These are 5 MUST-HAVE lenses for Nikon D3200 in 2023 (Ultimate Guide) 📸

Feb 18, 2023 | Buying Guides

Ready to capture breathtaking moments with the best Nikon D3200 lens of 2023?

Say goodbye to the tedious search! With a scarcity of helpful information and lens-buying guides online, we’re here to change the game.

Our concise and catchy guide will unveil the ultimate lens for your Nikon D3200, ensuring unparalleled quality and unforgettable shots.

Are you ready to elevate your photography journey to new heights?

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When it comes to capturing unforgettable moments, the Nikon D3200 is a camera that demands attention. With countless hours spent exploring the potential of various lenses, including extensive testing with the D3200, I’ve uncovered valuable insights that will help you make the most of this remarkable device.

But hold on, I’ve got some exciting results to share:

Editor's Choice
Best Runner Up
Best Budget

Exceptional sharpness and stunning bokeh make this lens a top pick for portraits and macro photography.


With a wide aperture, this lens delivers fantastic image quality and versatility for any photographer.


This is an all-in-one lens that is very versatile, has excellent build quality and bas built-in VR II for steady shots that produces great shots.

Editor's Choice

Exceptional sharpness and stunning bokeh make this lens a top pick for portraits and macro photography.

Best Runner Up

With a wide aperture, this lens delivers fantastic image quality and versatility for any photographer.

Best Budget

This is an all-in-one lens that is very versatile, has excellent build quality and bas built-in VR II for steady shots that produces great shots.

Already own a Nikon D3200 or eager to get your hands on one? Wondering how it performs with different lenses and if it’s worth the investment?

Well, here’s what you need to know:

black and red Nikon D3200 camera with a closed lid on a blue background

Nikon D3200 is a compact camera from the Nikon company, and it was released to the public in April 2012.

Although this is an older model, it’s still quite popular and offers decent performance for what you pay.

It is an excellent choice for beginners and people just starting with photography. If you combine it with a fantastic pair of lenses, it will satisfy even professionals.

It has a 24MP CMOS DX-format sensor that allows for four frames per second of continuous shooting, which, combined with 11 AF points and 3D tracking, offers clear photos with crisp details.

The ability to film full HD video also has decent processing speed thanks to the Expeed 3 processing sensor.

But here’s the problem:

Even tho this masterpiece offers excellent value; it still needs a quality lens; otherwise, you won’t get optimal performance, and the quality of your images will suffer.

Sit down, grab a drink, and keep reading this well-researched Nikon D3200 lens guide for 2023.

#1 Editor’s Choice: Nikon D3200’s Winning Macro Lens

Nikon 105mm f/2.8G Lens

Nikon 105mm f/2.8G is one of the best macro lens that is designed for macro photography and it delivers lovely photos with beautiful bokeh.

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  • Lens Type: Telephoto
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F (FX)
  • Focal Length Range: 105 mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.314 m
  • Weight: 1.74 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.57 x 3.27 x 3.27 inches

Nikon 105mm F/2.8G is a Nikon D3200 macro lens designed for people who are into macro or close-up photography and need a quality D3200 macro lens.

It is exceptionally sharp, producing photos with crisp details and vibrant colors.

Since it has a fixed focal length of 105mm, it is relatively versatile for most kinds of photography shooting with a focus on macro photography.

It has a very short focus distance of 1ft, which is always appreciated in this situation.

The lens is compact and reasonably lightweight, with excellent build quality. On the other hand, the Nano-Crystal coat and ED glass elements will reduce flare in photos and improve your photo quality by far.

Since this lens is produced by Nikon company, it comes with many features as standard, one of them being VR, which, combined with your camera, will work correctly.

What’s the bottom line?

If you are looking for a fast and quality macro lens, then Nikon 105mm F/2.8G may just be one of the best macro lenses for the Nikon D3200.


  • Excellent image quality
  • Feels sturdy and well built
  • The hood is very nice
  • Relatively long focal length


  • Very heavy
  • VR performs poor at a micro distance

#2 Best Runner-Up: Nikon D3200’s Winning Prime Lens

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Lens

This prime lens from Nikon offers superb quality and edge to edge sharpness, it produces great portraits while being budget friendly.

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  • Lens Type: Normal
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F (FX)
  • Focal Length Range: 50mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.45 m
  • Weight: 0.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2.09 x 2.83 x 2.83 inches

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is the prime budget lens for anyone looking for one of the best portrait lenses for the Nikon D3200.

