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13 Best Lenses for Nikon D5500

By Edward Avedon / September 14, 2016
Best Lenses for Nikon D5500

At this very moment, Nikon D5500 stands as one of the best, if not
the best SLR on the market, all thanks to a string of fresh features that exceed the technical standards of majority of models we've seen so far.

The product's super light weight of mere 14.2 ounces, along with a redesigned body, and a fully-operational touch screen on the rear LCD are just some of the changes that this puppy brings to the table.

Having said that, it is widely known within camera enthusiasts' circles that no matter how good set of properties a stock camera has, they simply cannot unveil their full potential unless you equip them with a powerful lens. To discuss this further, and hopefully help you decide yourself for your own set, we've assembled a list of lenses that would fit and work optimally for the Nikon D5500.

Before we delve into top Nikon d5500 lenses, however, a couple of words on the various types of lenses and how they get produced. Dig in!

 

Zoom Lenses vs Prime Lenses

 

Starting off with zoom lenses, it is fair to say that they are better well-rounded and offer a greater scope of different kinds of shots than the regular prime lenses.

Best zoom lenses for Nikon D5500 are usually able to cover a wide range of photos, from telephoto to wide angle, making them considerably more versatile and beginner-friendly.

Prime lenses, on the other hand, have a fixed focal length but are much faster and provide a fine quality in the low light settings. Also, they are quite cheaper and lighter than the zoom lenses.

Zoom Lenses vs Prime Lenses  

To be safe, if you're a rookie with cameras but can afford bulkier optics, it would probably be a good idea to get yourself a zoom lens first, since they are more versatile and generally easier to use in all environments.

 

The Separate Manufacturing and The Third Party Lenses

 

When choosing a brand new lens, you may as well take into consideration buying one from a third party company. The good thing about them is that they are typically much cheaper than their Nikon counterparts while still managing to retain the majority of the important characteristics.

On the downside, the non-Nikon produced optics do tend to have certain inferior properties. For example, some of the most common issues with the lenses from Sigma (a Japan-based third party company), are their slow autofocus mechanics as well as the decreased sharpness.

This is mainly because these optics are made to fit other types of cameras too, which makes them less well-rounded since they're not concentrated on one model in particular.

Third Party Lenses
 

The most important third party lens manufacturers are Tokina, Tamron, as well as the aforementioned Japan-based Sigma.

Now that we've acquainted ourselves with some of the ins and outs of the versatile world of lenses, let's take a closer look at the detailed characteristics of the models best suited for the Nikon D5500:

 

Best All in One Lens for Nikon D5500

 

Nikon 18-300mm f.3.5.-6.3. VR

By far the best property of this lens is its great versatility, allowing you to cover a great range of different focal lengths without ever changing your optics.

Nikon 18-300 mm f.3.5.-6.3. VR

Compared to the older versions of this model, this one offers all the great characteristics of its predecessors, while being much lighter and cheaper.

For example, it retains the maximum magnification of x32, the minimum focus distance of 1.6 ft, as well as the angle of view from 76 to 520 degrees. About the only downside can be the casual softness or the autofocus acting up then and again.

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II

This bulky all-in-one lens comes equipped with specialized vibration reduction technology, enabling you to create high-quality sharp images no matter what focal length you shoot from.

Nikon 18-200 mm f3.5-5.6 VR II

Additionally, its sturdy build and increased weight (compared with some other Nikon lenses), ensures that you will always make blur-free sharp photos. In our humble opinion, this lens ranks among the sharpest lens for Nikon D5500.

Its limited zoom range, however, means that it wouldn't necessarily prove the best solution if you plan to make some wildlife or distant scenery photos.

If you need a lens precisely for this purpose, then we propose you consider the 300 mm version described above, or read on about some zoom lenses below.

Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Macro OS

If you're a bit tight on your budget and require an all-inclusive versatile lens, then this 18-250 mm solution from Sigma may be a perfect choice for you.

Sigma 18-250 mm f3.5-6.3 Macro OS

It is almost two times cheaper than the models from Nikon, and while this drop in price does come due to certain technical shortcomings, it is safe to say that you won't regret getting yourself one of these Sigma's lenses.

In comparison to the Nikon's lenses, these tend to have problems with the pronounced softness in the corners, and with the less durable barrel. (the lower quality materials used in its build are to blame)

Nevertheless, thanks to its decreased weight and a considerably lower price, this lens still manages to find its audience among the optics connoisseurs.

 

Travel and Portrait Lenses

 

Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR

Boasting some great zoom properties and a fair focal length, this lens can be a perfect option for your travels as it is versatile enough to cover all of your photographic needs, from elaborate wide-angle shots to sophisticated portraits.

Nikon 16-85 mm f3.5-5.6 VR

Thanks to this versatility and the advanced technology it was built in, it also performs brilliantly in the sharpness department, offering a rather quick and reactive autofocus.

Also among its strengths are the significantly reduced distortion as well as the vibration reduction technology which can dramatically enhance the hand-held photos.

All of these impressive characteristics, however, do seem to put this model at a disadvantage when it comes to its price, which is quite high even for a Nikon lens. Overall, this item easily ranks among the finest portrait lenses for Nikon D5500.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8

This petite Nikon prime lens packs a hefty punch despite its small size, as it possesses some great prime lens features typically seen in some of the bigger models.

Nikon 50 mm f1.8

It's fairly sharp and performs pretty well in low light settings, offering an impressive foundation for making high-quality portrait shots.

Also, the autofocus with this model is a real treat, as its speed and sharpness make the preparation process for taking a photo a piece of cake.

