17 BEST (ZOOM and PRIME) Nikon D3100 Lenses - AF-S DX Lens 100% Compatible

You want to Buy lens for Nikon D3100? don't know which one? Scared to make the wrong investment in the wrong lens? So Read this article where we cover 18 Dx AF-S 100% Compatible lenses for Nikon D3100 for different photography purpose...

Nikon D3100 Lenses - 32 Hours Of Deep Research, Enjoy it... By NDN

Ever had the feeling of loss when a memorable moment in your life passed by without you being able to actually preserve that moment? I did have that feeling a few years ago! And it was then when I felt I needed photography in my life, and I got myself a Nikon D3100.

As a photography passionate, learning about your current D3100 specs was probably what convinced you to opt for this special piece in the first place. In fact, reading flashy words describing it such as ‘’ 14.2 million effective pixels’’ and ‘’18mm Eye point’’ are irresistible for someone shopping for a digital camera. But the truth is, even with all these specs, you can’t get the most out of your superb D3100 without the right lenses mounted, and the right accessories attached.

Chapter One: Why do we need lenses, and what you need to know about Nikon DX Lenses

It might be thought that the digital camera itself is what determines the quality of the pictures, but the truth is that the camera body is only one part of the whole experience of photography. Our Nikon D3100 has, like other DSLRs, a CMOS image sensor on which the image (subject) is reflected after going through an optical lens. Without it (lens), the image sensor on the body won’t be able to interpret what it sees correctly. In other words, without the lens, the image sensor will produce no pictures. And without the correct lens for the right photography type, the image sensor will produce either unclear and distorted images, or just bad quality photographs that don’t rise to the standards of this delicate art. When it comes to lenses, the sure thing is that there are different brands offering a wide range of models on the market. Some are established and well-known brands like Tokina, Sigma, and Tamron, which are recommended and should certainly be on the list of top choices. Mainly because their lenses are relatively cheap thanks to the less costly materials used by the mentioned companies to build these products. As far as quality is concerned, these brands’ lenses stand as equals to those of Nikon’s. But for maximum compatibility and quality, you should definitely go with NIKKOR. Nikon's series of lenses. What’s better than a Nikon lens made for a Nikon DSLR after all?

Are there different types of Nikon D3100 lenses (Prime Vs Zoom)? Simply, yes


There are mainly two types. Prime lenses, and Zoom lenses. As the names suggest, a Prime Lens offers fewer features in terms of optical capacity. It has only one fixed focal length, 50mm for example. Which means that you’d have to go physically closer to your subject for a closer shot, instead of being able to adjust it to make your subject look closer to you, like, as we most of us know, what zooming is. Using the zoom lenses, on the other hand, you have a wider array of choices in terms of focal length. With a push of a button, you can make your subject look closer (bigger) or further (smaller) on the picture.

1. Prime lenses PROs :

  • These lenses are usually cheaper. Even when talking about lenses with high focal length like 24 and 70mm, you don’t pay much to get one of these and you still get a good quality product.
  • They are simpler to use, more compact and light-weight, which is convenient especially for beginners. 

CONs :

  • The obvious fixed focal length, which might limit the possibilities of your work.

2. Zoom lenses PROs

  • They are versatile and allow for more creativity.
  • They are portable and more useful. Only one zoom lens can, in fact, replace multiple Prime lenses.

CONs : 

  • They come usually bigger in size and heavier, which might be inconvenient for constant travelers.
  • These lenses can be very costly, especially some recent and sophisticated ones.

Now, are there different types of Nikon MOUNT (FX vs DX)? 


For a start, it is useful to know that Nikon manufactures two categories of Digital SLR cameras. With picture format as the dividing factor, FX-format cameras produce with their larger image sensor (36x24mm), full-frame photos that are mostly valuable to users with advanced photography skills and the professionals of the field. Who, are also likely to be the only ones who see value in paying big bucks for these pricey gadgets. While DX-format cameras, such as our D3100, can capture with their smaller image sensor (24x16mm), narrower portions of the image coming through the lens, and therefore produce pictures with what’s known as the 1.5x Crop Factor. Meaning a picture that covers lesser space of the original view/subject. DX cameras are more affordable, though, and thanks to  the wide range of choices available with regard to lenses, sacrificing quality isn’t a concern. So when opting for the right lens for your D3100, make sure the reference ‘’DX’’ is written on the lens’s body to begin with.

