Are you looking to get the best lens for the Nikon D5100 camera within your budget? Or do you want to find out what lens will best suit your needs and your type of photography in 2020?
If so, you must agree when I say:
Finding the right lens for your camera is not an easy task.
There are not enough useful guides on the internet, and there are too many lenses to choose from. This can further distract you from making the right choice.
Here’s the thing:
Lenses are essential, and they can drastically improve your camera performance.
However, lenses are often quite expensive. And even tho upgrading to a better lens is worth the cost, you want to make sure you are not wasting money, and that you are getting the best lens within your budget.
Luckily for you, in this ultimate Nikon D5100 lenses guide I am going to show you which lenses are best for different types of photography, including five main types.
Table of Contents
- These are 5 Most Important Lens Types:
- Lenses That are Guaranteed to Increase Quality in 2020
- Best All-in-one Lens for Everyday Photography
- Best Prime Lens for Portraits
- Best Macro Lens for Macro Photography
- Best Wide-Angle Lens for Landscapes
- Best Telephoto Lens for Wildlife Photography
- 6 Tips To Help When Buying a Camera Lens
- Nikon D5100 Ultimate Guide – Wrapping Up
These are 5 Most Important Lens Types:
- All-in-one lenses – Also known as all-around lenses, they are best in situations when you can only use one lens for different photographing types, or when you can’t carry a bag full of different lenses, such as when traveling.
- Prime lenses – Also known as portrait or standard lenses, they are most often used when shooting portraits or weddings.
- Macro lenses – They are used for macro photography, or simply put photographing very small objects such as insects and flowers.
- Wide-angle lenses – This type of lenses is best suited for photographers who love taking photos of nature, landscape or interiors.
- Telephoto lenses – Telephoto or zoom lenses are used for photographic opportunities when you need a powerful zoom, such as sports, wildlife photography or astronomy.
There is also one more type called Fisheye lenses or well-known as “ultra-wide”, and they are most commonly used for panoramic shots, cityscapes or abstract photography. However, I am not going to include them in this guide.
Lenses That are Guaranteed to Increase Quality in 2020
As you can see, different types of lenses are best for different needs and depending on your preferences, you will have to pick the best Nikon D5100 lens for you.
In this guide, I am going to present you with some tips that will help you make a better decision when buying lenses. I will also show you some tips that will help you make a better decision, so keep reading to find out.
Without any hesitation, let me show you what are the best lenses for the Nikon D5100 camera in 2020.
Best All-in-one Lens for Everyday Photography
If you are looking for one lens that will perform great in most situations, or if you simply don’t have time to change between lenses in a middle of a shooting, then you need an all-in-one lens.
Our winner for this category is Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G, as it offers huge versatility. As you can see, the focal length range is between 18 and 300mm, which is more than enough for all sorts of photography events.
You might read complaints from some people about the image quality for this lens, but I didn’t experience any issues while testing it with Nikon D5100.
Image quality was excellent, and besides minor ghosting issues you might come across if you zoom all the way out, there aren’t any issues as far as image quality is concerned. You need to understand that this is not a lens that is designed for a specific type of photography, but a lens that is good for all-around situations.
Build quality is excellent, the focus is fast and accurate, and it is even lightweight, which is benefits most people neglect when shopping for a new lens. I also find out that it works great, even in low light conditions.
One aspect of this all-around Nikon lens that positively surprised me was the ability to capture amazing macro photos. On the downside, I did feel a minor lens creep, but since this lens has a lock, it won’t be a big issue.
If there is only one lens I could own, it would be Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G. Overall quality, performance, and versatility are amazing, and in my honest opinion, it should be part of your collection.
- Extremely small and light weight
- It is very convenient
- Fast autofocus
- Macro focusing even at 200mm
- Poor vignetting at close to 18mm
- Needs to be locked
Best Prime Lens for Portraits
Prime lenses are usually cheaper than other types, as they have a fixed focal length, so they don’t require any moving parts.
That is not the case with a Nikon 85mm f/1.8G, as you will have to pay a premium price. But considering the quality you get with this prime lens, it will be worth it in the long run.
It is a fantastic lens for photographers who are just starting, as well as for professionals who are demanding high-quality images from their cameras.
Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is great for shooting weddings, family gatherings, sports events, and much more. While testing different prime lenses, this lens proved the most useful for overall photography.
It delivers excellent sharpness, and when you combined that with amazing bokeh, results are beautiful photos that will make you happy you paid more for this masterpiece from Nikon.
Sure, there are more expensive options such as 85mm 1.4 or the Nikon 85mm 1.4, and there are also cheaper options such as Nikon 50mm 1.8, but considering the value/price ratio you are getting with this prime lens, it deserves to be called the best prime lens for Nikon D5100.
I also noticed that it offers excellent performance in low-light situations, which makes for more comfortable shooting if conditions are not perfect.
There are some minor issues with this lens, such as some corner softness at wide apertures, and even tho build quality is excellent, it still feels kind of plasticky. However, if you consider all the benefits you are going to get with Nikon 85mm f/1.8G, it is clear why it is regarded as a “must-own” prime lens for Nikon D5100.
- Beautiful and smooth bokeh
- Focus is fast and silent
- Ridiculously sharp from 1.8
- Amazing value for the cost
- Slow focusing speed
- Corner softness at wide apertures
Best Macro Lens for Macro Photography
If you are looking for a lens that offers excellent images when it comes to macro photography, you might want to check out the Nikon 40mm f/2.8G lens.
While performing testing in real-world conditions, I found that this macro lens is competent in most situations.
