Best Lenses For Nikon D5100 – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

Our world is filled with spectacular views, some right in front of our eyes, others far away at some distance.

The ability to capture the immense beauty of people and the world is the dream of any photographer. But doing this is no easy feat, especially if you have a bad lens.

If you are looking to enhance your photography skills and master the noble art, then you definitely need to invest in the best lens for your Nikon D5100. Here is all you need to know to make the best choice.

Comparison of the Best Lenses For Nikon D5100

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED

  • Focal length can vary between 18-300mm
  • Large aperture size for clear shots
  • Wide range of angle of view
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AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

  • Wide focal length ranges from 18 mm to 200 mm
  • Minimum focal distance is 1.6 ft.
  • Extra-low dispersion for the most stunning shots
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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

  • Allows for a smaller focal length
  • Best for the money
  • Allows for overriding of manual focus
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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED

  • Telephoto zoom lens allows you to take distant pictures
  • Image stabilization allows you to take clearer pictures
  • Best zoom lens for Nikon D5100
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Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

  • Allows for a small focal length and a small range
  • Wide maximum aperture complements the focal length
  • Best wide-angle lens for Nikon D5100
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Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR

  • Allows for a range of focal length from 18 mm to 55 mm
  • Comes with a silent wave motor
  • Best lens for Nikon D5100 Video
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Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G

  • Lens is made with durable materials thus making it last longer
  • Best Nikon D5100 Macro Lens
  • Comes with a rubber-sealed mount
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Nikon AF FX Fisheye-NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D

  • Shorter wavelength that is only 16mm
  • Wide aperture allows for low light photography
  • Best Nikon D5100 Fisheye lens
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When Would a New Lens Come in Handy?

A good lens is key to ensuring the best level of photography. Whether you intend to capture a single subject or a landscape far away, a new lens will come in handy in a couple of situations. Here are all the things you can do with a new lens:

Wedding Photography

A wedding is probably the most important day in any person’s life and what makes this day even more special is good photography. The happy couple wants to capture all the important memories, and that is only possible if you have the right lens. Our list contains a lot of wide-angle lenses that are perfect for wedding photography. They not only allow you to capture a wide image but also ensure that you get the highest optimal performance.


Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Landscape Photography

Excelling in the art of landscape photography is extremely difficult, especially because it requires you to capture the real beauty of the scene before you. For landscape photography, any Nikon lens with a larger focal length higher than 200mm would be perfect. This is because these allow you to capture a wide image easily. Moreover, lenses that come with a silent motor also help in landscape photography.

Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is a relatively new form that has emerged. It is also one of the most popular. A good portrait image would be able to capture the real aesthetics of a subject. Not just that, it should also be able to present a beautiful side to the object you are capturing. All this is made possible with the help of a short focal length lens that creates a background blur and eliminates aberrations.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Lenses

With so many options available, it can be hard to decide on the best one. To make your decision easier, here is a list of top features and characteristics to look out for before you invest in a product.

Focal Length 

There isn’t one perfect length for all kinds of photography. Different lengths can be used for different purposes, hence, it is important to match your needs with the focal length of the lens. If you want a lens for landscape photography, then a large focal length would be good, whereas, for portrait photography, you will need a relatively shorter focal length.

Wide Aperture

Wide apertures are necessary when it comes to good photography. Or are they? This is an age-old question that has many different answers. The choice of aperture also depends on the kind of photography you want to do. Wide apertures allow for more light to enter the lens and hence, enable you to capture brilliant images in low-light settings. On the other hand, smaller apertures allow for a better background blur.

The Bokeh Effect

The bokeh effect is not very commonly heard of, but it is an extremely important concept for good photography. It is essential for capturing the realistic beauty of the image or the landscape before you. It usually depends on the kind of aperture you have. Nearly all lenses in this article have some kind of bokeh. This helps achieve just the right kind of background blur for all your images.

Quick Take - Best Lenses For Nikon D5100

Before we dive into our review, here are the best lenses for Nikon D5100:

  1. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED
  2. AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
  3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

Review of the Best Lenses For Nikon D5100

There are so many amazing products in the market that it’s hard to pick one, but don’t worry, because we are here to help. Here is a list of the best Nikon lenses for you. We have compared them along with their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Enhances close-up photos
  • Allows for a massive zoom range
  • Has a compact and lightweight design
  • Autofocus feature also keeps camera noises to a minimum
  • Has a vibration reduction technology that captures sharp images

CONS

  • Allows small magnification only
  • Diverse focal length hinders creativity
  • Requires a lot of practice to perfect the art with this lens

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have been thrilled with this amazing Nikon lens. They love the wide range of focal lengths that allow consumers to take close-up shots with more diversity. Moreover, the vibration reduction technology allows you to take steady pictures, which also appeals to the customers.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Deciding one feature that stands out would be hard, especially because this Nikon lens comes with so many exceptional features. It has a massive zoom range that goes from a wide-angle all the way to the super-telephoto angle. This allows you to capture stunning close-up images at a range of different focal lengths.

