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The 10 Best Lenses for Nikon D3500 (Buying Guide)

It would be such a waste of money to throw extra cash into the high-end camera and not be able to get the expected results. I thought about it for a while, and then I said, hold on, why don’t I write about the best lenses for Nikon D3500 to help everyone who is facing the same issue? And here I am.

A Quick Look at My Favorite 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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Key Takeaways

  • A fantastic investment is always buying a superb lens for a camera like the Nikon D3500 since doing so will improve the performance of your camera.
  • The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G is the lens you choose if you are interested in portrait photography.
  • The Nikon AF-S DX Telephoto NIKKOR 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II is another excellent lens that will make your professional life like heaven.
  • It’s usually a good idea to buy camera accessories, but before doing so, you should determine why you need the lens and choose the model that best fits your requirements.

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

What I Like

  • Well built
  • Ultra-wide field of view
  • Extremely sharp

What I Don’t Like

  • Pricey
  • Big

Starting the list with the quote “old but gold” because that’s what this lens is about. No matter how many years have passed, the knife sharpness visuals are still present in it. Folks, this camera is 12-24mm which means is for wide angle views and the best part about it is that, the motor being silent and autofocus is working super fast. It’s great especially for arch or real estate photography.   

Even though the outside part is mainly built from plastic, it’s not a bad thing because I’m sure you’ll protect it at any cost. Look at the bright side though, it will be lightweight and portable when you use it. 

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

  • Lens Type: Zoom
  • Focal Length: 12 to 24mm
  • Aperture: f/22- f/4
  • Elements: 11
  • Groups: 7 (round)
  • Blades: 7
  • View angle: 99°- 61° 

Why should you buy it?

As a long time of user, I would say don’t doubt, just go for it because even if you’re a beginner in the photography world, you’ll still able to catch either the full body or portrait.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED


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

What I Like

  • Sturdy built
  • Great focal length
  • Great optical performance
  • Dust and waterproof

What I Don’t Like

  • Narrow aperture

Narrow aperture

I would like to call it as my vacation lens because there are many hidden reasons which I’m about to expose. First of all it is made out entire plastic but it’s forgivable when you look at the price range. I say vacation because it creates great building pictures and portraits if you’re into that. The best part is that you can zoom really in and still get clear and detailed shots. The versatile use is great and the price for entry level photographers is the desert part of this lens.

The silent motor wave is still here in this model too as usually what Nikon does. Plus is compatible with for Nikon D3200, D3300 cameras. So, you’re left to enjoy it only.

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

Lens Type: Telephoto

  • Focal Length: 18-200mm
  • Aperture: f/22- f/3.5 to 5.6
  • Elements: 16
  • Groups: 12
  • Blades: 7 rounded
  • View angle: 76° to 8°

Why should you buy it?

The versatile use and affordable price point is enough to pick this lens. It performs great in every angle and lighting condition. It’s ideal if you look for a travel buddy and create undying memories.

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


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

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

What I Like

  • Sturdy built
  • Great focal length
  • Great optical performance
  • Duts and waterproof

What I Don’t Like

  • Narrow aperture

I would like to call it my vacation lens because there are many hidden reasons which I’m about to expose. First of all, it is made out of entire plastic, but it’s forgivable when you look at the price range. I say vacation because it creates great building pictures and portraits if you’re into that. The best part is that you can zoom really in and still get clear and detailed shots. The versatile use is great, and the price for entry-level photographers is the desert part of this lens.
The silent motor wave is also still here in this model, as Nikon usually does. Plus, the lens is compatible with Nikon D3200, and D3300 cameras. So, you’re left to enjoy it only.

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

  • Lens Type: Telephoto
  • Focal Length: 18-200mm
  • Aperture: f/22- f/3.5 to 5.6
  • Elements: 16
  • Groups: 12
  • Blades: 7 rounded
  • View angle: 76° to 8°

Why should you buy it?

The versatile use and affordable price point is enough to pick this lens. It performs great in every angle and lighting condition. It’s ideal if you look for a travel buddy and create undying memories. 

