Best lenses for the Nikon D5200

By Kevin Carter - Thursday October 24 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Nikon D5200 results: Increased Sharpness levels from 24-Mpix sensor | Best prime lenses | Best Wide Angle Lens (Prime & Zoom) | Best Standard Lens | Best Portrait Lens | Best Zoom models

Traditionally lenses with 85-100mm focal lengths are ideal for portraits and sporting events but as the equivalents of 135mm models they may be just a little too long or too narrow for use indoors.

Of course outdoors, it’s a different matter. The best performer optically on the D5200 is the recently revamped high-end AF-S Nikkor 85mm f1.4G, but the newer, cheaper f1.8G model is almost as good and can match it sharpness. It’s still quite a large lens even if it’s a little lighter.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G21992913
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G6902813
Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon9692511
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Nikon3282512
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF12302412
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon4992311
Carl Zeiss Planar T 85mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon12802312
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D3292212
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G4482111
Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Nikon4992110
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G2192111
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D4602112
Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD Nikon7492110
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 50mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon12802012
Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO Nikon460209
Tamron SP AF 60mm F/2 Di II LD [IF] MACRO Nikon4992011
Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D4602010
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D1341811
Carl Zeiss Planar T 50mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon7251810
Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR500169

As the equivalent to a 75mm, Sigma’s full-frame 50mm f1.4 EX HSM is the best performing model at this focal length but at $499 the old Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4D and its replacement the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.4G are both cheaper.

But bear in mind, like all AF-D models, the D5200 lacks support for AF, that’s if it can still be found new on dealer’s shelves. There are no such concerns with the ultrasonic motor found on the AF-S models, but the focal length comes up a little ‘short’ on APS-C bodies for portraits.

Intriguingly, as the equivalent to a 90mm, Nikon’s new full-frame AF-S Nikkor 58mm f1.4G model doubles up as an effective portrait lens on DX cameras. We haven’t seen one to test it, but it will be added to the database as soon as we can.