The Nikon D3400 is one of those digital cameras that beginners and experts love. Its small size makes it a fantastic travel camera, and the learning curve isn't too steep for newbies. The affordable D3400 accepts both DX lenses designed for crop sensors and FX lenses made for full-frame, though you may find the latter a bit heavy for your camera. These Nikon D3400 lenses are our top choices for the year.
A go-everywhere lens
The versatile NIKKOR 18-140mm zoom is one of the best Nikon D3400 lenses in their lineup. It goes wide for landscapes and zooms in to bring far away objects up close. The Nikon Silent Wave Motor is quiet and quick, giving you superb autofocus in bright daylight or evening hours. If you prefer to carry only one lens, this is one of Nikon's best.
This is one of the smallest zoom lenses put out by Nikon, and it covers a lot of ground. At 18mm, you can shoot landscapes and architecture photos, and zoomed in to 105mm, you can focus in on birds in your yard or the kids splashing in the waves. The vibration motor keeps shots steady, even when extended, and the compact 18mm-105mm delivers ultra-sharp photos and videos and never takes up too much room in your bag.
The highly sought after 50mm on a crop sensor body like the Nikon D3400 lends itself well to portraits, closeups, family photos, and more. The 50mm prime lens shoots at a fixed focal length and f/1.8 aperture for maximum light gathering. The combo leads to tack sharp photos and videos in bright sunlight or at the golden hour. The NIKKOR AF-S 50mm fits crop sensor cameras like the D3400 and full-frame models to share the lens between kits.
A budget 50mm
I've owned Yongnuo's 50mm prime for a few years, and it's every bit as sharp as Nikon's offering. Specs are primarily the same: 50mm fixed focal length and f/1.8 aperture. The only troublespot on this otherwise perfect bargain lens is that the focus motor is noisy. If that doesn't bother you, it's a bargain-basement priced prime piece of glass that fits crop sensors and full-frame cameras, and one of the best Nikon D3400 lenses for your money. It also makes a fantastic webcam lens.
Best budget landscape option
Landscape lenses give you a wider angle of view so that you're able to squeeze sprawling mountains or long cityscapes into a single shot. Ultrawide lenses are pricey. The Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 10-20mm is the cheapest wide-angle DX lens on the market, and it produces stunning images. The autofocus motor is silent, and built-in vibration reduction stabilizes every handheld snap of the shutter. This affordable lens comes with a lens hood and a soft storage bag. If you're into landscapes, this is the one of the best wide-angle Nikon D3400 lenses.
A long zoom
A telephoto zoom is the lens you want to use to capture images of wildlife and objects that are far away from you. The NIKKOR 70-300mm VR II is an update to one of the kit lenses you may have received when you bought your D3400. It has enhanced vibration reduction that cuts down on handshake and allows you to shoot at slower shutter speeds without sacrificing sharpness. The Silent Wave Motor gives fast and quiet autofocus, making it a good choice for those who shoot sports and wildlife.
Best update for your kit lens
When you're ready to upgrade your kit lens, the Sigma 17-50mm is the best lens going. Images are bright and crisp, and it has a steady f/2.8 aperture. I've had this lens in my kit for three years, and it remains one of my favorites. It's big, and it's cumbersome, but it produces images that are in a different league from the usual Nikon kit lens. This lens comes with a soft-sided carrying case and a petal-shaped hood.
One lens for every job
If you're not keen on keeping a bag full of interchangeable lenses with you at all times, reach for the Nikon 18-300mm. This is an all-around lens that you can use for everything from sunsets to family photos to pictures of wildlife in your local park. It's not cheap, but it is a lightweight option that works for travel and those who prefer a one-size-fits-all approach.
A fast prime
The 35mm from Nikon is a fast f/1.8 prime lens. It performs phenomenally well in low-light conditions, on vacation, portraits and street photography, and hikes. Its small size and low weight match the D3400 perfectly and give you a hike-friendly shooting kit that's almost pocketable. Images are sharp, focusing is fast and silent, and the price of this lens is a steal.
A fisheye favorite
Fisheye are ultra-wide-angle lenses that give your images strong but pleasing visual distortion. They're ideal for creating a wide panoramic image or showcasing an entire cityscape. Nikon's 10.5mm Fisheye comes with an f/2.8 aperture and inbuilt automatic correction to help you take the sharpest pictures possible. Chromatic aberration is eliminated, too, thanks to extra-low dispersion glass elements. This best-selling fisheye comes with a soft carry pouch and a petal-shaped hood.
Best vacation lens
The Tamron 18-200mm is a solid choice if you only want to take one lens on vacation. With a fast autofocus motor, vibration compensation, and wide zoom range, the inexpensive Tamron can fill the shoes of many other lenses. Images are always sharp, and the lens is compact enough to tuck away in your luggage or leave attached to your camera for all-day shoots. If you're heading out on vacation, this is the Nikon D3400 lens you want in your camera bag.
A dual-purpose lens
This contemporary lens from Sigma does both sweeping landscapes and has macro capabilities. If you've ever wanted to get a super close-up shot of a bug or a leaf or something with tremendous detail, you need a macro lens. This model from Sigma shoots at 17-70mm and has a quiet Hyper Sonic Motor and Optical Stabilization to steady your hands, so your images never show camera shake.
Picking the right lenses for your kit
Nikon's D3400 is a capable, inexpensive camera that outputs results far above its price class. Coupled with the right lens, your skills as a photographer grow while your images improve. My favorite lens for most environments comes directly from Nikon and is the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm (opens in new tab). This a lightweight lens with an expansive zoom range that works for a wide variety of shots.
An ultra-wide-angle lens is a must in gear bags of budding landscape photographers, and the Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm (opens in new tab) is a featherweight option that belongs in your bag. Photos are sharp, even handheld, and you'll save a few bucks by going with this focal range over similar offerings.
If you want a lens that covers a lot of ground, I recommend the Tamron AF 18-200mm (opens in new tab). Autofocus is blazing fast, images are clear, and the whole set up is compact enough to carry all day or pack in a suitcase.
Get the best of iMore in in your inbox, every day!
Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.
Thank you for signing up to iMore. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.