📸 5 MUST-OWN Lenses For Nikon D3500 In 2024 [Guide]

Jan 12, 2024 | Buying Guides

Want to crack the code to the ultimate lens for your Nikon D3500? Yearning to discern which lenses truly merit your attention?

Deciphering the right lens for your Nikon D3500 can seem like solving a complex puzzle with a multitude of options and a dearth of practical guides.

But, we’re turning the tables! In this guide, we dispel the confusion and help you unlock the secret to the best Nikon D3500 lenses.

Ready for your eureka moment?

Best Nikon D3500 Lenses

In my tenure as a professional photographer, I’ve meticulously tested a wide selection of lenses.

The Nikon D3500, along with its array of compatible lenses, was part of this exhaustive inspection.

If you’re seeking swift insights, here’s a brief rundown of my findings:

Editor's Choice
Best Runner Up
Best Budget

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Lens

Nikon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G

Nikon D3500 with 18-55mm (17pcs)


Unlock the power of artistic precision. Achieve professional-grade image quality with excellent low-light performance.

Versatility meets convenience. Capture everything from sweeping landscapes to detailed close-ups with this all-in-one lens.

Start your photography adventure without breaking the bank. This lens delivers sharp images and versatile focal lengths at an affordable price.

Editor's Choice

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G Lens


Unlock the power of artistic precision. Achieve professional-grade image quality with excellent low-light performance.

Best Runner Up

Nikon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G


Versatility meets convenience. Capture everything from sweeping landscapes to detailed close-ups with this all-in-one lens.

Best Budget

Nikon D3500 with 18-55mm (17pcs)


Start your photography adventure without breaking the bank. This lens delivers sharp images and versatile focal lengths at an affordable price.

Are you contemplating whether the Nikon D3500 is a smart choice for your photography needs?

Let’s delve into the specifics of this user-friendly DSLR camera, gauging its advantages and potential pitfalls.

Stay tuned as we explore if the Nikon D3500 should be your next step in the world of photography.

black Nikon D3500 camera with a lens on a blue background

As a user of the Nikon D3500, I can assure you that even in 2024, this camera holds its value as an excellent entry-level DSLR.

What struck me most during my use was its remarkable 24.2 MP APS-C sensor, which consistently delivers sharp, well-exposed images.

Its compact, lightweight design makes it an ideal travel companion. The ‘Guide Mode’, a feature I found particularly helpful, effectively eases beginners into the complexities of photography.

Despite an ever-evolving camera landscape, the Nikon D3500 remains a solid and affordable choice for those starting their photographic journey.

#1 Editor’s Choice: Discover the Best Prime Lens for Nikon D3500

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: 0.41 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2.09 x 2.83 x 2.83 inches

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 it’s mostly made of plastic (except the focus ring, from solid lightweight metal). Prime lenses are cheaper because they have fewer parts, and there is no need for a moving mechanism.

Since it’s made from plastic material, it feels cheap.

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 helpful when shooting portraits.

The minimum focus distance of this lens is 1.48 ft (0.45 m), allowing you to shoot close-up photography quickly.

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 they are optimized 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 was definitely, the background blur. We tested this lens for a couple of hours, and almost every picture looks gorgeous with a beautiful blur in the background.

If you are looking for an excellent prime lens for Nikon D3500 that won’t break the 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
  • A small amount of barrel distortion

#2 Best Runner-Up: The Game-Changing All-Around Lens for Nikon D3500

Nikon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G Lens

This is one of the most popular Nikon lenses made from durable plastic, it includes a Super Integrated Coating and shots sharp images.

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  • Lens Type: Telephoto
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F (DX)
  • Focal Length Range: 18-200 mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.49 m
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds
  • Dimensions: 3.82 x 3.03 x 3.03 inches (9.65 x 7.62 x 7.62 cm)

There are a few good options 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 situations.

Shooting landscapes, portraits, wildlife, or street photography, you will have an excellent performance if you decide on this lens.

If you are 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. However, we recommend prime lenses if you are planning on doing a lot of portraits.

They are cheaper and will outperform other types of lenses in portrait photography.

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 looking for the best travel lens for Nikon D3500.


  • Focus is fast and accurate
  • Zoom range covers everything
  • Image quality is excellent
  • Compact for its range


  • Weight can be an issue
  • Creates shadow while using flash

#3 Best Budget: Best Bundle for Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 with 18-55mm (17pcs)

With this bundle you will get Nikon D3500 camera, and 18-55mm lens and it also includes 17 different accessories to make your images even better

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  • Lens Type: Zoom lens
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F-Mount (Bayonet)
  • Focal Length Range: 18-55mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.28 m
  • Weight: 0.45 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.9 x 2.7 in

This is probably the best option if you are looking for the best Nikon D3500 bundle.

This bundle comes with a Nikon D3500 camera and a Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G lens. This is a zoom lens for Nikon D3500 that is praised in the photography community for its performance and image quality.

