edited December 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
First let me thank you for the great job you are doing. For people like us who are new to Digital SLR, this is a great place to start with.

I have been using the D3100 for last 4-5 years. I have been using both manual and auto settings. I have just purchased your Cheat sheets for the Nikon D3100 and 18-55mm, hoping it will improve my manual settings.

I am wondering if you can suggest which lens should be my next upgrade on this camera?

Thank you


  • edited December 2015
    It's a bit hard not knowing your budget and your needs.

    If you are satisfied with the focal length range you're getting with the 18-55mm, and just looking for a bit more quality, I would guess your next best bet would be one of the bargain primes within that range. The 35mm f/1.8 DX lens is a fast, sharp normal length lens, and the 50mm f/1.8 AFS is a fast, sharp mild telephoto that will give you very good portraits with a bit easier job of blurring out distracting backgrounds. Both those lenses are relatively inexpensive, and optically superior. A prime (single focal length, no zoom) lens will tend to be a tiny bit sharper than the zoom, with better contrast and better resistance to flare.

    If you wish for more macro magnification, you might look at the 40mm micro lens, which I've heard is pretty nice up close, and also at 40mm makes a decent normal length prime for general work. There are other micro lenses, which might be better for dedicated up close work, but they get rather expensive, and I don't know what your budget is.

    If you are looking for more telephoto reach, the 55-200mm DX lens is relatively inexpensive and makes a nice transition with the one you have. The 55-300mm is also good, but more expensive. It sometimes goes on sale, and if you catch the right timing, it's more of a bargain. Both those longer zooms are well behaved, reasonably sharp, and in other characteristics are similar to your kit lens.

    If you're chasing birds and beasts, there are some rather expensive but very nice longer telephoto zooms. Sigma, Tokina, and Nikon all make super zooms in the range of $1000 to $1500 or so, which will bring a far-flung subject right in, but they tend to be big and heavy, hard to carry around. I recently tried the new Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 zoom, which goes for $1399 or so, and it's mighty impressive.

    There are, of course, all sorts of other lenses, other brands, longer primes, faster zooms, and so forth, some of which can get quite expensive. There are also older lenses which perform very well, but do not auto focus, or in some cases don't even meter, with the D3100. Manual focus, while it can work well when you're not chasing action, is something of a challenge with the small DX viewfinder.

    But all in all, I'd suggest that if you are looking for something in the normal focal length range, the 35mm f/1.8 DX will not disappoint.
  • edited January 2016
    I've been using the standard 18-55mm lens that came with the camera for a few years and it started to become boring. I actually almost went to upgrade my entire camera being the D3100 is a few years old. Well I met a guy shooting with a D700 that shoots 12.1 MP with a 50mm f/1.4G lens. All I can say is that this lens changes the game. If you're into depth of field, this is the lens for you. I myself purchased the 50mm f1.8G lens being it being $200 cheaper, and produced damn near the same results. Everyone has there own taste, but again, I absolutely love this lens.
Sign In or Register to comment.