Best Nikon Lenses

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Nikon is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cameras and lenses. They have been in business for almost 100 years, thanks to superior craftsmanship in their products. Some Nikon lenses are also referred to as Nikkors. Nikkor is a special brand within Nikon that has been manufacturing their very best lenses since the 1930s. As the company has grown, so has their reputation for quality, and today the majority of lenses manufactured by Nikon bear the distinct Nikkor name. There are a lot of lenses available for Nikon SLR cameras but here are the very best ones.

Best Nikon Zoom Lens:

Zoom lenses are the most popular lenses for DSLRs because of their versatility. While prime lenses are fixed, zoom lenses can bring the subject in closer. While technology has allowed zoom lenses to have similar image quality when compared prime lenses, zooms are bulkier, slower and more expensive. Nikon's zoom lenses come in a wide variety of ranges, some have short ranges while other lenses are versatile enough to offer both wide angle and telephoto in one lens. These five lenses were selected for their zoom range, aperture range, autofocus speed and features. As always, before you buy, check the compatibility with your particular camera model. Here are the best Nikon-compatible zoom lenses.

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

If you are looking for one, all-purpose lens, this is it. While it's great to have a few different lenses for different purposes, there isn't always time to switch lenses. With versatility from wide angle to telephoto, the Nikkor 28-300 mm zoom lens is an excellent option for events and sports. Read Full Review

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

    Nikon 24-70mm Nikkor Zoom Lens ED AF-S

    The Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 is a fast mid-range zoom that's compatible with both entry level and full frame Nikon cameras. The silent operation, quick autofocus and rugged build makes this a top option for zoom lenses. Read Full Review

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      Nikon 24-70mm Nikkor Zoom Lens ED AF-S

      Nikon Nikkor 18-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens

      Nikon's Nikkor 18-200 mm AF-S is truly a versatile lens, making it great for a variety of different scenarios, particularly when there's no time to swap lenses. The lens can handle wide angle, telephoto and even close-ups up to 20 inches away. Read Full Review

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        Nikon Nikkor 18-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens

        Nikon 16-85mm AF-S DX ED VR NIKKOR Lens

        Mid-range zooms are great lenses to have on hand and this Nikkor lens is top quality. Full of features like vibration reduction and a quick yet quiet autofocus motor, this is an excellent lens. Read Full Review

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          Nikon 16-85mm AF-S DX ED VR NIKKOR Lens

          Nikon Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Telephoto Zoom Lens

          Bring your subject up close with the 70-200 mm Nikkor lens. The lens is full of features and offers quiet operation, a fast aperture and a focus mode switch. Read Full Review

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            Nikon Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Telephoto Zoom Lens

            Best Budget Nikon Zoom Lens:

            Because of their versatility, zoom lenses can get quite expensivehigh end telephotos can cost as much as a small car. But, there are a few nice zoom lenses out there that won't break the budget. These lenses were selected because they are all priced under $850, yet they still have a significant zoom range and vibration reduction. The trade-off for the smaller price tag is often speed, but when the ultimate consideration is budget and zoom, these lenses are great options. As with any lens, make sure it's compatible with your current cameramost of these are DX format lenses which can be compatible with full frame cameras, but introduce a crop factor and lower the resolution.

            Nikon 55-200mm AF-S DX VR IF-ED Zoom-Nikkor Lens

            Nikon's 55-200mm AF-S DX VR zoom lens is a budget lens that doesn't make serious sacrifices. For the price, this lens is a nice mid-range zoom with image stabilization and special lens coatings. Read Full Review

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              Nikon 55-200mm AF-S DX VR IF-ED Zoom-Nikkor Lens

              Nikon 70-300mm ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor

              Telephoto zooms are among the most expensive, but this lens reaches a nice 300mm zoom without overreaching the budget. For the price, you still get vibration reduction, internal focusing, a silent motor and Nikon quality. Read Full Review

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                Nikon 70-300mm ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor

                Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens

                This lens cuts cost by forgoing the internal focusing, but is still an excellent option for the price. With a 55-300mm zoom range and image stabilization, this is an excellent telephoto zoom for the DX format photographer on a budget. Read Full Review

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                  Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens

                  Nikon Nikkor 18-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens

                  Cutting costs cuts features, and while this model rests at the very top of our price range, it's reflected in the lens' features. With internal focusing, image stabilization and telephoto to wide angle versatility, this is an excellent lens with a fair price. Read Full Review

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                    Nikon Nikkor 18-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens

                    Nikon 16-85mm AF-S DX ED VR NIKKOR Lens

                    Mid-range zooms are great lenses to have on hand and this Nikkor lens is top quality. Full of features like vibration reduction and a quick yet quiet autofocus motor, this is an excellent lens. Read Full Review

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                      Nikon 16-85mm AF-S DX ED VR NIKKOR Lens

                      Best Nikon Telephoto Lens:

                      Telephoto lenses are generally the most expensive, but have the unique ability to bring subjects in close. But, there are hundreds of options out there, so which option is the best one? Finding the best telephoto lens is about finding the right balance between zoom range, speed or maximum aperture, price and features like image stabilization. Vibration Reduction (Nikon's term for image stabilization) is essential for zoom lengths at or over 200mm. These five lenses were selected for their zoom and aperture capabilities as well as extra features when compared to other similarly priced lenses.

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

                      Telephoto lenses offer the versatility to capture that shot even if you aren't close to the subject. This lens is covers a wide range of focal lengths, so there's often no need to switch lenses. With a 28-300mm range, this lens covers both wide angle and telephoto shots. Read Full Review

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

                        Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II Telephoto Lens

                        It's difficult to find both speed and distance in a lens, but the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f2.0 has both. While this lens has a large price tag, its performance is excellent and worthy of being included in a professional gear bag. Read Full Review

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                           Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II Telephoto Lens

                          Nikon Telephoto AF DC Nikkor 105mm f/2.0D Autofocus Lens

                          Lightweight and relatively inexpensive, this lens doesn't sacrifice on speed. With a f2.0 maximum aperture and defocus control, this is the perfect lens for creating a beautiful bokeh effect. Read Full Review

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                            Nikon Telephoto AF DC Nikkor 105mm f/2.0D Autofocus Lens

                            Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom Lens for Nikon

                            Tamron's newly released 70-200mm telephoto lens with image stabilization produces excellent results when paired with a Nikon DSLR. The fast 2.8 aperture allows for better low light images, plus the lens is less expensive than Nikon-brand lenses with similar specs. Read Full Review

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                              Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom Lens for Nikon

                              Nikon NIKKOR AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Telephoto Zoom Lens

                              The best lenses with a 200mm zoom range are equipped with a solid image stabilization system, but that can get quite pricey. This Nikkor lens is nicely balance between price, focal range, speed and features. Read Full Review

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                                Nikon NIKKOR AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Telephoto Zoom Lens

                                Best Budget Nikon Telephoto Lens:

                                Extreme telephoto lenses can cost as much as a small car, but for most photographers, a smaller, more budget friendly lens will meet most of their telephoto needs. Nikon makes a few budget friendly options, but going with an off brand like Sigma or Tamron can sometimes get you more features for the price. The best budget telephoto lenses should still have vibration reduction for anything above 100mm, but should have other features as well. These five lenses were selected because they have either a wide zoom range or a wide aperture as well as other features like quiet operation. In addition, all these options sit around or under $500.

