Best Lens for Nikon D3000 Reviewed Along With a Buying Guide for You

The Nikon D3000 may not be the latest or newest DSLR camera from Nikon but it’s still worth its weight in gold. This camera comes with a Nikkor AF-s 18-55mm VR Lens which though great isn’t perfect.

And that’s why it makes perfect sense to find an alternative lens for it. The good thing with this kind of approach is that it can help you find a lens that’s specifically suited for the task on hand.

For instance, you can go for a wide angle lens when you really need to capture huge swathes of background in your shots. Of course, you can also opt for a standard prime lens such as the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 for instance if you’re into portraiture.

Let us take a look at some of the options available for you in this in-depth review of the ideal Nikon D3000 lenses for the money.

Best Lens for Nikon D3000

Lens for Nikon D3000 – Comparison

The good thing here is that you don’t always have to read through this entire article to get a clue on what you need to buy. This table provides you with some quick insights so you can make an informed decision right away.

RankingProduct NameLens TypeMaximum Focal Length
1Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mmStandard35 Millimeters
2Nikon 70-300mmTelephoto300 Millimeters
3Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mmTelephoto300 Millimeters
4Nikon AF-S 50mmStandard50 Millimeters
5Nikon AF-S 55-200mmTelephoto200 Millimeters
6Tamron AF 70-300mmTelephoto300 Millimeters
752mm 0.43x AlturaWide Angle52 Millimeters

1. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens

This lens is definitely worth your money, and it will give you a performance equal to that of the 50mm prime. It is affordable and has a range of features which make it an outstanding all-around performer.

First, it weighs 7.1oz and measures 2.1 by 2.8 inches, meaning that it is tiny and light. Further, it has a sturdy construction, with the barrel made of hard polycarbonate while the metal mount is fully metallic.

The autofocus operation is smooth and quiet whether you are using the optical viewfinder or the Live View.

An f/1.8 Imatest shows roughly 2156 lines, and this implies a very sharp lens which will give you very high-quality photos. There is minimal barrel distortion which you can quickly correct via a Lightroom lens profile.


  • Strong construction
  • Very small and light
  • Smooth and silent autofocus


  • No image stabilization

2. Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G Zoom Lens

When this lens is brought to your presence, the first thing that will capture your attention is the plastic mount, which is a rare feature to find.

The lens has a sturdy plastic build which makes it durable and also suitable for use by amateurs. Further, the main zoom barrel has a thick rubber grip, and this makes it comfortable to handle and use.

Chromatic aberration is very well controlled while it has a fantastic resolution at 70mm, especially at f/8. The lens will deliver you relatively sharper and contrasted images. It has a great focal range and this combined with its lightweight nature makes it an excellent travel lens.


  • Very inexpensive
  • Sharp images
  • Lightweight and compact


  • Noisy and slow

Check out our another related article: 7 Best Nikon AIS Lenses Reviewed – Find out Which One of Them Wins

3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm VR lens

This lens was released in August 2010 and is compatible with the Nikon DX sensors. It utilizes Vibration Reduction (VR) technology to ensure that you end up with sharp images, even at slower shutter speeds.

Another impressive bit with this lens is the silent autofocus, due to the Silent Wave Motor in the lens. Then, it consists of 17 optical elements in 11 groups, two of which are Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements which are vital in reducing Chromatic Aberration, resulting in sharper images at larger apertures.

It is mostly plastic, with a metal mount, so it is very light at only 580g. This makes it comfortably portable.

You will be impressed at how well this lens can focus on sufficient light and at focal lengths less than 200mm. It is also quite sharp at between 55-135mm, with the center being consistent in this aspect.

The bokeh is a high-quality one, while the vignetting is barely noticeable below 135mm. The distortion is also under control at the shorter focal lengths.


  • Very light and portable
  • Silent autofocus operation
  • Sharp images


  • Slow autofocus

4. Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens

This lens was introduced in the market as a replacement of the Nikon AF-D lens. Its optical design consists of 7 elements in 6 groups, one of which is an aspherical element which is vital in minimizing chromatic aberrations.

It is a highly-durable lens whose front element neither extends nor rotates during autofocus operations, and this makes it easy to incorporate filter holders and circular filters in its use.

Then, it utilizes the silent wave motor (AF-S), to ensure that the autofocus operation is exceptionally quiet. It also incorporates Super Integrated Coating to give it superb flare and ghosting resistance.

The lens is quite light, with a plastic external build with a metal mount. Finally, it has a fast autofocus operation and fantastic accuracy.


  • Lightweight
  • Fast and silent autofocus
  • Fantastic flare-resistance


  • Noticeable vignetting

5. Nikon AF-S 55-200mm VR II lens

This affordable lens works well with the 18-55mm kit zoom and is compatible with a majority of the cropped-sensor DSLRs.

The optical design consists of 13 elements in 9 groups, one of which being an ED glass element, which will help in reducing chromatic aberrations.

The lens is very lightweight at 300 grams and has most of its exterior made of plastic. It utilizes essential Vibration Reduction (VR) technology to deliver very stable photographs.

Although the lens is not weatherproof, it has a rubber seal around the lens mount to make it dust-proof.

Lastly, the bokeh is decent while the vignetting is barely noticeable.


  • Compact build
  • Lightweight
  • Clear images


  • Slow autofocus

6. Tamron AF 70-300mm Macro Zoom lens

This affordable lens is one of the most popular in the market. Its focal range of 70-300mm makes it impressively versatile, and you can use it to capture wildlife, landscape, Sports as well as for portraits.

It is quite light at 16 ounces, and this quality is further enhanced by the plastic build, instead of the common metallic one.

If you want consistent sharpness throughout the image, ensure you use a minimum f-stop of f/6.3 while the distortion levels are acceptable at 70mm.

The nine aperture blades will create an evenly round shape which leads to smooth and beautiful bokeh. Further, color fringes are barely noticeable.


  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Fantastic bokeh


  • Slow, noisy and inaccurate AF

7. 52mm 0.43x Altura Photo Professional HD wide-angle lens

This lens is affordable and easy to use such that it can comfortably be used by various personalities, from amateurs to professionals. You will find it particularly useful if you intend to use it for taking family pictures.

It is compatible with several Canon DSLR cameras, and you will only have to screw it on to the fore part of your camera. It also features a macro-lens which is detachable and will let you get close-ups of smaller objects in impressively high resolutions.

The optical design includes multicoated elements which make it have a fantastic flare-resistance as well as minimum distortion. We guarantee you that you will end up with amazingly top-notch photos in the end.


  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Durable construction


  • Prone to chromatic aberrations

Also Read: The Best Vintage Lenses: The Ultimate Guide for Every Photographer

Lens for Nikon D3000 – Buying Guide

So, what factors should one keep in mind while choosing the best lens in a pool of awesome lenses? Well, here are a few quick but important to note down and use.


If you mostly shoot shots where the subject is up-close it’s better to go for a prime lens than a zoom lens.

Depth of field

If you’re an outdoor photographer, you want to settle for a lens with a wide angle of view to enrich your images.

Image stabilization

It’s difficult to take stable images especially if you don’t have a tripod and for that reason, it always makes sense to find a lens with built-in image stabilization features.

Which One Is The Best?

In our view, the Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens would be the best choice overall. It is well-built, durable and user-friendly. And with those reasons in mind, we believe that it offers a pretty good value proposition.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! The comprehensive list of the top 7 Nikon D3000 lenses. We hope that in it, you’ll find something that meets or even exceeds your expectations.

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