Guide to the 6 Best Nikon D100 Lenses

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: January 21, 2022
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Best Nikon D100 Lenses

If you already know the kind of lens you want, have a look at the best lenses for the Nikon D100 below.

Best Zoom Lenses for Nikon D100

The most affordable and practical zoom lens is the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G, one of the kit lenses for the Nikon D100. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G is not going to be covered as it is already with the camera.

Wide zooms are discussed further down the page.

Telephoto zoom lenses are great with the Nikon D100 for wildlife, sports, portraits, action, or anything involving subjects at a distance.

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G Kit Lens for Nikon D90
  • Fast and Quiet Autofocus
  • Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization for Superb Handheld Shots
  • Gives You a Massive Focal Length Range
  • Excellent Focal Length for Action Photography with the Nikon D100

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The primary attraction of the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G is the range the lens has used in combination with image stabilization. It's going to be a very good pick whenever you find it hard to move closer to what you would like to take a picture of. Like other zooms mentioned, the aperture of f/5.6 at the long end of the focal length range is a little small, better alternatives will cost a lot more.

You will not have to spend very much to get this lens. There are plenty of second-hand copies available for purchase as it was included with the Nikon D5500, D5600, and D3400 cameras.

The enormous zoom range of the lens is comprised of 17 elements in 11 groups. Two of the elements are extra-low dispersion and one is a high refractive index element to ensure sharp images.

It weighs in at 580g (18.7 oz), with dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 3.0 in. (76.5 mm) x 4.8 in. (123 mm). While not small, it can still easily be carried around on the camera or in your bag.

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G telephoto for Nikon D100
  • Excellent Value When Purchased Used
  • Silent Wave Motor for Accurate Autofocus
  • Very good for Wildlife, Sports, Action, & Portraits
  • 2 Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Lens Elements
  • (VR) Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization

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The Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5. 6G was regularly sold with the D3100, D3200, and D3300 dslrs. It is a excellent deal when purchased secondhand.

One in great cosmetic condition are available for less than half the price of a second hand Nikon 55-300mm.

The only downside of the 55-200mm is the loss of 100mm of reach. It still has VR image stabilization and to help you get sharp images when shooting hand-held.

One good thing about the lens is that hauling it around won't be an issue. It only weighs 335g (11.8 oz) with dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 2.9 in. (73.6 mm) x 3.9 in. (99.5 mm).

Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD

Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Super Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon D100
  • Ultra Silent Drive (USD) Autofocus Motor
  • Extra Low Dispersion (XLD) Glass Element
  • Broad-Band Anti-Reflection (BBAR) Lens Coating
  • 9 Aperture Blades for Beautiful Bokeh
  • Minimal focus distance 59.1"

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The Tamron 70-300mm is a good alternative if you want 300mm of reach, but don't want to pay as much for the 55-300mm from Nikon.

One big drawback is that there is no image stabilization. This will make it harder to get sharp images hand holding the lens.

Equivalent optical image stabilization is integrated in the Tamron as found in the Nikons. All of them have extra-low dispersion elements and anti-reflective lens coatings.

The lens weighs 16.1oz (458g). It has a length of 5.6" and diameter of 3.2".

Best Wide Angle Lenses

A wide angle lens is very useful for landscapes, astrophotography, architecture, group photos, real estate photography, and more.

One thing to watch out for is the wide angle causing strong distortion. Portraits can be difficult as noses or any body part close to the front of the lens will appear deformed.

A benefit of a wide angle is that image stabilization is much less critical. Small movements or vibrations are less likely to be noticeable in an image.

Having a large maximum aperture is beneficial for astrophotography. For the best images, you want at least a f/4, if not f/2.8 maximum aperture

Be careful when you go to get the lens. Tokina also makes versions that use a different lens mount like the Canon EF or Sony A mounts. Make sure the lens you order is compatible with the Nikon F-mount.

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 Wide Zoom for Nikon D100
  • Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM)
  • Ultra-wide angle lens
  • Internal Focus and Very Good Build Quality
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Built with Aspherical Elements that Reduce Distortion

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The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 falls into the same price range as the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. It has a larger zoom range, but a slightly smaller maximum aperture.

At 10mm the lens is going to produce a distorted perspective of anything close to the lens. You're likely going to spot distortion, which you can decrease via post-processing.

4 aspherical elements have been utilised in order to reduce aberrations and distortion. In total there are 13 lens elements in 10 groups to help create the best image quality possible.

