10 Best Nikon D3100 Lenses Worth the Money (2021)

Tori Rhodes
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You’ve got a new camera, but need some lenses to take it to the next level? As you may know, Nikon D3100 is a mirrorless camera that is compact and lightweight making it an ideal choice for photographers with a good photography skill.

It’s more than capable of producing JPEG images that are able to display true to life colors. However, if you wish to capture more dynamic range, lower noise levels, and have a better buffer then you might need to buy some lenses that are compatible with D3100.

While there is no shortage of Nikon D3100 lenses out there, it’s certainly a big task to find the best ones among them.

Depending on what you want to use your camera for, you’ll want to look for certain features during your search. That’s why I’ve laid out all the important details for you.

Inside, you’ll find several prime lenses and zoom lenses that cover all the common focal lengths and serve a variety of purposes.

These lenses for Nikon D3100 are worth the money.

NameCategoryProduct
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm f.4.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom LensBest OverallNikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm f.4.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art LensBudget PickSigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art Lens
Nikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E EDIF AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR Lens U.S.A. WarrantyUpgrade PickNikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E EDIF AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR Lens U.S.A. Warranty

1. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm f.4.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm f.4.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Top of the line zoom lens
  • 80 mm to 400 mm focal length
  • Vibration reduction (image stabilization)
  • Auto-focus
  • Made by Nikon

Cons:

  • Lens is expensive
  • Lens is heavy

Some photographers claim that this lens is too expensive for the average photographer. But when looking at the specifications, its clear that this lens is well worth the price. It can hit focus fast in most cases, and the vibration reduction image stabilization gives it a leg up against its competition.

It’s not a lens that you’ll use all of the time, but it’s certainly a great option for certain situations that require you to shoot at a far distance.

2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens

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Pros:

  • Feature Packed:

This lens provides more than just sharp images. It comes with a number of advanced features that help to frame your shot to give you the best picture possible.

Quick and Quiet Auto Focus:

You don’t have to struggle with sharp focus with this lens. It utilizes a Silent Wave Motor that allows for quick and quiet focusing, so you can keep your subject in focus more easily.

3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Powerful Auto Focus Motor for quick and easy focusing
  • 2.7x Telephoto Zoom with Vibration Reduction
  • Versatile 12.5-187.5mm Range
  • Unequaled Zoom Range (12.5-140mm Equivalent)
  • Designed for use with Nikon DSLR Cameras

If you’re looking for the ultimate travel lens or are a wildlife photographer who’s looking to have a lens that can get you close to your subject while still having the versatility to take wide-angle shots then the Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR is for you.

4. Tokina ATX-i 11-16mm CF F/2.8 Lens

Our rating: 6 / 10

Tokina ATX-i 11-16mm CF F/2.8 Lens

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Pros:

  • Prime lenses
  • F/2.8 aperture
  • comes with 2 UV and 2 circular polarizing filters
  • 11-16mm zoom range

CCI:"For the best image quality, we highly recommend this lens from Tokina for its best F-stop of 2.8, its ability to live up to its sharpness, and its ability to capture images in low-light conditions. This lens can work as a wide-angle lens and for taking pictures of low-lit architecture and long pathways."

ATX-i is the abbreviation for AT-X in English. AT-X is a Japanese abbreviation for A-mount, X-series.

This lens is sharp enough for you to be able to capture vivid images of your child's face. Many people give positive feedback of this lens because of the superb color rendition and clarity of the image it produced. Even in low-light conditions, its f/2.8 aperture lets you take sharper images.

5. Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens

Our rating: 6 / 10

Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens

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Pros:

  • Best bang for the buck in an all-around lens
  • Fantastic reach when you need it
  • Super wide aperture for great low light performance

Cons:

  • Lacks image stabilization
  • Large and heavy

And More!

This Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 is a must have for the Nikon D3100, and it’s my pick of the best Sigma lenses for the Nikon D3100. If you want to seriously step up your photography game, do yourself a favor and invest in a quality 18-35mm f/1.8 lens.

This is the kind of lens that you’re going to want with you at all times. It’s a great walk around lens with the flexibility to shoot wide angle landscapes, tight head shots, and everything in between; and the 35mm focal length is amazing for low light photography thanks to the f/1.8 aperture.

6. Nikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E EDIF AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR Lens U.S.A. Warranty

Our rating: 6 / 10

Nikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E EDIF AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR Lens U.S.A. Warranty

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Pros:

  • Nikon fisheye lens
  • Has a higher zoom
  • Built-in autofocus motor
  • Dust/Drip proof
  • Hoya Super Integrated Coating
  • Copper core of high refraction optical glass
  • It’s compatible to over 90 Nikon SLR bodies

Cons:

  • It has a DX lens mounted (APS-C DSLR camera)
  • It’s expensive

The Nikon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens is an ultrawide angle lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 16mm. It has a cool fisheye view making this lens a great for wide-angle photography. The lens is able to capture 180 degree field of view and is able to provide better distortion correction than other wide angle lenses.

The 10.5mm DX is a lens designed for APS-C Nikon DSLR Cameras. It’s an ultra wide lens and perfect for ¼ of roll angles up to 148 degree diagonal field of view. The lens is also lightweight with a maximum aperture of f/2.8.

7. Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E EDIF VR Lens

Our rating: 4 / 10

Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E EDIF VR Lens

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Pros:

  • The best wide angle zoom lens available for crop sensor cameras
  • Comes with a tripod, cleaning kit and carrying case
  • Available for every major brand except Sony
  • Very lightweight
  • Water, snow and dust proof

Cons:

  • Not available in a large selection of colors
  • Not the best photo quality
  • The focus is a little slow

If you’re looking for a great wide angle zoom, the Nikon AF-S 28-300mm is a lens I can’t recommend enough for Nikon cameras. It acts as a great go-to lens for weekend adventures and vacation shots, and it’s lightweight and durable.

