Best Macro Lens for Nikon D3500 (2023 Guide and Review)

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The Nikon D3500 is one of the most preferred options for taking close-up shots due to its cutting-edge features, exceptional specs, and distinctive design. This lightweight camera is also reasonably priced, making it ideal for those looking to try their skills out in close-up photography.

Moreover, pairing the DSLR with a dedicated macro lens will definitely allow you to step up your photography game and take some pretty fine, close-angle pictures.

However, selecting an excellent macro lens to pair with your D3500 can be pretty challenging in a saturated market. A macro lens should have a high-quality image resolution and a short minimum focus distance to capture even the tiniest details.

Hence, to help you find the ideal specifications in a macro lens, we have put together a list of the finest macro lenses for close-up photography.

Is Nikon D3500 Good for Macro Photography?

Before discussing the best macro lenses for Nikon D3500, we need to ponder whether the camera is good for macro photography.

The Nikon D3500 DSLR offers 24.2 megapixels and 1080p high-resolution pictures that capture even the minute details, making it ideal for macro photography enthusiasts on a budget.

The D3500 has a dedicated “Close-up” mode which allows you to get incredibly close to flowers, insects, or any object for that matter. When paired up with a macro lens, you can use the mode to boost the magnification and be creative with your shots.

Furthermore, the D3500 has no trouble photographing moving objects, like water droplets. There are 11 autofocus points dispersed around the frame, with a full-time AF holding onto your target and maintaining it in focus as you click your pictures.

The unrivaled DSLR is poised and lightweight. Each button and dial has been thoughtfully designed for ease of use, guaranteeing comfort. Even the menu system is straightforward for those just getting started with photography.

However, the portable camera isn’t as durable as you’d like, with apparently no weather seal or waterproofing. Actually, you won’t be able to find any ruggedized DSLR prior to Nikon’s D7000 models.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking to up the ante, we’ve got the perfect list of macro lenses waiting for you!

What Are the Best Macro Lenses for Nikon D3500?

Now that we have established the Nikon D3500 is an unequaled match for macro photography, one might wonder how to take their extreme close-up shots to the next level.

The obvious answer is to insert a dedicated macro lens in your Nikon D3500, making your macro photography professional-like.

Our comprehensive list of the top macro lens for Nikon D3500 will definitely help you purchase an ideal lens so you can execute your ideas into high-quality images:

Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G

Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G
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Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G

With its continual autofocus feature and untraditional close-up reproduction ratio, this Nikon Nikkor 40mm lens will surely produce amazing macro shots showcasing delicate flowers or small, delicate objects.


  • Affordable price
  • Silent wave motor to capture images without any noise
  • Lightweight and portable body structure
  • High-resolution image quality


  • Autofocus might be a little slow
  • The manual focus might lag

The first macro lens that we have on our list is Nikon NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G. This unconventional close-up lens catches the tiniest details at any range, even those nearly hard to notice with the naked eye.

The dedicated macro lens is ideal for appealing food or small object photography. Every composition will be precise and clear due to the macro lens’ continual autofocusing, which can aim from infinity to 6.4 inches (life-size/1X).

With a minimum focusing distance of 0.163 m/0.53 ft from the focal plane, the lens ensures you can get up close with the subject. The 40mm lens further excels at close ranges by having a 60mm equivalent focal length for macro photography, allowing plenty of room for your closeup shot.

The optical design, excellent for both close-up shooting and operating at wider distances, employs a Close Range Correction technology that ensures constant picture clarity and sharpness across the focusing range.

Moreover, with its wide aperture settings, the 40mm lens offers a natural bokeh, blurring the background and autofocusing on the main subject.

What’s even more exciting is that the lens provides image stabilization that allows your camera to ignore shakes and avoid creating pictures engulfed with blurry streaks.

Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR

Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR
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Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR

The 85mm is a solid piece of camera gear, providing a low minimum focusing distance and great image stabilization for macro photography. It’s perfect for shooting insects and outdoor macro shots.


  • Comes packaged to avoid breakage
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Provides a round bokeh
  • The noise-free motor makes it disturbance-free


  • No infinity focus stop

If you want to take vibrant and full-of-life extreme closeups, then Nikon NIKKOR 85mm has got your back! The 85mm, a primary 127.5mm-equivalent macro lens, is best used to capture any outdoor subject, focusing on every single detail.

