10 Best Lenses for Nikon D500: 2021 Guide

This is a guide covering the best lenses for the Nikon D500.

In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:

  • Best overall lens for the Nikon D500
  • Best budget lens for the Nikon D500
  • Best zoom lens for the Nikon D500
  • Best prime lens for the Nikon D500
  • Pros and cons
  • Price
  • Important features
  • And more

Let’s dive in.

10 Best Lenses for Nikon D500: 2021 Guide

Click/tap on each lens name to jump to that section. At the end of each section, there is also a link to jump back to this table to make it easy for you!

In a hurry? Check out our top pick!

1. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
– Sharp images
– Great bokeh
– Handy for most situations
– Wide aperture perfect for indoors

The Nikon D500 created a buzz among Nikon users in 2016.

And to this day, many are still enjoying the power of the Nikon D500.

Great ergonomics, superb image quality, and an ability to shoot at 10.7 fps, these are some of the reasons why it is a favorite among sports photographers, photojournalists, and wildlife photographers.

To enjoy the full potential of this DSLR, you will need to invest in some of the best lenses for D500.

In this guide, we’ll feature some of the best Nikon D500 lenses including prime lenses for portraiture, wide-angle lenses, and zoom lenses.

1. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
BEST ALL-AROUND
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
– Sharp images
– Great bokeh
– Handy for most situations
– Wide aperture perfect for indoors
2. YONGNUO YN35mm F2
BEST BUDGET LENS
YONGNUO YN35mm F2
– Budget-friendly option
– Can be used for portraits and landscape shots
– Sharp images
3. Nikon 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G
BEST ZOOM LENS
Nikon 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G
– Good value
– Great range
– Superb image quality
– Comes with vibration reduction feature
4. NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G
BEST PRIME LENS
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G
– Perfect in low light conditions
– Fast AF
– Sharp images
– Beautiful bokeh
5. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
– Perfect for low-light conditions
– Sharp image quality
– Great for shooting landscapes and even for portraits
6. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G
– Perfect for shooting landscapes
– Great portrait lens if you want a wider perspective
– Allows you to have steady shots thanks to its VR
7. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G
Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G
– Sharp photos
– Fast and quiet AF
– Lightweight
8. Altura Photo 8mm f/3.0
Altura Photo 8mm f/3.0
– Lightweight
– Sharp image
– Great 180-degree view
– Heavy-duty build
9. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G
– Perfect for landscapes
– Wide aperture
– Great for taking shots even when it is no longer sunny
10. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G
– Sharp images
– Smooth and accurate AF
– Offers great distance

What is the Overall Best Lens for Nikon D500?

1. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

We believe that the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens is the best overall lens for the D500. Good for both portraiture and for taking photos of picturesque locations, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens is a handy lens that can be used for most situations.

It comes with a wide aperture perfect for creating beautiful bokeh, plus you also get sharp images with it.

It is a handy lens regardless if you are shooting outdoors or indoors.

And also, it has a silent motor that allows you to focus discretely when shooting.

The only downside to this lens is that you will need to have steady hands because it doesn’t have any stabilization feature.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G image – Source
Pros
  • Sharp images
  • Great bokeh
  • Handy for most situations
  • Wide aperture perfect for indoors
Cons
  • No stabilization

→ Jump Back to Table

What is the Best Budget Lens for Nikon D500?

2. YONGNUO YN35mm F2

YONGNUO YN35mm F2

If you’re on a tight budget, the YONGNUO YN35mm F2 Lens might seem like a good option for you.

For not much money, you can have a 35mm lens that’s compatible with your Nikon D500.

Though we don’t consider it as the best prime lens for Nikon D500, it is a budget-friendly version that can easily meet your needs whether it’s for portraits or for shooting landscapes (check out the best Nikon lenses for landscape photography).

It is wider than your typical 50mm lens. It has both AF and MF mode giving you the freedom how you want to focus on your subject.

The biggest downside though is that the AF isn’t that accurate resulting in a lot of blurred shots.

YONGNUO YN35mm F2
YONGNUO YN35mm F2 image – Source
Pros
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Can be used for portraits and landscape shots
  • Sharp images
Cons
  • AF isn’t too accurate

→ Jump Back to Table

What is the Best Zoom Lens for Nikon D500?

3. Nikon 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G

Nikon 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G

Nikon 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G Zoom Lens is a great choice for those who are looking to shoot discretely from afar.

Though it is most likely a daytime zoom lens, its focal length is something that can please most photographers.

If you are looking for a lens that can produce sharp images even without the use of a tripod, then this lens is the right fit for you.

You can go for the Nikon 70-300 lens with a vibration reduction feature to minimize the blurry shots.

Though the image quality is excellent, some pros think that the autofocus isn’t fast enough for taking wildlife shots such as birds flying across trees.

Nikon 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G
Nikon 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G image – Source
Pros
  • Good value
  • Great range
  • Superb image quality
  • Comes with vibration reduction feature
Cons
  • Autofocus isn’t fast enough for moving wildlife

→ Jump Back to Table

What is the Best Prime Lens for Nikon D500?

4. NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

Naming the best prime lens for Nikon D500 was tough given the number of good prime lenses in the market.

