Cheap Nikon Lenses That Offer Amazing Image Quality for the Price

Posted by Kenko Imaging USA on

cheap nikon lenses image Photo by Connor Hancovsky on Unsplash

Looking for a cheap Nikon lens? You've clicked in the right article...

When buying an inexpensive lens, you don't want to sacrifice quality. That's the crux of the issue. Often, you can find cheap lenses, but they don't offer very good performance.

On the other hand, many top-shelf Nikon lenses are hugely expensive.

But there are some gems out there that perform well and won't cause your wallet to scream, either.

Here's just a sampling of some of the best budget-friendly Nikon lenses.

Editor's Tip: Need a new lens but don't have the cash to buy brand-new? Find great deals on pre-owned Nikon lenses.

Best Cheap Nikon Lens: 50mm f/1.8D

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It doesn't get much simpler than this little 50mm lens, and that's one of the reasons why it's such a great addition to any Nikon shooter's camera bag.

With a big f/1.8 aperture you can more easily photograph subjects in low-light situations. It produces beautiful bokeh as well, which is great for separating portrait subjects from the background.

This lens has a Super Integrated Coating that's applied to individual lens elements, which reduced lens flare as well as ghosting for cleaner, crisper results.

Likewise, this lens offers superb color accuracy and contrast, even when shooting in challenging lighting conditions.

Though it was designed for use with Nikon's full frame FX camera bodies, it can also be used on crop sensor DX bodies, which gives this lens an effective focal length of 75mm. With all those features, the $132.00 price tag is pretty astonishing.

For further details about this awesome little lens, check out the video above by Eric Rossi.

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Best Budget Nikon Zoom: 70-300mm f/4-5.6G

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As good of a deal as the Nikon 50mm is, this 70-300mm zoom lens might be an even better buy from a price standpoint.

Brand-new, these lenses go for just $134.00 (and even less if you can find a used one!). Given that it has a massive zoom range of 70-300mm, that's a steal.

While this lens isn't going to win any awards for best lens ever made, it's still a solid rig that will help you get great photos.

nikon 70 300mm image

You have to love the versatility of a zoom like this - at 70mm, you can take nice-looking portraits. At 300mm, you can fill the frame with far-off subjects. And there's a ton of variance in between.

There are 13 lens elements in nine groups, and like the 50mm lens discussed above, this one also has Super Integrated Coating to keep ghosting and flare to a minimum.

The lens has a fast-acting autofocus system that's surprisingly precise. Manual focus is also available for those occasions when you need to be in control of focusing.

To top it off, for a lens with this zoom range, it's got a small form factor and it's lightweight, which makes it a great lens for travel photography.

Editor's Tip: Not sure if a zoom lens or a prime lens is for you? Use this guide to decide the best lens for your photography.

Best Inexpensive Nikon Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm f/2.8D

nikon 28mm f2.8 image

If you're a landscape photographer and you want a dedicated prime lens for wide-angle shots, it's hard to go wrong with the Nikon 28mm f/2.8.

For starters, it's small, compact, and lightweight, so it's easy to get in and out of your camera bag, and if you're hiking around looking for the ideal spot to take a photo, you don't have to worry about it sticking out so far from your camera that it will get caught on trees and other objects.

Though the f/2.8 aperture isn't as large as those on the other lenses noted above, it's still plenty big for typical landscapes and nature photos.

Again, we find Nikon's Super Integrated Coating to help the lens control lens flare and ghosting.

The result are images that have gorgeous colors and beautiful contrast, even when photographing in bright mid-day sun or backlit conditions.

When used on a DX crop sensor camera, this lens has an effective focal length of 42mm for a nice standard or normal view of the subject.

For more details about this and other great Nikon lens buys, see the video above by The Angry Photographer.

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Bonus Tip: Put Good Glass in Front of Your Lenses

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One of the best pieces of advice I can give to photographers that are looking at new lenses is to be sure to save some money to buy some good filters for those lenses.

There's really no point in getting a nice lens if you just put a cheap filter in front of it. After all, the light has to come through the filter first, so if it's of poor quality, it will negate the gains you make by having a nicer lens.

And just like you can find some good lenses that are easy on your budget, you can do the same with lens filters.

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I've tested Kenko lens filters now for a couple of months, and for the money, I'm not sure there's a better buy out there.

Kenko's Puro Circular Polarizing Filter is inexpensive, yet is meticulously engineered such that you get the best results.

This filter is made with Japanese assai precision optical glass for excellent clarity. It has oil-resistant and stain-resistant coatings as well, which are a huge benefit for keeping the filter as clean as possible.

kenko image

These filters are compatible with a wide range of lenses from Canon to Nikon, Sony to Fuji, Zeiss to Sigma, and many others.

They're also available in a variety of size, so no matter the size of the lens, you can find a Kenko filter.

And since a polarizer reduces glare, maximizes the contrast in the sky, and minimizes atmospheric haze, it's an incredibly versatile filter.

Along with a new, more capable lens, a good circular polarizer is a perfect addition to your camera bag!

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