Best 18-55mm Lenses For Nikon – 2021 Complete Buyer’s Guide

[page_hero_gravatar] | Last Updated: [modified_date]

Digital Camera HQ is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Choosing the perfect lens for your camera can do wonders for the photograph you capture. Each lens is different and serves a different purpose, just like different brushes one would use for painting.

The 18-55mm lens is one of the many lenses you can choose from. It can be utilized in many different ways and is a favorite when it comes to landscape photography.

Keeping that in mind, this buyer’s guide will focus on some of the best 18-55mm so that you can find the best lens to fit your style. Let’s dive right in!

Comparison Chart of the Best 18-55mm Lenses For Nikon

  • Also has a well-functioning auto-focus feature
  • Equipped with a 7-bladed rounded diaphragm which provides highlights that are natural
  • Has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 and a minimum aperture of f/38, making it the best overall
View Latest Price →
  • Equipped with blur reduction technology, making it the runner-up
  • Coated with Super Integrated Coating (SIC) which reduces reflections and glare
  • Allows to capture images with slower shutter speeds without affecting sharpness
View Latest Price →
  • Also features an image stabilization system
  • Equipped with a pulse setting auto-focus system
  • Comes at a very affordable price, making it the best for the money
View Latest Price →

What Does 18-55mm Mean?

The 18-55 basically refers to the focal length of your lens. Simply put, the focal length is the distance between the image sensor and the convergence point of the lens. If the convergence point of the lens is farther away from the sensor of the camera, this means that the lens is zoomed in. In contrast, the nearer the sensor is to the convergence point, the more the lens is zoomed out. The focal length of a lens is measured in millimeters; hence, the “mm” unit is mentioned after the focal length, which in this case would be 18-55mm. 

When Should I Use an 18-55mm Lens?

As mentioned earlier, each lens is crafted carefully to fulfill a special purpose. Although you can use the lens as you like, they are best suited to a specific task. The 18-55mm lens also performs best when it is used to capture certain types of photographs. Let’s take a quick look at when it should be used. 


This lens offers versatility. When set at 18mm, it can offer a wide view angle, which is perfect for capturing elaborate landscapes and architecture. It will give you a complete shot without having to compromise any details or aspects of the scenery or the subject.

Live Shows/Concerts

Since it is a wide-angle lens, it is also great for live shows and concerts as it will be able to capture the stage or the set properly. It is sure to give a beautiful view of the complete set up without cutting it into bits and pieces, making the shot more comprehensive.

Wildlife/Nature Photography

This lens also works really well when you need to capture something up close. The longer end of the lens will help you out with that. The zoom will help you with wildlife or nature photography as you cannot always get up close to the subject and capture details.

How to Choose an 18-55mm Lens

Now let’s go through some features you should look out for when choosing an 18-55mm lens for yourself. These are important to know so that you end with a lens that will be beneficial and last you a long time instead of breaking down and costing you much more than you signed up for. 


Always look out for the build of the lens. Is it made with high-quality materials? Can it handle wear and tear? Will you be able to use it in different weather conditions? All of these are questions that you should ask before deciding on a lens since the exterior matters as much as the interior. 

Image Stabilization

Another important feature is the image stabilization. It can help you reduce the blur that can occur if your hand is shaky or unstable. It is a quick and convenient way to capture clear, sharp images and is a feature that is always appreciated in a lens.


Aperture is basically the opening of the lens’s diaphragm. It is the area through which the light passes and is measured in f-stops. Different styles of photography require different apertures. Generally, a wider aperture will provide you with sharper and more focused images, while a shallow aperture will result in some parts of the photograph being focused, and the rest will not be as focused.  

Review of the Best 18-55mm Lenses for Nikon

So, it’s finally time to get into the reviews for the best 18-55mm lenses. These are for Nikon cameras, and each of them has some great features which we will be looking at in detail. Let’s get right to it! 

Best Overall:
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras


  • Compact and does not require a lot of space
  • Auto-focus feature responds quickly and accurately
  • Wide aperture range provides room for a variety of styles
  • ED glass element brings down chromatic aberrations to the minimum
  • Auto-focus feature does not make a lot of sound thanks to the Silent Wave Motor


  • Does not come with a hood
  • Auto-focus feature can be a bit slow when compared to other lenses

What Recent Buyers Report

The lens has received a lot of praise from reviewers. The fact that it can shoot a wide range of shots is highly appreciated. Apart from that, the auto-focus feature has also helped a lot of buyers to capture the perfect shots.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is a fantastic tool. Its wide aperture range is the first thing that caught our attention. The fact that it can capture images with each and every detail, as well as images with selective focus, is a big win. Apart from that, the silent wave motor is also a feature that puts the lens in our good books.

Who Will Use This Most

There are no set boundaries as to who can use this lens and who can’t. It is fairly easy to use, which is why it can be used by anyone. It is also great for people who have just stepped into the world of photography as it can cater to a wide variety of photography styles.