Nikon d3100 lenses compatibility - Learn How to Tell that this lens is 100% Full compatible with my D3100


Compared to other cameras, our D3100 is relatively cheaper. Because like the other Nikon DX cameras, this DSLR doesn’t come with a built-in zooming motor, which represents a part of the price of cameras that come natively equipped with it. In the meantime, that same part of the price is reflected on the cost of the lens in the case of our D3100 for instance, which goes up slightly. So make sure you choose a lens with a built-in zooming motor to ensure that autofocus functions well during the zooming process.
Each brand categorizes this type of lenses under a different reference, usually inscribed on the marketed devices.
  • Nikon refers to this type as AF-S (for AutoFocus lenses)
  • DXII or DX2 for Tokina (lenses without the motor come with just DX wrote on them). 
  • HSM for Sigma. 
  • And Tamron refers to this type of lenses on its own as AF/MF (this means that the device supports both manual focus and autofocus). 
So check for these references on the lens of your choice before making the purchase.
This is all you need to know to make the right choice while shopping online for your next Nikon D3100 lens.

Chapter Two: List Of the BEST NIKON D3100 LENSES according to Photography types:

It’s easy to get lost when browsing through the dozens of camera lenses available out there. In fact, it can even be frustrating when you’re looking for just one or a couple of lenses that meet your needs, and you find yourself like the one looking for a needle in a haystack. You may end up giving up on search at this point…For those of you who lived this scenario, we have great news! We did the dirty work of search in the online jungle for you, and we came up with a way to help you find your lens in no time at all. Because most of our dear readers are beginners, we listed types of photography along with a brief intro to each one, and then, after an extensive search of available lenses out there, we put next to each type the best compatible lenses on the market. Please check the table below.

How to get your hands on the perfect lens for you:

  • Write down your intended budget. (ex: $300.00)
  • Take a note of the focal length of the lenses you already have (so you don’t get new ones with the same focal length). (Ex: I already have 18-55mm)
  • Select the type of photography/style that you’re interested in. (Ex: Sport photography)
  • Finally choose the lens/lenses from the well-organized list available (Go to type of photography Table – choose based on your budget).

1. Nikon D3100 Kit lens 18-55mm:

You get this lens usually with your new D3100. For those of you who didn’t get the chance to have it, here is what’s there is to know about it. It’s the perfect fit for beginners, and very simple to use for general photography (family, trips, work…etc).
I write a separate article, about 7 benefits of the Kit lens Click Here

Lens Name Rate Price Buy Now
Nikon 18-55mm
4.7/5 $190 [Free Shipping]

2. Best Nikon D3100 Lens for beginners (Also Good for portrait photography) - The Nikon 35mm 1.8G:

The best Nikon D3100 lens for beginners 35mm (Known as a portrait lens). For a beginner, taking pictures using this lens, is the ideal learning experience that would lay the ground for a solid knowledge and mastery of photography principles. It is a Prime lens with a 35mm fixed focal length, which is close to the capacity of the human eye. Great for beginners to learn the ropes. A must-have item! Sooner rather than later!

Lens Name Rate Price Buy Now
Nikon 35mm
4.7/5 $190 [12% OFF- $23.00]

3. Best Nikon D3100 All-in-one zoom lenses (lens):

The focal length in these ranges between 18mm and 200mm or 300mm (fits best those who don’t have the standard kit lens 18-55mm)  
The choice is more obvious now. If you don’t have the standard kit lens (18-55mm), you should go with the All-in-one zoom lens. It can be used for all the types of photography thanks to its versatility in terms of focal length (starting 18 and up to 300 mm). It’s also very portable and light-weight which makes it more practical when you’re on the move.

