The 6 Best Nikon D80 Lenses for All Types of Photography

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: December 20, 2021
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.
The Best Nikon D80 Lenses

If you already know the kind of Nikon lens you want, consider the best lenses for the Nikon D80 below.

Best Zoom Lenses for Nikon D80

Quite possibly the most affordable and useful zoom lens is the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G, which was a Nikon D80 kit lens. The 18-55mm lens is not going to be discussed as it is already mounted on the camera.

Wide zoom lenses are covered further down the page.

Telephoto zoom lenses are great with the Nikon D80 for action, portraits,wildlife, sports, or any subject that is far off.

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

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G Kit Lens for Nikon D80
  • Fast and Quiet Autofocus
  • Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization for Superb Handheld Shots
  • Gives You a Large Focal Length Coverage
  • Perfect Focal Length for Wildlife Photography with the Nikon D80

Compare Prices:

The biggest appeal of the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G is the range the lens has used in combination with image stabilization. It will be a very good option anytime you are not able to get nearer to your subject. Like other zooms, the aperture of f/5.6 at the far end of the focal length range is smaller than the best, faster alternatives will cost a lot more.

You won't have to spend very much to get this zoom. There are many pre-owned copies on the market as it was offered with the Nikon D5500, D5600, and D3400.

The large zoom range of the lens is constructed 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 D80
  • Excellent Value When Purchased Used
  • Silent Wave Motor for Accurate Autofocus
  • Outstanding for Wildlife, Sports, Action, & Portraits
  • 2 Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Lens Elements
  • (VR) Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization

Compare Prices:

The Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5. 6G was commonly included with the D3300, D3200, and D3100 digital SLR cameras. It's a incredible deal when purchased used.

A copy in excellent condition is found for not even half the expense of a pre-owned Nikon 55-300mm.

The only drawback 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 positive aspect of the lens is that hauling it around won't be an issue. It 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 D80
  • 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"

Compare Prices:

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

One big shortcoming is the absence of image stabilization. This will make it challenging to get sharp images hand holding the lens.

Very similar 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 helpful 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 problem as body parts such as a nose close to the front of the lens will appear abnormally large.

A benefit of a wide angle is that image stabilization is less essential. Tiny vibrations of movements are less likely to cause blur in a picture.

Having a fast maximum aperture is essential for astrophotography. In order to get the most impressive photos, you want the maximum aperture to be at least f/4.

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

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Nikon D80
  • Perfect selection for night photography
  • Fast f/2.8 Maximum Aperture
  • 77mm Front Filter Threads
  • Focus Clutch Style M/A Selector

Compare Prices:

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is fast and razor sharp. With a large aperture, this lens is an excellent selection for astrophotography.

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

The built-in autofocus motor is loud. This can be a problem if you want quiet operation when shooting at an event.

The lens is pretty large, weighing 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 go to get the lens. Tokina also makes versions that use a different lens mount like the Canon EF or Sony A mounts. Check to make sure the lens you get is compatible with Nikon.

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

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 Wide Zoom for Nikon D80
  • Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM)
  • Ultra-wide angle lens
  • Internal Focus and Excellent Build Quality
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Built with Aspherical Elements that Reduce Distortion

Compare Prices:

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 of anything close to the lens. You're most likely going to notice distortion, which you can eliminate a lot of via post processing.

4 aspherical elements have been used in order to 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).

Watch out if you are looking to buy this lens. Sigma produced 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 included 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 action, sports, and portrait photography. There is no shortage of these lenses out there for the Nikon F-mount.

However, telephoto prime lenses tend to be expensive owing to the amount of optics that need to be utilised. The weight of the lens and control 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 D80
  • Best Lens for Portraits
  • Internal Focus (IF)
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Superb Color Reproduction

Compare Prices:

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 D80.

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

First, full frame lenses are generally more expensive than DX lenses.