It’s very sharp and works well in low-light conditions, providing a foundation for shooting portraits with precise details even at night.

The most important part?

This Nikon D3200 50mm lens is reasonably cheap, meaning it is an excellent solution if you are on a budget and don’t want to spend too much on a lens.

The body is compact, maintaining a small size while offering fast processing and many great features, such as autofocus, which is fast and quiet.

It will make shooting photos much easier while the compact body contributes to the light properties in the weight department.

The focal length is fixed at 50 mm, while the Minimum Focus Distance is around 1.48 ft allowing you for closer shots.

One of the features is the Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor, which always comes in handy.

The great thing about this prime lens is that it’s optimized for edge-to-edge sharpness on both FX and DX-format D-SLR cameras.

Remember that Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is not zoomable and is made out of plastic, but the build quality is still excellent.


It is undoubtedly one of the “must-own” Nikon D3200 prime lenses if you are serious about portrait photography.


  • Excellent wide-open performance
  • Beautiful bokeh for lovely portraits
  • Fast-focusing speed
  • Great sharpness even at the low end


  • Focusing isn’t silent as advertised
  • A small amount of barrel distortion

#3 Best Budget: The Winning All-in-One Lens for Nikon D5300

Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G Lens

This is an all-in-one lens that is very versatile, has excellent build quality and bas built-in VR II for steady shots that produces great shots.

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  • Lens Type: Zoom lens
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F (FX)
  • Focal Length Range: 28-300mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.45 m
  • Weight: 1.76 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.53 x 3.27 x 3.27 inches

A versatile lens with many features intended for users who want one lens for everything.

The focal length is from 28mm to 300mm, allowing you for various shoots, from portraits to telephotos.

It has a powerful zoom built-in into this device, allowing you to get a close-up shot without physically getting closer.

Also, it has built-in Vibration Reduction II, which helps tremendously stabilize shots taken with the Nikon 28-300mm F/3.5-5.6G lens.

This is an all-in-one lens, meaning it is good at everything but won’t exceed any dedicated lenses for a particular type of photography.


This is undoubtedly the answer if you want one lens to do all your tasks!

It’s an extraordinary camera lens for Nikon D3200, offering exceptional quality and superb performance.


  • Good picture quality
  • It has a longer reach
  • VR is an instant lockup
  • Fast and silent autofocus


  • The zoom ring is not smooth
  • This lens is heavy

Best Wide-Angle Lenses 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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  • Lens Type: Wide Angle
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F-mount
  • Focal Length Range: 11-16mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.3 m
  • Weight: 1.21 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.02 x 4.02 x 4.02 inches

This is a wide-angle budget solution for photographers who are into landscape photography, yet, it offers the most bang for the buck.

It has built-in two aspheric lens elements, two Super-Low dispersion lens elements, and a Multi-Layer coating 77mm filter thread.

Here’s the catch:

Tokina is usually not considered a quality manufacturer, but they did a phenomenal job with 11-16mm f/2.8.

One thing that surprised us was sharpness.

Another great feature that can come in handy is infinity focus, which will provide you with stunning landscapes and beautiful nature shots.


If you are looking for Nikon D3200 wide-angle lens that will give you a fantastic landscape photography experience, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 should be your first choice.


  • 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 Lenses for Wildlife

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G Lens

A telephoto lens from Nikon that has good build quality, compact body that feels comfortable in hand while providing steady and precise images.

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  • Lens Type: Telephoto zoom lens
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F (FX)
  • Focal Length Range: 70-300mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.4m
  • Weight: 1.64 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5.67 x 3.15 x 3.15 inches

This is a high-quality zooming lens for Nikon D3200 for wildlife and action photography. It does offer some great perks and fantastic performance.

I can honestly say it is the best telephoto lens for Nikon D3200 from the lenses I tested.

Internal focus help in achieving fast autofocus, which has two focus modes – manual with auto and manual mode. It’s worth noting that autofocus mode won’t always perform correctly, so sometimes you need to change it to manual mode for the best results.

It is also very versatile since the minimum focusing distance is only 4.9ft, providing you with a vast spectrum of capabilities, from close-up photography to telephoto.

One drawback of this zoom lens is its telescoping body. Still, it feels comfortable when held in hand, and the build quality is excellent, making it up for this.

It’s worth saying that the lens is not as heavy as some may expect, but I do advise you to use a tripod when shooting.


I can, without a doubt, say that 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G is one of the best telephoto lenses in 2023. Also, it is undoubtedly one of the giant lenses for the Nikon d3200 on our list.