All that glass doesn't make the lens too heavy, coming in at a weight of 520g (18.3 oz). Dimensions are diameter of 3.4" (87.3mm) and length of 3.5" (88.2mm).

Watch out if you are going to purchase this lens. Sigma also made versions of the lens for other DSLR lens mounts which includes, Pentax K, Sony A, and Canon EF mounts. Make sure the one you buy uses the Nikon F lens mount.

Best Telephoto Lenses

The 55-300mm & 55-200mm lenses reviewed in the zoom section are also the lenses to look for first if you need a telephoto lens.

This section will cover telephoto prime lenses for sports, action, wildlife, and portrait photography. There is no shortage of these lenses to choose from for the Nikon F-mount.

However, telephoto prime lenses tend to be expensive due to the amount of optics that need to be utilised. The weight of the lens and handling when mounted on a camera should be taken into account. The right lens the one that is easy to handle and use so you can capture memorable pictures.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G Portrait Lens for Nikon D100
  • Best Lens for Portraits
  • Internal Focus (IF)
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Superb Color Reproduction

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The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is one of the best Nikon lenses for professional photographers. It's a fast lens that delivers excellent images and pleasing bokeh, making it the best portrait lens for the Nikon D100.

The 85mm 1.8G is a full frame lens. You'll see two differences when comparing it against a DX lens.

First, full frame lenses are typically cost more when compared with DX lenses.

Additionally, the lens is larger than many DX lenses. While not a huge issue, if you plan to carry it around with another lens, you will definitely need a bag.

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

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G Prime Lens for Nikon D100
  • Excellent Lens with a Fast Aperture
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Small and Lightweight
  • Excellent Selection for Low Light Photography

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Taking the crop factor focal length multiplier into consideration, this lens could be considered a short telephoto. It's a cheap fast prime that can be utilized for portraits and indoor photography.

The FX 50mm f/1.8G provides more reach than the DX 35mm f/1.8G, while still having a comparable price.

There aren't huge differences between the lenses. With the 50mm, you'll get a bit more reach and have a less challenging time blurring the background.

It weighs 185g (6.6 oz) and has dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 2.83" x 2.01".

Best First Prime

Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G

Nikon DX 35mm f/1.8 G Best Prime for Nikon D100
  • Very Accurate Autofocus Performance
  • Takes Good Pictures in Difficult Lighting Situations
  • Excellent Nikon D100 lens for street photography
  • High Build Quality
  • Best option for an all around lens

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The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G is the best first prime lens to get for the Nikon D100.

A maximum aperture of f/1.8 means you will be able to isolate your subjects and create beautiful bokeh. When shooting indoors the lens is fast enough to where you will not need to make use of a flash.

With a 35mm equivalent field of view of 52.5 mm, you will have a "standard" field of view. Your photos will have a perspective that is comparable to what is seen by a human eye.

Weighing just 200g (7oz), you could always have this lens with you. With dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 2.8 in. (70 mm) x 2.1 in. (52.5 mm), you can easily keep it in a coat pocket or bag.

Macro Photography Best Nikon D100 Lenses

Macro photography starts with a reproduction ratio of 1:1. That 1:1 ratio can also be referred to as life size or 1X magnification.

Those terms all mean that the subject being photographed is the same size as the camera's sensor. Popular subjects are insects, coins, flowers, copy work and academic subjects.

There are alternative methods to attain macro magnification, such as extensions tubes. Personally, I find that a macro lens is easier to use and gives better results. That's because a macro lens has a large minimum focus distance.

As a quick note, Nikon branded their macros as Micro-Nikkor lenses. This is a source of misunderstanding as micro and macro have complete opposite meanings.

Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G

Nikkor Micro 40mm f/2.8 G Macro Photography Nikon D100
  • Close-Range Correction System (CRC)
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1X
  • Well Built with a Rubber Sealing Mount Protects Against Dust and Moisture
  • Fantastic choice for Close Ups

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The Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G is the best pick for beginning macro and close-up photography with the Nikon D100.

As far as macro lenses go, the lens is budget friendly. It also has a high-quality autofocus motor and uses modern optics.

This means the lens can also be used for general photography. That's not the case with older macros, as their image quality only becomes sharp after the aperture is stopped down.

The lens weighs 235g (8.3 oz) with dimensions (diameter x length) of 2.7 in. (68.5 mm) x 2.5 in. (64.5 mm).

