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Best Zoom Lenses For Nikon D3500 (Reviewed)

As many of you may already know, Nikon D3500 is one of the best and most usable cameras, launched by the famous Nikon brand. No camera would work as it should without a lens, and using it with a lens is one of the greatest things to do!

In this article, I will tell you what I think is the best zoom lens for Nikon D3500.

A Quick Look at My Favorite Zoom Lenses for Nikon D3500

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best For Portraits
Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC
Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC
8.6
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Best For Vibrant Colors
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR
8.6
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Best Affordable
Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II VC HLD
Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II VC HLD
8.5
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The Most Versatile
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
8.8
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Best Overall
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
8.6
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Key Takeaways

  • Nikon D3500 is one of the most famous DSLR cameras from Nikon brand, and it works great with different lenses, from different brands.
    If you are searching for an affordable zoom lens for
  • Nikon D3500, there is the third-party Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 as the best budget lens.
  • Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR is the most amazing lens for Nikon D3500 as it owns whatever a photographer may require from a zoom lens.
  • The two main things to chekc out on a lens are its focal length and its aperture. Based on the focal length you will find if it is a zoom lens or no.

Without losing too much time, let’s get straight to the best zoom lenses for Nikon D3500!

The Top Six Best Zoom Lenses for Nikon D3500

6. Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC – Best For Portraits

What I Like

  • Greatly Built
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Amazing Focusing
  • Vibration Compensation Included

What I Don’t Like

  • Not Perfect for Professionals

Starting the list with an amazing lens, I chose the Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC; a zoom lens. It comes from the Tamron brand, which brings great lenses to the market.

This Tamron lens measures 3.8 x 4 x 4 inches and weighs about 14.1 ounces. It is well built and based on its size and weight it is a lens that doesn’t take too much place on your camera bag. It is a moisture-resistant lens as well; available to use whenever you want.

The elements found on this lens are one hybrid aspherical element and one low dispersion element, just as the one mentioned above.

When it comes to the focal length, it has a range from 18 to 200mm, and the zoom magnification ratio works at 1:4.

The autofocus of this lens is driven by the DC Motor Gear Train AF Drive Module; a system that brings a perfect performance, with amazing clarity.

Differing from the one already mentioned Tamron uses a VC image stabilizer; in other words, means Vibration Compensation.

Why should you buy it?

Tamron lenses are all third-party lenses, and if you require one for your Nikon D3500, the Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II VC is the one to check out. It will also help you amazingly during portrait photography.

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Sample Pictures of Tamron AF 18-200mm


5. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR – Best For Vibrant Colors

What I Like

  • Strong
  • No Ghosting or Flare
  • Vibration Reduction
  • Silent Focusing

What I Don’t Like

  • Not Very Resistant

Moving on to another lens that comes from the Nikon brand as well. It is an amazing telephoto zoom lens that does its job perfectly well.

As a whole, this lens measures 3.9 x 3.11 x 3.11 inches and weighs about 1.21 pounds. Even though it is not resistant to moisture, it has a well-built body and it is strong enough to not fall off from your D3500 camera.

It has a super integrated coating that helps to reduce ghosting and flare, and it has a wide number of elements. It includes three aspherical elements and three ED elements.

The focal length of this Nikon lens is from 18 to 300mm, while the magnification ratio works at a high number of 0.32x.

Via the Silent Wave Motor AF System, the autofocus that this lens owns works in the greatest way possible. It is silent, fast, and super accurate.

As long as image stabilization is concerned, this Nikon lens works with VR which fully reduces the vibration while taking pictures or videos with this lens.

Why should you buy it?

Sharpness and great colors on a photograph make it the best photograph. The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens, with its vibration reduction feature, will bring your the sharpest photos and the greatest when it comes to color accuracy.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm


4. Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II VC HLD – Best Affordable

What I Like

  • Budget Lens
  • Moisture-Resistant
  • Two Coatings Included
  • Perfect Focus

What I Don’t Like

  • Strugles with Aperture Adjustments When Older

Here I chose another Tamron lens, which works perfectly with a Nikon D3500 camera. Differing from the Tamron one mentioned above, this lens is a wide-angle zoom lens that can also be considered as one of the best wide-angle lenses all around.

