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Nikon D5100 Recommended Lenses

The lens that Nikon gives with your camera 18-55mm is a very good and sharp lens, Now the question is How to choose your next Nikkor lens ?: what kind of photos do you want to take? Read our recommended lens article and get your answer,

Recommended Portrait lens for D5100
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens, Best and affordable all purpose prime lens for Nikon D5100 , this lens is prime lens(non-zoom) and more faster and sharp than the basic kit lens. the 35 mm lens gives you a classic 35mm format and you can use this lens for street photography, for shooting a family event or single / group portraits.
The good – Excellent image quality.
35mm price – $199.00(approx) Buy it from Amazon || $199.95(approx) at  B&H

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S
Nikon 50mm is a FX format lens and will act as 75mm lens in your Nikon D5100 DSLR (due to 1.5X crop factor), the lens gives you a very less working area but highly recommended if you want to shoot professional looking portrait with your DX format camera.
Nikon 50mm lens price – $229 Buy it from Amazon | $216 (approx) at B&H



Recommended Zoom Lens for D5100

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR The Best Zoom lens available under $250(street price), the images are sharp and VR (Image Stabilization) works perfectly.
The Good – from Price POV the lens is sharper and a excellent performer, Drawback – Auto Focus is bit slow .
55-200mm Price – Available Under $250, Buy it from Amazon || Price: $224.95 at

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens, Auto focus is faster than 55-200mm VR lens, very low or no Chromatic aberration even at 300mm, This lens is remarkably flare resistant and Bokeh quality excellent at f/8 (aperture).
The good – Very good optics and VR works perfectly, Drawback of this lens are same as other zoom lenses, Images taken at 300mm images are bit soft.
Nikon 70-300mm Price - $549.00, Buy it from Amazon || Price: $519.95 at

Travel Lens – Nikon 18-200mm VR
This lens covers all your requirements from wide to standard zoom lens, the optics is really very good and good for outdoor use.
The Good – Very good optics and covers a very good range. Drawback? In low light you need a good flash, some minor distortions, A bit expensive and heavy.
18-200mm price -Available Under $850 at Amazon || Price: $799.95 at B&H

150 comments to Nikon D5100 Recommended Lenses

  • bernard



  • admin

    It can also operate at 10.5 megapixels at DX format (crop mode), you can use your DX lenses…. but its highly recommended to buy FX format lenses with a FX format camera.

    see recommended lenses for Nikon D600

  • […] Recommended Lenses for Nikon D5100 Related Posts:Canon 1100D vs Nikon D3100Pre-order Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S Lens at AmazonNikon D3100 […]

  • […] Nikon Recommended Lenses for Nikon D5100 […]

  • Dewey

    I have a Nikon AF nikkor 70-3001MM 1:4-5.6G lens. Will it work on D5100 camera I just purchased

  • admin

    No, Nikon D5100 doesn’t have internal AF motor, only AF-S lenses will work.

  • Brandi

    I have done extensive research and have decided on the D5100.. I am mainly wanting to take portraits of my young children, friends, family, wildlife, and sports ie: basketball, football, gymnastics, and horse events.. I have also decided to get the sb700 flash.. I want plenty of reach so I for sure want a 300mm lense that I can use indoors during concerts sports etc and based on the comments you would suggest the 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AS-S VR.. but I would like the reach for outdoor wildlife of atleast 300 but would it be worth it if I alerady have the 70-200 for indoor activities.. and also what other lenses you would suggest for the things I would like to photograph. I have worked in a studio but we didnt switch lenses so i am lost on lenses..

  • admin

    Based on your comment/question you want to know lenses for
    1. Portrait shooting
    2. Sports
    3. Event/concert
    and you already have 70-200mm lens

    Best for portrait shooting
    1. AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

    Best for sports
    1. AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II
    2. AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED (affordable solution)

    3. Event and concert
    1. The best allrounder lens I recommend for event shooting is AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED
    2. If you need more range you can use 70-200mm or 200-400mm lenses.

  • McKenzie

    I currently own a Nikon D5100, but I am contemplating which type of Nikkor lens to purchase. I was considering one of the first two you mentioned; however, I realize that there are a variety of different lens that make a different if you just changed the “1.4” to “1.8” or the “D” to a “G.”
    I hope that wasn’t too confusing, but I really have no idea which one to choose.
    I enjoy taking nature photography, and I have good lens for that. I am looking for a lens to take professional looking portrait photos of others & would also be good for taking photos while I am in the city and want to take “quick” shots of the architecture etc. I wasn’t sure if the 50mm f/1.8 would be too zoomed in already? I’m sure it would be great for taking portraits, though. Just not sure about roaming the city and stuff like that..