Nikon AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR

Nikkor Micro 85mm f/3.5 Macro Lens for Nikon D100
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC) to reduce Chromatic Aberration
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1X
  • Built with Internal Focus (IF)
  • VR - Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization

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The most important benefit of the 85mm macro lens over the 40mm is a longer working distance. That's the distance from the front of the lens to the subject.

At 1X magnification, the front of the lens is to the subject. If you are wanting to photograph an insect, this may cause them to flee.

Another issue might be correctly lighting a subject. Based on the light source it may be really difficult to get it setup without the lens blocking it.

A downside is that a little bit more working distance contributes to the cost of the lens.

While not the foremost purpose of the lens, it can be used for portraits, but the f/3.5 maximum aperture probably won't produce the ideal background bokeh.

Lens Selection Criteria

  • The overall Image Quality
  • Price to Performance and Capabilities
  • Focal Length Range

Having a high-quality lens is of more value for image quality than a pricey camera. Lenses don't wear out, you will be able to keep your lenses if you ever decide to upgrade your Nikon D100.

That doesn't mean that price is not a factor. It would not make sense to recommend high priced lenses, even if they are the best quality.

All the most commonly employed focal lengths have been reviewed.

Niche or professional lenses such as perspective control, macro, mirror, and fisheye lenses have not been included. Those are costly enough to warrant a camera upgrade.

When to Upgrade Your Camera

The Nikon D100 was released in 2002. It should be come as no surprise that there are many Nikon D100 upgrade options available. One of the nice things is that you can still use the same lenses with a current camera, the majority with seamless compatibility.

Having access to different focal lengths, a fast prime, or a recently released lens will do more for you than a brand new camera. However, it is almost impossible to overlook the high resolution available from a newer APS-C camera body as well as fast continuous shooting speed and more white balance options.

The price of a second hand Nikon D100 replacement is a tiny proportion of the price when the camera was new. That same drop in price also applies to more recent camera models.

An upgrade that is perfect for the needs you have is most likely much less expensive than you would imagine if you're ready to sell your D100 camera shortly after you have the replacement.

Types of Lenses

Focal Lengths

  • Wide Angle - Captures a large angle of view of a scene. These have a short focal length.
  • Standard - Has a field of view that looks "natural" when viewed by people. Any focal length between 35mm to 50mm.
  • Telephoto - Lenses with a narrow field of view, very helpful for subjects that are far away or small. Wildlife photos are a popular use for this type of focal length.
  • Macro - Has the ability to take images close up to a subject at a 1:1 magnification ratio of subject to sensor size.
  • Fisheye - Ultra wide-angle lenses that produce distorted circular images.

Zoom vs Prime

  • Zoom - The focal length spans a range. The zoom range covered will be different, but brands are always trying to make more impressive zooms.
  • Prime - Lenses with a fixed focal length. Usually, they have larger apertures than zoom lenses. Larger apertures are better for low light condition and creating blurry backgrounds with a telephoto lens. Better ones will have razor sharp image clarity.

Compatible Lenses

Nikon F Mount

The D100 camera uses Nikon F-mount lenses. Nikon first used the F-mount in 1959. There are a number of variants of the lens mount as it has been altered over time to accommodate digital SLR cameras.

The first lenses with autofocus were designed to work with a focus motor built into camera bodies. The Nikon D100 is one of the only entry level DSLR cameras to a focus motor built into the camera body. As a result, autofocus will work with the first autofocus lenses.

The Nikon D100 doesn't have a EE servo coupling post or meter coupling ridge. Light metering can't work correctly for manual lenses without electrical contacts. AF lenses with physical aperture rings will most likely need to be stopped down to their smallest aperture.

Nikon D100 Kit Lens

The Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR was originally bundled with the Nikon D100. This was typically sold with pre-owned D100's for sale on eBay or Amazon.

It is one of the many dx nikkor lenses that have been bundled with cameras through the years. These make up the right lens selection for a majority of the probable needs of a Nikon D100 owner.

In difficult low light conditions using fill flash from the camera will help. Compatible lighting equipment like Nikon's creative lighting system is definitely helpful if you can find used flashes that are inexpensive enough.

If you don't have this lens, it is a great first choice for the camera. The focal length, inclusion of image stabilization, and performance is solid, especially considering the low-cost of a used copy. The one undesirable aspect is the f/5.6 aperture at the long end.

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