  • Sharp through the full zoom range
  • Vibration reduction is excellent
  • The image results are amazing
  • The zoom mechanism works great


  • It is a pretty large
  • does not come with a hard case

Nikon D3200 Lens FAQ: Expert Insights and Tips for Finding the Perfect Lens

What size lens does Nikon D3200 use?

The Nikon D3200 uses lenses with an F-mount, designed by Nikon. This DSLR camera is compatible with a variety of lens sizes depending on your specific needs. It accommodates both DX and FX lenses, but DX lenses are preferable due to the D3200’s APS-C sensor. The size or focal length of the lens can range from wide-angle to telephoto, such as 18-55mm, 70-300mm, or even prime lenses like 50mm or 35mm.

What lens is best for Nikon D3200?

The best lens for the Nikon D3200 really depends on what you’re photographing. However, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens is a versatile option that covers a wide range of scenarios. For portraits, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens is a popular choice. For landscapes or wide-angle photography, consider the Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Lens.

Do all Nikon lenses fit D3200?

The Nikon D3200 uses the Nikon F-mount, so any Nikon F-mount lens will technically fit. However, this camera has a DX-format sensor, which means that DX lenses are the best match because they’re designed to cover the smaller image circle used by the sensor. If you use an FX lens (designed for Nikon’s full-frame cameras) on a D3200, the camera will automatically crop the image to the DX format.

Which Tamron lens is best for Nikon D3200?

The best Tamron lens for the Nikon D3200 can vary based on your needs. The Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD for Nikon is a great choice for wildlife or sports photography, offering a long reach and image stabilization. For everyday photography, consider the Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC, a versatile all-in-one zoom lens.

What lenses are compatible with Nikon D3200?

Most full-frame Nikon lenses (FX) are compatible with a Nikon D3200 camera. But this might not be the most effective solution because the area of the lens goes over the crop-frame sensor.

This means that this part of the image will be removed from the photo. So, since you won’t be able to use all of the crop frames, we suggest you stick to DX lenses for maximum compatibility.

Another essential thing to mention regarding compatible lenses for Nikon D3200 is autofocus. Even though both AF-S and AF can be used with Nikon D3200, if you want to have the ability to use autofocus, you should choose the AF-S type of lens.

What is the best Lens for Nikon D3200 Camera?

Finally, we came to the end of this ultimate Nikon D3200 lens guide.

I hope you can now make a clear and informative decision on which lens to buy for your favorite camera.

But listen:

If you are still unsure what is the right lens for you, I recommend you check out this option. It is a premium all-around lens from Nikon, which offers excellent performance and high versatility.

One more thing to consider:

Even though I didn’t choose any lenses from third-party manufacturers, such as Tamron or Sigma lenses for Nikon D3200, I suggest you go for them. They are often cheaper as those companies cut corners to compete with leading brands such as Nikon.

If you can find a good deal on Tamron, Sigma, or Tokina lenses, feel free to get those. Remember that build quality will often not be on the same level as Nikon lenses; however, performance is top-notch. 

What is your favorite lens for Nikon D3200?

I want to hear from you; what is your favorite lens for Nikon D3200, and is there a lens that you think doesn’t deserve to be on this list? Post the answer in a comment section, and I reply to every comment.

Also, I want to hear your thoughts on the best Nikon D3200 lens for 2023. Which ones offer the best value, and which ones would you not choose?

You can also read other tutorials (such as the Nikon D5200 lenses or Nikon D5000 lenses guide) on this website to learn some interesting tips about photography. We also have many valuable tips and tricks that will improve your skills and the quality of your photos.

These are 5 MUST-HAVE lenses for Nikon D3200 (Ultimate Guide) 📸
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These are 5 MUST-HAVE lenses for Nikon D3200 (Ultimate Guide) 📸
Learn what is the best lens for Nikon D3200 for better camera quality in 2023. Read this step-by-step Nikon D3200 lenses guide today!
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Edward Avedon

Edward Avedon

Professional Photographer

I’m Edward Avedon, a seasoned professional photographer with over 7 years of experience and the co-founder of the renowned LensesPro blog. Currently, I am furthering my knowledge as a student at Columbia University in the heart of New York, USA.






  1. Great article and very informative. I have the Nikon D3200. What lens would you recommend for action shots such as drag racing? Thank you.

