The Best Nikon D850 Lenses to Take Your Photography to the Next Level
I am sure we have all found ourselves in a situation when we finally got our hands on a great camera but when we were choosing a lens, things did not work out. I remember when I got my first camera, everything was good but I did not know what lens I should be going for.
The excited version of me went ahead and ended with the kit lens and regretted it for the first few months because my pictures would look terrible. Yes, a good lens is just as important as a camera. More often than not, a good lens on a cheaper camera can make all the difference.
Best Lenses For Nikon D850
Today, we are not talking about a cheap camera. We are talking about the legendary Nikon D850 and are going to look at the best lenses for Nikon D850 so you do not end up buying the wrong lens and my top pick is the Sigma 24-70mm lens as it is the best overall lens that you can get your hands on and the best 24-70mm lens for Nikon D850.
Sigma 24-70mm – Best Overall Lens for Nikon D850
Sigma 24-70mm offers close-up focus and a fan-favorite zoom. With good overall build quality that gets the job done.
The last lens that I am looking at is my favorite lens for a lot of reasons. I have been using this on my Sony A7III along with my gimbal for as long as I can remember and honestly, I have not felt like using any other lens ever since I got my hands on this, and I am going to explain why that is the case.
You see, the Sigma 24-70mm is from the company’s Art lineup of lenses, and while many people would normally comment that this moniker is just a marketing term slapped on the lens to help it sell better but that is not the case at all. Art lenses are sharper and work well in almost every situation.
The lens offers the classic zoom range that can allow you to use this lens for landscapes, portraits, and even for wedding photography. You are also looking at close-up focus capabilities on this lens, which is an excellent feature to have, and the lens brings weather selling and fluorine protection that makes it even better.
Not to mention, you are getting a great lens that is available for both DSLR cameras and full-frame mirrorless cameras, making it one of the most versatile lenses in terms of compatibility. You are also getting in-camera corrections, which is always a nice feature to have.
My only concern here is that if you do not correct the images, there is some distortion and vignette present in the pictures.
Overall, the Sigma 24-70mm is undoubtedly the best overall lens that you can get your hands on for the Nikon D850, but what is even better is that you can use this lens for other camera systems, too. Which makes it even better.
Nikon 28-300mm – Best Lens for Sports Photography
Nikon 28-300mm provides optical image stabilization and is also good for longer focal lengths. The lens remains sharp across the entire zoom range.
We have to agree with the fact that there is no shortage of good lenses for the Nikon D850. The camera itself is one of the flagship DSLRs that the company has to offer so it is only fair that we are pairing it with something that is just as good, right?
Well, do not worry, the Nikon 28-300mm is here to save the day, to be honest. Sure, the lens might look like something that should be on cheaper Nikon cameras but after spending some time with this lens, I realized how good it is in terms of performance and how it complements the D850 and does so well.
Now, the good thing about this lens is that this is one of the sharpest lenses that Nikon has put out, The lens is sharp across the zoom range, and that is impressive, to say the least. Another good thing about this lens is that the 10.7x time zoom ratio that it offers allows you to use this lens for a wide range of photography types.
Everything ranging from landscape photography to sports and wildlife photography is going to be possible using this lens and that too, without any issue. Nikon has also added optical image stabilization, and the lens itself is relatively compact and lightweight.
Although a great lens, I do have some issues. For starters, there is a lot of distortion taking place, and t maximum aperture, you can see softer edges, too. But the overall sharpness remains intact.
Overall, I would say that the Nikon 28-300mm is one of the better lenses, and after spending some time, I realize how it complements the D850 and makes use of all the advanced features that are in the D850, making it a great suitor for the camera in question.
Sigma 50mm – Best Portrait Lens for Nikon D850
Sigma 50mm is one of the sharpest lenses in the market. with great overall build, sharpness, and auto focusing.
Now, this might be a controversial opinion at first but hear me out. The Nikon D850 is an FX or full-frame camera. This means that the focal length does not change because of a crop factor. Using a 50mm lens on the camera will give you a 50mm effective focal length, which is still considered to be a wider angle for portraits.
