Best Lenses for Nikon D3200
The Nikon D3200 is one of the best entry-level DSLRs on the market, with a 24.1-megapixel image sensor, burst mode at 4 frames per second, Full HD video recording in 1080p, and an automatic distortion control mode. This camera is great for beginners as it has a built-in tutorial mode and uses a crop-frame sensor. So, below is a list of the best lenses for Nikon D3200 that covers the wide-angle, macro, and telephoto range.
If you already own a Nikon D3200 and want to upgrade the kit lens, or you're considering purchasing one but want to know which lenses are best for it, along with a buying guide, this article will walk you through everything you need to know.
As in this post, I've reviewed 10 of the Best Lenses for Nikon D3200 of various types based on your photography needs, as well as a comparison table to assist you in selecting the best lens possible.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best lenses for Nikon D3200 REVIEW
- 1. NIKON AF FX NIKKOR 50MM F/1.8D - BEST PORTRAIT LENS FOR NIKON D3200
- 2. SIGMA 17-50MM F/2.8 - BEST ZOOM LENS FOR NIKON D3200
- 3. NIKON AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8G ED
- 4. NIKON AF-S VR MICRO-NIKKOR 105MM F/2.8G LENS
- 5. NIKON AF-S DX MICRO-NIKKOR 40MM F/2.8G - BEST MACRO LENS FOR NIKON D3200
- 6. NIKON AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300MM F/4.5-6.3G LENS - BEST TELEPHOTO LENS FOR NIKON D3200
- 7. TAMRON 18-400MM F/3.5-6.3 LENS
- 8. ROKINON 10MM F/2.8 LENS
- 9. NIKON AI-S FX NIKKOR 50MM F/1.2 LENS
- 10. NIKON AF-S NIKKOR 8-15MM F/3.5-4.5 - BEST WIDE-ANGLE LENS FOR NIKON D3200
- BUYING GUIDE FOR PURCHASING THE BEST LENS FOR NIKON D3200
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
10 Best lenses for Nikon D3200 REVIEW
1. NIKON AF FX NIKKOR 50MM F/1.8D - BEST PORTRAIT LENS FOR NIKON D3200
FEATURES: Want to take beautiful portrait shots with your Nikon D3200 camera? Well, then you should have this lens in your studio kit. Though this lens is designed for Nikon's FX cameras, it will give a deeper depth-of-field and a 75mm equivalent when used with an APS-C Nikon camera like D3200.
DESIGN: When it comes to the build quality of this lens, I see that the Company has not made any compromise. Though the lens is primarily made of plastic, it is sturdy and is also durable. Please don't consider the lens to be cheap, as Nikon has used high-quality plastic to manufacture this lens.
Moving on, the lens mount is made of metal and has weather sealed gasket around it. Impressive! It has got an internal focusing mechanism, so the front element doesn't move while focusing.
I really liked using the manual focus ring; it feels smooth and is also easy to rotate. You get an AF/MF switch on the lens barrel for easy operation.
The lens AF consists of a Silent Wave Motor, which guarantees to provide a fast, accurate, and noiseless AF. When I used the lens, I noticed that the AF is fast and accurate. However, I could hear some slight clicking sound which gets picked up by my D3200's microphone while shooting videos.
Unfortunately, the lens does not come with image stabilization, so I ensure you use a monopod/tripod while shooting with this lens.
PERFORMANCE: Now, I'll tell you how well it works with my APS-C Nikon d3200 24MP camera. Let me start with the image quality.
Well, I should say that I'm impressed. I've tried many FX lenses on DX cameras, where the center sharpness usually suffers a lot.
However, with this lens, both the center and the corners of the image are super sharp. I get excellent contrast when I set the aperture between f/5.6 - f/11.
Secondly, about the massive low-light performance of this lens: How could I keep myself from talking about that! The wide-aperture of f/1.8 is all set to make my shots brighter even in low-lights. This is the main reason I claim this to be one of the best lenses for Nikon D3200.
Next, bokeh quality. You guys already know that 50mm lenses are known for their shallow depth-of-field in a full-frame sensor. However, as the lens gives a 75mm full-frame equivalent with D3200, I wouldn't say the background is as great as when used with a full-frame camera. But it's good, decent, I would say. The bokeh feels nice and soft.
