Are you looking for the best lenses for the Nikon D3200? You are in luck; this article covers that particular topic! We handpicked our favorite products by reviewing their focal length, aperture, and other features. Read on to know why they matter.
I know that the Nikon D3200 is not a new camera by any means, and some of its features are already outdated. But with the right lens and skills, you can still take high-quality images that capture the essence of any scene.
With that in mind, I researched various articles and user reviews to determine the 20 best lenses for the Nikon D3200. I then picked the top five products on the market to help narrow down your choices. Each product on this list includes an in-depth review, features, pros, and cons so that you can compare them side-by-side.
And if you are clueless about which specifications are essential, a detailed buying guide awaits you below.
Without any further ado, let us get right into it!
Is The Nikon D3200 Still a Good Camera?
If you already own a Nikon D3200, feel free to skip this section and jump into our top picks.
But those who are planning to buy a Nikon D3200 can continue reading this section to know if this particular camera model is still worth purchasing today.
The Nikon D3200 is an entry-level DSLR geared towards beginners and those who want to upgrade from a point-and-shoot camera. Although it was released in 2012, it still offers decent features that are beneficial until today.
It uses a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor to capture high-quality images in any lighting condition. When paired with the EXPEED 3 image-processing, this DSLR can shoot four frames per second in burst mode.
The D3200 can also record up to 1080p resolution video with manual exposure control, full-time autofocus, and stereo sound. There is even an option to choose from creative in-camera effects and scene modes, such as close up, portrait, landscape, and more.
Furthermore, it has an 11-point autofocus system. These AF points are considerably less compared to the latest models today, but they can still help you focus and track the subject in the frame.
Other noteworthy features include the easy-to-use LCD screen, ergonomic design, and portable build.
Finally, this DSLR offers Wi-Fi connectivity for convenient and instant file transfer to your phone.
However, it is important to know that there are also several downsides to this camera. It does not have 4K video, the fastest continuous shooting and autofocus, and other advanced features. Thus, it is not a suitable choice for action photographers and serious filmmakers.
With that said, the Nikon D3200 still offers impressive image quality for its price. It also provides a simplified user interface in a lightweight and compact package, making it ideal for beginners and hobbyists. Overall, it is one of the best cropped sensor cameras today.
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5 Best Lens for Nikon D3200
Below are our top recommendations for the best lenses for the Nikon D3200. Each includes an autofocus system to help you achieve sharp and in-focus photos.
1. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED – Best Walk-Around Lens for Nikon D3200
If you are looking for a lens that you can take with you on travels, consider getting the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED.
It features a versatile focal length ranging from 24 to 70mm, which is equivalent to 36 to 105mm on an APS-C camera like the Nikon D3200. This all-around lens can offer a wide-angle perspective to fit more elements in the frame, perfect for architecture, landscapes, and group photos. But it also brings distant subjects closer to capture details, suitable for portraits and wildlife photography.
Meanwhile, the lens aperture opens wide at f/2.8 to provide two significant benefits. First, it allows more light into the sensor, resulting in brighter images even in dark shooting conditions. The second advantage is a narrow depth of field for distinct background blur.
Furthermore, this zoom lens includes a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and internal focus (IF) mechanism. Both technologies ensure fast and near-silent autofocusing so that you can capture sharp photos.
On top of all these benefits, the NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8 has enhanced optic formulas with three extra-low dispersion (ED) glass. These produce exceptional color and contrast for rendering high-quality results.
As for the reviews for this product, most of them were positive. However, some users noticed softness on the corners of their photos. It also lacks a built-in image stabilizer, which is a letdown for its pretty steep cost.
Nevertheless, we think the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED is worth the cost. It is our top choice as the best walk-around lens for the Nikon D3200.
- Versatile zoom range suitable for different kinds of photography
- Great in low-light situations
- Large maximum aperture offers shallow depth of field
- Fast and quiet autofocus performance
- Weather-sealed lens can be used in inclement weather conditions
- Quite expensive
- Lack of Vibration Reduction (VR) technology
- Soft focus on the corners of the photo
2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G – Best Portrait Lens for Nikon D3200
Besides a walk-around lens, we think every photographer should also have a nifty-fifty lens, like the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G, on their camera bag.
Its fixed focal length of 50mm (75mm equivalent) provides a natural perspective without noticeable distortion. It is suitable for portraiture and general photography, where it is important to retain the subject’s shape or size.
This prime lens also features a maximum aperture of f/1.8 that lets more light hit the sensor. It delivers brighter images, even when you are shooting in low-light situations. Plus, it can create a shallow depth of field to make the subject stand out from the background.
