The Nikon D3500 comes with a standard kit lens best for portrait photography, but it may not be suited for a wide range of shooting styles, such as landscape photography, sports photography, and more.
Using just the standard lens on the Nikon D3500 can be restricting. Adding other lenses to your kit can greatly expand what your camera can do and what photography techniques are available to you.
If you want to buy another lens for a different use, it can be difficult to choose from the overwhelming selection on the market. Keep reading to learn about the Nikon D3500, the types of lenses compatible with it, and what the best lens is for the D3500.
Perfect for beginners, the Nikon D3500 is a very efficient and affordable entry-level DSLR camera. It produces good-quality images, especially when capturing casual and candid photos, with its 24-megapixel sensor paired with an EXPEED 4 image processor – pretty exceptional for an entry-level DSLR.
When it comes to videos, this camera is best used for short clips only, not full-length videos, because it does not have vibration reduction (i.e. image stabilization) and can only shoot for up to 20 minutes with the highest capture quality.
The camera has two focus modes that allow the photographer to shoot using either a manual or automated focus setting. It also comes with an AF-area feature, where the photographer can select an area to focus on from the frame shown on the screen. These focus settings can be limited in some scenarios, such as when shooting with complex lighting or taking photos of moving subjects.
While it may be unnecessary for seasoned photographers, the Guide Mode makes it easy to navigate the camera’s more technical features.
Nikon D3500 specifications
Digital single-lens reflex
Lens mount type
Nikon F mount with (AF) auto-focus contacts
Aperture size of f/1.4-f/5.6; electronically controlled and with instant return
Can be used with AF-P, type E, and G AF-S lenses
124 x 97 x 69.5 mm (4.9 x 3.9 x 2.8 in.)
415 g (14.6 oz) with battery and memory card
Flange focal distance
Best portrait lens for the Nikon D3500
The Nikon 35mm lens is a compact lens perfect for taking portraits. Because of its wide aperture of f/1.8, fast shutter speed, and round diaphragm, photographers can achieve a soft, blurred background and bokeh effect.
This lens is an Art-series zoom lens with a versatile zoom range that covers everything from normal focal lengths to wide-angled shots. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 27.94 cm and a maximum magnification of 0.23x.
Best wide-angle lens for the Nikon D3500
Tokina ATX is a versatile wide-angle lens that is best used for shooting architecture, interiors, and landscapes.
Best telephoto lens for the Nikon D3500
Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm has an optical design that maintains great image quality and reduces color fringing. It is ideal for outdoor photography.
Aperture pertains to the size of the opening inside the lens. The aperture controls the amount of light that hits the photo sensor, affecting the light contrast, depth of field, and sharpness of the image being captured. Each lens model indicates its minimum and maximum aperture size using an f-number range, such as f/2-f/20.
When looking for a lens to purchase, you must keep the following aperture measurements in mind:
Many specialty lenses have emerged throughout time as more new photography styles and methods develop. These lenses are designed for more specific purposes and are not necessarily recommended if you’re just starting out with photography.
But if you’re looking to try out special lenses, we have listed a few of them below.
Wide-angle lenses are either wide-angled or ultra-wide-angled. Basic wide-angle lenses have a short focal length that expands the image horizontally, making closer subjects appear more magnified and the background smaller and sometimes even distorted.
Ultra-wide-angle lenses are most commonly known as the fisheye lens. The ultra-wide capture makes photos appear distorted and barrel-like due to its 180-degree perspective.
This lens is often used in architecture, city, and landscape photography or videography because of how much it can capture in one frame. Because of its unique distortion and experimental look, the fisheye effect has also become more popular in recent fashion editorial and artistic photography.
Telephoto Zoom Lenses
A telephoto zoom lens has a longer focal length than wide-angle lenses, which is why some photographers refer to them as the “opposite” of wide-angle lenses. These lenses are ideal for adding contrast between your subject and your background because they can make the environment appear larger and closer to the subject.
Macro lenses are used to take photographs of objects at a very close range – even closer than what zoom lenses are capable of achieving. These lenses are designed to focus on the subject at an almost microscopic level. This is why macro lenses are usually used to take pictures of very small insects, birds, food, and other detailed subjects.