The Nikon D3200 has a distortion control mode, so I will not emphasize the distortion factor in any of the lens reviews mentioned in this article. And when it comes to whether this lens gives distortion. As far as my usage with this lens, I didn't notice any kind of distortion or aberrations.
To conclude, a great lens at an affordable price! It's a good travel lens because it is super lightweight and allows you to click beautiful portrait and landscape shots while you travel. However, I would urge you not to use this lens under direct sunlight as the lens would start to flare, which we don't want to happen at any cost.
2. SIGMA 17-50MM F/2.8 - BEST ZOOM LENS FOR NIKON D3200
FEATURES: This Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 will be a wonderful partner for your Nikon d3200 as it is mainly designed for APS-C Nikon cameras. It has got an Optical Image stabilizer which will be a helping hand to reduce the effects of camera shakes and image blur.
And last but not least, it is a fantastic low-light performer as it has a fast and bright aperture of f/2.8.
DESIGN: It is pretty lightweight when compared to Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens. The focus rings and zoom rings are also smooth. However, the lens does not allow full-time manual focus, which slightly disappoints me.
Moving on, the focusing is entirely internal, which is a plus point. Sigma's Optical stabilizer works best in still photography. While shooting videos, I wouldn't say OIS is bad, but I would say it's decent because sometimes it tends to wobble.
The best part I liked about the lens is its autofocus mechanism. The HSM motor focuses accurately, quickly that too with very minimal noise.
Plus, its own FLD glass components, which work similarly to fluorite-like consistency and two glass molds and one hybrid aspherical element, provide excellent correction for all forms of aberrations. At the same time, its Super Multi-Layer coating reduces flare and ghosting.
PERFORMANCE: If you compare this lens to the 18-55mm kit lens you get with your Nikon D3200, you get two times much light.
I always say in my lens articles that if you want full focus on the subject with a perfect background blur, always prefer lenses that have a wide aperture of f/2.8. And I would recommend buying this lens as it fulfills this criterion.
You get excellent background isolation when used at 50mm f/2.8. As it has a wide angle of 17 mm and a short telephoto range of 50mm, you can use the lens for both landscapes and portrait photography.
I tested this lens on my 24MP D3200 Nikon camera, and I'll tell you about the image quality of this lens. Well, at the smaller focal length of 17mm and wide apertures of f/2.8-f/4, the center sharpness is excellent. However, the corner resolution is not the best.
I tried the larger focal of 50mm f/2.8 to see how the lens performs in its wide-end, and I was impressed. You get razor-sharp images in the center and corners with no chromatic aberrations or purple fringing; for best results, set the aperture at f/5.6.
The lens also gives a good image quality when used in the mid-range, say 28mm with an aperture between f/4- f/5.6.
So, overall, the lens is indeed very sharp and is a significant upgrade over the regular zoom kit lens. Those looking for a budget-friendly, good-quality zoom lens for their Nikon D3200 shouldn't miss this big deal.
3. NIKON AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8G ED
FEATURES: Want a zoom lens that can offer a better focal length than the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8? Alright, then you have to get your hands on this 24-70mm zoom lens from Nikon. This full-frame lens will give an equivalent focal length of 36 to 105mm when used with a DX camera like your Nikon d3200. It has a no VR feature, so make sure you're using a tripod or monopod to get stabilized shots and videos.
DESIGN: I noticed that the lens is slightly heavy; it almost weighs a kilo. However, it is very sturdy and durable. The ultimate reason for the lens's durability is because it is entirely made of metal. You've also got a distance scale marking on the focus ring to focus precisely. Much needed for beginners!
The internal optics consists of a 9-bladed aperture for giving a superior bokeh quality. Adding to it, there are 3 ED glasses and three glass-molded aspherical glasses to tackle the effects of chromatic aberrations. Thus helping to improve the overall color accuracy and image clarity.
Moving on, the lens uses a Nikon Silent wave motor for autofocusing. The AF speed is neither very fast nor damn slow; it is moderate, while the AF is very accurate and less noisy.
