Best Lenses for Nikon D5200

Estimated read time 13 min read

The Nikon D5200 is a popular DSLR camera choice for both amateur and professional photographers alike. Known for its high-resolution image sensor and impressive image quality, this camera offers a wide range of possibilities when paired with the right lens. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best lenses available for the Nikon D5200 and help you make an informed decision for your photography needs.

Understanding the Nikon D5200 and its lens compatibility

Before delving into the world of lenses, it is important to have a basic understanding of the Nikon D5200 and its lens compatibility. The D5200 features a Nikon F-mount, which means it is compatible with a vast array of lenses in the Nikon lineup, including both DX and FX format lenses. DX lenses are designed specifically for Nikon’s APS-C sensor cameras, such as the D5200, while FX lenses are designed for full-frame cameras. When using DX lenses on the D5200, there is a 1.5x crop factor, which effectively increases the focal length of the lens.

Additionally, the Nikon D5200 features autofocus capabilities, allowing you to take advantage of lenses with autofocus motors for quicker, more accurate focusing. It is worth noting that some older Nikon lenses may not have autofocus motors built-in, requiring manual focusing on the D5200. However, manual focus can still be a viable option for many types of photography and can provide more control over the focus point.

Another important aspect of lens compatibility with the Nikon D5200 is the ability to use third-party lenses. While Nikon offers a wide range of lenses, there are also many other manufacturers, such as Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina, that produce lenses compatible with the Nikon F-mount. These third-party lenses can often provide similar or even better performance at a more affordable price point.

Key factors to consider when choosing lenses for Nikon D5200

When it comes to choosing lenses for the Nikon D5200, there are several key factors to consider. One important aspect is the focal length of the lens, which determines the field of view and magnification. For example, a wide-angle lens has a shorter focal length, allowing you to capture a larger scene, whereas a telephoto lens has a longer focal length, enabling you to zoom in and capture distant subjects with more detail.

Another crucial factor to consider is the aperture of the lens, which controls the amount of light that enters the camera. A wider aperture, represented by a smaller f-number (e.g., f/1.8), allows for better low-light performance and greater control over depth of field, making it ideal for capturing portraits with creamy bokeh or shooting in dimly lit environments. On the other hand, a narrower aperture (e.g., f/11) can provide a greater depth of field, resulting in more of the scene being in focus.

Other factors to consider include image stabilization, which reduces camera shake and enables sharper handheld shots, and lens construction, which determines the durability and build quality of the lens. Additionally, lens weight, size, and cost should also be taken into account, as they can impact your overall shooting experience and budget.

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One more factor to consider when choosing lenses for the Nikon D5200 is the lens mount compatibility. The D5200 uses the Nikon F-mount, which means it is compatible with a wide range of lenses from Nikon and third-party manufacturers. This gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of lenses based on your specific needs and preferences.

Furthermore, it is important to consider the lens’s autofocus capabilities. The D5200 features a built-in autofocus system, so it is compatible with both autofocus (AF) and manual focus (MF) lenses. AF lenses use the camera’s autofocus system to automatically focus on the subject, while MF lenses require manual adjustment of the focus ring. Depending on your shooting style and preferences, you may opt for either AF or MF lenses.

Prime lenses vs. zoom lenses: Which is best for the Nikon D5200?

When it comes to lens options for the Nikon D5200, you have the choice between prime lenses and zoom lenses. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, meaning they provide a single magnification level. These lenses often offer wider maximum apertures and excellent optical quality, making them ideal for low-light situations and achieving shallow depth of field effects. Prime lenses tend to be smaller, lighter, and more affordable compared to zoom lenses of similar quality.

On the other hand, zoom lenses offer a variable focal length, allowing you to zoom in and out without changing lenses. They provide greater flexibility in terms of composition and framing, making them well-suited for travel photography and situations where changing lenses may not be practical. However, zoom lenses typically have narrower maximum apertures and may sacrifice some optical quality for the sake of versatility.

One important factor to consider when choosing between prime lenses and zoom lenses for the Nikon D5200 is the intended use of the lens. If you primarily shoot portraits or still life photography, a prime lens with a fixed focal length can provide excellent image quality and a wide maximum aperture for beautiful background blur. On the other hand, if you often shoot landscapes or sports photography, a zoom lens with a variable focal length can give you the flexibility to capture a wide range of subjects and compositions.