An 18-55mm is not quite sharp as a prime lens, but you can still expect great details and contrast. One of the only drawbacks of this lens is Manual focusing, which is not great.


Autofocus works flawlessly, and I advise you to use it.

This Nikon D3500 bundle will also include 2 Kingston Memory Cards with 32GB Capacity. This is considered one of the best sd cards for the Nikon D3500. They are built for transferring high-resolution images between different devices so you can expect high durability from this Nikon d3500 memory card.

This is a Nikon D3500 bundle with a bag, or to be more precise, you will also get a Deluxe camera gadget bag where you can safely store all of the items you get in this Nikon D3500 bundle.

Altogether, you will get 17 pieces in this bundle, containing useful Nikon D3500 accessories.

This bundle also includes the following:

  • 55mm 3pc Filter Kit w/ Ultraviolet protective filter [UV]
  • Circular Polarizer filter [CPL]
  • Fluorescent filter [FLD]
  • Deluxe Camera Gadget Bag
  • 50-inch tripod
  • 33 Street Camera Lens Cleaning Cloth
  • Lens Cap Keeper
  • 1 Year Seller Provided Limited

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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  • 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 middle-range lens from Tokina is the perfect choice for landscapes and wide-angle photos in general.

One thing we noticed while testing is a shorter focal range. We think it should be longer, giving this lens more versatility. If you plan on photographing landscape most of the time, its angles of view will be acceptable.

Usually, lenses from third-party companies such as Tokina offer better value when compared to Nikon or Canon, which is the case with Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8.

It is made from high-quality materials, and the lens feels natural when held.

Bokeh is not that great compared to other lenses of similar price, but it does the job. We chose this lens as our choice because of other valuable features.

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 noticeably heavy for a wide-angle lens, and even though you may not feel it right away, it will become a problem if you take hand-shoot photos for extended periods.

Also, we noticed that the focus ring doesn’t always work correctly and can sometimes put a camera out of focus.

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 got 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 I recommend getting this wide-angle lens for Nikon D3500 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 Telephoto Lens for Wildlife Photography

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G Lens

This is a telephoto lens from Nikon with incredible properties, good build quality and it is a great solution for people who need budget friendly telephoto lens.

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  • Lens Type: Telephoto
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F (DX)
  • Focal Length Range: 55-300mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.4 m
  • Weight: 1.28 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.84 x 3.03 x 3.03 inches

Telephoto or zoom lenses are perfect for situations where you need to capture objects or animals in the distance.

Our top choice for this type of lens is Nikon 55-300mm F/4.5-5.6G.

It is one of the best value options on this list.

It is built mainly from plastic, so it does feel cheap. However, if you want a telephoto made out of metal, you will need to spend more than double the money, at least!

Nikon uses plastic to save weight and money, and they did an excellent job with this.

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 2024.

Some users have complained about focus, yet we had no negative experiences with it. It has always been smooth and silent for us. It felt a little bit sticky when zooming, but it worked with no problems after some use.


If you bought this lens and the zoom isn’t smooth enough, don’t worry. Just play a little bit with it, zoom a couple of times in and out, and it should work great then.

You probably know that Nikon includes VR on almost any lens today, which is especially important with a telephoto lens. We are unsure if Nikon did anything unique with a VR for this example, but we felt it did a fantastic job.

Steady shooting was possible at the highest zoom, even without a tripod.

We highly recommend this telephoto lens for Nikon D3500 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

Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Lens

Tamron 90mm F/2.8 is an outstanding macro lens that is budget-friendly while still being able to deliver photos full of details with crisp and vibrant colors.

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  • Lens Type: Macro
  • Mounting Type: Nikon F
  • Focal Length Range: 90mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.29 m
  • Weight: 0.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 3.82 x 2.83 x 2.83 inches

For a Macro lens, we decided to go with a third-party company, Tamron. The lens that will do the best job regarding 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 careful consideration, we didn’t think it was worth it.

However, if you want a more premium macro lens, check it out under the “alternative” section below.

Autofocus is a bit noisy, especially when switching from manual to autofocus mode. This means the lens is not as refined as the 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 a few hours of playing with this lens combined with the Nikon D3500 DSLR camera, we noticed to shoot at f11 in a little darker areas (shadows, shade, etc.). This allows your lens to get the needed light for better focus.

Tamron 90mm F/2.8 is an excellent option from Tamron for macro photography.

Regarding the quality of the photos, this macro lens is excellent. We were able to shoot stunning close-up pictures of animals and plants. The colors are vibrant while offering crisp details.

There is one thing that concerns us; this model has no Image Stabilization (Vibration Compensation), which can be crucial if you are shooting without a tripod.


You should check out this option if you are looking for a macro lens for Nikon D3500 that produces high-quality images.


  • Built-in focusing motor
  • The build quality is good
  • Excellent Performance
  • A beautiful rendition of colors


  • The depth of field is very shallow
  • It lacks the ‘feel’ of an expensive lens


FAQ: Best Lenses For Nikon D3500

Which lens is good for Nikon D3500?