Tamron says that this lens brings high performance into a very small compact body, and it is more than true! It measures only 3.2 x 3.29 x 3.29 inches and weighs 15.5 ounces. It is very well built and it is moisture-resistant too.

This lens has two types of coatings, the BBAR – anti-reflective coating, and fluorine coating – helps to repel water and dust. The elements added are one XLD element, one LD element, and also aspherical and hybrid aspherical elements.

Being a wide-angle lens, it works with a focal length that is 10 to 24mm. The magnification ratio on this one is 0.19x.

On its name are added the letters HLD, and it can mean only one thing; the HLD Autofocus Motor, which drives the autofocus insanely perfect.

The image stabilization that it owns is again Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation) which is used to eliminate the unbalanced displacement while taking pictures or recording.

Why should you buy it?

I know that lenses know how to come at super-high prices, and if we compare every lens in this article, this one will come to you with the most affordable price tag. If you need a zoom lens but don’t want to spend too much on one, check this Tamron lens out!

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Sample Pictures of Tamron 10-24mm


3. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM – Best For Sports

What I Like

  • Made of Thermally Stable Composite for no Heat
  • Multi-Layer Coating
  • The Powerful Hyper Sonic Motor Included

What I Don’t Like

  • Fixed Aperture

Sigma’s Art series of lenses is in charge of the fast-aperture lenses, which are known mostly for the production of amazingly sharp images. The lens that I chose is an Art lens, and it is the world’s first wide-angle zoom lens with a fixed aperture of f/1.8.

There is an interesting material that is used in the making of this lens; the thermally stable composite. It is a big help when it comes to resisting the action of heat on the camera or the lens itself. The full body of the lens measures 4.76 x 3.07 x 3.07 inches and the weight is 1.79 pounds.

On this lens, Sigma added a super multi-layer coating which is an application of seven separate chemical coatings. The elements found on it are five SLD elements and four aspherical elements.

Since it is again a wide-angle lens, the focal length has lower numbers and it works from 18 to 35mm, and the zoom magnification ratio is 1:4.3.

The HSM in this case stands for Hyper Sonic Motor, which is an AF system, and let me tell you that it does its job in the most perfect way possible.

Why should you buy it?

If you are a sports photographer, you know what features lenses should have, and this Sigma lens brings them all to you.

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Sample Pictures of Sigma 18-35mm


2. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR – The Most Versatile

What I Like

  • Super-Versatile Usage
  • Three Types of Coatings Included
  • Silent Wave Motor Focusing System
  • Vibration Reduction

What I Don’t Like

  • Not the Best Magnification Ratio

Here goes another lens that is specifically made for the Nikon D3500 cameras. It is an amazing wide-angle standard lens that does the job perfectly fine, and it is not just a saying! It works in the best way possible!

Measuring 3.39 x 3.15 x 3.15 inches the lens is a quite portable friendly one and can accompany you wherever you go. The weight of this lens is 1.1 pounds.

The coatings that this lens has, are the best ones that you can ever find on a lens. The coatings are fluorine coating, manor crystal coating, and super integrated coatings. All of the coatings help the lens have an amazing performance while in use. The elements that it owns are four ED elements and three aspherical elements.

With a focal length that is 16mm to 80mm, you will notice a magnification ratio of 5x.

The amazing, accurate, silent, and fast focus, works via the Silent Wave Motor system, and the autofocus, as mentioned, is on the best performance.

Nikon seems to love the VR image stabilization because they added it on this lens too, and good for us! It does a great job!

Why should you buy it?