One place where this lens lacks a little bit of performance is in low-light conditions, but if you consider the low price of this product, you will quickly realize that it offers fantastic value.
It is an excellent lens for beginners as it has a great focal length, which makes it suitable not only for macro photography but in other areas as well.
You will also appreciate the ability to get close to your subject as that will allow you to capture even better-looking photos.
This is a perfect choice for photographers who are looking to upgrade to a high-quality macro lens but don’t want to spend too much money.
If you are looking for a more dedicated macro lens, check out Nikon 105mm. It does deliver higher performance, but it also costs a lot more, so you will need to make a choice; does the higher price justify the additional quality?
For most photographers, Nikon 40mm will be enough quality-wise, and that is the reason it takes the top spot for best macro lenses for Nikon D5100.
- 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
For a photographer whos primary focus is landscapes, interiors, or nature photography, the best wide-angle lens is Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G.
You will use this lens for any outdoor activity when you see the image quality that this wide-angle lens delivers.
One thing I like about Nikon 10-24mm is the unique perspective you are going to get with a 10mm. There is some distortion at the full end spectrum, but considering that you will be able to correct it in post-processing, it is not an issue.
On the other side, I consider 24mm to be very close to a standard focal length, which makes it more practical for general photography situations.
As far as the lens itself goes, the build quality is excellent, and I was surprised by the quality of the images I got while testing it. Contrast and color reproduction are on the spot and combined with Nikon D5100 provide for fantastic photography experience.
If you are willing to pay the price for the top of the line wide-angle lens, Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G is my recommendation as it performs excellently when combined with Nikon D5100.
But if you are looking for a cheaper option, I recommend Sigma 18-35mm F1.8, as it also showed excellent results, and it is slightly less expensive then Nikon one.
Finally, if both Nikon and Sigma lenses from above are out of your budget, your next option should be Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. It does offer excellent image quality, but considering the short focal length(11-16mm) you get with it, it doesn’t provide much versatility.
- Easy to carry all day
- Great image quality
- Excellent wide angle
- More than adequately sharp
- There is some chromatic aberration
- A little bit bulky
Best Telephoto Lens for Wildlife Photography
Choosing the best telephoto lens can be a tricky task, as it depends on what focal length range you need.
There are lenses over 600mm on the longer side of the spectrum, and hardcore professionals mostly use those for recording series such as planet earth from BBC. If that is what you are looking for, Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 is a great one.
For most photographers who are looking for a more ordinary telephoto lens, I highly recommend Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E.
It offers high performance while maintaining a relatively moderate price tag. This telephoto lens from Nikon has many benefits, and while I was testing it, I found out that it focuses quite fast even in low light conditions.
At first, I even thought that the focus is entirely silent, but after carefully listening, I noticed it did make some clunky sound, nothing that will distract you tho.
One thing that I loved about this lens is the image quality, which was superb to almost any other telephoto lens I tested so far. It produces ultra-sharp images with clear details and precise colors.
If that is something you are looking for, don’t hesitate to buy this new model from Amazon.
The drawback of this lens is that there is simply not enough reach, so if you are looking for something for wildlife photography, especially for taking photos of birds, I am afraid this lens won’t be the perfect choice for you, and you might want to check out the lens from Sigma.
But for more typical photos, it offers many benefits and performance is excellent, it just might be the perfect telephoto lens for your Nikon D5100 camera.
- Sharp through the full zoom range
- Vibration reduction is excellent
- Image results are amazing
- The zoom mechanism works great
- It is pretty large
- does not come with a hard case
6 Tips To Help When Buying a Camera Lens
Tip #1 – Ask yourself what type of photography you are going to do the most
One of the most important things when it comes to choosing the best lens for you is to know what type of photography you are mostly going to do. Different lenses work better in different situations, so knowing what is your future goal when it comes to photography can help you make the right decision.
Tip #2 – Find out what is the right lens type for your needs
As I already mentioned, there are six main lens types. Make sure you know what the right model for your photography preferences is.
Tip #3 – Decide what is the right aperture for you
Every lens has a specific size of the aperture that is measured in f-stops such as f/1.4, f/1.8, etc.
A camera with a larger aperture usually performs better in low light conditions as it will allow for more lights to come through the lens. This is not a crucial thing to look for, but try to get lenses with lower f-stops numbers such as f/1.8 and f/2.8 if you need excellent low-light performance.
Tip #4 – Check to see the lens is compatible with your camera
You will need to make sure that the lens you buy will work correctly with your camera. If you don’t have the required knowledge on the topic, make sure to browse the internet to check if the lens you want is suitable for your camera. Or you can just buy lenses that I suggested as they are explicitly tested on the Nikon D5100 camera.
Tip #5 – Read reviews from other users
One thing that is very useful when it comes to choosing the right lens is to read reviews from photographers who already bought that lens and wrote about their experience. You can usually find a lot of pieces of information if you simply check online reviews. I highly suggest that you check reviews on Amazon for the lens you are interested in before buying it.
Tip #6 – Check your local lens shop
If you have a lens shop near your area, I highly suggest you check it out as you are the person who will take thousands of photos with the desired lens. For this reason, make sure you like the camera lens and that you are happy with the quality you get compared to the price you have to pay for it.
Nikon D5100 Ultimate Guide – Wrapping Up
I hope that this ultimate Nikon D5100 guide helped you make the right decision and get the lens that is best for your needs.
If you are still not sure what is the right lens for you, I highly recommend that you check out this option.
For and questions or inquiries, you can email us on our contact page, or comment below.
Good luck in finding the best Nikon D5100 lens!