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens is an excellent choice for the Nikon D3500. This versatile lens is perfect for everything from wide-angle photography to portraits and landscapes. Its Vibration Reduction technology provides sharp, blur-free photos and videos.

Can you use any lens on Nikon D3500?

The Nikon D3500 is compatible with Nikon F mount lenses. However, to fully utilize all of the camera’s features, it is recommended to use Nikon’s AF-S and AF-P lenses which have a built-in autofocus motor. Older Nikon lenses, as well as third-party lenses, can also be used but some features like autofocus might not be supported.

Can I use older Nikon lenses with the Nikon D3500?

Yes, older Nikon lenses can be used with the Nikon D3500. However, not all features like autofocus may be supported. It is recommended to use Nikon’s AF-S and AF-P lenses for full compatibility.

What types of lenses are compatible with Nikon D3500?

The Nikon D3500 uses Nikon F mount lenses. This includes a wide range of lens types like prime, zoom, wide-angle, telephoto, and macro lenses.

Are third-party lenses compatible with Nikon D3500?

Yes, third-party lenses from manufacturers like Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina that are made for Nikon F mount can be used on the Nikon D3500. However, the compatibility of certain features like autofocus can vary.

A Few Final Words About Nikon D3500 Lenses

We hope our guide “Best lenses for Nikon D3500” helped you choose the best Nikon D3500 lens for yourself.

As you already know, different lenses are suitable for other things, but it will also depend greatly on personal preference. One lens doesn’t have to be perfect for everyone; 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 best suited for your camera.

That’s why it is best to test a couple of lenses before deciding. If you live close to a camera and lenses shop, you should go there and tell them what kind of photography you are into and what you are looking for in Nikon D3500 lenses.

If you cannot 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 an email if you need some advice.

We hope you find the best lens for Nikon D3500.


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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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. Hi,
    I have a Nikon D3500 that I usually use to take photos in a concert. It works perfectly fine if I’m seated near the stage but I need a good zooming lens that I can use when I’m seated on the bleachers or far away from the center stage. Can you recommend a good one?

    • Hi Danica,
      I would definitely recommend trying the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR.

  2. Nice article. I am trying to decide if it is worth fixing ( camera shop cannot give me a quote without seeing it which makes sense, $40 to look at) as the LCD screen stopped working after a 2ft drop in its padded peak design camera bag with a 70-300FX lens on. My instructor says to get a D750. Easy to say to someone but the price is $1245 refurbished. It probably is not worth much fixed as a trade. A keeper or move on in your opinion?

    • Can you tell me what your budget is so I know a little more to help you decide?

  3. Hi Edward, are there any telephoto lenses which can focus above 300mm .. i saw an ad for tamron sp 150-600mm .. is it suitable for d3500 ? are there any other lenses ?

    • Yes, that lens works with Nikon (just make sure you choose the correct version). If you tell me more about your budget, I can further assist you.

      • whst would be a good lens for astrophotography? moon im guessing nikon 200-500mm? but is there one similar you can recommend and more affordable? for stars i been using the 10-20mm nikon

        • I believe the Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 combined with Nikon D3500 will do a good job at moon photography.

      • im not sure on the lens .. so confused on budget .. roughly it retails around 85000 INR in India .. im ok for the budget if there are any other alternative ones 😉

        • Sorry but about which lens are you talking about and for what photography type?

    • I am too interested in a lens that can focus above 300 mm. I have the Nikon D3500. I primarily will be using this lens for taking photos of Eagles on the lake where I live. Please advise on a lens I can use on my camera and hopefully not over a couple hundred in price for lens.

      • I think it’s going to be hard to find a good telephoto lens for that budget. I tested Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G before and got some amazing bird photos with this lens. It’s also very versatile, but I am not sure if that is the lens you are looking for. What is your budget?

  4. Hey buddy. Thanks for you information. I noticed most of the lens are pricey. I have a much smaller budget and need a dual lens for videos and photos. I’m looking to make wedding videos and take portraits, headshots, etc…photos.

    What lens do you recommend? Currently have the 2 kit lens for the Nikon D3500 and they are decent but I want something more diverse.

    • What is your budget?

      There are many great Nikon D3500 lenses for wedding photography, but it all depends on how much are you looking to spend.

  5. I have the 2 lenses that came with the Nikon D3500 kit but I am in search of a good lens for indoor sports such as basketball and outdoor sports such as football The 18-55mm does not get me close enough and the 70-300 does not give me a wide enough angle I am photographing my grandchildren in sports so do not need to spend a fortune Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    • Have you looked into Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G? It can be found on Amazon for cheap at the moment, and it is versatile lens with decent sports performance. I personally like Nikon 85mm f/1.8G, even tho it is a prime lens it can capture some amazing moments. However, if you are a big fan of zooming then it might not work for you. If you want give me your budget, and a few more details and I will try to find a couple of more great choices for you. Good luck!


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