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The Best Nikon D3400 Lenses in 2021: The Ultimate Guide & Reviews

March 17, 2021

As a professional photographer, I know how exciting yet overwhelming hunting for new lenses can be. So if you’re looking for the best lenses for Nikon D3400, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide based on my 15+ years of photography expertise and meticulous research.

In this article, I’ll not only provide an insightful comparison of the best Nikon D3400 lenses but will also share important things to look for and consider before buying your new lens. Be sure to read the section on that, which I’ve put after the individual lens reviews.

Ultimately, my goal is to help you find the best lens for you based on your specific needs and preferences. There are lenses suited for all kinds of photography in this guide, including portrait, macro, street, wildlife, and more. So without further ado — here are the top camera lenses for Nikon D3400 in 2021!

A Nikon D3400 Camera Shooting A City View

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can learn more about this in my disclosure policy.

⭐ The Best Nikon D3400 Lenses: Our Top Picks ⭐

The Best Lenses for Nikon D3400: A Comparison

IMAGEPRODUCTLENS TYPEIDEAL FOR 
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8
Top overall lens
Standard zoom
$
Everyday,
landscapes,
low-light

Nikon 50mm F1.8
Top portrait lens
Prime
$
Portraits,
low-light

Nikon 85mm F1.8Prime
$$
Portraits,
close-ups,
low-light

Nikon 35mm F1.8
Top value lens
Prime
$
Everyday,
portraits,
low-light,
beginners

Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6Wide-angle
$
Landscapes,
architecture

Sigma 10-20mm F3.5
Top wide-angle
Wide-angle
$$
Landscapes,
architecture,
low-light

Nikon 40mm F2.8Macro
Prime
$
Close-ups,
food,
flowers

Nikon 105mm F2.8
Top macro lens
Macro
Prime
$$$
Close-ups,
insects/bugs,
portraits,
flowers

Sigma 150-600mm
F5-6.3
Telephoto
$$$
Wildlife,
sports,
close-ups

Nikon 70-300mm
F4.5-6.3
Telephoto
$$
Travel,
wildlife,
beginners

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8
Top telephoto lens
Telephoto
$$$
Sports,
wildlife,
events,
low-light

Nikon 10.5mm F2.8Fisheye
Prime
$$$
Creative
photos,
low-light

Nikon 18-140mm
F3.5-5.6

Top zoom lens
Superzoom
All-in-one
$$
Everyday,
landscape,
portraits,
wildlife

Nikon D3400 Lens Compatibility Chart

Here’s a rundown of the types of lenses compatible with Nikon D3400. You can learn more about TTL (through-the-lens) metering here. Rest assured — 12 out of the 13 lenses recommended in this guide are AF-S, AF-P, or E-Type; meaning they’re all fully compatible with the Nikon D3400. The only lens with limited compatibility in this guide is the fisheye lens, which requires manual focus.

Nikon D3400 Lens Compatibility Chart

The Best Lenses for Nikon D3400: A Quick Overview

Click on the links below to jump to the detailed review section of each lens

The Best Nikon D3400 Lenses in 2021: Reviews

⭐ Top Pick – Best Overall Lens: Sigma 17-50mm F2.8

A high-quality & affordable lens perfect for everyday shots & low-light photography

Weight: 565 g (19.9 oz.)
Size (WxL): 8.3 x 9.1 cm (3.3 x 3.6 in)
Filter diameter: 77 mm (3 in)
Minimum focus distance: 0.28 m (0.91 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.2x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): Yes
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed review
📸 What makes it the best overall Nikon D3400 lens:

The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM is a fantastic choice for those of you looking to upgrade from your Nikon D3400 kit lens while paying a very affordable price. In fact, this lens offers spectacular value for money; it’s very easy to use, has a standard focal range perfect for everyday shots, achieves incredibly sharp results, and performs amazingly in low-light conditions. It’s truly one of the best zoom lenses for Nikon D3400.

One of the main advantages of this Sigma lens is its constant f/2.8 aperture, which will allow you to shoot at slower shutter speeds while retaining image quality and create stunning nighttime shots. You’ll also be able to get shallower depths of field and gorgeous bokeh (a dreamy, blurry background) — creating better subject-background separation. These are all things that are hard to achieve with the kit lens, which doesn’t have such a wide aperture.

The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 also comes with vibration reduction (VR), which makes it an excellent lens for shooting videos as well. In fact, VR reduces shakes/blurs and helps you get sharp and blur-free photos and videos even when shooting handheld at slower shutter speeds. On top of that, this lens offers a very fast, accurate, and quiet autofocus performance.

One downside of this lens is that while its central sharpness is impressive throughout its zoom range, the corners are soft when shooting wide open (at f/2.8). Once you stop down to f/5.6, though, you’ll get excellent edge-to-edge sharpness. There’s also some vignetting and distortion when shooting at 17mm, but that’s very easy to fix both in-camera and via post-processing.

