But most importantly, the D3200 allows you to change the glass and, with it, the ability to change the perspective of your shots.
No matter how good a camera is, it won’t reach its full potential without the proper gear. So in this discussion, we’ll learn about ideal lenses for shooting with the D3200.
Related Post: Best Lenses For Nikon D3400
The Best Lenses for Nikon D3200
Here is the list of the best lenses for the Nikon D3200:
- Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5 – 5.6G VR
- Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
- Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art
- Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
- Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
- Tokina atx-I 100mm f/2.8 FF macro lens
- Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G
Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5 – 5.6G VR
I have chosen the Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5 – 5.6 because it’s a great lens for shooting landscapes. The D3200 strength isn’t in the areas of fast action. I recently wrote a similar article on the D3400, and that camera has a continuous shooting speed of 5 fps, higher than the 4 fps of the D3200. Well, one fps isn’t a world of difference, but 4 fps does not cut it when it comes to shooting wildlife and sports unless you’re photographing a tortoise or a chess match. The D3200’s strength is in the areas of still life portraits, landscapes, astrophotography, weddings, everyday photography, street and travel photography, among other genres.
The Nikon AF-P DX is a wide-angle zoom lens that gives an effective focal length of 15-30mm in a 35mm format. A wide-zoom lens can be used for shooting landscapes, street photography, cityscapes, urban photography, weddings, interiors, and architecture photography.
The lens features image stabilization as well. That means when you’re hand-holding the lens, you can use the image stabilization built into the lens to ensure steady shots.
This new lens comes with a pulse motor that powers the autofocusing system. The pulse motor uses stepping motor technology that ensures that the lens can focus discreetly without making any whizzing sound when engaging. Focusing is exact too. The lens allows you to use full-time manual focusing override. You can grab the manual focusing ring at any time (even when autofocus is engaged) and precisely adjust focus. Also worth mentioning is that the lens has an internal focusing element. This ensures that the lens’s barrel length remains the same throughout focusing.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
The Sigma 105mm macro lens is designed for the full-frame Nikon camera. However, the lens is also compatible with smaller APS-C Nikon cameras using the same f-mount. On DX system cameras, the effective focal length will be 157.5mm.
This lens is version two of the original lens. The original version of this lens did not have image stabilization built-in.
The primary function of this lens is shooting macro photography. The lens offers 1:1 maximum magnification using the closest focusing distance. Speaking of which, the closest working distance for the lens is 1 inch. This means you can keep your distance so as not to disrupt your subject, even if you’re looking for those full-frame shots.
The maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.8. Using this aperture, the lens can capture a lot of light and make decent exposures of small subjects from a close distance.
Beyond macro capabilities, this lens can also be used to shoot portraits and other photography genres. If you’re shooting portraits, the f/2.8 aperture will help you get a shallow depth of field for that beautifully blurred background effect in your portraiture.
Though on a D3200, the longer effective focal length will make it difficult to produce frames with a lot of space around them. All your frames are going to be tighter, so you need more space between you and your subjects if you want to shoot portraits.
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art
This excellent lens has been designed for APS-C camera systems like the D3200. On APS-C cameras, the lens focal length is 27-52.5mm effective. That means it qualifies as a wide-angle-standard zoom lens, serving the purpose of both wide-angle photography and standard focal length shoots. You can use this lens for many photography genres, including but not limited to travel, landscape, street, and weddings. The fast wide aperture captures a lot of light, allowing you to capture eye-catching moments in nearly every lighting condition.
The best thing about this lens is that the f/1.8 aperture is constant across the focal length. This is the first zoom lens to have a constant f/1.8 aperture across the focal length. You can take advantage of this fast aperture to create beautiful background blur when there is space around the subject.
Autofocusing is a breeze with this lens. The hypersonic motor powering the lens is very quiet and precise when focusing.
Additionally, the lens has been crafted using thermally stable components. These components are reliable, even in difficult weather conditions.
Speaking of bad weather, the lens does not have a weather-sealing gasket to prevent dust and moisture from infiltrating the components, so be sure to protect your gear in dusty or rainy environments.
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
When it comes to inexpensive lenses, there are more options than one might think. One of these options is the 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. This all-purpose zoom lens has an 18-140mm focal length. However, the crop fact makes the lens’s effective focal length 27-210mm on a 35mm format. That means this lens can work as a wide-angle lens, and at the same time, with the extended focal length, it can also work as a portrait lens. You can also shoot some sport and wildlife photography, provided the lighting is good, as the maximum aperture drops to f/5.6 at its tele-end. This isn’t the greatest of lenses to work with when shooting in low-light conditions.
The 18-140mm /3.5-5.6 comes with Nikon’s silent wave motor technology for smooth autofocusing. The lens has a full-time manual override feature, as well as a long focus throw which aids in precise manual focusing.
