Lenses Under $Y

Cameras can have hundreds of compatible lenses available. The sheer number of options can be overwhelming.

Sorting by price and lens type makes a cross system comparison easy to do. Specialty/niche use cases can have large differences in price to performance between systems.

I am starting with lenses that have the broadest appeal. Specific uses for macro, fun/novelty, and action lenses will be next.

My favorite because of the quantity of inexpensive quality glass available. Great for the majority of budgets under $750 when considering a complete kit.

Lenses are significantly smaller than full frame or APS-C lenses. There are many pancake and third party lenses available.

MFT lenses under $100

Used Lenses Under $100:

  • Panasonic 14mm f2.5
  • Panasonic 25mm f1.7
  • Panasonic 12-32mm f3.5-5.6 (Pancake)
  • Panasonic 14-45mm f3.5-5.6
  • Panasonic PZ 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 (Power Zoom)
  • Panasonic 14-42mm f3.5-5.6
  • Panasonic 45-150mm f4-5.6
  • Olympus 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R
  • Olympus 40-150mm f4-5.6
  • Olympus 9mm f8 Body Cap Fisheye
  • Olympus 15mm f8 Body Cap
  • Sigma Art 19mm f2.8
  • Sigma Art 30mm f2.8
  • Sigma Art 60mm f2.8
  • Meike 6.5mm f2 Circular Fisheye
  • 7artisans 7.5mm f2.8 Fishey
  • Rokinon 7.5mm f3.5 Fisheye
  • Rokinon 300mm f6.3 Mirror Lens
  • SLR Magic 8mm f4 Ultra Wide
Canon EOS EF 50mm f/1.8 camera lens.
The not completely plastic fantastic. (2nd version)

Not the best system for low end options. Beyond that, there is a huge selection of lenses available. Any specialty need you could have has multiple options.

The price to performance of L lenses like the 85mm f1.2, 135mm f2, 28-70mm f2.8, and 70-200mm f2.8 are possibly the best available.

Lenses are easy to adapt to mirrorless camera systems.

Canon EF (full frame) lenses under $100

Used lenses under $100:

  • Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM
  • Canon EF 20-35mm f3.5-4.5
  • Canon EF 75-300mm f4-5.6 II
  • Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM
  • Canon EF 35-80mm f4-5.6 II
  • Canon EF 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 II
  • Tamron 28-300mm f3.5-6.3
  • Tamron 70-300mm f4-5.6

The full frame lenses are better. I would rather use them on a full frame body.

Used Lenses Under $100:

  • Canon EF-S 24mm f2.8 STM (pancake lens)
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6
  • Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS

Arguably the best camera mount.

Some Nikon F-mount lens compatibility can get weird. If you are using vintage 35mm film camera lenses, make sure you can identify “non-Ai” lenses. Nikon has an article about lens compatibility.

Used Lenses Under $100:

  • Nikon 50mm f1.8D (Requires a motor drive for AF)
  • Nikon 50mm f1.8G (No aperture ring)
  • Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6G (Requires a motor drive for AF)
  • Nikon Nikkor AF 24-120mm f3.5-5.6D

Nikon made 21 DX lenses. There are 16 different focal lengths/ranges.

Full frame lenses can be used, but then why not use a full frame camera?

AF-P versions are not fully compatible with a bunch of bodies. Don’t worry, Nikon has a PDF compatibility chart.

Used Lenses Under $100:

  • Nikon Nikkor AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX
  • Nikon Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G DX
  • Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm f4-5.6G DX
  • Nikon Nikkor AF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6

Great lenses at not great prices. There is a premium to pay because popularity is outpacing production.

Used Lenses Under $100:

  • Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f3.5-5.6
  • 7artisans 35mm f1.2
  • 7artisans 7.5mm f2.8
  • TTartisan 35mm f1.4

The system only lasted 7 years with 11 camera bodies and 13 lenses. There are more MFT lenses under $100 than that.

I view this as an enthusiast system.

All 13 Nikon 1 Lenses
Lens Price
1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 $100
1 Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8 $250
1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 $125
1 Nikkor 32mm f/1.2 $500
1 Nikkor VR 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 $350
1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 $100
1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-Zoom $100
1 Nikkor VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 PD-Zoom $300
1 Nikkor VR 10-100mm f/4.0-5.6 $200
1 Nikkor 11–27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 $125
1 Nikkor AW 11–27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 $200
1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 $100
1 Nikkor VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 $600