A Guide to the Best Nikon D5600 Lenses for All Types of Photography and Videography

The Nikon D5600 DSLR is a versatile camera that accommodates a wide array of lenses to meet the needs of different photographers. Whether you’re a landscape, portrait, or macro photographer, there’s a perfect lens for you. This guide explores the best Nikon D5600 lenses, discussing compatibility, acronyms, and suggestions for various types of photography.

Lens Aperture Suitable for
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR f/3.5-5.6 All-around
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM f/1.8 All-around, Low light
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G f/1.8 Street, Low light
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G f/1.8 Portraits, Low light
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD f/2.8 Sports, Wildlife
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G f/2.8 Macro
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM f/3.5 Landscape
Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR f/4.5-5.6 Landscape
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G f/1.8 Portraits
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II f/4-5.6 Sports, Wildlife

The Nikon D5600, a DX-format camera, primarily supports Nikon’s DX lenses, which are specifically designed to match the smaller image circle used by the camera’s APS-C sensor. With the latest firmware the camera is compatible with Nikon AF-P lenses. This means you’ll get the full benefit of the lens’ field of view when you use a DX lens.

However, Nikon D5600 also accepts Nikon’s full-frame (FX) lenses. While these lenses work perfectly fine with the D5600, they tend to be bulkier, heavier, and more expensive, as they are built to cover a full-frame sensor.

When an FX lens is attached to a DX-format body like the D5600, a 1.5x crop factor applies, meaning that the effective field of view of the lens is multiplied by 1.5. This means that a 50mm lens will give a field of view that would be the equivalent of 75mm on a full frame camera.

Non-CPU lenses can be used in mode M, but the camera meter won’t function. This is becaus the Nikon D5600 does not have a meter coupling ridge. The manual focus lenses that will not meter correctly include AI and AI-S lenses.

Nikon lenses come with various acronyms indicating their features:

  • AF-S - Autofocus Silent: Utilizes a “Silent Wave Motor” for quiet and fast autofocus.
  • AF-P - Autofocus Pulse: These lenses are newer than AF-S lenses and use stepper motors for better autofocus.
  • DX - Lenses designed for APS-C sensor cameras like the D5600.
  • FX - Lenses designed for full frame sensor cameras. They can be used on the Nikon D5600.
  • VR - Vibration Reduction: Nikon’s image stabilization system.
  • ED - Extra-Low Dispersion: Type of glass that corrects chromatic aberrations.
  • G - Electronic Aperture Ring: These lenses do not have a manual aperture ring.
  • DC - Defocus Control: Allows control over the bokeh.
  • HSM - Hyper Sonic Motor: Sigma’s equivalent to Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor.
  • Landscape Photography: Wide-angle lenses like the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM or Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR are ideal.
  • Portrait Photography: The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G or Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G are excellent for portraits.
  • Sports and Wildlife Photography: Telephoto lenses such as Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD or Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II work well.
  • Macro Photography: Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G is a top choice for close-up shots.
  • All-around Photography: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM provide a versatile range.

When shooting video with the Nikon D5600, certain lens features become particularly important. Here’s what to look for:

  • Smooth Autofocus: Look for lenses with silent and smooth autofocus motors, like Nikon’s AF-S or Sigma’s HSM, to avoid focus noise being picked up by the camera’s microphone. A smooth motor will also ensure the focus transitions in your videos are not jarring or distracting.
  • Stabilization: Shooting handheld video can lead to shaky footage. Lenses with built-in stabilization, like Nikon’s VR (Vibration Reduction) or Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation), can help produce smoother, more professional-looking video.
  • Aperture: A lens with a wide maximum aperture (low f-number) will perform better in low light conditions, a common scenario in video shooting. It also allows for a shallow depth of field, which can be used to create a cinematic look with blurred backgrounds.
  • Focal Length: Depending on your style of videography, different focal lengths will serve you better. For vlogging and general-purpose video, a versatile zoom lens (like the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR) can be very useful. For filmmaking, a variety of lenses may be required to capture different angles and perspectives.
  • Manual Focus Ring: Even with good autofocus, there will be times when manual focus is necessary for precision. Lenses with a comfortable and responsive manual focus ring are advantageous for video work.

