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Nikon D3500 lenses

10 Best lenses for Nikon D3500 [updated 2024]

    The Nikon D3500 is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras on the market, offering a great combination of features and performance at an attractive price point. But you must invest in the best lenses to get the best out of your photos. Whether you’re looking for a wide-angle or telephoto lens, a fast prime, or a macro lens, there are plenty of options.

    To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled this guide on the best lenses for Nikon D3500. We’ll give you our top 10 picks and helpful information about each lens.

    Read more: How to Choose a Camera Lens That Fits Your Needs.

    Disclosure: This article features affiliate links, including If you decide to buy through one of these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra expense to you. For more details, please see my disclosure policy.

    Choosing which one best suits your needs isn’t easy with numerous options. To simplify this process, we’ve compiled a list of high-performing Nikon D3500 lenses that are highly adaptable and provide excellent image quality without breaking the bank!

    Listed below are lenses that will meet the needs of all types of photographers:

    👉 Portraits;
    👉 Wildlife;
    👉 Sports;
    👉 Landscape;
    👉 Zoom;
    👉 Macro.

    portrait lenses

    1. Nikon AF S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

    • Price: Budget $
    • Dimensions: 3.1 x 2.9 in / 80 x 73 mm
    • Weight: 12.4 oz / 350 g
    • Filter size: Ø67
    • Maximum aperture: f/1.8
    • Focal length: 85 mm
    • Image stabilization: No


    + Soft bokeh effect
    + Focal length of 85mm
    + Quick focusing


    – No built-in image stabilization

    When selecting the best lens for taking portraits, everyone has their personal preference, as the desired outcome of each photograph is subjective. Nonetheless, there are usually three primary lenses that people look towards when it comes to portrait photography: 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm. For many photographers looking for a perfect combination of features and quality results, the 85 mm lens is an excellent choice.

    Build and handling: Nikon’s 85mm f/1.8G offers an impressive blend of resilience and portability, with a solid plastic casing and metallic lens mount ready to take on any dust or dirt that comes its way. This camera may look bulky at first glance but is astonishingly lightweight. Making it the ideal option for long hand-held photoshoots.

    Performance: Perfect for low-light photography, the portrait lens features a wide f/1.8 aperture and imparts a shallow depth of field to photos. It also offers two distinct focusing modes: manual priority AF and manual focus, powered by a fast yet silent wave motor.

    Best for: The 85mm focal length and f/1.8 aperture make it an ideal choice for portrait photography. But it can also be used in other photoshoots, like events or product shoots. With enough room, this lens will truly showcase what you have envisioned with your photos!

    In conclusion, it’s a great option for portraits, creating stunning photos with its creamy background blur, shallow depth of field, and high contrast.

    2. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

    • Price: Budget $
    • Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.1 in / 72 x 52.5 mm
    • Weight: 6.6 oz / 185 g
    • Filter size: Ø58
    • Maximum aperture: f/1.8
    • Focal length: 50 mm
    • Image stabilization: No


    + Lightweight
    + Extremely affordable
    + Fast autofocusing


    – A bit of visual distortion

    It’s lightweight and fits perfectly on the camera, pairing well with its 24.2-megapixel sensor to create stunning photos. Despite being relatively cheap, this lens doesn’t compromise when it comes to quality or performance.

    Build and handling: The portrait lens is lightweight yet durable, weighing only 6.6 oz (185 g) and packed with everyday features. It’s designed to comfortably shoot hand-held for longer sessions without tiring your arms and hands.

    Performance: With an f/1.8 aperture, this lens produces a beautiful bokeh effect, separating the subject from its background. Although it could be faster at autofocusing, the overall quality of photos taken with this lens is quite good. However, slight softness might be around the corners and edges when shooting wide open.

    Best for: This lens is ideal for perfecting indoor portraits due to its wide f/1.8 aperture and shorter focal length. It also ensures crisp photographs even in dimly lit settings. With this specific lens, you can take remarkable street photos and chronicle your travels with clear images.

    Its wide aperture, lightweight design, and exceptional image quality make it the ideal choice for beginners looking to improve their portrait compositions and the overall outcomes of their photos.

