Best Off-Brand Lenses For Nikon – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

A lens is one of the most integral parts of a camera, isn’t it? It improves not only the amount of light entering your camera but also the overall image quality.

Most people prefer to pair their Nikon cameras with Nikon lenses, but off-brand lenses are great too.

Here is complete information about such lenses to help you find the perfect lens for your Nikon camera. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Off-Brand Lenses For Nikon


Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG

  • Comes with a focal length of 50 mm
  • F 1.4 maximum width of aperture offered
  • Best overall Sigma off-brand lens for Nikon camera
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Tamron SP Auto Focus 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II

  • Comes with a filter size of 67 mm
  • Lens hood included for added protection
  • Runner-up with autofocus for quick shots
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Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC

  • Focal length range between 50 and 100 mm
  • Best for the money art lens for Nikon cameras
  • Global vision series lens with high image clarity
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Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD

  • Macro lens with the ratio of 1:1
  • Best Tamron lens for Nikon cameras
  • Comes with an aperture width of F/2.8
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Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1

  • Incredible focal length of 150 mm
  • Best macro lens for Nikon cameras by Irix
  • High-resolution lens for better image quality
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What is an Off-Brand Lens?

An off-brand lens, as the name suggests, is a lens by a brand other than Nikon. These third-party lenses have more features than your ordinary Nikon lenses typically offer. Off-brand lenses that have high compatibility with your Nikon camera are best. 

Third-party lenses come with better focal length and greater aperture width. They also have a better bokeh if they adjust to the light settings of a Nikon camera. 

Do Off-Brands Lenses Come With Bad Quality?

Off-brand lenses come with a diversity of features and pricing, which affect their quality. They sometimes have the perfect aperture width for Nikon cameras. This way, they improve the quality of an image for photographers. 

These lenses even provide photographers greater room for practicing new and different photography techniques. However, some of the off-brand lenses just do not work with Nikon cameras at all. They then make it difficult for you to keep using them without compromising your work. 

So, the quality of the image depends on the kind of lens you are buying. It can be an off-brand or Nikon lens, as it doesn’t make any difference. 

How to Choose an Off-Brand Lens

Choosing an off-brand lens for Nikon cameras can be tricky as it needs a very thorough comparison of specifications. Still, it is not very difficult if you know what to look for. We have listed a few features for you to consider while choosing one. 

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is something that usually happens when the lens and camera are of different brands. They have misfit parts, which hinder the light and cause it to spread outwards. This then leads to chromatic aberrations, which ruin the clarity of an image.

Specifications Compatibility

Buyers need to keep in mind the compatibility of the off-brand lens with their Nikon DSLR. If the specifications for both are mismatched, they will not work well together. In turn, this will lead to waste of money that you could spend on a new lens.

Focal Length

The focal length range of a camera lens is very important, whether off-brand or Nikon. This affects the kind of photos you can take and the angles you can catch. This will also affect the bokeh and clarity of images, so you have to be careful about focal length, too.

Quick Take - Best Off-Brand Lenses For Nikon

Before we dive into our review, here are the best off-brand lenses for Nikon:

  1. Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG
  2. ​Tamron SP Auto Focus 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II
  3. Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC

Review of the Best Off-Brand Lenses For Nikon Cameras

Nikon cameras are great for photography and they get even better with the right lens. So, you should pair yours with the best one out there. Here are some off-brand lenses which complement Nikon cameras the most.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Nikon


  • Minimum focus of the lens is 0.4m
  • Image quality is amazing with this lens
  • AF motor is of ultrasonic type in nature
  • USB dock is there for calibration of focus
  • Full-time manual focusing with ring-type motor


  • Adjustment of light gets a little tricky
  • Mounting is somewhat hard for beginners

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers were quite happy with their purchase, as this lens helped them a lot. They talked about how it helped them identify the perfect camera angle. The lens also had the right aperture for all forms of photography that they wanted to try. So, recent buyers reported a very high level of satisfaction after using this.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The focal length of 50mm makes it one of our favorites, as it increases the range of focus. It also allows photographers to play around with details in both the subject and the background. We like it because it has a USB dock for calibration of focus. This makes it easier to configure the lens and Nikon DSLR camera while working.

