If you have a Nikon DSLR, it’s likely that you have either a DX or FX-format camera. DX and FX refer to the sensor size of the camera. DX is the smaller crop sensor ASP-C size, while FX is the larger, full-frame sensor.
While DX and FX lenses can work on either camera type, it’s convenient to get lenses that art made for your specific camera mount. An FX lens on a DX camera will have a smaller field of view compared to using a DX lens on a DX camera.
It may not seem easy to find an ideal lens for your Nikon DX-format camera because Nikon has plenty of lens choices. Plus, other third-party manufacturers such as Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron are also in the race to provide alternative options for photographers.
In this guide, we have selected some of the best Nikon DX lenses. You can check and find which of them is suitable for your budget and the type of images you want to capture.
The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G is very versatile and is considered as one of the best lenses for Nikon DX-format cameras. It delivers extremely sharp photos and is much more capable than the 18-55mm kit lens supplied with Nikon SLRs.
The 35mm f/1.8G has a fast and quiet autofocus and does extremely well in low-light situations. It’s lightweight and comes at a very reasonable price.
As it has a fixed focal length, you will have to move around the subject to take the best shot. The lens is suitable for various photography needs such as portraits, travel, and street photography.
Optical image stabilization isn’t included and it’s built with plastic. For novices with their new Nikon DX camera, it’s a perfect lens to start with.
Sigma’s 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM is a compact lens with a solid construction. It features a fast autofocus that produces sharp images. If you love to take landscape or architectural photos, this lens is an ideal choice.
Although it’s not one of the cheapest Nikon DX lenses, you get incredible performance for the price. Ultra-wide-angle lenses, most of the time, don’t handle distortion well. That’s not the case here with this lens. At 10mm you may notice some distortion, but it’s almost invisible at 15mm.
The constant aperture of f/3.5 enables you to capture images with little light. Filters with an 82mm diameter can be attached, but they are quite expensive.
This affordable 40mm lens is lightweight and has is made of quality construction. The autofocus is fast and quiet, and it’s ideal for taking macro shots. The 40mm focal length allows you to take amazing portraits.
Images taken in low light are very sharp, thanks to the lens’ maximum aperture of f/2.8, which also helps produce excellent background blurred images. At a minimum focus of 16.3cm, you can capture photos of flowers, jewelry or insects with a great amount of detail.
Sadly, the Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G doesn’t incorporate an image stabilization system, unlike the Nikon 85mm model below, which comes at almost twice the price of this lens.
The Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR is less bright than the above 40mm lens, but the results aren’t bad if you use it for macro shots. The lens is solidly built and heavy.
Images are stabilized with vibration reduction technology and obviously, it makes the lens more expensive. The autofocus is fast and produces sharp images.
The price may be too high if you compare it with the 40mm lens, but the NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR takes you closer to the subject because of its minimum focusing distance of 0.286m. Also, it produces exceptional results.
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G looks identical to the 35mm f/1.8 and is designed for an FX or full-frame camera, but you won’t find any compatibility issues with the DX camera, as it gives the equivalent in focal length of 75mm.
As specified, it will be an ideal choice for taking portraits and produces an amazing background blur. Images captured in low light look great. The lens has the capability to produce professional looking images.
Yet another amazing lens designed to be used for full-frame cameras, but it can also be fitted on a DX-format camera. As its focal length can be stretched slightly longer, you can use it for taking portraits as well as for sports events. Low light images are also sharp and look great. The autofocus is driven by a Silent Wave Motor (SWM), which is fast and accurate.
It weighs twice as much as the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G and is also twice as expensive. These two factors need to be taken into account if you plan to buy this lens. On the other hand, if you plan to switch to a full-frame camera in the future, this may prove to be a great choice.
The Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM is one of the best all-round lenses for Nikon DX-format cameras. It features image stabilization and a fast and quiet autofocus. It has a compact design and the image quality is excellent over the entire focal range.
However, it may produce quite noticeable distortion at 17mm. Macro shots aren’t as incredible as they should be, but the results are good if you take photos of insects and flowers. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 22 cm.
This lens has the highest focal length range on this list which allows you to perform almost any type of photography. It provides you with a Vibration Compensation feature for crisp shots.
Some of its negative points may include weight, visible distortions at wide angles, and a slow autofocus. This means the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro is not the best option for sports or animal photography. However, it may prove to be an interesting option for travel lovers as it offers a wide angle.
Picking the Best Nikon DX Lenses
There’s a long list of compatible lenses for Nikon DX-format cameras, but which of them is quite suitable for your photography needs? This guide covers some of the best Nikon DX lenses. They are suitable for different types of photography like portraits, macro, and travel, and some of them are available at very reasonable prices.