Who Will Use This Most 

The lens can be used by anyone looking to take a diverse range of pictures. Since it offers a wide range of focal lengths, photographers won’t have to limit themselves to either indoor or outdoor photography. Moreover, since it’s a telephoto lens, you can take pictures of landscapes with more clarity than usual. Furthermore, its advanced VR technology works great in low-light settings.

Bottom Line

This lightweight and compact lens is not only convenient to carry around, but it also comes with a plethora of different features. It allows you to get a nice, soft background blur, whilst also keeping your subject in focus. Moreover, its VR technology allows for steady and sharp images at all focal lengths.

AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

PROS

  • Silent Wave Motor lets you take pictures in silence
  • Comes with two aspherical lens elements
  • Higher versatility is achieved via different focal lengths
  • Allows for low dispersion, thus allowing clearer images
  • Features image stabilization technology for stable images

CONS

  • Relatively more expensive than other products

What Recent Buyers Report

This product has garnered immense praise from recent buyers. Consumers like the higher versatility that can be achieved with it. They also like that it comes with two aspherical lens elements, thus giving the whole structure greater stability and durability. Furthermore, it comes with a minimum focal distance of 1.6 ft., which also adds to its appeal.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The lens stands out to us because of its image stabilization and Silent Mode Technology. The image stabilization ensures you can take stable images even when your hands are shaking or when you are standing on a rough surface. Moreover, the Silent Motor Wave allows you to take pictures in silence. Together, these two technologies ensure an unparalleled experience.

Who Will Use This Most 

If you are looking for a multi-dimensional lens that allows for a wide range of shooting opportunities, then this is definitely the product for you. It is great for capturing landscapes and group photos. Moreover, it comes with a wide range of focal lengths that don’t limit the usage and hence, enable you to use it for sports, weddings, and landscape photography.

Bottom Line 

This is the perfect amalgamation of beauty with efficiency. It has a smart exterior that goes well with a range of cameras. Not just that, its smooth construction adds to its durability and makes it last longer. The silent motor and the image stabilization further enhance its appeal and make it the runner-up product in the list.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Perfect for low-light shooting
  • Comes with higher compatibility
  • Allows you to take pictures in utter silence
  • Less distortions in your images and videos
  • Maximum reproduction ratio is comparatively higher than other models

CONS

  • Lens is not zoomable
  • Aperture lens is not very wide
  • Heavier than some other models

What Recent Buyers Report

When it comes to positive reviews, no other model beats the Nikon AF-SDX. Owing to its large popularity is the fact that it brings a lot of positive features at a relatively low cost. It comes with a maximum reproduction ratio that is not only better than other models but also produces clearer and more realistic images.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This Nikon lens is relatively inexpensive, but that’s not the only good feature about it. It is the perfect lens for shooting in low light with the same effectiveness as in well-lit situations. Moreover, the wide-angle of view allows you to capture images with a nice background blur and thus, allows for fewer distortions.

Who Will Use This Most 

The lens allows you to shoot pictures in a range of different conditions. So whether there is low light or more light, never let that stop you from capturing the real essence of the scenery before you. The beautiful background blur also adds to the appeal, thus allowing you to bring your subject into complete focus every time you press the button.

Bottom Line

The Nikon lens allows two focus modes, one manual, and one autofocus. This not only makes the camera one of the best ones in the market, but also enhances your creative ability. Moreover, the rubber seal allows you to eliminate any added moisture that appears around the mount. All this, coupled with the low price, makes it one of the best models in the market.