Bottom Line

All in all, this lens is a good option if you are looking for a wide-angle lens. It will work well for beginners who are absolutely new to photography, and it is also a good choice for those who enjoy landscape and architecture photography in general.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G Vibration Reduction II.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G Vibration Reduction II Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras


  • Lens is capable of shooting sharp and clear images
  • Compact and lightweight, making it easier to handle
  • Blur reduction technology enables you to capture clear pictures
  • Great for all types of shots, including wide-angle shots as well as close-ups
  • SIC coating makes sure that images captured have excellent contrast and color richness


  • Although the images captured are sharp in the center, they are a bit fuzzier on the sides

What Recent Buyers Report

According to the majority of the reviews, this lens is a good choice as it can fit many photography styles, making it very easy to use. The reviewers also commend its huge zoom capacity, which makes the lens a good option for capturing subjects from a distance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens has many factors that stand out. First of all, it has an excellent build. It is lightweight and compact, which means it’s easy to carry around. Apart from that, the SIC coating makes sure that the images captured are of the highest quality, and the images captured are sharp and clear.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an excellent camera for beginners as it is easy to adapt to and lets you explore a variety of techniques. It is also great for use in travel as it does not weigh a lot and can be handled easily. However, it might not be the best option for professionals.

Bottom Line

There are a lot of reasons why this lens is a favorite for us. It provides great results and makes sure that the images captured are clear and rich in color. It performs well in low-light settings as well, providing bright shots even when the lights are dim.

Best for the Money:
Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR AF-P DX

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR AF-P DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens - (Renewed)


  • Lightweight lens that is easy to handle
  • Functions smoothly and captures sharp images
  • Image stabilization helps to capture clear images
  • Auto-focus system operates without making excess noise
  • Auto-focus system gets rids of the hassle of manually focusing on subjects and saves time


  • Exterior is plastic so it may not be as sturdy as other lenses
  • A few chromatic aberrations may occur at the corners of the frame

What Recent Buyers Report

There are some mixed reviews for this lens, as some buyers find it very useful, but others have some reservations, mainly with its build. However, there is no doubt about the fact that it is light and easy to use, and its features like auto-focus and image stabilization work well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Our reason for choosing this lens is that it provides value. It has some really great features like image stabilization and quick and efficient auto-focus. It also captures sharp and clear images, and it is easy to work with in general. All this is available at a very affordable price, and that is why it is included in our line-up.

Who Will Use This Most

Needless to say, this lens would be the perfect choice for those looking for quality on a tight budget. This could include a variety of people like students, beginners, and hobbyists as well. In particular, amateurs looking to start a career in photography can practice and shoot with this lens.

Bottom Line

If you want a good lens for your Nikon camera, but you are not willing to spend a lot of money, you should definitely consider this lens. Yes, the build is not on par with the other lenses, but it makes this easier to carry and work with.

Advantages of Investing in a Quality 18-55mm Lens

Why should you spend a considerable amount of money on this lens? Well, there are many reasons you should do so. Let’s take a quick look at how investing in a quality 18-55mm lens can be advantageous for you. 


The 18-55mm lens will add variety to your collection as it has a great focal length and is good for both wide-angle shots and close-ups as well. It can help you explore your own styles and maybe even diversify it so that you can add something new to your work. 

Lessens Your Load

Since the 18-55mm has a great range, you will not have to carry a bunch of other lenses to capture different types of shots. It can also help you save some money as it can capture shots in detail as well as shots where you need to focus on one subject in particular. 

Image Quality

An 18-55mm will provide you with greater image quality, making sure that your shots come out just as you visualized them. Plus, they are not very difficult to handle and can work well for people learning photography as well as those who are already experienced.

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when you are planning to invest in any type of lens. It is always better to be careful beforehand rather than investing in something that is of little or no use. 


Be careful of the warranty when you decide to buy any type of lens. This is important because if you have a warranty, you will not have to cover the cost if something is defected or damaged. The typical warranty is for at least a year or so.

Buy Original

Be sure to buy an original product and not a refurbished one. When you buy an original, the company will be responsible for repairs and will help you out with any complications. That is not the case for refurbished models. In fact, they may not even function properly.


Another thing you need to make sure of is compatibility. Always make sure that the lens you choose to buy is compatible with the body of your camera. Otherwise, it will be of no use at all to you, and you will probably have to return it.


This was it for our buying guide for the best 18-55mm lenses for Nikon. As you may know by now, buying a lens is not all that simple. There are a lot of aspects you need to keep in mind, such as the build and other features like sharpness, auto-focus, image stabilization, etc. We hope that our guide was insightful and helpful for you!

People Also Ask

This section is for the frequently asked questions that are asked by those interested in buying an 18-55mm lens. 

How Far Does an 18 55mm Lens Zoom?

When zoomed in fully, it can zoom in to 82mm on a full-frame camera. 

What is the Minimum Focus Distance for 18-55mm Lens?

The minimum focus distance for this lens is 27mm using a full-frame camera.

What is the Difference Between 18-55mm and 75-300mm?

The 18-55mm is more of a daily use lens, while the 75-300mm is best used for specific purposes like wildlife or portrait photography

What Size Filter Fits a Canon 18-55mm Lens?

A 58mm filter will fit well on a Canon 18-55mm lens in general. 

Share to Pinterest

Hi, I’m Andy. I’ve been taking pictures for just about as long as I’ve been old enough to hold a camera. I studied photography in community college after high school but was encouraged to follow a career path that was more stable. I do gigs here and there on the side but never took the leap to focus my efforts full-time. When Pam reached out to me through a mutual friend, I jumped on the opportunity to be a writer. Favorite type of photography: macro and street.