Remember, the best lens for video will depend on the specific requirements of your project. While some videographers may prioritize smooth and quiet autofocus, others may place more importance on image stabilization or aperture width.

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

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens is a medium-telephoto lens that excels in delivering stunning detail and depth in portrait photography. It provides exceptional clarity and the smooth, beautiful bokeh that photographers seek when shooting portraits. Its fast f/1.8 maximum aperture ensures excellent performance in low-light conditions and offers substantial control over depth of field.

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G is particularly well-suited for:

  • Portrait Photography: The 85mm focal length, combined with a wide f/1.8 aperture, delivers beautifully smooth background blur (bokeh) and excellent subject isolation, making it a favorite among portrait photographers.

  • Event Photography: Its fast aperture and excellent low-light capabilities make it a suitable choice for indoor or low-light event photography such as weddings or concerts.

  • Street Photography: The lens can also serve well for street photography, offering a balance between subject detail and inclusion of some environmental context.

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G offers the following specifications:

  • Focal Length: Fixed focal length of 85mm (equivalent to 127.5mm in DX format), providing a medium-telephoto perspective.
  • Aperture: A fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 and a minimum aperture of f/16.
  • Optical Design: The lens consists of 9 elements in 9 groups, including a Super Integrated Coating to reduce flare and ghosting and enhance color accuracy and contrast.
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM): The built-in SWM ensures fast, accurate, and quiet autofocus operation.
  • Lens Construction: The lens features a robust design and comes with a rounded 7-blade diaphragm that produces a pleasing out-of-focus quality.
  • Close Focus Distance: Its close focus distance is 0.8m/2.62ft.

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  • Excellent for portrait photography with smooth and pleasing bokeh.
  • Fast f/1.8 aperture provides outstanding low-light performance and control over depth of field.
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) ensures quick and quiet autofocus.
  • Sharp, high-quality images across the frame.
  • Robust build and design, yet reasonably lightweight.
  • Lacks Vibration Reduction (VR), which may result in some shake when shooting handheld at slower shutter speeds.
  • Some chromatic aberration can be visible in high contrast situations.
  • The lens is not weather-sealed.
  • As a prime lens, it lacks the flexibility of a zoom lens, which may not suit all shooting scenarios.
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II is a compact telephoto zoom lens that is designed specifically for Nikon DX-format DSLRs. It is versatile and lightweight, making it an excellent option for travel, sports, wildlife, and portrait photography. It also includes Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology to ensure clear and steady images even when shooting handheld at the telephoto end of the zoom range.

This Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm lens shines in several types of photography:

  • Portrait Photography: The medium-telephoto to telephoto range of this lens can provide a flattering perspective for portraits, and the maximum aperture allows for a degree of control over depth of field.

  • Sports and Wildlife Photography: The lens can reach out to capture distant subjects, making it suitable for shooting sports events or wildlife.

  • Travel Photography: Its compact and lightweight design makes it a convenient lens to pack for trips when you expect to shoot a variety of subjects.

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II offers a variety of features:

  • Focal Length: A focal length range of 55-200mm (equivalent to 82.5-300mm in 35mm format), offering medium-telephoto to telephoto reach.
  • Aperture: Variable maximum aperture of f/4-5.6 and a minimum aperture of f/22-32.
  • Optical Design: The lens includes one extra-low dispersion glass element that helps minimize chromatic aberrations for clear, sharp photos.
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM): The built-in SWM ensures quick, quiet, and precise autofocus operation.
  • Vibration Reduction (VR): Nikon’s VR image stabilization can help to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to four shutter speed stops.
  • Lens Construction: The lens has 13 elements in 9 groups, and features a retractable barrel for superior compactness and portability.
  • Close Focus Distance: Its close focus distance is 1.1m/3.6ft.

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  • Compact and lightweight, perfect for travel.
  • Versatile 55-200mm focal length range.
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) provides up to four stops of image stabilization, useful for handheld shooting.
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) offers quiet and precise autofocus.
  • Reasonably priced for its features and performance.
  • Variable aperture of f/4-5.6, meaning it’s not the fastest lens for low-light situations.
  • Some distortion and chromatic aberration at the telephoto end.
  • The lens is not weather-sealed.
  • Plastic construction may not be as durable as other lenses with more robust construction materials.
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is a versatile, all-in-one zoom lens for DX-format Nikon DSLRs. This versatile piece of kit is highly recommended for its broad focal length range and superior image quality, making it suitable for a variety of scenarios and shooting conditions.