What’s more, a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) offers fast, accurate, and quiet autofocus. It helps you lock in and track the subject wherever it goes to ensure sharpness across the frame.
Finally, this prime lens is compact and lightweight so that you can bring it anywhere with you.
Most customer reviews for this prime lens were positive, with many praising its value for money. However, it also lacks Vibration Reduction technology. Some users even said that it produces slight chromatic aberration when shooting wide open.
The pros outweigh the cons, though.
For this reason, we include the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G on our list of the best prime lenses for the Nikon D3200. We highly recommend it to portrait photographers.
- Natural perspective without distortion
- Impressive low-light performance
- Stunning bokeh for portraiture
- Fast and accurate autofocus
- Compact and lightweight build
- Lack of Vibration Reduction (VR) to reduce camera shake
- Plastic build may feel cheap
- A few users noticed chromatic aberration when shooting wide open
3. Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM – Best Telephoto Lens for Nikon D3200
Do you want to capture subjects from afar? The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM might meet your needs.
This super-telephoto zoom lens has a long zoom range of 150-600mm (225-750mm) that brings distant subjects up close. So whether you want to capture an athlete from the stadium or a wild animal from the safety of your car, it can deliver sharp results.
Meanwhile, the variable maximum aperture of f/5-6.3 is not the largest or fastest on the market. It will require a lot of light into the sensor, which negatively affects low-light performance. However, it can still create distinct background blur to make subjects stand out.
Moreover, a built-in Optical Stabilizer (OS) with an accelerometer helps correct camera shake when shooting handheld or at slower shutter speeds. Similar to Nikon’s Vibration Reduction technology, it enables smooth panning both vertically and horizontally.
There is even an optimized and quiet autofocus system, owing to the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM).
Finally, the telephoto zoom lens itself has a dustproof and splash-proof build. It ensures durability when shooting outdoors.
However, like most telephoto lenses, this Sigma model is extremely bulky and heavy. Some users also said that autofocus is slow, causing blurry photos when capturing fast-moving subjects.
With that said, we think the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 is pretty hard to beat, especially for the features it offers at less than $1000. It is our top choice for the best telephoto zoom lens for the Nikon D3200.
- Super-telephoto lens captures subjects in very far distances
- Optical Stabilizer (OS) corrects camera shake when panning
- Relatively quiet and accurate autofocus
- Dustproof and splashproof lens
- Value for money
- Bulky and heavy lens
- The aperture not wide enough for low-light situations
- Slow autofocus performance may not be ideal for professional sports photographers
4. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED – Best Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon D3200
If you are into architectural or landscape photography, you might want to get a wide-angle lens like the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED.
It offers a wide perspective of 20mm, equivalent to 30mm on the Nikon D3200, that captures more of the scene in front of you. Thus, it enables you to fit more elements into the frame, ideal for taking photos of architecture, landscapes, and groups of people.
This wide-angle lens also features a maximum aperture of f/1.8. It allows more light to enter the sensor, resulting in brighter results. Plus, it delivers a shallow depth of field to separate the subject from the background.
This Nikon camera lens even comes with a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) to further improve image quality. This technology provides accurate, smooth, and quiet autofocus performance to prevent blurry or out-of-focus shots.
Despite all these features, some users were disappointed that this lens is not as sharp as they expected. A few also said that comatic aberrations are visible at the widest aperture.
Nevertheless, the NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED is still among the best wide-angle lenses for the Nikon D3200.
- Ultra-wide perspective captures more of the scene in front of you
- Shallow depth of field
- Reliable low-light performance
- Smooth and near-silent autofocus
- Some users said the lens is not as sharp
- A few noticed comatic aberrations when shooting at the widest aperture
5. Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G – Best Macro Lens for Nikon D3200
For those who want to take photos of small subjects in accurate detail, consider getting the Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G.
It features a 40mm focal length (equivalent to 60mm in the Nikon D3200) that offers a 1:1 maximum reproduction ratio. When paired with a close focusing distance of 0.53 ft, this is the only lens in our list that can capture a subject at its same size in real life. That means it can reproduce accurate detail, ideal for close-ups, macro photography, and even product photography.
Meanwhile, the maximum aperture of f/2.8 creates a distinct background blur to bring attention to the subject. It also helps deliver brighter images, even in low-light situations.
Furthermore, the built-in Silent Wave Motor (SWM) offers accurate and near-silent autofocusing performance. It even enables full-time manual focusing for complete control over the lens.
Finally, the Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8 is relatively lightweight, compact, and affordable. It is one of the best macro lenses for the Nikon D3200.