Then why am I calling this lens the best for portraits? Well, the 50mm gives you enough versatility that you can take portraits with ease and without suffering in any way and at the same time, it allows you to use this lens for other purposes.
Secondly, the lens in question has a wide f/1.4 aperture and this is built for portraits because the results it produces are not only sharp but also beautiful with some of the best depth of field I have managed to see in a lens. Sure, this might not be everyone’s choice but optically and mechanically, this lens is a beast.
Simply put, the lens is one of the sharpest lenses that I have had the chance to review. So much so that I did not feel like testing out other lenses once I started using them. The distortion on this lens is minimal, and the best part is that it has a 15.7-inch minimum focusing distance, which means that you can get up close and personal with your subject.
The lens has one of the best and quickest autofocusing systems, so you know that you are not spending your money on something that simply is not good enough.
I do have a few issues with this lens. For instance, Sigma has added a depth of field scale, a nice touch but I barely saw myself using it, and the lens does suffer from dimmer corners at wider apertures.
Overall, I would say that the Sigma 50mm is the best lens that you can get for portraits as it delivers astounding performance across the board. Sure, it does have some quirks, but overall, the lens barely creates a problem.
Nikon 50mm – Best Affordable Portrait Lens
Nikon 50mm is the sharpest lens in its price category. It is compact and easy to carry around.
I am fully aware of the fact that being able to afford an expensive lens is not something that is going to be for everyone. I mean, being a photographer, I have to think twice before investing in a lens so I can imagine a lot of us have gone through the same.
This is why the Nikon 50mm that I am reviewing is a good lens. The good thing is that it is not only a great lens for your Nikon D850 but I have not only reviewed it before for the Nikon D3200 but also used it on that camera for a long time and even though it acted as a telephoto lens on the D3200, that is not the case here.
Unsurprisingly, the lens does not lose any of its optical characteristics. You are still getting one of the sharpest lenses in the market. You are still getting something compact and lightweight to easily fit into your backpack and the fast aperture gets the job done just like before.
You are also looking at one of the most affordable prime lenses in a way that this is not going to let you down as far as the price tag is concerned, or the performance is concerned. The best thing about this lens is that no matter the camera that you use this lens with, aside from a change in focal length, the lens delivers the same performance across the board.
Sure, there is no optical image stabilization but would you want so much from a lens this cheap and compromise on the optical quality because the optical quality of this lens is where the money is at.
Overall, the Nikon 50mm is a great lens for the price you are paying. Sure, it might not look as attractive or might not carry over the advanced features but for the price, you are getting stunning picture quality and a great value for money. A lens that you can use as an investment and make money through it, too.
Sigma 150mm – Best Macro Lens for Nikon D850
Sigma 150mm is really good with its macro capabilities, sharp image quality, and great focus.
Macro photography is a lot of fun, to be honest. Sure, I do understand the fact that this time of photography is very niche as compared to some of the other types, and you have to get your hands on lenses that are specifically made for macro photography but once you get started, it becomes addictive.
In comes the Sigma 150mm lens. I know you might look at the focal length and ask yourself if you look at this lens, you can use it for a lot of purposes other than just macro photography. I know I am going to sound crazy but you can even take some nice portraits with this lens.
With that said, the good thing about this lens is that it offers brilliant image quality in the center of the frame as well as on the edges. The chromatic aberration correction is great, and there is zero distortion present, as well.
The autofocus is not just silent but also accurate, which allows you to nail your shots every single time. Sigma has also added image stabilization which makes this lens a great offering, to be honest. Especially when you are up close and personal with the lens and you do not want any shake to take place, in the first place.
My only issue here is that in brighter lights, the lens does not do as well because the already bright f/2.8 aperture comes in the way but it is not something that you cannot handle with some minor adjustments. After all, who does not know how to change the shutter speed on Nikon D850? Just change that, and you will get your desired results.