This lens offers a wide focal length range, making it versatile for a variety of shooting scenarios. Here are some of the types of photography it’s excellent for:

  • Travel Photography: Its broad focal length range makes it perfect for capturing everything from wide-angle landscapes to close-up details.

  • Portrait Photography: At the longer end, the lens provides a nice compression effect, making it great for portraits.

  • Event Photography: With a broad zoom range and solid low-light performance, this lens is great for capturing events where you might need to quickly switch between wide-angle and telephoto perspectives.

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR has a plethora of features that make it a robust choice:

  • Focal Length: An 18-140mm focal length range (equivalent to 27-210mm in 35mm format) covers everything from wide-angle to telephoto photography.
  • Aperture: Maximum aperture of f/3.5-5.6 and minimum aperture of f/22-38.
  • Optical Design: The lens includes one aspherical element and one extra-low dispersion element that help to minimize aberrations and distortions throughout the zoom range.
  • Silent Wave Motor: The built-in Silent Wave Motor (SWM) ensures fast and silent autofocus operation.
  • Vibration Reduction: The integrated Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to four shutter speed stops.
  • Lens Construction: The lens has 17 elements in 12 groups, offering a 7-blade diaphragm for a pleasing bokeh.
  • Close Focus Distance: Its close focus distance is 0.45m/1.48ft.

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  • Versatile 18-140mm focal length is suitable for a wide range of shooting scenarios.
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) provides up to four stops of image stabilization, which is great for low-light situations.
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for fast, quiet autofocus operation.
  • Good build quality and solid performance for its price range.
  • Variable aperture of f/3.5-5.6, meaning it’s not the fastest lens in low-light conditions and could limit bokeh.
  • Not weather-sealed, which may limit its use in harsh conditions.
  • It might be a bit heavy and large for some users, especially on smaller DX bodies.
  • Some users may experience slight distortion at the wide end of the zoom range.
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM

The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM lens is an exceptional piece of kit that stands out for its consistent f/1.8 maximum aperture, the first of its kind for a zoom lens. This lens excels in low-light situations, and its artistic bokeh effect makes it perfect for portrait, event, and night photography.

The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM lens stands as an excellent choice for photographers who prioritize low-light capabilities and image quality. Its constant wide aperture allows photographers to create stunning images with a shallow depth of field, perfect for creating bokeh effects and capturing the essence of the moment under varying lighting conditions.

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Pros:

  • Constant f/1.8 aperture: The wide maximum aperture across the entire zoom range is great for low light shooting and depth-of-field control.
  • High image quality: This lens is known for its superb sharpness, contrast, and minimal distortion.
  • Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM): The HSM ensures smooth, fast, and precise autofocus.
  • Durable construction: The lens features a Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material, resulting in greater precision and use in wide temperature variations.

Cons:

  • Size and weight: At 810 grams, this lens is considerably heavy and bulky.
  • Zoom range: The 18-35mm range is less versatile than some other zoom lenses, limiting its utility to certain types of photography.
  • No optical stabilization: The absence of a stabilization system could make handheld shooting more challenging in certain conditions.
Nikon DX 35mm f/1.8G Prime Lens
Nikon DX 35mm f/1.8G

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens is a compact, lightweight, and affordable prime lens that offers excellent image quality. Its 35mm focal length on a DX format camera is equivalent to 52.5mm on a full-frame, giving it a natural field of view that closely matches human perception. This makes it a great lens for a variety of photographic applications, including portraits, street photography, and even landscapes.

This lens’s maximum aperture of f/1.8 allows photographers to create images with a shallow depth of field, beautifully blurring the background while keeping the subject in sharp focus. It also means the lens performs very well in low-light situations, reducing the need for flash and enabling you to retain the ambiance of the scene.

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Pros:

  • Versatility: The 35mm focal length is perfect for many styles of photography.
  • Low-light performance: The wide f/1.8 aperture is excellent for low light and indoor situations.
  • Compact and lightweight: Weighing only 200 grams, it’s an ideal lens for travel and handheld photography.
  • Price: As one of Nikon’s more affordable lenses, it offers excellent value for its price.

