The Best Lenses for Nikon D90 to Help You Get Back Into Photography
A friend of mine rang me up asking me about the Nikon D90, upon inquiry, I told him that the camera is one of the oldest but also one of the most popular Nikon cameras of its time, and people who still own it have been using it for some time now. Put on a good lens and you are good to go.
Sure, it does have some technical limitations but most cameras just need a good lens and they are back to the races when it comes to taking stunning pictures. If you have just taken your trusty camera out again, we are going to be looking at the best lenses for Nikon D90 that you can buy this very instance.
Best Lenses for Nikon D90
If you want the one lens to get all your tasks done, simply pick the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8. It is an excellent standard zoom lens that is made specifically for APS-C or DX-format cameras, and honestly, the results are astonishing.
Sigma 17-50mm – Best Overall Lens for Nikon D90
Sigma 17-50mm has a fast and constant aperture. It easily gets some sharp photos without any issues.
Sigma lenses for the longest time have been the fan favorite, and honestly, for all the right reasons too. These lenses have led the industry for a long time and the company has given us some of the best lenses in the market.
With that said, the 17-50mm is the one lens that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is in the market for a good lens that is not going to break the bank. There honestly is a lot to love about this lens, and we are going to tell you why you should be invested in this.
For starters, the lens has excellent center sharpness; a trait that I love in a lens because it ensures that the subject always remains in tack-sharp focus and does not run into any issues. The optical performance on this lens is also excellent, and I love how this lens handles chromatic aberration and vignetting as there are barely any signs of that.
The best part about this lens is that you are getting a constant f/2.8 aperture across the entire zoom range, and you are going to get excellent results. This is good for multi-purpose photography as you can even go ahead and take some nice portraits with it.
The lens is also built nicely, so for those who are worried about the build quality, you do not have to stress over it as it will deliver excellent results all the time.
There are a few hiccups though. For starters, the lens has softer corners when you are at 17 or 28mm and it can be sensitive to the backlight, as well.
Overall, it is safe to say that Sigma has done a fantastic job with the 17-50mm lens. I had my doubts at the start, to be honest, but after using it for a while, I realized how good this lens is.
Nikon 18-300mm – Best Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon D90
Nikon 18-300mm comes with a long and practical zoom range. The 1:3 macro magnification is a fun thing to use.
We are all aware of the fact that Nikon has some pretty amazing lenses in their lineup and this has been the case for most of the part. Sure, now and then, a standard zoom lens gets overlooked or a basic lens does not get the attention but for the large part, I do love the work that Nikon has put into their lenses.
The Nikon 18-300mm fits the same category. Those who have used this lens love it, and those who have not heard about it often do not pay the same attention it deserves and that can be a complicated process, to be honest.
Thankfully, this lens has been on my radar for some time, and I have reviewed it in the past as well. I recently listed this as one of the best super-zoom lenses for Nikon D7500 and here we are all over again.
So, what do I love about this lens? Well, a lot. For starters, the long 16.7x zoom range is great to have, especially if you only have one lens in your arsenal and you want to get the most of your experience.
The optical image stabilization on this lens takes the cake as it is a great feature to have that can be useful especially at longer ranges when you do need the lens to be steady so you do not end up with a shaky mess.
The lens also gives you access to 1:3 macro magnification and while this is not truly a macro lens, having this is a great offering, to be honest. You can easily take some great-looking close-ups and they will look great. The lens is also on the lighter and more compact side, so carrying it should never be an issue.
I won’t say that there are no drawbacks here. The lens does suffer from distortion throughout most of the zoom range, and the edge and telephoto performance is not as good. But then again, expecting the lens to be perfect given the price, you cannot complain much.
Overall, the Nikon 18-300m is surprisingly a great lens on many of the fronts. Yes, it does not check as many boxes as some people would like it, but then you look at the price and it starts making sense
Nikon 85mm – Best Telephoto Lens for Nikon D90
Nikon 85mm comes with a wide aperture. The lens offers excellent sharpness and very minimal distortion.