This lens is made for your Nikon D3500 camera, and with everything it owns, it will become your best friend wherever you go.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm


1. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR – Best Overall

What I Like

  • Takes Sharp Pictures
  • 0.22x Magnification Ratio
  • Pulse Stepping Motor for Focusing
  • Vibration Reduction Works Perfectly

What I Don’t Like

  • Couldn’t find one

Finishing the list with one of the greatest choices regarding the best zoom lens for the Nikon D3500. This lens is a telephoto zoom lens, which is used by many professionals all over the world. It is one of the best fits for your Nikon D3500 and many other Nikon DSLR cameras.

The AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR is a lens that measures 4.92 x 2.83 x 2.83 inches while its weight is 14.6 ounces. It has a compact build, and it is strong enough to be used for a long time.

The coating that this lens has is the Super Integrated Coating which is in charge of fully reducing the ghost or the flare while you are taking pictures, and it helps you capture the clearest pictures ever. The element that is added is one Extra-Low Dispersion element.

The focal length of this lens as seen in its name works from 70mm and goes up to 300mm. The magnification ratio that this lens is able to bring to you is 0.22x.

The autofocus of this Nikorr lens is fully driven by the amazing Pulse Stepping Motor. It is one of the greatest autofocus systems and it is very accurate, and known for its super-fast speed.

With the vibration reduction (VR) that this lens uses as image stabilization, you can freely take pictures and record videos because there is no blur to be seen.

Why should you buy it?

The Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR, listed as the best overall, is one of the perfect choices that you can make for your Nikon D3500 camera. It brings everything that your camera needs.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm


Understanding The Most Important Things About Lenses

In this section, I will list some of the most important things, that everybody should know about lenses in general. Those things are:

Focal Length and Aperture

The focal length in simpler words tells us what is the capacity of the lens; regarding the angle of view. Also, it is in charge of telling the scene that the lens captures and the magnification ratio.

Moving on to the aperture, it is the opening of the lens diaphragm. Through that diaphragm, the light passes and goes directly to the camera. It is measured in f stops, and it tells how wide is the opening of the front part of the lens.

Both the focal length and the aperture of a lens, are added to the lens’ name; it is very easy to be noticed, that’s why I didn’t go quite into details for the focal length and the aperture.

Elements

The elements of lenses are glass pieces, that are fully shaped, and they bend the light in different specific ways. Each element that a lens owns has its own job or function, and it works in combination with the other elements that are added.

The elements of lenses allow you to focus and zoom, and also they are a little bit of help during the image stabilization which is mentioned below.

Coatings

The lens coatings can be also called treatments that are done to the lenses, and they are basically coats that are added to the lens for some specific reasons and specific needs.

The reason that a lens owns coatings is that they improve some important things on it. They deal with the performance of a lens, they have a huge role in the durability of the lens, and also they make the lens look good.

Image Stabilization

Hence the name, the image stabilization feature on lenses helps you fully stabilize the picture that is being taken while reducing the vibration or the blur in simpler words. As seen above, different image stabilizations are added in lenses, such as VR or VC. VR means Vibration Reduction while VC means Vibration Compensation. Both of them do somehow the same thing.

Final Words

Lenses are quite important accessories that can be added to a camera! Personally, when I take pictures I love to use lenses because they play an enormous role in picture-taking.

There are many different lenses that you can choose from, and somehow they are divided into which type of photography they can be used; landscape, portrait, fashion, sports, architectural, and many others.

In this article, I tried to find the best zoom lens for Nikon D3500, and all of the lenses that I mentioned do a perfect job while in use!

I really hope this article will help you choose the best zoom lens for Nikon D3500!

Further Reading

If you already chose the best zoom lens for Nikon D3500 or you already own one, but somehow found yourself here while searching for a tripod, I would advise you to check which is the greatest tripod for your Nikon D3500.

If you are not interested in a zoom lens, but you are looking for a normal lens instead, i’d recommend you read our Nikon D3500 lens roundup.

Above I mentioned only one Sigma lens, even though there are many other Sigma lenses for Nikon D3500 that work perfectly fine.

What is left to say besides enjoy using the best zoom lens for Nikon D3500!

Michael Fortin