Best Nikon Lens For Street Photography
Lenses · Nikon

I Reviewed 7 Best Nikon Lenses For Street Photography in 2024

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Last Updated/Info Checked on January 8, 2024 by Kimberly K.

Nikon is a Japanese multinational company that has made quite a notable reputation by manufacturing a diverse range of optical products such as ophthalmic lenses, binoculars, rifle scopes, etc.

Short on time? Take a glance at my top choices.

BEST OVERALL
9.7
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum Aperture: F/22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/ 3.5
  • Weight: 520 g
  • Lens Construction: 13 elements in 10 Groups
  • Filter Size: 82 mm
  • Hyper Sonic Motor
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 24 cm
EDITOR'S PICK
9.5
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/16
  • Maximum Aperture: F/1.8
  • Weight: 810 g
  • Lens Construction: 17 elements in 12 groups
  • Filter Size: 72 mm
  • Hyper Sonic Motor 
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 28 cm
BUDGET PICK
9.1
Nikon 18-105mm
Nikon 18-105mm
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum Aperture: F/ 22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/ 3.5
  • Weight: 420 g
  • Lens Construction: 15 Elements in 11 Groups
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • Silent Wave Motor
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.48 Ft

However, they are better known for their infamous craftwork in the field of the digital camera industry which they have excelled the most and delivered brilliant sets of camera lineups for their users.

Regardless of whether they are DSLR or mirrorless, Nikon cameras are undoubtedly exceptional at capturing images outdoors, and no street photographer can deny that.

However, in order to further enhance your photography skills, you need to substitute something for the kit lens which may otherwise limit your creativity.

So, let’s plunge into the list of best Nikon lenses for street photography I have curated which caters to everyone equally and are quite suitable in almost all circumstances.

The List of Best Nikon Lenses For Street Photography

Here is my favorite list.

BEST OVERALL
1. Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5

1. Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5

  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum Aperture: F/22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/ 3.5
  • Weight: 520 g
  • Lens Construction: 13 elements in 10 Groups
  • Filter Size: 82 mm
  • Hyper Sonic Motor
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 24 cm

Targeted specifically for those photographers who want to embark on landscape photography by capturing wide-angle shots, the Sigma 10-20mm is quite a phenomenal pick.

Ultra Wide Focal Range

Achieve a better and greatly emphasized perspective of the subject you want to capture through the Iris of this ultra-wide angle lens.

Now with the Sigma 10-20mm, you can capture amazing landscape beauties, and interior and exterior architecture photography without taking steps back to cover everything in a frame.

The Ultra-wide capability produces a lovely fish-eye effect so you can record everything with a larger field of view(FOV) resulting in mesmerizing results.

Snappy Aperture

The strongest selling point of this nifty lens is that it maintains a generously wide aperture size of F/3.5 so you can have abundant light to pass through the iris and hit the sensor so all your images and videos would look cinematic with splendid bokeh effects.

Having a bigger aperture size, especially the one that remains constant throughout the focal zoom is quite handy in low light situations as you don’t have to face noise-related issues even while performing photography in higher ISO settings.

Hyper Sonic Motor

Zoom in on your subject quickly and swiftly without having to deal with motor noises, the Hyper Sonic Motor(HSM) provides remarkable zooming capabilities and ensures there is no vibration or any other audible sound that may ruin your videography.

The extremely snappy motor also maintains clarity even while performing dynamic photoshoots and ensures there is no distortion or blur.

Top of the Line Glass Elements

The optical glass of the lens also incorporates countermeasures against optical defects like chromatic aberrations by embedding dual Extra-low dispersion and one special low-dispersion glass element to produce high-resolution imagery at all costs.

Moreover, a super multilayer level coating is also applied to the glass to eliminate ghosting and sunlight flaring up to greater extents.

Testing Results

It’s a Sigma lens so I didn’t expect it to be cheap as the lens itself has plenty of metal material integrated into its overall housing to provide integrity and sturdiness.

On the flip side, it even boasts an extremely resilient metal mount, which is no surprise to me as the lens itself is quite expensive, and seeing such attributes should be common here.

It even has a dedicated Manual focus switch, in case you want to switch to manual focus, especially during a videography session.

Reason for Recommendation

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea due to its extremely high price tag, nevertheless, the quality it boasts in photography and videography will exceed anyone’s expectations quite easily.