But comparing all the prime lenses on our list, we consider the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens the best option out there.

What makes it a good prime lens? One, it is highly versatile given the fact that it has a 50mm focal length.

Next, it has a wide aperture allowing you to create beautiful bokeh and take photos of subjects even in low light conditions.

It also made use of an ultrasonic motor that helps minimize the sound whenever it is focusing. And on top of that, it produces sharp images.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G
NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G image – Source
Pros
  • Perfect in low light conditions
  • Fast AF
  • Sharp images
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Highly versatile
Cons

    → Jump Back to Table

    5. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

    If you are looking to have a wider perspective in your portraits, or if you are looking to shoot cityscapes and nature, then you might find the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F/1.8G Lens to be an interesting option.

    It is one of the best lenses for Nikon D500 because of its sharp image quality, not to mention its ability to shoot in low-light conditions.

    The only downside is that the AF is a bit inaccurate which makes some portrait photographers hesitate to use this lens whenever they are shooting faces.

    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G image – Source
    Pros
    • Perfect for low-light conditions
    • Sharp image quality
    • Great for shooting landscapes and even for portraits
    Cons
    • AF could be more accurate

    → Jump Back to Table

    6. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G

    Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G

    Our list of best lenses for Nikon D500 wouldn’t be complete without a wide-angle zoom lens that is perfect for shooting beautiful sceneries and cityscapes.

    The Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 G Lens is a great option for those who are looking to capture beautiful sights during the daytime.

    Though its aperture isn’t exactly wide enough to come in handy in most low light scenarios, we suggest that you just compensate by kicking the ISO up.

    Apart from shooting landscapes, it is also the perfect lens whenever you are looking to shoot group photos.

    And since it has a vibration reduction feature, you can shoot comfortably even if you don’t have a tripod.

    However, if you have a small budget for your wide-angle lens, then might as well check other options in our list of best lenses for Nikon D500.

    Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G
    Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G image – Source
    Pros
    • Perfect for shooting landscapes
    • Great portrait lens if you want a wider perspective
    • Allows you to have steady shots thanks to its VR
    Cons

      → Jump Back to Table

      7. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G

      Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G

      The Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm F/4.5-5.6 VR lens is probably the perfect choice if you are looking to shoot on top of mountains or top of buildings.

      However, under normal circumstances, most photographers won’t even use it.

      Nonetheless, we still considered it as one of the best lenses for Nikon D500.

      It produces sharp images, lightweight, durable, not to mention its near-silent AF stepping motor.

      It also has a vibration reduction feature allowing you to shoot without any problem even without a tripod.

      Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G
      Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G image – Source
      Pros
      • Sharp photos
      • Fast and quiet AF
      • Lightweight
      Cons
      • Not everyone will need an ultra-wide lens

      → Jump Back to Table

      8. Altura Photo 8mm f/3.0

      Altura Photo 8mm f/3.0

      The Altura Photo 8mm Fish Eye Lens is another ultra-wide-angle lens that made it to our list. It is rare to see lenses to have a focal length that is this wide.

      It is best used for shooting on top of buildings and other scenic locations when you are at a high vantage point.

      It takes sharp photos thanks to its superior quality glass.

      It does well even when the sun is about to set at F/3.0.

      However, you can only manually focus using this lens.

      Altura Photo 8mm f/3.0
      Altura Photo 8mm f/3.0 image – Copyright “Jason Stewart”
      Pros
      • Lightweight
      • Sharp image
      • Great 180-degree view
      • Heavy-duty build
      Cons
      • Manual focus
      • Distortion is quite obvious though fixable

      → Jump Back to Table

      9. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G

      Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G

      Wide-angle lenses don’t usually come in a wide aperture version.

      That is also the reason why we decided to include the Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 24mm F/1.4 ED Wide Angle Lens on our list.

      This prime lens is a breath of fresh air for those who are limited to shooting landscape photos only during sunny days.

      It also produces sharp images plus a fast and accurate AF.

      Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G
      Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G image – Source
      Pros
      • Perfect for landscapes
      • Wide aperture
      • Great for taking shots even when it is no longer sunny
      Cons

        → Jump Back to Table

        10. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G

        Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G

        If you are looking to shoot portraits from a greater distance to make your subject feel comfortable, then the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens is for you.

        This allows you to shoot at a greater distance from the subject compared to your typical 50mm prime lens.

        And on top of that, it is also a good option even for indoors or when you don’t have a good light source.

        It also offers fast and smooth AF. And if you decided to shoot manual, you can easily switch towards manual mode.

        So what’s not to like?

        It takes some time to get used to shooting at extreme zoom.

        Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G
        Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G image – Source
        Pros
        • Sharp images
        • Smooth and accurate AF
        • Offers great distance
        Cons
        • You might need some time to get used to shooting portraits in extreme zoom

        → Jump Back to Table

        Concluding Remarks

        Hope you enjoyed this buyer’s guide on the best lenses for the Nikon D500.

        Also hope that you find the perfect lens for you and your photography style!

        Finding the best Nikon D500 lenses can be a bit tricky simply because different photographers will have different needs.

        To solve this dilemma, we’ve come up with 10 different lenses that can help you in different situations.

        To get the best deal, be sure to compare each lens first before buying.

        I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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