Overall, I am surprised by the versatility that this lens has brought to the table. I looked at first strictly from the perspective of a macro lens but the more I used it, the more I realized how it is so much more than just a macro lens and can be used for many purposes, including some long-distance portraiture work.
Sigma 35mm – Best Lens for Wide-Angle Photography
Sigma 35mm wide aperture at f/1.4 is great to have. This is one of the best-priced lenses in the market.
There is no overlooking the fact that 35mm is one of the classic focal lengths that people have been using for a long, long time. If you are looking for something cinematic, this is the way to go. This is the start of the focal lengths that are good for both portrait and landscape photography.
However, if you are looking at this lens and wondering how it would sit with your Nikon D850, you are at the right spot because this lens does well, and delivers exceptional results, too. For starters, it is one of the sharpest lenses available in the market, to be honest.
Not just that, you are getting a wide aperture at f/1.4, which produces some of the smoothest bokeh that you can get. With all the amazing features, you are getting an affordable lens, and well, the build quality does not shy away, either as this lens is built like a tank and will not give up on you.
With so much to love about this lens, I did not notice some vignette in this lens, and it does not have any optical stabilization but at 35mm, I do not think that you are going to need, in the first place.
Overall, Sigma 35mm is one of the best lenses that you can put on your Nikon D850. Not just that, it is overall one of the best lenses available in the market and delivers exceptionally well-balanced performance to a point that you will not be let down.
Nikon 85mm f/1.4 – Best Telephoto Lens for Nikon D850
Nikon 85mm f/1.4 offers amazing sharpness across the board. There is almost no distortion that could come in the way.
Telephoto lenses are great, to be honest. Especially the ones that start at 85mm because this is considered to be a classic portrait focal length and even though some people argue that they prefer using the 50mm variants because they give more freedom but you are looking at an excellent lens regardless.
Now, the good thing about this lens is that this is also available in an f/1.8 variant for anyone who is looking for a more affordable alternative and we will get to that in a while but for now, the stage is truly reserved for the 85mm f/1.4. Let’s look at what makes this lens so good.
Starting with the obvious that everyone is going to be aware of but you are getting one of the sharpest lenses in the market. During my testing, I barely noticed any distortion, which is also a great feature to have as you can get really good pictures without having to worry much, in the first place.
Another thing that you should be looking at is that the aperture on this lens is excellent in every case, and you are getting some of the best experiences from this lens. I am not going to take away from the fact that this lens has excellent portrait and focal length, making this lens one of the finest available in the market.
Last but not the least, another thing that I cannot take away from this lens is the fact that it is one of the lightest lenses available in the market, making this lens a must-have for a lot of photographers.
My only issue here is that this lens does not have any optical image stabilization and there is some strong vignette when the aperture is wide open but this varies from user to user and how they look at the vignette.
Overall, if you want to get your hands on a good lens, then the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is one of the best telephoto/portrait lenses in the market. It is not going to let you down with the results that it produces, and the pictures that come out of this lens are always exceptionally well done.
Nikon 85mm f/1.8 – Best Affordable Telephoto Lens
Nikon 85m f/1.8 retains excellent sharpness with minimal distortion, becoming one of the best telephoto lenses.
I am fully understanding the fact that the f/1.4 variant of this lens is on the more expensive side, and that is how it normally is, too but that lens being more expensive makes it difficult for people who want to achieve the same results.
This is where I love manufacturers like Nikon and Canon because for every high-end lens, they make a similar, more affordable lens for the masses, too, and normally, the biggest change is in the aperture of the lens and nothing else.
The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 is for everyone who wants to get their hands on a good lens that delivers exceptional results. The sharpness on this lens is excellent, to say the least. Even at f/1.8, the aperture is bright enough to give you some amazing results with shallow depth of field, a characteristic that most people want to go with.
So, if you are concerned that the aperture on this lens might not be enough, that is not going to be the case as the lens optically delivers on that front and does a good job at it, too. The best thing about this lens is that it is one of the most affordable lenses out in the market. This is one of the lenses that you can just buy and use as much as you want without having to worry about how the results are going to come out.
