Are you wondering what the best lens for Nikon D3500 is? Do you want to learn which lenses are worth your time?
If so, you will 100% agree when I say:
Choosing the right lens for your Nikon D3500 camera is not an easy task.
Especially since there are so many options on the market and not enough informative guides that will help you make the right decision.
What is your favorite type of photography? What do you expect from a lens?
You need to know the answer to these questions any more if you want to make the right purchase.
Keep reading our Ultimate Nikon D3500 lenses buying guide to discover what are best lenses on the market in 2021. You will also learn which lenses you should avoid as they are not worth the price.
First of all, a few words about Nikon D3500 DSLR camera itself and why it holds tremendous value even for a brand new camera. Feel free to skip this part if you already own Nikon D3500 camera.
Having been released in the September of last year, Nikon D3500 is the newest edition from Nikon company.
Nikon D3500 is a DX-format DSLR with 24.2 megapixels with the ability of 5 FPS Continuous Shooting.
Since this is a Nikon product, as expected, it has many perks and features. One of them is 60fps video shooting at Full HD.
It captures some fantastic photos with crisp quality. However, if you plan on recording video as well, it will do a great job.
ISO goes up to 25,600, guaranteeing excellent low-light performance.
It’s portable, well built from high-quality materials while at the same time offering exceptional value.
Here’s the thing:
If you don’t already own this masterpiece, you should check it out, as you can get it for a reasonable price at Amazon with two bonus kit lenses: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G and 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G.
There is also an excellent offer for a bundle at the moment that you should check out.
If you already own this camera, here are Best Lenses for Nikon D3500.
Best Prime Lens for Portraits
First on our list is Nikon 50mm F/1.8G, a prime lens for beginners with decent quality.
Build quality is not top-notch, and its mostly made out of plastic (expect focus ring which is from solid lightweight metal). Prime lenses are cheaper because they have fewer parts as there is no need for moving mechanism.
You can expect that a prime that costs under 200$ has some shortcomings and in this case, it’s only built quality. Since it’s made from plastic material, it feels cheap.
Still, that is normal for the lens of this price since even for a company like Nikon.
On the other side, the quality of the photos you take with this beauty is outstanding. Pictures look great with crisp details, which can prove useful when shooting portraits.
The minimum focus distance of this lens is 1.48 ft (0.45 m), allowing you to shoot close-up photography with ease.
This lens is for photographers who are looking for a portrait lens that will shot great photos but do not want to spend a fortune on a prime lens.
Nikon 50mm F/1.8G works well on both DX and FX-format DSLRs because it’s optimized on both formats for edge to edge sharpness.
Filter Thread is 58 mm, and autofocus is silent and quick. Because of the fast f/1.8 aperture, low-light performance is also excellent. You can even capture photos in darker areas with brilliance.
What surprised us:
The thing that we were most surprised with is definitely, background blur. We tested this lens for a couple of hours, and almost every picture look gorgeous with a beautiful blur in the background.
If you are looking for an excellent prime lens that won’t break your bank, you should consider getting this Nikon lens.
- 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
- Small amount of barrel distortion
Best Wide-Angle Lens for Landscapes
This a middle range lens from Tokina that is the perfect choice for landscapes and wide-angle photos in general.
One thing we noticed while testing it is a shorter focal range. We think it should be longer, which would give this lens more versatility. If you plan on photographing landscape most of the time, then its angles of view will be just fine.
Usually, lenses for third-party companies such as Tokina offer better value when compared to Nikon or Canon which, is a case with Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8.
It is made from high-quality materials, and the lens itself feels natural when holding.
Bokeh is not that great when compared to other lenses of similar price, but it does the job. We chose this lens as our choice because of other useful features.
There is no Chromatic Aberration, and focusing is better then you would expect from a 400$ lens.
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 will fit perfectly to anyone who needs a wide-angle lens that has the excellent build quality and accurate focusing.
The Downside of this Tokina lens is the weight. It’s noticeable heavy for a wide-angle lens, and even tho you may not feel it right away, it will become a problem if you are taking hand shoot photos for extended periods.
Also, we noticed that the focus ring doesn’t always work correctly and can put a camera out of focus sometimes.
Tokina is cutting corners on the mechanics to get better optics, which is fine as you can’t have everything!
Sharpness is excellent, and we managed to get some stunning photos with this Tokina 11-16mm combined with Nikon D3500 DSLR.
Yes, this lens does have some minor issues, but the overall experience is good, and we recommend getting this lens to anyone that wants to photograph landscapes.
- 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 All-Around lens for everyday photography
There are a few good options to choose from when looking for all-in-one lenses. Our top choice was Nikon 18-200mm for a few reasons.
All-in-one lenses are perfect when you need one lens to deliver high performance in different kinds of situations.
Shooting landscapes, portraits, wildlife, or street photography, you will have an excellent performance if you decide on this lens.
