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Best Walk Around Lenses For Nikon in 2022 (Top 5 Picks Reviewed)

Photowalking is an activity done by camera enthusiasts who gather in a big group and walk around with their cameras to take pictures of things that interest them the most.

In this article, I will focus on the best walk-around lenses for Nikon.

The article will contain five lenses that I feel are the best for this kind of shooting, buying guide, some tips, and a F.A.Q section.

A Quick Look At My Favorite Nikon Walk-Around Lenses

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best For Documentaries
Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6G VR AF-P DX
Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6G VR AF-P DX
10
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Best For Landscapes
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD
9
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Best For Group Photos
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
8.6
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Most Versatile
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED
8.5
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Best Overall
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G
8.6
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Key Takeaways

  • Purchases of Nikon cameras are usually worthwhile. But it would help if you also had some excellent lenses to make them function better.
  • Investing in a fantastic lens for your camera will be wise if you want to record any moment in your life.
  • The Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G AF-S FX is the walk-around lens you should get if you want the best.
  • There are several more fantastic walk-around lenses, the most flexible of which is the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED.
  • When buying a lens, there are various things to remember, such as the focal length and image stabilization.

Let’s start listing the best walk-around lens for Nikon:

The Top 5 Best Walk-Around Lenses For Nikon

5. Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5 – 5.6G VR AF-P DX – Best For Documentaries

What I Like

  • Smooth and swift Auto Focus
  • Great Build
  • Image Stabilization

What I Don’t Like

  • It is only compatible with some Nikon cameras, make sure you check before you purchase.

Right off the bat on the list we have a very versatile lens, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5 – 5.6G VR AF-P DX.

This is a great go-to lens that will provide what you need from a walk-around lens. You will take it everywhere thanks to its 3.1x zoom range that covers a highly versatile focal length range. It also promises to cover all types of photography from group shots, portraitures, landscapes, family sports to photo walking.

This bad boy has a retractable barrel that makes the design sleek and compact. It is made with the best technology that Nikons use for their high-end lens.

It is equipped with VR image stabilization that gives your camera the privilege to shoot in low light conditions. Besides that, it also contributes to handheld shooting for sharper photos and steady videos.

You will get superb quality on your pictures, they come looking rich, vivid, and breathtaking. It uses a pulse motor for a lightning-fast and silent Autofocus while the Two Aspherical lens elements achieve superior optical performance.

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum Aperture: F3.5–5.6
  • Minimum Aperture: F22–38
  • Maximum Focal Length: 55mm
  • Minimum Focal Length: 18mm
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 7
  • Weight: 205 g (0.45 lb)

Why should you buy it?

It is a great lens with a very fast and quiet AF throughout the entire range. The only thing you need to watch out for is its compatibility.

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Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5 – 5.6G VR AF-P DX Sample Photos


4. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD – Best For Landscapes

What I Like

  • Greatly Designed
  • Great Image Quality
  • Superb Low Aperture

What I Don’t Like

  • Sharpness is lacking at corners not the same as the center
  • A bit on the heavy side.

Next, we have something that is billed as a great entry-level lens, that will give you a good start in photography for everyday usage and for some walk around shots.

But I would advise changing it once you get a good grip of photography.

It is made out of polycarbonate plastic which makes it quite durable and ready to take some beatings. Despite being plastic, it is not light in any sense, so if you own for example a heavy DSLR from Nikon combined with this sigma it might put some weight on you, make sure to pay attention to that.

The major selling point of the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD must be the accurate and really fast result that it provides, without leaving behind the top-notch Autofocus. The Hypersonic Motor also contributes to Sigmas wellness by acting as a noise reduction tool.

Although it provides excellent sharpness you will find it struggling a bit at the edges, which doesn’t come as sharp as the center of the image. However it is nothing groundbreaking, you can solve it by increasing the aperture number. The low aperture doesn’t disappoint by delivering some great-looking and smooth bokeh effect.

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum Aperture: F2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: F22
  • Maximum Focal Length: 50mm
  • Minimum Focal Length: 17mm
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 7
  • Weight: 565 g (1.25 lb)

Why should you buy it?

No doubt, that it will be a joy to have this lens as a beginner. It offers great image quality, decent focal range, and overall great performance.

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Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Sample Photos


3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED – Best For Group Photos

What I Like

  • Well built
  • Swift and nice autofocus
  • Sharp Image

What I Don’t Like

  • Vignetting
  • Distortion here and there

Moving forward, we have a multifunctional lens that you can just simply pack it and go on your journey with your photo walking group.

It comes in a simple yet elegant design that doesn’t feel heavy and it is quite nice to hold for long times. Just like the above option this Nikkor lens is made out of polycarbonate plastic and is well built overall.

Manual focus performs extremely well while not leaving behind the superb autofocus that can be turned on quite simply, you just have to rotate the ring.

The sharpness this Nikkor provides completely stomps that of the competition. It is clear and crisp in the center while complimenting the edges. Raising the aperture farther will make it even more pleasing. With that being said, distortion might be something concerning. However, you can control and fix it via post-production.

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum Aperture: F3.5–5.6
  • Minimum Aperture: F22–38
  • Maximum Focal Length: 140mm
  • Minimum Focal Length: 18mm
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 7
  • Weight: 490 g (1.08 lb)

Why should you buy it?

Nikkor 18-140mm is a great versatile lens that will do the work in many fields, although it compromises on a few things like distortion. Nevertheless, it is quite nice and nothing else at fault. This is also a great lens for car photography and i use it when i do car photoshoots.

