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The 10 Best Lenses for Nikon D3500 (Buying Guide)

best lenses for nikon d3500

I’m going to start this article with one of my own formulas for life. First and foremost, you have to know at least something about the company of the product that you are willing to buy a part for, in this case, Nikon Corporate. And then, you have to know something more about the part itself, in this case, the lens.

Okay, now I get it, this is a serious matter, we are talking about something related to Nikon here. Nikon as corporate dates way back, and we are talking a century back. It was founded in 1917 in Japan and it’s part of The Mitsubishi Group. You might have heard more about Nikon when purchasing a camera, but that’s not the only product they sell, they have a whole range of other products too. Nikon also provides the customers with other products, such as Semiconductors, lenses, microscopes, and many other products that show the impact of Nikon not only in the photography world but also in many other fields.

Now, when it comes to the part, we want to know first what are we buying. In this case, we are buying a lens, but do we actually know what a lens is for? I don’t think so!

A lens is an object made of a transparent material or a piece of glass, with curved sides for concentrating or dispersing light rays. When it comes to photography lenses, there are a few types of lenses that every photographer should have, such as the macro lens, the telephoto zoom lens, the general-purpose zoom lens, etc.

But, what if you are looking for lenses for a specific camera such as Nikon D3500? Okay, let’s get into showing you the 5 best lenses for Nikon D3500.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
The sharpest
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
10
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The golden ring
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED
9.5
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The vacation lens
Nikon AF-S DX Telephoto NIKKOR 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
Nikon AF-S DX Telephoto NIKKOR 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
9.1
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The close-up master
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G
8.8
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The precise one 
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
8.6
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The portrait master
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G
8.2
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Your everyday companion
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
8
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The best all-arounder
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
7.7
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The telephoto power
Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR
Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR
7.4
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Anything but ordinary
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED
7.2
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The Top 10 Best Lenses for Nikon D3500

10. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED – The sharpest

Nikon AF S DX NIKKOR 12 24mm f4G IF ED

I have to warn you, the first two lenses you will see listed here, are the oldest on the list, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be considered not fit for Nikon D3500, you know how they say, old but gold. This Nikon D3500 lens is one of the first lenses invented by Nikon and it is considered a historic lens.

The silent wave motor is a great addition to this lens. What the silent wave motor does is it offers quiet and fast autofocus.

This wide angle lens has a decent built quality, the outer part is mostly made of plastic but let’s not look at it as a negative characteristic. The fact that the outer part of this Nikon D3500 lens is made mostly of plastic, makes it lighter in weight and easier to carry.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED wide angle Lens:

  • 2 glass elements of extra-low dispersion – 3 aspherical lens elements for superior optics.
  • 2 to 24-millimeter autofocus zoom lens –  With f/4 maximum aperture for Nikon digital SLR cameras.
  • Design – D type. Provides information for flash and ambient light exposure.
  • Rounded diaphragm – Out-of-focus elements appear natural.
  • Dimensions and weight – Measures 3.2 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches long; weighs 1.07 pounds.

 


9. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED – The golden ring

Nikon AF S DX NIKKOR 17 55mm f2.8G IF ED

As I mentioned above, this one is also one of the oldest Nikon D3500 lenses that you can get out there. But, again, let’s use the same logic on this one, too, the older, the better.

This Nikon D3500 lens is actually considered the golden ring and still, nowadays it’s part of the portfolio of the lenses designed by Nikon. Unlike the first Nikon D3500 lens, this one’s body is made out of metal which means, it’s worth spending some money on this one. 

I’ve used this one as my portrait lens for the past year, and i fell in love with it. It wasn’t my main portrait lens before, but now i use it for all my portrait photography work.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED:

  • Focal length – 17-55mm.
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio – 0.20x.
  • High optical performance by aspherical lenses and ED glass elements.
  • M/A mode for quick switching between autofocus and manual operation.
  • Dust and waterproof rubber sealing mount. 