You might be interested in: The List of Best Lenses For Sony A7iii

EDITOR'S PICK
2. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8

2. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8

  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/16
  • Maximum Aperture: F/1.8
  • Weight: 810 g
  • Lens Construction: 17 elements in 12 groups
  • Filter Size: 72 mm
  • Hyper Sonic Motor 
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 28 cm

Another pick from the infamous brand, Sigma has top-tier build quality, considerable weight, and is well worth the money.

Build Quality 

The lens is designed by having those professional photographers keep in mind that they work in harsh extreme climatic regions where extreme temperatures can take a toll on the gear and drastically impact its integrity.

It is due to the fact that the whole housing is made from thermally stable composite which is a unique type of compound that is considerably tougher than plastic and also super lightweight so that it won’t tip the scales of a gimbal when calibrating its balance.

On the flip side, there are no countermeasures to keep moisture and dust from entering the internals which is kind of ironic as the whole point of the lens is that it should be mostly used outdoors.

Variable Focal Length

The lens even rocks a variable focal length and allows magnification up to some extent as it has a focal range of 18-35mm.

And since this lens is specially designed for cameras that have APS-C sensors with the crop factor, the focal length roughly becomes 27mm-52mm, which pushes it away from the wide angle spectrum, making it more oriented towards portraiture photography.

While capturing some stills on the streets of random passersby, the results in monochrome filters looked incredibly artistic and the quality it provided was exquisite.

Wide Aperture Size

The lens might cost a pretty penny, but wait till you take a look at the level of bokeh effect it produces, especially while capturing portraits of individuals up close. 

On the other hand, performing macro photography on the 18mm focal length isn’t that bad either as you can have plenty of detail while the unnecessary parts are defocused giving a natural feel to your photos.

The 9-blade F1.8 aperture produces an outstanding and natural-looking bokeh effect with rounded edges so that your subject stands out with immense sharpness.

Hyper Sonic Motor

This lens has a great focusing factor as well as being virtually silent thanks to Sigma’s hypersonic motor feature, which is uniquely incorporated into Art-oriented lenses like this one.

With the help of ultrasonic waves, the focusing mechanism is shifted in split seconds in order to provide exceptional coherence and resolution without compromising quality.

Testing Results

The lens is snappy and the zooming ring is extremely smooth with minimal delays, making it quite easy to capture the subject on the go.

My favorite bit about this lens is that it uses a petal-shaped plastic hood, which works quite well even under direct sunlight and prevents flaring whenever it’s possible.

However, I did notice some vignette effects popping up at the corners especially when the aperture size was as wide as F/1.8, nonetheless, stopping down did help twofold as it considerably improved the image quality.

Reason For Recommendation

The lens has impeccable focusing speeds, all credit due to the integrated Hyper Sonic Motor which virtually makes no noise and produces ultra-sharp results even if the ambient lighting isn’t enough.

Read Also: Best Lenses for Sony A7C

BUDGET PICK
3. Nikon AF-S DX 18-105mm

3. Nikon AF-S DX 18-105mm

  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum Aperture: F/ 22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/ 3.5
  • Weight: 420 g
  • Lens Construction: 15 Elements in 11 Groups
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • Silent Wave Motor
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.48 Ft

Nikon has always made some sweet proprietary lenses for its flagship line and this lens is no exception.

Vibration Reduction

Telephoto lenses like this one used outdoors undoubtedly vastly suffer from lens shake or micro jitters which are quite inevitable and a hassle to eliminate during the post-editing process.

Having such a crucial aspect has changed the way I take photos as the vibration reduction truly makes a difference once you use a lens that doesn’t have this feature.

It’s a treat for almost all sorts of photographers who often perform sessions outdoors while being mobile as you no longer have to tether your camera to a tripod to produce magnificent results.

Spectacular Zooming

The best part about this lens is that you can attain a splendid magnification ratio from a whooping wide angle of 18mm up to 105mm which means you basically cover every aspect and scenario without having to carry multiple lenses in order to achieve the task.

For the price this lens is listed, it is truly bizarre that you are getting such a phenomenal quality lens with robust zooming capabilities.

Using it on my Nikon D3200, I feel like it is a massive upgrade from my kit lens which only provided me zoom up to 55mm. Now I can capture wildlife on the streets from a distance without startling them and boost my portfolio like a Champ.

Versatile Aperture With Snappy AF

Since this lens acts as more of a telephoto-oriented optical lens, I didn’t mind the variability of smaller aperture size ranging from F3.5-5.6 while zooming it from lowest to highest focal length.

