5 Best Lenses for Nikon D3200

With so many options available, it can occasionally seem impossible to find the best lens for the Nikon D3200. One of the many important factors to consider in the lens choice for your camera is the type of photography you will be doing.

Hello folks! My name is Lavelle and I am a long-time professional photographer and an all-around lover of all things photographic in nature. Since 2009, I have been helping clients across the United States to capture the best moments of their lives.

In this article, I will discuss some of the things I suggest that you look for in a lens for the Nikon D3200. I will also share with you my list of the best lenses for your camera.

Key Takeaways

  • The best lens for your Nikon D3200 depends on the situation. Depending on what you’re shooting and what conditions you’re shooting in, one lens may be more appropriate than another.
  • Choose lenses that serve multiple purposes and do so well.
  • You want to use a lens that has a built-in image stabilizer to help you avoid camera and handshake.
What is the kit lens for Nikon D3200?

The Nikon D3200 comes with an AF-S DX Zoom 18-55mm lens. This lens is a flexible option and works well as a starting point. However, if you want to expand your capabilities, you should consider other lenses for this camera.

The Nikon D3200 first hit the market in 2012. All these years later, it is still a good camera to use. It has several nice features including a high-resolution 24.2 MP CMOS processor and it can record video in full high definition. It is a great choice for beginner-level photographers.

The Nikon D3200 is a professional-grade DSLR camera, however, it is mostly used by beginner-level photographers. Subsequent models from Nikon offer more advanced features, nonetheless, the D3200 is an adequate choice for professionals.

What to Look for in a Lens for Nikon D3200

Below you will find some of the top things I suggest that you look for in a lens for D3200.

  • Image Stabilization: A lens with a built-in image stabilization system is preferable. These types of lenses offer clearer pictures with less distortion and help to avoid things such as camera shake and uncontrollable movements.
  • Image Quality: Image quality is a critical part of a good lens. You want to choose a lens that delivers exceptional quality, has good bokeh, and responds well to the camera body’s features.
  • Focal Length: The focal length describes the field of view that you get from the lens. The lower the number, the wider the field of view is and conversely, the higher the number, the narrower the field of view is. The specific focal length that you should look for is dependent on the shot that you are shooting. For instance, a portrait shot works well with a 50mm focal length while a landscape shot works better with a 200mm focal length.
  • Focal Options: There are primarily two focal options on a lens: the autofocus and the manual focus mode. It is best to have a lens with both focal options so that the user can determine which works best for the shot and their skill level.
  • Versatility: Choose a lens that can be used in several environments and conditions. For instance, the 35mm lens can be used for portraits, landscapes, or action, if the correct settings are applied.

The Best Lenses for Nikon D3200 Reviewed

Here is the list of the top five lenses for your Nikon D3200.

1. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G (Best All Around)

  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Minimum Aperture: 22
  • Maximum Aperture: 1.8
  • Lens Type: Normal

The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX lens is the embodiment of versatility, precision, and quality. It delivers excellent bokeh, has a useful focal length, and works great in several conditions including low light conditions.

This lens gives you a nice aperture range between 22 and 1.8 while delivering a 35mm focal length that is equivalent to 50mm. It works perfectly well with the D3200 and is a great lens for general-purpose shots.

The thing that stands out about this lens is the quiet AF-S focusing system. This system delivers exceptional image quality and is designed to work in varying conditions. It even has a rubber seal to minimize moisture ingestion in the lens.

However, the sharpness of images could be slightly improved. Otherwise, this lens is great to use and serves well for most photographers of any skill level.

My Verdict: This is a very practical lens to have in your inventory. You can use it to shoot several types of shots and it works well in low-light conditions. It’s a good price and offers great value and performance.

2. Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 DX (Best Zoom)

  • Focal Length: 18-300mm
  • Minimum Aperture: 0
  • Maximum Aperture: 3.5
  • Lens Type: Telephoto

The second choice is the Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 DX zoom lens. This incredible lens is designed specifically for DX sensors. It is also versatile and can do the job of several lenses all in one.