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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Sample Photos


2. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED – Most Versatile

What I Like

  • Great Focal Range
  • Great Compact Design

What I Don’t Like

  • Autofocus could have been better
  • Vignetting issues

Throwing in a telephoto lens that would be perfect for walking around, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED.

It is a great lens that widens the area that you can cover with your camera. It is perfect for capturing pictures of kids playing in the playground, or even insects in the gardens.
It is quite lightweight despite being a telephoto lens, it scores even higher than its peers at this price point.

Its focusing mechanism is external which means that you can even see the parts of the lens moving, it’s like an x-ray. It comes with a rubber grip that makes it great to handle, but there’s also VR image stabilization – you simply can’t go wrong with stability, with this fella. The overall design is quite satisfying and nice.

Sadly it compromises a bit on the autofocus, it takes quite a bit to focus on moving objects. It gets even worse when you try to capture at the maximum focal length of 300m. However, the manual focus works wonders.

As far as distortion goes, it is almost absent, unlike the Nikkor I mentioned above. Bokeh effects come creamy and really smooth thanks to the 9 diaphragm blades.

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum Aperture: F4.5–5.6
  • Minimum Aperture: F22–32
  • Maximum Focal Length:300mm
  • Minimum Focal Length: 55mm
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 530 g (1.17 lb)

Why should you buy it?

Besides having weak autofocus, this is a fantastic lens that comes at a “killer price”. It is surprisingly light for a 300m telephoto lens. If you planning on mostly using manual focus, you can’t go wrong with this one.

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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED Sample Photos


1. Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G AF-S FX – Best Overall

What I Like

  • Superb Image quality of a prime lens
  • No chromatic aberration at all
  • Almost non-existent vignetting
  • Silent and swift autofocus

What I Don’t Like

  • No aperture ring

Even though I would opt for a zoom lens for walk-around photography, I had to throw in this prime lens, Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G AF-S FX.

It is a great all-rounder that does wonders on outdoor photography and with the focal range of 50mm which is considered the closest perspective to the human eye, makes this a great pick.
It makes a great traveling companion due to the lightweight and multilayer coating of the optical elements. You never know when a beautiful sunny day turns into a stormy/rainy day.
It also has a focusing mode which allows you to switch from automatic to manual focus without lagging or wasting time. There’s also the SWM (Silent Wave Motor) that contributes to high-speed autofocusing and in its quietness.

It lets you capture breathtaking images with a shallow depth of field, letting the subjects stand out from their backgrounds. Whether you shoot people, nature, or outdoor things in general it will provide a smooth and creamy blur or say bokeh effect at its widest aperture setting.

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum Aperture: F1.4
  • Minimum Aperture: F16
  • Maximum Focal Length: 50mm
  • Minimum Focal Length: /
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 290g (10.2 oz)

Why should you buy it?

It is a great overall prime lens, it’s just astonishing to see how much light it absorbs at large apertures, the compact build, the dreamy bokeh everything seems great. No doubt that it is a great lens for casual photographers.

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Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G AF-S FX Sample Photos


Buying Guide

While walking around, everything differs from another thing and that’s when a zoom lens becomes necessary; thanks to its versatility in many focal ranges.

Focal Length

Focal length is typically measured in millimeters (mm) and you will spot it most of the time on the lens name/package.

Basically how the focal length works is that you get more magnification when using a higher focal range and vice-versa, the lower the focal length number, the smaller the magnification.

Aperture

Pretty much the same laws apply to aperture just different things.

A wide aperture will allow more light in while a smaller one less light. While also a wider aperture will provide more and better depth-of-field.

The aperture changes as you zoom in and out or when you change the focal length in general, telling us that a walk-around lens should have a wide aperture.

Image Stabilization

As the name implies this feature is used to compensate for the movements when a photographer is holding the lens.

Lenses with built-in image stabilization will help in providing static and nonblurry images.

Weight/Size

Weight is a key factor that you should pay attention to, especially in this case since it is a walk-around; you don’t want to carry a heavy kit with you all the time, do you?

It is highly preferred to carry a compact and lightweight lens since you will be carrying it for a time with you.

7 Tips To Make Your Walk Around More Enjoyable

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • Bring only what you need to bring, don’t overburden yourself.
  • Leave the camera on, for sudden opportunities.
  • Make sure to walk a lot, and of course, sit a lot too to take breaks.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Know your rights, and rules, and do not force things.
  • Most importantly, Have Fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in a walk around photography?

Hence, walk-around photography is the job of a photographer that is done just by walking around and taking pictures of the things they might be interested in. Walk-around photography can also be considered a candid shot.

Which is the best focal length for walk-around photography?

For walk-around photography, you need a versatile lens that goes from a very wide edge, like 30mm, to around 200mm. It will reward you with a lot of flexibility, giving you the chance to capture scenes in greater detail.

What about the Low-light on a Zoom Lens?

Sadly, zoom lenses don’t perform as well as a prime lens does in a low-light situation. However, some top-tier lenses from the main players, in this case, which is Nikon, will perform well even in poor lighting.
Also, a friendly tip from the F.A.Q section is to clean your lens at least once a week, especially if you shoot in dusty conditions.

Final Words:

Hopefully, my article consists of everything you need to know regarding the best walk around lens for Nikon, and at the same time, I hope you picked a lens from the above to suit your needs.

Caleb Soppe