Lens Name Rate Price Buy Now
Tamron 18-200mm
Low Price*
4.4/5 $190 [33% OFF - SAVE $100.00 and Free Shipping]
Sigma 18-250mm 4.5/5 $340 [36% OFF - SAVE $200.00 and Free Shipping]
Nikon 18-200mm
4.7/5 $590 [8% OFF - SAVE $53.00 and Free Shipping]
Nikon 18-300mm 4.6/5 $690 [Free Shipping]

2- Best Nikon D3100 Telephoto zoom lenses (Lens): 


The range of focal length in these lenses is between 55mm and 600mm. (a good fit for those who do have the kit lens 18-55mm. So they get to cover a higher range with this extra piece of equipment). These lenses are a long-focus kind. They provide you with greater focal length, and you can get the best out of them when shooting from medium to far distances from your subject/view. Landscape, wildlife, and open spaces, all best photographed using lenses of this type for impeccable quality. Not surprisingly for such versatile lenses, they can also be used to capture with high precision, moments during the different fast-paced sports events, thanks to their remarkably high shutter speed. Overall, you get the most out of a telephoto lens, particularly in portrait, macro, landscape, and sports photography. Assuming you already have a kit lens (18mm-55mm), a telephoto lens (starting 55mm) is what you need to consider next.
Note: a Digital SLR Tripod (i listed 6 IDEAL ones) is a must have while doing sport/wildlife photography.

Lens Name Rate Price Buy Now
Nikon 55-200mm 4.6/5 $140 [43% OFF mean you SAVE $107.00
and Free Shipping]
Nikon 55-300mm
4.7/5 $390 [1% OFF and Free Shipping]
Sigma 70-300mm
Low Price*
4.4/5 $140 [14% OFF - SAVE $24.00 - Only 12 Left]

3. Best Nikon D3100 wide-angle lenses (Lens)


For family or work gatherings, the most valuable feature in a photo would probably be the photographer’s ability to be close to the subjects for a maximum of details on their picture. And, have all the group/groups of people included within the picture frame, at the same time. Well, this is exactly what a lens of this type gives you, with its ability to cover a remarkably wide angle, and still captures the smallest details within. The greatest value of a lens of this kind can be enjoyed while doing landscape photography, as well as in photographs of large groups of people/subjects where precision is needed.

Lens Name Rate Price Buy Now
Sigma 10-20mm
Low Price*
4.5/5 $470 [Free Shipping]
Nikon 10.24mm
If u r Serious about wide angle photography
4.7/5 $890 [11% OFF - SAVE $103.00]

4. Best Nikon D3100 lenses for Portrait Photography 50mm plus 35mm (Recommended for beginner's also):


A portrait picture is defined as an artistic representation of an individual. In such representation, the face and facial expressions of the person are the main focus. This is not a novel form of photography. In today’s world, however, with the need to socialize (especially through social media) higher and more appreciated than ever, portrait photography has also become more important and useful than ever. Whether for your Facebook profile, Instagram, Tumblr or others, your portrait picture or that of a loved one is today an important element in the vital social experience. That’s why this type of photography needs a special attention with a special Nikon D3100 lens measuring either 35mm or 50mm. It’s light-weight, highly portable and adds real value to your experience.

Lens Name Rate Price Buy Now
Nikon 50mm 1.8G
5/5 $190 [10% OFF - SAVE $23.00]
Nikon 35mm 1.8G
5/5 $170 [12% OFF - SAVE $23.00]

Read Also: Guide to 35mm Lens vs 50mm lens - Which One to Go with

5. Best Nikon D3100 Macro Micro Lens (For Macro Photography):


How to know that you have or should have an interest in macro photography? If you like exploring very small objects and you have a D31000, then you only need a special lens to be able to go beyond the capacity of your eyes, and see with the slightest detail insects, plants or any other subject from an extremely close range. That’s what macro photography is. You only need one of the lenses of this type with their fitting diameters, to start enjoying a special experience while exploring what’s invisible to the naked eye.

