Ultimate Guide: 10 Best Lenses for the Nikon D3100

by Tom Shu

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best lenses for the Nikon D3100 are, then I’d recommend the following:

Picking out a new lens for a camera is always one of the best parts about owning a camera so congrats on starting your journey to find a new lens for your Nikon D3100!

As with all of the Ultimate Guides I create, my one and only goal is to give you all the information possible to help you pick the right lens for you.

The most important thing to remember when picking out a lens is that everyone’s needs are different. What might be a good lens for one person might not make sense for you and vice versa. This is normal.

So, before spending your money, take some time to think about when you’ll use the lens, how you’ll use the lens, and if you really need it. You might just realize that maybe the gear you have already is good enough.

Here are the lenses we will be going over today:

What to Look for in the Best Lens for your Nikon D3100?

illustration of cartoon camera lenses on a table

When choosing the next lens for your Nikon D3100, the most important thing to keep in mind is how does it fit with your current gear and how you usually take photos and videos.

Here are the features that you should look out for when choosing the next lens for your Nikon D3100:

  • Overall Value: Usually, the more expensive a lens is, the better the glass. This isn’t always the case, but it holds true most of the time. Considering the price, your skill level, and how you use your camera, think about how good of a value the lens is for you.
  • Purpose of the Lens: Check out your current gear. Will the new lens you’re thinking about buying serve a purpose or is this just a symptom of having gear acquisition syndrome (GAS)?
  • Photography, Videography, or Both? If you will be taking photos and videos, lenses with a fixed aperture and vibration reduction will be more flexible.
  • Full-Frame Compatibility: Are you planning to upgrade to a full-frame FX Nikon camera any time soon? If so, you might want to consider an FX lens as they will also work on the Nikon D3100
  • Speed of Lens (Maximum Aperture): To get the best quality photos and videos, the max ISO you should use is 3200. Due to this, if you shoot a lot in low light situations, you will benefit from a faster lens.
  • Prime vs Zoom: There are pros and cons of a prime vs zoom lens. So it’s good to understand which type of lens you will benefit from the most and which fits with your current gear.
  • Constant or Variable Maximum Aperture: Again, the max ISO you should use is 3200. Because of this, you will benefit from a faster constant aperture zoom lens. The downside is they are usually more expensive and heavier.
  • Lens Stabilization: having vibration reduction in the lens will be beneficial since the Nikon D3100 camera body does not have any sort of stabilization.
illustration of what to look for in a d3100 lens

Overall Value

illustration of a piggy bank asking if this is a good value

When it comes to the overall price point and what the perceived value is, it really comes down to where you are at in your skill level and what you want to achieve in your photography or videography. Spending $500 on a lens might seem crazy to some, but makes sense for others.

If you’re an aspiring professional photographer or videographer, it might make sense to invest in higher priced quality lenses now as the lens will stay with you even if you decide to upgrade your camera body. Plus, in most cases, the more expensive the lens is, the better the glass which will allow you to get the best results possible.

On the other hand, some of you might only shoot casually whether that’s on vacation or when you’re with family and friends. If this sounds like you, then you should probably focus on ease of use, versatility, and price point above everything else.

One thing to keep in mind about lenses is that they usually hold their value pretty well.

So if you don’t like the lens after using it or if you’re ready for an upgrade, you should be able to sell it at a decent price even after a couple of years. 

Additionally, don’t forget about the used lens market. There is a huge selection of good quality used Nikon lenses. So, if you do your research you can get a great lens at a great price.

Purpose of the Lens

illustration of questions to ask yourself before getting a lens

Before buying your next lens, take 5-10 minutes to really think about how you will use this lens and what purpose this lens will serve. I have seen way too many photographers with a stockpile of lenses in their closet which they never use. 

