Compatible Nikon D3200 Lenses

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 8, 2019
Outside the Shot participates in affiliate advertising programs. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links on this site. I may also earn commissions from links to other online retailers. You can see the full disclosure here.
Best Nikon D3200 Lenses

If you don't want to read, you can check out the best options for each category below.

Lens Selection Criteria

  • Output Quality
  • Pricing
  • Range of Focal Lengths

Working with a good quality lens is far more important for picture quality than a brand new camera. Lenses don't require replacing, you will have the ability to hold on to them through camera upgrades.

That should not necessarily mean that cost is not a factor. It does not seem sensible to suggest thousand dollar lenses, even if they are outstanding.

Each of the frequently used focal lengths are included.

Professional or specialized lenses such as perspective control, specialist macro, fish eye, and mirror lenses have not been listed. Those are better suited to individuals with money to burn.

When to Upgrade Your Camera

You should have more than one lens before you mull over changing cameras. Upgrading your camera, but not replacing the kit lens, is not going to lead to a big difference in your images.

Using different focal lengths will have a bigger impact on your photography than a new camera.

The Nikon D3200 was introduced in 2012. The camera is still able to take great pictures.

However, the cost of a used D3200 is a small part of the cost when the camera was released. A similar decline in price also applies to more recent DSLRs.

An upgrade is likely less expensive than you assume if you are ready to sell your current camera after you replace it. A few choices that are great value for the cost when acquired pre-owned are:

Types of Lenses

Focal Lengths

  • Wide Angle - Captures a large angle of view of a scene.
  • Standard - Has a field of view that looks "natural" when viewed by people.
  • Telephoto - Lenses with a narrow field of view, useful for subjects that are far away or small.
  • 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 Lens vs Prime Lens

  • Zoom - The focal length of the lens can be changed.
  • Prime - Lenses with a fixed focal length. Usually have larger apertures than zoom lenses. Larger apertures are better for low light and creating blurry backgrounds.

Compatible Lenses

Nikon F Lens Mount

The D3200 uses Nikon F-mount lenses. The F-mount has been around since 1959. There are several different lens variations.

Early autofocus lenses relied on a motor drive built into camera bodies. The D3200 does not have a motor drive. As a result, autofocus will not work with those lenses.

For more information, you can see the Nikon F-mount lens and camera compatibility page.

Nikon D3200 Kits Lens

The Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR was the kit lens originally included with the D3200. This is the lens most commonly bundled with used D3200's for sale on eBay or Amazon.

If you don't have this lens, it is an excellent first choice for the camera. The focal length and performance is good, especially considering the low price of a used copy of the lens.

Best Zoom Lenses

The most useful and affordable zoom lens is the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G D3200 kit lens. That lens is going to be excluded as most people likely already own it.

Wide zooms are covered in the section on wide angle lenses.

What's left are telephoto zoom lenses. These are great for wildlife, sport, action, portraits, and any subject that is far away.

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

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G Lens
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for Fast and Quite Autofocus
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) for Handheld Shots
  • 2 Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Elements
  • 1 High Refractive Index (HRI) Lens Element
  • 17 Lens Elements in 11 Groups

The Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G lens is desirable because of its reach. Whenever you find yourself limited by how close you can get to the subject, this would be an excellent lens to have.

What's nice is that you won't have to spend very much money to get a copy of the lens. It was the second kit lens included with the Nikon D5600, D5500, and D3400. As such, there are many used copies available that are still in excellent condition.

The lens is made up 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.

The lens weighs 580g (18.7 oz). The dimensions are (Diameter x Length) 3.0 in. (76.5 mm) x 4.8 in. (123 mm). While not small enough to be carrier in a pocket, the lens will easily fit in a bag.

Check current prices at Amazon, eBay, or read more reviews.

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

Nikon 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G lens
  • Excellent Value When Purchased Used
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for Accurate Autofocus
  • Great for Wildlife, Sports, & Portraits
  • 2 Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Lens Elements
  • Vibrations Reduction (VR)
  • 15 Lens Elements in 11 Groups

The Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G is another kit lens. It was sold as the second kit lens with the D3200, D3100, and D3300. It is a amazing deal when purchased used.

To put it into perspective, a copy in almost new condition can be purchased for less than half of what a used 55-300mm lens costs.

You aren't missing out on any optical tech as the lens has VR and ED lens elements. You'll be able to get sharp images even when hand holding the lens.

The only drawback of the 55-200mm compared to the 55-300mm is the 100mm less reach. If you are going to be shooting wildlife or sports, that difference could be worth paying the extra money for.

The lens weighs 335g (11.8 oz). Dimensions are (Diameter x Length) 2.9 in. (73.6 mm) x 3.9 in. (99.5 mm). It will be easier to carry around than the 55-300mm.

Check current prices at Amazon, eBay, or read more reviews.

Best Wide Angle Lenses

Wide angle lenses are useful for landscapes, real estate, astrophotography, architecture, group photos, event photography, and more.

They have a wide field of view. This is useful for capturing images where backing up isn't an option, such as the inside of a room.

One thing to watch out for is the ability of wide angle lenses to distort an image. Portraits can be an issue as noses or any body part close to the lens will appear abnormally large.

