The Best Nikon D3300 Lenses in 2023

The Nikon D3300 is still an excellent choice for photography. This is in part because of the the 24.2 megapixel sensor.

What makes the D3300 shine are the great Nikon DX lenses that are available. There are lenses for all types of photography such as wildlife, landscapes, sports, portraits, street, travel, product, and macro.

There are lens compatibility factors that need to be taken into account. Mainly to do with using older film era lenses.

List of the best lenses for the Nikon D3300:

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  1. Best Zoom Lens - Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
  2. Best Wide Angle Lens - Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II
  3. Best Telephoto Lens - Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
  4. Best First Prime - Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G
  5. Best Macro Lens - Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G
  6. Best All in One Lens - Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR

The most common and useful zoom lens is the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G, which was a Nikon D3300 bundled lens. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is going to be excluded as it is already mounted on the camera.

Wide zoom lenses are covered lower down.

Telephoto zoom lenses are awesome with the Nikon D3300 for sports,wildlife, action, portraits, or any subject that is far away.

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Telephoto Zoom Lens
Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G
  • Fast and Quiet Autofocus
  • Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization for Amazing Handheld Shots
  • Has a Wide Focal Length Coverage
  • Perfect Lens for Sports Photography with the Nikon D3300

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The biggest attraction of the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G is the reach the lens has combined with image stabilization. It will be a superb pick when you find it difficult to get closer to what you want 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 smaller than the best, wider aperture alternatives will cost substantially more.

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

The large zoom range of 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.

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 Zoom Lens
Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G
  • Excellent Value When Purchased Used
  • Silent Wave Motor for Accurate Autofocus
  • Awesome 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 quite often bundled with the D3300, D3100, and D3300 DSLR cameras. It’s a unbelievable deal when purchased used.

A copy in good condition are available for not even half the expense of a second hand Nikon 55-300mm.

The only disadvantage 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 hand-holding the camera.

One advantage of the lens is that carrying 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 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Super Zoom Lens
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6
  • 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 an excellent pick if you want 300mm of reach, but don’t want to pay for the 55-300mm from Nikon.

One big negative aspect is that there is no image stabilization. This will make it more difficult to get sharp images hand holding the lens.

Similar optical image stabilization is included 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".

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 a challenge as body parts such as a nose close to the camera lens will appear abnormally large.

A benefit of a wide angle is that image stabilization is less important. Small vibrations of movements are unlikely to cause blur in a photo.

Having a large maximum aperture is beneficial for astrophotography. {To get the best photos, you want at least a f/4, if not f/2.8|In order to get the most impressive photos, you want the max aperture to be a minimum of f/4.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Wide Angle Zoom Lens
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
  • Perfect selection for night photography
  • Fast f/2.8 Maximum Aperture
  • 77mm Front Filter Threads
  • Focus Clutch Style M/A Selector

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

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

There’s a built-in autofocus motor, but it is loud. This can be a big problem if you require quiet operation when shooting at an event.

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

Watch out when you look to order the lens. Tokina also makes versions that use a different lens mount like the Canon EF or Sony A mounts. Double check to make sure the lens you order is compatible with Nikon cameras.

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical Wideangle Zoom Lens
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
  • Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM)
  • Ultra-wide angle lens
  • Internal Focus and Great 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 an exaggerated distorted perspective. You’re likely going to see distortion, which you can reduce through post-processing.

4 aspherical elements have been made use of to help reduce distortion and aberrations. In total there are 13 lens elements in 10 groups to ensure 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).

Be careful if you are looking to purchase this lens. Sigma also made copies of the lens for other DSLR camera mounts including, Canon EF, Sony A, and Pentax K mounts. Make sure the one you buy uses the Nikon F lens mount.

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

This section is going to take a look at telephoto prime lenses for sports, action, wildlife, and portrait photography. There is no shortage of these lenses available for the Nikon F-mount.

