Marketed as an upper-entry-level DSLR, the Nikon D5100 is a major upgrade to the older D5000. It has a larger and a more enhanced swivel LCD display screen and the same impressive sensor as the semi-professional D7000. In addition to the above changes, the camera also lost some weight, making it lighter and more compact than its predecessor.

Nikon’s followup to the D5000 digital SLR brings a higher-resolution image sensor with improved noise performance and dynamic range, and also the company’s latest-generation picture processing algorithms. It also replaces the earlier camera’s bottom-mounted LCD articulation mechanism with a side-mounted design that’s much more versatile and brings an expanded selection of consumer-friendly in-camera filter effects, plus a two-shot HDR mode–a first for Nikon’s DSLR lineup.

Update: Nikon D5600 Review

Below are the top recommended lenses for the Nikon D5100 DSLR camera. You can choose the one you need.

Best All-in-one Zoom Lenses for Nikon D5100

1. Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR

Sale
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED...
  • Maximum magnification of 032x
  • Angle of view from 76 degree to 5 degree 20'. Focal length range: 18 300 millimeter, minimum focus distance: 16 feet...
  • Aperture range from f/35 to f/22
  • Angle of view from 76 to 520'

2. Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
  • One-lens solution adept in a wide variety of situations
  • Focal length range: 18 -200 mm, minimum focus Distance: 1.6 ft.
  • Two extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements; three aspherical lens elements
  • Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM), Nikon VR II (vibration reduction) image stabilization

Best Wide-Angle Prime Lenses for Nikon D5100

3. Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

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Sigma 20mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Nikon
  • Optical designs is highly resistant to strong incidental light sources such as backlight
  • Minimized Chromatic aberration, distortion, and ghosting
  • This lens delivers excellent brightness and bokeh and is ideal high speed lens for snapshots.
  • The Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM can be considered as the culmination of the Art line in relation with F1.4 series

Best Wide-angle Zoom Lenses for Nikon D5100

4. Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom...
  • Ideal for landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, architecture and more.
  • Focal Length : 10- 24 mm, Close focusing to 0.8 feet
  • Renders a picture angle of 109 degrees through 61 degrees, equivalent to focal lengths of 15-36mm.
  • SWM enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus operation., For superior sharpness and color correction by effectively...

5. Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 ATX Pro DX II

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Digital...
  • USA Version. 3 Year Tokina Warranty included. Intended for sale within the USA.
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22 Designed for Cameras with APS-C Sensors
  • Two Aspheric Lens Elements Two Super-Low Dispersion Lens Elements
  • Multi-Layer Coating 77mm Filter Thread

6. Tokina 14-20mm f/2.0 AT-X Pro DX

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Tokina ATXAF140DXN 14-20mm f/2 Pro DX Lens for...
  • Nikon F Mount Lens/DX Format. 21-30mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/2 to f/22. One Plastic-Molded Aspherical Element
  • Two Glass-Molded Aspherical SD Elements. Two Super Low Dispersion Elements
  • Multi-Layer Anti-Reflection Coating. Internal Focus; One-Touch Focus Clutch

Best Macro Lenses for Nikon D5100

7. Nikon 40mm f/2.8G Micro

Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up...
  • Compact and lightweight DX-format close-up lens. Lens Construction (Elements/Groups) - 9 elements in 7 groups
  • Maximum reproduction ratio is 1.0x. Focal length is 40 mm
  • Sharp images from infinity to life-size (1x), autofocus to 64 inches
  • Close-range correction system (CRC). Silent wave motor (SWM)

8. Nikon 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Micro

Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens
  • Designed for close-up and macro photography; versatile enough for virtually any photographic situation
  • Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 23°20'.Features new VR II vibration reduction technology, Focal Length : 105 mm,...
  • Nano-Crystal coat and ED glass elements that enhance overall image quality by further reducing flare and chromatic...
  • Includes an internal focus, which provides fast and quiet auto-focusing without changing the length of the lens. Maximum...

Best Portrait Lenses for Nikon D5100

9. Nikon 50mm f/1.4G

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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens with Auto...
  • F1.4 maximum aperture; F16 minimum
  • Ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing, 58mm filters
  • Minimum focus Distance : 0.45m/17.72 Inches. Lens Hood: HB-47
  • Nikon F mount for FX and DX DSLRs. Unparalleled autofocus performance.Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet

10. Nikon 85mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens with Auto...
  • Fast aperture medium telephoto lens
  • Internal focus, focal length: 85 millimeter, minimum focus range: 0.80 meter
  • Silent wave motor (SWM). Number of diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded diaphragm opening)
  • M/a focus mode switch. Filter-attachment size is 67 millimeter (p=0.75 millimeter)

Best Standard Prime Lenses for Nikon D5100

11. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Nikon, Black,...
  • 35mm focal length, 52.5mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras, 56mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
  • F1.4 maximum aperture; F16 minimum, This model is compatible with all current Nikon cameras (both DX and FX)
  • Ring-type ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing
  • 67mm filters,0.30m/11.81" minimum focus. Maximum Magnifications-1:5.2. Angle of View-63.4º

12. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto...
  • F mount lens/DX format. Picture angle with Nikon DX format 44 degree
  • 52.5 millimeter (35-millimeter equivalent). Rear focusing; Manual focus override
  • Aperture range: F/1.8 to 22; Dimensions(approx.) 70 x 52.5 millimeter
  • Silent wave motor AF system. Accepts filter type is screw on. Lens construction: 8 elements in 6 groups

Best Standard Zoom Lenses for Nikon D5100

13. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens for Nikon
  • Designed specifically for APS-C sized sensors
  • Internal focusing and zooming allows for more usability and functionality
  • The 18-35mm is ideal for landscapes, portraits, still life, snap shots, casual, and close-ups
  • Angle of view (SD1):76.5º-44.2º

14. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large...
  • Large aperture, stabilized, standard zoom lens
  • FLD glass with performance equal to fluorite
  • Carrying case, lens hood, front & rear caps. Lens Construction : 17 Elements in 13 Groups
  • OS is not available in Pentax and Sony mounts.

15. Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom...
  • Versatile FX-format wide-angle (18mm) to standard (35mm) zoom lens
  • Focal Length : 18-35 mm, Focus as close as 0.92 ft. from your subject
  • Excellent choice for travel and architecture, landscape and everyday photography as well as HD-Video applications
  • Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) provides ultra-fast, ultra-quiet autofocusing with seamless manual override

16. Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR DІ-II VC LD Aspherical (IF)

Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical...
  • Compact Fast Zoom with VC (Vibration Compensation).
  • Fast Constant F/2.8 Aperture.
  • For use on APS-C size DSLR cameras.
  • 11.4-Inch minimum focusing distance / 1: 4.8 Maximum magnification ratio.

Best Telephoto Zoom Lenses for Nikon D5100

17. Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF VR

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor...
  • 70 300mm telephoto zoom lens with f/4.5 5.6 maximum aperture for Nikon digital SLR cameras
  • Internal Focus (IF) system provides fast and quiet autofocusing; 4.9 feet Minimum focus range, Focal Length Range : 70...
  • Vibration Reduction (VRII) minimizes effects of camera shake to produce sharper images
  • 2 Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements delivers super contrast and resolution performance

18. Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD

Tamron SP 70-200MM F/2.8 DI VC USD Telephoto Zoom...
  • The most compact lens in its class
  • Minimum focus distance: 51.2 in (1.3m); Maximum magnification ratio: 1: 8 (at f=200mm: MFD 51.2), Focal Length 70-200...
  • Fast F/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range, Moisture-resistant construction helps prevent moisture from penetrating...
  • New VC anti-shake mechanism with 4-stop advantage.

19. Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikkor Zoom Lens
  • Lightweight and portable at just 29.3 oz and a mere 7.0-in. long
  • Focal Length Range : 70 -200 mm, Minimum Focus Distance : 3.28 ft.
  • Optimized for capturing high-quality stills and HD videos on both FX- and DX-format cameras
  • Nikon's high-performance f/4 fixed aperture zoom lens. Weight- Approx-30.0 pounds. 20 elements in 14 groups (including 3...

20. Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II

NIKON AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II...
  • Compact telephoto zoom that's great for action, people and travel. Metering - Full aperture
  • Focal Length Range : 55 -200 mm, Minimum Focus Distance : 3.7 ft. ( 1.1 m). Maximum angle of view (DX-format): 28°50',...
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC) delivers superior color quality while reducing ghosting and lens flare
  • Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass nearly eliminates optical distortion, while a rounded seven-blade diaphragm makes out of...

Best Super Telephoto Zoom Lenses for Nikon D5100

21. Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD

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Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD for Nikon...
  • VC (Vibration Compensation) , Angle of View diagonal 16゜25' - 4゜8' for full-frame format 10゜38' - 2゜40' for...
  • Minimum Focus Distance of 2.7m (106.3in), Focal Length : 150-600mm
  • USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), New eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating
  • Moisture-resistant construction

22. Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2

Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon...
  • New FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism enables the locking of the zoom ring at any position
  • Fluorine Coating and improved Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Lightweight and easy-to-hold tripod mount is compatible with an Arce-Swiss style quick release plate
  • AF speed is faster and much more responsive with moving subjects

Structured around the same 16.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 2 picture processing as highlighted in the prosumer D7000, the D5100 presents similarly good image quality in a far more affordable, approachable body. ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 6,400 equivalents by default but can be extended simply because high as 25,600 equivalent if desired.

Compared to its predecessor, the Nikon D5100 makes a number of important changes, and it also includes many features that are unique among the company’s DSLR lineup. Despite getting the business’s first SLR to feature a side-swiveling LCD display, the D5100 includes a smaller overall body style than that of the D5000. Unlike the sooner camera’s bottom-swivel screen, the side-swivel is certainly a versatile design that allows the live look at the feed to be seen when framing self-portraits.

The D5100 is also Nikon’s first SLR to include in-camera high powerful range (HDR) imaging capacity. A single press of the shutter discharge captures two pictures, with the initial intentionally underexposed, and the second overexposed. The two are then combined in-camera to yield a final exposure with a much wider dynamic range than is possible within an exposure.

Also brand-new for the D5100 is a Special Effects mode applicable to both still and movie capture. The selection of effects offered includes what Nikon is normally calling Evening Vision mode, which allows shooting at ISO sensitivities up to 102,400 equivalent, with a limitation that the resulting picture or movie is monochromatic.

Along with capturing still images at a level of four frames per second, the Nikon D5100 can record high definition video at resolutions up to 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, using MPEG-4 AVCHD / H.264 compression. Full-time autofocus is available in the D5100’s live watch and video modes, including a face detection function which can locate up to 35 faces in a scene simultaneously. Note, even though, that the D5100 features an AF-S lens mount, and hence can’t autofocus with screw-drive lenses.

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