                                Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens

                                This Nikon 55-300mm telephoto lens is a popular option for its price and features. With vibration reduction, a wide zoom range and features like a High Refractive Index, this lens is an excellent option for under $500. Read Full Review

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                                  Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens

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

                                  By switching from a zoom to a fixed lens, you can get much more speed for the price. This 85mm short range telephoto has excellent speed for the price, making it a nice option for low light shots or creating a strong depth of field. Read Full Review

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

                                    Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Autofocus Lens for Nikon AF-D

                                    The Sigma brand cuts about $100 from the price of Nikon's similar lens. This lens is a bit heavier and has a larger minimum focusing distance, but still includes the features like a nine-blade aperture that results in the solid image quality. Read Full Review

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                                      Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Autofocus Lens for Nikon AF-D

                                      Nikon Normal-Telephoto 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Autofocus Lens

                                      This Nikon 55-200mm mid-range zoom is a popular option to adding distance to the basic kit lens. With vibration reduction and easy operation, this lens is a nice option for beginners to even professionals. Read Full Review

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                                        Nikon Normal-Telephoto 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Autofocus Lens

                                        Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon

                                        Multiple purpose lenses can help make a gear budget go farthernot to mention eliminate the need to switch lenses for different shots. This lens has both telephoto and wide angle capabilities, yet as a Sigma still stands at a nice price. Read Full Review

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                                          Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon

                                          Best Nikon Prime Lens:

                                          Zoom lenses offer great versatility but they are also bulky and expensive. Fixed lenses offer faster speeds without the big price tag. With the lower apertures, fixed lenses are great for portraits and low light photography. Plus, with their compact size, fixed lenses are also great for when space is at a minimum. These five fixes lenses are best for their low apertures, compact size, extra features and performance.

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

                                          A fast lens for Nikon's DX DSLRs, this lens has an excellent bokeh and performs well in low light. Nikon has used all their perks like quiet operation and special lens coatings, plus this lens only weighs 6.6 ounces. Read Full Review

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

                                            Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AF-S Standard Lens

                                            With a f1.4 minimum aperture, this lens is the perfect companion for achieving a soft bokeh effect with a full frame DSLR. And speed isn't the only nice perkthis lens is also compact and measures only about two inches long. Read Full Review

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                                              Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AF-S Standard Lens

                                              Nikon AF-S Nikkor f1.4 85mm Portrait Lens

                                              Portrait photographers will love this lens' wide open aperture for soft, defocused backgrounds yet crisp, detailed subjects. Expect great results when people are your main subjects. Read Full Review

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                                                Nikon AF-S Nikkor f1.4 85mm Portrait Lens

                                                Nikon Telephoto AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF Autofocus Lens

                                                For fast telephoto on a budget, fixed lenses are a good optionzoom lenses would cost three times as much for the f1.4 speed. The 85mm range isn't the best out there, but it will draw your subject in close while still offering plenty of speed for the price. Read Full Review

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                                                  Nikon Telephoto AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF Autofocus Lens

                                                  Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Lens

                                                  Architectural distortion? Not a problem with the tilt function on this 45mm fixed lens. An excellent companion for architectural photographers, this lens offers top-of-the-line features. Read Full Review

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                                                    Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Lens

                                                    Best Nikon Wide-angle Lens:

                                                    A 50mm lens has the closest resemblance to the angle of view of the human eyeany lens less than 50mm is considered a wide angle. But since these lenses have wider angles than the eye, distortion is more likely. These five lenses were selected because they include elements to reduce distortion. But along with reducing distortion, these lenses are also fast and versatile.

                                                    Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens

                                                    Fast and super wide, this Nikon lens is an excellent choice for images with edge to edge sharpness. The zoom capability means the composition can be adjusted quickly, compared to fixed lenses. Read Full Review

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                                                      Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens

                                                      Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G Wide-Angle Lens

                                                      With a fast aperture and wide angle, this full frame compatible lens is an excellent option. The top of the line design elements keeps the entire image sharp, even at the edges. Read Full Review

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                                                        Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G Wide-Angle Lens

                                                        Nikon 24mm f/1.4G ED AF-S RF SWM Prime Wide-Angle Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

                                                        This fast fixed lens offers a wide angle view with minimal distortion. Nikon has used ten different coatings, elements and other design elements to help achieve sharp images despite the wide angle. Read Full Review

