Best zoom lens for Nikon D7100

MoonGoddessMoonGoddess Posts: 4Member
edited July 2013 in Nikon Lenses
I am looking to purchase a zoom lens for my Nikon D7100 and I was wondering which one would be best? I was look at 300mm but I am happy to go shorter if it means better optical quality. My budget is up to £650 for the lens.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    It is a simple enough question, but paradoxically tricky to answer. What kind of photography do you do - landscapes? Portraits? Sport? Lowlight? Wildlife? All of these require different strengths in a lens. If your answer is 'general' then you could start with that 18-300 but when it comes to quality, generally the narrower the range, the better the quality. What lens do you have at the moment?

    If you could answer those questions we can advise you better (rather than guess).

    Welcome to the NR forum MoonGoddess.
    Always learning.
  • MoonGoddessMoonGoddess Posts: 4Member
    Hi,

    Apologises for being vague.

    My main areas of interest in photography are landscapes, architecture and wildlife. Currently I have a NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Lens (fantastic lens) and I am looking for a zoom lens of a similar quality. I'm not bothered about the wide end of a zoom lens as I have that covered. I'm quite happy to start at 70mm of higher.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    The best?......70-200mm f/2.8 VRII
    Or....an 85mm f/1.8, 135mm f/2 and 200mm f/2.....LOL
    Msmoto, mod
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    Funny you should mention these three. They would run you slightly more than the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G, which I think is an excellent lens, even for the money...
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    Given your budget, the one you should consider looking into is the Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR II. If you are willing to spend a little more then the new Nikon 70-200 F4 will be my second recommendation.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    Right, yes, you have the ultra-wide to wide end well covered. You are quite limited by your budget (I know that problem too). I have the 70-300VR which a lot of people think is good (better than the super-zoom 18-300), but it is not good above 240 or so. Golf's suggestion of the 70-200 f4 is very good, but way out of your budget. You would be able to take it to FX if you ever went that way but it may leave you too short for wildlife.

    Given your budget, I think you only have the 18-300, 70-300 or perhaps a Tamron 200-500 at a stretch if you are really serious about the wildlife aspect. That Tamron lens will test your ability to hold it still as it is very long and no VR.
    Always learning.
  • bossabossa Posts: 2Member
    edited July 2013
    From reading reviews I'd have to say that the *best* zooms for the D7100 are going to be the Sigma 8-16, Sigma 18-35 F1.8 and the new Sigma 50-150 F2.8 OS.
    Post edited by bossa on
  • bossabossa Posts: 2Member
    edited July 2013
    SLR Gear & Lenstip claim the new 50-150 as the sharpest zoom they've ever tested.
    Post edited by bossa on
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited July 2013
    Don't know how the new Sigma 50-150 is today, but not long ago I had it on Pentax and it was great. Don't think you'd be disappointed today.

    And leave your hands away from the 28-300, at the long end it's lousy (had one and sold it) and due to the long tube it's sucking dust in and blowing it on the sensor. If 300 has it to be, I'd opt for spraynpray's 70-300.
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    The Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC is a good lens, and you can add the 2x TC, which is OK for wildlife. The Tamron is small in size, OK fast, and basically a good cheap option...
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,603Member
    My preference is the 70-200mm F/2.8. Mine is one generation back and it does a great job.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • blandbland Posts: 811Member
    My preference is the 70-200mm F/2.8. Mine is one generation back and it does a great job.
    I agree, I have the newer model and it's my favorite lens. It's expensive but it's worth every dollar.

  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,603Member
    A lot of individuals are buying the F/4 model but the 70-200mm F2.8 is a more robust lens and as bland said, it's well worth the price.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 885Member
    I would rate the 18-105VR and a 70-300VR as being the best combo for the D7100. I also use the 12-24VR a lot but adding each lens drives up price. The 18-200VR Nikkor is an decent lens that does quite a few things. I'd still rather have the three I list above for this camera. Too bad the 80400VR new one is so pricey.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Actually, the question of "Best zoom lens for D7100" is not the same as "best value zoom lens for D7100". So, one could also include a Zeiss CZ.2 70-200mm T2.9 for 20k$ ...
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    The best zoom is the one you have with you. Yes that was a play on Chase Jarvis's famous quote.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    He was talking about "best camera". Not referring to moments, when one starts to think about "which zoom I can get?" and also not to moments when one looks over endless shelves of glass and thinks "which one of those should I take with me?"

    :-\"
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    The play on the quote was using lens, rather than camera. I never said anything about the moment. :O
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • CitizenDCitizenD Posts: 29Member
    edited July 2013
    Hi MoonGoddess,

    I have a D7100 and the Nikkor 70-200 f4 is just amazing. not an easy range to use on a DX, but I really am in love with it (I also own the same 10-24 as you + the 35 F/1.8, which I believe is "quite" a nice combo).
    Weight is quite ok (less than the 70-200 2.8), and optical quality is much above the 2 lenses I mentioned.
    As compared with other brands, it is stabilized, which is in my opinion absolutely necesseray for such a range and for a daily use (ie without any tripod)
    I do not have a lot of experience with dslr lenses, but the "usual" nikkor 18-105 which is shipped with the body (usually well appreciated) is very far behind (I do not use it anymore)

    I was also looking for a larger lense like a 300mm, but the difference is actually much smaller than on the wide side, and I do not regret my buy, not even for a sec. !

    In a few words : very sharp, very little distortion, high IQ ; from the reviews I read, the diff with the nikkor 70-200 2.8 is quite not relevant, and it has image stabilization ; definitely my preferred lens, though not usable in all situations (but complements well with your 10-24 and a 35mm)

    edit : see an example below ( and click for full size picture) :
    20130714 - 17.56 - 20130714 - 17.56 - DSC_3238-2

    Hope this helps !
    D
    Post edited by CitizenD on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited July 2013
    @MoonGoddess, given your budget of £650 you really have two options, either the 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G or the 70-200 f/4G. The 70-300 is under your budget and the 70-200 is over. I would not get the superzooms that others have suggested, since you already have the wide end covered, and the optical quality of these two lenses is much better. Given your stated use of landscapes, architecture and wildlife these lenses will be more than fast enough (large aperture). If you get the 70-300 you will have enough £££ left over to get the 35 f/1.8 that @CitizenD mentions (great DX lens value!) This is all IMNSHO of course :-)

    @JJ_SO Recommending a $20K Cine lens for someone with a stated budget of $1000 is disingenuous, and for that price I'd expect it to focus much faster than it does :P Sorry, couldn't let that one slip by...
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited July 2013
    @Ironheart :D I was replying on some suggestions of 70-200/2.8 and the title "best zoom lens". Have to admit I didn't reread the first post.

    And you know, speed isn't everything <):)
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • CitizenDCitizenD Posts: 29Member
    fyi, you can find the 70-200 f/4 for 1130 EUR in France, which is 970 GBP (1500 USD)
    though @ironheart comment (adding the 35 f/1.8) definitely makes sense to me , if you can go for both, just do it ;)
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 885Member
    I use the 70-300VR more than any longer zoom lens. Also a pretty good deal and quite sharp is the 55-300VR. If you find yourself taking telephoto zooms quite close to you the 55-300 is actually a better choice. Both of those lens are very reasonably priced and I have taken very extraordinary photos with both and have seen other excellent photos taken by others. A lens like the 80-400VR (the new one) will set you back a lot more money. These are all Nikon lens which I have found the hard way were a far better choice than other lens manufacturers. I don't have the 10-24DX Nikkor but the 12-24DX Nikkor is wonderful and obviously you have that WA lens already.
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