Another consideration is the weight and size of the lens. Prime lenses are generally smaller and lighter than zoom lenses, making them more portable and easier to handle. This can be especially beneficial if you plan on carrying your camera and lenses for extended periods of time or if you frequently shoot in challenging environments. Zoom lenses, on the other hand, can be bulkier and heavier due to the additional moving parts required for the zoom mechanism.

Top 5 budget-friendly lenses for Nikon D5200 users

For photographers on a budget, there are plenty of lens options available that offer excellent performance without breaking the bank. Here are our top 5 budget-friendly lenses for Nikon D5200 users:

  1. Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G: This compact and lightweight prime lens is a great all-rounder, perfect for portraits, street photography, and general use.
  2. Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC: This versatile zoom lens covers a wide range of focal lengths, making it suitable for travel and everyday photography.
  3. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM: With a constant f/2.8 aperture, this lens offers excellent low-light performance and delivers sharp images throughout its zoom range.
  4. Nikon AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II: This telephoto zoom lens provides a longer reach for capturing subjects from a distance, making it ideal for sports and wildlife photography.
  5. Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro: This macro lens offers 1:1 magnification for capturing stunning close-up shots of insects, flowers, and other small details.
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These lenses provide great value for their price and are well-suited for a variety of photography genres, allowing you to explore different creative possibilities without breaking your budget.

When choosing budget-friendly lenses for your Nikon D5200, it’s important to consider your specific photography needs. The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G is a popular choice among photographers due to its versatility and affordability. With its wide aperture, it allows for beautiful bokeh and low-light performance.

If you’re looking for a lens that covers a wide range of focal lengths, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC is a great option. This lens is perfect for travel photography, as it eliminates the need to carry multiple lenses. Its built-in Vibration Compensation (VC) feature helps reduce camera shake, ensuring sharp images even at longer focal lengths.

Exploring the versatility of wide-angle lenses with the Nikon D5200

Wide-angle lenses are a useful tool for landscape photography, architecture, and capturing scenes that require a broader perspective. The Nikon D5200, with its APS-C sensor, benefits from the 1.5x crop factor, making wide-angle lenses even wider when mounted. This additional width allows you to capture more of the scene without having to step back or use panorama stitching techniques.

Some popular wide-angle lens options for the Nikon D5200 include the Nikon AF-S DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED and the Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX. These lenses provide excellent sharpness, minimal distortion, and wide-angle coverage, making them ideal for landscape enthusiasts and architectural photographers.

In addition to landscape photography and architecture, wide-angle lenses can also be used creatively in other genres of photography. For example, they can be used to capture unique perspectives in street photography, emphasizing the foreground and creating a sense of depth. Wide-angle lenses can also be useful in capturing group shots or large gatherings, as they allow you to fit more people or subjects into the frame.

Macro photography with the Nikon D5200: The best lenses to capture intricate details

If macro photography is your passion, the Nikon D5200 can open up a whole new world of intricate details. To capture the fine textures and small subjects up close, a dedicated macro lens is essential. The Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G and the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM are two highly regarded macro lenses suitable for the D5200.

These lenses offer true 1:1 magnification, allowing you to capture even the tiniest details with stunning clarity. They provide excellent sharpness, accurate autofocus, and beautiful bokeh, making them perfect for photographing insects, flowers, and other small subjects.

The best telephoto lenses for wildlife and sports photography on the Nikon D5200

When it comes to wildlife and sports photography, a telephoto lens with a long focal length is essential for getting close to the action. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR and the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 are popular choices for the Nikon D5200.

These telephoto zoom lenses provide a great balance between reach and versatility, allowing you to capture distant subjects with sharpness and clarity. Equipped with image stabilization technology, they help minimize camera shake, ensuring you get crisp shots even when shooting handheld.

Portrait photography made easy: The top portrait lenses for the Nikon D5200

When it comes to capturing beautiful portraits with the Nikon D5200, certain lenses excel in delivering stunning results. For classic portrait photography, prime lenses with wider apertures are favored for their ability to create pleasing bokeh and isolate the subject from the background.

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G and the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art are highly regarded portrait lenses that offer excellent image quality, creamy bokeh, and precise autofocus. These lenses allow you to capture captivating portraits with sharpness, vibrant colors, and dreamy backgrounds.