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                                                          Nikon 24mm f/1.4G ED AF-S RF SWM Prime Wide-Angle Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

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

                                                          With an extreme wide angle but an average f3.5 aperture, the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor Lens offers low distortion wide angle images at a nicer price than the faster $2,000 options. The lens also has close focusing capabilities and can double as a macro-style lens. Read Full Review

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

                                                            Nikon 17-55mm ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens

                                                            This f2.8 lens is still fast, but comes in at a nicer price than the f1.4 lenses and still includes the same Nikon elements designed to reduce wide angle distortion. With internal focus, the length of the lens stays the same as the lens focuses, and with Nikon's Silent Wave Motor, the focus isn't loud. Read Full Review

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                                                              Nikon 17-55mm ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens

                                                              Best Budget Nikon Wide-angle Lens:

                                                              Because wide-angle lenses are prone to distortion, the best ones are usually quite pricey. And while $1,000 will get you a better lens than $500 will, there are some nice wide angle lenses for under $500. When buying a budget lens, pay particular attention to the compatible camera bodiesfor example, the Nikon-brand lenses on this list are AF, which means the autofocus feature isn't compatible with some newer bodies. Still, there are some nice wide-angle lenses that you don't have to spend a fortune on. These five lenses were chosen because they are all under $500, but still offer fast apertures or wide zoom ranges as well as features to help minimize distortion.

                                                              Nikon 28mm AF Nikkor Lens

                                                              A good way to make your money go farther on your camera equipment is to pick up lenses that have more than one purpose. This Nikon-brand lens is a wide angle fixed lens, but with a minimum focusing distance of nine inches, it also doubles as a macro lens. For less than $300, this lens is an exceptional value. Read Full Review

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                                                                Nikon 28mm AF Nikkor Lens

                                                                Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro Large Aperture Wide Angle Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras

                                                                This Sigma lens comes in at a nice price without sacrificing on features like internal focus and a fast f1.8 aperture. The minimum focus distance also allows this lens to double as a macro lens. Read Full Review

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                                                                  Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro Large Aperture Wide Angle Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras

                                                                  Sigma 10-20mm EX DC HSM Lens For Nikon

                                                                  When the budget is low, Sigma is an excellent manufacturer to consider. This zoom lens allows for easier adjustment of the shot over a fixed lens, but the trade-off is a narrower aperture. Read Full Review

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                                                                    Sigma 10-20mm EX DC HSM Lens For Nikon

                                                                    Rokinon 14mm F/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Lens for Nikon

                                                                    Compatible with both full frame and ASP-C Nikon bodies, this Rokinon brand lens can be used for basic close-ups as well as wide-angle landscape and interior shots. With extra features like a built in lens hood and focus confirm chip, this wide-angle lens is an excellent option for the price. Read Full Review

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                                                                      Rokinon 14mm F/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Lens for Nikon

                                                                      Nikon 35mm f/2.0D AF Lens

                                                                      A popular travel photography lens, this lightweight lens from Nikon has a nice wide angle and low aperture capabilities. Weighing in at less than 8 ounces, this is an excellent wide angle for traveling light. Read Full Review

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                                                                        Nikon 35mm f/2.0D AF Lens

                                                                        Best Nikon Fisheye Lens:

                                                                        Fisheye lenses purposely distort images by using an angle wider than what the human eye can see. These lenses distort perspective by making images close to the camera look larger than they appear and objects that are farther away look smaller. Some fisheye lens allow the camera to capture a 180 degree view. The fisheye lenses for Nikon cameras chosen for this list because they are at or less than 16mm, have a wide aperture and offer either a 180 degree view or a low minimum focusing distance. These are the very best fisheye lenses compatible with Nikon DSLRs.