If you can see how this lens will fit with your current gear, how it will impact your photography and videography, and in what situations you would use this lens in, then get it! However, if the specs of this lens overlap with another lens that you currently have, or if you will only use this lens in special situations, then it might be better to skip it for now. In reality, when you’re out shooting in the field, the last thing you’ll want to do is switch lenses.

Will you be Shooting both Photography and Videos?

illustration of a photo camera versus film camera

Don’t forget that the Nikon D3100 is also a very capable video camera that can record in 1080p full HD resolution. 

If you will be mainly focusing on photography, then all of the lenses we cover will work great. However, if you will also be shooting video, there are a couple of lens features you should look for that will help you capture the best quality video possible:

  • Wider Aperture Maximum Aperture: The Nikon D3100 works best when there is a lot of light. Because of its limited ISO range, a lens with a wider maximum aperture will give you more flexibility in low light situations. Not to mention, you will also be able to achieve a greater depth of field and separate your subject from the background. 
  • Constant Maximum Aperture: When shooting video with a zoom lens, it’s much easier to keep the exposure of a scene consistent if the maximum aperture remains constant when you zoom in or out.
  • Lens Stabilization: Since the Nikon D3100 does not have built-in image stabilization it will be very beneficial to have Vibration Reduction (VR) in the lens. This will make it much easier to capture much smoother footage.

Full-Frame Compatibility

illustration of an apsc sensor vs full frame sensor

Are you thinking about upgrading to a full-frame Nikon FX camera anytime soon? If so, it might be worth it to invest in an FX lens now, so you don’t have to change lenses when you upgrade to a full-frame body. It’s not a big deal to change lenses once you upgrade, but you could end up spending more money overall.

This is because Nikon FX full-frame lenses also work on the Nikon D3100 and many of the FX lenses are not that much more expensive than its DX counterpart. If you do decide to go the FX lens route, there are a couple of downsides to keep in mind:

  • Nikon FX lenses are usually more expensive and heavier than their comparable DX lens.
  • There is a 1.5x crop factor with the Nikon D3100. This means a 35mm full-frame FX lens is equivalent to a 52.5mm lens on the Nikon D3100

Prime Versus Zoom Lens

illustration of prime vs zoom lens

There are pros and cons to each type of lens. Prime lenses are usually smaller, lighter, faster, and give you better image quality. On the other hand, zoom lenses have a much more flexible range of different focal lengths and will give you extra reach when you need it. 

Here are the key differences to understand:

infographic of prime versus zoom lens

Constant or Variable Maximum Aperture for Zoom Lenses

illustration of constant or variable aperture

Usually, having a zoom lens with a constant maximum aperture is the most flexible. However, they are usually more expensive and heavier than variable aperture zoom lenses.

What’s important to figure out is how you will use your zoom lens and whether or not the benefits of having a constant aperture zoom outweigh the additional cost and weight of the lens.

What I will say is that If you primarily shoot portraits, work in low-light situations, or if you plan to do a lot of video work, having a zoom lens with a constant aperture will be very beneficial. Here’s why:

  • For portrait photography, having that constant aperture will allow you to more easily throw out the background and create depth of field to separate your subject from the background. 
  • In low-light situations, the constant aperture zoom will be faster and will give you more flexibility in what shutter speeds you can use while keeping the ISO low. 
  • For video, the constant aperture means you won’t have to change your exposure as you zoom in and out.

Lens Stabilization

illustration of camera on a gimbal

The Nikon D3100 does not have in-body image stabilization. So, having a lens with Vibration Reduction (VR) will allow you to more easily capture sharper images when you’re taking photos at longer focal lengths or with slower shutter speeds. On the video side, it will also make it easier to capture smoother footage and eliminate any micro jitters if you’re shooting without a tripod.

