This article may contain affiliate links. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
There are so many Nikon DSLR lenses available in 2021, that knowing where to start can be overwhelming.
We made a list of the best budget Nikon lenses. Although many lenses are expensive, these affordable Nikon lenses offer outstanding performance at a reasonable price.
Best Budget Nikon Lenses in 2021
1. Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6
Best Budget Nikon Lens
Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens with Built-in Motor for Nikon Digital SLR (Model A17NII)
The AF 70-300mm is certainly meant to be used for wildlife and sports photography. The focal length of 300 mm, which translates to 480 mm (effective) on an APS-C body, is ideal for getting close-ups of shy animals (though for pictures of birds you will likely need even more focal length).
The maximum aperture of f/5.6 (at this focal length) is mediocre, but to get lower f-stops you will have to spend seriously more money. The lens is best used on a tripod at this focal length because it doesn’t have an image stabilizer. But alternate supports such as a bean bag are equally as good.
Tamron 70-300mm is designed for use with full-frame and APS-C camera systems, from 70-300 mm to 4-5.6. The effective zoom range is 105-450 mm, with Canon cameras, a slightly longer at 112-480 mm. It is available for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sony. It has a built-in motor for quick and accurate focus.
The AF 70-300 mmF/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO1:2 has a decent look and a quite rugged look. Since the mounting is of plastic, obviously, it is more prone to wear than metal lens mounts. The zoom ring is wide and well-crafted, but it doesn’t zoom very smoothly. There is no zoom lock on the lens, but you won’t miss it because the focus is sticky. The focal ring is placed smoothly while the focus is smaller. During autofocus operation, the lens can not manually override, so that you have to use the switch between autofocus and manual operation.
Low dispersion (LD) glass elements in a lens help reduce chromatic aberration, the tendency of light of different colors to come to different points of focus at the image plane. Chromatic aberration reduces the sharpness of an image. Still, glass with an extremely low dispersion index has less of a tendency to separate a ray of light into a rainbow of colors. This characteristic allows the lens designer to effectively compensate for chromatic aberration at the center of the field, a particular problem at long focal lengths, and for lateral chromatic aberration that often occurs at short focal lengths (the wide-angle end of the zoom range).
|Maximum Magnification Ratio||1:2|
|Angle of View||8° – 34°|
2. Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3
Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC All-in-One Zoom for Nikon APS-C Digital SLR
Di II VC’s Tamron 18-200 F3.5-6.3 is a compact superzoom lens for the Nikon / C Canon / Sony (A-mounted) APS-C cameras. The zoom range of the lens on the APS-C systems equals 28-310 mm and the integrated image stabilizer helps reduce the effects of the camera shake (models Canon and Nikon only).
See Also: Best Budget Telescope Eyepieces
A DC engine gear train is used for the newly designed autofocus system, which is more efficient and quiet than conventional motorized DC systems. It is only about 3.7 to 3.8 inches long and weights 14 pounds.
Sharpness varies across the lens spectrum, but it is clear from the very start that the center of the picture and shorter focal lengths show higher levels of performance. At 18 mm, central sharpness is exceptional, from full aperture to f / 11 exceeding amazing. At f/16 it remains quite strong and only f/22 fall to average.
|Focal Length||18mm – 200mm|
|Angle of View||7.59° – 75.33°|
|Maximum Aperture||f/3.5 – f/6.3|
|Minimum Aperture||f/22 – f/40|
3. Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8
The 35 mm DX Nikkor is very light and thin. It measures 2.1 inches by 2.8 inches (HD) and weights 7.1 pounds. A removable lens cap and a soft drawstring pouch are included as well as the back and front caps. The barrel is polycarbonate and the mounting for the lens is metal.
The manual middle ring is a bit down, but most people using this lens rely heavily on the autofocus. The focusing control is mechanical, and even if your camera is powered down you can change the focus, but when it turns it feels rough. While changing the ring, you can almost hear the gears turning within the lens, and it produces a certain noise as they move, making it less than optimal for manual focus images.
When using the optical viewfinder, autofocus is smooth, fast and quiet. Once switching to Live View it remains quiet, but the contrast focus for rear LCD pictures and video used by Nikon SLRs demands that the light search back and forth before the focus is locked. It is not a slow process, but it is less than optimal for tracking moving subjects.
The focus measured from the image sensor is available after 11.8 inches. The lens doesn’t fit into macro terrain, yet you can catch small details – not as small as you would with a 1:2 or 1:1 macro lens with the ability to length up objects at 1:6 life-size at their closest focus point.
4. Nikon AF-S 40mm f/2.8
This Nikon 40 mm macro-optic provides a compact and lightweight alternative to Nikon DX digital SLR photography. It has a quiet focusing engine and an improvement in life-size at its closest focusing point.
Weighing only 235g, this lens is amongst the lightest and most compact true macro optics currently available for the Nikon system, which will make it perfect for stowing in the bottom of a camera bag, ready for when it is needed. As a result, it balances very well on the Nikon D300 body used for testing.