PERFORMANCE: I used this lens on my D3200 camera to give an honest review about its image quality. Well, as per my use with this lens, I'm satisfied.
The lens maintains its sharpness throughout the zoom range, starting from 37mm to 105mm. The barrel distortion is almost negligible.
You can use the lens to capture shots even in low-lights as the lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The out-of-focus effects are also supreme with this lens.
When it comes to shooting videos, as already said, this lens is a big no if you're going to shoot handheld, especially while taking videos of fast-moving objects. This is where we actually miss the VR feature.
Overall, if you're using a tripod or stabilizer, this Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5 to 5.6 would be one of the best lenses for Nikon D3200 for your low-light photography and videography. The image sharpness is also good so if you're interested in buying one, click the check prize on amazon button.
If your keen you need the same lens with a VR feature, click here: Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED VR Zoom Lens.
4. NIKON AF-S VR MICRO-NIKKOR 105MM F/2.8G LENS
FEATURES: Be ready to take beautiful, highly close-up shots of an insect/flower with this Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G lens. Though primarily designed for Nikon full-frame cameras, it also works well in your DX camera, like Nikon D3200.
The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1' and a wide aperture of f/2.8, which makes it one of the best macro lenses in the market. As the 105mm is a medium-telephoto range, it can also give you good headshot portraits.
DESIGN: I felt the lens to be very sturdy as it is made of metal. But, it is slightly heavy (720 grams). There are switches on the lens barrel to control the AF and image stabilization system.
You get a weather-sealed gasket around the metal lens mount. The lens has got an internal focusing mechanism, meaning the front element and the lens barrel doesn't move while focusing. Overall the build quality takes full marks.
The lens autofocus mechanism: The lens comes with a Silent wave motor that gives an accurate and speedy AF but with a slight swishing noise.
The internal optics consists of a 9-bladed circular diaphragm for giving outstanding bokeh. Furthermore, the lens is equipped with an ED element to provide more excellent resolution and high-contraction image quality.
PERFORMANCE: I tested this lens with my D3200 to take a headshot portrait of my daughter. The overall image sharpness and contrast feel great when used at f/4. At f/2.8, the center sharpness is excellent; however, the lens sacrifices some amount of contrast when used at this value. However, the out-of-focus effects are incredible. I loved it.
Now, I'll tell how whether the lens excels in its macro capability. At f2.8, the image looks a bit soft, so I stooped it down to f/4. Hmm, there was a slight improvement in contrast now.
Further stooped down at f/5.6, yeah now the lens gives crisp and clear macro shots. So, if you're going to shoot pictures of flowers, details of a human eye, focus a wedding ring, etc., I recommend using the lens between f/5.6 and f/11 to get the best macro results.
The lens does flare when used under direct bright lights, so make sure you don't shoot in such conditions. Other than that, the lens works pretty well.
So, I would like to conclude by saying that this lens is definitely a great choice if you're looking for a macro lens for your Nikon camera.
5. NIKON AF-S DX MICRO-NIKKOR 40MM F/2.8G - BEST MACRO LENS FOR NIKON D3200
FEATURES: I have another great macro lens for you. This lens doesn't have such a long focal range like the above-listed 105mm f/2.8G. However, it has got a 40mm focal length that is supreme for product and food photography.
Not only product photography, you can also use this to take excellent portraits with nice background blur. The lens provides real 1:1 magnification, and when used in an FX camera, it will give an equivalent focal length of 60mm.
DESIGN: An extremely lightweight lens (235 grams)! I have no issues with the build quality as well. The lens mount is made of metal, whereas the other parts are made of high-quality plastic. The filter thread measures 52mm in diameter.
On the lens barrel, you get two switches: one for switching from automatic to manual focus, and another is a focus limiter switch that limits the focus distance from 20 cm to infinity. It also has a Near-Range Correction system, which ensures image consistency at such close distances.
If I compare this lens with the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G lens, there is no internal focusing mechanism here. Also, there is no image stabilization, unlike the previous lens. But don't worry, you can use a monopod or tripod to get rid of shaky footages.
PERFORMANCE: The reason behind including this lens in this list of best lenses for Nikon D3200 is because of the lens's sharpness. I should say the 105mm f/2.8 stands back to this lens in terms of image sharpness.