However, telephoto prime lenses tend to be expensive because the amount of optics that need to be used. The weight of the lens and ergonomics when mounted on a camera body need to 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 Prime Telephoto Portrait Lens
Nikon 85mm f/1.8G
  • 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.

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

First, full frame lenses are usually more expensive than DX lenses. They have larger lens elements, which translates to additional cost.

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

Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Standard Prime Lens
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
  • Outstanding 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 thought of as a short telephoto. It’s a reasonably priced fast prime that can be made use of for portraits and indoors.

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

There won’t huge differences between the lenses. With the 50mm, you’ll get a bit more reach and blurring the background will be less complicated.

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

Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G Standard Prime Focal Length Lens
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G
  • Very Accurate Autofocus Performance
  • Takes Excellent Pictures in Difficult Lighting Situations
  • Excellent Nikon D3300 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 D3300.

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 pocket or bag.

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 a macro lens 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 constant source of confusion as micro and macro have opposite meanings.

Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G Macro Lens
Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G
  • 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
  • Excellent option for Close Ups

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The Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G is the best selection for getting started with macro and close-up photography with the Nikon D3300.

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

This means the lens can also be made use of for general photography. That’s not the case with older macros, as their image quality only becomes crisp after the aperture has been 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 Telephoto Macro Lens
Nikon Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G
  • 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 key 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 it setup without the lens blocking it.

The downside is that a little more working distance adds to the cost of the lens.

While not the primary purpose of the lens, it can be used for portraits, but the f/3.5 maximum aperture might not create the best background bokeh.

  • Overall Image Quality
  • Price to Performance
  • Focal Length Range

Having a high-quality lens is more important for image quality than a high priced camera. Lenses don’t wear out, you will be able to keep your lenses if you ever decide to upgrade your Nikon D3300.

That doesn’t mean that price is not a factor. It doesn’t seem sensible to suggest high priced lenses, even if they are the best quality.

All the most commonly used focal lengths have been gone over.

Professional or niche lenses such as perspective control, macro, mirror, and fisheye lenses weren’t covered. Those are expensive enough to also recommend a camera upgrade.

The Nikon D3300 was released in 2005. It should be come as no surprise that there are many Nikon D3300 upgrade options available. One of the nice things is that you can still use the same lenses with a more recent camera, the majority with seamless compatibility.

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

The price of a pre-owned Nikon D3300 replacement is a tiny proportion of the cost when the camera was new. That same drop in price also applies to recent camera models.

An upgrade that is the right camera for your requirements is almost certainly less expensive than you would imagine if you are prepared to sell your D3300 camera after you have an upgrade.

  • 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, useful 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 - The focal length can be changed. The zoom range coverage will vary, but Nikon is always trying to make better 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.

The D3300 camera works with Nikon F-mount lenses. Nikon first utilized the F-mount in 1959. There are several variations of the lens mount as it has been altered over time to work with DSLR cameras.

Early lenses with autofocus used a focus motor built into camera bodies. The Nikon D3300 is one of the only entry level digital SLR cameras to have the focus motor built-in. As a result, autofocus will work with early autofocus lenses.

The Nikon D3300 does not have a meter coupling ridge or EE servo coupling post. Light metering won’t work correctly for manual lenses without electrical contacts. AF lenses with physical aperture rings will likely need to be stopped down to their smallest aperture.

The Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR was originally included with the Nikon D3300. This was most commonly bundled with second hand D3300’s for sale on eBay or Amazon.

It is one of the many dx nikkor lenses that have been bundled with cameras over the years. These make up the right lens pick for a large percentage of the expected needs of a Nikon D3300 owner.

In tough low light conditions using fill flash from the camera will help. Compatible lighting equipment like Nikon’s creative lighting system will probably be beneficial if you can find second-hand speedlites that are affordable.

If you don’t have this lens, it is an outstanding first pick for the camera. The focal length, image stabilization, and performance is adequate, especially taking into account the low cost of a second-hand copy. The one undesirable aspect is the f/5.6 aperture at the long end.

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