4 Best Lenses for Nikon D7100

A great lens is hard to find! However, it is not impossible, and by understanding exactly what to look for and how each lens impacts your shot, you can choose the best lens for your Nikon D7100.

Hello everyone! My name is Lavelle and for the last almost 15 years, I have been helping clients across the United States with their photography and videography needs. During that time, I’ve used many brands of cameras and lenses, including the Nikon brand.

In this article, I will do my best to help you determine what to look for in a good lens and to identify the best lens for your Nikon D7100.

Key Takeaways

  • Since the D7100 is a mid-range DSLR, it is best to look for lenses that accentuate the camera’s processor. Remember that versatility is the key quality to consider.
  • You should look for a lens that has the features to support your shooting scene.
  • Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G is the best overall choice for Nikon D7100.
  • Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G lens is the best wide-angle option for capturing wide shots.
Does the Nikon D7100 deliver good performance?

Yes, the Nikon D7100 delivers exceptional performance. It is a versatile camera that performs well in many shooting conditions. Its low light autofocus and continuous photo shooting functions are great qualities as well.

Yes, the D7100 is suitable for beginners. It does take some time to maximize the functions of the camera. However, it is still a relatively easy camera for beginners to start with.

The option to choose depends on several variables. If you are using a full-frame camera then choose a FX lens. These lenses collect more light and deliver low-noise images. However, a DX lens has a smaller image circle that works perfectly with the DX sensor.

What to Look for in a Lens for Nikon D7100

As you consider the right lens for your D7100, here are some things to look for in a good lens.

  • Image Stabilization: The image stabilization feature will help ensure that your photos and videos are stable, precise, and free of distortion. Look for a lens that offers optical stabilization, preferably.
  • Focal Length: Pay close attention to the focal length of your lens. Depending on the scene you’re shooting, you will want a focal length that is either fixed or has a range that best suits your shot selection. You also want to ensure that the lens doesn’t lose quality when the focal length is maximized.
  • Focal Options: Typically, most lenses have two primary focal options: Manual and Autofocus. Choose a lens that works best for you and your skill level. However, I suggest finding a lens that allows you to use both options. There are times when the autofocus feature will not be good enough and you will need to manually focus to get the outcome that you desire.
  • Lens Type: It is important to understand the difference between a prime lens and a zoom lens and to choose the lens that is best for your shooting scenario. Each type of lens has its benefits, therefore, understand your shot selection and use the lens that is appropriate for what you are shooting.
  • Aperture: Maximum aperture is critically important to your overall photography success. Choose a length that has the right aperture setting for the scene you’re shooting. Generally speaking, the more light that comes in through the lens, the brighter your picture will be.

The Best Lenses for Nikon D7100 Reviewed

Based on years of experience, here is my list of the best options along with a quick review of each item.

1. Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G (Best Overall)

  • Mount Type: Nikon F (DX)
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image Stabilization: Yes

Sitting on top of my list is the Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G. This remarkable, all-around lens, is one of Nikon’s best options across the board. This lens is well-designed and works exceptionally well with the D7100. It is a great choice for group photos, sporting events, and even portraits, making it a versatile lens.

The Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G is both convenient and budget friendly. The image quality is great and the autofocus function is exceptionally quiet. It is a lightweight lens that is easy to carry around and it works well in several conditions.

The thing that I like most about this lens is the image stabilization. Its vibration reduction system is second to none and is specifically designed to produce effective shots at much slower shutter speeds. The video footage is also exceptional.

There are a couple of things that could be improved on this lens. One is the distortion that you see when shooting at longer focal distances. The other is the blur that occurs in the corners which can be fixed in post-editing but is still a consideration.

My Verdict: This is a good, strong lens that serves several purposes very well. It is ideal for the D7100 and works well in many shooting conditions.

2. Tokina 14-20mm f/2 (Best Zoom)

  • Mount Type: Canon EF/Nikon F (DX)
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image Stabilization: Yes

The Tokina 14-20mm f/2 is a fast, super zoom lens that does not fail to deliver quality. It has a super fast aperture of f/2 and is a part of the respected lineup of pro lenses for Tokina.

This lens is impressive in many ways. Its aperture is fast, it delivers good bokeh, and the image quality is very good. With many zoom lenses, you lose quality when shooting at the maximum focal length, however, with this lens, quality remains constant throughout the image.

The image sharpness on this lens is remarkable. For a zoom lens or any lens for that matter, it delivers exceptional sharpness. Even in poor lighting conditions, the Tokina 14-20mm produces clear, bright, and sharp imagery.

The only concern is that there is no weatherproofing of any sort on this lens. On many lenses, you will find a weather seal or some sort of weather sealant coating, however, this lens has nothing of the kind and becomes suspect in adverse weather conditions.

My Verdict: This third-party lens is reliable and productive. It is a solid choice for your D7100 and delivers excellent-quality images and videos.

3. Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G (Best Wide Angle)

  • Mount Type: Nikon F (DX)
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image Stabilization: Yes (optical)

Next up is the Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G. This incredible wide-angle lens is a great choice for capturing wide areas while maintaining exceptional quality.

It is well-designed, compact and gives you excellent sharpness and optical stabilization. The Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G is great for travel and landscape photos. The lens’ vibration reduction technology is notable and results in very stable footage and images.

The standout quality of this lens is its near-silent, fast autofocusing system. Its stepping motor keeps noise to a minimum and allows you to shoot effectively in quiet settings. The focusing element on this lens helps to maintain excellent quality on close-up images.

There are a couple of concerns to consider, though. At approximately 10 mm focal length, you will notice an edge blur that is correctable but still noticeable. Additionally, you will see some signs of barrel distortion.

My Verdict: This is a really good lens for your D7100. It is a very affordable option and is a good value for the price.

4. Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 (Best Sharpness)

  • Mount Type: Nikon F (FX)
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image Stabilization: Yes

The last choice on my list is the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6 telephoto lens. It is a top choice for image sharpness. When it comes to sports and nature photography, this lens stands as the best in class.

The 200-500mm lens is worth the cost and provides exceptional image stabilization. This is important when shooting nature and sports shots. Blur is minimized and the bulk of this lens creates a platform for success.

The best thing about this lens is its constant aperture across the entire focal range. This quality minimizes things like blur and distortion. The images are exceptionally sharp, in part due to the impressive stabilization and vibration reduction system.

However, the lens delivers slow focusing in poor lighting conditions which can be a concern, especially when shooting sporting events indoors. Also, it is quite heavy and can present some challenges if you are shooting without the use of a tripod or monopod.

My Verdict: This zoom lens is an excellent choice if you want to get up close and personal with your shooting subjects. The quality is noticeable as is the stabilization system on this lens. It is also an affordable option for this type of lens.

Final Thoughts

The Nikon D7100 is a great camera, and finding the right lens to use with it is situational. Choose a lens that works best in the shooting conditions you’re working in.

You want a zoom lens for landscape and nature scenes that maintains quality even at maximum focal lengths. For portraits, you want to use a lens that allows you to capture details effectively and deliver sharp, clear images.

Have any of these lenses worked well for you? Share your experience in the comments section below.

As always, have fun and make lasting memories!

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