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Best Lenses for Nikon D5500 in 2020

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The D5500 from Nikon is perfect for those who are only at the early stages of their photography journey but want advanced features without breaking the bank. The camera is described as an entry-level DSLR that’s a split between the Nikon 3200, an entry-level DSLR, and the Nikon D7100 that’s more for those who are already in the intermediate phase of learning about photography.

If you own a Nikon D5500, you may want to consider investing in some lense to further expand your knowledge and skills in your newfound hobby. Here’s a rundown of the best Nikon 5200 lenses.

Our Top Picks for Lenses for Nikon D5500 in 2020

What These Lenses Have to Offer

If you have been thinking – what’s the best lens for Nikon D5500, you are heading in the right direction. The following are the most recommended lenses for this Nikon DSLR and grouped according to their best use.

Best lenses for General Photography for Nikon D5500

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

Five Stars

Dimensions – 3.82 x 3.07 x 3.07 inches
Weight – 1.08 lbs (489.9 g)
Lens – Wide Angle
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-5
Focal Length: 18-140 mm

  • The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-40mm f/3.5-5.6G ED is a favorite all-around lens for any DX cameras. This lens performs well in delivering sharpness, focusing, and covering every focal length when shooting an image. These characteristics make it a versatile lens for all kinds of photography.
  • In terms of its autofocus performance, the 18-40mm works like other AF-S lenses from Nikon. It performs more than enough when used in general photography.
  • Coma and distortion are the biggest letdowns of this lens. Coma is usually visible around the bright points of lights in the corners while distortion is plenty and is something expected for this kind of lens. However, the latter issue is best remedied if used with recently released DSLRs like the D5000, D5500, and the D800E.
  • Despite its flaws, the Nikkor 18-40mm is one of the best lenses for Nikon D5500.

AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

Four Stars

Dimensions – 3.82 x 3.03 x 3.03 inches
Weight – 1.25 lbs (567 g)
Lens – Telephoto
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-5.6
Focal Length: 18-200 mm

  • Nikon got another versatile lens in the DX Nkr 18-200mm. This lens is best known for its advanced optical design, compact profile, and image stabilization. It is designed for Nikon F-mount DX-format cameras to provide further power especially to give it a 27-300mm equivalent zoom range.
  • When compared to the original 18-200 VR, it performs similar the same as the original in terms of optics and the VR system. This model’s edge against the original is that it comes with a zoom lock at 28mm.
  • This lens features three aspherical elements to produce sharper images with accurate rendering, a Super Integrated Coating for improved color accuracy and contrast, and the VR II image stabilization technology to minimize camera shakes by 3.5 stops.

Best lenses for Portraits, Weddings & Events for Nikon D5500

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

Five Stars

Dimensions – 2.09×2.76×2.76 inches
Weight – 7.05 ounces (199.9 g)
Lens – Standard
Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 35 mm

  • The Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G lens is described by many photographers as a good, capable and inexpensive normal prime lens for the Nikon D5500.
  • The lens performs well in autofocusing thanks to its Silent Wave Motor. It works well when acquiring focus when the camera is used without the Live View activated.
  • It also gets good grades in terms of optics. It was able to produce sharp images across the frame, which peaks at f/4 and f/5.6.
  • However, it can be lacking especially its angle of view. It is some 2-3 degrees tighter than that of a common 50mm lens. But this limitation might not be a turn-off for photographers who use a nifty-fifty on a film camera.

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

Five Stars

Dimensions – 2.09×2.83 × 2.83 inches
Weight – 6.61 ounces (187.4 g)
Lens – Standard
Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 50 mm

  • For those looking for an inexpensive yet very capable lens, the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G perfectly fits that description. It is a perfect match for Nikon’s budget offering DSLR like the D40X, the D3000, and the D5500. It is a solid performer despite its mostly plastic body.
  • Sharpness is the main selling point of this lens. It among the brand’s sharpest lenses due to its modern aspherical designs.
  • The lens also does not suffer any problems with flaring and ghosting. It performed well when used during broad daylight, which makes it an ideal lens for outdoor, wedding, and street photography.
  • Distortion is perhaps its biggest flaw. However, it is not a big issue as such problems are also evident on pricier prime lenses like the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G and 50mm f/1.4D.