Reviews of the Best Lenses for the Nikon D3100

image of nikon d3100 against a green background

Best All-Around Lenses

illustration of cartoon camera lenses on a table

1. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 is a great value all-around lens for the Nikon D3100 especially if you’re looking for a lens that covers the wide to medium focal lengths. The 17-50mm focal length has a full-frame equivalent of 25.5mm to 75.5mm so it will be wide enough for most situations you find yourself in and you still get a decent zoom range if you need to get closer to your subject. At the current price point, it’s also one of the best upgrade choices if you’re still using the Nikon 18-55mm kit lens.

The best part about this lens, when compared to the other “all-around” lenses, is that it has a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8.

With the maximum aperture of f/2.8, it’s a pretty fast lens throughout its focal lengths. As I mentioned earlier, the Nikon D3100 performs best if you can keep the ISO under 3200, so having a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 will definitely help if you find yourself shooting a lot in low light situations. 

Not to mention, the combination of aperture and focal lengths available in this lens also makes it a great portrait or video lens that will allow you to throw out the background and create cinematic looking depth of field.

Additionally, the lens features optical stabilization which will help you to capture sharper images at slower shutter speeds and record smoother video footage.

PROS

  • It has a constant f/2.8 aperture throughout its focal range which makes it extremely flexible in a variety of different lighting conditions. It’s the only “all-around” lens with a constant aperture.
  • Great value lens with a reasonable price for the features especially with its constant aperture, flexible focal range, and its optical stabilization.
  • You can produce some very cinematic looking shots whether that be in portraits or with video using the combination of the different focal lengths and f/2.8 aperture.
  • It has built-in image stabilization.

CONS

  • You still may need a zoom lens if you want to reach further than 50mm.
  • If you’re looking to upgrade from the 18-55mm kit lens, the Sigma lens is almost 3 times heavier which can make a difference.
illustration of box which links to amazon

2. Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 VRII

image of nikon 18-55 against a white background

Yes, this is the kit lens that is usually bundled with the Nikon D3100, but I wanted to include this lens for those of you who don’t have this lens or don’t use it that much.

One thing is for sure, don’t let the fact that this is a kit lens fool you into thinking it’s a crappy lens. 

In my opinion, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 is probably one of the most underrated Nikon lenses and one of the best given its extremely low price point now. Since this lens was first released in 2006 it’s a little harder to find a new one, but you can usually find a good quality used lens for under $100.

For this price point, you get a surprisingly sharp lens throughout all the focal lengths in the center of the image. I usually don’t like to get into technical charts, but check out the MTF (resolution) testing conducted on this lens by the good team at Optical Limits for proof of how sharp this lens can get. 

The lens was tested at 18mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 55mm and it scored close to or above 2000 at all apertures it was tested at. A score of 1950 is considered to have an Excellent Resolution. The lens is also very compact, lightweight, and the autofocus works pretty well especially considering its price point. 

The downside is that the image quality is not the best, it’s more prone to flaring than some of the more expensive lenses, and it has a variable aperture. With that said, it’s hard to argue the downsides considering its low price point. 

PROS

  • A very sharp lens in the center of the image especially considering its low price point.
  • You can usually find a good quality used lens for under $100.
  • It’s lightweight and compact so it matches well with the Nikon D3100 body.
  • It has built-in image stabilization.

CONS

  • The image quality is not the best and it’s more prone to flaring than some of the more expensive lenses.
  • it’s a variable aperture lens so it’s not as flexible in low light situations if you shoot handheld or if you plan to shoot videos.
illustration of box which links to amazon

3. Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5 – f/6.3 VR

The Nikon 18-300mm is an all-around lens with an incredible focal range of 18-300mm. 

With this focal range (full-frame equivalent of 27-450mm) you will be covered in any situation that you might be shooting in. On the shorter focal lengths, it will be wide enough to use for landscape or architecture focused shots, and on the longer focal lengths, you’ll be able to zoom in on almost any subject you’re shooting.

Since it has such a wide focal range, this is perfect for those of you who don’t want to carry around multiple lenses and those of you who are looking for a lens to travel with.

