Are you looking to learn what is the best lens for the Nikon D90 camera in 2021? Do you want to know what some things to look for when choosing a lens and what you should avoid are?

If so, you will agree when I say:

Choosing the lens that will give you the best performance within a specific budget is not always easy as it sounds.

Lens market is saturated, and with so many great choices out there, it becomes harder to find the lens that is just right for you and your type of photography. To make matters worse, there are not enough useful guides where you can learn specific pieces of information that will help you make the right choice.

Also, lenses can be quite expensive, especially if you want high-performing lenses that will last you for years to come.


In this ultimate Nikon D90 lenses guide, I will show you our top picks for each lens category. By the end of this article, you will have the necessary knowledge that will help you make the right decision, independently of what type of photography you are performing the most.

Without any prolongation, let’s get straight to the task of choosing the best lenses for the Nikon D90 camera.

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 tiny 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. 

Here are my picks for the best lenses for Nikon D90 in 2021!

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

LensTypeShop now
Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3GAll-in-oneShop now
Nikon 85mm f/1.8GPrimeShop now
Nikon 105mm f/2.8GMacroShop now
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8Wide-AngleShop now
Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6ETelephotoShop now

Best All-in-one Lens for Everyday Photography

1. Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G

This is an all-in-one lens that is designed for people who want a versatile lens that will allow them to capture great photos in different environments without forcing them to change between the lens through the process.

Image quality is excellent, and while you can’t expect the same quality in a particular photography type as you would get with a dedicated lens, it still provides users with great results and sharp images.

Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G is a perfect choice for beginners who have not yet decided on which type of photography they are going to shot or for photographers who need that one lens for different styles of photography.

It performs excellently when combined with Nikon D90 camera, giving you fantastic user experience through the entire focal range. If you travel a lot, this might be the best Nikon D90 lens for you, as it will prevent you from carrying large bags of camera equipment all the time.

As mentioned, the focal range is excellent, and it goes all the way from 18mm up to 300mm, giving you plenty of room to capture some stunning photos.

It has a decent build quality, and the product feels premium in hand, which can’t be said for other lenses in its price range. Speaking of which, if you consider the performance of Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G and compare it to the different lenses in the same price category, this all-around lens is the best lens for Nikon D90 in 2021! 


  • 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

2. Nikon 85mm f/1.8G

A prime lens is an excellent choice for photographers who are mostly into portrait photography, as the main characteristics of these lenses are the sharpness. And since you need a sharp lens to show precise details on the face of the objects you are photographing, Nikon 85mm f/3.5G is one of the best, if not the best, Nikon D90 prime lens.

Sure, the price might seem a little high at first when you consider that prime lenses are a lot cheaper than other types of lenses since they have no moving parts. But if you are serious about portrait photography, this portrait lens for Nikon D90 is worth every penny.

Photos you capture with Nikon 85mm f/3.5G are thick sharp, with precise details and intensely vibrant colors. Since it is produced by Nikon, as expected, it has all additional features to make your job much more comfortable.

Another attribute of this lens that I noticed while testing it on the Nikon D90 camera is the versatility. Sure, you will get stunning photos if you use those two. Still, the brilliant thing that a lot of users find out later is the ability to use this lens on many different occasions, from macro photography all the way to the indoor and street photography.

As for the downsides, I only noticed slight issues with corner softness, but you can fix those in any photo editing software such as photoshop.

Here’s the catch:

If this lens is out of your budget, check out alternatives below. But if you can afford it, go for it, as the Nikon 85mm f/3.5G is the best prime lens for Nikon D90 in 2021.


  • 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

3. Nikon 105mm f/2.8G

Macro lenses are unique in a way that they offer little versatility, as they are intended for a specific task. But this is nothing terrible, as most of the photographers who decide they need a macro lens are the ones that are into macro photography.

One of the essential features of macro lenses is the sharpness, as you will want to get details up-close that you sometimes can’t even see with your own eyes.

If you are looking for the best Nikon D90 macro lens, look no further then the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G. It is one of the best macro lenses on the market right now, and it works exceptionally when combined with the Nikon D90 camera. It produces some of the sharpest photos out there, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the details you are going to get if you decide to go for this macro lens.

