Three Lenses That Every Nikon Beginner Needs

Nikon D300

After buying a new camera with its obligatory kit lens, the number one question I am often asked is, “What lens should I buy?” Now, I usually follow this up with the question of what does the person like to shoot as that can really influence how I respond.

But the truth is that many new photographers haven’t even really figured that out yet. They’re shooting a little bit of everything. So, it’s important to make suggestions for additional lenses that will not only serve their “generalist” approach to photography, but will also be useful to them as they discover their own personal niche.

Though the kit lens that comes with your Nikon camera provides good performance for virtually all types of photography, photographers quickly realize the limits of such lenses.

So, if you are a beginner photographer who is eager to make use of some of that empty space in your camera bag, here are a few lenses that I think every beginner needs.


Sigma 30mm f1.4 II

Every photographer need to have a fast normal lens as part of their kit. Not only do you have a wider aperture to help contend with low light situations, but the normal focal length provides a lens choice which is suitable for virtually any type of photography.

Since many photographers start off with a camera with an APS-C sized sensor, the Sigma 30mm f1.4 delivers the equivalent of a 50mm lens. It is an excellent performer in terms of sharpness, color and bokeh. I used an earlier version of the lens as my only lens during a trip to Paris and didn’t at all miss having other lenses at the ready.

Order thru B&H Photo.


Nikon 50mm f1.8G

For those starting off with a full-frame camera, a fast 50mm f1.8 fits the bill for a normal, fast lens. Though it may not enjoy the cache of its faster siblings the f1.4 or f2, this lens provides very good performance at a very affordable price point, which is easy to justify for most budgets.

But most importantly, you are not compromising on image quality. The lens performs admirably especially under low light conditions. More importantly, it help photographers to achieve that shallow depth of field with nice bokeh that they admire in other photographers’ images and just aren’t possible with slower kit lens. It’s hard to go wrong with a nifty-fifty.

Order thru B&H Photo.


Tamron 90mm f2.8 Di Macro

Close-up photography is one of the most seductive and enjoyable parts of photography, especially for beginners. However, the close-focusing abilities of most kit lenses fall short of what you really need to produce those jaw-dropping results.

The Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro provides that 1:1 magnification that close-up photographers crave. Its incredible corner to corner sharpness, good color and contrast and built-in vibration correction features help to produce sharp beautiful photographs of the smaller elements that make up our world. The lens can also deliver as a great portrait lens which blurs the background with a delicious quality of bokeh.

Order thru B&H Photo.

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