The Best Lens for Nikon D5100

We regularly come across questions regarding the best accessories for Nikon D5100 and particularly the best lenses for the camera. Therefore, we decided to kick off the conversation by compiling a list of what we think are some of the best glasses on the market.

Best Lens for Nikon D5100

Lens for Nikon D5100 in 2023 – Comparison

Want to cut straight to the chase? Below is the simplified table that you can use to arrive at an informed choice.

RankingProduct NameLens TypeMaximum Focal Length
1Nikon AF-S 50mm LensStandard50 Millimeters
2Nikon AF-S 70-300mm LensTelephoto300 Millimeters
3Sigma DG OS HSM LensTelephoto600 Millimeters
4Tokina PRO DX 11-16mmWide Angle16 Millimeters
5Nikon AF-S 35mm DX NIKKORStandard35 Millimeters
6Nikon AF-S 10-24mmWide Angle24 Millimeters

1. Nikon AF-S 50mm Lens Nikkor f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S 50mm Lens will complement your Nikon D5100 camera kit. In fact, it’s one of the most competitively priced prime lenses available out there with a good product warranty.

Its focal length of 50mm makes it a standard lens suitable for everyday videos and stills. It, however, isn’t so good at capturing portraits and landscape.

This AF-S lens boasts a maximum aperture size of f/1.8 which is pretty large and, therefore, suitable for night adventures. Please note that this lens provides the aperture flexibility needed to adjust to different styles of photography.

The aspherical lens is your go-to choice whenever you want to capture some stunning images with a shallow depth of focus. What’s more? It packs a Silent Wave motor which besides being fast provides you with quiet autofocusing.


  • They are backed by the manufacturer’s warranty
  • The lenses are best for standard photos
  • They are excellent for night adventures
  • They are competitively priced
  • They have a dramatic shallow depth of focus
  • They have a quick switching manual operation


  • They are not zoomable therefore less versatile
  • They are not for specialized landscapes or portraits

2. Nikon AF-S 70-300mm Lens f/4.5-5.6G ED

Nikon AF-S 70-300mm is a telephoto zoom lens designed for Nikon DSLR Cameras. The lens comes at a very reasonable price-point. Its 70-300MM focal length makes it a versatile lens for standard and portraiture videos and stills.

Moreover, it has a maximum aperture of f/4.5-5.6 and a minimum aperture of f/32 for versatility and to offer a deep depth of field. The aperture size limits the lens to only day activities or well-lit conditions.

What’s more? The lens is designed with VR image stabilization for good hand-held images. Additionally, it’s incredibly silent all thanks to its built-in Silent Wave Motor.


  • They are reasonably priced
  • The lenses are zoomable for versatility
  • They are highly specialized telephoto lens and also ideal for standard photos
  • They have a quick and silent autofocusing
  • The lenses have image stabilization


  • They are not for landscape videos and stills
  • They are not suitable for night activities

Also Read: 6 Best 28mm Lens in Review – Find out Which One of Them Is the Best Overall

3. Sigma DG OS HSM Lens 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Sigma DG OS HSM Lens is a high-end hyper telephoto lens that will suit specialized portraiture and a deep depth of field for long-reach photography and videography, thanks to its 150mm focal length. The lenses have an aperture range between f/5 to f/22 for versatility.

The lenses sport a compact and lightweight construction in comparison with lenses of its class. In addition, they feature a Hyper Sonic Motor, optical stabilization and a vibration reduction system to minimize camera shake. More so, the lenses are dust and splash proof to suit outdoor activities.

Although the lenses are expensive, they are backed by the manufacturer’s four-year warranty.


  • They are highly specialized portraiture lenses
  • They are versatile because they are zoomable
  • They have a four-year limited warranty
  • They are weatherproof


  • They are expensive
  • They are not ideal for night photography
  • They are not fit for standard or landscape works

4. Tokina PRO DX 11-16mm AT-X116PRDXN Lens for Nikon

Tokina lenses are specialty ultra-wide Angle lenses for landscapes and for the best shallow depth of field images. They have a focal length of 11-16mm, and although they are zoomable the angle is still ultra-wide and not so versatile.

They have a maximum aperture of f/2.8 making them great at night photography. In addition, their minimum aperture is f/22 for versatility. Unfortunately, the lenses have no autofocus.

The good thing is that they are reasonably priced units.


  • They are specialized landscapes lenses
  • They have a fast aperture
  • They work well at night
  • They are competitively priced
  • They achieve the best effect of a shallow depth of field


  • They are not for specialized portraits
  • They have no autofocus

5. Nikon AF-S 35mm DX NIKKOR f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus

Nikon AF-S 35mm are prime standard lenses that are excellent for all-around photography and videography. They feature a 35mm focal length for perfect shallow of depth images and standard videos and stills.

The lenses have a maximum aperture size of f/1.8 and a minimum aperture size of f/22 for versatility. The maximum aperture size makes the lenses fast, in addition, they are great for night adventures. Further, they are designed with a Silent Wave Motor for fast autofocus.

The lenses weigh only 7 ounces and are therefore light. Moreover, the lenses are competitively priced.


  • The lenses are competitively priced
  • The lenses are great for all-around photography and videography
  • The lenses produce an excellent shallow depth of focus
  • The lenses perform well at night
  • They are designed to be light and therefore portable


  • They are not zoomable lenses, therefore, they don’t provide diversity in your work

6. Nikon AF-S 10-24mm DX NIKKOR f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens

Nikon AF-S 10-24mm are zoomable ultra-wide angle lenses and landscaping specialty lenses for architecture, interiors, cityscapes. They are also perfect if you desire to achieve a dramatic shallow depth of focus.

The lenses feature a Silent Wave Motor for fast and accurate autofocusing. They are aspherical lenses with a close focusing distance of 0.8 feet for macro photography.

However, their maximum aperture size of f/3.5 makes them a bit slow and not recommended for night photography. Worth noting is that the lenses are quite pricey.


  • Specialized landscape lenses with an ultra-wide angle
  • They produce excellent shallow DOF
  • They are excellent for doing macro photography
  • They have a fast autofocus


  • They are quite expensive
  • The shutter speed is a bit low

Check out our another related article: Best Lens for Nikon D3000 Reviewed Along With a Buying Guide for You

Lens for Nikon D5100: Buying Guide

The kind of lens you go for should be determined by the style of photography you want to adopt. You can, for instance, go for an ultra-wide-angle if you plan to capture some landscape shots but you wouldn’t need a similar angle for portraiture.

Also, depending on your level experience it’s important to weigh between the choice of manual and autofocus option. Manual focus gives you more freedom to be creative but requires one to understand the complexities behind it.

On the other hand, autofocus is the most popular option nowadays, especially for entry-level photographers. Just be keen to ensure that the focus speed is fast enough so you can enjoy the experience.

Which One Is The Best?

If looking for the best low-light photography and versatility, we’d recommend a prime lens such as the Nikon AF-S 50mm Lens Nikkor f/1.8G. Unfortunately, prime lenses don’t come with zooming power and for that, we’d suggest the Nikon AF-S 70-300mm Lens f/4.5-5.6G ED.

Final Thoughts

The Nikon D5100 is one of the finest innovations from the famed manufacturer. Unfortunately, with many different lenses to choose from, you may easily get confused about which option to settle for.

Therefore, we’d recommend using the guidelines provided above and weighing them against your specific needs, arrive at an informed choice. All the best.

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