See More: Best Portable Monitors For Gaming (2021)
High-quality plastics have been used for much of the construction and the lens mount is made from metal, creating a quality feel. Although this optic makes no claims to be weather resistant, a rubber gasket has been included around the lens mount to prevent the ingress of dust and moisture into the camera.
Manual focusing is achieved by the narrow rubber ring with the right resistance and travel to make fine changes simple. The cap is a rather deep circular case that clips onto the bayonet around the 52 mm filter tube.
|Angle of View||38.5°|
Camera Lens Buyer’s Guide
Zoom vs. Prime
Over the past few years, zoom lenses have become almost ubiquitous, so purchasing a lens that is limited to a single angle of view may seem unnecessary at first look. But prime lenses still have some very real benefits; they tend to be smaller and lighter relative to zooms, have quicker maximum apertures and offer sharper images. Such factors make them extremely useful for specific purposes, such as low light shooting where it is desirable to have a wide maximum aperture.
A regular zoom is a general-purpose lens with a number of focal lengths from wide-angle to medium telephoto. The most obvious example is the kit lens that comes with the camera (usually an 18-55 mm F3.5-5.6 for APS-C), but this can be upgraded to something with a slightly greater range and better optical quality, or a fast maximum F2.8 aperture.
Superzooms are lenses that extend from a moderate to long lens to include a whole range of focal lengths. They combine the range of the kit zoom with the camera, plus that of a telephoto zoom in a single package, making travel lenses perfect. Often the technical image quality isn’t as good as two separate lenses, but for many users, this is more than convenience makes up.
Macro is used to define an extremely close-focusing lens that allows you to take photos of small objects like insects or flowers. Some zoom lenses in their name use’ macro’ to indicate a closer than usual focusing capability, but true macro lenses tend to have fixed focal lengths. Generally the longer the focal length, the further away from your subject you can be. (Nikon instead calls those lenses ‘ Micro’)
Here are some other options available on the market:
- F mount lens/DX format. Picture angle with Nikon DX format 44 degree
- 52.5 millimeter (35-millimeter equivalent). Rear focusing; Manual focus override
- Aperture range: F/1.8 to 22; Dimensions(approx.) 70 x 52.5 millimeter
- Silent wave motor AF system. Accepts filter type is screw on. Lens construction: 8 elements in 6 groups
- Compatible formats is dx and fx in dx crop mode. Maximum reproduction ratio: 0.16x
- Fast, upgraded f/1.8, compact FX format prime lens. The picture angle with 35 millimeter (135) format is 47 degree and the maximum reproduction ratio...
- Focal length 50 millimeter, minimum focus distance 1.48 feet (0.45 meter)
- Newly developed optical system with aspherical lens element, exclusive Nikon silent wave motor (SWM)
- M/a focus mode switch, filter thread 58 millimeter, autofocus: Yes. Dimensions (approx.) (from the camera lens mounting flange): Approximately 2.83...
- Optimized for edge to edge sharpness on both fx and dx format d SLRS
- Maximum magnification of 032x
- Angle of view from 76 degree to 5 degree 20'. Focal length range: 18 300 millimeter, minimum focus distance: 16 feet (048 meter)
- Aperture range from f/35 to f/22
- Angle of view from 76 to 520'
- This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic...
- F-Mount Lens/DX Format 105-450mm (35mm Equivalent)
- Aperture Range: f/4.5-6.3 to f/32 One Extra-Low Dispersion Element
- Super Integrated Coating Pulse Stepping Motor AF System
- Nikon VR Image Stabilization Access Lens Settings in Camera Menu Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm
- LENS ATTACHMENT: Easily screws on to the front of your lens, and instantly expands the field of view for breathtaking wide-angle photography. Features...
- LENS COMPATIBILITIES: Popular 52MM Lens models including Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II, Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G, Canon RF...
- CAMERA MODELS: NIKON DSLR D5 D500 D610 D750 D810 D850 D3500 D3400 D3300 D3200 D3100 D5600 D5500 D5300 D5200 D5100 D7500 D7200 D7100. Also compatible...
- NOTE: PLEASE VERIFY YOUR CAMERA'S LENS THREAD SIZE BEFORE ORDERING. This Wide-Angle is compatible with 52MM lenses only. Lens sizes vary regardless of...
- PREMIUM CUSTOMER SERVICE: Backed with DIGITAL GOJA 90-Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- Note : Autofocus system is compatible with select Nikon DSLRs that support D-type lenses, and offers quick and precise focusing performance. Autofocus...
- Lens not zoomable. Focal Length : 50 millimeter , Minimum Focus Distance - 1.5 ft.( 0.45 meter)
- FX in DX Crop Mode 35 millimeter Film; Lens Case: CL-30S
- NOTE: Refer the User Manual before use. Maximum angle of view (DX-format) 31°30'
- NOTE: Autofocus is not supported by DSLRs lacking an autofocus motor, such as the D3000-series, D5000-series, D40, D40X, and D60, where the Nikon AF...
Last update on 2021-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API