In this article, we will be taking a look at what we feel are the best telephoto zoom lenses for Nikon d5100 cameras currently available on the market right now. We know that there are various telephoto lenses on the market that cost thousands of dollars that are compatible with the d5100 but we also understand that they are out of the budget of the majority of our readers. In this article, we will be focusing on more budget-friendly telephoto lenses that are within our reader’s price ranges.
We would like to quickly point out that we have chosen lenses that we feel will fit the budgets of the majority of our readers while also offering them the best overall mix of functionality, performance, build quality, and price. You can click here if you would like to see a full list of telephoto zoom lenses that will fit your Nikon D5100.
All three of these lenses have an excellent reputation within the photography community while also having a number of photographers using them as their go-to zoom lens for their Nikon d5100. Additionally, all three of these lenses will fit your d5100 natively via its lens mount without the need for any third-party converters allowing you to quickly and easily mount and unmount the lens as and when required.
The Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
At the 18mm zoom range, you are able to easily use it for some wide-angle photography and then work up through the available zoom ranges for some portrait photographs all the way up to its 140mm zoom for some excellent zoomed in photographs. The lens comes with Nikon’s silent wave motor as standard to allow the lens to quickly and accurately autofocus while remaining as quiet as possible during the process. This means that if you are using the lens while recording video, the on-camera microphone will not pick up the sounds of the motor while the lens is autofocusing and spoil the audio track on your footage.
The lens comes with a minimum focus distance of around 1.5 foot and considering the maximum zoom capability of this telephoto lens, 1.5 foot is a decent achievement. The VR stabilization technology in the lens also allows you to get some extremely sharp photographs and video footage even without the use of a tripod. The Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-140mm also offers excellent low light performance too making it the ideal lens for your d5100.
The Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR
If you own any other compatible mirrorless cameras or DSLR cameras then the 18-300mm can make the perfect lens. Its 18mm range can offer some limited wide angle photography capability while its 300mm range offers some of the best budget-friendly zoom photography available.
Unless you specifically need the additional upper zoom range offered by the Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm for your particular photography niche, we would recommend that you pick up the Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-140mm covered first in the article. It is cheaper, smaller, lighter, and offers all the core functionality that you would expect from a telephoto zoom lens and should be able to meet the needs of the majority of our readers.
The Nikon Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G
In our opinion, it is one of, if not the best 70-300mm lens for Nikon d5100 cameras out there and outperforms some competing lenses that retail at slightly higher prices too. For its price, the lens offers you a massive focal range that with some excellent zoom photography potential. That said, the lens does not offer any wide-angle photography potential like the other two lenses on our list although this should be expected due to it being such a low price.
In our opinion, either of the lenses above will outperform this but as we mentioned, if you are on a tight budget then the Nikon Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G can get the job done and allow you to start taking some excellent zoomed in photographs with your Nikon d5100.