                                                                        Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye Nikkor Lens

                                                                        With both a short minimum focusing distance and a 180 degree wide angle view, this 10.5mm Nikkor is an excellent option for a fisheye lens. Plus, with the 10.8mm, it's not too much of an extreme look. Read Full Review

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                                                                          Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye Nikkor Lens

                                                                          Nikon 16mm f/2.8D AF Fisheye Nikkor Lens

                                                                          Fisheye lenses have a distorted look that's not for everyone, but this 16mm is the least extreme among comparable lenses. It's also equipped with a fast aperture, a short minimum focusing distance and a close range correction system. Read Full Review

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                                                                            Nikon 16mm f/2.8D AF Fisheye Nikkor Lens

                                                                            Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Fisheye Lens for Nikon Digital Cameras

                                                                            This Sigma features both a 180 degree wide angle view as well as extreme close-up capabilities. And for the filter lovers out there, a special holder at the back of the lens still allows for the use of colored gelatin, since the design of fisheyes doesn't allow for a front filter. Read Full Review

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                                                                              Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Fisheye Lens for Nikon Digital Cameras

                                                                              Rokinon FE8M-N 8mm F3.5 Fisheye Lens for Nikon

                                                                              The Rokinon 8mm fisheye is a good deal for those looking for that exaggerated distortion that these lenses are known for. The ultra wide angle and price make this an option worth looking at. Read Full Review

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                                                                                Rokinon FE8M-N 8mm F3.5 Fisheye Lens for Nikon

                                                                                Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ATX Pro DX Fisheye Lens

                                                                                By moving from a prime to a zoom lens, you can get both an ultra wide angle and a fisheye in one unit. With a 180 degree field of view at the maximum, this lens has a bit more versatility than the other options. The versatility, however, comes with a bit slower speed for similarly priced prime lenses. Read Full Review

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                                                                                  Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ATX Pro DX Fisheye Lens

                                                                                  Best Nikon Macro Lens:

                                                                                  Ever try to take a close-up and have the camera refuse to focus? The problem isn't the camera, the problem is in the lens. Camera lenses can only focus at a certain distance. Macro lenses have small minimum focus distances, so the camera can still focus even when the subject is up close. A good macro lens should have a minimum focus distance of less than 12 inches. These lenses were chosen because they all have minimum focus distances of under a foot, but they also feature a 1:1 reproduction ratio. The best macro lenses will also have a wide aperture to create a soft, defocused background. Here are the very best macro lenses for Nikon camera bodies.

                                                                                  Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor Lens

                                                                                  Fixed lenses make an excellent, inexpensive yet fast choice for macro photography. The Nikon 40mm f2.8G AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor Lens is fast, compact and, since it focuses as close as 6.4 inches, best for macro photography. Read Full Review

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                                                                                    Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor Lens

                                                                                    Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD Lens for Nikon

                                                                                    When putting a bit more distance between the camera and macro subject is necessary, this Tamron 90mm is an excellent option. Tamron has included all of the features that are beneficial to a macro lens, including vibration reduction and internal focus. Read Full Review

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                                                                                      Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD Lens for Nikon

                                                                                      Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Lens

                                                                                      The low minimum focusing distance on this lens makes it an excellent choice for macro shots, but the 60m range and fast aperture also makes it a versatile lens. This Nikkor uses a Close Range Correction system for sharply focused shots, even at close ranges. Read Full Review

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                                                                                        Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Lens

                                                                                        Nikon 85mm f/3.5G AF-S DX ED VR Micro Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

                                                                                        Packed full of features like internal focus and vibration reduction, this 85mm will perform when put to the test in macro photography. The extra features do come with a bit higher minimum f-stop, but this lens is still an excellent option. Read Full Review

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                                                                                          Nikon 85mm f/3.5G AF-S DX ED VR Micro Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

                                                                                          Sigma 70mm EX DG Lens for Nikon

                                                                                          Sigma's 70mm Macro lens is a solid telephoto with an excellent price. With a 10 inch minimum focusing distance and the 70mm focal length, macro shots will be a breeze. Read Full Review

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                                                                                            Sigma 70mm EX DG Lens for Nikon
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