Pros
  • Excellent central sharpness
  • Fantastic low-light performance
  • Stunning bokeh & depth of field
  • Fast & quiet autofocus
  • Vibration reduction (VR)
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Some distortion & vignetting at 17mm (easily fixable)
  • Edges are soft when shooting wide open

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you want the best standard zoom lens to take everyday shots with; you value high image quality and strong low-light performance.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


👧🏻 Best Portrait Lens #1: Nikon 50mm F1.8 G

A very lightweight & affordable lens that delivers top-notch quality & stunning bokeh

Weight: 185 g (6.6 oz.)
Size (WxL): 7.2 x 5.3 cm (2.8 x 2 in)
Filter diameter: 58 mm (2.2 in)
Minimum focus distance: 0.45 m (1.5 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.15x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX + FX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR)No
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it one of the best Nikon D3400 portrait lenses:

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-S G is an incredibly budget-friendly, high-quality, and lightweight prime lens. It’s actually my personal go-to for portraits and one of my favorite lenses of all time. The results it produces are absolutely stunning — if you want razor-sharp portraits with stunning, dreamy bokeh, then this is the lens for you. It’s also great for a variety of situations such as weddings, events, and street photography!

Autofocus on this lens is very quick and accurate. It also tracks moving subjects really well and allows you to create super sharp and in-focus portraits even at f/1.8. Thanks to its wide f/1.8 aperture, this lens is also fantastic for low-light situations. In addition, it can achieve a very shallow depth of field, allowing you to create excellent bokeh and subject-background separation.

Another great thing about the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G is that it’s an FX lens, meaning it works with both crop sensor (DX) cameras like the Nikon D3400 and with full-frame cameras as well. This essentially makes it a future-proof lens; if you decide to upgrade to a full-frame in the future, you won’t have to replace this lens — it’ll be great to go with your new camera!

On the downside, this lens isn’t equipped with vibration reduction (VR), so if you need to shoot handheld at super low shutter speeds, you might get some blurs/shakes. With that said, because this lens can go to f/1.8, I actually never needed to lower the shutter speed so much for that to be an issue. There’s also some barrel distortion (straight lines appearing curved), but that’s very easy to fix in-camera or via post-processing. Overall, given its fantastic image quality and incredibly good price, it’s truly hard to find a Nikon D3400 portrait lens with better value for money.

Pros
  • Razor-sharp results
  • Great low-light performance
  • Lightweight & compact
  • Breathtaking bokeh
  • Fast & accurate autofocus
  • Very low flare/ghosting
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Works with full-frame cameras too
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • No vibration reduction (VR)
  • Visible barrel distortion (easily fixable)

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you want to take razor-sharp portraits with stunning bokeh and want a very lightweight, affordable, and future-proof lens.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


👧🏻 Best Portrait Lens #2: Nikon 85mm F1.8 G

The sharpest Nikon lens perfect for headshots, close-up portraits & the smoothest bokeh

Weight: 350 g (12.4 oz.)
Size (WxL): 8 x 7.3 cm (3.1 x 2.9 in)
Filter diameter: 67 mm (2.6 in)
Minimum focus distance: 0.80 m (2.63 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.12x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX + FX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): No
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it one of the best Nikon D3400 lenses for portraits:

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF-S G is the best portrait lens for Nikon D3400 if you’re looking to take tons of close-ups or headshots. It is also the sharpest lens ever made by Nikon, although it’s technically only marginally sharper than the previously mentioned Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G. In fact, you’ll barely notice any difference between the two in terms of image quality. One thing to consider, though, is that the 85mm is slightly heavier and a bit more expensive than the 50mm.

So, which one should you choose — the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 or the Nikon 50mm f/1.8? The most important deciding factor is the type of portraits you’re planning to take. As I mentioned before, if you’re planning to do mostly headshots or close-ups, you’ll benefit a lot more from the 85mm and will get amazingly rich details on the subjects’ faces. If, on the other hand, you prefer more zoomed-out portraits or full-body shots, then you’ll have an easier time with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8, which has a more suitable focal length for that.

Another thing to consider is how “creamy” you want your bokeh and backgrounds to be. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 produces creamier bokeh, so if you prefer a super blurry and smooth background, then this is the lens to go with. On the other hand, the 50mm lens allows you to have more creative control and achieve more well-defined bokeh, so at the end of the day, it really all comes down to what your preferences are. Both lenses perform really well in low-light situations, and both of them are compatible with full-frame cameras too.

Pros
  • The sharpest Nikon lens ever made
  • Excellent for headshots/close-ups
  • Very smooth & creamy bokeh
  • Fast & accurate autofocus
  • Fantastic low-light performance
  • Works with full-frame cameras too
Cons
  • No vibration reduction (VR)
  • Long minimum focus distance; great for portraits but not a multi-purpose lens

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you plan to take a lot more headshots & close-ups than full-body shots; you want the creamiest and smoothest bokeh.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


👧🏻 Best Portrait & Everyday Lens: Nikon 35mm F1.8

A must-have multipurpose lens for stunning environmental portraits & everyday shots

Weight: 200 g (7 oz.)
Size (WxL): 7 x 5.2 cm (2.8 x 2.1 in)
Filter diameter: 52 mm (2 in)
Minimum focus distance: 0.3 m (0.98 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.16x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): No
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it one of the best portrait lenses for Nikon D3400:

The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX is hands down the best top-value lens you can get for your Nikon D3400 or for any Nikon DX camera for that matter. It is incredibly affordable; in fact, it’s one of the most inexpensive Nikon lenses on the market today, and yet, it produces spectacular image quality. Even when shooting wide open (at f/1.8), you’ll see super sharp results and rich details. You’ll also get breathtaking bokeh and incredible low-light performance thanks to its wide constant aperture.