With a minimum focusing distance of 11.3 inches, this lens excels at dealing with close subjects. Moreover, to ensure exceptional clarity and color accuracy, its optical design has an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) element that reduces image distortion while shooting macro.

A Super Integrated Coating is also employed to reduce flare and ghosting for improved contrast when photographing bright environments. The 85mm’s VR II (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization also helps to produce crisp images by generating up to three shutter speed stops.

With 9 aperture blades, this macro lens ensures a good bokeh, blurring the background and only highlighting the main object.

In addition, the lightweight lens only weighs 355g(12.5 oz), making it conveniently portable and allowing you to easily chuck in the lens in your camera bag without weighing you down or hoarding a lot of space.

Along with producing high-quality images, the dedicated macro lens is also economical, helping you follow your passion without digging too much into your savings.

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO
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Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO

This 100mm f/2.8 lens has excellent optics, can focus to infinity, and provides outstanding 2x magnification for your macro shots.


  • Exceptional reproduction ratio(2:1) for macro photography
  • Versatile since it can also be used as a portrait lens
  • Economical cost
  • Better technology to provide accurate focus


  • No autofocus

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO from Venus Optics is a distinctive and adaptable short-telephoto prime distinguished by its close-focusing capabilities and apochromatic construction.

Color fringing and visual distortions have been almost reduced across the focusing range by employing a pair of low-dispersion elements to produce outstanding clarity and color fidelity.

Standing out from its competitors, the lens allows 2:1 magnification with a minimum focusing distance of 9.7 inches.

In addition, these features are enhanced by its manual focus construction, ensuring that you get a crisp and clear image.

A 150mm equivalent focal length can be obtained by using the telephoto prime, which is intended for full-frame autofocus lenses but can also be used with APS-C devices.

Although the lens’s physical dimensions are similar to those of other 100mm macro lenses on the market, it offers a broader range of magnifications, enabling macro photographers to catch subjects of various sizes. Moreover, through the 13-blade aperture blade, the bokeh effect really lights up your macro shots.

Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM

Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
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Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM

The Sigma 18-300mm’s low minimum focusing distance, high reproduction ratio, and extensive focal length range make it one of the best macro telephoto lenses in the market.


  • Higher magnification ratio allows extreme zoom
  • Produces high-resolution images with bright colors
  • Can take close-ups of far-away subjects
  • Features noise-free technology to make photography peaceful


  • Flare prone

With a focal range that almost covers 16.6X, the Sigma 18-300mm is one of the most adaptable zoom lenses.

With a wide-angle 27mm field of view on a full-frame camera and a mega telephoto equal to 450mm, it is excellent at capturing subjects that are far away, especially wildlife you can capture without getting into harm’s way.

One of the most versatile lenses, the Sigma, has a 1:3 reproduction ratio at 300mm. It is likely the only lens you’ll need to become apt at micro photography, thanks to its minimum focusing distance of just 39 cm.

With an aperture range from f/3.5 to f/22, the lens allows you a decent maximum aperture, providing photos with a buttery-smooth bokeh.

Furthermore, the Sigma 18-300mm lens controls aberration to ensure a high-quality image with sharp and vibrant colors. This will ensure that your picture is as close to reality as possible without having any color fringing or requiring extensive post-processing.

The built-in optical image stabilizer of the 18-300mm also provides ample room for error if your camera shakes while taking a shot.


The Nikon D3500 is the ideal camera for shooting extreme close-ups, with its sharpness and image stabilization. While the camera is great for most photography genres, it excels in macro photography.

Pairing it up with a suitable macro lens will allow you to shoot professional and stunning shots in no time!

Meet the Author

Syed Arham

Arham delved into photography since he got his first phone, a measly Samsung C7, back in 2010. With access to limited gear, he discovered innovative ways to capture some of his favorite shots. While Arham loves to travel, his dream shot, engulfing the northern lights in his camera frame, still remains one on his bucket list. However, until he gets the opportunity to travel to the Norwegian Arctic, Arham spends his time writing in-depth gear reviews for fellow photographers!

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