    3. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Fit Lens

    • Price: Budget $
    • Dimensions: 2.9 × 2.5 in / 74.2 × 63.3 mm
    • Weight: 15.3 oz / 435 g
    • Filter size: Ø62
    • Maximum aperture: f/1.4
    • Focal length: 30 mm
    • Image stabilization: No


    + Wide aperture
    + Solid build quality
    + Smooth autofocusing


    – Lack of weather sealing

    The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is a great mid-range option for portrait photography. It’s compact, lightweight, and produces sharp, high-quality images in different environments or light settings.

    Build and handling: This lens is built from metal and plastic, making it lightweight yet dependable. Featuring a rubberized focusing ring and manual aperture dial for easy control. Its Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) guarantees swift, quiet autofocusing that yields accurate results. Additionally, Super Multi-Layer Coating on its elements minimizes flare and ghosting.

    Performance: With a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture, you can capture stunning photos even in difficult lighting conditions. It also has excellent corner-to-corner clarity and minimal vignetting. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 11.8 inches, allowing you to capture close-up shots with impressive clarity.

    Best for: The Sigma lens is ideal for capturing creative portraits with stunning background blur. It works great when shooting in low-light environments thanks to its large aperture. Moreover, you can also rely on this lens to deliver sharp photos with great color accuracy and contrast.

    An optimal lens for portrait photography is essential for capturing images with sharpness, even in challenging light conditions, or when aiming to achieve stunning, shallow depth-of-field effects.

    wildlife lens

    4. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED

    • Price: Budget $
    • Dimensions: 3 x 4.6 in. / 76.2 x 116 mm
    • Weight: 15.3 oz. / 435 g
    • Filter size: Ø62
    • Maximum aperture: f/4.5
    • Focal length: 70-300 mm
    • Image stabilization: No


    + Very cheap telephoto zoom
    + Quite lightweight for this class
    + Decent image quality at shorter focal lengths


    – No Vibration reduction system

    It’s a compact, lightweight telephoto zoom lens designed for Nikon’s DX-format DSLR cameras. It features a versatile zoom range, fast and quiet autofocus, and advanced optics that deliver high-quality images.

    Build and handling: This telephoto lens has a plastic construction, but the overall build quality is quite good and sturdy. The lens features a smooth zoom ring, which allows you to adjust the focal length easily. It has an extremely compact size for a telephoto, making it an excellent option for quick outdoor snaps.

    Performance: The autofocus system is solid when there is good lighting around. It also features Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which minimizes camera shake and helps you shoot at slower shutter speeds. At the maximum focal length, the sharpness does drop off a little.

    Best for: It’s best suited for wildlife, sports, and outdoor photography, where you capture distant subjects. The versatile zoom range makes getting closer to the action easy, while the VR technology helps you capture sharp images. It is also an excellent option for travel photography, as it is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around.

    Given the low price, it’s a great deal for beginners, as it features a sturdy build, fast and precise autofocus, and delivers excellent image quality.

    sports lens

    5. Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM

    • Price: Expert $$$
    • Dimensions: 10.2 x 4.1 in. / 260 x 105 mm
    • Weight: 68.1 oz. / 1,930 g
    • Filter size: Ø95
    • Maximum aperture: f/5
    • Focal length: 150-600mm
    • Image stabilization: Yes


    + Lightweight for superzoom telephoto
    + Built-in image stabilization
    + Affordable price


    – Above 500mm loses a bit of quality

    The Sigma 150-600mm is a great option for capturing sports and wildlife. It features an ultra-large aperture, fast autofocus system, Optical Stabilization technology, and superb image quality.

    Build and handling: Those familiar with telephoto lenses know their weight can be overwhelming. However, this 68.1 oz (1930 g) lens is surprisingly lightweight compared to its counterparts – some weighing an additional 35 ounces (1 kg). Despite the reduced bulk, it still offers professional build quality, and its performance capabilities are not compromised.

    Performance: With its wide aperture and professional features, it excels in low-light photography conditions. Additionally, its hypersonic motor ensures accuracy and rapid focusing, while image stabilization technology helps capture stunning outdoor snapshots no matter how shaky your hands may be.

    Best for: Its ultra-large aperture, fast autofocus system, Optical Stabilization technology, and superb image quality allows you to capture stunning action shots no matter the distance between you and your subject. It’s a great choice for those looking to invest in a lens that will take their sports and wildlife photography to the next level.

