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The Best Nikon D7100 Lenses

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Best Lenses for the Nikon D7100

If you already know the focal length of lens you are looking for, take a look at the best lenses for the Nikon D7100 below.

  1. Best Zoom Lens - Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
  2. Best Wide Angle Lens - Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II
  3. Best Telephoto Lens - Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
  4. Best First Prime - Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G
  5. Best Macro Lens - Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G
  6. Best All in One Lens - Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR

Best Zoom Lenses for Nikon D7100

The most common and useful zoom lens is the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G, a kit lens originally sold with the Nikon D7100. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is not going to be covered as it is already attached to the camera.

Wide zoom lenses are discussed further down the page.

Telephoto zoom lenses are great with the Nikon D7100 for sports,wildlife, action, portraits, or any subject that is far away.

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

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Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G
  • Fast and Quiet Autofocus
  • Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization for Sharp Handheld Shots
  • Has a Massive Focal Length Coverage
  • Terrific Focal Length for Sports Photography with the Nikon D7100
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

The biggest appeal of the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G is the range the lens has combined with image stabilization. It is going to be a very good pick anytime you can not get closer to your subject. Like the other zooms, the aperture of f/5.6 at the far end of the zoom range is a little small, faster alternatives will cost significantly more.

You are not going to have to spend very much to get this zoom. There are loads of second hand lenses readily available as it was offered with the Nikon D5500, D5600, and D3400 cameras.

In order to span the considerable zoom range, the lens is comprised of 17 elements in 11 groups. Two of the elements are extra-low dispersion and one is a high refractive index element to ensure sharp images.

It weighs in at 580g (18.7 oz), with dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 3.0 in. (76.5 mm) x 4.8 in. (123 mm). While not small, it can still easily be carried around on the camera or in your bag.

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR

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Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G
  • Excellent Value When Purchased Used
  • Silent Wave Motor for Accurate Autofocus
  • Fantastic for Wildlife, Sports, Action, & Portraits
  • 2 Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Lens Elements
  • (VR) Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

The Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5. 6G was quite often sold with the D3300, D3200, and D3100 digital SLR cameras. It is a amazing deal when bought used.

A copy in decent cosmetic condition are available for less than half the price of a used Nikon 55-300mm.

The only drawback of the 55-200mm is the loss of 100mm of reach. It still has VR image stabilization and to help you get sharp images when shooting hand-held.

One advantage of the lens is that carrying it around won’t be a problem. It weighs 335g (11.8 oz) with dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 2.9 in. (73.6 mm) x 3.9 in. (99.5 mm).

Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD

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Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6
  • Ultra Silent Drive (USD) Autofocus Motor
  • Extra Low Dispersion (XLD) Glass Element
  • Broad-Band Anti-Reflection (BBAR) Lens Coating
  • 9 Aperture Blades for Beautiful Bokeh
  • Minimal focus distance 59.1"
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

The Tamron 70-300mm is a great alternative if you want 300mm of reach, but don’t want to pay as much for the 55-300mm from Nikon.

One big disadvantage is the lack of image stabilization. This will make it more difficult to get sharp images hand holding the lens.

Equivalent optical image stabilization is included in the Tamron as found in the Nikons. All of them have extra-low dispersion elements and anti-reflective lens coatings.

The lens weighs 16.1oz (458g). It has a length of 5.6" and diameter of 3.2".

Best Wide Angle Lenses

A wide angle lens is very useful for landscapes, astrophotography, architecture, group photos, real estate photography, and more.

One thing to watch out for is the wide angle causing strong distortion. Portraits can be a challenge as noses or any body part close to the camera lens will appear abnormally large.

A benefit of a wide angle is that image stabilization is significantly less critical. Little vibrations of movements are unlikely to cause blur in a photo.

Having a fast maximum aperture is critical for astrophotography. {In order to get the optimal photos, you want at least a f/4, if not f/2.8 maximum aperture|In order to get the absolute best results, you want the maximum aperture to be at least f/4.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II

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Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
  • Perfect pick for night photography
  • Fast f/2.8 Maximum Aperture
  • 77mm Front Filter Threads
  • Focus Clutch Style M/A Selector
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is fast and sharp. With a large aperture, this lens is a fantastic option for astrophotography.

