Do you want to know what the best lens for Nikon D3100 is? Are you looking to find out what lenses work best with Nikon D3100 in 2021?

If so, you are in the right place because:

We present you with the ultimate Nikon D3100 lenses guide that will show you the best Nikon D3100 lenses for each category type of photography.

Intro for Nikon D3100 lenses guide

Picking the perfect lens is not an easy task since there are so many options on the market today.

Many factors influence on lens quality and final look of the photos you capture. What kind of photography are you going to engage the most? Are you a professional photographer, or are you doing it as a hobby?

Most lenses are pricy, and you need to know the answer to all these questions before you make the final purchase.

Don’t worry.

In this buying guide, we will answer all those questions and help you choose the best camera lens for Nikon D3100.

Nikon D3100 is a DSLR DX-format camera with high performance that provides a memorable photography experience.

Nikon announced the D3100 model on August 19, 2010, but it is still a great camera from Nikon. It has a 14.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and EXPEED 2 – Nikon’s image processing that at the time of the release was advanced technology.

This compact and lightweight DSLR camera offers superb quality at a great value.

Nikon D3100 has a vibrant color gradation, whether you shoot outdoor photos or recording FULL HD videos.

If paired with Nikon D3100 suitable lenses, it provides high performance while maintaining noise-free photos and detailed videos.

Nikon D3100 is still a decent camera but can’t achieve its ultimate capability if you use cheap lenses.

You need to upgrade with Nikon D3100 compatible lenses for maximum results.

For this reason:

We present you with a list of the best lenses for each main category so you can relax, knowing you are getting the best images possible with no effort.

We will show you our top picks and even mention some alternatives. By the end of this guide, you will find the lens that is best for your needs.

It is essential to notice that our team tests each lens we recommend in real-life performance. Then we analyze results and compare them to other well-known lenses to come up with a winner in each category.

Keep reading to learn which lens is best for the Nikon D3100 camera.

Disclaimer: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

LensTypeShop now
Nikon 18-140mm F/3.5-5.6GAll-in-oneShop now
Nikon 85mm f/1.8GPrimeShop now
Nikon 40mm f/2.8GMacroShop now
Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8Wide-AngleShop now
Nikon 55-200mm F/4-5.6TelephotoShop now

Best all-around lens for everyday photography

1. Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G

Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G is the best all-purpose lens for Nikon D3100 because of the vast versatility it provides.

It goes all the way from wide-angle (18 mm) up to 140mm, which is perfect for opportunity when you need that powerful zoom without any distortion.

Nikon lenses often come with many additional features you don’t get with any other companies, and Nikon 18-140mm is no different.

This autofocus lens has many benefits, and on the top of our list of useful features are Silent Wave Motor for silent and fast autofocus, Vibration reduction for stability, and Extra-low Dispersion that minimizes chromatic aberration.

Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G is an all-in-one lens with high versatility and great value.

This is a trendy lens, mostly because of the perfect focal length that allows you to use only one lens at a time. It is an excellent choice for beginners, vacations, and is convenient enough for any random shoots you may stumble.

It has superior optics, and its colors are vibrant with sharp details. Unless you are looking to spend much more on an all-in-one lens, this is the perfect choice for you.

While testing this lens, we noticed it feels great when holding in hands, the build is solid, and the metal mount provides additional safety.

Considering benefits, and the build quality, we can honestly say it is not the only best all-in-one lens but one of the best Nikon D3100 lenses in general.


  • An excellent build quality
  • SIt has a high-quality metal mount
  • Sharp throughout entire range
  • Lightweight to carry around


  • The zoom ring is stiff
  • Minor distortion issues

Best Prime Lens for Portraits

2. Nikon 85mm f/1.8G

If you are looking for an exceptional prime lens that will work accurately with your Nikon D3100 camera, then you might want to check out this Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lens.

It delivers sharp portraits with precise details and beautiful blur background. The depth of field is good, and objects in the photos will appear more natural.

It has a balanced contrast, fast and precise focus, and premium builds quality. This lens is also lightweight when compared to other portrait lenses out there, which will help you enormously since most of the time, you won’t use a tripod.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is a prime lens with high performance that delivers sharp-looking portraits.

Color saturation is exquisite in Nikon 85mm, but even a little noise it produces can be fixed in post-processing.

This lens is made out of a solid piece of metal, so expect a long life and exceptional build quality that fits great when shooting handheld pictures.


If you are on a lower budget, check out some of the portrait lenses below. They are not quite as good, but they will do the job.


  • Beautiful and smooth bokeh
  • Focus is fast and silent
  • It focuses very quickly
  • Pictures are very sharp


  • This is a heavy lens
  • Zoom ring isn’t smooth

Best Macro Lens for Macro Photography

3. Nikon 40mm f/2.8G

Nikon 40mm f/2,8G is a macro lens designed for close-up photography that can shoot images from infinity to life-size aspect.

The minimum focusing distance is 0.53 feet, which allows you to get even closer to your subject without loss in quality. It also has a built-in Close-Range Correction System that helps to deliver great-looking shoots even in close-up situations.

Since this lens has a fixed focal length of 40mm, it is not zoomable, and you will need to physically move closer or further depending on the photo you want.