One choice that would be good if it was compatible is the Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens. Unfortunately, it will not work on the D3200. You need a Nikon D3300 or later model to use that lens.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
  • 2 Aspheric and 2 Super-Low Dispersion Lens Elements
  • Fast f/2.8 Maximum Aperture
  • 77mm Front Filter Threads
  • Focus Clutch Style M/A Selector
  • 13 Elements in 11 Groups

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is fast and sharp. With a large aperture, this lens is a good choice for astrophotography.

One quirk of the lens is the focus clutch that controls changing between manual and auto focus. To switch focus, the entire focus ring is either pushed forward or pulled back.

I personally like the focus clutch because you do not need to look at the lens to find the switch. There are others out there, that prefer a standard switch.

The lens does have a built-in autofocus motor, but it is loud. This can be a problem if you need quiet operation for an event or for shooting video.

In terms of size, the lens is fairly large. It weighs 550g (1.21 lbs) with dimensions of 4.02 x 4.02 x 4.02 in (L x W x H).

Be careful when you look to buy the lens. Tokina also makes versions for the Canon EF and Sony A mounts. Double-check to make sure the lens you buy is for Nikon.

You can check current prices at Amazon, eBay, or read more reviews.

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

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
  • Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM)
  • Ultra-wide angle lens
  • Internal Focus
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • 13 Elements in 10 Groups

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 an exaggerated perspective. You're likely going to see distortion, which you can reduce through post-processing.

4 aspherical and 3 low dispersion lens elements have been used to help reduce distortion and aberrations. In total there are 13 lens elements in 10 groups.

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

Be careful if you are looking to purchase this lens. Sigma also made copies of the lens for Canon EF, Sony A, and Pentax K mounts. Make sure the lens is for Nikon before you buy it.

You can check current prices at Amazon, eBay, or read more reviews.

Best Telephoto Lenses

Both of the 55-300mm as well as the 55-200mm lenses mentioned previously should be considered. The two are low-priced telephoto zoom lenses. You should definitely check them out.

This section is going to focus on telephoto prime lenses. Low light performance is better due to the bigger maximum aperture. Plus, you'll get nicer bokeh.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G Lens
  • Popular Portrait Lens Among Professional Photographers
  • Internal Focus (IF)
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
  • 9 Elements in 9 Groups

One of the greatest sellers for Nikon is the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G. When you see how well the lens renders and the beautiful bokeh, you are going to understand why.

Do not forget that the lens is a full-frame lens. You'll see two differences when you compare it against a DX lens.

First, full-frame lenses tend to be higher priced when compared to DX lenses. Larger lens elements cause the lenses to be more costly to manufacture.

Second, the lens is larger than many DX lenses. The lens is large enough to where you will want a bag to hold the lens.

Check the current price of the lens at Amazon, eBay, or see more reviews.

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

Nikon FX Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
  • Fast Aperture, Great for Low Light
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Small and Lightweight
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
  • 7 Elements in 6 Groups

The 50mm f/1.8G is not a telephoto lens. The lens is still a fast prime, which is the reason it ought to be viewed as an option. You can use it to take portraits.

For use in low light situations, the 50mm will perform well due to the large aperture.

Nikon has not produced many prime lenses specifically for crop sensor cameras. Up against the DX 35mm, the Nikon 50mm has more reach.

The lens isn't large, weighing 185g (6.6oz) with a diameter of 2.8" and length of 2".

You can check the latest prices at Amazon, eBay, or read more reviews.

Best First Prime

Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G

Nikon DX 35mm f/1.8G
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Small Size
  • Engineered specifically for Nikon DX cameras
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
  • 8 Lens Elements in 6 Groups

The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G is the best first prime lens to get for the D3200.

A maximum aperture of f/1.8, means you'll be able to isolate your subjects and create beautiful bokeh. Indoors the lens is fast enough to where you will not need to use flash.

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

Weighing just 200g (7oz), there's never a reason not to have the 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 packet or bag.

You can see current prices at Amazon, eBay, or read more reviews.

Best Macro 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 other ways to achieve macro magnification, such as extensions tubes. Personally, I find that macro lenses are easier to use and give better results.

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

Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G

Nikon Micro Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G Macro Lens
  • Close-Range Correction System (CRC)
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1X
  • Rubber Sealing Mount Protects Against Dust and Moisture
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
  • 9 Lens Elements in 7 Groups

The Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G is the best choice for getting started with close-up and macro photography.

As far as modern macro lenses go, the lens is relatively inexpensive. It also has a high quality auto focus motor, and uses current optics.

This means the lens can also be used for general photography. That's not the case with older macro lenses, as their image quality only becomes good after the lens 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).

You can see current prices at Amazon, eBay, or read more reviews.

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

Nikon Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1X
  • Internal Focus (IF)
  • Vibration Reduction (VR)
  • Has 1 Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Element (ED)
  • 14 Lens Elements in 10 Groups

The major 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 going to be close to the subject. If you are trying to photograph an insect, this may cause them to try to get away.

Another issue could be properly lighting a subject. Depending on your light source it could be difficult to get is setup without the lens blocking it.

The downside is that gaining a little more working distance, adds onto the price of the lens.

While not the primary purpose of the lens, it can be used for portraits. At 85mm, it can also be used for other subjects you would want to use a telephoto lens for, but it is a slower lens.

See the latest prices at Amazon, eBay, or read reviews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright ©2020 Midwest Redistributors LLC