10 Best Nikon D3100 Lenses Worth the Money (2021)

You just got the Nikon D3100 and want something more exciting than the boring kit lens? You are in the right place.

There are three types of best Nikon D3100 lenses: a fast prime lens for portraits and all-around, a zoom for wildlife, and a macro for close-ups and art photos.

Lens choice depends a lot on what you want to shoot and the quality correlates with price. Here are our favorites.

We Recommend

Best for Bokeh/All-around

Nikon 50mm 1.4 G

Best for Birds/Wildlife

Nikon 80-400mm 4.5-5.6 G

Best for Macro/Art

Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 DC

Best Nikon D3100 Lenses

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

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The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens is an extremely popular prime lens that creates those cool blurry backgrounds (bokeh) and is ideal for portraits and all-around shots.

As a hobbyist photographer, I found this Nikkor lens to be my goto everything lens. It excels in low-light and the bokeh effect is dreamy.

The lens comes complete with a bundled accessories kit, which includes a carrying case. This makes the lens great for travel purposes and helps you save some money in the process.

This is an F Mount Lens that features an FX-format. You can adjust the aperture range between f/1.4 and 16.

A Super Integrated Lens Coating is added, and the product uses a Silent Wave Motor. This helps to reduce noise when the lens is being used.

The kit also includes a cap keeper, as well as six graduated filters with a variety of colors to choose from. There is a dust blower added to help keep your lens clean at all times too.


What we liked

  • Great all-around staple
  • Beautiful bokeh effect
  • FX-Format F Mount Lens
  • Works great in low-light
  • Silent Wave Motor system
  • Super Integrated Lens Coating
  • Comes with a complete kit
  • Includes dust blower

What we didn’t like

  • Not the cheapest option
  • No aperture ring
  • Not zoomable

Lens type: Prime lens
Focal length: 50mm
Aperture: f/1.4G to 16
Autofocus: Ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing
Image Stabilization: No
Weight: 9.9oz
Great for: Close up shots, bokeh, portraits

2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

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If you are into bird and wildlife photography, then the Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G lens is the perfect option to consider on the list of Nikon D3100 compatible lenses.

I found this lens to be surprisingly sharp at full 400mm and the VR works great when hand-holding, so you don’t necessarily need a tripod with this one.

The price is exceptionally high when compared to other options but you can take those hard-to-reach shots of birds and wildlife.

You can adjust the focal length between 80 and 400mm. The aperture of the lens can also be easily adjusted between f/4.5 and f/5.6.

The camera comes with a couple of accessories that you can take advantage of. This includes a macro lens kit that is ideal for close-up photography. A high-quality dust blower, as well as a cap keeper, are also included.


What we liked

  • Great go-to wildlife lens
  • Built-in vibration reduction (VR) image stabilization system
  • Uses a wave motor AF system
  • Nano Crystal lens coating
  • FX-Format lens
  • One Super ED Element Built-in
  • Adjustable aperture

What we didn’t like

  • Higher price point
  • Somewhat heavy
  • Limited filters included in the kit

Lens Type: Telephoto Zoom lens
Focal length: 80-400mm
Aperture: f/4.5 – 5.6G
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilization: VR Image Stabilization
Weight: 7.38 lbs
Great for: Close up shots, wildlife photography, bird photography

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

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The third Nikon D3100 lens is the Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens. This is a multifunctional wide-angle to standard zoom lens that makes it an ideal option for everything from close-ups to landscapes to art photos.

The lens comes with several bundled items, including Mac software, to manage and edit your photographs. It is one of the top sigma lenses for Nikon cameras.

The Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens features a four-year warranty when purchased in the USA.

A fixed aperture rating of f/1.8 is offered by the lens. The lens features an adjustable focal length, which can be set from 18mm up to 35mm.

The lens features a Hyper Sonic Motor. This makes autofocusing faster. It also makes an ideal lens for video recording purposes.