Enhancing low-light photography with fast aperture lenses on the Nikon D5200

Low-light photography can present unique challenges, but with fast aperture lenses, you can overcome these obstacles and capture stunning images in challenging lighting conditions. Lenses with wider maximum apertures, such as f/1.8 or even f/1.4, allow more light to enter the camera, resulting in better exposure and reduced noise.

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The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G DX and the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art are excellent options for low-light photography on the Nikon D5200. These lenses offer exceptional low-light performance and are perfect for capturing indoor events, nightscapes, and other situations with limited available light.

Zoom in closer: The top telephoto zoom lenses for the Nikon D5200

For photographers looking to capture distant subjects without compromising on image quality, telephoto zoom lenses are indispensable. These lenses provide the flexibility to zoom in and out, making them ideal for wildlife photography, sports events, and even capturing candid moments from a distance.

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR and the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 are top choices when it comes to telephoto zoom lenses for the Nikon D5200. These lenses offer exceptional image quality, fast autofocus, and effective image stabilization, allowing you to capture sharp and detailed images even at longer focal lengths.

Capturing stunning landscapes with wide-angle zoom lenses on the Nikon D5200

Wide-angle zoom lenses provide great versatility when it comes to landscape photography, allowing you to go from capturing wide sweeping vistas to more intimate scenes with ease. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR and the Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX are two excellent choices for wide-angle zoom lenses on the Nikon D5200.

These lenses offer a wide focal length range, excellent sharpness, and minimal distortion, making them perfect for capturing breathtaking landscapes. They also feature image stabilization technology, which can be beneficial when shooting handheld in challenging lighting conditions.

Exploring creative possibilities with fisheye lenses on the Nikon D5200

Fisheye lenses offer a unique perspective and can add a creative twist to your photography. These ultra-wide-angle lenses provide a distorted, spherical effect, resulting in a distinctive circular or hemispherical image. Fisheye lenses are often used in creative and artistic photography, allowing you to capture unique angles and create visual interest.

The Nikon AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8G ED and the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 UMC Fish-Eye CS II are popular choices for fisheye lenses on the Nikon D5200. These lenses offer excellent sharpness and deliver a unique perspective that can create stunning and unconventional images.

Achieving beautiful bokeh: Lens options for achieving a shallow depth of field on the Nikon D5200

If achieving a shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh is a priority for your photography, certain lenses are better suited for this purpose. Prime lenses with wider maximum apertures, such as f/1.4 or f/1.8, are excellent choices for creating a creamy, blurred background that isolates the subject.

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art are highly regarded for their ability to produce stunning bokeh and shallow depth of field effects. These lenses are perfect for portraiture, product photography, and other genres where subject separation and background blur are desired.

The best lens accessories for enhancing your photography with the Nikon D5200

While lenses are essential for capturing great images, certain accessories can further enhance your photography experience with the Nikon D5200. Here are some recommended lens accessories:

  • Polarizing Filter: A polarizing filter helps reduce glare and reflections, allowing for more vibrant colors and increased contrast.
  • ND Filter: Neutral Density (ND) filters help control exposure by reducing the amount of light entering the camera, allowing for longer exposures and creative effects such as motion blur.
  • Lens Hood: A lens hood helps prevent lens flare and protects the front element of the lens from accidental bumps and scratches.
  • Remote Shutter Release: A remote shutter release allows you to trigger the camera from a distance, reducing the risk of camera shake during long exposures or tripod-mounted shots.
  • Lens Cleaning Kit: A lens cleaning kit helps keep your lenses clean and free from dust, smudges, and fingerprints, ensuring optimal image quality.

These accessories can greatly enhance your creative possibilities and protect your valuable lenses, allowing you to capture stunning images with the Nikon D5200.


The Nikon D5200 offers photographers a versatile platform to express their creativity, and having the right lens for the job can make all the difference. Whether you’re a portrait photographer, a landscape enthusiast, or enjoy capturing wildlife in its natural habitat, there is a lens out there that can meet your needs.

By understanding the Nikon D5200’s lens compatibility, considering key factors such as focal length and aperture, and exploring the various lens options available, you can choose the best lenses for your photography style and take your images to new heights. Remember

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