Best Nikon Lenses | 2024

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In this guide, we’re counting off the best Nikon lenses for mirrorless cameras and DSLRs. Whether you’re using a Z-mount or F-mount camera, you’ll find lenses here to tempt you, with a broad cross-section of zooms and primes that our team have found to be particularly impressive.

As well as having two different lines of camera, Nikon also offers two sensor sizes – full-frame and the smaller APS-C. Nikon refers to these as FX and DX respectively, so if a lens has “DX” in the name, you know it’s only suited to APS-C cameras. FX lenses will work on both, but may be a little heavy when mounted to DX bodies. They’ll also have a narrower field of view, due to the crop factor.

Whether you want to shoot portraits, landscapes, architecture images, street photos or whatever else, there will be a fantastic Nikon lens here to help make it happen. We’ve made sure to include budget-friendly picks as well as the pro stuff, so don’t worry if your funds are limited. So, all that’s left to do is dive in!

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Best Mirrorless Lens

Here are our picks of top lenses to buy for Nikon’s mirrorless Z system. Featuring some absolutely outstanding glass, the Nikon Z system of lenses provides a selection of professional and affordable optics for full-frame and APS-C cameras in the range. This isn’t a comprehensive selection of lenses – just a round-up of our team’s particular favourites. And, we’ve included some third-party options as well as lenses made by Nikon.

Nikon Z 50mm f1.8 S Lens

£489.00 View

Pros:

  • Very affordable to buy
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Can double up as portrait lens on a DX camera

Cons:

  • No stabilisation

Let’s start with something straightforward – and affordable! This is one of the most reasonably priced lenses for the Z mount at the moment, and happily it’s also one of the most useful. When mounted to a camera with a full-frame sensor, the Nikon Z 50mm f1.8 S provides roughly the equivalent to the field of view of a human eye. This makes it perfect for general-purpose photography and capturing things in a naturalistic way – street and documentary shooters should find it useful. All this is bolstered by the f1.8 maximum aperture, which allows for the creation of shallow depth of field and vivid bokeh.

Nikon Z 35mm f1.8 S Lens

£809.00 View

Pros:

  • Superb sharpness with excellent rendering of “point” light sources
  • Reliable autofocus
  • Does brilliantly in backlit situations

Cons:

  • f1.8, not f1.4 (it’s a shame but not unforgivable) 

A wider prime, well suited to landscapes and architecture shooting, the Nikon Z 35mm f1.8 S boasts edge-to-edge sharpness thanks to a sophisticated internal optical design, and it particularly excels at rendering “point” light sources, i.e. distant small lights of the kind you might see in night-time landscapes. Autofocus is fast and accurate, as you’d expect from a nippy mirrorless system lens, and the body is built to be resistant to dust and drips, standing you in good stead for an outdoor shoot.

Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S Lens

£709.00 View

Pros:

  • Lovely bokeh quality
  • Silent focusing system
  • Short close focusing distance

Cons:

  • f1.8, not f1.4 (we just wanted that bit more) 

This is definitely a good choice if you’re planning to shoot portraits with your Nikon Z camera – the short telephoto focal length of the Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S is ideal for flattering your subjects and making them look as good as possible. The f1.8 maximum aperture also means you can create the kind of shallow depth of field that’s essential for good portraiture, and the minimum focal distance is just 0.8m, in case you want to get really close. Anti-reflective Nano Crystal Coat and a smooth, silent multi-focusing system round out a seriously well-featured lens.

Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S Lens

£1,889.00 View

Pros:

  • Ultra-sharp throughout zoom range
  • Customisable control ring and function button
  • Comprehensive weather sealing

Cons:

  • Priced for professionals

Covering the workhorse focal range beloved by professionals worldwide, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S is designed for those who are really planning to put their Nikon Z camera through its paces. As well as offering ultra-sharp performance, it’s also designed to be extensively customised to just the way you like to work, with a control ring that can be set to cover your preferred function, as well as a function button with 21 different assignable options. It’s built tough, too, with plenty of weather sealing, so wherever the next challenge takes you, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S will be able to keep up.

Lensbaby Velvet 56mm f1.6 Lens for Nikon Z

£449.00 View

Pros:

  • Distinctive ethereal look to images
  • Affordable
  • Works great in close-up

Cons:

  • Won’t suit every situation
  • No autofocus

Lensbaby has done a great job of converting its catalogue to be compatible with the Nikon Z range. Great for portrait and macro work alike, Lensbaby’s Velvet 56mm f1.6 Lens produces images with a soft and velvety look at its maximum aperture of f/1.6, and then as you stop down produces images that are sharper, but still retain a distinctive look. Its 1:2 macro capabilities make it well-suited for close-ups, while the 56mm focal length is good enough for portraits but is also pleasingly general-purpose. It’s a great lens to pair with your Nikon Z camera for experimentation and pushing things a little further.

Samyang MF 85mm f1.4 Lens for Nikon Z

£319.00 View

Pros:

  • Affordable option for portraits
  • f1.4

Cons:

  • No autofocus

Samyang has also got in on the Z-mount action, producing this manual-focus 85mm short telephoto lens that’s great for the budget-conscious portrait photographer. Available for a price significantly lower than Nikon’s own version, it doesn't have all the same features and functionality, but does provide an f/1.4 maximum aperture that’s actually a little better than the Nikon, which manages an f1.8. So, if you can live without autofocus and want to save a bundle, this is something to bear in mind.