Its small size contributes to a great extent to its feather-light properties in the weight department, as it weighs only 6.6 ounces.

All that being said, this compactness quite literally does come at a price, so if you're a bit tight on your budget you might want to consider some of the other portrait models on this list.

Nikon 35mm f/1.8

A slightly less expensive solution possessing almost all of the most important characteristics of the Nikon's 50 mm model, comes in the shape of this 35 mm lens, which will definitely not let you down during your traveling photo exploits.

Nikon 35mm f1.8

Like the 50 mm model before, this one, too, features great sharpness providing for a photographing experience completely devoid of various blurs and imperfections.

Other than that, it also offers some impressive low-light photos, outperforming even some of the bigger and more expensive models on this list.

The only downside of this lens might be its somewhat low-quality plastic build which will probably require some servicing down the road.

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4

Another great alternative to a typical Nikon lens, comes with this 17-70 mm model from Sigma, offering an enviable focal length which will cover long distances with ease.

Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4

What's even better, these awesome range properties do not come at the cost of low light performance, as this lens will perform brilliantly with every light setting within the reach of its focal length.

About the only negative aspect to this model is the visible softness in the corners, particularly noticeable in wide open environments with little room for fine settings.

This, however, turns out to be but a minor issue if we take into account that this 70 mm lens comes at roughly half a price of the Nikon's 80 mm original model.

 

Telephoto Lenses

 

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR

This particular 200 mm model is no longer produced by the Nikon company, having been discarded recently in favor of a newer alternative with roughly the same specifications.

Nikon 55-200mm f4-5.6 VR

The reason for such a decision on Nikon's part is mainly due to its low-quality plastic build, meaning that what you get from the newer 200 mm VR II version pretty much amounts to an improved housing.

The price follows suit with the newer model, being almost twice as expensive as this lens, and in all fairness, while enhanced build quality does present a great improvement, we would still advise you to get yourself the older model, as it is less expensive and offers a proper 200 mm experience.

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR

Offering an incredible 300 mm of zoom, this Nikon's heavy duty lens is definitely among the very best options for telephoto DX-form cameras.

Nikon 55-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR

It's packed with great corrective features, which are crucial for any long-range zoom lens. For example, the advanced vibration reduction this model boasts will enable you to take steady shots without worrying about shaky hands.

Also, it focuses fairly quickly ensuring that you won't miss an important photo-worthy moment somewhere in the distance, and to make this model even more attractive, it features great sharpness regardless of the given distance.

Among its disadvantages, we would count perhaps only the slight underperformance in circumstances with reduced light, as well as the price which can present a proper challenge for your resources.

 

Macro Lenses

 

Nikon 40mm f/2.8 DX Micro

When it comes to the precise photography and recording some still lifes, this Nikon's 40 mm solution would probably be one of the best solutions currently on the market.

Nikon 40mm f2.8 DX Micro

It delivers exactly where it needs to, with its enhanced sharpness properties enabling you to make detailed and clear photos at a close distance.

The minimum focusing distance is at 6.4 inches, leaving plenty of room to catch even the smallest details of your subject of choice. It is, therefore, the optimal weapon of choice if you plan to take shots of food, or various products at a close distance, for advertisement purposes for example.

Also, it is quite inexpensive for a Nikon product, meaning that once in a while you get the top quality for an agreeable price.

 

Wide-Angle Lenses

 

Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5

This Nikon's wide-angle model presents probably one of the best options for taking photos in a wide open environment. Compared with other wide-angle models, this lens easily outclasses them in the sharpness and wideness departments, with its superior technology.

Nikon 10-24mm f3.5-4.5

Of course, being ranked among best wide-angle lenses for Nikon D5500, there will be certain distortions at the wide ends, and the low light performance may not be exactly top notch, but when it comes to zoom it shows some rather advanced properties considering its class.

That being said, this lens can be an excellent choice if you plan to take photos of architecture and landscapes, where you will get the very best of its performance.

On the flipside, it doesn't come equipped with a vibration reduction feature, which may present some problems for the beginners.

 

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX II

If the whopping price of the previous model presents a snag for you, then you may want to consider this great alternative from Tokina, offering a fair quality for only half the price of the Nikon's model.

Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 DX II

While it can be said to underperform in comparison to Nikon's lens, this Tokina's solution still offers some impressive properties, especially when it comes to its surprisingly delicate sharpness and a fair low-light performance.

This lens would perhaps be best suitable for some outdoors events with a lot of people and a diminished light setting, like in weddings and various other similar events.

The reason this wouldn't really work as well with landscape photography is the rather pronounced distortion at the ends, making it unfit for environments where you need to take your shots at a greater distance.

 

Kit Lenses

 

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II

Brilliant for beginners and casual photography enthusiasts, this Nikon's 55 mm lens is one of the best options for the everyday unofficial photos.

Nikon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR II

Should you attempt to take some long distance photos, you may experience some heavy distortion of course, but this can be corrected up to a point using the built-in option in the camera itself. Other than that, it's not really advisable to use it in low light settings.

All in all, this model is a great beginner's kit lens which will provide you a great introduction to the world of photography. If you are a more advanced photographer, check out some of the other models on this list and you will surely find just what you need!

 

Conclusion

And this wraps up our list of best lenses for Nikon D5500! We hope you enjoyed the ride, now it's only a matter of jotting down your exact needs and singling out your perfect match. Happy shopping!

About the author

Edward Avedon

I am 22 years old student at Columbia University in New York. From young age I discovered love for photography and its been my hobby ever since! Join me on my journey with one goal: to live from my hobby - photography!

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