Cons:

  • No VR: The lens lacks Vibration Reduction, which could impact sharpness in low-light handheld shooting.
  • Distortion: Although easily correctable in post-processing, this lens can exhibit some barrel distortion.
  • Plastic mount: The mount is made of plastic, which may not be as durable as metal.
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

This compact prime lens is perfect for everyday photography, portraits, and street scenes. Its fast f/1.8 aperture delivers a beautiful bokeh, while allowing for excellent low-light performance.

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Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight, ideal for travel
  • Excellent image quality
  • Wide aperture good for low light and creating bokeh
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • No vibration reduction
  • Autofocus can be slower compared to more advanced lenses
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2

The Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC G2 is a versatile telephoto lens that is a prized choice for photographers due to its excellent image quality, high performance, and wide focal range. The lens is part of Tamron’s Super Performance (SP) line, indicating its premium design and capabilities.

At its heart, the lens offers a wide focal range from 70-200mm. This makes it an ideal option for a multitude of scenarios, such as shooting distant subjects like wildlife or athletes on a field. Whether you’re capturing the graceful stride of a gazelle on a safari or the decisive moment in a football match, this lens allows you to frame the action perfectly without disturbing the scene.

The lens boasts a constant f/2.8 aperture, which is impressive for a zoom lens and particularly beneficial for low-light photography. The wide aperture allows more light into the lens, meaning you can shoot at faster shutter speeds and lower ISOs, resulting in cleaner and sharper images. Furthermore, the f/2.8 aperture contributes to the ability to create a shallow depth of field, perfect for isolating your subject against a beautifully blurred background - a trait loved by portrait photographers.

Tamron’s Vibration Compensation (VC) technology also enhances the lens’s performance by reducing the effect of camera shake. This image stabilization system is crucial for handheld shooting, ensuring you get crisp, blur-free shots even at slower shutter speeds or longer focal lengths.

In terms of build quality, the lens is sturdy and well-constructed, designed to endure the demands of professional use. It also includes weather sealing to protect against dust and moisture, a crucial feature for photographers who often shoot outdoors.

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  • Versatility: The 70-200mm range covers a wide variety of shooting scenarios from portraits to wildlife photography.
  • Aperture: Constant f/2.8 aperture allows for great low-light performance and depth of field control.
  • Image Stabilization: The Vibration Compensation (VC) feature provides excellent stability, reducing camera shake for sharper images.
  • Price: This lens provides similar performance to Nikon’s own 70-200mm lens but at a significantly lower price point.
  • Weight: At over 3 pounds, it’s heavier than many comparable lenses, which can make it challenging for handheld shooting over extended periods.
  • Focus Speed: Although its autofocus is generally reliable, it can be slower than some competitors under certain conditions.
Nikon DX 40mm f/2.8G Macro Lens
Nikon DX 40mm f/2.8G

The Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G lens is a compact and versatile macro lens that delivers stunning detail and excellent image quality. It’s ideal for photographers who want to capture close-up subjects with precision, such as insects, flowers, or small objects, but it’s also quite effective for portraits and everyday photography due to its natural field of view on DX-format cameras.

The lens’s maximum aperture of f/2.8 is relatively fast, enabling smooth out-of-focus elements and good low-light performance. It also allows you to create images with shallow depth of field, emphasizing your subject against a blurred background.

In conclusion, the Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G lens is a fantastic addition to any photographer’s kit. It’s an excellent choice for those looking to explore the world of macro photography without sacrificing the ability to capture great portraits and general images.

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Pros:

  • Excellent image quality: It’s renowned for its sharpness, contrast, and color accuracy.
  • Versatility: While designed for macro photography, the lens is also excellent for portraits and general photography.
  • Compact and lightweight: At just 235 grams, it’s easy to carry, making it perfect for travel.
  • Affordable: It’s considered a bargain given its high image quality and versatility.