Best DSLR Lens

Here, we’ve collated a selection of our favourite lenses for Nikon’s venerable F-mount DSLR range. While new lenses aren’t really being developed for this range, it includes a huge selection of stone-cold classics and you could spend a happy photo-taking life shooting entirely on F-mount – many people have. And remember that these lenses can easily be converted to work with mirrorless Z-mount cameras via the FTZ adapter.

Nikon 50mm f1.4 G AF-S Lens

£459.00 View

Pros:

  • Versatile focal length
  • Does well in low light
  • Converts to a portrait lens on DX-format

Cons:

  • Not weather sealed
  • No stabilisation

This fast lens is a great all-purpose optic for your Nikon DSLR camera. It covers a field of view similar to that of a human eye, making it great for street and documentary work, while its f/1.4 aperture gives it a real edge in low light. Also, if you mount it on a DX-format camera you’ll get a focal length of about 75mm, which makes it a good choice for portraiture. However you choose to use it, you’ll find the Nikon 50mm f1.4 G AF-S Lens to be a stalwart companion you’ll want in your kit bag every time.

Sigma 105mm f2.8 Macro EX DG OS HSM for Nikon F

£399.00 View

Pros:

  • Stunning detail in images
  • True macro capability

Cons:

  • Not weather sealed
  • No stabilisation

Take advantage of a superb macro lens from the ever-reliable Sigma – this lens has a 1:1 reproduction ratio, meaning it’s a “true” macro lens and is ideal for making splendid close-up images with your Nikon camera. A superior optical construction ensures that images produced with the lens are sharp from edge to edge and rich with detail, while the floating inner focusing system minimises aberrations for unbeatable clarity. An all-around winner of a macro lens.

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8E AF-S FL ED VR Nikkor Lens

£2,219.00 View

Pros:

  • Effective stabilisation system
  • Rugged weather-sealed design
  • Gorgeous images even when used wide open

Cons:

  • Priced for pros

If you need a solid workhorse lens with a large aperture to work with, then consider Nikon’s 70-200mm, which has an f/2.8 maximum aperture that extends right the way through its zoom range. Made with superior internal optics and boasting Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system for effective image stabilisation, the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8E AF-S FL ED VR Nikkor Lens is a trusty lens that will acquit itself well in all manner of different shooting situations.

Nikon 10-20mm f4.5-5.6 G AF-P DX VR Nikkor Lens

£309.00 View

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • One of the widest options for DX Nikon cameras
  • Well-optimised for video

Cons:

  • DX-format (APS-C) only

With a wide-angle zoom that also lets you focus at distances as close as 0.22m, the Nikon 10-20mm f4.5-5.6 G AF-P DX VR Nikkor Lens provides the best of all worlds and is a fantastic choice for the adventurous, creative Nikon photographer. It’s extremely light at just 230g, making it an ideal companion for the lighter DX DSLRs, and provides a perspective that’s manifestly different to a standard kit lens. The autofocus is near-silent too, so it’s a solid choice for video use, and getting striking shots that draw your viewer into a frame.

Nikon 85mm f3.5 G ED AF-S VR DX Micro Nikkor Lens

£459.00 View

Pros:

  • True macro lens
  • Stabilised
  • Excellent detail in images

Cons:

  • DX-format (APS-C) only

Finally, we have a macro lens for DX-format in a useful mid-telephoto focal length. The fact that this is a prime lens means it has an optical construction that ensures fantastic optical quality throughout images, and a 1:1 reproduction ratio for astonishingly lifelike close-up images. With the Vibration Reduction system present and correct, this lens is fantastic to use handheld, ensuring a top-notch all-around shooting experience.

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FAQs

What type of Nikon lens is best for portrait photography?

For portrait photography, prime lenses with focal lengths of 50mm to 85mm are ideal. These lenses offer a wide aperture, allowing for a shallow depth of field and beautiful background blur.

Which Nikon lens should I use for landscape photography?

Wide-angle lenses, ranging from 14mm to 35mm, are perfect for capturing expansive landscapes. These lenses allow you to include more of the scene in your frame and often provide sharp details across the image.

What is Nikon's VR (Vibration Reduction)?

Nikon's VR (Vibration Reduction) lenses reduce camera shake, enabling sharper images in low light and at slower shutter speeds. This feature is especially useful when shooting handheld and when using telephoto lenses.

Are Nikon zoom lenses good for wildlife photography?

Yes, Nikon's telephoto zoom lenses, with focal lengths extending to 300mm or more, are excellent for wildlife photography. They allow you to get close-up shots of distant subjects without disturbing them.

What makes Nikon lenses unique compared to other brands?

Nikon lenses are known for their superior build quality, advanced optical technologies, and innovative features like Nano Crystal Coating for reducing ghosting and flare. Additionally, Nikon's extensive range of lenses ensures that photographers can find the perfect lens for any type of photography.

How do we decide?


Our in-house photography experts, store staff and partners all work collaboratively to pour over these guides. The cameras and equipment recommended in our guides are based on their personal opinion, empirical experience and of course, feedback from our customers. We way up price, features, quality and the all-important 'je ne sais quoi' to make sure we recommend products that will delight and inspire. 

If you would like more advice on any purchase our contact centre staff are here to help. Alternatively, you can reach us via email or social media. And don't forget. If you were to purchase anything based on our recommendations you'll be covered by our full returns policy