One key feature of the lens is the focus clutch that controls changing between manual focus and autofocus. To switch focus, the entire focus ring is either pushed forward or pulled back.

There’s a built-in autofocus motor, but it is noisy. This often is a problem if you need quiet operation when shooting at an event.

In terms of size, the lens is fairly large. It weighs 550g (1.21 lbs) with dimensions of 4.02 x 4.02 x 4.02 in (L x W x H).

Watch out when you look to get the lens. Tokina also makes versions that use a different lens mount like the Canon EF or Sony A mounts. Double check to make sure the lens you get is compatible with Nikon cameras.

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical

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Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
  • Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM)
  • Ultra-wide angle lens
  • Internal Focus and Superb Build Quality
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Built with Aspherical Elements that Reduce Distortion
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 falls into the same price range as the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. It has a larger zoom range, but a slightly smaller maximum aperture.

At 10mm the lens is going to produce an exaggerated distorted perspective. You’re likely going to see distortion, which you can reduce through post-processing.

4 aspherical elements have been made use of to help reduce distortion and aberrations. In total there are 13 lens elements in 10 groups to ensure the best image quality possible.

All that glass doesn’t make the lens too heavy, coming in at a weight of 520g (18.3 oz). Dimensions are diameter of 3.4" (87.3mm) and length of 3.5" (88.2mm).

Be careful if you are looking to purchase this lens. Sigma also made copies of the lens for other DSLR camera mounts including, Canon EF, Sony A, and Pentax K mounts. Make sure the one you buy uses the Nikon F lens mount.

Best Telephoto Lenses

The 55-300mm & 55-200mm lenses covered in the zoom section are also the lenses to look for first if you need a telephoto lens.

This section is going to take a look at telephoto prime lenses for sports, action, wildlife, and portrait photography. There is no shortage of these lenses available for the Nikon F-mount.

However, telephoto prime lenses tend to be expensive because the amount of optics that need to be employed. The weight of the lens and ergonomics when mounted on a camera body need to be taken into account. The right lens the one that is easy to handle and use so you can capture memorable pictures.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

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Nikon 85mm f/1.8G
  • Best Lens for Portraits
  • Internal Focus (IF)
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Superb Color Reproduction
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is one of the best Nikon lenses for professional photographers. It’s a fast lens that delivers excellent images and pleasing bokeh.

The 85mm 1.8G is a full frame lens. You’ll notice two differences when comparing it against a DX lens.

First, full frame lenses are usually more expensive than DX lenses. They have larger lens elements, which translates to additional cost.

Second, the lens is larger than many DX lenses. While not a huge issue, if you plan to carry it around with another lens, you’ll definitely need a bag.

Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

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Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
  • Excellent Lens with a Fast Aperture
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Small and Lightweight
  • Excellent Selection for Low Light Photography
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

Taking the crop factor focal length multiplier into account, this lens could be thought of as a short telephoto. It’s an inexpensive fast prime that can be utilised for portraits and indoor photography.

The FX 50mm f/1.8G provides more reach than the DX 35mm f/1.8G, while still having a similar price.

There are not huge differences between the lenses. With the 50mm, you’ll get a bit more reach and have an easier time blurring the background.

It weighs 185g (6.6 oz) and has dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 2.83" x 2.01".

Best First Prime

Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G

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Nikon 35mm f/1.8G
  • Very Accurate Autofocus Performance
  • Takes Good Pictures in Tricky Lighting Situations
  • Excellent Nikon D7100 lens for street photography
  • High Build Quality
  • Best option for an all around lens
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G is the best first prime lens to get for the Nikon D7100.

A maximum aperture of f/1.8, means you’ll be able to isolate your subjects and create beautiful bokeh. Indoors the lens is fast enough to where you will not need to use flash.

With a 35mm equivalent field of view of 52.5mm, you’ll have a “standard” field of view. Your photos will have a perspective that is similar to what is seen by human eyes.

