Nikon has been a top camera brand for years, and with the release of their latest camera, we thought it would be helpful to put together a list of the best Nikon compatible camera lenses. 

We break it down by Nikon lens mounts so you know exactly which lenses go with your camera – and there are multiple types from which to choose. 

BEST NIKON CAMERA LENSES

Know the mounts before you buy

Nikon has some cameras with full-frame sensors, and others with APS-C – but this is the standard mount for their DSLR cameras. 

You can use an FX lens with both full-frame and APS-C format DSLR cameras, but when you use the FX lens with an APS-C format, you will have to shoot in crop mode and megapixel count will drop dramatically.  

A Nikon lens mount known as the DX was specifically built for DSLR cameras with an APS-C sensor. Because of this, you cannot use a Nikon DX lens with a full-frame camera with your DSLRs. 

Neither can be used with Nikon mirrorless cameras without an adapter.

The Future of Nikon Camera Lenses & Mounts

Some of the older Nikon DSLR cameras have compatibility issues with newer lenses that feature the AF-P autofocus and Electromagnetic aperture control known as E type.

This is not limited to Nikon lenses, but also Tamron and Sigma lenses that would otherwise be compatible with new Nikon DSLR cameras. Still, there are a lot of great “Nikon DSLR lenses.”

There is also the new Z mount, which is full-frame, and deals specifically with the Nikon Z6/Z7 mirrorless cameras, but…

Nikon does provide a FTZ adapter which will allow you to take your F mount lenses and use them on the Nikon Z mirrorless camera bodies. 

Sigma lenses use DC (APS-C) and DG (full-frame).

Tamron lenses use Di-II (APS-C) and Di (full-frame).

At the very bottom of this post, we will go over the best cine lenses that use the Nikon F mount, so if you have a Nikon D850 for filmmaking, these would be a great option for your video lens choice.

Thes MSRP on a lot of these lenses may be too steep for your production. But if you look into renting the kits, there is a chance you could rent the Nikon cine lenses for $200 a day, or even for an entire weekend.

It is also important to note that while we provide you with links and price tags for a brand new version of the lens, you can oftentimes find used Nikon lenses that cut the price into ½ or even ⅓. 

Now that we know a little more about these Nikon lens mounts, let’s get into some of the best Nikon camera lenses.

BEST NIKON FX DSLR CAMERA LENSES

Best Nikon FX Lenses

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED Lens
Best Nikon Lenses to Have • Nikon Nikkor 105mm f1.4e

Best Nikon Lenses to Have  •  Nikon Nikkor 105mm f/1.4e

Nikon Lens Price: $2,096.95
  • F Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/1.4

Nikon Camera Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor 105mm f/1.4e Portrait Test by D Caldwell Photography

This short telephoto lens produces a really sharp image. It has a nano crystal coat to reduce flare and ghosting, and the lens features extra-low dispersion glass that limits chromatic aberration and color fringing.

This is a really great Nikon lens choice for portrait photography, and is also a prime which is commonly better for filmmakers.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon Nikkor 300mm f4E PF ED VR

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR

Nikon Lens Price: $1,996.95

  • F Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/4 

Best All Around Nikon Lenses  •  Exploring the Nikon Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR by Nikkon

The PF stands for ‘phase fresnel’ which basically means that you can have this huge focal length with a lens body that is pretty small in comparison to other 300mm lenses. This has the same non-crystal and coatings as many of the other Nikon lenses. A great lens for sports photography and wildlife photography.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens
Best Nikon Lenses to Have • Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8E ED VR

Best Nikon Lenses to Have  •  Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR

Nikon Lens Price: $2,096.95

  • F Mount
  • Full-frame
  • f/2.8 

Nikon Camera Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Review by William Frantz

VR stands for ‘vibration reduction’ which is great for both photography and video. You get a nice range in the zoom from wide angle to short telephoto, and a pretty decent max aperture rating.

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens for Nikon F
Best Nikon Lenses • Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC USD G2

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2

Nikon Lens Price: $1,199.00

  • F Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/2.8 

Most Popular Nikon Lenses  •  Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Review by Ryan Michaels

I put these back to back because they have the same focal length range, and the same max aperture rating, but there is a significant difference in price. Some take issue with the auto-focus system and the image quality difference in the Tamron version – but that may be the reason why the Nikon version is nearly twice as expensive.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.4G

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G

Nikon Lens Price: $376.95

  • F Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/1.4

Nikon Camera Lenses  •  Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Review by Christopher Frost

For the price, this is a really nice lens for photography and video. The 1.4 aperture rating is really nice for such an inexpensive lens, and this will help in situations when using “solely available” light.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-22mm f2.8G ED

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-22mm f/2.8G ED

Nikon Lens Price: $1,746.95

  • F Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/2.8

Best All Around Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-22mm f/2.8G ED Review by Lens Data

This is the widest lens on the list so far, and it is the widest of all the Nikon zooms with a constant 2.8 rating. It's a bulky lens – which can be a good thing for durability and general build. Good for landscapes and interiors.

Nikon AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f2.8G ED

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED

Nikon Lens Price: $596.95

  • F Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/2.8 

Nikon Camera Lenses  •  Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED Feature Video by Nikon

This prime lens from Nikon is great for macro photography.