I could capture even the finer details of a clock accurately. I didn't expect such an image sharpness from this lens!
All product photographers/vloggers should have this lens in their pocket because you can make the products look defined even in low-lights with a shallow depth-of-field. You don't have to use extra software to get a filmy feel!
Also, the chromatic aberrations and distortions are almost negligible with this lens. I didn't find much of a lens flare while working in bright lights, thanks to the Nikon's Super Integrated lens coating.
Finally, the AF system also is accurate, less noisy, and has a decent speed. So, those who are in the field of vlogging can actually use this lens with their Nikon D3200 and enjoy the optical qualities in an affordable package.
6. NIKON AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300MM F/4.5-6.3G LENS - BEST TELEPHOTO LENS FOR NIKON D3200
The AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm Lens by Nikon is the company’s latest 4.3x telephoto zoom lens with an aperture range of f/4.5-6.3.
One of the distinctive features that make this model the best for the Nikon D3200 is its extra-low dispersion glass that aids you in capturing beautiful images with every shot. Also, this lens is a perfect travel companion, as it is waterproof, lightweight, versatile and can be used in all climatic conditions.
Coming to the lens's AF performance: You can achieve quick and definite autofocus with this lens, thanks to its improved phase and contrast identification AF rates.
Lastly, the AF drive noise has also been minimized, allowing cameramen and videographers to capture subjects in their most natural settings comfortably.
7. TAMRON 18-400MM F/3.5-6.3 LENS
The Tamron Canon EF-mount 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 is a genuine multipurpose lens that covers an incredible broad-angle to the outstanding telephoto range, thereby, rendering it perfect for capturing anything from landscapes to wildlife details.
Also, this 28.8-640mm (35mm film format) analogous lens for APS-C-format DSLRs utilizes a triple-phase expansion structure to maintain a concise and lightweight form factor despite its expansive scope.
Whereas a collection of Aspherical and low dispersion components in the optics help to correct various aberrations and distortions for consistent sharpness and clarity across the zoom range.
This lens also has an HLD autofocus motor, which provides fast and quiet focusing output for video recording. Vibration Compensation is also included, which helps provide sharper images while shooting handheld by compensating for up to 2.5 stops of camera shake.
Additionally, its moisture-resistant structure supports the 18-400mm's all-in-one designation by ensuring its use in challenging environmental conditions.
8. ROKINON 10MM F/2.8 LENS
Another addition to the list is the Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 Lens that is a prime manual focus wide-angle lens made for APS-C image sensors. This lens is suitable for interior, architectural, and landscape photography applications, with a 35mm-equivalent focal length and a wide 105.9° angle of view.
To diminish chromatic aberrations and deformity, one extra LD element and two aspherical elements have been incorporated into the optical design.
Besides, the lens components have been coated with a Nano Coating System to eradicate surface reflections and evade lens blaze and ghosting, resulting in improved light transfer and paramount contrast-rich pictures.
9. NIKON AI-S FX NIKKOR 50MM F/1.2 LENS
The Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 is a manual focus and prime normal-length lens optimized for Nikon FX cameras. But it can also be used on DX cameras, where it provides a 75mm equivalent focal length.
Also, the magnificent f/1.2 maximum aperture surpasses in low-light conditions and, offers enhanced control over depth of field for refined focus, making it entirely appropriate for portraits and other themes.
Likewise, its manual focus design allows for precise control when dealing with subjects as near as 1.7', and the etched depth of field and focus scale make pre-focus and zone focusing techniques easier.
Lastly, its nine-blade diaphragm creates a pleasing out-of-focus effect, which is ideal for shallow depth of field and selective focus techniques as well.
10. NIKON AF-S NIKKOR 8-15MM F/3.5-4.5 - BEST WIDE-ANGLE LENS FOR NIKON D3200
Last product in my list is this wide-angle Nikon AF-S 8-15mm lens. This is the first zoom lens capable of capturing epic 180° circular images. This lens adds a new level of flexibility and sharpness to extremely wide-angle lenses, allowing you to select the best fisheye perspective for the shot and create frame-filling images.