Best Zoom Lens for Nikon D5100:
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 Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Allows you to take pictures in silence
  • Tripod detection mode adds to your convenience
  • Wide focal range allows for more diverse images
  • Low-dispersion technology allows for more clarity in images
  • High refractive lens allows you to capture images in low light

CONS

  • Leads to more distortions than a 35mm lens
  • Requires tweaking before you can take perfect pictures

What Recent Buyers Report

When it comes to appealing to recent buyers, this Nikon lens does a good job. It comes with a high refractive index and an extra-low dispersion technology. This allows users to capture far off images easily and without much effort. Moreover, consumers have also praised the tripod detection mode of the model that adds to more convenience.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The best thing about this lens is definitely its VR 2 image stabilization technology. This, coupled with the vibration reduction technology, allows you to compensate for the natural camera shake. Moreover, this also prevents any aberrations that might be caused otherwise. Plus, it comes with a silent wave motor that adds to your comfort.

Who Will Use This Most 

The lens is one of the best models for landscape photography. This means that with its advanced technology and larger focal length range, you can capture far off images with relatively greater ease. Not just this, it also allows for extra-low dispersion, which means that its optimum performance can be achieved by eliminating any additional chromatic aberrations.

Bottom Line

If you want to eliminate glare and ghosting from your images, then this is the right product for you. Its advanced technology, coupled with its zooming ability, makes it a great lens for landscape and sports photography. Although it requires tweaking before you capture images, that’s a small inconvenience compared to the plethora of benefits it brings along.

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon D5100:
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

PROS

  • Comes with a full-time manual focusing
  • Controls aberrations more than any other lens 
  • Allows you to capture a wide area with your camera
  • Better optical performance is achieved via the three aspherical lenses
  • Ultrasonic-type AF motor allows you to capture images in a peaceful environment

CONS

  • Bokeh effect is not achieved
  • Background blur is not achieved 
  • Subject cannot be clearly focused

What Recent Buyers Report

This Nikon lens covers a wide-angle of view, but that’s not the only reason recent buyers love it so much. The lens ensures higher compatibility with most Nikon cameras, ensuring diversity. Moreover, it achieves a better optical performance via its three aspherical lenses, a fact that consumers love immensely.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The product stands out to us because of its extremely small focal length. This is desirable, especially when you want to have your subject in complete focus. The small focal length also produces a beautiful background blur that helps create a contrast between your subject and the background. Moreover, it helps control aberrations that further add to its appeal.

Who Will Use This Most 

Due to the lens’ focal length and wide aperture size, we can safely say it is perfect for portrait photography. The essence of this type of photography lies in the photographer’s ability to capture the aesthetics of the scene. It should also allow the person to capture the story behind the subject, and this is exactly what this one allows you to do.

Bottom Line

Doing justice to a person or object can be pretty hard, especially when you don’t have the right lens to support you. This Nikon lens comes with a perfect focal length that not only allows for greater focus but also helps in producing the perfect background blur. This, coupled with a wide aperture, makes this a great fit for low-light situations.

Best Lens for Nikon D5100 Video:
Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens - White Box (New) (Bulk Packaging)

PROS

  • Eliminates a different kind of lens aberrations
  • Optical design allows for superior performance
  • Enables you to take sharper and clearer images
  • Superior color is achieved via the super-integrated coating
  • Allows for a close focusing distance in the entire zoom range

CONS

  • Not great at low-light situations
  • Does not allow for greater magnification
  • Comes with lower resolution compared to a lens with a larger focal length

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have praised this product immensely and not only for its close focusing distance but for a load of other reasons, too. It is liked by consumers because of its ability to generate images with high optical performance. This means the images produced will be sharper, brighter, and clearer in all light settings.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The product stands out because of its superior features, like the super-integrated coating that it offers. This superior design enables you to get better color reproduction while also eliminating the additional ghosting and flare that are otherwise produced. Moreover, the Silent Wave Motor technology ensures that you can take your pictures in complete silence.

Who Will Use This Most 

People looking for comfort and convenience will make the most out of this product. Its barrel features relatively rugged construction that allows it to withstand harsh conditions. Moreover, the short focal length enables you to take brilliant portrait pictures, even in low-light settings.

Bottom Line

Getting professional results out of a relatively inexpensive lens is the dream of many. With this Nikon video camera, one can create memories quicker and with more comfort. The shorter focal length, coupled with the wide aperture, allows you to capture images, even in low-light situations. Not just this, the perfect focusing distance makes it a great model for videography.