On top of that, this lens is also very small, lightweight, and portable. It’s also super easy to use, which makes it a perfect beginner’s lens too. In fact, if you’re thinking of getting your first prime lens, there’s no better choice out there than the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G. Its focal length allows you to take regular everyday shots with ease, and it also doubles as an incredible portrait lens — especially if you’re into environmental portraits and street photography. Given this versatile lens costs close to nothing, it’s really a no-brainer.

A Photo of a Cat Taken With a Prime Lens
Taken with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G @ 35mm, 1/640, f/1.8, ISO 100

Moreover, autofocus on this lens is very quick, smooth, and quiet. When using the optical viewfinder, it also tracks moving subjects very well. While this lens doesn’t come with vibration reduction (VR), its wide f/1.8 aperture kind of makes up for it. In fact, thanks to it, I never actually needed to lower the shutter speed so much for shakes/blurs to appear. Overall, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is a stellar choice if you’re looking for the most affordable fast lens for everyday shots and zoomed-out portraits.

On the downside, unlike the previous two portrait lenses, this lens is only compatible with crop sensor (DX) cameras like the Nikon D3400, which means if you decide to upgrade to a full-frame in the future, you won’t be able to use this lens with it. You’ll also notice some mild vignetting and barrel distortion (straight lines appearing curvy), but both of them can be easily fixed in post-processing.

Pros
  • Very lightweight & compact
  • Super affordable
  • Fantastic image quality
  • Versatile & multi-purposeful
  • Excellent low-light performance
  • Stunning bokeh
  • Fast & quiet autofocus
  • Incredible value for money
Cons
  • No vibration reduction (VR)
  • Some barrel distortion
  • Minor vignetting

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you want an affordable, entry-level prime lens for zoomed-out portraits and general everyday shots; you also value low-light performance.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


🏞 Best Wide-Angle Lens #1: Sigma 10-20mm F3.5

A top-value lens for landscape & architecture shots with great low-light performance

Weight: 520 g (18.3 oz.)
Size (WxL): 8.7 x 8.8 cm (3.4 x 3.5 in)
Filter diameter: 82 mm (3.2 in)
Minimum focus distance: 0.24 m (0.78 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.16x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): No
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it one of the best wide-angle lenses for Nikon D3400:

The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM is the best wide-angle lens for you if you’re looking to do low-light wide-angle photography or to shoot indoors. This lens has a sturdy build and offers spectacular value for money: it’s very reasonably priced, its image quality is exceptional, and you’ll get incredibly sharp and clean results with very minimal distortions and flares.

The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 has a close focusing distance of 0.24m (0.78 ft), which comes in very handy when taking wide-angle shots in tight spaces; this allows you to capture majestic architecture and landscapes without having to back out far. You’ll also get gorgeous, high-contrast shots throughout the zoom range, and can take advantage of the constant f/3.5 aperture for low-light shots and astrophotography. Another thing to love about this lens is its very fast, accurate, and near-silent autofocus.

On the downside, you won’t be getting vibration reduction (VR) with this lens, so it’s not the best lens for taking videos or shooting handheld at very slow shutter speeds. With that said, a good tripod or video stabilizer kit will solve the issue. In addition, while you’ll get excellent central sharpness throughout the zoom range, the corners are somewhat soft when shooting wide open (at f/3.5). As we stop down, though, the edges do get very sharp, especially at f/5.6.

Pros
  • Fantastic image quality
  • Great for low-light situations
  • Very impressive central sharpness
  • Fast, accurate & quiet autofocus
  • Close focusing distance
  • Very little to no distortion
  • Great flare control
  • Fantastic value for money
Cons
  • No vibration reduction (VR)
  • Edges are a bit soft when shooting wide open

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you’re looking to take breathtaking, high-quality wide-angle shots and plan to shoot indoors or in low light a lot.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


🏞 Best Wide-Angle Lens #2: Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6

The best lightweight & portable wide-angle lens perfect for traveling and hiking

Weight: 230 g (8.2 oz.)
Size (WxL): 7.7 x 7.3 cm (3 x 2.8 in)
Filter diameter: 72 mm (2.8 in)
Minimum focus distance: 0.22 m (0.8 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.17x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): Yes
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it the best wide angle lens for Nikon D3400 for travelers:

The Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 DX VR AF-P is a small, lightweight, and portable wide-angle lens that’s perfect for travelers and hikers who don’t want to carry a heavy lens in their bag. The great thing about this lens is that despite its compact size and very affordable price, it’s just as sharp as any other wide-angle lenses out there. In fact, it delivers excellent image quality, minimal flare/ghosts, fast and silent autofocus, and extraordinary edge-to-edge sharpness.

So, how does this lens compare with the previously mentioned Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM, and which one should you choose? The first question to ask yourself is: how often will you be shooting in low light? Also, how often will you be taking indoor architecture shots? If your answer to both questions is “quite often”, then go with the Sigma lens — it’s only a bit pricier but offers much better low-light performance thanks to its wider and constant f/3.5 aperture. The Sigma lens is also a better choice for you if you’re big on bokeh and creamy backgrounds. The Nikon lens is a lot slower and doesn’t really produce good bokeh.

On the other hand, the Nikon lens weighs only 230 g (8.2 oz.) whereas the Sigma lens weighs 520 g (18.3 oz.), so it’s considerably more portable and convenient to carry around. With the Nikon lens, you’ll also get vibration reduction (VR), so won’t need to worry about shakes or blurs when shooting handheld at slower shutter speeds. With that said, the Nikon lens has an all-plastic lens mount, so it’s less sturdy than the Sigma lens (which has a metal mount). Ultimately, both lenses yield amazing results. It just all boils down to what your needs and preferences are.

