The D7100 Deserves A Good Lens – Which To Choose?
Although not a new camera, the Nikon D7100 has always ranked as one of the best cameras around for the high-level enthusiast or even semi-professional, serious photographer. In the four years or so since its release onto the market, this remains a serious piece of kit. With a 51 point AF system and great low-light focus this is a camera body that really should be teamed with the best lens(es) you can afford.
Here, we’ll take a quick look at some of the most highly recommended lenses, to combine with what is a great camera, from a range of categories including wide angle, telephoto and general purpose/all rounders.
As ever, the choice of lens depends on your personal preferences for subject matter in your photographic work, but there is a multitude of options out there. We only have space for a handful of reviews so, if your personal choice isn’t there, it doesn’t mean you’ve chosen badly, just that we don’t have the room to cover everything.
Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 VR
- Includes all original accessories plus a 90 day warranty
- DX-format, high-power 5.8x zoom lens with focal length ranging from 18 to 105mm, Broad picture angle range approximates the perspective of a 27-157.5mm lens on a 35mm-format film camera or Nikon FX-format digital SLR
- Covers diverse shooting situations from wide-angle landscapes and interiors to portraiture and medium-range sports, Vibration Reduction assures sharper handheld pictures while shooting at shutter speeds up to three stops slower than would otherwise be possible
- Includes LC-67 67mm snap-on front lens cap , LF-1 rear lens cap , HB-32 Bayonet lens hood, CL-1018 Flexible lens pouch
This is one of the two options of lens that you can purchase as a kit along with D7100 body. Whilst fairly versatile, the focal length of the other kit lens is greater, and this has a couple of defects. It tends to soften your images in the corners and also has a plastic mount which can be more prone to damage. Fairly average optics mean this is no more than an adequate lens.
- Reasonably versatile
- Not too heavy at 14.8oz
- Vibration reduction.
- Plastic mount
- Corner softening.
Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 VR
- Brand New Taken out of DSLR Kits n place in White Box
This, as the other kit lens option, is probably the better of the two for an all-round lens. A greater focal length obviously makes it a more versatile lens and it has superior optics to the smaller 18-105mm, above. The images remain sharp throughout the range but it is prone to distortion, although this can be remedied on board the D7100.
- More versatile than the 18-105mm
- Vibration reduction
- Sharp images
- Fast autofocus.
- Slightly heavier at 17.3oz.
Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 ED
- Ideal for landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, architecture and more.
- Focal Length : 10- 24 mm, Close focusing to 0.8 feet
- Renders a picture angle of 109 degrees through 61 degrees, equivalent to focal lengths of 15-36mm.
- SWM enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus operation., For superior sharpness and color correction by effectively minimizing chromatic aberration.
- Aspherical lens elements virtually eliminate coma and other types of lens aberration, even when used at the widest aperture.
For the landscape and architecture enthusiast this Nikon wide angle lens offers great performance. Great color and contrast as well as very sharp images. With an equivalent of 15-36mm on a 35mm camera this offers a range ultra-wide to normal. Very fast and accurate focusing. With a price tag of around $800-900 it isn’t cheap but is definitely one of the best on the market.
- Normal to ultra wide zoom range
- Accurate and fast focus
- Sharp images.
- An expensive lens
- Not the best in low-light situations.
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX Pro DX II
- USA Version. 3 Year Tokina Warranty included. Intended for sale within the USA.
- Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22 Designed for Cameras with APS-C Sensors
- Two Aspheric Lens Elements Two Super-Low Dispersion Lens Elements
- Multi-Layer Coating 77mm Filter Thread
This is a considerably cheaper lens than the Nikon 10-24mm, above, coming in around the $400-500 range, but is still a great quality piece of equipment. Less of a zoom range of course, but this also offers an ultra-wide angle capability and good low-light performance, whilst the images remain pretty sharp. Light and compact, with an internal, silent focusing motor this is a great value for money product. Definitely one to consider if looking for a wide angle lens.
- Ultra wide and close focus capabilities
- Light and compact
- Internal motor
- Sharp images
- Good low-light performance.
- Less of a range than the Nikon 10-24mm
- Some chromatic aberration
- Not the fastest focus.
Nikon 35mm f/1.8
- F Mount Lens/DX Format. Picture Angle with Nikon DX Format - 44 degree
- 52.5mm (35mm Equivalent). Rear Focusing; Manual Focus Override
- Aperture Range: f/1.8 to 22 ; Dimensions(approx.):Approx. 70 x 52.5 millimeter
- Silent Wave Motor AF System. Accepts filter type is screw on
- Compatible formats is dx and fx in dx crop mode
For great performance for price when it comes to prime/portrait lenses it’s very hard indeed to beat this offering from Nikon. At around $170-180 it is a fantastic lens for the price you pay. Light and compact with very decent image quality and pretty good low-light performance this is a great deal considering the low price. It even copes with distortion fairly well. If you’re looking for a bargain lens that has no significant drawbacks then go for this.
- Good in low light
- Handles distortion well
- Good for various styles of photography.
- At such a low price there is nothing really worth mentioning as a significant downside.
Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR
- This Certified Refurbished product is manufacturer refurbished it shows limited or no wear
- Includes all original accessories plus a 90 day warranty
- 5.5x Telephoto Zoom lens, Filter Thread: 58 mm, Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
- Nikon VR II Image Stabilization
- Tripod Detection Mode,
If it’s a telephoto zoom you want then this would be a pretty good choice. Of course it has a great reach and consistently maintains acceptable image sharpness all the way up to 300mm, which is perfect for wildlife photography or any situation where you need to fill that frame with the subject. On the downside it doesn’t have the fastest autofocus and with a small maximum aperture it’s not perfect for low-light or fast moving subjects but overall it will do a good job for a price somewhere in the region of $400. For a telephoto lens it is also quite light, and that is an advantage if you’re out in the wilds trying to get some wildlife shots.
- Good value
- Vibration Reduction
- Pretty good image quality
- Not the fastest focus
- Not the greatest in low-light conditions
There are many, many more lenses on the market which are compatible with the Nikon D7100 but, as usua,l each individual photographer has to choose the best for his or her needs and pocket. However, when you spend around a thousand dollars on a body alone, you need to consider also how much more to spend on a lens which you feel will give you the performance you desire and compliment the camera on which you’ve spent so much.
This article is designed to give some pointers rather than be any kind of definitive guide to the absolute best lenses to be had. Before you part with hundreds of your hard-earned dollars it’s best to check as many sources as you can to make an informed choice but, hopefully we have given you some food for thought when it comes to making that important decision.
Whichever style you favor, whichever lens you choose, happy clicking!