What we liked

  • Great for bokeh and low-light conditions
  • Sharp at every focal length
  • Includes a 72mm filter kit
  • Comes with front and rear lens caps
  • Part of the Sigma Art line of lenses
  • Built-in autofocus function

What we didn’t like

  • Higher price tag
  • Rather heavy lens

Lens Type: Macro lens
Focal length: 18-35mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilization: Yes
Weight: 4 lbs
Great for: Art photography, macro photography, landscapes, portraits

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

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The Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E EDIF VR Lens is a multi-purpose option that is great for different types of photography purposes.

When looking for Nikon D3100 telephoto lens options, this is one to consider. This includes landscape photos, concerns, and wildlife.

The camera features an ultra-fast and near-silent autofocus motor. This helps to keep noise to a minimum when using the lens.

The lens features an adjustable focal length and aperture. The focal length can be set from 70mm up to 300mm. The aperture can also be adjusted from f/4.5 to f/5.6. The kit comes with a few additional accessories that can help beginners get started with photography.

The lens itself includes a five-year warranty, which is only valid in the United States. International customers only get a one-year warranty. The lens is great for recording HD videos too.


What we liked

  • Aperture range can be adjusted
  • Focal length is adjustable
  • Five-year warranty in the USA
  • Advanced optics
  • HD video recording

What we didn’t like

  • Only one-year international warranty

Lens type: Tele zoom lens
Focal length: 70-300mm
Aperture: f/4.5-5.6E
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilization: VR Image Stabilization
Weight: 3.65 lbs
Great for: Wildlife, concerns, landscapes

5. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S ED NIKKOR Lens

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The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S ED NIKKOR Lens is a perfect option for product photography, as well as other close-up shots that you wish to take.

The lens has a focal length of 35mm. The lens is able to provide an adequate coverage area to take high-quality and clear photos.

The lens features an aperture rating of f/1.8G. It should be noted that the focal length and aperture of the lens cannot be adjusted as with some of the other options.

A Bayonet lens hood is included with the purchase of the lens. There is a snap-on lens cap for the front of the lens. A rear cover for the lens is also available.


What we liked

  • Comes with a lens bundle
  • Includes a Mac software package
  • Comes with a five-year warranty
  • Includes a UV filter
  • Comes with a service plan

What we didn’t like

  • Focal length cannot be adjusted

Lens Type: Prime lens
Focal length: 35mm
Aperture: f/1.8G
Autofocus: no
Image Stabilization: No
Weight: 2.05 lbs
Great for: Portraits and bokeh photography

6. Tokina ATX-I 11-16mm CF F/2.8 Lens

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Next up is the Tokina ATX-I 11-16mm CF F/2.8 Lens. This is a good option if you are looking for a Nikon landscape lens. This is a wide-angle zoom lens, which means it is perfect for landscape photography.

The lens is accompanied by a starter kit. This gives you a couple of items that help to enhance your experience during photography sessions.

A Digital Filter Kit is included to help you achieve specific effects and filters when taking shots.

The lens features an aperture rating of F/2.8. The aperture cannot be adjusted as with some of the other lenses that are available. The focal length can be adjusted according to your needs. The focal length range can be adjusted from 11mm up to 16mm.

This Nikon D3100 wide-angle lens includes a cleaning bundle. The cleaning kit helps you keep the lens free of fingerprints and dust.


What we liked

  • A wide-angle lens for landscape photography
  • Focal length can be adjusted
  • Comes with a Digital Filter Kit
  • Includes a cleaning kit
  • Three-year warranty

What we didn’t like

  • Limited filters included
  • Carry bag does not store the lens

Lens Type: Wide Angle Zoom Lens
Focal length: 11-16mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Autofocus: Manual focus
Image Stabilization: No
Weight: 3.4 lbs
Great for: Landscape photography

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

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The Nikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E EDIF AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR Lens is a complete kit that is ideal for professionals who need a lens to help with wide-angle photography.

The lens features an adjustable aperture rating that varies from f/3.5 to f/4.5. The product features a fixed focal length of 15mm, but the setting can be adjusted according to the photographs you are going to take.

The focal length can be adjusted between 8 and 15mm, depending on the needs you have.