  • admin

    The 1.2 1.4 and 1.8 are apertures, the letters refer the type of lenses used.

    50mm is a prime lens, you get no option to zoom here.

    50mm F1.8 is best for taking portraits.

  • Juan Escovar

    What do you think about 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor.
    I want to have a multipurpose lens, I am not very advanced photographer but I want to take as much advantage as possible of my D5100 camera.


  • Brandon

    After months of searching found this great site I have the Nikon 5100 and the 18-55 mm lens and Iam just starting out and want a lens with more reach I shoot most things and don’t know what to get. I’m afraid to buy the many vr lenses which are included in kits as a lot of people say they are soft lenses and not that sharp at taking pictures I want a sharp lens on a budget be greatly appreatated thanks.

  • Alistair

    Can u please help, I,m planning to buy Nikon 5100, and would like a lense which could do ,cloe ups of insects, family weddings, gardens, landscapes ,etc I,m a newbie but keen and confused, budget small, many thanks

  • admin

    If you are looking for a allrounder lens then go for The Nikon 18-105mm, it will cover all your need. Buy 18-105mm AF-S DX ED VR Lens from Amazon

  • CS

    I would like to shoot some group shots, what lense is best for this..

  • Kristin Wheatley

    I purchased a Nikon d5100 for my son for his birthday. I bought him a Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD lense to go with. I’m in big trouble now. It doesn’t have a “macro” and it focuses “too slow”. I don’t know if I buy another lense specific for the “macro” stuff or if there is another “all-purpose” lense that I can buy to cover the “macro” and the everyday stuff he shoots at school etc. Someone please help!?

  • admin

    Best Macro Lens for D5100 is Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX |
    Buy Nikon 40mm F2.8 AF-S DX from Amazon

  • kozeta

    I have Nikkon D3100, and the lens 18-54 mm is broken !I should by onther one , but if i can by a better lens at almost the same range , what might it be ? i have also that 55-200mm ! Thnx !

  • admin

    You can buy Nikon new kit lens at $200 but if you have $400 budget buy Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP Aspherical (IF) Zoom Lens with Built In Motor for Nikon Digital SLR is a excellent option.

  • anuradha

    i have Nikon D5100 with 18-55 mm , is it can use professional work (wedding photography) & what i used lens..?

  • admin

    For professional work you must use bright aperture lenses…

    Highly recommended – Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens – See at Amazon
    Features dust and weather proof sealing, Fast AF and constant F2.8 Aperture.

    AFFORDABLE Option & Recommended >> Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP Aspherical (IF) Zoom Lens – See at Amazon, sharpness is almost same as Nikon 17-50mm,

  • Vlatko Rafeski

    Hi, guys
    I found this great about the infos that u give.
    Since i m pretty new in photography and i would like to improve myself in better one i ordered d5100 with 18-55 lens but i m interested to buy another lens more. So i need lens that will give me good zoom and good quality of any kind of taking pics (portraits, nature , especially daylight photos). Can u give me advice what kind of lens to buy ? I want 55-200mm but still i need ur advice.
    Thx in advance

  • Grateful if you would inform me how i can get the prices in GB POUNDS STERLING as opposed to US DOLLARS!?

    Many thanks.

  • admin

    You can check camera prices at Amazon UK

  • I have Nikon D5100 camera and planning to buy a new zoom lense. Which should I buy? I read on some websites that “Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300 mm lense” is heavier for the nikon D5100 lense? Please tell me your views on this lense.

  • admin

    If you want a lightweight lenses choose lenses with DX tag, (55-200mm mentioned in the post)
    If you want more coverage you should by a FX lens with AF-S tag (Nikon 70-300mm as mentioned in the post)

  • Liz White

    Hello, I have the d5100 camera with a tamron 18-270mm f3.5-6.3 lense upgrade. I’ve been shooting shots at my sons high school football games with good results. But I want better. Zoom is needed since I am on the sidelines but sometimes downfield from action depending on the venue. The shots blurr when I zoom in tight to capture a block or pass. I was ready to buy the Nikon NIKKOR AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR but got cold feet since I was told I would lose some functionality due to crop body. Any suggestions for a lense that will fit the D5100 but delivers on speed for action shots and can freeze motion with a blurred background effect too? Can you offer more than one model?
    Thank you!

