Want to get the inside scoop on the best Nikon normal lens?
Every photographer should know their way around the best Nikon standard lenses. The Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens is our top pic, but there are 5 other lenses on this list that could be even better for your needs!
If you’re new to lenses, we’ve got you covered. We’ll be going over everything you need to know from the best lenses to a normal lens definition and guide.
1. Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens—The Best Overall Nikon Standard Lens
Why Buy The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens?
- Shockingly bright f/0.95 aperture
- Manual focus for extreme precision
- Protective and anti-distortion coatings include ARNEO, Nano Crystal, and Fluorine
- High-tech OLED information panel and programmable control ring
- Seven optical elements for extra crisp images
The Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens excels at everything that makes a standard lens exceptional.
The biggest defining factor of this lens is just how fast the aperture is. With an aperture of f/0.95, this lens has the second-fastest aperture currently being produced and the fastest aperture that you can easily find online or at your local camera shop.
This means you’ll get pinpoint control over your depth of field and can create some of the most stunning bokeh you’ve ever seen.
The extra distance on this lens lets you create even better portraits than you could with a 50 mm.
The Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens has also been built to Nikon’s highest standards. This lens is weather sealed and designed to stand up to the demanding work that professional photographers do.
What You’ll Love About The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens
- The Fastest Aperture Around: The f/0.95 aperture is the second-fastest lens on the market and Nikon’s fastest
- Built With Modern Tech: Programmable control ring and an OLED display give this lens an ultra-modern feel
- Built for Pros: This is part of Nikon’s S series of lenses which means it’s weather sealed and built to hold up during demanding shoots
- One of Nikon’s Best Lenses: This lens is easily one of the finest pieces of photographic equipment Nikon currently offers
What You Won’t Love About The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens
- The Price Tag: This is a cutting-edge lens with an equally demanding price tag
- The Focal Length: 58 mm is pushing what counts as “standard” and those 8 extra mm can create some awkward framing situations for those used to a clean 50 mm
The Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens is a massively impressive lens that’s not just one of the best standard lenses made by Nikon. In fact, this is one of the best standard lenses currently made by any company.
It’s hard to find good competition for the Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens, but we’ve got more lenses for you.
2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens—The Best Nikon Standard Zoom Lens
Why Buy The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens
- Flexible zoom focal lengths that cover all standard focal lengths and then some
- Uses Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor AF System
- Front and rear elements have a protective fluorine coating
- Designed for FX cameras, but also works on DX models
- Weather-sealed design perfect for pros and hobbyists
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens has what it takes to be the best Nikon z standard zoom lens.
A standard lens can absolutely be a zoom and the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens is one of the best we’ve ever seen. The way that Nikon assembled all of the optical elements, coatings, and features has created a lens that is more than capable of delivering professional photographs.
What You’ll Love About The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens
- Flexible Focal Lengths: The flexible focal length offered by this lens cover all of the standard focal lengths as well as a few wide-angle and telephoto options
- Built With Pros In Mind: This lens was built with professional photographers in mind and features weather sealing and other perks that help when shooting and demanding conditions
- Vibration Reduction Works Great: Vibration reduction is a must on all zoom lenses, and it works great on this model
- Multiple Optical Elements and Coatings: The multiple optical elements as well as the coatings on the front and rear glass help to protect this lens as well as ensure that your images are free of distortion and crystal clear
What You Won’t Love About The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens
- Not for Nikon Z: Unfortunately, this lens will not work on Nikon’s mirrorless cameras. BUT, you can find the Z model that is a part of the Nikon Z Trinity Lenses.
- Price: The cost of this lens feels a little bit high, especially when considering that newer lenses are available
- Features Could Be Better: Even though the features of this lens are fantastic, it would be nice to see an updated model with more modern technology
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens is the best standard zoom lens for Nikon cameras. You’ll get pro-quality features packed inside one tough lens.
Zoom lenses not your style? We’ve got a prime lens pick that gives you more clarity.
3. Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S Lens—The Best Prime Nikon Standard Lens
Why Buy Lens
- The bright f/1.2 aperture creates great bokeh
- Fluorine coatings help keep your glass clean and protect it from scratches
- Nikon S lenses are professional and weather sealed
- Programmable control ring and L.Fn button
- Multifocus system uses two AF drive units for fast and accurate autofocus
The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S gets our pick for the best standard prime lens for Nikon photographers.
The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S is a solid lens with great all-around performance. The bright aperture combines with optical elements and lens coatings to create some truly stunning pictures.
