close and spoiling the moment.

 

 

If you’re in the market for a Nikon telephoto lens, our recommendations are as follows.

 

 

 

Best Nikon Lenses - 2020
Best Nikon Lenses - 2020

 

Nikon AF-S 200-500mm

 

  • Huge zoom range - excellent for sports and wildlife
  • Constant f5.6 aperture
  • VR stabilisation - blur-free handheld images
  • Tripod collar
  • Silent Wave Motor - fast, quiet operation
  • Compact and lightweight considering its zoom range
  • For use on FX-format and DX-format Nikon DSLRs (300-750mm zoom range on DX-format)

 

Nikon AF-P 70-300mm VR

 

  • High portability for a telephoto zoom lens
  • VR stabilisation - blur-free handheld images
  • STM motor - smooth, fast and quiet Autofocus performance
  • ED glass - reduces aberrations and allows crystal clear, detailed images

Prime Lenses

Prime, or fixed focus lenses from Nikon, are generally more budget-friendly than their zoom counterparts, but still offer plenty of bang for your buck. Prime lenses are known for their edge-to-edge sharpness and faster maximum apertures, meaning that you get exceptional optical quality and enhanced performance in low-light conditions. 

 

Their simpler optical design means that this type of camera lens is not only sharper, but also lighter and more portable than alternatives - the only downside is that you’ll have to get on your feet if you want a closer shot!

 

 

Scroll on to see our two top picks for Nikon prime lenses in 2020.

 

Best Nikon Lenses - 2020
Best Nikon Lenses - 2020

 

 

 

Nikon AF-S 50mm f1.8 G

 

  • Incredibly compact and lightweight
  • Bright f1.8 aperture - shoot in darkness and enjoy very shallow depths of field
  • Aspherical lens element - sharp and detailed images 
  • Silent Wave Motor - fast, quiet operation
  • Classic “normal” field of view
  • When mounted on DX-format cameras, the longer focal length is good for tightly-cropped portraits

 

Nikon AF-S 35mm f1.8 G

 

  • Suitable for DX-format Nikon DSLRs
  • Approximate equivalent focal length of 50mm - a standard focal length for many forms of photography
  • Aspherical lens element - sharp and detailed images 
  • Fast f1.8 aperture  - ideal for handheld travel photographs
  • Very portable and lightweight

Standard Zoom Lenses

Perfect for everyday, general purpose photography, standard zoom lenses are a great pairing for your first DSLR camera. These portable, lightweight, and easy-to-use lenses have a versatile focal length, meaning you can use them for everything from landscapes to portraits. Particularly when you’re new to photography and just working out your style, standard zoom lenses are a great way to try out a little bit of everything without fussing with multiple lenses. As your skills improve, you can experiment with the more specialised lenses in this camera lens guide.

 

 

We recommend the following Nikon standard zoom lenses, which can be used with a number of DX format Nikon DSLRs.

 

Best Nikon Lenses - 2020
Best Nikon Lenses - 2020

 

Nikon AF-P 18-55mm VR

 

  • A great option to grow with
  • Portable and lightweight
  • DX-format - 27-82.5mm equivalent zoom range
  • Stepping AF motor - fast and quiet AF
  • VR stabilisation - blur-free handheld images

 

Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8 VR

 

  • FX compatible
  • Premium optical quality
  • Rugged build quality
  • F2.8 constant aperture - consistent depth of field control throughout
  • VR stabilisation

 

Nikon AF-S 24-120mm VR

 

  • Constant f4 maximum aperture
  • Versatile focal range
  • VR stabilisation - use the full zoom range with confidence
  • Silent Wave Motor and fast and quiet AF 
  • Nano Crystal Coating - excellent colour reproduction and contrast

Improve your photography skills with the right tools in 2020

Whether you’re looking for your first camera lens to buy or your fiftieth, choosing the right lens is always a complex decision. Still, with a bit of careful consideration of your unique needs and options, you can find the perfect lens to take your photography practice to the next level.


Our Nikon camera lens guide is a great place to start your search for a new camera lens, but we have plenty of other resources to help you on the way. Read our 2020 Digital Camera Lens Buying Guide now, or pop into your local Ted’s store to get advice in person!


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