85mm focal length is perhaps the best whenever you are looking to shoot portraits, because this isolates the subject and allows you to get up close and personal with your subject, as well. If you are looking to get a good shot, this is the lens that you should be going for because it works well.
The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 has been available in the market for as long as we can remember and honestly, no matter how many times you have used this lens, this is not going to let you down in any case, and it will work well, too. That is something that we can always guarantee you.
So what is so good about this lens? Well, it is one of the sharpest lenses in the market. If you are in the market for something that is going to produce the most consistent results every single time, this lens is the one that you should be investing in.
The optics on this lens are excellent and they handle the distortion well. There is a very minimal distortion that is barely noticeable in most cases.
My favorite thing about the lens is the fact that it has a wide f/1.8 aperture, which is never really going to let you down, even when you are shooting in low-light situations.
Last but not the least, this is one of the most affordable prime lenses in the market that delivers great results and can easily be used for professional photography.
Considering the age of this lens, I would say that you are looking at a lens that does not have a lot of advanced features but that never really created issues for anyone, to begin with.
Simply put, if you are in the market in search of a good lens, then the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 makes up for an excellent lens. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional who wants to be able to take stunning portraits, this lens will get the job done in every case.
Nikon 35mm – Best Wide Angle Lens for Nikon D90
Nikon 35mm has a bright and wide aperture. It is easy to carry and is one of the sharpest lenses on the market.
Having your hands on a good wide-angle lens is always important, to be honest. You can get some great pictures when you are using a wide-angle lens. I am talking about a lens that has a 35mm focal length or lower, especially on DX-format cameras, this focal length is a must-have.
Thankfully, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 is an excellent entry to the world of wide-angle photography, and to top it all off, you are looking at a prime lens, so the sharpness is already guaranteed. But are you getting the experience you want? Well, that is the beauty of this lens, so let’s have a look.
For starters, this is one of the most affordable lenses in the market, which is what makes it such a good option. More often than not, we do not want to spend a lot of money on a lens and if that is the case, you are looking at this lens.
Not just that, the lens itself is compact and lightweight, so you can carry it without really worrying about anything. Even when attached to a camera, the lens barely adds any extra weight, which is a trait that I truly respect.
The bright f/1.8 aperture is the highlight here. Not a lot of people appreciate fast prime lenses, to be honest. But these are excellent for almost every purpose, and the images that they produce are always great.
The lens is also excellent when you are talking about producing sharp and crisp images across the entire frame. It is always a treat to see a lens that performs this good.
Of course, being an entry-level lens, there are a few downsides that you should know about. For starters, the lens does suffer from some barrel distortion and the manual focus ring is on the narrower side, especially for people with big fingers.
Overall, I would say that if you are looking for an affordable wide-angle lens that produces consistent results every single time, this is a great lens that you should be looking into and the results that it produces are excellent in every case and you will not be let down.
Nikon 50mm – Best 50mm Lens for Nikon D90
Nikon 50mm is compact and lightweight. The fast f/1.8 aperture is always great.
It would be criminal to talk about the best lenses for a camera and exclude a 50mm lens. I am not saying this just for the Nikon cameras, mind you. Whether you are using a Sony user or you have been loyal to Canon for as long as you can remember, it is important to understand that a 50mm lens is always great for a lot of purposes.
Now, the good thing is that a fast 50mm prime lens is not going to cost you a lot of money. Especially when you are looking at the f/1.8 variant as this is one of the more affordable offerings. Sure, some offerings go as low as f/1.2 but you are looking at a lot of money for those lenses.
With that said, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 has been a fan favorite for as long as we can remember, and be honest, for all the right reasons. The lens is known for delivering some of the best performance.
Even when open wide at f/1.8, this is one of the sharpest lenses in the market that gives you amazing results every single time. When you stop down the aperture, it gives you even better results as long as you have good lighting conditions.
Not just that, the lens is also one of the smallest lenses in the market, allowing you to carry it with ease. You will not have any problems with this, that I can assure you. The fast f/1.8 aperture is always helpful in almost every shooting condition that you might have to face.