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S DX Telephoto NIKKOR 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II


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

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

What I Like

  • Lightweight
  • Convenient zoom range
  • Good optical quality

What I Don’t Like

  • The bokeh effect could be better

This lens is specifically designed to discover pure beauty close up. It’s super lightweight and affordable, which makes it ideal for intimate details. It eliminates everything from the background to emphasize the object directly.
The autofocus is impressive, especially if you’re an entry-level photographer, plus the silent wave motor is placed in this budget lens too. The only downside is being a prime lens which is my least favorite because you cannot zoom it. Other than that, every detail in the picture looks absolutely stunning. Not only close-up pics but also portraits, bokeh effect, and nature landscapes will shine.

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

  • Lens Type: Standard
  • Focal Length: 40mm
  • Aperture: f/22-f/2.8
  • Elements: 9
  • Groups: 7
  • Blades: 7 rounded
  • View angle: 38°-50′

Why should you buy it?

If you want a super affordable lens for close-up photography and to create a stunning bokeh effect, this is your go-to lens. Believe me, this quality over this price is hard to be found; just saying.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G


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

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

What I Like

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Focus limiter switch
  • Very sharp

What I Don’t Like

  • Lacks stabilization

I assume you are more like a detail-oriented person who is looking for versatility and precision at the same time. Say no more because this telephoto lens is ready to fulfill your wishes. The autofocus is my favorite part of it cause a lot of photographers like me are a bit lazy to use the focus manually (let’s be honest now). The truest precision will follow you anywhere with lifelike pictures, deep contrast, and super sharp details.
This lens practically has a master’s degree in optical performance and accuracy; no more failures, let the success define you. All you have to do is to take advantage of this lens, and when looking at the price tag, it’s not that bad after all.

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

  • Lens Type: Standard
  • Focal Length: 105mm
  • Aperture: f/32-f/2.8
  • Elements: 14
  • Groups: 12
  • Blades: 9, Rounded
  • View angle: 23° 20′

Why should you buy it?

Where are my macro photography lovers, look no more because you just found the greatest lens for this purpose at a really affordable price tag.

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


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

Nikon AF S FX NIKKOR 85mm f1.4G

What I Like

  • Compact
  • Optical stabilization
  • No distortion
  • Great sharpness

What I Don’t Like

  • Pricey

If you want to create faultless perfection in portraits, then look no further because this lens performs amazingly in low light conditions, so what are you waiting for? Level up your photography game. This prime lens handles the background well, focusing primarily on your object to provide you with the clarity you’ve been seeking.

I personally use it for nature photography, weddings, and vehicles mostly. The low light is not an issue anymore. Plus, the autofocus is unbelievably precise and durable. The durability is another level because of the nano crystal coating.

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

  • Lens Type: Telephoto
  • Focal Length: 85 mm
  • Aperture: f/16-f/1.4
  • Elements: 10
  • Groups: 9
  • Blades: 9
  • View angle: 28° 30′

Why should you buy it?

It may come at a price that is hard to swallow, but I guarantee the failure is not even an option. The fixed focal length, you can take beautiful nature and wedding pictures with bokeh effect.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G


4. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G – Great For Casual Use 

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 50mm f1.8G 2

What I Like

  • Lightweight
  • Minimal distortion
  • Bright aperture
  • Very sharp

What I Don’t Like

  • No optical stabilization

Shout out t every Nikon user, this lens is a golden gem of all. It is capable of pretty much to offer a little bit of everything like portrait, wide angle and zooming, so that makes the perfect use of basically everything.  

Push your limits, don’t stick to only one style because that’s what photography world is about “the creativity”. It belongs to prime lens type which makes it great for vacations and content creating, and everyday use.

The image quality is mesmerizing even in the low lighting and focus happens in an instant, so you won’t miss any diverse moment picture. It is considered as the first 50mm lens that is designed with aspherical element at this price range. 

 Avoid now, cry later type of lens, I can assure it wouldn’t be a mistake if you get it.

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

  • Lens Type: Standard
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Aperture: f/1.8-f/16
  • Elements: 7
  • Groups: 6
  • Blades: 7, rounded
  • View angle: 47°

Why should you buy it?

It’s worth giving a shot if you still haven’t decided on what do you plan to put your focus on. it’s basically for every day use and the price range is the one that will catch your immediate attention. Check it out. 

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G


3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G – Budget Pick

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

What I Like

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Great sharpness
  • Fast aperture

What I Don’t Like

  • No aperture ring

You know that photographer feeling that you have a shot in your mind and can’t express it with words? This lens can is “the one” that can catch the shot flawlessly.