  • admin

    Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR II lens

    The lens features excellent optics and gives you razor sharp images, constant 2.8 aperture available during entire zoom range, Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization works very effectively, the lens also have Amazing fast AF speed, highly recommended for professional sports photographer.

  • Loni Mac


    The more I research the more confused I am. I am looking to buy a 70-300 nikkor lens for my daughter. She has a D5100.

    What is the difference between AF-S G ED IF Vr and AF-S DX G ED VR? She would require that it auto-focusses and has vibration reduction.

    Hoping you can help

  • Romero

    Hi, I’m buying my first DSLR and I’d rather spend more on lenses than on the body. I think of going for the D5100 or D3200. I like to shoot landscapes and architecture and will use it mostly for travel photography. Any tips? Because I’ve researched a lot and I’m still confused.

  • admin

    I will recommend you to buy Nikon D3200.

  • manish prajapati

    hello admin,
    i want to ask one question i have Nikon 5100 with 18-55 vr lens i’m interested in micro photography which lens is perfect for micro photography or close shots plss recommend me some good lenses

  • admin

    You need macro lens to capture micro subjects.

  • drue

    can i Use tamron 200-500mm f/5-6.3 di ld if for my D 5100????

  • nikhil

    Hi admin.
    I use nikon d5100 for photography using the 18-55mm lense
    I am using this lense for last 6 months
    But no I want to buy a new one can u recommend me any…..

  • nikhil

    Sorry admin I wrote a wrong email address
    The right one is nikhilkatw@gmail.com

  • abhishek

    Hi, Can someone guide me which lens will most appropriate for night time shooting of things like the northern lights on a dark night, icebergs under moonlight. I am going sailing with some of my friends to Barents Sea. thanks


    i have the Nikon d5100 and i have the 55-200 lens but i want to buy another lens actually i want two but i cant afford but one ,i want the 70-300 for more zoom capability but cant afford almost 600.00 ,does TAMRON OR SIGMA have cheaper version will work almost as well for a lot less.The other i wanted was for portrait and i see you recommend the 50mm f/1.4 or the 50mm f/1.8 which is better and what price ; thank you

  • admin

    you need
    Nikon’s 10-24mm DX lens
    a remote shutter and a tripod
    Lower your ISO to 200 – 1,000
    Adjust your shutter speed to 30 seconds
    Set your file capture type to RAW or RAW+JPEG

  • Ewelina


    I am planning to buy lense for close ups, mostly flowers, animals, but i would like to take a pictures from the distance.
    Can you please recommend me a good one, possibly not very expencive.

    I was thinking about Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Lens. Is it a good choice?

    Thak You in advance.

  • admin

    Yes 40mm is a excellent choice, Nikon 85mm f/3.5G AF-S DX ED VR Micro Nikkor Lens will give you bit more working distance at an extra cost.

  • Ewelina

    Thank you very much :)

  • Ewelina

    oh one more question
    i found some good reviews of Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8… What do you think, it’s better to buy this one for macro or better go with nikkor either 40 or 85?

    Thank You

  • admin

    I recommend you to go with Nikon lenses, Nikon 85mm is a excellent lens for shooting macro.

  • paul kingdom

    Will these lens fit a Nikon D5100
    Nikon AF ZOOM 70-300 F4-5.6 G
    Sigma 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 DG Lens for NIkon
    Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 AF G Lens

  • admin

    Nikon AF lenses will not do AF with Nikon D5100, look for AF-S lenses for your Nikon D5100 camera.

  • Qaiser

    Hi Admin !
    I recently purchased Nikon D5100 with 18-55 mm lens for my product photography, i.e minerals and gemstones under artificial light in a designed light box. The result is poor especially of closeup and tinny small gemstones. please suggest me the best Lens for my product photography. your help and suggestions is highly appreciated here. Thanks and stay blessed

  • Farid Abed

    Recently I purchased a new lens for Nikon D5100 cemera.
    Lens AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
    Can I use this Lens in D5100 Nikon Camera?

  • admin

    You can use AF-S DX Lens on your D5100 Camera

  • Farid Abed

    Nikkor 10-24mm lense AF-S DX can use in d5100 or d3200 Nikon Cemera?

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