Pros
  • Very lightweight & travel-friendly
  • Amazing edge-to-edge sharpness
  • Minimal flares/ghosts
  • Excellent image quality
  • Fast, accurate & quiet autofocus
  • Vibration reduction (VR)
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Not great in low-light conditions or indoors
  • Not great at creating bokeh
  • Lens mount is made of plastic

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you want a lightweight and travel-friendly wide-angle lens and don’t need to shoot in low light or indoors and don’t care about bokeh.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


🦉 Best Telephoto Lens: Sigma 70-200mm Sports F2.8

An incredibly versatile lens for sports, events, wildlife, and low-light situations

Weight: 1,805 g (63.7 oz.)
Size (WxL): 9.4 x 20.2 cm (3.7 x 8 in)
Filter diameter: 82 mm (3.2 in)
Minimum focus distance: 1.2 m (3.9 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.25x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX + FX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): Yes
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it the best telephoto lens for Nikon D3400:

The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Sports DG OS HSM is the ultimate telephoto lens to get if you’re looking to capture a variety of situations where you’re unable to get close to your subjects. In fact, though its name contains the word “sports”, this lens is super versatile and suitable also for wildlife, events, portraits, street photography, and stage performances, just to name a few! If you’re into landscapes and architecture, you can also use this lens to take creative close-up shots of them.

One of the best features of this lens is its wide fixed aperture of f/2.8, which is what makes it stand out among other telephoto lenses. Its wide aperture allows it to perform exceptionally well in low-light situations, making it one of the best Nikon D3400 zoom lenses for sports and stage events, where lighting can often be quite dim. This lens is also equipped with very effective vibration reduction (VR), which will help you create sharp and blur-free photos and videos even if you’re shooting handheld at slow shutter speeds.

There are tons of other advantages of this lens, like its ability to achieve gorgeous bokeh and shallow depths of field, and the fact that you can also take incredible videos with it (the best lenses for videos have both a fixed aperture and vibration reduction). Moreover, you’ll get stunningly sharp results even when shooting wide open (at f/2.8), and a fast and accurate autofocus performance throughout the entire focal range.

On the downside, you’ll notice minor chromatic aberrations and vignetting, both of which can be easily fixed in Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop. This lens is also quite bulky, heavy, and leaning towards the pricier side. However, if you want to take the most top-quality close-ups and plan to shoot in low-light situations (such as sports and stage events), then it is very much worth the money and the weight.

Pros
  • Amazing low-light performance
  • Suitable for a variety of situations
  • Very sharp even wide open at f/2.8
  • Vibration reduction (VR)
  • Fast & silent autofocus
  • Gorgeous creamy bokeh
  • Strong build & weather-sealed
  • Incredible value for money
Cons
  • Quite heavy & bulky
  • Somewhat visible vignetting
  • Minor chromatic aberrations

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you want to capture a large variety of close-ups, especially sports and events/performances; you value strong low-light performance and bokeh.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


🦉 Best Super Telephoto Lens: Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3

A very sharp lens perfect for extreme close-ups of wildlife and sports events

Weight: 1,930 g (100.9 oz.)
Size (WxL): 10.5 x 26 cm (4.1 x 10.2 in)
Filter diameter: 95 mm (3.7 in)
Minimum focus distance: 2.8 m (9.1 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.2x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX + FX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): Yes
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it the best super telephoto zoom lens for Nikon D3400:

The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM is the best lens for you if you want to get the ultimate close-up shots of wildlife and sports events. With its max focal length of 600mm, this lens will allow you to capture incredibly sharp and detailed close-ups of subjects that are hard to get close to. On top of that, it’s also great for shooting creative close-ups of landscapes and architecture, especially if you want to zoom in on a setting sun or a distant mountain peak. Despite its incredible focal range, this lens is priced very reasonably and offers excellent value for money.

The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG is also equipped with very effective vibration reduction (VR), which will help you create blur-free photos & videos even when shooting handheld at 600mm. Image quality is another great strength of this lens. You’ll get very sharp results when shooting wide open at 150mm, and this sharpness stays consistent all the way until 500mm, getting only slightly softer afterward. Moreover, autofocus performance is fast, accurate, and quiet.

On the downside, this lens isn’t ideal for low-light photography; with a maximum aperture of only f/5-6.3, you’ll most likely have to venture into noisy ISO levels when lighting is dim. This lens is also not weather-sealed, and there’s some visible vignetting (although the latter is easy to fix in post-processing). Overall, this is definitely one of the best Nikon D3400 lenses for wildlife thanks to its excellent image quality and 600mm focal length.

Pros
  • Really sharp throughout the zoom range
  • Vibration reduction (VR)
  • Fast, accurate & silent autofocus
  • Capture subjects from really far away
  • Low levels of distortion
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Not the best in low light
  • Not weather-sealed
  • Somewhat visible vignetting

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you plan to take really close-up shots of wildlife and sports events; you don’t need to shoot much in low light (if you do, then the previously mentioned Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 is a better telephoto lens for you).