If you are, however, more into telephoto lenses, but still want an all-in-one, you could also go with a Nikon 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3G; it has a more powerful zoom but a little bit more distortion at the high end.
Nikon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G is a versatile all-around lens that is great for almost any photography opportunity.
Bokeh is good enough to make your background blur look beautiful, especially when it comes to landscape and portrait photography. We do, however, recommend prime lenses if you are planning on doing a lot of portraits.
They are cheaper and will outperform other types of lenses when it comes to portrait photography.
Back on 18-200mm, even tho build quality is excellent; It’s built from plastic materials, which can feel a little cheap for 600$ lens.
What’s the bottom line?
The area where this lens lacks performance is dark situations, but this can be either fixed by increasing ISO or in post-processing.
Even when you consider a few flaws that you might experience with this lens, we still think you should get one, especially if you are into landscape photography.
- Focus is fast and accurate
- Zoom range covers everything
- Image quality is excellent
- Compact for it’s range
- Weight can be an issue
- Creates shadow while using flash
Best Telephoto Lens for Wildlife Photography
Telephoto or zoom lenses are perfect for situations where you need to capture objects or animals in the distance.
For this type of lenses, our top choice is Nikon 55-300mm F/4.5-5.6G.
It is one of the best value options on this list.
It is built mostly from plastic, so it does feel cheap. However, if you want a telephoto made out of metal, you will need to spend more then double the money, at least!
Nikon uses plastic to save on both the weight and money, which they did an excellent job with this one.
Images are crisp with a slight distortion at the 300mm end, which is correctable.
Nikon 55-300mm F/4.5-5.6G is the best telephoto lens for wildlife photography in 2021.
Some users have complained about focus, yet we didn’t have any negative experience with it. It has always been smooth and silent for us. It did felt a little bit sticky when zooming at first, but after some use, it worked with no problems.
If you bought this lens and zoom isn’t smooth enough, don’t worry. Just play a little bit with it, zoom a couple of times all the way in and out, and it should work great then.
For the price that you can get in from Amazon, you are getting enormous value.
You probably know that Nikon includes VR on almost any lens today, which is especially important with a telephoto lens. We are not sure did Nikon done anything special with a VR for this example, but we felt it does a fantastic job.
The steady shooting was even possible at the highest zoom, even when shooting without a tripod.
We highly recommend this telephoto lens to anybody who is looking for a high-quality telephoto lens.
- Useable Focal Length
- Long zoom and good colors
- Metal mount gives a sturdy feel
- Performs well with proper lighting
- Mediocre low-light performance
- Loss in Sharpness at 250-300mm
Best Macro Lens for Macro Photography
For a Macro lens, we decided to go with a third party company, Tamron. The lens that will do the best job when it comes to macro photography is Tamron 90mm F/2.8.
We did consider including Nikon 105mm f/2.8G, as it may be a more accessible and well-established choice, but after considering twice the price for a little bit more features and performance, we didn’t think it was worth it.
However, if you are looking for a more premium macro lens, feel free to check it out under the “alternative” section below.
Autofocus is a little bit noisy, especially when you are switching from manual to autofocus mode. This means the lens is not as refined as ones from Nikon.
Also, the shallow depth of field may give you some trouble down the road until you get used to it. To avoid the problem with it, follow our advice:
After few hours of playing with this lens combined with Nikon D3500 DSLR camera, our notice is to shoot at f11 in a little bit darker areas (shadows, shade, etc.). This way, you allow your lens to get the needed amount of light for better focus.
Tamron 90mm F/2.8 is an excellent option from Tamron for macro photography.
As far as the quality of the photos goes, this macro lens is excellent. We were able to shoot a stunning close up pictures of animals and plants. Colors are vibrant while offering crisp details.
There is one thing that does concern us; that there is no Image Stabilization (Vibration Compensation) on this model, which can be very crucial if you are shooting without a tripod.
If you are looking for a macro lens that produces high-quality images, you should check out this option.
- Built-in focusing motor
- The build quality is good
- Excellent Performance
- Beautiful rendition of colors
- Depth of field is very shallow
- Lacks the ‘feel’ of a expensive lens
Best lenses for Nikon D3500
We hope our guide “Best lenses for Nikon D3500 In 2021” helped you choose the best lens for yourself.
If you can’t decide what lens would work best for you, we recommend that you check out this one.
As you already know, different type of lenses are suitable for different things, but it will also depend a lot from personal preference. One lens doesn’t have to be perfect for everyone, and it usually isn’t.
It’s always a good idea to check out some youtube videos as they are an easy way to learn more about specific lenses that are best suited for your camera.
That’s why it is best to test a couple of lenses out before making your decision. If you live close to camera and lenses shop, you should go there and tell them what kind of photography you are into and what are you looking in a lens.
If you are not able to test before buying, feel free to check a few more guides such as Best lenses for Nikon D5100 and lenses for Nikon D500, read some reviews but also send us to email if you need some advice.
We hope you find best the lens for Nikon D3500.