The subject isolation does the job well even at super low lighting, and if you’re the person who adores taking sky pictures every time you see it changes colors, then this lens will be the biggest helper. The lens can also be called the environment’s best friend because the accuracy of the details is shown in great clarity.

The best part besides the performance is the price that comes with it; I can go too far and say the dirt-cheap price because the quality and price don’t match, but what we can say is, this time, Nikon thought about us who suffer when seeing the high-end prices.

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

  • Lens Type: Standard
  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Aperture: f/22-f/1.8
  • Elements: 8
  • Groups: 6
  • Blades: 7
  • View angle: 44°

Why should you buy it?

The low lighting conditions, performance, and clarity are actually surprisingly good when you compare the low price. I call it dirt-cheap because we, the photographers, know the standard prices for lenses.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G


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

What I Like

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Bright aperture
  • Great images

What I Don’t Like

  • No optical stabilization

One by one, I’m reaching the end, and this is specifically designed for entry-level photographers who haven’t figured it out what they want to capture.

The telephoto power is obvious here; not only the image quality is in the extreme, but also the super compact and lightweight body construction is a nice feature because we don’t want to go around and feel like lifting weights. It’s perfect for those who hate manual focusing and use the auto mode instead.

The steadiness and sharp pics are taken for granted because the lens features VR image stabilization which contributes a lot to that in a silent way. The fast focus is a nice bonus, so you won’t miss the moment.

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

  • Lens Type: Telephoto
  • Focal Length: 70 to 300mm
  • Aperture: f/32-f/4.5 to 6.3
  • Elements: 14
  • Groups: 10
  • Blades: 7
  • View angle: 22° 50′ to 5° 20′

Why should you buy it?

The affordable price tag-based lens shoots fantastic for sport, wildlife, and astronomical type pictures. The wide range of focal lengths helps with a lot of versatile use. So without thinking twice, go for it.

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


1.Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED – High Durability

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

What I Like

  • Great design
  • Very sharp
  • 5x optical zoom
  • Image stabilization

What I Don’t Like

  • Pricey
  • Dim corners at maximum aperture

If a must-have for you is the image stabilization and the zoom, then this model got you. The versatile wide range is ideal for everyday use, blogging, content creation, and travel and covers different zoom angles even in low lighting.

The durability, I must say, is at maximum due to its nonstick protective fluorine coating. It’s able to protect the glass against water, dirt, and smudges so that you can use it for long years.

The inspiring high resolution brings down the color aberration to give precise details, contrast, and sharpness. All of these features and quality come at an affordable price tag.

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

Let’s take a closer look at the key specs:

  • Lens Type: Wide Angle, Normal
  • Focal Length: 16 to 80mm
  • Aperture: f/ 22-32-f/ 2.8-4
  • Elements: 17
  • Groups: 13
  • Blades: 7 rounded
  • View angle: 83° to 20°

Why should you buy it?

It’s a normal wide-angle lens that will cover you in most situations like content creation, blogging, travel, and everyday use. Its durability is highly protective against water and dirt.

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


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Nikon D3500 a good camera?

First thing first, Nikon D3500 is an amazing DSLR camera that is in use by many professional photographers worldwide. If you are a beginner, you shouldn’t worry either because it is a very easy-to-use camera.

What lens can be used on Nikon D3500?

Nikon D3500 is a camera that can work with different lenses but what is important to mention is the fact that this camera has a Nikon F lens mount and AF contacts.

Can I use third-party lenses on Nikon D3500?

In this article, I mentioned Nikon lenses, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot use third-party lenses with your Nikon D3500. Third-party lenses work amazingly with this camera, but you should look for the ones that can be added to a Nikon with F-mount.

Final Words

I can hear you saying, thankfully, the scrolling is over. Jokes aside, sometimes it is challenging to bring into life what you have in mind and for that reason, pick the lenses I’ve chosen for you and make your dreams come true.

Since I assume you’re a beginner because the Nikon D3500 is mainly targeted for them, the confusion about which lens to choose is over now. If not now, you’re going to thank me later.

Further Reading

Since you have reached there, maybe your other photographer friends who own Sony A5100 and have no idea where to start, I recommend checking out the most incredible lenses For Sony A5100.

Where are my interior designers? I have listed the idea lenses for interior photography. Without losing time, check it out.

Taras Golubov