Some will say this lens is too long and not wide enough to offer the full capabilities of newer cameras with wide angle zoom lenses built right in. However, this is an exceptional option for travel and landscape photography with this much reach. The wide range of focal lengths allow you to capture the perfect scene without the need to bracket shots.

8. Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Lens + Lens Cap 52MM + 52mm 2X Telephoto Lens

Our rating: 4 / 10

Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Lens + Lens Cap 52MM + 52mm 2X Telephoto Lens

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Pros:

  • Cheapest lens that will be valuable to anyone who wants to dabble in macro photography
  • It’s a great lens to buy as a second option just in case your main lens suffers from some sort of damage or breaks.
  • It’s a great option for travel photography
  • It’s incredibly sharp.
  • It offers a versatile focal length range.
  • It’s fast and has silent operation.
  • It’s pretty lightweight and compact which is a nice advantage if you want to walk around with it for an extended period of time.

9. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S ED NIKKOR Lens Bundle w/58mm Filters & Pro Software 58mm UV Filter

Our rating: 4 / 10

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S ED NIKKOR Lens Bundle w/58mm Filters & Pro Software 58mm UV Filter

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Pros:

  • Highly Portable & Lightweight
  • Sharp Images
  • Quick Autofocus
  • Lens Not Too Wide – Not Too Narrow
  • Good Build Quality
  • Works Well with Reduced & Longer Teleconverters
  • Great All Round Lens
  • Comes in at a Great Price

Cons:

  • Quite Large Zoom Area
  • Not the Best Lens for Video
  • Can Unintentionally Record Internally When Recording Video
  • Manual Focusing is a Little Unwieldy

This may not be Nikon’s top-of-the-line lens, but it is actually an impressive lens for its price. There are no hot spots, there is very little flare, the colors look natural, and the overall look of the pictures is quite pleasing. It is cheaper than the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM lens which makes it a particularly good option for anyone on a budget.

You can still make use of the lens while shooting video, as long as you are moving the camera at a slower speed.

One of the chief complaints about the lens is that it can record back in on the camera, in some cases. People say that it can be a little annoying, because the sound is not as good as what the camera makes internally.

10. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art Lens

Our rating: 4 / 10

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art Lens

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Pros:

  • Weather-resistant design for rugged outdoor photography
  • Image stabilization feature works flawlessly
  • Virtually zero distortion

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best all around Nikon lens?

Compared to the other lenses in the Nikon D3100 lineup, the 18-55mm lens is the most versatile as it works for most common uses. Most people will be able to make use of this lens at one time or another; this is why it’s included standard on all D3100s.

It’s a pretty versatile lens, so its wide range is what we love. This 18-55mm lens is around the standard wide to telephoto focal range for a dSLR lens. This means it’s a great lens to take portraits, street shots, as well as landscapes.

Compared with other camera lenses, this is one of Nikon’s more lacking models. Even though it’s an entry-level lens, it can’t hold a candle to Nikon’s top tier lenses.

Is Nikon d3100 still a good camera?

If you're asking yourself that question and are looking at the d3100 for your next digital camera purchase, the answer is YES, the d3100 is a good camera to buy for your needs.

For the price, you get a ton of features, a great wide-angle kit lens, and ENTRANCE into the Nikon world. You'll eventually find yourself upgrading your camera, maybe to the d3400 or d5300 or d5500.

Nikon knows there's nothing wrong with the camera, when they remove it from their lineup, leaving it with the d3000 and d3100. Some people still prefer to use an outdated camera.

What is the best image quality setting for Nikon d3100?

You have some options regarding image quality. That is done on the ISO sensitivity option. At 100 you get the best image quality, but the downside is it doesn’t have a fast shutter speed, which means it takes longer to capture the image.

This may not be a problem, but if you’re photographing anything that moves quickly or there’s a lot of action in the picture, it can be. So you may want to keep it on a faster shutter speed. The best quality and speed option is at ISO 1280 and may be the best option if you’re trying to get that perfect shot.

What is the best all around DSLR lens?

The Nikon 28-300mm lens was our favorite lens for several years until Nikon updated it with a new version a few years ago. Surprisingly, we came away highly impressed with the new lens, which wasn’t cheap enough to keep us from updating this review. The new Nikon 28-300mm lens offers the same versatility and image quality as the older version but now includes improved build quality and convenience features.

The lens is versatile and well-built, offers near-perfect image quality, and has few shortcomings. However, it’s still on the pricey side and most people won’t need this much zoom power. Also, keep in mind that the lens is very heavy.

The lens performed well in our tests, delivering sharp images throughout the zoom range. The Vibration Reduction feature provides a major advantage, letting you get handheld shots at shutter speeds that would otherwise be impossible.

Conclusion

These Nikon D3100 lenses can be used for hundreds of purposes. Just by changing your lens, you can completely change your SLR camera. These lenses are compatible with Sony, Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax cameras. Even though they can be expensive, they can be worth the money.

This article looks at the 10 best lenses for the Nikon D3100 and explains some of the basics for using lenses.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm f.4.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom LensBest OverallNikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 80-400mm f.4.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art LensBudget PickSigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art Lens
Nikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E EDIF AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR Lens U.S.A. WarrantyUpgrade PickNikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E EDIF AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR Lens U.S.A. Warranty