Best CHEAP Nikon/Nikkor lenses

These are the best cheap lenses available for Nikon. The definition of “cheap” in this list is going to be lenses readily available for less than $250* USD. Some of these lenses are out of production and you will have to buy used, others are brand spanking new and you can pick them up on Amazon or your other favorite photo store.

These are all “5 star” lenses in my book: [starreview tpl=16]

Read on for the goods…

*if $250 is too rich for your tastes, I’ll be doing a super-cheap $45-$75 or less roundup soon so stay tuned!

Best Cheapish 50mm lens

#1 Fast, efficient and very pleasing:

50mm F1.8G AF-S Nikkor

Released: 2011

The new kid on the block from Nikon, this bad boy shoots first and asks questions later. I chose this lovely newcomer over the classic 50mm f1.8D AF Nikkor as my personal go to lens. Primarily because of the much more pleasing bokeh. You don’t have to take my word for it, you can find a nice shootout between the two over at DigitalRev.

Snazztastic price: $219

#2 If you do not care about bokeh, by all means go with the classic:

Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens

Released 2002

You get a small lens with great performance at an unbeatable price. But again, if you shoot at low f stops (like F1.8), beware the bokeh which I find to be comparatively ugly.

Still at around $124.95 it is a steal of a deal.

Mid-range zooms

#1 Ohh so cheap and surprisngly sharp…


Nikon 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G Autofocus Nikkor Zoom

Production years: 2001-2006

Production run: 1.5 million+

Super cheap in all senses of the word, including plastic construction. But boy does this lens perform. Enjoy the light weight and small size while you get out there and take some awesome photos.

Be aware though this bad boy gets a little long on DX cameras (like the D70, D90, D7000 etc.) coming in at a 35mm equivalent of 42-120mm. Don’t worry though, just step back from your subject then you are good to go.

Or if you have a full frame beast like the D700 then slap this bad boy on there and go to town. With this full-frame-camera / super-bargain-lens combo you can show people that, while you appreciate quality you also really appreciate a bargain!

Price range: $36 to $89 and those prices even include shipping!

More price details: on eBay they seem to run about $36-$60 and on Amazon (used) they run about $75-$90

[end for now]

More to be added… but for now it’s time to get out there and take more photos!

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