 


8. Nikon AF-S DX Telephoto NIKKOR 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II – The vacation lens

Nikon AF S DX Telephoto NIKKOR 18 200mm F3.5 5.6G ED VR II

This Nikon D3500 lens belongs to VR II generation technology and as such takes care to take sharper images, it has a slower shutter speed and it can capture photos in a wider range of lighting conditions. It is called the vacation lens for a reason, because if you are packing your back and you are heading off somewhere, then all you need to take with you to make the best memories are somewhat superior optically telephoto lens, and that’s exactly this lens for Nikon D3500.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-S DX Telephoto NIKKOR 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II telephoto lens:

  • Adaptation – This Nikon D3500 lens adapts itself in various situations.
  • Focal length range – 18 -200 millimeters.
  • Minimum focus distance – 1.6 feet.
  • Image stabilization – Nikon VR II (vibration reduction).
  • Filter thread -72 millimeter.
  • Maximum angle of view (dx-format) – 76°
  • Minimum angle of view (DX-format) – 8°

 


7. Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G – The close-up master

Nikon AF S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f2.8G

This nikon lens is made to reveal hidden beauty. It pops up the details in such a way that even if they seem ugly to the human eyes, it makes them tempting and pleasing. It dies in a unique way by isolating the object that is being photographed and by canceling everything around. This nikon lens is the perfect one if you have a product that needs to be advertised, but not only.

Yes, it is the perfect close-up lens, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t capture the most perfect landscapes and panoramas. The bokeh effect on this portrait lens will also make your portraits stunning.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G:

  • Practicality – Compact and lightweight DX-format close-up lens.
  • Maximum reproduction ratio – 1.0x
  • Focal length – 40 mm
  • The angle of view – is 38 degrees 50 feet
  • Minimum focus distance – 0.53 feet
  • This lens is not zoomable. 

 


6. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED – The precise one 

Nikon AF S VR Micro NIKKOR 105mm f2.8G IF ED 3

If you are a fan of versatility, reach, or precision, then you have just found the best lens for your Nikon camera. It is assumed that the details of photography that are taken with this telephoto lens, will be just fine. This lens has fast autofocus that makes it the lens with the truest precision. With this telephoto lens, you can expect photos with vibrant colors, deep contrast, and great clarity, which means that this lens has a superior optical performance. With this prime lens, you can capture sharp details and you will never fail to do so, this is guaranteed, you just have to take advantage of everything that this. The image quality with this prime lens is out of this world.

If you are into macro photography, you will love this lens because its also a macro lens.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED:

  • Focal length – 105mm
  • Maximum aperture – f/2.8
  • Minimum aperture – f/32
  •  Lens construction – 4 elements in 12 groups (1 ED glass and Nano Crystal Coat-deposited lens elements)
  • The angle of view – 23°20’ [15°20’ with Nikon digital cameras (Nikon DX-format)
  • Minimum focus distance – 0.314m (1.0 ft.)
  • Maximum reproduction ratio – 1x
  • Diaphragm blades – 9
  • Filter attachment size – approximately 83 x 116mm/3.3 x 4.6 in.
  • Weight – Approximately 750 g/26.5 oz.

 


5. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G – The portrait master

Nikon AF S FX NIKKOR 85mm f1.4G

With this lens, you can get the most perfect portrait. And, that is because this lens enables shooting in dramatic low-light conditions, and in this way you can take your creativity to some other levels, much better ones. This prime lens throws the background way out of focus like no other lens, and it gives super clarity to the main object in the photography.

I just have to mention that this lens is the favorite lens of one of the ambassadors of Nikon and this fact has to tell you something more. Some of the accessories that come along with this lens if you decide to purchase it are a Bayonet lens hood, snap-on front lens, lens cap, soft lens case, etc. Overall, i would say that if a high image quality of your portraits is your primary goal, this lens will be the right fit for you.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G:

  • Mount Type – Nikon F-Bayonet
  • Focal Length – 85mm
  • Maximum Aperture – f/ 1.4
  • Minimum Aperture – f/ 16
  • Format – FX/35mm
  • Maximum Angle of View (DX-format) – 18°50′
  • Maximum Angle of View (FX-format) – 28°30′
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio – 0.12x
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length) – 3.4 in. (86.2 mm) x 3.3 in. (84 mm)
  • Approx. Weight – 21.0 oz. (595 g)

 


4. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G – Your everyday companion

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 50mm f1.8G 2

As every photographer should know, this lens is the golden standard for every Nikon camera owner. This lens more or less guarantees everything that all the other lenses combined offer.

This lens pushes your creativity to its limits by being able to take incredible photos even in low light conditions. The ability of this prime lens to take the best pictures of everyday life makes it the best lens for everyday use and makes you take it with you everywhere you go.