Who Will Use This Most

This is most useful for people who want to manually focus their pictures. It lets them have the exact amount of focus at all the right places. So, you should choose this if you want better and more active control over the dimensions of your photography.

Bottom Line

Summing it up, this is easily the best off-brand lens for Nikon cameras that you can go for. It has the perfect focal length for a diversity of photography modes. It also has greater functionality in differing light conditions, which makes it an even better option. So, get this one if you want to have more satisfied customers in your studio.

Tamron SP Auto Focus 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP Aspherical (IF) Zoom Lens with Built In Motor for Nikon Digital SLR


  • Has a low-light dispersion effect
  • Diameter of the lens is 2.9 inches
  • 3.2-inch lens has great size
  • Standard zoom mode has a very wide angle
  • Lightweight lens mounts on the camera very easily


  • The coating tends to wear off
  • Slightly expensive than other off-brand lenses

What Recent Buyers Report

People who bought it lately praise the lens wholeheartedly, as it improved their photography quality. They reported an easier angle setting of their Nikon DSLR camera with it. They also were very happy with the lesser dispersion level of the image it promised. Overall, they had no complaints about its functionality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Its most striking feature for us is the zoom lock, which helps users control the zoom more easily. The autofocus is another plus, as it makes sure that the images are never disappointing for you or the clients. Its filter size of 67mm also deserves appreciation, as it makes photography much easier.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is most useful for people who are into perfection. It allows them to control more aspects of photography. Moreover, it is also good for those who practice multiple positions before taking shots, as it is so lightweight.

Bottom Line

To sum up, investing in this lens can be a wise decision on your part, as it brings so much more to your skill set. It will make it easier for you to find the perfect angle and then click a portrait or photo. Plus with its ease of use, beginners can greatly benefit from it.

Best for the Money:
Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC 

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Nikon


  • F-mount for DX-format Nikon cameras
  • Easy to handle at 6.7 x 3.7 x 3.7 inches size
  • Focal length range equivalent of 75-150 mm
  • Works effectively in multiple light settings, too
  • Telephoto lens with a diverse range of performance conditions


  • Difficult to configure in outdoor settings
  • Not very compatible with FX-format cameras

What Recent Buyers Report

The latest customers came up with mixed reviews when asked about this lens. They loved its price for being so low without any compromise on the image quality. However, they had some issues in changing the settings of the camera while working with this lens. Still, their overall experience was great, so they suggest that everyone with a Nikon camera buy this.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us with its F-type mount for DX-format DSLR cameras. Most lenses do not come with an F-mount and that makes it hard to adjust them. But this one wins in that area and we like it a lot. We also like this lens for its extensive focal length range, which helps the photographers in focusing better.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the best lens for people who are into much more focused photography. It has great bokeh, but if you rely on clearer images, then this is the perfect lens for you. It also has a sharp focus, so you can capture more details with it.

Bottom Line

All in all, it is a great choice if you are on a budget, as its features outweigh its price. The lens has a well-formed aperture, which improves its sharpness and focus. The brightness level controls are also quite effective with this lens, so you can choose it without any hesitation.