This is a Nikon S lens which means it’s professional grade. It has weather sealing as well as a durable barrel.
The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S also has a responsive autofocus system. You won’t have to worry about losing focus on your subject with this lens.
The high-tech features on the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S are also a great perk.
What You’ll Love About The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S Lens
- Fast Aperture: This lens has a lightning-fast aperture which lets in a ton of light and is great for isolating subjects or shooting in dark conditions
- Advanced Tech Features: The advanced features on this mirrorless lens include a programmable button and control rating
- Works With Both FX and DX: This lens is designed to work on both full format and crop sensor cameras
- 50 mm Focal Length: 50 mm is widely considered one of the most versatile focal lengths and is ideal for pretty much every kind of photographer
What You Won’t Love About The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S Lens
- Very High Price: This is one of Nikon’s best prime lenses and that means you’re also going to pay a premium price for it
- 50 mm Not Right For Everyone: 50 mm is one of the best focal lengths for photography, but it might be a bit too tight for people who want things on the lower end of the standard
The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S is the best Nikon z standard prime lens. It’s ideal for anyone who wants a standard prime for a Nikon mirrorless camera.
We’ve got another pick for fans of Nikon’s full-size sensor cameras.
4. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens—The Best Nikon FX Standard Lens
Why Buy The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S Lens
- Great for daily use, throwing in your travel bag, or carrying as a backup lens
- Uses one aspherical element and one lens coating
- Lightweight design is easy to carry around all-day
- Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm
- Features Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor AF System
If you’re shooting on a full-frame Nikon camera, you should absolutely have an affordable 50 mm lens in your photography kit.
These lenses are some of the most popular among all kinds of photographers. They make for great backups as well as lenses that you don’t have to be so worried about beating up.
The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G comes with some great stats especially when we consider that this lens is either playing backup or is going to be expected to take a beating that a more expensive lens wouldn’t.
The silent wave motor autofocus system, bright aperture, and clean images from this lens make it a great pic for anyone with a Nikon FX camera.
What You’ll Love About The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens
- Stats Are Solid: When you factor in the budget, the specifications for this lens overperform based on our expectations
- Popular 50 mm Focal Length: The 50 mm focal length is popular, and some photographers even consider this to be exactly identical to how the human eyes see
- Everyone Needs a Nifty Fifty: These affordable 50 mm lens are popular among all variety of photographers and have a solid reputation as a daily lens or an emergency spare
- Budget Friendly: This lens is incredibly affordable which means that you can pick one up and throw it in your travel bag without worrying about the cost
What You Won’t Love About The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens
- Missing Features: The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G is missing features that we’d love to see including a weather ceiling or more lens control options
- Build Quality: Feels a bit cheap compared to other lenses
- The Quality of the Glass: The glass used on this lens only has one optical element and one coating which means it’s going to be more susceptible to distortion and scratching
Everyone needs a 50 mm lens that is affordable, versatile, and just fun to use. The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G really does deliver on all of those fronts.
The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G is our best Nikon FX standard lens, but what about DX?
5. Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR Lens—Best Standard Lens for Nikon DX Cameras
Why Buy The NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR Lens
- The focal length range zooms through all standard focal lengths even when factoring in for the full-frame equivalent
- Packs four aspherical elements into one tiny lens
- Programmable control rings and other modern features are great for photographers who prioritize high-tech lenses
- This lens is perfect for anyone who wants a flexible everyday zoom that is also lightweight
The NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens is a unique lens, and it’s perfect for anyone on a crop sensor camera.
Crop sensor cameras are typically smaller, and you want a lens that’s also similarly lightweight.
This lens is also incredibly flexible and perfect for travel. You’ll be able to switch from landscapes to even portraits with a quick change of focal length.
Overall, all of the stats on this lens are impressive.
What You’ll Love About The NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR Lens
- Impressive Build Quality: For lens this affordable, the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens has an amazing build quality
- Amazing Focal Length Range: This lens has one of the best focal length ranges. It covers all of the standard focal lengths as well as some useful wide angles
- Easy On Your Budget: This lens is surprisingly affordable especially when you consider all of the features that it comes with
- Great For Video: Standard focal length lenses are great for video applications and this lens is the perfect choice for anyone filming on one of Nikon’s crop sensor cameras
What You Won’t Love About The NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR Lens
- Aperture Isn’t That Bright: The aperture stays reasonable throughout the entire focal range, but it could be much brighter
- Could Have More Features: Whether it’s another programmable button or maybe an extra coating, we strongly feel that this lens could have used a few more features
Shooting on a crop sensor camera doesn’t mean having to skip out on a good lens. The NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens is the best Nikon DX standard lens, and it just might be the perfect lens for your next gear upgrade.
What about a lens for Nikon fans shooting on their latest, mirrorless cameras?
6. Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens—The Best Nikon Z-Mount Standard Lens
Why Buy The NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
- Built for pros and weather sealed
- Features a Focus Range Limiter for quicker autofocus
- True 1:1 magnification for anyone into macro photography
One of the best standard-length lenses that you can get for a Nikon mirrorless camera also happens to be a macro lens.
Macro lenses allow you to get incredibly close images that are still totally crisp when it comes to focusing. You’ve seen macro photography used for wildlife, nature, and floral photography, as well as product photography.
This lens has a weather seal design. This means you’re not going to have to worry about catching a little rain while photographing flowers.
This lens also has features that we love seeing on a good macro lens. The focus limiter allows you to get quicker and more responsive autofocus even when working with macro subjects.
This is a great choice to throw in your bag if you’re looking for an interesting lens to take on the road. You can use it to get regular street photography, but you can also use those macro features to capture something a little more unique.
Overall, there’s so much more to love about this lens than there is to critique. It’s definitely worth your consideration for the best Nikon Z standard lens.
What You’ll Love About The NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
- True Macro Focus: This lens has a true one-to-one macro focus
- Super Flexible Focal Length: 50 mm is a surprisingly flexible focal length that is going to be good for video, indoor photography, and many types of outdoor photography
- Fun Lens For Z-Mount Cameras: This is the fun kind of lens that’s going to help you get out there and explore more with your photography and your unique style
- We Love The Build Quality: The overall build quality of this lens is outstanding, and it’s certainly going to make a great choice to add to any photo kit
What You Won’t Love About The NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
- Strong Arguments For Other Z Lenses: One of the notable downsides of NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8 Macro lens is that there are other Z Mount lenses on this list that might be a better choice overall
- You Might Not Need Macro Focus: The macro focus features are certainly enjoyable and great for some, but if you don’t shoot macro photography you’re spending money on something you’re not using
The NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8 Macro lens is the best Nikon Z standard lens, so get out your most high-tech Nikon cameras and start shooting with this amazing lens!
Nikon Standard Lens Buying Guide & FAQ
What is a standard lens?
Nikon standard lenses are considered to have a “neutral” focal length. This normal lens focal length is pretty close to how the human eye naturally interprets visual information. This is why standard lenses are also called “normal” lenses. Standard lenses have focal lengths between 35 mm and 50 mm.
Normal lenses are a great choice for day-to-day photography including portraits, landscapes, and street photography. These lenses make great choices for most situations, especially when getting close to your subject is an option.
Standard lenses can be either zoom lenses that can change focal lengths or prime lenses with fixed focal lengths.
What are the main uses of standard lenses?
A Nikon standard lens has countless uses, but all of them are going to have a neutral look that replicates something closer to what the human eye can see. These lenses are used for landscapes, street photography, and even portraits.
A standard lens is perfect for covering an event like a wedding or for taking with you on a hike. You could get beautiful bokeh with a fast 50mm lens or put together a fairly wide shot with a 35mm lens. Standard lenses give you very flexible options in terms of your style as a photographer.
How do I choose the right standard lens for my Nikon camera?
Here’s how you can pick the right Nikon normal lenses for your needs. You just need to weigh the three most important factors: what you have, what you need, and your budget.
The first thing that you should consider are the lenses you already own. If you already own a bunch of lenses that cover the 50 mm focal length, you’re probably better off getting a 35 mm lens.
You should also think about what you’re buying this lens for. A 35 mm lens is an incredibly versatile lens with a wider angle while a 50 mm lens can give you slightly tighter shots and better portraits. Think about the types of photographs you want to take and that will help you pick the right lens.
Your budget is going to be a big deciding factor when shopping for a standard lens for a Nikon camera. Standard lenses typically have the best budget-friendly options, but they also have some of the most expensive high-end options if you have some money to spare.
Conclusion – The Best Nikon Standard Lenses
You’re now ready to pick up one of the best Nikon standard lenses and start shooting like a pro!
The Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens is one of the most impressive lenses ever made thanks to its fast f/0.95 aperture. Then again, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens is way more flexible for daily use and the Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens will save you money when shooting on a crop sensor camera.
There’s a whole world of lenses out there for Nikon cameras! Make sure to check out our other articles on Nikon lenses and let us know what your favorite standard Nikon lenses are!