The most perfect prime lens to capture the joyful faces of your children running around on a family picnic day, so if you are having any doubts about purchasing it or not, you shouldn’t have them. Definitely a great lens with amazing image quality.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G:

  • Focal Length – 50mm
  • Maximum Aperture – f/ 1.8
  • Minimum Aperture – f/ 16
  • Format – FX/35mm
  • Maximum Angle of View (DX-format) – 31°30′
  • Maximum Angle of View (FX-format) – 47°
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio – 0.15x
  • Diaphragm Blades – 7
  • Minimum Focus Distance – 1.48 ft. ( 0.45m)
  • Filter Size – 58mm
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length) – 2.8 in. (72.1 mm) x 2.1 in. (52.4 mm)
  • Approx. Weight – 6.6 oz. (185 g)

 


3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G – The best all-arounder

Nikon AF S DX NIKKOR 35mm f1.8G 2

This lens will give you everything you need, including here, the greatest background blur, yes, that’s something that other lenses can offer to you, but not as perfectly as this lens.

It isolates the subject in the best way possible and it has this incredible low-light performance, so I bet you will want this lens with you while watching the sunset together with your loved one.

This lens is also environmentally friendly, which means, yes it will make the best out of the subject by showing every detail, but it will also make sure to capture it along with the parts of the environment. For a great image quality, this lens is a good pick, and i would say that its the best lens for Nikon D3500 in its category.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G:

  • Focal Length – 35mm
  • Maximum Aperture – f/ 1.8
  • Minimum Aperture – f/ 22
  • Format – DX
  • Maximum Angle of View (DX-format) – 44°
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio – 0.16x
  • Diaphragm Blades – 7
  • Minimum Focus Distance – 0.98 ft.
  • Filter Size – 52mm
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length) – 2.8 in. (70 mm) x 2.1 in. (52.5 mm)
  • Approx. Weight – 7 oz. (200 g)

 


2. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR – The telephoto power

Nikon AF P DX NIKKOR 70 300mm f4.5 6.3G ED VR 4

I bet you are thinking, by reading this article I’m getting closer and closer to the best lens for my Nikon D3500 camera and this one must be one of them. Yes, you are right. This lens is the best telephoto power and the best Nikon quality. It has this incredible VR image stabilization, guaranteeing sharp and steady videos. One of the best features of this lens is that it focuses extremely fast and is nearly silent.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR:

  • Focal Length Range – 70 – 300mm
  • Zoom Ratio – 4.3x
  • Maximum Aperture – f/ 4.5-6.3
  • Minimum Aperture – f/ 32
  • Maximum Angle of View (DX-format) – 22°50′
  • Minimum Angle of View (DX-format) – 5°20′
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio – 0.22x
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length) – 2.8 in. (72 mm) x 4.9 in. (125 mm)
  • Approx. Weight – 14.7 oz. (415 g)

 


1.Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED – Anything but ordinary

Nikon AF S DX NIKKOR 16 80mm f2.8 4E ED

Yes, you have reached the lens that offers you anything but the ordinary. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that this lens is the best of all the listed 10 lenses, after all, the title of this article is, 10 best lenses for Nikon D3500, so they all are the best. With this lens, you will unleash the power of high resolution, reduce color aberration and enhance sharpness and contrast.

Characteristics of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED:

  • Focal Length Range – 16 – 80mm
  • Zoom Ratio – 5x
  • Maximum Aperture – f/ 2.8-4
  • Minimum Aperture – f/ 22-32
  • Minimum Focus Distance – 1.15 ft. ( 0.35m)
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length) – 3.1 in. (80 mm) x 3.3 in. (85.5 mm)
  • Approx. Weight – 16.1 oz. (480 g)

 

 

Final Words

Look, this article is not written in a chronological way, which means, these lenses are not listed from the least good lens to the best lens for the Nikon D3500. I listed a macro lens, a wide angle lens, a portrait lens and a few prime lenses.

All the listed lenses will make a perfect job when it comes to capturing the most incredible close-up photo or the most beautiful landscape, so one thing’s for certain, you won’t make a bad decision.

 

Further Reading

A great and creative photographer should always ask for more, so if you have another type of camera, let’s say Sony A5100, The Best Lenses For Sony A5100 are on that link, and if you happen to be into interior design photography, take a read on 5 Best Lenses For Interior Photography in 2022 (Reviewed)