There is a kit that accompanies the purchase of the Nikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E EDIF AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR Lens. This kit includes a lens hood, as well as a rear and front lens cap. It also comes with a complete cleaning kit to help you keep your lens clean at all times.


What we liked

  • Comes with bundled software packages
  • Close focusing function
  • Weather seal design
  • Includes a Bayonet lens hood
  • Comes with a five-year USA warranty
  • Great for unique shots

What we didn’t like

  • International warranty only valid for one year
  • A rather expensive lens

Lens Type: Fisheye lens
Focal length: 15mm
Aperture: f/3.5 – 4.5E
Autofocus: No
Image Stabilization: No
Weight: 3.55 lbs
Great for: Wide-angle photography

8. Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Lens

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The Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR lens is another great option for owners of the Nikon D3100 lens.

The lens does come with a higher weight than some alternatives, but it does offer an excellent opportunity for product and other short-range photography sessions.

The lens comes with a built-in autofocus motor, helping to provide a faster way of focusing on a subject.

You can adjust the aperture between f/3.5 and f/32. The lens features a focal length of 127.5mm, which is equivalent to a standard 35mm lens.

This is also a complete kit that does not only include the main lens. In addition to the macro lens included in the kit, you get a few extra items to help you get started too. This includes a color filter set, as well as a Multi-Coated HD filter kit, which adds filters to photos taken with your Nikon D3100 DSLR camera.


What we liked

  • Adjustable aperture range
  • Extra-Low Dispersion Element
  • Multi-Coated HD Filter Kit included
  • Comes with a carry bag

What we didn’t like

  • Limited warranty
  • Non-adjustable focal length

Lens type: Telephoto / Macro lens
Focal length: 127.5mm (Equivalent to 35mm)
Aperture: f/3.5 to f/32
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilization: No
Weight: 4.29 lbs
Great for: Short-range photography

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

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The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art Lens is great for photographing a range of different items, including close-up art and product shots.

It is a great zoom lens for Nikon 3100. The macro lens comes with a full bundle kit included with the purchase.

The lens itself comes with a front and rear cap. It also comes with a lens hood and a carrying case. The bundle features a large number of additional accessories that make close-up photos easier.

The lens features an f/1.4 default aperture rating, which can be adjusted up to 16 if needed—the focal length of the camera rates at 30mm, which is common among Nikon camera lenses.

The product has a minimum focus distance of 11.8 inches. A Hyper Sonic Motor is used to provide a more effective autofocus method.


What we liked

  • Includes a tripod and accessory kit
  • Features an F Mount
  • Adjustable aperture range
  • Short minimum focus distance
  • Uses a brass Bayonet mount

What we didn’t like

  • Some close-up shots require shorter focus distance

Lens Type: Macro Lens
Focal length: 30mm
Aperture: f/1.44 to 16
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilization: No
Weight: 4.11 lbs
Great for: Close up shots

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

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Next on the list of must-have camera lenses is the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Zoom Lens. This is a truly multifunctional lens that can be adjusted from a wide-angle option to a telephoto lens.

The lens is able to provide adequate features for any type of photography. The focal length of the lens can be adjusted according to your requirements.

The range settings go from 18mm up to 140mm. This is a popular NIKKOR wide-angle lens.

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Zoom Lens features an adjustable aperture rating too. You can adjust the aperture between f/3.5 and f/5.6.

The lens also comes with a Nikon Silent Wave Motor, which helps to keep noise low when taking a shot and using the lens. The minimum focusing distance of the lens is 1.48 feet.


What we liked

  • Built-in Extra-Low Dispersion Glass
  • Comes with a built-in F Mount and CPU
  • Includes vibration reduction function
  • Features autofocus technology
  • Adjustable aperture

What we didn’t like

  • Limited focal length adjustments
  • Does not come with extra filters

Lens Type: Telephoto
Focal length: 18-140mm
Aperture: f/3.5-5.6G
Autofocus: Yes
Image Stabilization: Yes
Weight: 1.08 lbs
Great for: Landscape, wildlife, close-up

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