Second, the lens is larger than many DX lenses, including zooms. 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 D80
  • Excellent Lens with a Fast Aperture
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Small and Lightweight
  • Excellent Choice for Low Light Photography

Compare Prices:

Taking the crop factor focal length multiplier into account, this lens could be looked at a short telephoto lens. It's an affordable fast prime that can be made use of 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 similar price.

There are not huge differences between the lenses. With the 50mm, you'll get a bit more reach and have an easier 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 D80
  • Very Accurate Autofocus Performance
  • Takes Very good Pictures in Challenging Lighting Situations
  • Excellent Nikon D80 lens for street photography
  • High Build Quality
  • Best option for an all around lens

Compare Prices:

The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G is the best first prime lens to get for the Nikon D80.

The f/1.8 maximum apreture means you will 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.

The 35mm equivalent field of view is 52.5mm, you'll have a "standard" field of view. Your photos will have a perspective that is very close 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 D80 Lenses

Macro photography begins 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 currently being photographed is the exact same size as the camera's sensor. Popular subjects are insects, coins, flowers, copy work and academic subjects.

There are alternative methods to reach macro magnification, for instance 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 constant source of questions 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 D80
  • 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
  • Great choice for Close Ups

Compare Prices:

The Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G is the best pick for getting started with macro and close-up photography with the Nikon D80.

As far as macros 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 utilised for general photography. That's not the case with older macros, as their image quality only becomes good 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

Nikkor Micro 85mm f/3.5 Macro Lens for Nikon D80
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC) to reduce Chromatic Aberration
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1X
  • Built with Internal Focus (IF)
  • VR - Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization

Compare Prices:

The primary benefit of the 85mm macro lens over the 40mm is a larger 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 try to get away.

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

A drawback is that more working distance increases the cost of the lens.

While not the main goal of the lens, it is a good focal length for portraits, but the f/3.5 maximum aperture might not create the ideal background bokeh.

Lens Selection Criteria

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

Having a high-quality lens is of more value for image quality than a really expensive camera. Lenses don't wear out, you will be able to keep your lenses if you ever decide to upgrade your Nikon D80.

That doesn't mean that price is not a factor. It does not seem sensible to advise using expensive lenses, even if they are the highest quality.

All the most commonly employed focal lengths have been included.

Niche or professional lenses such as perspective control, specialist macro, mirror, and fisheye lenses haven’t been covered. Those are high-priced enough to also recommend a camera upgrade.

When to Upgrade Your Camera

The Nikon D80 was released in 2006. It should be come as no surprise that there are many Nikon D80 upgrade options available. One of the nice things is that you can still use the same lenses with a newer camera, the majority with seamless compatibility.

Having access to different focal lengths, a fast prime, or a cutting edge lens will do more for you than a brand new 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 second-hand Nikon D80 replacement is a tiny proportion of the cost when the camera was new. That same drop in price also applies to more recent camera models.

An upgrade that is a perfect match for your requirements is most likely much less than you think if you're ready to sell your D80 camera once 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 vary, but Nikon is always trying to make lenses with larger zoom ranges.
  • 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 D80 camera works with Nikon F-mount lenses. Nikon first made use of the F-mount in 1959. There are a number of versions of the lens mount as it has been altered over time to accommodate digital SLR cameras.

Early lenses with autofocus depended on a focus motor built into camera bodies. The Nikon D80 is one of the only entry level digital SLR cameras to have a focus motor built into the camera body. As a result, autofocus will work with the first autofocus lenses.

The Nikon D80 doesn't have a EE servo coupling post or meter coupling ridge. Light metering will not work as expected for manual lenses that do not have electrical contacts. AF lenses with physical aperture rings will most likely need to be stopped down to their smallest aperture.

Nikon D80 Kit Lens

The Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR was originally included with the Nikon D80. This was typically included with used D80's for sale on eBay or Amazon.

It is one of several dx nikkor lenses that have been bundled together with cameras over the years. These make up the right lens pick for a majority of the expected needs of a Nikon D80 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 pre-owned speedlites that are inexpensive.

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

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

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

Copyright ©2020 Midwest Redistributors LLC