However, before buying this lens, you should know that it lacks image stabilization. Also, its fixed focal length requires you to physically get closer to your subject. What’s more, the autofocus does not lock instantly for capturing insects and other fast-moving subjects.
- 1:1 reproduction ratio suitable for close-up and macro photography
- Great in low-light situations
- Stunning bokeh to make the subject stand out
- Silent Wave Motor offers quiet autofocus and full-time manual focus control
- Compact and lightweight lens
- Loud image stabilization
- Focal length might not be long enough for a small subject
- AF system is not fast enough for capturing fast-moving subjects
How to Choose the Best Lens for Nikon D3200
When shopping for the best lens for the Nikon D3200, you need to learn about the following considerations to ensure that your chosen product meets your needs.
The focal length of the lens determines how much of the scene your camera can capture.
If you want to photograph vast expanses or groups of people, you should get a wide-angle lens. It has a focal length of less than 35mm that enables you to fit more elements in the frame.
Those who are into wildlife or sports photography should invest in a telephoto lens. It features a focal length of more than 75mm to help bring distant subjects closer.
Finally, if you often take portraits or travel photos, you can use a standard lens. This lens type has a focal length of 35-75mm that provides a natural perspective without distortion.
You should also consider the maximum aperture of the lens. It controls how much light hits the camera’s sensor and how much of the subject is in focus, hence affecting the overall image quality. It is measured by f-stops or f-numbers.
The smaller the f-stop, the larger the opening of the lens. That results in better low-light performance and a shallower depth of field.
So if you want to ensure high-quality images in low-light, it is best to invest in a lens with a large maximum aperture like f/1.8 or f/2.8.
The Nikon D3200 does not have in-body image stabilization, resulting in blurry photos during handheld shooting.
To compensate for this, you may want to buy a lens with built-in optical stabilization. It can help correct camera shake by several stops. Thus, you can shoot handheld or at slower shutter speeds while ensuring sharpness across the frame.
This factor is often overlooked when buying the best lens for the Nikon D3200. However, it is essential to consider the weight of the lens before purchasing it. No one wants to carry bulky lenses, especially if you are traveling a lot.
So if you intend to travel or go handheld shooting, make sure the lens is lightweight and compact enough. The lighter load means that it is easy to carry and pack, regardless of the kind of photography you do.
High-quality lenses with advanced optics are often expensive. They deliver professional-grade results, which usually makes them worth the money. However, not everyone can—or wants to—buy them.
Fortunately, if you are on a budget, you can still find lenses with an impressive performance at a lower price.
Thus, you do not have to go with an expensive glass all the time. It is best to research the available lenses on the market before buying one. Who knows, you might discover a lens that offers excellent value for the money.
Finally, you should consider buying a lens for the Nikon D3200 that is covered by a warranty. This guarantee allows you to ask for a refund or repaid if the lens stops working within the specified period.
Frequently Asked Questions
What lens mount works with the Nikon D3200?
Like all Nikon DSLRs, the D3200 has a Nikon F-type mount. So when shopping for a lens for the Nikon D3200, you should look for one with this particular mount. It will ensure that the lens will fit the camera and function well.
You can also attach a lens with a different mount on the Nikon D3200 by using an adapter. However, depending on the type of mount, it can affect overall image quality. For this reason, we still recommend using a native lens instead of using an adapter.
Is the Nikon D3200 compatible with FX lenses?
Yes, FX-format (full-frame) lenses can fit the Nikon D3200 despite having a crop sensor. However, they can be quite expensive and bulky.
Thus, it is still worth checking out DX-format (crop-sensor) lenses for their more compact size and lower price.
With that said, if you are planning to upgrade to a full-frame camera soon, then it is probably best to invest in FX-format lenses. Yes, they can be more expensive upfront, but they can save you money in the long run. Learn more about the difference between FX and DX in Nikon lenses.
Will I get a crop factor when I attach a lens to the Nikon D3200?
The Nikon D3200 features an APS-C sensor which offers a 1.5x crop factor no matter which lens you attach. For instance, a 50mm focal length is equivalent to 75mm.
It is best to consider this factor when shopping for the best lens for the Nikon D3200. No one wants to buy a lens with a longer focal length than they intend to use.
There you have it—the best lenses for the Nikon D3200! Each of our recommended picks is among the top lenses in their respective categories.
But if we can only suggest one, it would be the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED. It features a variable focal length that is equivalent to 36 to 105mm on the Nikon D3200. It is suitable for most kinds of photography, including landscapes, portraits, and travel. Moreover, it offers fast and near-silent autofocus as well as weather sealing to ensure sharp photos and durability.