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


🦉 Best Travel Telephoto Lens: Nikon 70-300mm F4.5-6.3

The most affordable, compact & travel-friendly telephoto lens for the Nikon D3400

Weight: 415 g (14.6 oz.)
Size (WxL): 7.2 x 12.5 cm (2.8 x 4.9 in)
Filter diameter: 58 mm (2.2 in)
Minimum focus distance: 1.1 m (3.6 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.22x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): Yes
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it the best travel telephoto lens for Nikon D3400:

So far, you’ve read about two amazing telephoto lenses for Nikon D3400, but you may have noticed that neither of them is very travel-friendly because they both weigh over 1,800 g (64 oz.). The Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G DX VR, on the other hand, weighs a mere 415 g (14.6 oz.), making it 4x lighter than the previous two lenses. On top of that, it’s also very budget-friendly, making it an amazing top-value telephoto lens for minimalists and light-packers.

The Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G VR truly offers spectacular value for money. Despite its budget price, it produces outstandingly sharp results even when shooting wide open at 300mm and f/6.3, with great corner sharpness too. Moreover, the autofocus performance is top-notch; it is super-fast, accurate, and reliable. In fact, it’s faster than most DX lenses out there and makes it very easy to capture fast action during daylight. Autofocusing also makes no noise whatsoever, which, along with this lens’s vibration reduction (VR), comes in really handy when taking videos.

This lens has only minimal chromatic aberration (CA), and even when shooting directly into the sun, it won’t produce any real flares or ghosts. Distortion is also really-well controlled, although there is some vignetting throughout the focal range. On the downside, don’t expect incredible results when shooting in low light, and although you’ll get great bokeh, it’s not very creamy. This lens is also entirely made of plastic, so it’s less sturdy than the other two telephoto lenses. As far as affordability and travel-friendliness go, though, it’s truly hard to find a better competitor.

Pros
  • Very lightweight & travel-friendly
  • Outstanding sharpness
  • Super fast & quiet autofocus
  • No ghosts/flares
  • Minimal distortions
  • Vibration reduction (VR)
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Fantastic value for money
Cons
  • Not the best in low-light conditions
  • Entirely made of plastic
  • Not the creamiest bokeh

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you want a high-quality, budget-friendly, and lightweight telephoto lens; you don’t need strong low-light performance.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


🐝 Best Macro Lens #1: Nikon 40mm F2.8 G

The best Nikon D3400 lens for capturing medium-sized objects such as flowers & food

Weight: 235 g (8.3 oz.)
Size (WxL): 6.8 x 6.4 cm (2.7 x 2.5 in)
Filter diameter: 52 mm (2 in)
Minimum focus distance: 0.163 m (0.53 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 1.0x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): No
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it one of the best macro lenses for Nikon D3400:

The Nikon 40mm f/2.8G DX is the best lens for you if you’re looking to capture some high-quality close-ups of medium-sized objects such as flowers and food. This is because it’s a specialized macro lens (FYI, Nikon refers to macro as “micro” — they’re the same thing) with 1:1 magnification, which means it will depict your subject in its actual size on the image sensor, letting you capture spectacular details in close-up shots.

🐞 Note: This lens is not the most suitable for capturing small-sized objects such as insects and bugs. For that, I recommend the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 G in the section below (see why there).

The Nikon 40mm f/2.8G is very small, portable, and budget-friendly. It offers fantastic value for money because despite its low price, it produces incredibly sharp and detailed results throughout its aperture range, as well as gorgeous bokeh and colors. On top of that, it has great control over chromatic aberrations and distortions. Autofocus is fast when shooting non-macro subjects, but its accuracy and speed can drop when focusing on very close subjects. To be honest, macro shots usually come out best when focusing manually anyway, so this shouldn’t be a big deal.

You might also be wondering how this lens compares with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G since their focal lengths are similar. The quick answer is that the Nikon 40mm f/2.8G is a specialized macro lens that’s most suitable for capturing details in small subjects, whereas the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is more of an everyday all-purpose lens. While you’ll get fantastic low-light performance and bokeh with both lenses, the 35mm f/1.8G has a slight advantage thanks to its wider aperture.

Pros
  • Very detailed & sharp results
  • Really small & lightweight
  • Strong low-light performance
  • Stunning colors & bokeh
  • 1:1 magnification
  • Great flare & ghost control
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Not the best for insects or bugs
  • No vibration reduction (VR)

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you want very detailed and sharp macro shots of flowers, food, and other medium-sized objects; you plan to shoot in low-light conditions.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


🐝 Best Macro Lens #2: Nikon 105mm F2.8 VR G

One of the fastest & sharpest Nikon lenses ever — perfect for capturing tiny subjects

Weight: 750 g (26.5 oz.)
Size (WxL): 8.3 x 11.6 cm (3.3 x 4.6 in)
Filter diameter: 62 mm (2.4 in)
Minimum focus distance: 0.314 m (1 ft.)
Maximum magnification ratio: 1.0x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX + FX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): Yes
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it one of the best Nikon D3400 lenses for macro photography:

The Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR G is the best macro lens for Nikon D3400 when it comes to capturing small subjects such as bugs, insects, and water droplets. Thanks to its 105mm focal length, you can stand further away from these tiny subjects, whereas with the previously mentioned Nikon 40mm f/2.8 G, you’d have to go very close to them, which can block out light and create unwanted shadows in your shots. Plus, bugs tend to get scared and fly away if you get too close to them.

For this reason, you’re much better off with the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR G if you’re looking to do some serious macro work. Moreover, this lens is also one of the sharpest Nikon lenses on the market; even when shooting wide open, you’ll get stunning details corner-to-corner. Its very effective vibration reduction (VR) paired with its wide f/2.8 aperture also makes it a spectacular lens for low-light photography. Being a top-notch macro lens, it’s of course also equipped with 1:1 magnification, meaning your subject will be depicted on the image sensor in its actual size.