    In conclusion, this lens tailored for sports photography offers professional-grade capabilities at an accessible price point, making it a valuable asset for both novices and seasoned sports or wildlife photography experts.

    Wide-angle lens

    6. Tokina AT-X PRO 11-16mm F2.8 DXII Lens

    • Price: Average $$
    • Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.3 in / 89 x 84 mm
    • Weight: 19.4 oz / 550 g
    • Filter size: Ø77
    • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
    • Focal length: 11-16 mm
    • Image stabilization: No


    + Ultra wide-angle
    + Fast autofocusing
    + Impressive build quality


    – No image stabilization

    If precision in low-light photography is what you are searching for, the Tokina lens should be considered. With a maximum f/2.8 aperture and ultra wide-angle zoom capability, this lens can accurately capture stunning images.

    Build and handling: The Tokina lens is perfectly crafted to provide a secure, comfortable grip through its rubberized ring and robust plastic casing. Nine aperture blades create stunning bokeh effects that appear impressively smooth and accurate. Two Super-Low Dispersion glass elements plus two aspherical elements work together harmoniously to minimize chromatic aberration while maximizing contrast and clarity. Additionally, advanced multi-layered coatings reduce surface reflections while maintaining excellent optical performance.

    Performance: Autofocus operates with precision and silence, giving clear photographs void of blurred lines. While shooting in bright settings may cause a slight chromatic aberration or fringing to appear on the corners of your photos, this can be quickly remedied through post-processing.

    Best for: This wide-angle lens is the optimal choice if you’re searching for an expansive visual field to take photos in tight surroundings, such as a real estate property or indoor events. Additionally, this is also an option if you are looking for a lens for the night sky.

    Its superior optical performance makes it an ideal choice for all types of photographers who want to capture expansive shots with a broad range of perspectives.

    zoom lenses

    7. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

    • Price: Average $$
    • Dimensions: 83.5 x 91.8 mm / 3.29 x 3.61 in.
    • Weight: 565g / 19.9oz.
    • Filter size: Ø77
    • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
    • Focal length: 17-50 mm
    • Image stabilization: Yes


    + A large aperture
    + Built-in image stabilization
    + Cheap for a zoom lens


    – A bit too heavy

    The Sigma 17-50mm lens captures sharp, detailed images in various environments. This lens offers high optical performance and fast autofocusing capabilities.

    Build and handling: Measuring 19.9 oz (565 g), this lens is lightweight yet still highly precise, delivering astounding images thanks to its optical stabilization technology and the combination of two Fluorite Low Dispersion elements, two glass-molded aspherical elements, and one hybrid aspherical element. It also features Super Multi-Layer Coating for added protection against glare.

    Performance: This travel lens offers decent clarity in low light conditions, with a constant f/2.8 aperture that ensures sharp visuals from edge to edge, regardless of the focal length. Although slight blurring might appear in mid-zoom settings, this lens will deliver stunning photos.

    Best for: This 17-50mm offers versatility and convenience in one compact package. Whether you’re capturing group shots, landscapes, street scenes, or portraits – no matter the photo opportunity on your journey – this lens has you covered. This might be one of your best bets if you seek a single go-to option that meets every travel photography need.

    Overall, this travel lens is a great tool that provides excellent performance at a reasonable price point, making it a great addition for beginners and travel photography professionals.

    8. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED

    • Price: Average $$
    • Dimensions: 3.1 x 3.3 in / 80 x 85.5 mm
    • Weight: 16.1 oz / 480 g
    • Filter size: Ø72
    • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
    • Focal length: 16-80 mm
    • Image stabilization: Yes


    + Great build quality
    + Built-in vibration reduction
    + Perfect for traveling


    – Has some distortion

    It’s a great choice for portrait and landscape photographers trying to capture stunning images with DSLR cameras. It has quite the same specifications as the previous one, but this one here has some extra focal lengths.

    Build and handling: This lens comprises 17 elements in 13 groups, including four ED glass elements and three aspherical elements. It also has Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat technology to reduce glare from sunlight or artificial light sources. The rubberized zoom rings provide a secure grip when zooming in on your subject, and the lens itself is relatively lightweight, coming in at 16.1oz (480g).