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens

Best Overall for Portraits, Weddings, & Events

Dimensions – 2.09×2.83 × 2.83 inches
Weight – .77 lb (349.3 g)
Lens – Medium telephoto
Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 85 mm

  • Perfect for outdoor weddings and events.
  • Works well in low lighting.
  • Smooth bokeh
  • Ideal for portraits.

Hobbyists and professionals are bragging on this lens for its many benefits. It is easy to put in your toolbox to capture beautiful portraits from any wedding or event. The price point is a bit high, but it does not disappoint in action. It is the go-to lens for the photo enthusiast. It is the best overall because of the clarity and versatility it offers to photographers of all levels.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Four Stars

Dimensions – 3.39 x 3.15 x 3.15 inches
Weight – 1.10 lbs (499 g)
Lens – Wide Angle, Normal
Maximum Aperture: f/2.8-4
Focal Length: 16-80 mm

  • Made for Nikon’s APS-C DSLRs, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR is a stabilized 24-120mm equivalent standard zoom lens that is the first to feature the brand’s Nano Crystal Coating technology that reduces flaring and ghosting. It is also the first Nikon DX lens to integrate electromagnetic diaphragm. It is a technology that adjusts the aperture within the lens.
  • It features both Nano Crystal Coat and a Super Integrated Coating to minimize internal reflections, flaring, and ghosting. It also comes with Vibration Reduction image stabilization technology to address camera shake, a Silent Wave Motor for near-silent, precise autofocus, and a specialized electromagnetic aperture mechanism for greater exposure control stability.
  • However, this lens does not offer enough features to convince new photographers. But at the end of the day, it still offers a versatile 5x zoom range, a completely new optical formula, faster maximum apertures, and the latest lens technologies from Nikon.

Best lenses for Travel & Landscape for Nikon D5500

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED Fixed Lens

Best Travel & Landscape Prime Lens for Nikon D5500

Five Stars

Dimensions – 3.19 x 3.27 x 3.27 inches
Weight – 0.78 lbs (353.8 g)
Lens – Wide Angle
Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 20 mm

An ultra-wide lens with a sleek form, the AF-S NIKKOR 20mm offers a broad field of view, bright design, and a high-end optical layout for superior image quality. This lens is our favorite as the best prime lens for Nikon D5500.

This lens leverages two different coating technologies to address flare and ghosting while also providing sharp contrast and exceptional color accuracy.

• Bright f/1.8 aperture allows for exceptional photos even in poor light conditions
• Two extra-low dispersion glass elements and two aspherical elements for greater clarity, sharpness, and resolution with reduced chromatic aberrations and color fringing
• Super Integrated and Nano Crystal coatings on lens elements
• Silent Wave Motor AF with full-time manual override and rear focusing design for fast focusing speed

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Four Stars

Dimensions – 3.35 x 2.83 x 2.83 inches
Weight – 1.07 lbs (485.3 g)
Lens – Wide Angle, Normal
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-5.6
Focal Length: 16-85 mm

  • The NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is an ideal all-purpose lens for several Nikon cameras including the D40, the D60 and the D300.
  • It also comes with the best internals including two extra-low dispersion elements for greater color accuracy and contrast. Also, the lens has three aspherical elements to sharpen images and achieve accurate rending.
  • Autofocus performance in the Nikkor 16-85mm is handled by Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor to give photographers quiet, fast, and precise autofocusing.
  • All in all, this Nikon lens is an excellent all-rounder as it is very capable of handling sharpness, zooming, and comes with a capable VR technology. Its advantage against its counterparts includes a slightly wider wide end, has less distortion, and can be sharper at the wide end.