While this lens is specialized for shooting small subjects, it also makes a great portrait lens — you’ll get some breathtaking bokeh and great subject-background separation thanks to its f/2.8 aperture. Its autofocus performance is also super accurate and one of the fastest among Nikon’s macro lenses. The only downside of this lens is that it’s leaning towards the pricier side. However, if you’re serious about macro photography, then it’s hard to find a lens with better value for money.

Pros
  • One of the sharpest Nikon lenses
  • Stunning details even at the edges
  • Strong low-light performance
  • Incredibly fast & accurate autofocus
  • Gorgeous bokeh & colors
  • Vibration reduction (VR)
  • 1:1 magnification
  • No distortions
Cons
  • A bit pricey

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you want to do some serious macro work and take sharp & detailed shots of small subjects such as insects, bugs, and water droplets.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


🐠 Best Fisheye Lens: Nikon 10.5mm F2.8 G

One of the most advanced fisheye lenses on the market today; excellent for low-light

Weight: 305 g (10.8 oz.)
Size (WxL): 6.3 x 6.2 cm (2.5 x 2.5 in)
Filter diameter: N/A
Minimum focus distance: 0.14 m (0.46 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.2x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX
Autofocus: No
Vibration reduction (VR): No
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it the best Nikon D3400 fisheye lens:

The Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED Fisheye lens is an excellent option to explore if you’re looking to do some creative photography and enjoy playing with distortions. As suggested by its name, this ultra-wide lens allows you to create visuals from a fish eye’s perspective, and it can be used to capture a large variety of things, such as landscapes, architecture, sports, and events.

While this lens is leaning towards the pricier side, it’s one of the most advanced and top-notch fisheye lenses on the market today. In fact, not only is it very compact, lightweight, and travel-friendly, it’s also incredibly sharp and produces fantastic image quality. This includes photos shot in low light too — as a matter of fact, this lens’s fixed f/2.8 aperture makes it suitable even for astrophotography! Moreover, its minimum focus distance of only 0.14 m (0.46 ft) makes it a great lens for creative macro shots too.

While there is some noticeable color fringing in the results, this is easily fixable in post-processing on Adobe Lightroom. Another thing to note is that this lens’s autofocus system is incompatible with the Nikon D3400, so it requires you to focus manually. Even if you’re a beginner, manual focusing is easy to learn and a useful skill to acquire. This lens also isn’t equipped with vibration reduction (VR), so if you want to get blur-free shots when shooting handheld at slow shutter speeds, a good tripod or video stabilizer kit will come in handy.

Pros
  • Versatile & multi-purposeful
  • Outstanding image quality
  • Incredibly sharp
  • Strong low-light performance
  • Lightweight & travel-friendly
  • Close minimum focus distance
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Manual focus only
  • No vibration reduction (VR)
  • Some color fringing

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you enjoy playing with distortions, want super sharp photos, and plan to shoot in low-light conditions.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


⚙️ Best All-In-One Lens: Nikon 18-140mm F3.5-5.6

A very versatile & sharp telephoto lens that’s good for capturing just about anything

Weight: 490 g (17.3 oz.)
Size (WxL): 7.8 x 9.7 cm (3 x 3.8 in)
Filter diameter: 67 mm (2.6 in)
Minimum focus distance: 0.45 m (1.48 ft) 
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.23x
Compatible mountings: Nikon DX
Autofocus: Yes
Vibration reduction (VR): Yes
Sample photos: Click here

🛒 See price on Amazon

Detailed Review
📸 What makes it the best all-in-one camera lens for Nikon D3400:

The Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a very multi-purposeful and versatile everyday lens that lets you avoid having to switch between several different lenses in one shoot. In fact, its large focal range makes it suitable for capturing just about anything, including portraits, wildlife, sports, and landscapes. Of course, if you want to specialize in portraits or wildlife, you’re much better off with a proper portrait or telephoto lens. But if you don’t necessarily have a specific niche, then this is definitely a super convenient all-in-one lens.

On top of that, this lens is lightweight, travel-friendly, and very reasonably priced — offering excellent value for money. It delivers exceptional image quality; photos that are sharp edge-to-edge throughout the whole focal range even when shooting wide open. It’s also equipped with vibration reduction (VR) to help you take blur-free handheld shots at slow shutter speeds. Its autofocus is very quick and up to the task, and to focus manually, you can move the focus ring with just a fingertip. You’ll also get stunning bokeh, especially when shooting at 140mm.

On the downside, this lens has plenty of distortions, which is quite normal for lenses of its type. However, this isn’t a real problem because the Nikon D3400 can actually automatically correct distortions in-camera, as long as you have the latest camera firmware installed. Another possible downside to keep in mind is that this lens is made of plastic, so it’s not exceptionally sturdy.

Pros
  • Versatile & multi-purposeful
  • Incredibly sharp across the focal range
  • Minimize switching between lenses
  • Fast & accurate autofocus
  • Vibration reduction (VR)
  • Stunning bokeh
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Plenty of distortions (easily fixable)
  • Made of plastic

📸 In short, this lens is for you if: you want a flexible and high-quality “do-everything” lens; you don’t enjoy switching lenses every 5 minutes.