The big downside with this lens is that it has a variable aperture from f/3.5 – f/6.3. The variable aperture won’t be a big deal if you will mostly shoot outside in bright lighting conditions or if you use a tripod. However, it could be a problem if you’re shooting in low light conditions hand-held or for any video work that you do. 

The lens does have Vibration Reduction, though, which will allow you to capture sharp images even at slower shutter speeds such as 1/30.

Here is how the aperture changes based on the focal length you are using:

chart of the maximum aperture at different focal lengths on the nikon 18-300 3.5-6.3

PROS

  • It’s at a great price point especially given its flexible focal range and built-in vibration reduction.
  • An incredibly wide focal range from 18-300mm will give you flexibility in most situations you’re shooting in.
  • A great choice for those of you who don’t want to carry around multiple lenses or who travel a lot. 
  • It has built-in vibration reduction which will allow you to shoot hand-held at slower shutter speeds even when using the longer focal lengths.

CONS

  • It’s a variable aperture lens so it’s not as flexible in low light situations if you shoot handheld or if you plan to shoot videos.
  • It’s a bigger and heavier lens which might not be the best fit for everyone.
  • Like other superzoom lenses, you will get some vignetting and distortion at the wider focal lengths such as 18mm, but this can be corrected in photo editing software.
illustration of box which links to amazon

4. Nikon AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 VR

image of nikon 18-140 against a white background

The Nikon 18-140mm is another very versatile all-around lens with a flexible focal range that will have you covered in most situations you find yourself in when you’re walking around taking photos or videos.

This lens is a good choice if you like what you see with the Nikon 18-300mm but don’t necessarily need such a long zoom range or you want to save some money. 

You can usually find this lens brand new at a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the Nikon 18-300mm, and with the extra money saved, you could invest in a nice fast prime lens. Both lenses have the same variable maximum aperture and Vibration Reduction, so the main difference is in the focal range.

Similar to the Nikon 18-300mm the biggest downside with this lens is its variable aperture from f/3.5 – f/5.6. Again, this won’t be a big deal if you’ll mostly be shooting in bright light conditions. However, it could cause some problems in low light if you’re shooting handheld or if you try to zoom in and out while shooting video. 

Here is how the aperture changes based on the focal length you are using with this lens:

chart of the maximum aperture at different focal lengths on the nikon 18-140 f3.5-f5.6

PROS

  • A very workable focal range from 18-140mm will give you flexibility in most situations you’re shooting in.
  • You can usually find this lens brand new for a couple of hundred dollars less than the Nikon 18-300mm, so can be a good choice if you don’t need to extra zoom.
  • A great choice for those of you who don’t want to carry around multiple lenses or who travel a lot. 
  • It has built-in vibration reduction which will allow you to shoot hand-held at slower shutter speeds even when using the longer focal lengths.

CONS

  • At the same time, the Nikon 18-300mm is a couple of hundred dollars more expensive and you get twice the zoom range.
  • It’s a variable aperture lens so it’s not as flexible in low light situations if you shoot handheld or if you plan to shoot videos.
  • Like other superzoom lenses, you will get some vignetting and distortion at the wider focal lengths such as 18mm, but this can be corrected in photo editing software.
illustration of box which links to amazon

Best Prime Lenses

illustration of different lenses on a yellow shelf

5. Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8

image of nikon 35mm 1.8 against a white background

The Nikon 35mm f/1.8 is a prime lens for Nikon DX cameras at the very versatile 35mm focal length on the DX size sensor of the Nikon D3100. This lens has a full-frame equivalent of 52.5mm so it’s the closest you will get to a “Nifty Fifty” lens on the Nikon D3100.

What makes this focal length so good and why it has the nickname “Nifty Fifty” is because it’s the most identical to the human eye. Because of this, you will get a natural-looking field of view in your images and less distortion compared to a wide-angle lens.

