When it comes to lenses for cropped sensor cameras, the two most popular options are zoom and prime lenses. The Nikon D3500 already comes with a kit lens which is good enough for taking regular shots around town or out in nature, but if you want to take your photography to the next level, the best Nikon D3500 lenses are what you need.
What is a zoom lens?
A zoom lens will get up close and personal with the thing or person you want to photograph. Think about it as a bit of stealth equipment, you can take photographs from far away without being noticed. This is great for beginner photographers who might be shy when it comes to taking photographs of people they don’t know. A zoom lens will also give you plenty of bokeh, which is that blurry background effect that makes images look professional.
Which zoom lens to buy?
A zoom lens will set you back anywhere from $200 on up, very high up. Considering the D3500 is a beginner’s camera, it would be wise to start with something cheap that gets the job done well. The AF Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G is a very versatile lens that offers great image quality for the price. They average around the $200 USD mark.
What is the prime lens?
A prime lens means that there is no zoom and the focal length can’t be changed. Since the focal length is set, the lenses are quite simple and offer a great aperture (light), anywhere from f2.8 – f1.2. Simply put, it means that you get great image quality for a very reasonable price.
Which prime lens to buy?
Prime lenses are fairly specific to the type of photography you want to do, but the most popular prime lens found in every photographer’s bag is the 50mm portrait lens. This brilliant piece of kit is capable of making any photographer look like a pro, taking very high-quality images with beautiful bokeh, and able to operate in low light conditions. Even among 50mm lenses, there are quite a few choices, but for the D3500 it’s probably wise to go for the Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G at an affordable $200 USD. Make sure not to buy the Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D as it won’t autofocus with the D3500 body.