🛒 Check latest price on Amazon


The Best Nikon D3400 Bundle: The 2 Lens Kit

If you’re looking for the perfect Nikon D3400 2 lens kit and want to shoot a bit of everything, then the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (kit lens) + the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED bundle is one of the best deals you can find. This is a great option especially for beginners who want to play with the kit lens before investing in something more advanced, but who’d also like to take some wildlife shots. This bundle is a great idea because it’s more affordable than buying the items separately.

With these two lenses, you can shoot pretty much everything: portraits, landscapes, wildlife, and more. It’s essentially a general, all-purpose bundle for everyday shots and wildlife. The only caveat is that neither lens shows very strong low-light performance or super-smooth bokeh. If those things are valuable to you, then I recommend getting a prime lens such as the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G.


A Guide to Choosing the Best Lens for Nikon D3400

Now that you’ve found some great lenses for Nikon D3400, let’s go over some important factors to consider when deciding which of these lenses is the best one for you.

🌺 What Kind of Shots Are You Planning to Take?

First off, let’s consider what you’ll be using your camera for because obviously, different photography niches will require different lens features and focal lengths.

☀️ Everyday shots: Consider a zoom lens with a minimum focal length of 17-18mm so that you can frame your immediate surroundings and also zoom in on subjects further from you. Typically, a 17-50mm or 18-55mm standard zoom lens would do the job perfectly, but you can also go with a bigger focal range (like an 18-140mm) if you want to include wildlife in your repertoire.
⭐ Top Picks: Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 or Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6

👧🏻 Portraits: Generally speaking, the best portraits have a shallow depth of field. For beginners, this means the subject is in sharp focus while the background is blurry. To best achieve this, you’ll need a prime lens. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length (e.g. 50mm rather than 17-50mm), and typically, an aperture of f/2.8 or wider. A very wide aperture (say f/1.8) can help you get a shallow depth of field. ⭐ Top Picks: Nikon 50mm f/1.8 or Nikon 85mm f/1.8

🏞 Landscapes & architecture: While you can definitely take some great landscape and architecture shots with an everyday zoom lens, consider getting a wide-angle lens for very grandiose places. This way, you can capture details closer to you and create very epic, majestic-looking photos. Wide-angle lenses have a maximum focal length of 24mm.
⭐ Top Pick: Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5

🦉 Wildlife: To capture animals in the wild, you’ll need a telephoto lens because you might find it difficult to get close to them. Telephoto lenses have a minimum focal length of 70mm, while super telephoto lenses can go over 300mm. To shoot insects/bugs, you’ll need a macro lens of preferably 65mm or above so that you won’t need to get too close to them and possibly scare them away.
⭐ Top Picks: Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Sports for wildlife | Nikon 105mm f/2.8 for bugs

🥘 Food photography: If you want sharp and detailed close-up shots of food that’ll make your audience drool, consider a macro lens with a medium-range focal length (like 40mm). Macro lenses can achieve 1:1 magnification, meaning your subject will be depicted in its actual size on the image sensor. This makes food shots look especially appealing. ⭐ Top Pick: Nikon 40mm f/2.8

🏙 Street photography: While you can definitely take good street photos with a standard everyday zoom lens, go for a prime lens with an eye-level focal length (30-35mm) if you want better subject-background separation and strong low-light performance. For discreet street shots of people far away from you, consider a 50mm prime lens or a telephoto lens.
⭐ Top Picks: Nikon 35mm f/1.8 or Nikon 50mm f/1.8

An Environmental Portrait Taken With a Prime Lens
Street photography with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G @ 50mm, 1/400, f/1.8, ISO 320

🌙 How Often Do You Shoot in Low Light?

If you plan to take lots of photos in low-light conditions (which typically includes indoor environments), then strongly consider getting a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or below. Generally speaking, the lower the f stop, the better the lens is for low-light situations. Prime lenses are typically the most up-to-task for this job; they capture more light than standard zoom lenses, allowing you to create noise-free and blur-free shots even in challenging light conditions.

If the lens you want has a max aperture higher than f/3.5, then keep in mind that you might see some noise when shooting in low light. You might also want to get a good tripod or see if the lens is equipped with vibration reduction (VR), which will reduce shakiness or blur when shooting handheld at slower shutter speeds. Keep in mind, though, that VR is only effective if your subject isn’t moving. Prime lenses, even the ones without VR, are still ultimately the best choice for low-light situations.

⭐ Top Picks: Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G or Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G

A Candle on a Table Shot in Low Light
Taken with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G @ 35mm, 1/25, f/2.5, ISO 400

✂️ Do You Really Need Edge-to-Edge Sharpness?

Sharpness is generally valued very highly when looking for a lens, but there’s actually a bit more to it. First off, I want to preface this by saying that most of the time, sharpness largely depends on the photographer rather than the lens itself. For instance, you can have the sharpest lens in the world, but if you don’t hold the camera still or don’t know how to focus manually in certain situations, you still wouldn’t get sharp results.

With that said, sometimes, you might not even want everything in your shot to be razor-sharp. For instance, if you’re mainly shooting portraits or wildlife, you might actually want the corners of your shots to be a bit soft so that there’s better subject-background separation. For situations like these, where it’s better for the subject to be in sharp focus and for the background to be blurry, do you actually need a lens that’s sharp edge-to-edge at all apertures?