Cons:

  • No Vibration Reduction (VR): This lens lacks VR, which might make handheld shooting more challenging, especially in low light or at close distances.
  • Short working distance: Due to the 40mm focal length, photographers need to get quite close to their subject for 1:1 macro photography, which might be a problem when photographing skittish subjects like insects.
  • Slower autofocus: The autofocus can be a bit slow and less reliable in low-contrast situations.
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Wide Angle Zoom Lens
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM

The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM is a wide-angle lens that is especially well-suited for landscape, architecture, and interior photography. This lens offers an ultra-wide field of view, consistent brightness, and sharpness across the frame. Its fast, constant aperture of f/3.5 allows for low-light shooting and control over depth of field.

The ultra-wide view angle and consistent brightness of this lens make it particularly useful for the following types of photography:

  • Landscape Photography: The ultra-wide field of view is perfect for capturing sweeping landscapes and seascapes.

  • Architectural and Interior Photography: The 10-20mm range allows for capturing large buildings or interiors in confined spaces.

  • Astrophotography: The wide field of view, coupled with a fast f/3.5 maximum aperture, make this lens suitable for capturing night skies and celestial events.

The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM boasts various features that make it a compelling choice for those in search of a quality wide-angle lens:

  • Focal Length: 10-20mm focal length (equivalent to 15-30mm in 35mm format) offers an ultra-wide angle of view.
  • Aperture: A constant maximum aperture of f/3.5 across the zoom range provides consistent performance in varying light conditions and greater control of depth of field.
  • Optical Design: The lens is composed of 13 elements in 10 groups, including two ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) and one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements for superior correction of color aberrations.
  • Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM): The Hyper Sonic Motor provides fast and quiet autofocus.
  • Lens Construction: The lens boasts a solid construction with a petal-type hood included to reduce flare and ghosting.
  • Close Focus Distance: The minimum focusing distance of this lens is 0.24m/0.79ft.

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  • Excellent wide-angle range perfect for landscape and architectural shots.
  • Constant f/3.5 aperture across the zoom range.
  • Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) provides fast and silent autofocus.
  • Solid construction and good optical performance.
  • Some chromatic aberration and distortion at wider angles, common for ultra-wide lenses.
  • The lens does not support VR (Vibration Reduction), which could be an issue in low-light conditions.
  • It is a bit heavy for a DX lens.
  • The lens is not weather-sealed.
Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

The Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens is a compact and lightweight ultra-wide-angle lens designed specifically for Nikon’s DX-format DSLRs. Its field of view is perfect for capturing expansive landscapes, architecture, interiors, and more. Additionally, it features Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, providing stability when shooting handheld in challenging lighting conditions.

The Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens excels in the following types of photography:

  • Landscape Photography: The 10-20mm focal length is ideal for capturing grand vistas and sprawling landscapes.

  • Architectural and Interior Photography: Its wide angle allows photographers to fully capture large structures and cramped interiors.

  • Travel Photography: With its compact size and wide-angle capabilities, this lens is perfect for travel photography where you need to pack light while capturing beautiful wide shots.

The Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR offers several features that enhance its performance:

  • Focal Length: 10-20mm focal length range (equivalent to 15-30mm in 35mm format), providing a wide field of view for expansive images.
  • Aperture: A variable maximum aperture of f/4.5-5.6 and minimum aperture of f/22-29.
  • Optical Design: The lens consists of 14 elements in 11 groups, including three aspherical elements to reduce aberrations and maintain sharpness across the entire frame.
  • Pulse Motor (AF-P): Nikon’s Pulse Motor technology ensures fast, silent, and smooth autofocus operation, particularly beneficial for video recording.
  • Vibration Reduction (VR): Nikon’s VR technology offers sharper images when shooting handheld, especially in low light, by compensating for camera shake.
  • Lens Construction: Compact and lightweight design with a retractable lens mechanism for greater portability.
  • Close Focus Distance: Its close focus distance is 0.22m/0.8ft.

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  • Excellent wide-angle range perfect for landscape, architecture, and interior shots.
  • Compact and lightweight design makes it a great choice for travel photography.
  • Pulse Motor (AF-P) technology offers fast and quiet autofocus, suitable for video recording.
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) allows for handheld shooting in low light conditions.
  • Good value for money considering its performance and features.
  • Variable aperture of f/4.5-5.6 can limit performance in low-light conditions and depth of field control.
  • Not as sharp in the corners at wider apertures.
  • The lens is not weather-sealed.
  • Due to the AF-P motor, autofocus might not work with older Nikon DSLR models. Check compatibility before purchasing.