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens

Five Stars

Dimensions – 4.76 x 3.07 x 3.07 inches
Weight – 1.79 lbs (811.9 g)
Lens – Wide Angle
Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 18-35 mm

  • If you are looking among Nikon D5500 lenses for use in travel and landscape photography, the Sigma 18-35mm F1/8 Art DC HSM is a great performer with a low asking price.
  • It best works as an all-around lens as it is capable of providing a good range for a variety of applications. The performance is made possible by the lens’s focal range that is equivalent to 27mm-52.5mm in 35mm format.
  • It is also great for shooting in an environment with poor lighting as it comes integrated with a fast constant aperture of f/1.8. This capability was something only imaged when using fast aperture prime lenses.
  • Being the first f/1.8 zoom lens in history, the Sigma 18-35mm does not disappoint as it brings great performance. But photographers shouldn’t also hold their hopes up especially with the lens’s autofocus performance.

Best lenses for Sports & Action for Nikon D5500

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Four Stars

Dimensions – 4.53×3.27×3.27 inches
Weight – 1.76 lbs (798.3 g)
Lens – Telephoto
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-5.6
Focal Length: 28-300 mm

  • Nikon made a great lens with the NIKKOR 28-300mm. It shines best in delivering sharp images, which is still pretty good but is something that should be compared to the quality produced by the best lenses in the market.
  • Experts recommend this kind of lens for photographers who opt to not change lenses all the time or those who prefer going from wide-angle to long telephoto.
  • The AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR comes with features including a 42-450mm equivalent focal length range, Super Integrated Coating to help with flaring and ghosting, silent wave motor technology to achieve quiet, precise autofocus performance, and rounded nine-blade diaphragm for greater control over depth of field.

Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens

Four Stars

Dimensions – 10.2×4.1×4.1 inches
Weight – 4.25 lbs (1927.8 g)
Lens – Telephoto
Maximum Aperture: f/5-6.3
Focal Length: 150-600 mm

  • The Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM lens is an affordable alternative to its Sports version brother. Both lenses are capable of producing great image quality. However, there are several differences between the two. The former edges its pricier sibling by its lightweight built while the Sports version is weatherproof so it is expected to be heavier.
  • This Sigma telephoto lens comes with a 240-960mm equivalent focal length range, one F Low Dispersion (FLD) and three Special Low Dispersion (SLD) elements, Integrated HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) that is combined with a rear focus system to achieve fast and quiet autofocus, and a dust- and splash-resistant design that makes it ideal for sports and action photography.
  • The lens also features Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material for greater precision, a rounded nine-blade diaphragm, and an Optical Stabilizer system that helps in shooting sharper images.

Best lenses for Nature & Wildlife for Nikon D5500

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm ED VR

Three Stars

Dimensions – 3.11 x 3.90 x 3.11 inches
Weight – 1.21 lbs (548.8 g)
Lens – Telephoto
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-6.3
Focal Length: 18-300 mm

  • For photographers looking for a smaller and lighter version of the original 18-300mm VR, the Nikkor 18-300mm ED VR is a gift from Nikon. This lens also adds another blow to the original as it is less expensive.
  • The Achilles heel of this lens is distortion. It is very evident but there are easy solutions to this issue. First, it is remedied when paired with the latest camera offerings from Nikon. The brand’s recent DSLRs like the D30, the D5500, and the D610 are all equipped with technology to deal with this issue. Second, the strong distortion can be easily corrected with Photoshop’s lens distortion filter.
  • The lens features an all-in-one zoom that spans wide-angle to telephoto focal lengths and is capable of providing a 27-450mm equivalent range. It also comes with three aspherical elements, Super Integrated Coating, Silent Wave Motor for precise autofocus, and image stabilization with Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology.

Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD All-In-One Zoom

Four Stars

Dimensions – 4.80 x 3.10 x 3.10 inches
Weight – 1.55 lbs (703.1 g)
Lens – Telephoto
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-6.3
Focal Length: 18-400mm

  • The 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD from Tamron is a great all-purpose and wildlife photography lens due to its impressive wide-angle to super-telephoto range. It is capable of providing a 28.8-640mm equivalent lens that is made possible by a three-step extension design.
  • It features an HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) motor to realize a fast, precise autofocus performance. It also comes with Vibration Compensation technology to help with camera shakes.
  • The lens’ ability to provide extremely close macro focusing is another feature that makes it a great tool for wildlife photography. It allows photographers to take a good photo of their subject without getting too close to it.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Four Stars