Tamron AFF017N700 SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro for Nikon Cameras (Black)


  • Shift compensation to improve the VC
  • Amazing bokeh with a circular aperture
  • Repulsion of pollutants with the fluorine coating
  • Moisture-proof lens is great for adventure photography
  • Dust-resistant construction makes it durable


  • Lens hood comes off quite frequently
  • Switch for AF distance is difficult to handle

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who got this lens lately have become its fans. They reported a considerable improvement in the construction quality compared to other models. They also liked it because of the enhancement of VC due to shift compensation. Overall, they were elated with the results it produced and recommended it to others.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It grabs our attention due to its safety features and construction. The fluorine coating helps the lens stay free of all scratches and other cracks. It also has a high resistance to environmental pollutants and moisture, enabling it to stay functional. Its bokeh is also amazing, so we recommend it to everyone.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is going to meet your needs most if you like to travel a lot. Adventure photographers will love it most, as it can bear a lot of different conditions and shoot different terrains. The lens has a high quality construction material with the best safety features. So, no matter whether you hit the roads or go trekking, it will help you a lot.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is that it is an incredible macro lens. The range of photography definitely gets larger with this one, so there is hardly anything to worry about. You might have to deal with a loose lens hood, but even that’s not a bother.

Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly Lens for Nikon


  • 270-degree rotation of focus ring
  • Focusing range of the lens is 0.345m
  • 11 rounded blades construct its excellent aperture
  • 1:1 macro lens with high proportion compatibility
  • Great for portrait photography with narrow viewing angle


  • The motor of the lens is noisy

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers gave very positive reviews regarding this amazing lens by Irix. They found it great for landscape photography as it has a 270-degree rotation of the ring. They also liked it for the way it mounts so easily on their Nikon cameras, as it is quite lightweight. All in all, they were pretty satisfied with their purchase.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Its bokeh makes us like it the most, as it is truly remarkable. The aperture has 11 sharp blades in it, which improve the brightness level and shutter speed. This makes the bokeh more dreamy and impressive without going too vivid for the photographers using it.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is the most useful for those who love to play around with multiple forms of photography. The 270-degree rotation of the focus ring makes it ideal for both portrait and landscape photography. So, you should go for it if you keep finding new inspirations and muses.

Bottom Line

In our opinion, it is one of the coolest off-brand lenses you can buy in the market at present. It has the richest bokeh and promises the clearest images. This, along with the pricing, makes it a very desirable lens for beginner and professional photographers.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Since photography is not something we take lightly, why not take photography tools seriously too? If you are looking for a new lens, then you need to be very considerate of the following aspects. 


Now, the whole point of an off-brand lens is to get the best features at the lowest price. So, you have to consider the price of the lens and see if it fits your budget. You have to go for the model which beats all others in price and quality. 

Aperture Width

The aperture width of a lens is very significant, as it determines the shutter speed. This then has a direct effect on the amount of light entering into the camera and thus, affecting image clarity. So, you need to get a lens that has a wide aperture and quick shutter. 

Compatibility With Camera

The compatibility of the Nikon camera and the off-brand lens matters a lot, as well. The lens will simply distort every single picture if your camera does not support it. So, be very careful when it comes to comparing the two and their specifications. 

Low Light Performance

The low-light performance of a lens has to be high, too, as it broadens the horizon for a photographer. If the low-light performance is high, you can continue to take shots in several conditions. Hence, you need a lens that goes well with multiple light settings. 

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

You can never be too careful when upgrading your photography toolkit, right? So, be extra attentive to these features when choosing an off-brand lens for your Nikon camera.

Lens Coating

The materials that the manufacturers use to coat their lenses have a huge impact on their performance. The coating should be effective in keeping the scratches and cracks away. But, it should not cause any hurdles for the light which enters the camera. 

Brightness Level

The brightness level that a lens promises is something critical, as well. This is because it can lower the brightness quality of your camera, too, if it is not good enough. So, be considerate of this when you are looking for an off-brand lens for Nikon camera.


The mount of a lens is not to be ignored either, as it can change your whole photography experience. Thus, you need to see if the lens you want mounts well on your camera or not. 


Distortion of light and image can be discouraging for photographers, so it should not be there. Hence, you should go for a camera with the least levels of distortion. 


So, you need to get a great lens to improve your photography and the lens has to come with the right features for the kind of photography you prefer. This makes it important to try out off-brand lenses in the market as they offer more. So, go for an off-brand lens for your Nikon camera, but make sure you check its compatibility.