📸 5 MUST-OWN Lenses For Nikon D3100 In 2024 [Guide]

Jan 12, 2024 | Buying Guides

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 2024?

If so, you are in the right place because:

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

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

Nikon D3100 lenses

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

Most lenses are expensive, and you need to know the answer to all these questions before making 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 at t was advanced technology at the time of the release.

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

Image of Nikon D3100 camera

Nikon D3100 has a vibrant color gradation, whether you shoot outdoor photos or record 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.

It would be best 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 the results and compare them to other well-known lenses to determine a winner in each category.

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

Editor's Choice
Best Runner Up
Best Budget

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G Lens

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens

Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G Lens

Unleash captivating portrait magic with remarkable clarity and mesmerizing bokeh, courtesy of this exceptional lens.

Immerse yourself in breathtaking wide-angle shots and expansive landscapes, powered by a versatile lens that never misses a beat.

Unleash your creative potential without breaking the bank; this lens delivers exceptional performance.

Editor's Choice

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G Lens

Unleash captivating portrait magic with remarkable clarity and mesmerizing bokeh, courtesy of this exceptional lens.

Best Runner Up

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens

Immerse yourself in breathtaking wide-angle shots and expansive landscapes, powered by a versatile lens that never misses a beat.

Best Budget

Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G Lens

Unleash your creative potential without breaking the bank; this lens delivers exceptional performance.


Best all-around lens for everyday photography

Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G Lens

This is a versatile lens from nikon that offers powerfull zoom without any distortion and it also has many features such as Silent Wave Motor.

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

It goes from wide-angle (18 mm) up to 140mm, perfect for opportunities when you need that powerful zoom without distortion.

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

This autofocus lens has many benefits. On top of our list of valuable 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, primarily because of the perfect focal length that allows you to use only one lens at a time. It is an excellent choice for beginners and vacations and is convenient enough for any random shoots you may stumble on.

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

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 the 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 the entire range
  • Lightweight to carry around


  • The zoom ring is stiff
  • Minor distortion issues


Best Prime Lens for Portraits

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G Lens

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is a versatile prime lens has beautiful bokeh effect and it is amazing for any kind of weddings, portraits or general photography.

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  • Lens Type: Telephoto
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F (FX)
  • Focal Length Range: 85 mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.80 m
  • Weight: 0.77 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2.87 x 3.15 x 3.15 inches

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

It delivers sharp portraits with precise details and beautiful blur backgrounds. 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 compared to other portrait lenses out there, which will help you enormously since you won’t use a tripod most of the time.

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 of solid 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

Nikon 40mm f/2.8G Lens

Unleash your creative potential: Nikon 40mm f/2.8G Lens captures mesmerizing details with precision and clarity, perfect for macro photography enthusiasts.

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

The minimum focusing distance is 0.53 feet, allowing you to get even closer to your subject without losing 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:

While 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.

Besides 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 the Nikon D3100.

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


  • Great manual focus feel
  • The 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 the subject for 1:1

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Landscapes

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens

This lens for Tokina has good autofocus and an excellent f/2.8 aperture while delivering excellent photos for landscape photography.

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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 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 compared to other options. 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 more versatile lens but can still 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 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

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G Lens

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G is a budget-friendly lens that offers excellent value and decent performance for beginners and amateur photographers.

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

This zoom lens for Nikon D3100 is versatile enough to 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 the 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 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 quality


  • It doesn’t come with a lens hood
  • Generic rear lens cap

FAQ: Finding the Perfect Lenses for Your Nikon D3100

What is the best overall lens for Nikon D3100?

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR is a popular all-around lens choice for the Nikon D3100. Its versatile focal range, Vibration Reduction (VR) for image stabilization, and affordability make it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced photographers alike.

What is the best lens for portrait photography with the Nikon D3100?

For portrait photography, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G stands out. Its fast f/1.8 aperture allows for superb low-light performance and depth of field control, creating beautiful, blurry backgrounds (bokeh) that make subjects stand out.

What is the best wide-angle lens for Nikon D3100?

The Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is a top-rated wide-angle lens. It offers a broad field of view ideal for landscapes and architectural photography, while VR aids in reducing camera shake.

Can I use full-frame lenses on a Nikon D3100?

Yes, you can use full-frame (FX) lenses on the Nikon D3100, which is a crop-sensor (DX) camera. However, keep in mind that the camera will apply a 1.5x crop factor, effectively increasing the lens’s focal length.

What should I consider when buying a lens for my Nikon D3100?

Key factors to consider include your photographic needs and style (e.g., portrait, landscape, wildlife), lens compatibility, focal length, maximum aperture, image stabilization, and budget. It’s also essential to review user reviews and professional assessments.

How to Choose Best Nikon D3100 Lens

As you already know, picking the best lenses for Nikon D3100 can be challenging 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 yourself; the most important thing is that you like the lens personally.

However, if you cannot do that, read a few more reviews on a specific lens.

If you still can’t decide on the best lens, 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 feel there is insufficient interest.

All lenses for other photography types are mentioned 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.

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

Stacy WItten

Stacy WItten

Owner, Writer & Photographer

Stacy Witten, owner and creative force behind LensesPro, delivers expertly crafted content with precision and professional insight. Her extensive background in writing and photography guarantees quality and trust in every review and tutorial.






  1. I am looking for the best lense for action shots (sports, kids hockey to be specific). I have had my D3100 fpr about 10 years and very little use.

    • Hi Kathy,
      For sports photography, my recommendation is the Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8. It offers great performance and I think you will take great photos with it.

  2. I am not a newby but not a pro either… Have had my 3100 for about 6 years and am looking for a new lens…. O have the 10-55 and a 55-300… What lens would you add to my collection?

    • Hi Mike, could you please tell me your budget and what type of photography you are mostly going to do? That depends a lot, there are hundreds of lenses that work great with Nikon D3100, so you will have to be a little more precise.

  3. Thanks it’s very useful i have d3100, i m gonna buy new lens, firstly I was about to selling the camera.

    • Thanks! If you need any additional help about choosing the right Nikon D3100 lens feel free to post another comment.


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