Best lenses for Nikon D610: Short telephoto and standard focal lengths

By Kevin Carter - Thursday November 21 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Best prime lenses for the Nikon D610 | Best zoom lenses for the Nikon D610 | Best portrait lenses for the Nikon D610 | Best standard lenses for the Nikon D610 | Best standard zoom lenses for the Nikon D610
Best lenses for Nikon D610: Short telephoto and standard focal lengths

Following on from the lens recommendations for the earlier full-frame Nikon D600, we’ve now had the opportunity to assess a wide range lenses with that model’s replacement, the 24-Mpix D610. We’ve analyzed a total of 95 Nikkor and third-party prime and zoom models with the D610 to assess image quality, and we’ve come across some unexpected results. Read onto find out more about that and which lenses perform best when paired with the camera.

Although the entry-level full-frame Nikon D600 was a hugely popular model it was not without some technical issues. While not officially recognized as a fault by the firm, users commonly reported oil spots and dust on the sensor after a period of use. A service advisory was announced outlining methods to clean the sensor, but the firm didn’t go so far as to disclose the reason behind the problem. Whether by coincidence or design, within a year Nikon announced a minor update to that model, resulting in the Nikon D610

While there was no mention of a remedy to the initial issues, curiously, the D610 features an enhanced shutter mechanism with a new quiet 3fps burst shooting mode and a slightly higher maximum continuous framing rate of 6fps (up from 5.5fps). Nikon also revised the white-balance metering system to improve color accuracy in artificial lighting. In almost every other respect though the D610 shares the same features as its popular predecessor.

Our labs have evaluated the optical characteristics of 95 different lenses on the camera from both Nikon and third-party makers. We’ve analyzed 41 zooms in total, recently adding two Sigma models, the new high-grade 120-300mm f2.8 EX and the older consumer-oriented APO 70-300mm f4-5.6 Macro Super II.

Out of the remaining 54 fixed focal length lenses, we’ve had the opportunity to include the new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f1.4G as well as well as the older Nikon AF Nikkor 14mm f2.8D ED and 180mm f2.8D IF-ED models. We’ve also added the highly regarded Sigma APO Macro 150mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM to our database.

Intriguingly, the sharpness scores between the D600 and D610 aren’t exactly the same, as you might expect, in fact the newer model shows some small improvement. Although the results are never more than 10% in favor of the D610, the evidence suggests Nikon has likely reduced the strength of the AA filter making something more to like about the Nikon D610 than the few official updates.

Best prime lenses for the Nikon D610

Best zoom lenses for the Nikon D610

Best portrait lenses for the Nikon D610

Best standard lenses for the Nikon D610

Best standard zoom lenses for the Nikon D610

See also: Best lenses for Nikon D610: Wide angle and telephoto primes and zoom models