Lens Name Rate Price Buy Now
Nikon 40mm
Best for Beginner to Macro*
Low Price*
4.7/5 $250 [12% OFF - $33.00]
Nikon 85mm
5/5 520 [Only 4 in stock - Free Shipping]

6. Best Nikon D3100 FishEye Lens (lenses):


Unleash your creativity with this lens while having so much fun. See like fish do (bulged and wide image), while you’re having fun with your kids, or documenting memorable moments with the interesting twist these lenses offer (the bulge/width).

Lens Name Rate Price Buy Now
Nikon 10.5mm
4.6/5 $770 [Only 1 left - Free Shipping]
Rokinon 8mm
Low Price*
4.4/5 $240 [32% OFF - SAVE $110 and Free Shipping]
Opteka 6.5mm
More Low Price*
4.1/5 $150 [70% OFF - SAVE $350.04]

Here is a final wrap up for a quick selection. The best lenses for Nikon D3100 (based on both their affordable cost and optimal quality), are: 
  • For general everyday photography: Nikon 35mm 1.8G.
  • For Portrait Photography: Nikon 50mm 1.8G or Nikon 35mm 1.8G.
  • For Street Photograph: Same as Above (50mm is faster, which is great for street, fast mouvement of ppl or cars).
  • For Macro Photography: Nikon 40mm Macro Lens.
  • Best Telephoto zoom lens: Sigma 70-300mm (affordable and has a very large focal length).
  • Best All-in-one zoom lens: Sigma 18-250mm HSM.
  • For Food Photography: Telephoto Nikon 55-200mm Or Macro 85mm For Deep details and Bueatiful Colors.

Chapter Three: Must-have accessories for your lenses

1. Tripod For Nikon D3100: 


Regardless of the model of your lens or camera, light or heavy, let the tripod carry their weight for you and benefit from the steady shots it ensures, for extra sharpness in your photos. Please note that you need a carbon fiber-made tripod for maximum portability and material quality (light-weight/strong).
Buy(Recommended): Lightweight 60inch Tripod with a bag

2. Nikon D3100 Shutter release:


This accessory allows you to take your pictures without touching the camera. You just choose your subject/view, sit back and take your picture remotely.
Buy: ProGo Remote

3. DSLR Lenses protection:


A protective pouch is a right accessory to protect your fragile and expensive lenses and keep them clean.
Buy (Recommend): Altura Thick Pouch Set. Available in different sizes. #1 best seller, get them with 50% off the price and save 20$.

4. DSLR Backpack: 


If you get more than one lens, you need more space. Get yourself an Amazonbasics backpack for SLR/DSLR (we recommend), and carry up to 2 small DSLRs and 3 to 4 lenses plus some small-size accessories.

5. More Space - SD Card:

With more lenses and better quality pictures, come larger file sizes. We recommend Lexar Professional Memory Card (fast file transfer). Get it with 50% price off. You can add a Fast 3.0 USB Transcend card reader and memory stick wallet to keep everything organized.

6. Extra Battery - More Power:

More sophisticated equipment needs more power. Ending up with your only battery dying in the middle of a photo shoot is something you want to avoid at all costs. We highly recommend you purchase a second battery for your D3100.
Buy: Original D3100 Battery by Nikon, Or 2 Nikon D3100 Replacement batteries by third party company, or see this Battery kit (2 Batteries + Charger).

7. Nikon D3100 Lens Filters:


Filters are needed either for funny-looking pictures or as an additional enhancement to the quality of the lenses (as an additional light-filtering layer before it reaches the camera’s sensor).
Buy: K&F 52mm Lens Filter Kit (80% OFF)

Read Also (Recommended):
At the end of this article, we hope it was helpful to you. Please share it with friends and colleagues on social media. That would be your Thank You to us!

"When you are guided by an experienced photographer, you will know that pursuing photography will be a delightful experience and a worthwhile adventure" - BenoThePhotographer 

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