This 35mm lens is one of the cheapest prime lenses for the Nikon D3100 especially given its fast maximum aperture of f/1.8. You can usually find this lens brand new for under $200. Having a faster lens like this prime will give you more flexibility in low light situations and will allow you to throw out the background to create a beautiful depth of field.

At this focal length on a DX size sensor, I think this lens would be a great fit if you’re looking for a general walk-around style lens or even a portrait lens. It will also be wide enough for landscape photography in many situations too.

The biggest downside with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 is that it doesn’t have built-in vibration reduction. This won’t be too big of an issue if your primary focus is photography since it has a shorter focal length and faster max aperture. However, if you primarily plan to shoot video it could be difficult to capture smooth footage since the Nikon D3100 doesn’t have built-in stabilization.

PROS

  • Great value lens especially for how fast it’s. You can usually find it brand new at under $200.
  • A compact and lightweight lens that’s easy to carry around.
  • The fast aperture of f/1.8 gives you the flexibility to shoot in a variety of different lighting conditions. You can also throw out the background and create a beautiful depth of field when shooting at the wider focal lengths.
  • “Nifty Fifty” focal length on the DX size sensor so it’s great for a variety of different photography or videography.

CONS

  • It doesn’t have built-in vibration reduction which will make it more difficult to capture smooth video footage.
  • There is some slight vignetting when shot wide open.
  • It’s a fixed focal length lens so you still might need other lenses to cover the other focal lengths.
illustration of box which links to amazon

6. Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 FX is another great value prime lens for the Nikon D3100 as you can usually find this brand new for just over $200. The build of this lens is nearly identical to the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 with the exception of its focal length and that it’s a full-frame FX Nikon lens. 

If you’re stuck between the Nikon 35mm or 50mm f/1.8 for the D3100 the biggest question you’ll have to ask yourself is what focal length you’ll benefit from the most. In my opinion, the 35mm focal length is a little bit more flexible on the Nikon D3100 after you take the DX size sensor crop factor into consideration.

With that said, everyone’s needs are different, so here is who I think would benefit most from the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens versus the Nikon 35mm f/1.8:

  • The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 is a full-frame FX lens, so, if you’re thinking about upgrading to a full-frame FX camera anytime soon, this lens might be the better option.
  • If your primary focus is portrait photography. The additional 25mm in focal length is a nice boost to the zoom length and will allow you to compress the background and increase the depth of field even more. 
  • If you want a more intimate option for street photography. The additional 25mm in focal length will allow you to get closer to your subjects.

Similar to the Nikon 35mm f/1.8, the biggest downside is that it doesn’t have built-in vibration reduction. This won’t be too big of an issue if your primary focus is photography, however, it could make it difficult to capture smooth video footage since the Nikon D3100 doesn’t have built-in stabilization.

PROS

  • Great value lens especially for how fast it’s. You can usually find it brand new at just over $200.
  • The fast aperture of f/1.8 gives you the flexibility to shoot in a variety of different lighting conditions. You can also throw out the background and create a beautiful depth of field when shooting at the wider focal lengths.
  • It’s a full-frame FX lens so could be a nice choice if you’re thinking about upgrading to an FX camera soon.
  • A compact and lightweight lens that’s easy to carry around.

CONS

  • It doesn’t have built-in vibration reduction which will make it more difficult to capture smooth video footage.
  • There is some slight vignetting when shot wide open.
  • It’s a fixed focal length lens so you still might need other lenses to cover the other focal lengths.
illustration of box which links to amazon

7. Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8

nikon 85mm f.18 in front of white background

If you’re looking for more of an all-around style prime lens the 85mm is probably not the best choice. This is because given the 1.5x crop factor on the Nikon D3100 this lens has a full-frame equivalent of about 127.5mm, so your field of view will be very zoomed in.