    • Action shots like drag races and alike require a telephoto lens with quick autofocus, so think of investing in one – the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens could be an ideal fit here – with its 300mm focal length you can capture everything from a distance without losing clarity or quality. Its Vibration Reduction tech further improves this by keeping each shot crisp even during fast movements. Plus, its autofocus system is modern & lightning-fast, making recording much smoother!

  2. I am just about to buy a telephote 70-300 lens for my Nikon D3200 and read your reviews, which were great and very helpful. However, I noticed that you mentioned AF-S lens are compatible but not AF-P. Could you confirm this please.

    • Correct! The Nikon D3200 only recognizes and works with lenses of the AF-S type; it is, unfortunately, unable to utilize (or even identify) those of the newer AF-P variety, which use a distinct form of autofocus motor tech that just isn’t compatible with this particular camera body. Therefore when buying yourself a telephoto lens for your D3200, remember to go for something from the AF-S line – that way, you know there to be any issues with using them together!

      • I was at a camera store a few hours ago and I was shown the 70-300mm telephoto VR lens for my D3200. And it will not work because of the electromagnetic focus, according to Google.

        Did they make multiple versions of the D3200? We’re there later models which would have accommodated this lens? It seems phenomenal, but no dice with the body. Any guesses as to why?

        • There is only one version of the Nikon D3200, and it does not support lenses with an electromagnetic diaphragm, like some newer versions of the 70-300mm telephoto VR lens. However, older versions of the 70-300mm lens without the electromagnetic diaphragm should work fine on the D3200.

  3. Really informative. thank you. By the way, I’ve been using AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. Is it compatible with D3200…??

    thanks in advance.

    • Nikon F3 is compatible with almost any Nikon lenses, so you should be good. But life does get easier if you choose AI lenses for your Nikon F3 camera.

  4. I have the Nikon 3200
    I need to know what lens would do best for photographing nature- namely birds.
    I’m new to photography

    • What do you think about Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G? I think that would do a great job in taking photos of birds, while at the same time being versatile enough for you to enjoy other types of photography as well.

  5. Hey Edward, great article. What are you thoughts on the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G for the D3200?

    • I loved that lens! It captures amazing photos, but may I ask what type of photography are you most into?

  6. I got a Nikon 70-300 for christmas.
    On the box, it’s saying AF-P
    I cannot get the lens to focus at all. Am I missing something about how to set the camera up for it?

    • Hey Dave, the AF-P lenses are not compatible with Nikon D3200, you will need AF-S lens to work properly with Nikon D3200.

      • I am very new to photography , and have. A Nikon 3200 I am looking for either a telephoto or a wide angle lens So I can take pics of Aircraft as they are moving (eg machloop ,wales). . The lens I used as ok, using burst with good pics (not telephoto etc but felt I needed an extra umph … Im not technical with camera as yet but learning all of the time. Please help as some of the jargon us still alien to me…. I used a NIKKOR AF 70 -300mm… SO I was really please with some pics as I had full sight. Of undercarriage !!!!

        • If you can afford it, one of the best lenses for your situation (not kidding) would be Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E.

  7. You are AWESOME!! THANK YOU!

    • Thanks Lindsay!

  8. Thanks to your guide I just bough my first lens on Amazon, lets see how it goes!

    • Thanks for the feedback and good luck with your new lens!

  9. Great information, bookmarked for later read

    • Thanks!

  10. Why is Nikon 40mm macro lens not on the list? It offers a sharp images for a great value. I have mine and I love it more then 105mm

    • Nikon 40mm is a great lens for macro photography; however, for Nikon D3200 camera, the Nikon 105mm lens showed better results. I will make sure to update the article in a couple of days and include Nikon 40mm as an alternative. Thanks for your feedback!

  11. Good article Edward! But I would wish it was a bit longer as I think advanced photographers would appriciate it even more, but still a great guide!

    • Thanks, Margaret! Our guides are mostly focused on beginners, so that’s why we try to keep these guides clean and straightforward.

    • Great research Edward.
      For my D3200, I have the AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm and 55-200mm DX VR lens. Which one would you say I can use for studio or set photography and video recording with great day lighting setup? Also would you recommend a different lens which you know to be more powerful and better for the D3200?

      • Hi Kwame,
        What is your budget?
        Can you afford Nikon 85mm f/1.4G? It’s an amazing lens, and if you shoot portraits here and there you will love it. If you want something more versatile check out Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8 or Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8.

        As for your second question, I guess you mean a different camera? Well sure there are better cameras than the Nikon D3200, but I wouldn’t bother too much about it. I think it’s better to invest in a good lens.


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