The 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR iOS is sharp towards the middle of the frame but not as sharp towards the corners. That said, stopping down the lens produces better results.
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
If you can only get one prime lens, it should be the Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8. The 35mm focal length is 52.5mm on a 35mm format equivalent. That’s close to the same field of view possible with the human eye.
The USP of this lens is undoubtedly the fact that this lens shoots with a maximum aperture of f/1.8. This allows the lens to gather substantial light in almost every situation, making it ideally suitable for a wide range of shooting environments.
The f/1.8 aperture is good for yet another thing, and that’s the soft, defocused effect you can achieve for your backgrounds. You can isolate a subject from its background and foreground and create those cinematic shots.
The 35mm is ideal for shooting everyday photography like weddings, get-togethers, a day out with friends and family, a trip to the beach, and several other genres like street photography. Because it’s neither too broad nor too long, the 35mm can be used in tight spaces.
The build quality of the lens is decent, which ensures that the lens can withstand some harsher shooting circumstances. But without weather sealing, the lens will not sustain lousy weather in the form of a torrential downpour.
Nikon’s silent wave motor powers the autofocusing. The lens features a full-time manual focusing override, ensuring that the lens can be tweaked to adjust focus at any time.
In terms of performance, the lens can capture wide-open sharp images. However, sharpness tends to drop down at the corners. Stopping down the lens improves the sharpness by quite a bit.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
A 50mm prime is a dream come true for every photographer. Between the 35mm and the 50mm, I have a particular love for the 50mm prime. It offers a focal length that’s very close to the human eye. This lens sports solid build quality, exceptional sharpness and performance, and a fast aperture that ensures that the lens can handle almost any kind of lighting situation.
A 50mm prime is considered a standard prime, just like a 35mm prime. Both these lenses are generally used by hardworking photographers eager to spend a considerable amount of time walking and positioning themselves for the perfect shot.
The nifty-fifty (as the 50mm prime is also known) is widely considered one of the most versatile tools. It has a vast amount of users across several genres, one of them being street photography. No wonder Henri Cartiere-Bresson, arguably the most outstanding street photographer of all time, used a 50mm lens as his primary shooting tool.
This inexpensive lens comes with a fast f/1.8 aperture. As I have already mentioned in this discussion, the f/1.8 aperture is an excellent aperture for capturing shallow depth of field and, with it, blurring the background or foreground.
The 50mm f/1.8 is a great lens for capturing portraits when the effective focal length becomes the equivalent of a 75mm lens in a 35mm format. However, being slightly longer in the effective focal length means this lens isn’t ideally suitable for working in tight spaces.
Tokina atx-I 100mm f/2.8 FF macro lens
This short telephoto macro lens is designed for the Nikkor FX-format camera system. However, the lens will also work with DX-format camera systems such as the D3200 that’s in question here. On the DX-format camera, the lens will offer an effective focal length of 150mm, making this a medium telephoto lens.
A medium telephoto lens like this has a few applications. One of them is shooting portrait photography. The effective focal length is perfect for that purpose. You can also shoot a bit of sport and wildlife, considering that you can’t get too close to the action, and very tight compositions will not be possible.
However, the actual application of this lens is shooting macro photos. This is an actual macro lens in the sense that the lens can capture life-sized images of small objects from very close up.
Please note, however, this lens will not autofocus on the D3200 because the D3200 does not have a built-in autofocusing motor. On a camera such as the D3200, the lens will only work as a manual focusing lens. This is, however, not a big worry as macro lenses are seldom autofocused. Photographers invariably use manual focusing with these lenses.
The system uses the one-touch focus clutch mechanism, which uses a push or pull mechanism to switch between auto and manual focusing. In this case, the lens will only work in manual mode. One thing I liked about the lens is that there are hard stops at the ends of the focusing range. That means you know when you’re focused at the extreme ends of the focusing range.
Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G
This classic kit lens is often packed with cameras like the D3200. The 18-55mm replaces the previous version of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II. One of the significant differences between this lens and the previous version of the 18-55mm is the image stabilization. The new lens does not have image stabilization built-in.
The other significant difference is the autofocusing motor. The older lens had a silent wave motor-powered autofocusing mechanism. The new lens features a stepping motor mechanism that is silent and more precise than the aging silent wave technology.
Apart from that, the lens also features two aspherical elements that suppress the spherical and chromatic aberrations for sharper rendering of images.
The original 18-55mm was not known as one of the best performers, but today the 18-55mm has a solid reputation that has gained ground over the years.
Please note that this lens has been designed for the smaller image circle of the crop lenses. The crop factor is involved, which means the lens’s effective focal length becomes 27 to 82.5mm. This makes the 18-55mm a good choice for shooting portraits, weddings, street photography, etc. You can mount this lens onto your D3200 and shoot all day long, never needing to swap it out for another.