With a 1.5x crop factor, this lens delivers a focal range that is effectively a 27-450mm range. It allows you to cover wide areas and zoom in nicely on subjects. The stabilization system on this lens is also quite remarkable.

With an equivalent focal length of 27-450mm, you can zoom in tightly on subjects without losing too much clarity. The colors remain vibrant and the image quality stays intact.

It is a little pricey and loses a little sharpness when zooming in. You can compensate for this quality loss in post-production, but it is the primary reason that this lens falls to my number two spot on the list.

My Verdict: This is a good, versatile lens that delivers nicely in most conditions. It is also a bit heavy but does keep you from having to have as many lenses in your inventory since it can do the job of several other lenses by itself.

3. Nikon 85mm f/1.8 FX (Best Portrait)

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Minimum Aperture: 16
  • Maximum Aperture: 1.8
  • Lens Type: Telephoto

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 FX is a great lens to use when you cannot get as close to your subject as you’d like or you’re just not a fan of closeups. It is designed for full-frame camera bodies and delivers excellent image quality.

The 85mm focal length is expanded with the 1.5x crop factor, causing this lens to effectively become a 127.5mm focal length. It works well for portraiture and delivers a realistic feel even at the maximum focal distance.

The bokeh that it delivers is pretty amazing. It shows up exceptionally well in things like food shots, where the bokeh becomes increasingly important.

The biggest area of concern is that it is somewhat heavy in design and straddles the line of being expensive. With a fixed focal length and a few limitations on versatility, the price point is a little high for my taste.

My Verdict: It is a durable lens that delivers high-quality images. It works very well within its constraints and is a good option to have on hand.

4. Nikon 50mm f/1.8 FX (Best Value)

  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Minimum Aperture: 16
  • Maximum Aperture: 1.8
  • Lens Type: Normal

When it comes to value, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 FX is an excellent choice. It’s difficult to go wrong with a 50mm lens and the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 proves its worth in many shooting conditions.

This lens delivers exceptional sharpness and is great for portrait shots. It is priced affordably and can be effectively used, given the right settings and skills, under many conditions. Even though it is designed for full-frame bodies it works very well with the DX sensor such as the one on the D3200.

The most appealing thing about this lens is its ability to deliver great pictures, even in low light conditions and without the use of a flash. The fast maximum aperture of 1.8 allows you to shoot effectively with lighting enhancements.

The main drawback is that you have to raise the ISO very high which may cause some distortion unless you’re very careful and skilled at taking these types of shots. 

My Verdict: It is a great go-to option for portraits and it is usable in several shooting scenarios. It is also lightweight, easy to carry around, and has good functionality.

5. Nikon 85mm f/3.5 DX Macro (Best Telephoto)

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Minimum Aperture: 32
  • Maximum Aperture: 3.5
  • Lens Type: Telephoto

Last but not least is the Nikon 85mm f/3.5 DX Micro. This exceptional telephoto lens has a lot to offer. While it is number five on my list, it is still a great choice for portraits and landscapes, and everyday shots.

When used appropriately, this macro lens lets you capture things that you normally don’t see in a shot. It delivers vivid, beautiful colors that are highlighted in its amazing bokeh. It is also well designed and manually focuses easily.

The 85mm f/3.5 DX Micro gives you excellent life-size reproduction capabilities. It is great for macro photography and easily lets you bring out the best in an otherwise dull photo.

However, you will need more light in your scenes and have to use a lower ISO to keep the shot clean and crisp. Therefore, skill plays a major role in getting the most out of this lens.

My Verdict: This is a good option for a skilled photographer who wants to test the boundaries of telephoto imagery while pushing their skill set to the limit. It is priced well and designed nicely.

Final Thoughts

While the Nikon D3200 is an older version at this point, it is still a viable camera for many photographers. Therefore, finding the best lenses to work with is critical for your overall success.

Also, a few other good options include the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, the Nikon AF-S Micro NIKKOR 40mm, and the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. Each of these lenses is compatible with the Nikon D3200 and offers some nice functionality to work well with the camera.

Have you tried any of the lenses listed above? Which one worked well for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

As always, capture the best moments and life and have fun!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *