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The Best 6 Best Nikon Zoom Lenses [2022 Update!]

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Best Nikon Zoom Lenses

 

Do you want to find the best Nikon zoom lens for your camera?

We put together the best Nikon zoom lenses so that you can get the exact right lens for your photography style. The Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens is our number one pick, but we’ve got five more that just might be better for your photography.

Here Are the Top 6 Nikon Zoom Lenses!

Let’s zoom into the 6 best zoom lenses for Nikon cameras!

1. Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens

NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f 2.8 S Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f 2.8 S Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

The Best Nikon Zoom Lens Overall

Bottom Line: The Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens is the best Nikon Z zoom lens for just about every photographer. It covers all the most used standard focal lengths and is ideal for travel or even when shooting paid portraits or events!

Pros:

  • Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization
  • Weather-Sealed Design
  • Information OLED Panel
  • Programmable Control Ring and L.Fn Button
  • One of Nikon’s latest lenses

Cons:

  • No wide-angle coverage

Why We Picked It

The best Nikon standard zoom lens is the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens. There’s simply no lens like this one out there. This lens is likely the most commonly used of the Nikon z trinity lenses.

This is a professional-level lens. It’s got all the features you’re going to want if you plan on using your Nikon zoom lens for professional photography.

Let’s start with a feature that you’re going to be getting the most mileage out of. This is a weather-sealed lens which means that you don’t have to be afraid to take it out in some light rain or even on a safari.

This lens also has multiple programmable controls. It’s got a programmable control ring as well as a function button that can be customized to whatever you need.

The informational OLED panel is a great addition for photographers who need to check their settings on the fly. You won’t have to worry about navigating your camera’s menu and missing the shot of a lifetime when you can just take a quick peek at the side of your lens.

The glass on this lens is also top-notch. There are multiple optical elements as well as several special coatings which help to reduce distortion in your pictures and to protect the lens itself.

Who It’s For

It might be a little hard to say who this lens is for, because it’s for everybody!

This is the best Nikon zoom lens for portraits, events, street photography and so much more.

This gets our pick for the best Nikon zoom lens for travel because it offers the most versatility in a single package.

You don’t want to be stuck carrying around tons of expensive lenses when you’re traveling. This means you want one lens that’s good for everything. This lens is great for landscapes as well as stunning portraits.

This is also the best Nikon zoom lens for wedding photography and other paid work.

If you plan on doing paid photography using a Nikon camera, this lens is the one you want to pick up. Arguably, the single most important thing that you can buy is your lens, so why not start with the best option? This will give you the most flexible coverage no matter what your shooting and give you great pictures on top of that.

2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Lens

Nikon 200-500 mm F 5.6 AF-S NIKKOR E ED VR Lenses
Nikon 200-500 mm F 5.6 AF-S NIKKOR E ED VR Lenses

Best Nikon Zoom Lens for Sports and Wildlife

Bottom Line:

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens is the perfect zoom lens for photographers into wildlife, sports, and anything needing the top end of telephoto photography.

Pros:

  • F-Mount
  • Detachable and Rotatable Tripod Collar
  • Vibration Reduction and included Sport Mode
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System

Cons:

  • The f/5.6 aperture is a bit slow for some sports
  • No wide-angle or normal focal length options

Why We Picked It

This is the best Nikon zoom lens for wildlife and the best Nikon zoom lens for sports. Period.

This is our pick of the best Nikon FX zoom lenses because this lens is perfect for sports fans and everyone else who needs to take their shot from a good distance. The 200 to 500 mm focal length gives you the perfect range when it comes to this kind of photography at a distance.

The f/5.6 aperture isn’t very fast, but this lens is packed with plenty of features that make up for it. You have a vibration reduction system and a preset Sport Mode built into the lens. You have plenty of tech to take fast-moving pictures even under tough lighting conditions.

The lens also had a 9-bladed diaphragm. It’s perfect for catching a nice bokeh when you’re working on isolating subjects from their background. That’s ideal for getting a great shot of wildlife or a picture of an athlete worthy of a sports magazine!

The electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism means that the aperture closes quickly and quietly. Speaking of quiet, the Silent Wave Motor AF system is also quick and silent. That’s perfect for working with animals that get startled easily or athletes that rely on your discretion to keep their focus in the game.

Who It’s For

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens is for any photographer looking to take pics of anything far away, fast-moving, and hard to capture.

This means it is the ideal lens for wildlife photographers. Wild animals move on their own accord. Any noise or sudden movement could either scare them away or ruin the shot composition you’ve been working on.

Wildlife photographers need a lens that lets them keep a distance and take the time to set up their shots. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens is perfect for getting pics of animals without wrecking your photo before you even take it.

This is also the lens for sports photogs. Whether you want to catch a great shot of our kid’s little league game or you want to get ringside for professional sports, you’ll need the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens.

3. Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S Lens

NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f 4 S
NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f 4 S

Best Nikon Zoom Lens for Video

Bottom Line:

There are plenty of lenses that are ideal for video, but the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S lens makes a great choice for an all-in-one video kit!

Pros:

  • Extremely flexible focal length range good for most projects
  • Weather-sealed
  • Programmable Control Ring and L.Fn Button
  • Optical elements and coatings
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Multi-Focus Stepping Motor AF System

Cons:

  • Aperture could be faster

Why We Picked It

The Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S lens is the best Nikon zoom lens for video. It’s got everything you’re looking for when it comes to breaking into videography and even indie filmmaking.

Filmmakers and videographers often use a variety of lenses, but the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S lens makes a great place to start thanks to its well-rounded feature and professional build quality.

The flexibility of the focal lengths is key here. We picked the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S lens because it’s great for wide-angle shots, establishing shots, and even close-ups. You can get really creative with a lens that ranges from wide-angle to telephoto!

The lens also has a fluorine coating and a weather-sealed barrel making it perfect for shooting video in rough weather. The other optical elements and coatings reduce distortions and make sure your shots come out clear and ready for editing in post-production.

Filmmakers and video creators are also going to love the programmable buttons. You can make custom setting adjustments in the middle of a shoot without worrying about having to stop the action and fiddle with your camera’s menu.

Sure, the aperture is a little slow, but it’s not that bad when you consider video as a format. In video, you often get to have much more control over your lighting. You can easily compensate for an f/4 aperture with the right lighting or shooting during the day.

Who It’s For

This is the best zoom lens for video makers who are either looking to get started with video or who are looking to explore a variety of focal lengths in a single lens.

Event videographers are going to enjoy this lens. It’s got flexible focal length options that let you catch the action without having to switch lenses.

Videography can get expensive. It’s harder to sculpt and frame your shots when you’re working with so many moving components. A zoom lens lets you work around those situations with more flexibility and fewer lenses. What’s better than saving space in your filming kit and saving money on your budget?

This could even be the best lens for zoom meetings, YouTube, or streaming content. It’s an affordable lens that is wide enough for shooting in cramped rooms and gives you telephoto options for flexing with your creativity later down the road.

4. Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens

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

Best Nikon Super Zoom Lens

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking to get fully zoomed in, you should pick up the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens. It’s the best choice if your heart is set on super-telephoto focal lengths.

Pros:

  • Hyper Sonic Motor AF System
  • Super telephoto zoom
  • OS Image Stabilization
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • OS Image Stabilization

Cons:

  • Slow f/5 aperture
  • No wide angle

Why We Picked It

The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens made our pick for the best Nikon super zoom lens.

Super zoom is a special focal length that is ideal for really creative photography. Sports, wildlife, and unique portraits are all great styles to use with this lens. The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary has a bunch of features packed in designed to support these styles.

This lens has all of the coatings and optical elements you need to handle close-up photography.

The OS Image Stabilization is ideal for this kind of telephoto work. Here’s why.

The super-telephoto photography supported by the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens means that even the slightest movement you make could mean serious blur when focussing closer to the 600 mm focal length high end. The built-in image stabilization helps keep all of that under control.

Just make sure to turn the OS Image Stabilization off when using a tripod. Built-in image stabilization can actually cause blurry photos if your camera is on a tripod when you’re using it.

The 9-bladed diaphragm is also going to be useful for portraits. This lens may be ideal for when you can’t get close to your subject, but it is also a solid option for taking portraits with a unique twist.

The only drawbacks to this lens are the lack of wide-angle coverage and the slow f/5 aperture. However, both of those can be worked around by adding another lens to your kit that has broader coverage options. Our number one pick or our pick for the best wide-angle lens would be good choices for a backup.

Who It’s For

So, who is the best Nikon long zoom lens for?

At the end of the day, our pick for the best Nikon zoom lens for bird photography, super telephoto, and ultra-telephoto styles is for anyone looking to get flexible telephoto coverage with their zoom lens.

You are going to be able to make the most out of his lens if the styles of photography that you like involve you being naturally far away from your subjects. If you like to photograph birds, other wildlife, or sports, the lens is going to be the lens for you.

5. Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S Lens

NIKON NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f 2.8 S Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f 2.8 S Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

Best Wide Angle Zoom Lenses for Nikon

Bottom Line:

The Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S lens is the piece of photography gear you need if you prioritize wide-angle shooting and you need something that is flexible and can adapt to changing conditions in the field.

Pros:

  • Four ED and Three Aspherical Elements
  • Information OLED Panel and L.Fn Button
  • Stepping Motor AF System
  • Programmable Control Ring
  • ARNEO and Nano Crystal Coatings

Cons:

  • No telephoto focal lengths

Why We Picked It

The Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S lens is one of the best wide-angle zoom lenses for Nikon cameras. This lens is one of Nikon Z Holy Trinity of Lenses.

There are very few drawbacks to this lens and no drawbacks that you can’t work around. If you’re looking to do some wide-angle photography, this lens will give you the flexibility and professional features you need to take some truly amazing photographs.

Wide-angle photography can come with some serious Distortion and this lens is packed with 7 Optical elements and multiple Coatings designed to reduce the amount of distortion in your shop. You won’t have to rely as heavily on post-production when you’re shooting on a lens this good.

This lens also has a programmable control ring so you can have the features that are most important to you right at the tips of your fingers.

The Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S lens also has a fast aperture which is great for capturing low-light shots. This is a perfect lens if you plan on doing landscapes during sunrise or sunset. It’s also a great option for astrophotography.

Who It’s For

This made our list of the best Nikon zoom lens for landscape photography, but it’s also ideal for a variety of photographers.

Wide-angle photography needs adaptability. This means that you need a good zoom lens that can handle everything from ultra-wide angles that border on a fish eye lens all the way over to things that are a bit more normal.

The Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S lens is able to help you with all of this. It’s a great jack-of-all-trades wide-angle zoom lens that’s going to come in handy whether you’re taking unique portraits or working on some great landscape work.

This lens is also a good choice for people who are looking to round out their photography kit. If you already have a 24 to 70-mm lens, this makes a great choice for your second purchase. This is also a great option for someone going on a trip who wants to cover wide-angle and telephoto with just two lenses.

6. Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC Lens

Tamron AF 18-200mm F 3.5-6.3 Di-II VC All-in-One Zoom for Nikon APS-C Digital SLR
Tamron AF 18-200mm F 3.5-6.3 Di-II VC All-in-One Zoom for Nikon APS-C Digital SLR

Best Budget Nikon Zoom Lens

Bottom Line:

The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC lens is a great choice for anyone shooting on a budget. It’s a camera lens with a lot of flexibility, and few trade-offs, and can help you build up camera skills before you spend big bucks on a lens.

Pros:

  • DC Motor Gear Train AF Drive Module
  • VC Image Stabilization
  • Two Optical Elements
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction

Cons:

  • For DX cameras only

Why We Picked It

This is the best affordable Nikon zoom lens.

We’re going to let you in on one of photography/s most important secrets. The lens is the single most important piece of gear that you own. Yes, the lens is more important than the camera itself.

The best, most expensive camera in the world is still going to take terrible pictures if you stick a bad lens on it. That’s why we picked the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC lens as our budget option. You’ll get to save a lot of money when you buy this lens, but you won’t have to compromise on quality.

This lens has features that we typically only expect to see on high-end models. It’s got a moisture-resistant build, an autofocus motor with decent performance, and multiple optical elements to make sure that your shots come out clear.

The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC lens has also been built for crop sensor cameras. It will not work with full-frame cameras, but if you’re looking to save money a crop sensor camera is probably the way to go.

Who It’s For

The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC lens is one of the best Nikon DX zoom lenses. It’s the perfect choice for anyone shooting on a Nikon DX.

This is also the lens for people who want to save a little money. DX cameras are already more affordable than their full-frame counterparts and this lens will only help you save even more.

That makes it a perfect choice for students, beginners, and anyone else who wants to test out these photography waters before investing tons of money.

Students are going to be able to get some of the most value out of this lens. Whether you’re working on an art degree in college or you’re just starting to study photography, this lens will let you unlock a wide variety of styles without having to break the bank.

Working photographers can also pick up this lens to get a cheap emergency backup. the downsides of this lens can easily be compensated for if you’ve got the skills to pay the bills.

Budget lessons also have more utility than just their savings. Traveling with expensive photography gear can be risky. If you pack a few budget lenses in your kit, you can travel freely and not worry about losing ultra-expensive lenses.

If you pick up this lens from our list of the best Nikon DSLR zoom lenses, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

Conclusion – The Best Nikon Zoom Lens

Which of the best Nikon zoom lenses is the one that you’re adding to your photography bag?

The best Nikon zoom lens overall is the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens. It just has everything a photographer needs for the vast majority of photography styles. On the other hand, if you want access to most focal lengths and you want to save money, and you have a DX camera, you should pick up the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC lens. If you really want to go the distance, the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens is the best choice for super telephoto zoom photography.

Editor’s Choice
Best Overall
Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens
It’s a jack of all trades, It’s great for street and travel photography, weddings, events, and even for specialists like product photographers.

If you’re looking to find the best Nikon lenses for low light or you want to check out the competition like Sony and Canon, check out our other articles!

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AUTHOR
Hey there, my name is James and I am the creator and editor of this site. I have been photographing for the past 20 years and my mission is to simplify this misunderstood art of taking and processing photographs I love.

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