My snapshot details have never been this high with high response autofocus that excels greatly in daytime street photography. 

Although I wished the aperture size was a tad bit bigger, nonetheless the results it produces are marvelous but I wouldn’t advise novice photographers to use it during low light situations as the lens suffers greatly from noise.

On the flip side, I barely noticed any resolution or quality drop while capturing images from a distance so, in the end, I can easily say this lens is well worth the price it is listed.

CHEAPEST PICK
4. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm

4. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm

  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum Aperture: F/38 
  • Maximum Aperture: F/3.5
  • Weight: 263 g
  • Lens Construction: 2 Aspherical Elements
  • Filter Size: 52 mm
  • Vr Stabilization
  • Silent Wave Motor
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 11 inches

An extremely budget-friendly option for those photographers who don’t want to shell out the extra cash and simply want to enjoy their hobby.

Rich & Vibrant Output

For anyone who wants to embark on their career or is simply a hobbyist and wants to unleash their inner creative beast, you should probably invest in this lens as it doesn’t cost much, however, it surely packs a punch.

The colors it produced are extremely vibrant, especially during videography, and have strikingly sharp results at both its 18mm wide-angle focal length as well as its portraiture 55mm range.

Whether you want to take some close-up snapshots outdoors or simply want to record sceneries of nature through its Ultra-wide focal length, the results would be extremely up to the mark.

Keep in mind that it has a variable aperture size of F3.5 at 18mm and 5.6 at its maximum focal zoom of 55mm, so don’t expect to have optimal night photography results, as there are plenty of noise-related issues.

Proprietary VR

Even though it is a lens designed for entry-level cameras, it still has some unique features such as Vibration reduction which is an innovative form of lens-based stabilization solution to keep your images free from blur even while zoomed in.

So if you have shaky hands or simply feel tired and can’t hold up a camera for very long periods of time without a tripod, fret not, the Vibration reduction will minimize jitters up to 4 stops and preserve the image quality.

This feature also drastically helps in situations where you are taking photos on the move as the stabilization feature can assist you in such circumstances quite a lot.

Weight & overall Build

The lens is nowhere near bulky and you can easily fit it in your palm as it has a length of 2.6 x 2.36 x 2.36 inches and a net weight of 6.88 ounces, so pop it in your backpack side pack and you wouldn’t even notice it’s there.

As for the build quality, it’s particularly made from plastic which is in quality, far from cheap with a premium golden imprint to give sober vibes. 

The lens also boasts an Autofocus and Manual switch and lets you seamlessly switch between these two modes so you can focus manually during videography or let the camera handle the focusing while capturing some beautiful stills.

MOST RATED
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/16
  • Maximum Aperture:  F/1.4
  • Weight: 280 g
  • Lens Construction: 8 Elements in 7 Groups
  • Filter Size: 58 mm
  • Silent Wave Motor 
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 45 cm

My personal favorite is the nifty fifty but with a twist, this time it has a wider aperture size than F1.8 and is a tad bit expensive.

Optimal For portraitures

The 50mm focal length is like a gold standard in the field of photography and an ideal pick for capturing some sweet portrait shots. Any photographer that wants to perform outdoor modeling sessions, should most certainly pick this lens.

Moreover, if you own a DX-Format camera, then you might want to take a couple of steps back in order to hit the sweet spot in terms of bokeh effect and clarity as the 50mm translates to 75mm due to crop factor.

Ultra Wide Aperture Size

If an aperture size of F1.8 does satisfy you, then buckle up because after investing in this lens you are going on a joyride where all your snapshots would have an exceedingly gorgeous bokeh effect that virtually has no parallel. 

Furthermore, to test out its quality output at night, I captured a couple of close-up shots of my pet dog, and I was astonished at how refined the results were each and every strand of fur on my beloved pet looked defined and looked incredibly real.

As for street photography at night time, there were barely any chromatic noise-related issues while I was capturing pictures of my buddy who stood under a yellow street light beside a sidewalk which was the only light source available at that time.

Super Integrated Coating

Astigmatism and chromatic aberration is quite an issue while performing photoshoots outdoors but luckily, this lens has its own unique approach towards such optical defects by having a super integrated coating (SIC) which fixes light wavelength by eliminating dispersion as well as filtering strong ambient light of the sun or any other light source.