Plus, for those searching for something completely distinct, this lens provides a fresh origin of motivation and manifestation. You can zoom out to make interesting 180-degree circular pictures, in addition to shooting conventional full-screen fisheye pictures.
Lastly, this lens continues NIKKOR's tradition of excellent wide-angle optics by delivering flawless detail around the entire frame at every aperture.
BUYING GUIDE FOR PURCHASING THE BEST LENS FOR NIKON D3200
Here are some factors to look upon while you head out to purchase a lens for your Nikon D3200 camera. Please read them carefully, and make a wise decision.
1. FX / DX lens
As you already know, the Nikon D3200 is an APS-C camera but works well with both full-frame (FX) and APS-C lenses (DX). So, the choice is up to you whether to purchase an FX or DX lens.
But I would like to insist you by telling one thing. If you're sure you will be upgrading your studio kit with a full-frame camera in the near future, it is better to purchase an FX lens. However, if you're looking only for an affordable lens that will fit your D3200, you can very well choose an APS-C lens.
One significant issue behind using an FX lens on D3200 is that you will not enjoy the full-frame length of an FX lens because the area of the lens that extends beyond the crop frame of the DX camera will be automatically cut out.
2. YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY STYLE
By this, I mean what type of shots/videos you will be taking. This is an important factor to consider because you cannot purchase a wide-angle lens and expect it to perform the capabilities of a telephoto lens. So, be clear about that.
If you're a beginner wanting to know a detailed guide about the different lenses and uses, please read my article on types of camera lenses out in the market. I have also mentioned what an aperture is, depth of field, etc., in that article, so go through it to get a deeper understanding of the lens's terms.
NOTE: Purchase a lens that has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 if low-light photography/videography is your area of interest.
3. image stabilization
Note that the D3200 has no in-body stabilization, so if you don't have a monopod/tripod with you, please make sure you get a lens that has IS feature to have a comfortable handheld shooting.
Image stabilization is nothing but a lens' feature that will help you to get rid of camera shakes and image blur while shooting still photographs and videos. In Nikon lenses, you generally find this stabilization feature labeled as VR (Vibration reduction).
While choosing a lens for your Nikon d3200 , you needn't pay much attention to the distortion level of the lens because even if the lens gives a considerable amount of image distortion, the in-built distortion control mode of the D3200 will help tackle with the issue.
It is not necessary that you have a purchase a $1000 lens for your Nikon D3200. I say this because the Nikon camera is only an entry-level DSLR costing around $398.
However, if you will be upgrading to a higher MP full-frame camera in the near future, go for a professional grade lens.
6. SIZE AND WEIGHT
If you're looking for a travel-friendly lens, go for one that is lightweight and compact. But, for those who are used to working with heavy lenses, there is no weight restriction; it depends on you.
Also, look for a weather-resistant lens so that you can use the lens in harsh weather conditions as well.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What type of lens should be used with a Nikon D3200?
As Nikon D3200 is an APS-C type camera, it uses lenses that have a DX mount. You can also use an FX(Full-frame) lens with the Nikon D3200 but make sure you take the 1.5x crop factor into account.
2. When was Nikon D3200 launched?
The 24.1 MP Nikon F-mount D3200 camera made its official entry into the market on April 19, 2012. It is an entry-level DSLR that was mainly designed for beginners who want to learn about photography.
3. Is Nikon D3300 better than Nikon D3200?
Well, there is not much of a difference between these cameras as both have a 24MP APS-C sensor, 1080p HD video capture resolution, and belong to the Nikon F mount series. The minor differences include a change in the ISO range and continuous shooting rate. D3300, which was released in 2014, has an ISO from 100 - 12800 ( expands to 25600) and allows 5.0fps continuous shooting. The D3300 is also comparatively lightweight (430g) to a D3200 DSLR (505g).
So, these were my reviews on the Best lenses for Nikon D3200 which you can consider purchasing. Hopefully, you now have a thorough understanding of all of the features of these incredible lenses, and I hope that this article will assist you in choosing the best model for your needs.
And to ensure a worthwhile purchase, it's always a good idea to pay attention to the basic features of a lens.