Best Lenses for the Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

Best Lenses for the Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

You will see and capture the world in a completely new way depending on the lens you use. Wide angle lenses let you capture great landscapes and group shots while telephoto lenses will get you closer to the action. On the other end, macro lenses capture fine details at a high magnification while zoom lenses offer incredible versatility when shooting. Setting your priorities is very important and will help you save time and money when shopping for that perfect lens. Since each lens has its strengths and weaknesses depending and what you are using it for, it’s something that will be clearly highlighted to help you find the best lens for you Nikon D5300.

Type of Nikon Lenses

There are two type Digital SLR (DSLR) camera bodies made by Nikon: the ones that have a built-in focus motor, and the ones that don’t. Those that don’t have a focus motor built-in need to use a lens that has a focus motor built-in to it which is call AF-S. NIKKOR lenses that do not have a focus motor incorporated into them are simply called AF lenses. Since the Nikon D5300 has no built-in focus motor (as almost all consumer cameras), AF-S lenses will work best. You can still use lenses without built-in focus motor which are “AF lenses” but you will have to focus manually, but know that you can manually focus any autofocus lenses.

AF-S version of Nikon 24-120mm lens; (r.) AF version of Nikon 24-120mm lens.

AF-S version of Nikon 24-120mm lens (l); AF version of Nikon 24-120mm lens (r).

Best Nikon D5300 Lenses List

AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED ($896)

NEW-NIKON-AF-S-DX-10-24mm-f-3-5-4-5G-ED-WIDE-ANGLE-LENS-2181Best for LandscapesBest Wide Angle Lens

Perfect for landscape shots this Nikkor lens features an ultra wide-angle 2.4x zoom that covers a focal length from 10mm to 24mm. With its widest end of 10mm covering a 109° angle of view which delivers great perspective to your photo. Here are 5 reasons why you should buy this lens.

1. Versatility. This is one of its best attributes. The 10-24mm is versatile due to ultra wide views for landscapes, yet can zoom to a more natural focal length for a quick snapshot or portrait at your home gathering or outing.

2. Landscape photography. If you love landscape shots and though you can make decent landscapes at 18mm, having an ultra wide in your bag allows you to capture expansive vistas, whether at the beach or the mountains.

3. Perspective. The perspective you’re able to get with this lens is tremendous. Though there is fair distortion on the 10mm side, it’s easily correctable with DxO or Photoshop, among other graphics programs. To be creative with wide angle, read Ken Rockwell’s page on using a wide angle lens. As Ken says, ultra wide lenses are for getting close and bringing the viewer into the photo, not for fitting a subject into a photo.

4. Range. Opting for the Nikon 10-24mm gives more range than both the Tokina 11-16mm and Sigma 10-20mm. It can easily be left on the camera all day, allowing landscape shooting and a decent portrait lens from 18-24mm without the need to switch lenses.

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AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ($196)

Best for low lightBest Portrait Lens

If you are into portraits then this prime lens is both light and compact and will deliver superb sharp and beautiful background blur. The fast f/1.8 prime lens is perfect for low-light conditions, travel, environmental portrait and general photography. Some downside of this lens is that prime lens, you need to move your feet a lot to be able to get the best shots. Also no VR as it will be useful for taking handheld shots on low light especially if the object is somewhat static or if the photographer doesn’t have steady hands when taking photograph.

The bottom line is this lens is so versatile that  everyone should own this lens in addition to all the lenses that they already have (even if they already have the 50mm prime lens). Being a very fast lens, it will allow you to take action shot in low light that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. And now, with AF-S, there is nothing to dislike about this lens.

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AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G ($276)

Portraits & LandscapesBest All Around Lens

This remarkably light, compact and agile micro lens serves as an exceptional complement to your D5300. In addition to a dynamic life-size (1x) close-up capability, the 40 mm focal length can make a wide variety of subject matter approachable, including portraits and landscapes. An excellent macro lens for any DX photographer. Although this lens lacks a VR (vibration reduction) mode unlike its 85mm f3.5G VR sibling, but it does not seems to be a handicap as owners would soon find out as it performs excellently at f2.8 maximum aperture which more than compensated for the lack of VR. With low noise ISO 1600-3200 sensitivity, close up photos could be taken at moderate handheld speed of 1/20s – 1/60s without flash and under natural existing indoor light condition with some practice.

The resolution and image quality is superb though no special “Nano” lens coating or ED (Extra Low Dispersion) glass element in its design. Shots with this lens are impressive and will meet all your expectations mainly because of Nikon’s proven technology like Close Range Correction (CRC) and Super-Integrated-Coating (SIC) who went into this new lens design.

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AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR ($897)

Everyday & TravelBest All-in-one Lens

Ideal for almost any photo opportunity, this lens is incredibly versatile and has a dynamic zoom coverage of approximatively 16.7x from wide-angle to super-telephoto. It also features VR technology, which offers an effect equivalent to a shutter speed 3.5 stops* faster. This lens is highly convenient when traveling.

If you don’t already own the Nikon D5300 it would be a great idea to buy it with this 18-300mm in a kit package which you help you save some extra money (See the deal here).

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To Conclude

Have a great lens is key to have good photos. There is a debate between whether a cheap camera with the expensive lens is better than a more expensive camera with relatively cheap lens. In my opinion, the former is the best choice if you are beginner or intermediate in professional photography.

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