Top 7 Best Nikon AIS Lenses 2023

You may expect that a product which came into use in the 70s would have outlived its usefulness by now. However, Nikon AIS lenses have always proved people wrong and continue to dominate the world of photography.

In this article, we are going to check out the best Nikon AIS lenses so that you may have an easy time in picking out the ideal product that would suit your preferences.

We shall also provide you with a simple buying guide that includes the crucial factors that you need to consider as you shop for the appropriate item.

Best Nikon AIS Lenses

High Quality Nikon AIS Lenses: Comparison Table

The following section contains some of the best AIS lenses by Nikon, and the brief reviews should tell you all you need to know about these lenses.

RankingProduct NameLens TypeMaximum Focal Length
1Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series EStandard50 Millimeters
2Nikon AI-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens
3Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI-S lensTelephoto105 Millimeters
4Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI-SStandard50 Millimeters
5Nikon 55mm f/2.8 AIS LensMacro55 Millimeters
6Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AIS Series E LensWide Angle28 Millimeters
7Nikon 50mm f/1.2 LensStandard lens50 Millimeters

1. Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E

This is a manual focus lens that should not give you a hard time, even if you are a novice. It has a very smooth focus and delivers some sharp images.

We liked how well-built it is while remaining a lightweight and compact unit.

However, we recommend that you use it away from the sun.


  • Sturdy construction
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Delivers sharp images


  • Only ideal for indoor photography

2. Nikon AI-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Lens

The second item on our list is a 50mm prime lens with a wide aperture and is designed to deliver an awesome performance even in poorly lit environments.

You should not be troubled about its durability since it is constructed to serve you for a lifetime. What’s more, is the one-year warranty that aims to give you peace of mind as you acquire and use this gadget.

The finishing is impressive, too to give it a pleasant appearance.


  • Works well in dim conditions
  • Has a one-year warranty
  • Pleasant to the eye


  • Delivers soft images at f/2.8

3. Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI-S lens

As for the pros in the field, the Nikon 105mm f/2.5 lens is here for you. Its incredible focal length is one of the reasons why it is considered the classic portrait lens.

What’s more, is that it delivers super-sharp images at all apertures. On top of that, the lens is an incredible performer in low light conditions courtesy of the f/2.5 aperture.

The construction is also excellent to ensure it serves you for a while.


  • Delivers sharp images
  • Works well in low light conditions
  • Well-made


  • Only for those who are familiar with manual focus

4. Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI-S

Another great performer in low-light conditions, this lens is suited for assignments involving limited depths of field. This makes it perfect for shooting portraits or even for travel.

The manual focus operation is out of this world, while the Close-Range Correction (CRC) system is crucial for high-quality images even when taken at the minimum focusing distance.


  • Impressive manual focus
  • Great for low-light situations
  • Sharp and clear images


  • Poor background blur

5. Nikon 55mm f/2.8 AIS Lens

A highly popular unit, this lens is straightforward to operate, and even beginners would be comfortable using it. The construction on its part is very sturdy to assure you of its durability. Even with its superior construction, this unit remains lightweight and compact.

In case you need precision, the close-range manual focusing system will be of great use.

The focus ring is easy to turn and comfortable and is therefore ideal for long hours of use.

It is easy to conclude that this is one of the best lenses for macrophotography.


  • Well-built
  • Amazing manual focus performance
  • Great for low-light environments


  • Only for still subjects

6. Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AIS Series E Lens

This lens has been around since the 1970s and has maintained its position among the top performers over the years.

The build quality is outstanding while it has excellent color reproduction. On top of that, it is affordable and still beats the pricier cameras in terms of performance.

You can expect to get sharp and high-quality images, even when taken in poorly lit situations.


  • Fantastic color reproduction
  • Great resolution
  • Affordable


  • Not for newbies

7. Nikon 50mm f/1.2 Lens

The last model on our list is a fast manual focus lens that is highly rated by professionals in the field. It delivers the accuracy desired, plus the images produced are also sharp and crisp.

We liked the high-quality construction from high-quality materials such that it can withstand drops and bumps.

What’s more, is that it is lightweight and compact, and this makes it easy to carry around.


  • Durable
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Delivers clear and sharp images


  • Pricey

Read more: Best 4K Camera for Filmmaking: Latest Reviews

The Buying Guide

In this section, we are going to discuss briefly the things that you need to factor as you look for the ideal Nikon AIS lens.

Low-light performance

If you intend to shoot in poorly lit areas, then you should go for a lens with a wide aperture as it would give the best results in such an environment.

The Depth of field

A wide-angle lens would be the best choice for you if plan on shooting outdoors.

The Build quality

If you want an item that would last you for ages, you should ensure that it is made from high-quality products that would survive even the harshest environments.


Your ideal lens should lie within a certain price range, which would not mess up your financial plan. Keep in mind that, in most cases, the higher the price, the better the quality of the lens.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have also gone a step further and compiled some common queries regarding Nikon AIS lenses.

How do I know that my lens would perform well in low light conditions?

A lens which would work well in the dark should have a large aperture. Ideally, go for a lens with an aperture of f/2 going downwards.

Are Nikon AIS lenses compatible with all Nikon cameras?

Yes. All these lenses are designed to work with all Nikon cameras, provided they use the Nikon F-Mount system.

The Best Overall

In the end, we have concluded that the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E is the best of them all. It is well-built, easy to use and compact for easy transportation. You should also expect some sharp and clear images from this lens.

Final Thoughts

A Nikon AIS lens would help you get the best out of your Nikon camera. So, take your time and go through our article, including the buying guide, and you would be better placed to know what to focus on next time you are shopping for such a lens.

Keep in mind that although high prices may discourage you from looking at a product, it is at this price range that you are most likely to get the best product.

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