Best Nikon AIS Lenses – Top 5 Lenses of 2021

Best Nikon AIS Lenses

Nikon and camera lenses are almost synonymous. Nikon has established itself so well in the photography & videography space that one cannot go through a list of the best without mentioning Nikon. 

Now, within Nikon, there are multiple types of lenses. And, if you are from the 70s or 80s generations, you will be familiar with AIS lenses. These were a rage back then because they were an upgrade to AI lenses and provided excellent aperture control.

Decades have passed and we have seen many advancements in the field of lenses but the AIS lenses remain relevant to this day. You can attribute this to their features for sure. As with every other product, there are many different types of AIS lenses that you can choose from. We have made a list of our 5 favorites. Take a look!

Best Nikon AIS Lenses

1. Nikon AI-S FX – 50mm Focus Lens – f/1.2

Nikon AI-S FX NIKKOR 50mmLet’s start with this excellent lens that has a 50mm focal length. It is compatible with Nikon F and has a range of good features. Some of them are as follows: 

  1. It has an LF-1 rear lens cap that is compatible with F mount lenses.
  2. It has a fixed zoom and manual focus.
  3. It is ideal for most Nikon DSLR cameras but we recommend that you check the compatibility with your model.
  4. The manufacturers offer a 1-year limited warranty on this lens.
  5. The minimum aperture for this lens is 16.

  • Performs well in low light
  • You may face softness issues at particular apertures


2. Nikon 50mm AI Manual Focus Lens – f/1.4

Nikon 50mm f1.4This particular AI-S lens from Nikon is also manual and has a focal length of 50mm. However, the lens is standard and wide-angle, both. Below are a few more details:

  1. This is one of the best wide-angle prime lenses in its category.
  2. It has a 52mm polarizing filter.
  3. It is a well-built, aesthetic, and functional lens.
  4. It is suitable for travel, portraits, and situations of low light.
  5. The manual focus is smooth and very sharp.

  • Ideal for low light conditions
  • Sharp images
  • At high aperture, you may not see a great performance


3. Nikon Micro Nikkor Lens – f/2.8

Nikon 55mm f2.8This is a macro lens from Nikon, suitable for Nikon F. Did you know that it has been among the top for decades now? It was launched in 1979 and to this day, its popularity is untarnished. Let’s find out why: 

  1. The focal length is 55mm and the size of the filter is 52mm.
  2. It works on a close-range correction system (CRC).
  3. The lens is compact and seems simple but it provides incredible precision for close-range shots.
  4. Its focus ring is durable and very easy to use.
  5. Its manual focusing power is exceptional and beats competitors significantly.


  • Can be used for long hours without problems
  • Exceptional macro photography
  •   You won’t have as much fun shooting moving things, especially those that are too small


4. Nikon 24mm AI-S Lens – f/2.8

Nikon 24mm f2.8This Nikon AI-S is also a macro, wide-angle lens. It comes with front and rear caps and excellent wide-angle manual focus. Some of its features are as follows: 

  1. The 24mm Nikon AI-S lens is best suited for outdoor photography.
  2. The manual focus is quite good.
  3. The manufacturers offer a 5-year warranty in the USA on this lens.
  4. It is a wide-angle lens with a minimum aperture of 22.
  5. The size of the photo filter thread is 52mm.

  • Remarkable outdoor photography
  • Limited zooming capability


5. Nikon 50mm AI-S Lens – f/1.8

Nikon 50mm f1.8Let’s close off with another standard lens from Nikon. It has a prime lens design with a focal length of 50mm. Some of its other features are as follows:

  1. It has excellent build quality.
  2. It is a compact and lightweight lens.
  3. It is a standard lens that works well for indoor photography.
  4. You will get great saturated colors and sharp images with this lens.

  • Affordable
  • Excellent for indoor shots
  • No zoom
  • Performance suffers in the sun. So it is not ideal for outdoor shots.


Depending on which of these lenses fits your Nikon, you can make your pick. They are all authentic and reliable.


Let’s learn more by answering a few FAQs.

Why are Nikon Lenses Called Nikkor?

Nikon has multiple products. Lenses are one of them. It sells lenses under the brand name Nikkor, which is why they are called the same.

What Does D and G Mean on Nikon?

D indicates that it is a manual lens. G states that it is an auto lens.

What Mount do Nikon Cameras Use?

Most of them use the F-mount and all AI-S lenses are compatible with it.

How are AI and AI-S Lenses Different?

With AI-S lenses, aperture control is automatic and totally in your hands. AI lenses are manual and they need you to select the aperture. This is why AI-S is more popular and considered as a significant upgrade over AI lenses.


All the lenses we spoke about here are excellent in their league. As you may have noticed, they serve different functions. So, make sure you compare and check your requirement along with compatibility before making a purchase. If you have any questions, you can always ask us.


Jacob Crone has spent too much time on researching and finding the best stuff for my Canon DSLR, and this led him to make As he found that millions of cameras are sold every year, and photographers like me are looking for cool and useful stuff for them all the time. So he wanted to make a site dedicated mostly to camera owners to help them get better results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *