Buying guide: best lenses for Nikon digital SLRs

Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. Whether you're looking to take close-ups, sports photos or interiors, we've got some suggestions to make your decision a bit easier.

For each type of lens in this buying guide we've chosen the one which offers the best combination of performance and value, as well as other options for those on a budget or for whom money is no object.

But first, we need to know what kind of camera you have:

I own a camera with an 'APS-C' (DX-format) sensor, such as:

  • Any D1, D2, D40, D50, D100, D200, D300, D500, D3000, D5000 and D7000 series model.

Unsure? Use the photo above as a guide. APS-C cameras have smaller sensors, which appear as smaller rectangles reflected in the mirror.

I own a camera with a 'full-frame' (FX-format) sensor, such as:

  • Any D3, D4 or D5, D600, D700, D800 series model
  • The Df

These models usually have an "FX" logo on the lower part of the front of the body.

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While DX-format lenses can be used on FX-format bodies, a 1.5x crop with be applied automatically. Should you turn off this DX crop feature, then vignetting will be an issue.

This guide does not cover lenses designed for Nikon's 1 or Z series of mirrorless cameras.