Known as one of Nikon’s most popular entry-level DSLR cameras is the Nikon D3300. First introduced in 2014, this user-friendly Nikon model boasts of a powerful sensor and impressive battery life. It also comes with an AF-S DX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR II kit lens. Now, if you’re wondering what lenses are compatible with Nikon D3300, then we provide you general guidelines and specific recommendations on lenses that can work with it.
If you’re looking to step up your game, then a wide range of lenses are readily available to you, from wide-angle and portrait lenses to telephoto ones. But before we get to that, it’s important to know the type of digital body that Nikon D3300 has.
Basically, there are two types of autofocus digital camera bodies. One has a built-in focus drive motor, whereas the other type needs specific lens type for auto-focusing. The Nikon D3300 belongs to the latter.
What Lenses Are Compatible with Nikon D3300?
Without a focusing motor built in its body, the Nikon D3300 requires AF-S lenses for autofocus. ‘S’, by the way, in AF-S means silent wave motor, an electronic focusing motor that’s quiet and fast. These lenses are a step up from old-school manual focusing. AF-S lenses have the “AF-S” marked on the label plate of Nikon lens along with other spec codes.
Another line of lenses with auto-focusing mechanism are AF-I lenses that have an integrated focus motor. These are the first Nikon lenses with built-in motors and work perfectly well with Nikon D3300.
Besides AF-S and AF-I lenses, the Nikon D3300 can accommodate many lenses with no built-in auto-focusing mechanism. With these types of lenses, however, there will be some sacrifices such as the need for manual focus adjustment and the absence of exposure metering and flash control.
How about Lenses that Won’t Work with the Nikon D3300?
While a great number of lenses are perfectly compatible with the Nikon D3300 and a few can work with the cam with some functions sacrificed, there are those that do not work at all with it. Nikon lists them on their website. Among them are 6mm f/5.6, 7.5mm f/5.6, 8mm f/8, OP 100mm f/5.6 fisheye lenses as well as lenses that need the AU-1 focusing unit.
What Are Our Recommendations?
If you want to move up from the AF-S DX 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR II lens your Nikon D3300 camera comes with, then we understand. While it’s a great starting lens to work with, it doesn’t produce the best results in low lighting and simply might not be enough for the kind of photography you do.
Here are some of our recommendations:
Portrait Photography: Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G
Fetching you great images under low lightings is the Nikon prime lens AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G. With the ability to let in a lot of light, they’re perfect for taking indoor and night shots. And because it’s capable of completely blurring the background, they make a good portrait photography lens.
Aside from the great images that Nikon prime lens AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G gives you, you’ll also love that this prime lens is quite affordable. Its plastic construction, however, tells you that it’s not meant to be a forever lens.
Travel Photography: Nikon AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
If you’re looking for more zoom power than your 18-55mm kit lens, then the Nikon AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 is one worth considering. When traveling and you don’t intend to bring extra lenses, you can mount this lens and you’re adequately geared up in documenting your travel.
Aside from a longer range, this zoom lens equipped with vibration reduction technology fetches you sharp images.
Wildlife Photography: Nikon AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
For serious telephoto capacity, you’d want to get the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR for your Nikon D3300 camera. The lens is great for wildlife photography.
And as one of the longest zoom lenses in the DX-format, it comes at a hefty price tag. Moreover, normal lighting conditions are required to fetch you great images despite the vibration reduction technology the lens is designed with.
Macro Photography: Nikon AF-S DX Micro 40mm f/2.8G
A high-quality, affordable lens for macro photography for the Nikon D3300 is the Nikon AF-S DX Micro 40mm f/2.8G. It takes sharp images of subjects up-close. With its short focal length, it’s ideal for food and product photography. But because you need to get close to your subject, the lens may not be appropriate for taking some types of macro photos.
Another feature that makes this lens ideal for macro photography is its quick and precise focusing capability.
All-in-One: Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR
If you don’t like bringing different lenses with you, then the Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR buys you the luxury of capturing wide-angle and telephoto shots, wildlife photos, and more in one lens. And while an extremely large zoom range would have meant heavier and bulkier equipment, this lens is surprisingly compact.
It would have been a match made in photography heaven if the lens weren’t as expensive as it is. For what it can do, the lens will cost you more than double the price of the camera itself. But if you’re going for versatility and quality images, then this lens is a must-have in your arsenal.
There goes your answer to what lenses are compatible with Nikon D3300. The lenses we recommended skim just the surface of the number of lenses that can go with your cam.
From macro and telephoto, you’ve got a wide selection of compatible lenses for your Nikon D3300. For every shooting style and every price point, you’ll find something to swap with your 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR II kit lens.
Now, all you need to ask yourself is what shooting style you’re going for and how much you are willing to spend. The whole line of Nikon AF-S and AF-I lenses alone offer you a lot of options. Then, there are other Nikon lenses and some third-party lenses, too, ready to meet your needs.