My only issue here is that the lens lacks optical image stabilization but considering the price and its elder sibling, this is not a problem since this OIS is normally not a part of these lenses by design.
Overall, I am pleasantly satisfied with the Nikon 85mm f/1.8. The lens is not going to cost you a lot of money but it will deliver exceptional performance. The type of performance that you would normally expect from an 85mm lens. Making this one great lens for several purposes.
Tamron SP 24-70mm – Best Affordable 24-70 Lens for Nikon D850
Tamron SP-24-70mm delivers sharp results at f/2.8 and wider angles. The lens also offers dust and water resistance.
I am finally getting closer to the end of the list and I still have some really good lenses to look at. Starting with this Tamron 24-70mm lens that I believe everyone should have. Simply put, this is one of the lenses that you should not be without in any case as it does deliver on all the fronts and does a great job at that, too. So, you are getting something that is good.
With that said, the good thing about this lens is that it delivers some of the sharpest lenses, and it remains sharp even at f/2.8 and at wider angles. The image stabilization on this lens is excellent, and the build quality is excellent, to say the least.
Tamron has also gone ahead and added dust and splash resistance to this lens so you know that you are not getting something that will not be able to deliver on that front. I am also happy with the pricing of this lens as it does deliver pretty good pricing and it is not possible to take this away from the lens.
I do have some concerns, though. For starters, the image quality on this lens does suffer beyond 50mm, and the corners are on the dimmer side, too and you are going to experience some amount of chromatic aberration.
Overall, the Tamron SP 24-70mm is one of the best lenses that I have had the pleasure to check out. It works well and delivers amazing results across the board without causing too much of a problem for the photographer. I doubt you are going to go wrong with this lens.
Nikon 20mm – Best Astrophotography Lens for Nikon D850
Nikon 20mm offers an ultra-wide field of view. It also has a great minimum focusing distance for close-up shots.
Everyone can admit to the fact that astrophotography is a lot of fun when you can do it the right way. Sure, it might not be for everyone because a lot of the time, it takes people some practice before they can perfectly capture the essence of it but I can assure you that this is not going to be a problem with this lens.
The lens in question is the legendary Nikon 20mm and I understand that being a prime at 20mm with a wide aperture is odd for some people but hear me out as this lens is a lot better than one might think. The best thing about this lens is that after you do get a hang of it, the performance it delivers is exceptional.
For starters, you are getting an ultra-wide field of view, just what you need for astrophotography or even landscape photography. The lens is wide enough to capture as many subjects as possible. Not just that, the wide aperture allows for some really good opportunities. You can even use this lens in the middle of the night and that too, with ease. So, you do not have to worry much about how the results are going to be.
The lens also offers a 7.8-inch minimum focusing distance, so if you do want to get up close and personal with your subject, you do have that option here too.
There is a lot to love about this lens, to be honest. It is fun, surprisingly versatile, and does not cost a lot for an ultra-wide prime lens but it does have some edge softness that normally goes away when you stop down the aperture. Doing so gives you one of the sharpest lenses in the market.
In conclusion, I find the Nikon 20mm to be a slightly odd lens especially because of the focal length but once you get over that, you are getting a lens that is ridiculously versatile and works well in most situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Nikon D850 is not an easy camera to buy a lens for. This is a 45.7-megapixel beast we are talking about here and when you have such a high-end camera at hand, finding the right lens for it can be difficult. You have to be sure that the lens does not end up bottlenecking the camera because your investment will go down the drain.
That is why the lenses that I have looked at in this roundup are all properly tested with the camera, and they are not going to hinder your overall photography experience. Whether you are just a shutterbug or you genuinely use the D850 for professional photography, these lenses would make a great pairing with the camera.
Hey, I’m Gary Sindell from beautiful Vancouver. A passionate photographer turned ‘Lens Guru’, I’ll help you discover the power of the right lens and elevate your photography game.