Dimensions – 7.48 x 7.48 x 17.20 inches
Weight – 5.07 lbs (2299.7 g)
Lens – Telephoto
Maximum Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 200-500 mm

  • Photographers wishing for Nikon to offer a cheaper model of a super-telephoto lens should check out the AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm. It is specially designed for use in wildlife and sports photographers particularly for those who are only beginning in this hobby.
  • When compared to its main competition – the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary and the Tamron 150-600mm VC, it performs similar to the two particularly when paired with the Nikon TC-14E III 1.4x teleconverter.
  • Sample variation is an area where it lacks the most. Images produced by this lens suffered from low sharpness at the long end of the zoom range. But it is a common problem for those lenses at this price point.

Best lenses for Macro & Close-Up for Nikon D5500

Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED Vibration Reduction Fixed Zoom Lens

Four Stars

Dimensions – 3.90 x 2.87 x 2.87 inches
Weight – 0.78 lbs (353.8 g)
Lens – Medium telephoto
Maximum Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 85 mm

  • This Nikon DX-designed macro telephoto lens is the brand’s offering for newbie photographers, as well as established ones, who are looking for a cheap tele-macro lens for their DSLRs.
  • The NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR comes with the ability to provide a 127.5mm equivalent focal length, a Super Integrated Coating for reducing ghosting and flaring, and a Silent Wave Motor to achieve quick, quiet, and precise autofocus performance.
  • Getting the sharpness and contrast on the same level is one gripe of this lens. While it does not significantly impact the images produced, it lacks the sharpness common in Micro Nikkor range of the brand.

Tamron AFF017N700 SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro

Four Stars

Dimensions – 4.60 x 4.50 x 4.50 inches
Weight – 1.40 lbs (635.0 g)
Lens – Macro
Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 90 mm

  • Tamron updated its original 90mm lens with this offering. The SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD is an affordable successor that comes with a more professional design, improved weather-resistance, and better build quality.
  • In terms of image performance, the lens offers faster auto-focusing, enhanced image stabilization, and compatibility with the new TAP-in Console. These features allow the lens to deliver great images when compared to its predecessor.
  • The only letdown from the SP 90mm is that it suffers from corner shading at maximum aperture. However, such an issue can be easily removed during post-processing.

Things to Consider – Different Lens Types Explained

With so many different lens types available, it can be difficult to keep track of the differences between them. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of lenses available for your Nikon D5500.

Nikon DX lens vs. Nikon FX Lens

When you see the terms DX or FX on a lens, this refers to the sensor size of your camera. FX cameras feature an image sensor that’s approximately 36mm x 24mm, which is known as full-frame format. DX cameras have an image sensor that’s 24mm x 16mm.

These lenses can be used interchangeably. But, they are each optimized for their own formats. An FX lens on a DX camera will magnify your image by about 1.5X. A DX lens on an FX camera will automatically crop your images to match the sensor size of your camera.

Is Nikon d5500 a DX or FX?

The Nikon d5500 has a 24.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor of 23.5 mm x 15.6 mm, also known as Nikon DX-format.

Because the D5500 is DX camera, it can accept both DX and FX lenses (FX stands for full-frame) so you don’t have to worry about a lens not fitting.

Nikon has a great resource to help you learn more about these different lenses.

Prime lens vs. Zoom Lens

Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, which means that the focal length of the lens is also the perspective. You’ll need to move in or out to decrease or increase the perspective of your shot. With zoom lenses, the perspective can be adjusted according to the range of zoom.

Wide Angle Lenses

Wide-angle lenses provide a much greater depth of field than other types of lenses. With wide-angle lenses, the lower the focal length number, the more you’ll be able to fit into the frame. These lenses are usually very versatile, lightweight, and affordable.

This lens type tends to distort portions of an image (especially faces), and that will need to be fixed in post-processing.

Standard Lenses

Standard lenses exist in the space between wide-angle and telephoto lenses. These lenses feature a depth of field that’s roughly the same as the human eye, so photos captured with a standard lens tend to feel and look “normal”.

These lenses are ideal for many types of photography, including portraits, street photography, and landscapes.