It is also versatile and is perfect for many occasions, such as weddings, street photography, and even portraits.

Nikon 40mm f/2,8G is a macro lens with the highest value on our list that shot sharp images with precise details.

Nikon 40mm f/2,8G is a macro lens for beginners, and there are many better lenses out there, one of them is Nikon 105mm.

Here’s the thing:

When we were testing this lens, it didn’t show excellent results in low-light areas such as clubs or any outdoor place with low-light conditions. So if your main focus is on night photography, you might want to check out alternatives.

Other than that; it does a fantastic job, especially when we are talking about macro photography. Build quality is superb, bokeh is beautiful, and images are sharper than we precipitated. It is regarded as one of the best macro lenses for Nikon D3100.

If you are a beginner or on a low budget and you need a lens for macro photography, you can’t go wrong with Nikon 40mm. If money is not an issue, then check out the 105mm option or maybe even the 90mm lens from Tamron.


  • Great manual focus feel
  • Macro feature works like a charm
  • Lens is lightweight
  • f/2.8 is great for general photography


  • Auto-focus performance in low-light
  • You must get close to subject for 1:1

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Landscapes

4. Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is the best wide-angle lens for Nikon D3100 that is perfect for nature shots, landscapes, and indoor photography.

It offers a short focal length spectrum, from 11mm to 16mm, but it is very sharp in all ranges. There is slight vignetting at 11mm but tolerable.

This lens might not have all the features such as lenses from Nikon, but it is very well built, and the manual/auto slip ring is fantastic. It takes some time to get used to it, but after that, you will appreciate it even more.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is one of the best wide-angle lenses for Nikon D3100 that offers excellent value and produces professional-looking photos.

One thing that might repulse you from buying this Tokina lens is its short focal length when compared to other options out there, and in that case, you might want to check out alternatives.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens is designed with one goal and for a specific photography type. This is a lens for photographers who want a lens that is more versatile but is still able to get beautiful wide-angle shots.


It is well known that Tokina company cut corners on less important stuff to make better optics. So you can expect to focus on being a little bit clumsy in low light, lens cap has some issues, and the lens itself is massive!

But it makes for all of this by sharpness, and there is no vignetting. The angle of view on this landscape lens is perfect for topography and nature shoots. This Nikon D3100 wide-angle lens provides exceptional value for photographers who are looking for a budget lens with high specs.


  • Sharp from 12mm to 16mm
  • Effective manual/auto slip ring
  • It feels very well built
  • Excellent value


  • Slight vignetting at 11mm
  • Short focal range compared to others

Best Telephoto Lens for Wildlife Photography

5. Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6

It was a hard choice to decide on what is the best long-range lens for Nikon D3100, but in the end, we agree upon Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G.

This zoom lens for Nikon D3100 is versatile enough that it can be used as a portrait or even a Nikon D3100 video lens, but it has a powerful zoom for action and wildlife photography.

Autofocus is not the fastest, but it’s silent and works well most of the time. If you are looking to photoshoot sports events, this lens works wonders.

Build quality is good, and vibration reduction helps for more constituent images and videos while maintaining accurate details and vibrant photos. It has a built-in VR with 4.0 stops of blur-free handheld shooting for more precise shooting.

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G is our top pick for a zoom lens at a decent price range.

There is a slight loss of sharpness at the high end of the focal length range, but since this is a case with many Nikon D3100 telephoto lenses, we weren’t too worried about it.


If you are looking for a more premium Nikon D3100 telephoto lens, check out Nikon or Sigma lens below since they can go all the way up to 600mm.

When it’s all considered, this Nikon D3100 zoom lens is at least worth checking out.


  • Compact design
  • Fast autofocus speed
  • Excellent value
  • Good build qualiity


  • Doesn’t come with a lens hood
  • Generic rear lens cap

How to Choose Best Nikon D3100 Lens

As you already know, picking the best lenses for Nikon D3100 can be hard because there is not enough information on the internet.

Still, there are a few things you can do to ensure you are making the right purchase. The best way to go about this is to visit a local shop and try out the lens by yourself, after all, the most important thing is that you like the lens personally.

However, if you are not able to do that, make sure to read a couple more reviews on a specific lens.

If you still can’t decide what the best lens for you is, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us by clicking here. We usually answer within 24 hours.


Our team tests each lens and compares the pictures taken with other lenses in the same price range. We also look for build quality, performance, and personal experience.

Check out other tutorials on our sites such as Nikon D5200 lenses and Nikon D5000 lenses.

In this Nikon D3100 lenses guide, we didn’t mention fisheye lenses since we didn’t test those, and we feel like there is not enough interest.

All lenses for other types of photography are mention and carefully tested by our team in real-life conditions.

So any lens that is our top choice is worth considering, and we even suggested a few alternatives for each category to diversity.

We hope our guide for the best Nikon D3100 lenses will help you to choose one that works best for you.

These are 5 MUST-HAVE lenses for Nikon D3100 in 2021 (Ultimate Guide)
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These are 5 MUST-HAVE lenses for Nikon D3100 in 2021 (Ultimate Guide)
Discover 5 lenses you must have for Nikon D3100 in 2021. We reveal 5 most powerful lenses to enhance your Nikon D3100 performance today.
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