Even tho I mentioned that most of the macro lenses offer no versatility, this is not precisely the case with Nikon 105mm f/2.8G. Thanks to its focal range of 105mm, it can be used as a portrait lens as well, but only when you are in a hurry. A better option for you would be to get some cheap prime lens to use for portraits as you will get better results that way.

But still, most of you are looking for a macro lens to do precisely what it was designed to do, macro photography. And in that field, the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G gives fantastic results and even better quality of images.

Minimal distance 1ft, allowing you to get even closer to the object you are shooting, and it also comes with built-in Vibration Reduction making your photos noise-free even at close distances.

Build quality is great; the lens is lightweight and compact, which you are going to appreciate if you are shooting hand-held images most of the time. There are also many other features, as you can expect from a premium Nikon product, but feel free to check it out at Amazon for more specs.


This is the sharpest macro lens for Nikon D90 at the moment!


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


  • Very heavy
  • VR performs poor at micro distance

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Landscapes

4. Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

For the wide-angle lens, our top pick comes from a third-party manufacturer, Tokina. Some people may be discouraged by the fact they have a Nikon D90 camera, but not the Nikon lens.

However, we would not place it on top of our list if it didn’t deserved to be here by its performance, build quality, and value you are getting with Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8.

It works perfectly when combined with Nikon D90 camera, and landscape images you get with it are sharp and beautiful. One thing to consider is the narrow focal length range, which goes only from 11m up to 16mm.

This is not ideal as it offers minimal versatility, but if you plan to use this lens, especially for landscapes, street, and indoor photography, it is a must-own Nikon D90 lens in 2021.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is also an attractive choice as it has infinity focus, which results in a unique perspective that will make your images stand out from the crowd.

Bottom line:

If you are looking for a high-performance wide-angle lens that works great when combined with Nikon D90 camera, this might be the best wide-angle lens for Nikon D90. But if you want a Nikon lens, check out alternatives below.


  • 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

5. Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E

Telephoto lenses are designed for photographers who need powerful zoom without losing quality, and they are widely used in wildlife and action photography. Telephoto, or more commonly known as zoom lenses are quite expensive as they have more moving parts and are a lot more complicated to design and produce, compared to something like primes, which are quite simple.

That being said, if you need a quality telephoto lens that will zoom in without making you move physically, Nikon 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6E is the perfect solution for you. It outrivals every telephoto lens in its budget range, with clean and vibrant images it produces, but also it has high-performance that will satisfy even the most hardcore photographers.

Even at the highest end of the focal length spectrum (300mm), distortion is minimal, and thanks to the Nikon technology, such as upgraded VR, you can expect great results.

One of the features I was positively surprised while testing it was autofocus. It is superb to anything I experienced before with the telephoto lenses in the same price range, high-speed and silent.

One thing to notice is the price of this telephoto lens, which makes it more of a budget-friendly solution for photographers who are not looking to break a bank. Don’t get me wrong, Nikon 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6E is a fantastic telephoto lens that will deliver exceptional results.


If you are looking for something even more premium that will satisfy the needs of even most hardcore photographers, or if you want a higher focal length range, check out alternatives. But for most regular photographers, Nikon 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6E is considered to be the best telephoto lens for the Nikon D90 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

Nikon D90 Ultimate Guide – Wrapping Up

By now, you should have a general idea of what is the best Nikon D90 lens in 2021 for your favorite type of photography.

If you have any questions feel free to comment below for a faster response, but you can also contact us by navigating to a contact form.

Make sure to read other guides such as Nikon D5600 lenses and Nikon D3100 lenses guide on our blog to further improve your knowledge about camera lenses and general photography.

These are 5 MUST-HAVE lenses for Nikon D90 [In 2021]
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These are 5 MUST-HAVE lenses for Nikon D90 [In 2021]
Find out what are best lenses for Nikon D90 in 2021 that will increase your image quality. Read this ultimate Nikon D90 lenses guide today!
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