For portrait work, however, this lens is a beast. You’ll be able to create an extremely beautiful depth of field with wonderful bokeh that will make your subject pop from any background. The max aperture of f/1.8 also makes this a very fast lens, which will give you more flexibility when you’re shooting in low light situations. 

Similar to the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 and the Nikon 50mm f/1.8, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 also doesn’t have vibration reduction. Again, this won’t be too big of an issue if your primary focus is photography since it has a faster max aperture. However, if you primarily plan to shoot video it could be difficult to capture smooth footage since the Nikon D3100 doesn’t have built-in stabilization.

PROS

  • One of the best value portrait specific lenses for the Nikon D3100 given its price point, focal length, and how fast it’s.
  • You are able to create even more beautiful depth of field and bokeh when compared to the 35mm and 50mm.
  • The fast aperture of f/1.8 gives you the flexibility to shoot in a variety of different lighting conditions. 
  • It’s a full-frame FX lens, so, if you’re thinking about upgrading to a full-frame FX camera anytime soon you don’t have to worry about replacing this lens.
  • A compact and lightweight lens that’s easy to carry around.

CONS

  • It doesn’t have built-in vibration reduction which will make it more difficult to capture smooth video footage.
  • There is some slight vignetting when shot wide open.
  • It’s a fixed focal length lens so you still might need other lenses to cover the other focal lengths.
illustration of box which links to amazon

8. Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

image of 40mm f2.8 in front of white background

The Nikon 40mm f/2.8 Macro Lens is one of the best value macro lenses you can get for your Nikon D3100. For its very reasonable price point, you get a flexible focal length that can be used in a variety of different situations, a fast lens, and macro capabilities with a minimum focusing distance of 6.4 inches.

With such a close minimum focusing distance, this lens is perfect for any of you who are looking for a macro lens to shoot nature (such as flowers or bugs) or close up product photography especially if you are selling these products online. 

What’s nice about this lens is that although its claim to fame is its macro capabilities, you can also use this for general photography or videography. At the 40mm focal length, it also works great for portrait or street photography and is still wide enough for some landscape photography. 

The images this lens produces are beautiful and with the max aperture of f/2.8, you will still be able to create a nice depth of field with great bokeh.

Similar to the other prime lenses we have gone over (35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, and 85mm f/1.8), the biggest downside with this lens is that it doesn’t have Vibration Reduction. Again, this won’t be too big of an issue if your primary focus is photography since it has a faster max aperture. However, if you primarily plan to shoot video it could be difficult to capture smooth footage since the Nikon D3100 doesn’t have built-in stabilization.

PROS

  • One of the best value macro lenses for the Nikon D3100 given its price point, focal length, minimum focusing distance, and how fast it’s. 
  • The max aperture of f/2.8 will still give you the flexibility to shoot in a variety of different lighting conditions and will allow you to create some beautiful depth of field when shooting at the wider apertures.
  • Even though its primary advantage is as a macro lens, you can still use this lens for many other types of photography/videography.
  • A compact and lightweight lens that’s easy to carry around.

CONS

  • It doesn’t have built-in vibration reduction which will make it more difficult to capture smooth video footage.
  • It’s a fixed focal length lens so you still might need other lenses to cover the other focal lengths.
  • If you don’t care about macro photography, the 35mm f/1.8 or the 50mm f/1.8 is better choices for prime lenses.
illustration of box which links to amazon

Best Zoom Lenses

illustration of zoom lenses on a book shelf

9. Sigma 150-600mm f/5 – 6.3 DG OS HSM

sigma 150-600mm in front of white background

The Sigma 150-600mm f/5 – 6.3 is a superzoom telephoto lens with an amazing focal length from 150-600mm (full-frame equivalent 225-900mm). It’s a full-frame FX lens, so if you’re thinking about upgrading to a Nikon FX camera in the near future, you won’t have to worry about replacing this lens.

With the crazy focal range, this is a really great lens if you’re looking to shoot wildlife, nature, or even your kid’s sporting events.