BEST NIKON DX DSLR CAMERA LENSES

Best Nikon DX Lenses

Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens
Best Nikon Lenses to Have • Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8G IF-ED

Best Nikon Lenses to Have  •  Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Nikon Lens Price: $1,496.95

  • F Mount
  • APS-C
  • Max: f/2.8 

Nikon Lenses Review  •  Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED Review by DigitalRev TV

This is the best DX lens on the list – and it’s so good you can even use it with the full-frame sensor and still get really great images. The build is full metal, so it is really solid, and the auto-focus works really well.

Nikon AF-S Fisheye Nikkor 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5 ED
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon Fisheye Nikkor 8-15mm f3.5-4.5E ED

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Fisheye Nikkor 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED

Nikon Lens Price: $1,249.95

  • F Mount
  • APS-C
  • Max: f/2.8

Nikon Lenses Review  •  Nikon Fisheye Nikkor 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED Tutorial by Wakefield Wildlife

This fisheye lens is a little expensive – but it’s technically impressive nonetheless. If you’re not looking to use a fisheye lens all the time, I’d suggest renting instead.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f1.8G

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G

Nikon Lens Price: $166.95

  • F Mount
  • APS-c
  • Max: f/2.8

Best All Around Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Review by Christopher Frost

This lens is super cheap and accessible to Nikon DX users, and while the build and image quality isn’t perfect, it is pretty good for a lens that, completely brand new, has a price tag below $200.

Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f4G IF-ED

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED

Nikon Lens Price: $1,146.95

  • EF-S Mount
  • APS-C
  • Max: f/4.5

Nikon Lenses Review  •  Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED Test Footage by Gregg Alexander

This lens has a superior build and image quality when compared to the 10-24mm, and is also better than the off-brand options. You’ll get the sharpest images with aperture set anywhere between f/5-6.8.

BEST NIKON Z MIRRORLESS LENSES

Best Nikon Z Lenses

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f2.8S

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8S

Nikon Lens Price: $2,096.95

  • Z Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/2.8

Most Popular Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8S Review by Taylor Jackson

The new Z series lenses from Nikon are great. They are also really expensive, and there’s little chance of getting a used version, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth the investment.

This lens is basically an upgraded version of the 24-70mm FX, but it is shorter, lighter, and captures sharper images.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon Nikkor Z 35mm f1.8 S

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S

Nikon Lens Price: $696.95

  • Z Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/1.8

Best All Around Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S Review by Mathieu Gasquet

This lens is nice and sharp and gets great results with color and contrast. The 35mm also gives nice focus and very little motion blur when compared to earlier versions of the same lens. Really good aperture rating.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f4 S

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S

Nikon Lens Price: $1,096.95

  • Z Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/4

Best All Around Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S Review by Kai W

This is a very small lens considering it’s 14-30mm. One of the nice improvements of this lens is the ability to attach screw-on filters to the front of the lens, which you could not do in the past 14-30mm FX lenses.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S Lens
Best Nikon Lenses • Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8 S

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Nikon Lens Price: $496.95

  • Z Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: f/1.8

Most Popular Nikon Lenses  •  Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S Review by Brady Hommel

Some have pointed out that the auto-focus with this lens is still slower than the F mount lenses, which is contrary to Nikon’s claims, but the image quality and the 1.8 rating for $600 (brand new) is really nice.

BEST NIKON CINEMA CAMERA LENSES

Best Nikon F Cine Lenses

Rokinon 20, 35, 50, 85mm Cine DS Lens Bundle (Nikon F Mount)
Best Nikon Lenses • Rokinon 20, 35, 50, 85 Cine DS Lenses

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Rokinon 20, 35, 50, 85 Cine DS Lenses

Nikon Lens Price: $1,643.00

  • F Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: t/1.5

Nikon Lenses Review  •  Rokinon 20, 35, 50, 85 Cine DS Lenses Test Footage by glasspixelstudios

This kit of cine lenses from Rokinon is great for indie filmmakers. The lenses capture motion really well, and give shots a nice cinematic look for a pretty low price when compared to pro cine lenses.

Samyang/Rokinon Xeen 50mm T1.5 Lens for Nikon F Mount
Best Nikon Lenses • Rokinon Xeen 50mm T1.5 Lens

Best Nikon Lenses  •  Rokinon Xeen 50mm T1.5 Lens

Nikon Lens Price: $1,795.00

  • F Mount
  • Full-frame
  • Max: t/1.5

Best All Around Nikon Lenses  •  Rokinon Xeen 50mm Lens Comparison and Review by Hurlbut Academy

The Samyang/Rokinon Xeen 50mm lens is a great mid-tier lens option for Nikon’s F mounts. The lens is strictly manual-focus – keep that in mind before purchasing.

Up Next

The Best 4K Cameras

You’ve checked out lenses, not you can turn to camera bodies. We give you a list of The Best 4K Cameras ($12,000 Max Price). The post helps you understand 4K and features a great list to help you choose a camera.  

Up Next: Best 4K Video Cameras →
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  • SC Lannom is a screenwriter and director living in Los Angeles. He works as a writer, director, and content producer here at StudioBinder.

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