The Nikon D3400 is one of those cameras that beginners and experts both love. Its small size makes it a fantastic travel camera, and the learning curve isn't too steep for newbies. The 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. The following lenses work with the D3400 and are our top choices for the year.
- The kit lens: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm VR II
- Compact all-in-one: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-105mm VR
- Nify fifty: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm
- A budget 50mm: Yongnuo YN EF 50mm
- Best budget landscape option: Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 10-20mm
- A long zoom: Nikon AF-P DX 70-300mm VR II
- Best update for your kit lens: Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD
- One lens for every job: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm ED VR
- A fast prime: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm
- A fisheye favorite: Nikon AF DX NIKKOR 10.5mm Fisheye
- All-in-one zoom: Tamron AF 18-200mm
The versatile NIKKOR 18-55mm zoom focal range is great for everything from family portraits to landscapes. This is a newer model of the kit lens that came with your camera, and it has an updated vibration reduction motor. That means you can take a cleaner, clearer handheld shots. The Nikon 18-55mm is a lightweight lens that covers the most common focal lengths, and it's just the right size for travel or day trips.
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 expansive 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 also full-frame models so that you can share the lens between kits.
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.
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.
A telephoto zoom is a 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 inside gives fast and quiet autofocus, making it a good choice for those who shoot sports and wildlife.
When you're ready to upgrade your kit lens, the Sigma 17-50mm is the best lens going. Images are bright and crisp, and the lens has a steady f/2.8 aperture. I've had this lens in my kit for two 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.
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 for those who prefer a one size fits all approach.
The 35mm from Nikon is a fast f/1.8 prime lens. It performs phenomenally well in low-light conditions, on vacation, for portraits and street photography, and on 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.
Fisheye are ultra-wide-angle lenses that give your images strong but pleasing visual distortion. They're great 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.
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.
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 18-55mm VR II. 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 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. Autofocus is blazing fast, images are clear, and the whole set up is compact enough to carry all day or pack in a suitcase.
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