Next Lens Upgrade for Nikon D3100

DemeStarDemeStar Posts: 2Member
edited March 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Ok, I know lots of people have asked about upgrades, but I haven't found the comparison I was looking for. I'm still getting used to my D3100, but definitely know I'm not a fan of the kit lens (18-55). I recently tried using a combo of the kit lens and a 55-200, but that wasn't a set I enjoyed so much (the images weren't as sharp as I liked them to be and didn't like having to switch). Right now I'm looking for something that will be a good all around lens I was thinking in the range of 18-140 (I'm willing to consider a good comparison on any lenses that are around this range).

I usually photograph people (adults and kids), animals, buildings, and landscapes, pretty much anything I think is shutterworthy, so I would definitely want something that is good in various lights and has pretty good speed.

Would really appreciate any advice you have to offer.


  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    The 18-140 is probably a pretty good choice. Want to spend less...get the 18-105. Want to spend more get something like the 24-120 F4. Want to spend even more get the 17-55 F2.8.

    Or you could always go for a third party lens like the Sigma 17-50 F2.8...I have seen it new recently around $450.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,422Member
    I agree wth tcole1983. The 17-55 F2.8 is a great wide angle to normal lens. If you want a more universal lens, the 24-14 F4 is the way to go. Really a good solid lens.
    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 |
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited March 2014
    The only real advantage I think you are going to see with the 18-140 or the 18-105 is a larger zoom range. If you want a higher quality lens you basically just have to deal with switching lenses because the super zooms are convenience lenses, but don't offer the best quality through their whole range. The 70-200 F2.8 is about the largest range you get from a zoom other then the 200-400 which is a whole different beast.

    So in short if you want to do it the 18-140 seems pretty good and is newer. I had the 18-200 which was nice, but it has been said over and over...pretty good at everything but not great at anything. As you progress and if you stick with it you will probably eventually gather a combination of zooms and primes to cover what you want. I don't think it is really worth discussing the difference in any of the 18-XXX lenses...they are all about the same. The difference is how much you want to spend and how long on the telephoto end you want.
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • NikonMickNikonMick Posts: 41Member
    I'm a big fan of the 35/f1.8, as it's fast, sharp and "warm". By using your feet a prime lens can be quite versatile, for example these pix, which are also shot with the D3100:

    Landscape useage of 35/f1.8 DX:

    Close shot using tripod, also 35/f1.8 DX:

    And this lens is very modestly priced.

  • ptrmckyptrmcky Posts: 44Member
    Have a look through your photos and see what focal length you use the most. That way you can choose a lens that fits your style. I think going for a narrower focal length range really helps with technique. It makes you think more about the shot. Back in the day I used a Tamron 17-50 2.8 with my D3100. It was a great lens for the money. The 35mm 1.8 is another option. It's still one of my favourite lenses. So cheap, super sharp, and shooting one focal length will make anyone a better photographer.

    Peter M
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,221Member
    Another vote for the 35mm 1.8 for me.


    Honestly it's my most versatile lens. Probably not my sharpest, but is the most useful lens in my kit.

    Nice that it won't break the bank either, and they're as cheap as lenses go.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
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