Other than the focal range, the best feature of the Sigma 150-600mm is its above-average optical image stabilization. There are two different stabilization modes on the lens and you can change it with the flick of a switch on the side of the lens. 

  • Mode 1: a general stabilization that works great for the majority of your shots.
  • Mode 2: a panning stabilization mode that uses an internal accelerometer for improved horizontal or vertical panning photos.

Remember, the Nikon D3100 doesn’t have built-in stabilization of any kind, so it’s definite plus the Sigma has two different stabilization modes. Without the lens stabilization, it would be pretty difficult to shoot with at the longer focal lengths even with a tripod. 

The biggest downside with this lens is that it’s a variable aperture lens from f/5 – f/6.3. Since it’s a variable aperture lens, it might be a little slow in low light situations and you won’t be able to get as nice of depth of field as a constant aperture zoom lens. However, given the price, you can’t really complain. 

PROS

  • A crazy focal range of 150-600mm (full-frame focal range of 225-900mm) so you will be able to get super close to any subject you’re shooting.
  • Has 2 different built-in optical stabilization modes which will help you capture sharp images and smooth video footage even at longer focal lengths.
  • It’s a very reasonable price especially for how big the focal range is.
  • The lens is incredibly sharp even when you’re all the way zoomed out to 600mm.
  • It’s a full-frame FX lens, so, if you’re thinking about upgrading to a full-frame FX camera anytime soon you don’t have to worry about replacing this lens.

CONS

  • The lens has a variable aperture from f/5 – f/6.3 so it might not be the most flexible in low light situations or if you’re zooming in and out while recording video.
  • The widest focal length is a full-frame equivalent of 225mm which might be too zoomed in in some situations.
  • Obviously, it’s a very big and heavy lens that’s not the easiest to carry around all day.
  • If you don’t need such a crazy zoom range or want a smaller compact lens, then one of the all-around zoom lenses will probably be a better fit.
illustration of box which links to amazon

10. Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 Sports DG OS HSM

image of sigma 70-200mm f2.8 on a desk

The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Sport is another full-frame FX lens that might be a good fit especially if you’re looking for a faster constant aperture zoom lens. With the constant aperture, you’ll be able to shoot at a max aperture of f/2.8 throughout all the focal lengths which will give you more flexibility in low light situations and will give you some bokehlicious depth of field.

Let’s talk about the big negative of this lens first. It’s a beast and comes in at a weight of 4 lbs which is pretty heavy for a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. 

So, if you’re looking for a more compact zoom lens solution and don’t necessarily need a constant aperture of f/2.8, then one of the all-around lenses that we went over might be a better fit. 

However, if you can get over the bigger size and heavier weight, this lens is awesome to have. The image quality is superb, it’s incredibly sharp at all focal lengths and apertures, and it’s at a very reasonable price point coming in at about $1k less than the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens. 

The Sigma 70-200mm also has built-in optical image stabilization which will help you capture sharp images and record smoother video footage at those longer focal lengths.

PROS

  • Good value at a reasonable price point for a 70-200mm f/2.8 as the Nikon equivalent lens is about $1k more expensive.
  • The constant aperture of f/2.8 will give you more flexibility in low light situations at all focal lengths and will allow you to create some beautiful depth of field when shooting at the wider apertures.
  • It has built-in optical image stabilization which will help you capture sharp images and smoother video at the longer focal lengths.
  • The lens is incredibly sharp at all focal lengths and apertures.
  • It’s a full-frame FX lens, so, if you’re thinking about upgrading to a full-frame FX camera anytime soon you don’t have to worry about changing this lens.

CONS

  • It’s a very big and heavy lens for a 70-200mm f/2.8 that’s not the easiest to carry around all day.
  • If you don’t need a constant f/2.8 aperture or want a smaller compact zoom lens, then one of the all-around zoom lenses will probably be a better fit.
illustration of box which links to amazon

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