What Are The Best Lenses for Nikon D5300 Cameras?

We did a write up on the top lenses for the D3300. However, after a few emails, we thought we’d find out what are the best lenses for Nikon D5300 cameras as well. With these lenses, you can improve the quality of your work. Both photography and videography. The Nikon D5300 comes with two kit lenses. An 18-55mm or 18-140mm. While these are good for beginners to get a taste of photography, you outgrow their functionality rather quickly. Here are the best D5300 lenses for you to upgrade your kit.

Things To Know

Before we dive into the list, here are some terms that you should know about before buying a lens or camera. These words relate to Nikon, so it ‘s nice to know what they mean before you buy a Nikon lens. FX. FX refers to the mount. Mounts labeled FX are compatible with all Nikon DSLR cameras. On the other hand, there are DX mounts which work with cameras like D5300. DX lenses are sometimes lighter and cheaper than FX lenses.

Another term to know is VR. VR or Vibration Reduction helps when you have to shoot with slow shutter speeds. For example during the night or indoors settings. It helps get sharp results. Additionally, lenses labeled AF-S mean that there is a built-in autofocus motor. Entry-Level DSLRs like the D5300 typically do not have a built-in AF-S motor.

Lastly, there are labels like GEDIF, and Micro. G means that there is no aperture ring on the lens. ED or Extra-Low Dispersion glass elements helps with color fringingInternal Focusing or IF has to do with the front element of a lens. In this case, there is no rotation when autofocusing. And, finally, Micro are ‘macro’ lenses that have a 1:1 ratio. Good for getting closer up images without being close. If you do not understand, watch the video tutorial.

Top Lenses For Nikon D5300

Prime Lenses

  • Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S
  • Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S Micro
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S

Zoom Lenses

  • Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR
  • Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II
  • Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S

Best Prime Lenses for Nikon D5300

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX

The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX is very affordable. It is small, great optically and offers good quality photos. With its large f/1.8 aperture, the lens collects more light and is an excellent choice for low light photo-taking. Additionally, with this aperture, you get less blurred images and more high-quality shots in dark settings. However, the f/1.8 aperture is also an excellent choice because it allows you to blur backgrounds completely. So, if you want subjects to stand out, this is the quickest and easiest way to take professional looking shots. Check out the video and read customer reviews here.

Are you into the wedding, portrait, casual, low light, indoor photography? Then this is a good lens to have for your D5300. The focal length is ideal for almost everything except for wildlife photography. Moreover, combined with the f/1.8, the quality of your shots are sure to be remarkable.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S

If you know about the 50mm f/1.8D Nikon lens, then the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S is the upgraded version. The difference is that the newer version allows for auto-focusing.  Regarding image quality, it is as good as the aforementioned 35mm Nikon lens. However, due to the 50mm having a somewhat longer focal length, the background blur (bokeh) is improved.  So, for the portrait photographers, this lens is good for you. Read some customer reviews here.

Anyone snapping photos in low light, clubs, street photography, and also portraits and weddings can use this lens. It’s a longer 35mm.

Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro

However, Nikon refers to their macro lenses as Micro lenses. Hence, the Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX MicroThis 40mm focal length lens is affordable and an excellent choice for insect, portrait and other forms of casual photography. Furthermore, focusing on this lens is quick and accurate. And, the image quality is superb. The closest focusing distance of the lens is 6.4 inches. This Nikon lens is good for anyone who wants an affordable, high-quality macro lens. Here are the customer reviews.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S

This lens is ideal for wedding photography, portraits, street and concert photography. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S offers great photo quality, color, and bokeh. This lens is one of the best lenses you can purchase for many Nikon entry-level camera. Like both prime lenses before, the Nikon 85mm also features a large f/1.8 opening, so low light photography is no problem. Here are the customer reviews. See it in the video below.

Best Zoom Lenses for Nikon D5300

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR

The Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S is an affordable option for animal and sports photography enthusiast. Additionally, with the 18-55mm that ships with some kits, you would have the perfect combination for wide, standard and telephoto ranges. Check it out in the video below and see the customer reviews here. Thia lens is good for anyone who wants more zoom than what the 18-55mm allows.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II

If you never heard about Tokina, you can read about them here and here. They offer superb camera lens for a variety of situations. The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II is cheaper than most lenses with the same focal length. And, in addition to being affordable, it has a large aperture. The f/2.8 aperture provides sharper images in low light or indoor settings. There’s no need to raise the ISO too much a with other lenses. This lens is ideal for landscape, sky/night, indoor, club photography. However, be sure that you need the f/2.8 aperture for low light. If not, then you do not need to add the lens to your kit. There are reviews here. You can see it in the video.

Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S

Are you looking for an all round lens for the Nikon D5300? Then, the Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is just what you need. It provides over 100mm more zoom than the standard 55mm kits lens. With this lens, you get improved image quality, contrast, and colors. The 18-140mm is a safe choice for standard and wide angle photography. Not to mention, it is also suitable for telephoto photography. However, you lose out on the 160mm on the telephoto end.  But, if you have the cash to spear, you can get the Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR AF-S. I mean, if you need that extra push in the telephoto category. Find it on Amazon, see customer reviews, and see it live in the video below.

More Recommended for the Nikon D5300

For those who want a little more at a higher price, then these lenses are also excellent choices for your Nikon D5300. They offer better quality/focus compared to some of the lenses listed above. Also, check out our recommended semi-professional Nikon cameras

Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S – This lens provides the same image quality and sharpness as the f/1.8 above. However, it has a slightly bigger aperture, so, if you often shoot in low light conditions and don’t like using high ISO speeds, the f/1.4 eliminates that need.

Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR – Better than the 18-300mm and 55-200mm, faster autofocus and better build quality.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM –  Sharp, large f/1.8 aperture and less than $1,000, perfect for low-light, street, and general photography.

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM – A very affordable super telephoto zoom lens with exceptional quality, AF speed and image stabilization up to 4 stops.

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM – Razor sharp image quality. Small, compact and robust. An excellent lens to own.


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