Telephoto Lenses

Telephoto lenses are designed for photographing subjects at far distances, which makes them ideal for sports, wildlife, or astronomy photography. Telephoto lenses can be fixed or zoomed. These lenses provide a narrow depth of field which allows you to photograph your subject in stark relief of the background.

Telephoto lenses are usually the territory of advanced photographers because they’re prohibitively expensive, so most beginner and novice photographers steer clear of them.

Macro Lenses

The opposite of a telephoto lens, macro lenses are designed for extreme close-ups. These lenses allow you to produce a true 1:1 image of incredibly small subjects or fine details. These lenses are ideal for nature and product photography, or any time you need to capture incredibly fine details.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nikon D5500 Lenses

Is Nikon D5500 good for beginners?

Yes, the Nikon D5500 is a great DSLR for those new to photography. It is compact, affordable, but still comes with features that will satisfy the needs of an enthusiast-level photographer. It features a 24.2-million-pixel sensor, ISO 100-12,800 (extended to ISO 25,600), and a built-in Wi-Fi and GPS.

Is the Nikon d5500 a full-frame camera?

No, The Nikon d5500 has a 24.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor of 23.5 mm x 15.6 mm, also known as Nikon DX-format.

As we stated above, a full-frame format or FX format, are cameras that feature an image sensor that’s approximately 36mm x 24mm.

What lenses are compatible with Nikon d5500?

As we stated above, Because the D5500 is DX camera, it can accept both DX and FX lenses (FX stands for full-frame) so you don’t have to worry about a lens not fitting.

Nikon has a great resource to help you learn more about these different lenses.

Keep in mind that you will not have all the functions with all the lenses types:

  • Autofocus is available with AF-S and AF-I lenses.
  • Autofocus is not available with other type G and D lenses, AF lenses (IX NIKKOR and lenses for the F3AF are not supported) and AI-P lenses.
  • Non-CPU: Can be used in mode M, but Exposure Meter does not Function; Electronic Rangefinder can be used if Maximum Aperture is f/5.6 or Faster.

How old is the Nikon d5500?

The Nikon D5500 camera announced by Nikon in January 2015. It is a 24.2-megapixel DX-format Nikon F-mount, and it is the newer (and a bit more than an entry-level camera) DSLR version of the Nikon D5300.

Can d5500 shoot 4k?

No, the D5500 can shoot video at:

  • Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 60 fps
  • Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 50 fps
  • Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 30 fps
  • Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 25 fps
  • Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 24 fps
  • HD 1,280×720 / 60 fps
  • HD 1,280×720 / 50 fps
  • VGA 640×424 / 30 fps
  • VGA 640×424 / 25 fps

What is the best all-around Nikon lens?

Our preferred all-around Nikon lens is the Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Zoom Lens. It’s versatile and made to cover the wide-angle to mid-telephoto range. It features a great optical design to help achieve an impressive image quality.

Best prime lenses for Nikon d5500

Best telephoto lenses for nikon d5500

Best cheap lenses for Nikon d5500

Best macro lens for Nikon d5500

Our preferred macro lens for Nikon is the Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm. It’s a prime lens designed for close-up photography. it’s great for macro and close-up as it offers life-size 1:1 maximum magnification and an 11.3″ minimum focusing distance. It also comes with Silent Wave Motor. It has a great image stabilization technology that helps in minimizing the appearance of camera shake by three stops.

Which Among These is The Best Lens for Nikon D5500?

We have looked at a lot of lenses and considered all their greatness, but there can only be one winner. The clear winner is the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35 mm f/1.8G Lens with Autofocus for Nikon DSLR Cameras.

The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35 mm is a standard lens that works with DX and FX models. It is compact and lightweight for traveling photographers. Compared with other lenses, the 35 mm focal length allows you to get more of the subject in your picture than one with a higher focal length.

Not to mention that the functions of this lens are fantastic for an incredibly low price. This one packs a punch without requiring you to be a genius of photography.

For those looking into landscape photography, the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens is one of the best for landscape among the Nikon D5500 lenses out there. This lens comes at an affordable price and still offers excellent image quality and the convenience of a zoom.

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