Best lens for Nikon D500

Nikon D500: BEST ACTION CAMERA OF THE MOMENT

The Nikon D500 was a sensation when it came to the market. Many photographers see it as a baby D5. The camera has almost the same autofocus system as the D5 and is also almost as fast and solidly built. With its smaller APS-C sensor, it is lighter, smaller and much cheaper. And for many nature and sports photographers, this smaller sensor is even an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
 
The Nikon D500 is a lightning fast and robust camera and an ideal choice for nature and sports photographers. It is very popular among professionals, prosumers and demanding amateurs alike. Thanks to the 21-megapixel APS-C sensor with 1.5x crop factor, it offers more range with the same lenses as the much more expensive full-frame Nikon D5, which is an advantage for the kind of photography that the D500 is perfect for. The D500 has an advanced autofocus system with 153 focus points and can take pictures at 10 frames per second. The maximum sensitivity is ISO 51,200, so shooting in low light with short shutter speeds is also not a problem. It is more robust than the D7200 and D7500 and therefore more suitable for, for example, demanding safaris or action photography where you might get some water or mud on the camera. In combination with good lenses, you can take high quality photos with the D500. Of all the lenses we have tested, these are our favorites for the Nikon D500:

Best LENSES FOR Nikon D500:

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Fisheye: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5 E ED
A very good fisheye, and you can also zoom in for different effects

Wide-angle zoom: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II
A very sharp wide-angle zoom with good autofocus and image stabilization

Kit lens: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
A nice range for a nice price

Standard zoom: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-35 f/3.5-4.5G ED
Good quality and nice and compact

Telephoto zoom: Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 ART
Particularly sharp and bright, comparable to fixed focal length

Super-telephoto zoom: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6G E ED VR
This is the ideal zoom for nature photographers, unless of course you have enough money for the 180-400 mm with built-in teleconverter.

Super-zoom: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
A good all-rounder for those who want everything-in-one

FIXED FOCAL LENGTH

HOW DO WE CHOOSE?

The Nikon D500 now has quite some competition from the D7500, which has the same sensor. The D7500 is a bit lighter, less robust and less fast. But it’s also cheaper. You buy the D500 when reliability and speed are important. And then you also want sound lenses with which you can get the most out of the camera. Some of these lenses will be specially made for the APS-C format, which is called Nikon DX. Others will be suitable for full frame. Nikon calls that FX. So if you buy a lens with FX on it, you can also use it on Nikon’s full-frame cameras such as the D750, D850 or D5. For example, the long telephoto lenses from Nikon are all usable or both DX and FX. The advantage of using such a lens on DX is that the effective field of view is smaller, so that you get a bigger picture of your subject. This is useful if you do not live in an area where lions and elephants fill the landscape, but sparrows and falcons. A sparrow is simply smaller than an elephant. The D500 is Nikon’s top camera in the APS-C segment, and that’s why we opt for the D500 for lenses that offer very good image quality.

HOW ARE THE BEST LENSES FOR THE NIKON D500 SELECTED?

The lenses we recommend are all ones that we have reviewed ourselves. When choosing lens for the D500, we looked at lenses that scored well and fitted well with the D500. This means that we have made a selection of lenses with a high image quality, but that we have also considered dimensions and weight. If you want to know which other lenses we have reviewed and how they scored, check out our list of more than 300 lenses.

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Fisheye: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5 E ED

This fisheye zoom fits both FX and DX cameras. On the D500 you cannot get the circular images that you can get on a D5, for example. On the D500, this lens is always full-screen. However, by zooming out you can make the fisheye effect slightly less strong, if you want to.

Wide-angle zoom: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II

This wide-angle zoom is also suitable for FX and offers, thanks to its large image circle, an exemplary image quality on the D500. It also has image stabilization, and the autofocus is super-fast on the D500. Only the extreme wide-angle position is not that big. That corresponds to 24mm on full frame. Do you want more wide-angle? Then look at the fixed focal lengths below. There is also a wide angle …. zoom.

Kit lens: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

The 16-85mm is not the best zoom lens you can use on the D500, but that is actually rarely the case with kit lenses. It offers a fine range, from wide-angle to telephoto, and the image quality is decent. For the small extra price, you have an excellent all-round lens for this.

Standard zoom: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-35 f/3.5-4.5G ED

If you want more image quality than the kit lens, then this 18-35 mm is a good choice. It offers slightly less range, but more sharpness than the kit lens. And it is also compact and light. You cannot use this lens on FX alone.

Super-telephoto zoom: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6G E ED VR
This is a great zoom for nature photographers. Despite the enormous range, it is still reasonably portable at 2300 grams, and the price is manageable. And the quality is excellent. It can also be used on FX, but it offers 1.5x more range on DX. If you have a very large budget, you can also opt for the AF-S Nikkor 180-400 mm f4G with built-in 1.4x teleconverter. It is 50% heavier and about 7 times more expensive. But then you are talking about absolute top class.

Super-zoom: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

A good all-rounder for those who want everything-in-one. For if you really cannot or do not want to change lenses. The image quality is very good for these kinds of lenses and the brightness is not bad either. Fine for vacation.

FIXED FOCAL LENGTH

Wide angle: Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
It is less strange than it seems, to advise a zoom here. Nikon makes no real fixed focal point wide-angle lenses for the DX format. This zoom offers a good image quality and also a really extreme wide angle, comparable to a 15-30 mm zoom on 35 mm.

Standard: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8

On FX, which it is also suitable for, this 35mm is a slight wide angle. But on the DX sensor, 35mm works perfectly as a standard lens. It is also very bright and light, and the image quality is very good.

Portrait: Tamron 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

The Tamron 85 mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is a beautiful telephoto with a field of view on DX that corresponds to that of a 135 mm on 35 mm. The sharpness is excellent, the bokeh is beautiful, and it is also well finished. But perhaps the most important thing is that this lens has image stabilization. And that is very nice with such a long focal point.

Macro: Nikon AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 105 mm f/2.8G IF ED

The Micro-Nikkor 105 mm f/2.8 is a versatile and high-quality macro lens. It is suitable for FX but magnifies even more on DX due to the crop factor. Thanks to the fairly long focal length, even at 1:1, you still have a considerable distance between your lens and your subject. This makes it easier to highlight your subject, and shy little creatures will scamper away less quickly.

Telephoto: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 E PF ED VR

The Nikon AF-S 300 mm f/4 is a bright telephoto that can be used on both FX and DX cameras. It is the ideal long telephoto for landscape and nature photography. This is due to the use of Fresnel lenses in the lens, making the dimensions and especially the weight very small. This telephoto weighs only 750 grams. The image quality is fantastic, and, because of the relatively low weight, it is also a nice lens to take with you.

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