    Performance: This lens offers excellent sharpness and contrast throughout the zoom range, with minimal chromatic aberration. Its fast autofocus system also ensures quick and accurate tracking of your subject when shooting both stills and video. The Nano Crystal Coat technology helps reduce ghosting and flare from bright light sources, so your images retain color accuracy and vibrancy.

    Best for: The Nikon 16-80mm lens is perfect for photographers who want a versatile all-purpose lens. Its fast aperture allows you to shoot in low light conditions without increasing the ISO, and its wide-angle capabilities make it an ideal choice for capturing landscapes. It can also create stunning portrait images with beautiful background blur.

    With its fast autofocus, sharp optics, and versatile range of focal lengths, this lens is an excellent tool for all types of photographers.

    9. Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 Contemporary DC Macro OS HSM

    • Price: Average $$
    • Dimensions: 3.11 x 3.23 in / 79 x 82 mm
    • Weight: 16.3 oz / 465 g
    • Filter size: Ø72
    • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
    • Focal length: 17-70 mm
    • Image stabilization: Yes


    + Focal length from 17 to 70 mm
    + Image stabilization
    + Perfect for everyday use


    – A bit of distortion

    The Sigma 17-70mm is another great option for photographers looking to capture stunning images with a Nikon DSLR camera. This lens offers a range of features and more advanced options than the previous two lenses.

    Build and handling: The Sigma lens is constructed with 16 elements in 14 groups, which include one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) and two FLD glass elements. It also features a Hyper Sonic Motor for fast autofocus and optical stabilization to reduce the effects of camera shake – both extremely useful features for a travel lens. The zoom and focus rings are also well-made, providing an easy and comfortable grip when zooming in or out on your subject.

    Performance: This lens offers excellent image quality throughout its zoom range with minimal chromatic aberration. It has a fast aperture of f/2.8, allows you to capture images in low light conditions, and its macro capability allows you to get up close and personal with your subject for highly detailed shots. The optical stabilization also helps keep your photos sharp, even at slower shutter speeds.

    Best for: It is perfect for capturing stunning landscapes and detailed close-ups and shooting video with its built-in stabilization feature. It’s also great for travel photographers needing a versatile lens to handle various scenarios.

    With its fast autofocus, sharp optics, and versatile range of focal lengths, this lens is an excellent tool for all types of photographers.

    Macro lens

    10. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens

    • Price: Average $$
    • Dimensions: 3.3 x 4.6 in. / 83 x 116 mm
    • Weight: 27.9 oz. / 790 g
    • Filter size: Ø62
    • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
    • Focal length: 105mm
    • Image stabilization: Yes


    + Large aperture for low-light conditions
    + Focal length of 105mm
    + Built-in image stabilization


    – A bit heavy for hand-held shootings

    The macro lens is an excellent choice for those looking to get up close and personal with their subjects. This lens offers a great combination of features and performance, all in a lightweight package.

    Build and handling: The Nikon 105mm lens has 14 elements in 12 groups, including one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and nine diaphragm blades. It also features an Internal Focus system for precise focusing and a Silent Wave Motor for fast autofocus. The focus ring rotates smoothly, making adjusting the focus distance while shooting macro images easy.

    Performance: This lens offers excellent image quality throughout its focal range, with sharp details and accurate colors. The fast aperture of f/2.8 allows you to capture stunning background blur, while the vibration reduction system helps to reduce camera shake and maintain a steady shot when shooting at slower shutter speeds. It also has a minimum focusing distance of 1.0 ft. (0.31m), so you can get up close and personal with your subject for detailed macro shots.

    Best for: This lens is ideal for those looking to capture stunning macro images with their Nikon DSLR camera. This lens’s 105mm focal length and f/2.8 aperture make it the ideal option for capturing minute subjects, such as bugs or blossoms, with remarkable clarity.

    With its sharp optics and fast autofocus performance, this lens will help you take your macro photography to the next level.


    Ultimately, the best lens for Nikon D3500 will depend on your individual needs and preferences, so take the time to research the best options for you. With the right lens, you can get up close and personal with your subject for detailed macro shots or capture far-away subjects in stunning high resolution. No matter what type of photography you plan on doing with your Nikon D3500 camera, the right lens can help you get amazing results.

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