Best Nikon D5100 Macro Lens:
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G

Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Has a lightweight and compact design
  • Resistant against dust and water, thus safer to use
  • Ultra-fast operation allows for better optical performance
  • Silent Wave Motor allows you to capture pictures in silence
  • Close-range correction system enables clearer photography

CONS

  • Lens is not zoomable
  • Not a very good general-purpose lens
  • Not suitable for landscape photography

What Recent Buyers Report

It’s hard to please recent buyers, but not when you are committed to good quality. This lens comes with ED technology that ensures the highest optical performance. It also has a close range correction system that enables you to not only get sharper images, but clearer ones, too.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The best thing about this macro lens is its dust and waterproof rubber-sealed mount. This means it does not get dirty and damaged easily. So if you are trying to capture scenes in rough environments, you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged or worn out.

Who Will Use This Most 

The lens allows you to switch between autofocus and manual focus instantly. So people who want to enhance their creativity and experiment with different styles will love this product. It has a small focal length that allows you to capture close-ups, but at the same time, it has a wide aperture that allows you to indulge in sports photography, as well.

Bottom Line

This compact and lightweight design of the lens has been a game-changer in the industry. It allows for a very smooth, fast operating system that gives better optical performance. This, coupled with its Silent Wave Motor technology and higher compatibility, makes it one of the most desirable products in the market.

Best Nikon D5100 Fisheye Lens:
Nikon AF FX Fisheye-NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D\

Nikon AF FX Fisheye-NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D Fixed Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Allows 180-degree picture angle for diverse imagery
  • Eliminates ghosting and flare while taking pictures
  • Has a close-range correction system for clearer images
  • Provides high optical performance at far and near distances
  • Provides a great color balance between subject and background

CONS

  • Lens is not zoomable
  • Shorter focal length prevents magnification
  • Not suitable for landscape and action photography

What Recent Buyers Report

This fisheye lens is not zoomable, but that’s probably the only drawback of having this product. It has a close-range correction system that ensures clearer and sharper images. Not just this, recent buyers have also praised its ability to eliminate flare and ghosting in pictures.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The best thing about this lens is its correction system that operates in close range. This means that as a photographer, you will be able to achieve great optical performance in your images at both far and near focusing distances. Moreover, this allows you to capture the real aesthetics of images without any delay.

Who Will Use This Most 

The minimum focal length of the lens is very rarely found in most lenses. This perfect length makes for a great option, primarily for portrait photography. It not only allows you to capture close-up images with ease, but its ability to capture the right contrast between the subject and background also makes it a great fit for people looking to reproduce the natural beauty of the subject.

Bottom Line

With its extremely small focal length, the lens is already making its mark in the market. Its ability to provide great color contrast, coupled with its ability to produce a 180-degree picture angle, makes it a perfect model for close-up photography. It also has a close range, which further adds to its appeal.

Pros and Cons of Investing in a New Nikon D5100 Lens 

Investing in the right lens is crucial, but why exactly is it so important? Here is a list of the top pros and cons for you. We have tried to be completely honest so you can make the right investment.

Pros

With a new Nikon D5100 lens, you can get the following benefits:

Better Aesthetics

With a new Nikon lens, you can get images with more beauty and clarity. Achieving better aesthetics is key to excelling in art. If you are a professional photographer, your clients expect you to capture the essence of their beauty in your images, and you can only do it with a new Nikon lens. The smaller focal length helps you achieve a good background blur that is integral for portrait photography.

Saves Time

Most of the lenses in this article come with a range of focal lengths, and this is great news, especially for people who want to save time and energy. Having a diverse range of focal lengths will free you from having to change your lens for different purposes. All you need to do is adjust the focal length and use the same lens for both outdoor and indoor photography.

Fostering Creativity

Contrary to popular belief, not all people like photography for economic purposes. There are a lot of enthusiasts who craft their art simply because they enjoy capturing scenes and preserving them. A good lens will allow you to foster your creative skills by playing with different focal lengths and hence, different magnifications. It will also ensure that you don’t feel bound and constrained by one particular length.

Cons

On the other hand, you must know these drawbacks:

Cost

Investing in new products is not very easy, especially when they cost as much as a Nikon lens. Buying a new product would require you to allocate a heavy amount, and that acts as a deterrent for many people.

Compatibility

When it comes to lenses, compatibility is the main issue. This is because most lenses come with a fixed focal length and aperture size that may or may not be compatible with your camera. Moreover, you might end up buying a lens that doesn’t fit your needs as well as you thought.

Conclusion

Investing in a new lens is a risk, but it’s a risk worth taking. With the right kind of lens, you can not only master the art of photography but also generate huge revenue. All the models in this article are the best and will enable you to capture perfect images. So whether its day time or night, indoors or outdoors, never let a bad lens hinder your path to greatness.