Not to forget, you are looking at one of the most affordable lenses in the market, and you will not be disappointed by how good this lens is in terms of the overall price to performance ratio.
Honestly, my only real concern here is that the lens lacks some of the newer features that modern lenses have but considering the price and how old this lens is, it barely comes up as a problem.
Overall, Nikon has a clear winner at their hands with this lens as it allows you to take some of the best pictures, and more importantly, is not going to cost you a lot of money. A concern that most people have whenever they are looking for a new lens. So, it is obvious that you are getting something nice.
Nikon 20mm – Best Ultra-Wide Angle Lens for Nikon D90
Nikon 20mm has excellent overall sharpness and it improves when you stop down the aperture.
Normally, not a lot of people are aware of ultra-wide-angle prime lenses but well, Nikon has been making these for some time and the same goes for several other camera and lens manufacturers. Do you know what the best part about these lenses is? They are versatile and they are a lot of fun to use.
The same can be said about the Nikon 20mm, this is of the widest lenses that we have on this list, and thanks to the fact that you are looking at a prime lens, the results that you are getting here are astonishing every single time.
With that said, the lens that we have on our hands delivers fantastic overall sharpness; it is not rare to see such a sharp lens but it never really hurts either because most of the time, the ultra-wide lenses that are available in the market end up getting beaten when it comes to corner sharpness.
Another great thing about this lens is that when you stop the aperture down, the sharpness becomes even better, which is something that you could always use. Thanks to the bright aperture, the lens is capable of producing some stunning stun stars. If you are a landscape or urban photographer, you are going to enjoy using this lens a lot.
At f/1.8, this is one of the widest and fastest prime lenses available in the market, and using it is an absolute joy as it allows you to shoot in various lighting conditions without having to worry much.
I love this lens, but there are a few things that I would like to warn the users about. For starters, there is some vignetting in this lens and the plastic construction might not be to everyone’s liking.
Honestly, Nikon has done an excellent job with the Nikon 20mm. The thing about this lens is that even if you are looking for something that delivers excellent results across the board, this is the lens that you should get your hands on. If you are looking for astrophotography, landscape, or urban/street photography, the lens is going to do a great job at that.
Sigma 24-70mm – Best Travel Lens for Nikon D90
Sigma 24-70mm is a consistent performer. It is optically stabilized. This lens has solid build quality with dust and splash protection.
The last lens that we have on our list is for travel lovers around the world. Traveling can be a lot of fun when you have the right camera and a lens with you. I know, I know, people do say that the best camera is the one that you have on you but then again, having a proper camera is never really a bad thing.
The Sigma 24-70mm has been on my list for a long time and I have been using the E-mount version of this lens for some time, so it was time to give the F mount variant a try, as well. For the most part, both lenses are similar aside from a few differences that I will talk about.
For starters, the lens offers consistent performance across the zoom range, and while the zoom range is not a lot, it still is a promising thing that you are getting good performance. The overall build quality on this lens is one of the best and you are also getting dust and splash resistance.
The best thing about this lens is that it is optically stabilized, as opposed to the E-mount variant. Now, I do understand that the Sony cameras already have in-body image stabilization as opposed to the DSLRs from Nikon and Canon but having OIS is always a great thing, especially in a travel zoom lens.
For a 24-70mm f/2.8, this is one of the most competitively priced lenses in the market, often going cheaper for the first-party options, as well.
My only issue with this lens is the fact that the edge performance at f/2.8 is not as strong as the edges can be dimmed and often be soft, too.
Overall, Sigma 24-70mm is one of the best lenses available in the market. It can easily be the perfect alternative to the best overall lens that I have already mentioned because of how good it performs and you will not be running into any performance issues with this lens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finding the right lens for the Nikon D90 was somewhat difficult. The camera is old, we all know that. So, it was really important to be certain that the modern-day lenses work well with the camera because we do not want to have a bottleneck at our hands.
Thankfully, that was not the case and the Nikon D90 managed to shine despite its age and gave us some of the best results we could have asked for. Therefore, the best lenses that are mentioned in this round-up are going to give you the type of photography you are looking to achieve.
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.