On the other hand, if you’re planning to shoot tons of landscapes and architecture, then edge-to-edge sharpness might be more important to you. These are the kinds of shots where you might want the entire frame to be razor-sharp so that you can bring out more details. Because some lenses in this guide tend to deliver softer edges when shooting wide open, keeping in mind what you’ll be shooting will help you decide how much that actually matters to you.

A Portrait Taken With a Prime Lens
Edge-to-edge sharpness isn’t always preferred; taken with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G @ 50mm, 1/2000, f/1.8, ISO 50

🍨 Do You Like Creamy Backgrounds & Bokeh?

For beginners, the term bokeh refers to the out-of-focus parts of an image. Strong bokeh is usually seen in images with a shallow depth of field. If you want to create images with tons of bokeh and blurry backgrounds, then prime lenses are the best choices for you.

Prime lenses are essentially bokeh kings — they typically have very wide apertures and can therefore let in a lot more light into your shots. Generally speaking, the wider the aperture, the better bokeh you’ll get (of course, this also depends on the focal length you’re using and how far away you’re standing from your subject).

If you want your background and bokeh to be very creamy and smooth, then go for a prime lens with a very long focal length (such as 50mm or above) and a very wide aperture (such as f/1.8). Generally speaking, a 35mm f/1.8 lens will get you bokeh that’s more defined and less creamy than a 50mm f/1.8 lens would (providing you’re at the same distance from your subject).

⭐ Top Picks: Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G or Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G

A Photo of a Flower Taken With a Prime Lens
Creamy background taken with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G @ 35mm, 1/2500, f/1.8, ISO 100

🏋🏻‍♀️ Do You Mind Lugging Around Heavy Gear?

Lenses can get quite heavy. While prime lenses are generally lighter, some zoom lenses — especially telephoto lenses — can make it difficult to pack light. If you want to reach long focal distances of 200mm or above, make note of the weight of the lens. With that said, there are definitely some great telephoto lenses out there that are lightweight and travel-friendly. It all depends on what your needs and preferences are.

⭐ Top lightweight telephoto lenses: Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 or Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G VR


⏫ Will You Be Upgrading to a Full-Frame Camera?

In the specs box for each lens in this guide, you’ll see which mountings the lens is compatible with. For beginners, if a lens is compatible only with Nikon DX mountings, then that means you can only use it on crop sensor (APS-C) cameras like the Nikon D3400, but not on full-frame cameras like the Nikon D780, for example. Generally speaking, full-frame cameras offer higher image quality and better low-light performance.

A lot of photographers (myself included) start out with a crop sensor camera but upgrade to a full-frame once we feel more confident in our skills. If you’re serious about photography, you might find yourself doing the same thing one day. If that’s the case, then I recommend choosing a lens with FX compatibility so that you can still use it with your future full-frame camera.

⭐ Top future-proof lenses: Nikon 85mm F1.8 G or Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Sports

A Comparison of Full-Frame Cameras vs. Crop Sensor Cameras
Full-frame cameras have larger image sensors, leading to higher image quality and better low-light performance

🎥 Are You Planning to Shoot Videos?

If you’re planning to shoot videos with your Nikon D3400 in addition to taking photos, then there are two key things you should look for in a lens: a fixed aperture and vibration reduction (VR).

With a fixed aperture lens, the aperture stays constant even when the focal length changes. This means that should you zoom in (or out) on your subject while filming, you’ll get a smooth transition because your video’s exposure level will remain consistent. Both prime and zoom lenses can come with fixed apertures.

If you plan to shoot handheld, you’ll also want a lens with vibration reduction (VR) as this will prevent your videos from coming out blurry or shaky. However, if your preferred lens doesn’t have vibration reduction, you can always pair it with a good video stabilizer kit.

⭐ Top videography lens: Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8

A Blogging Camera With A Fully Articulating Screen

🔮 A Note About Distortions & Your Nikon D3400

I talk about lens distortions quite a lot throughout this guide, but I want to add that even if your preferred lens comes with some distortion, it’s actually not that big of a deal because your Nikon D3400 can actually automatically correct distortions in-camera. You just need to make sure you have the latest camera firmware installed.

Alternatively, you can also easily fix lens distortions in post-processing. For example, in Adobe Lightroom, all you need to do is go to the Lens Corrections settings and tick the box for “Enable Profile Corrections”. Most of the time, that one-click action will take care of distortions completely. You can also fix distortions on Adobe Photoshop by following this simple guide.

Get Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop

A Video of Using Adobe Lightroom to Correct Lens Distortions
A one-click lens distortion fix on Adobe Lightroom

Final Thoughts on These Nikon D3400 Compatible Lenses

I hope this Nikon D3400 best lenses guide has been helpful and that you’ve found some great options for you! If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected] I’ll try my best to help you! 🙂


I hope this comprehensive guide on the best Nikon D3400 lenses has been helpful!

For other photography tips, discover:
📸 Best Cameras for Bloggers in 2021: The Ultimate Guide
⚙️ The Best Nikon D3100 Lenses in 2021: The Ultimate Guide
🔭 Best Lenses for Sony A6400 in 2021: The Ultimate Guide
🔮 The Best Lenses for Sony a7III in 2021: The Ultimate Guide
📷 The Best Sony A6000 Lenses in 2021: The Ultimate Guide

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Welcome to my travel + photography blog!

I'm Jiayi, a Chinese-Italian photographer who's been on the move since age 6. With this blog, my goal is to provide you with invaluable tips to help you plan epic trips to both popular and unpopular destinations, and to photograph them the way you'd want to. Happy Travels! :)

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