In other words, issues like flaring and any other optical fringing are little to none so all your stills have perfect color accuracy with rich tone and contrast.

PREMIUM PICK
6. Sigma 24-70mm

6. Sigma 24-70mm

  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum Aperture: F/ 22
  • Maximum Aperture: F/ 2.8 
  • Weight: 1020 g
  • Lens Construction: 19 elements in 14 groups
  • Filter Size: 82 mm
  • Hyper Sonic Motor
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 37 cm

Personal Favorite pick of the renowned professional photographer “Tom Adamson”, the Sigma 24-70mm is a magnificent piece of optical artwork.

Premium Magnification

Sometimes street photography demands zooming over a larger distance to take the perfect shot you always wanted because it’s not like you are going to capture only close-up stills.

The lens provides an optical zoom ranging from 24mm-70mm which means you can capture some lovely landscapes, and cityscapes as well as unleash your inner beast and excel in your hidden photography skills by capturing some artistic and creative shots through the fish eye effect.

On the other hand, the 70mm lets you record videos and stills in a perfect frame with top-tier cinematic sharpness and in-depth detail with a true color vibrancy that will blow your mind.

Constant Aperture 

Don’t let the beauties of nature go to waste, capture and preserve what your eyes see through constant aperture size through the focal zoom this lens provides. 

The F2.8 aperture hits the sweet spot in attaining a cinema-grade bokeh effect which explains why the price tag is considerably higher than other products on the list.

Let the world know of your true skills by uploading some cool outdoor candid shots with higher resolution in both low light situations as well as daytime without ever having to face blurring or ISO-based noise-related issues.

Petal Shaped Hood

I was pleased to notice that the lens even comes with a petal-shaped hood which not only protects your camera sensors from harmful and strong ambient light but hooking onto the lens also gives cool and professional vibes.

However you should be mindful that hoods surely increase the overall weight of the lens and undoubtedly affect payload capacity if you load your camera on a gimbal.

Nonetheless, it is a perfect accessory for your camera lens as it certainly enhances the way you perform your street-oriented photography without the intervention of star-shaped flares popping up.

RUNNER UP
7. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm

7. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm

  • Diaphragm Blades:
  • Minimum Aperture: F / 38
  • Maximum Aperture: F/ 3.5
  • Weight: 490 g
  • Lens Construction: 1 Aspherical Element, 1 ED Element
  • Filter Size: 67 mm
  • Silent Wave Motor
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 45 cm

An all-purpose lens that can be used for macro photography, wide angle photography, telephoto photography, and portrait photography, among other things.

Overall Build & Design

The lens itself is a tad bit heavy as it weighs 1.3 pounds and it extends significantly when zooming it all the way down to 140mm. 

Although the overall housing is made from plastic with a matte finish, the inclusion of metal bayonet mounts certainly boosts its integrity as you don’t have to fear that it would break or crack anytime soon even if you mishandle it.

There is a zoom and focus ring on the lens, which has a rubberized grip for comfort. The zoom ring is smooth but requires a little torque while using it in order to eliminate accidental touches.

Vibration Reduction Switch

Additionally, the lens has a dedicated VR switch that automatically compensates for micro shakes and wrist jitter, which is quite innovative and a game changer for lenses with massive optical zooms.

Although you can possibly switch off the Vibration reduction stabilization, it could drastically impact your videography and I wouldn’t advise you to do that.

Silent Wave Motor

Not every camera has its own autofocusing module, which is why it is crucial that you invest in lenses that have this feature, otherwise, you have to rely on manual focusing which isn’t ideal, especially for novice photographers.

To preserve ample focusing and produce super sharp results, this lens also has a Silent Wave motor that delivers precision and snappy focusing by converting ultrasonic waves or vibration into rotational motion to shift the lens elements to provide silent focusing without making any audible noise.

This is quite a cunning method as not only it is efficient and swift but it drastically eliminates annoying vibrational sounds which is the last thing you would want especially while videography.

You may also be interested in canon lenses for street photography.

Bottom Line

Being a Prosumer and a camera hobbyist myself, I love curating articles like these as not only do they provide support to novice or rookie photographers but they also act as a cornerstone and a one-stop shop for all the camera-related accessories that you would otherwise have to scour through the internet in order to find the perfect pick.

That being said, I hope this article about the best Nikon Lenses For Street Photography was indeed helpful and well worth your time and that you have come to a perfect conclusion for an investment that is ideal for your needs.

Have a nice day!

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