Weighing just 200g (7oz), there’s never a reason not to have the lens with you. With dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 2.8 in. (70 mm) x 2.1 in. (52.5 mm), you can easily keep it in a coat pocket or bag.

Macro Photography Best Nikon D7100 Lenses

Macro photography starts with a reproduction ratio of 1:1. That 1:1 ratio can also be referred to as life size or 1X magnification.

Those terms all mean that the subject being photographed is the same size as the camera’s sensor. Popular subjects are insects, coins, flowers, copy work and academic subjects.

There are other ways to achieve macro magnification, such as extensions tubes. Personally, I find that a macro lens easier to use and gives better results. That’s because a macro lens has a large minimum focus distance.

As a quick note, Nikon branded their macros as Micro-Nikkor lenses. This is a constant source of confusion as micro and macro have opposite meanings.

Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G

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Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G
  • Close-Range Correction System (CRC)
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1X
  • Well Built with a Rubber Sealing Mount Protects Against Dust and Moisture
  • Excellent option for Close Ups
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

The Nikon Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G is the best option for getting started with macro and close-up photography with the Nikon D7100.

As far as modern macro lenses go, the lens is relatively inexpensive. It also has a high-quality autofocus motor and uses current optics.

This means the lens can also be used for general photography. That’s not the case with older macros, as their image quality only becomes sharp after the aperture is stopped down.

The lens weighs 235g (8.3 oz) with dimensions (diameter x length) of 2.7 in. (68.5 mm) x 2.5 in. (64.5 mm).

Nikon AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR

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Nikon Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC) to reduce Chromatic Aberration
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1X
  • Built with Internal Focus (IF)
  • VR - Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization
Check prices on: Amazon, eBay, Adorama or KEH

The most important benefit of the 85mm macro lens over the 40mm is a longer working distance. That’s the distance from the front of the lens to the subject.

At 1X magnification, the front of the lens is going to be close to the subject. If you are trying to photograph an insect, this may cause them to try to get away.

Another issue could be properly lighting a subject. Depending on your light source it could be tough to get it setup without the lens blocking it.

The downside is that a little more working distance adds to the cost of the lens.

While not the primary purpose of the lens, it can be used for portraits, but the f/3.5 maximum aperture might not create the best background bokeh.

Lens Selection Criteria

  • Overall Image Quality
  • Price to Performance
  • Focal Length Range

Having a high-quality lens is even more beneficial for image quality than a really expensive camera. Lenses don’t wear out, you will be able to keep your lenses if you ever decide to upgrade your Nikon D7100.

That doesn’t mean that price is not a factor. It wouldn’t make sense to suggest thousand-dollar lenses, even if they are the best quality.

All the most commonly employed focal lengths have been included.

Niche or professional lenses such as mirror, perspective control, specialist macro, and fisheye lenses weren’t covered. Those are expensive enough to justify a camera upgrade.

When to Upgrade Your Camera

The Nikon D7100 was released in 2005. It should be come as no surprise that there are many Nikon D7100 upgrade options available. One of the nice things is that you can still use the same lenses with a current camera, the vast majority with seamless compatibility.

Having access to different focal lengths, a fast prime, or a recently released lens will do more for you than a brand new camera. However, it is difficult to overlook the high resolution available from a more recent APS-C camera body as well as fast continuous shooting speed and more white balance options.

The price of a used Nikon D7100 replacement is a tiny fraction of the price when the camera was brand new. That same drop in price also applies to more recent camera models.

An upgrade that is perfect for the needs you have is almost certainly less expensive than you would imagine if you will be ready to sell your D7100 camera once you have the replacement.

Types of Lenses

Focal Lengths

  • Wide Angle - Captures a large angle of view of a scene. These have a short focal length.
  • Standard - Has a field of view that looks "natural" when viewed by people. Any focal length between 35mm to 50mm.
  • Telephoto - Lenses with a narrow field of view, good for subjects that are far away or small. Wildlife photos are a popular use for this type of focal length.
  • Macro - Has the ability to take images close up to a subject at a 1:1 magnification ratio of subject to sensor size.
  • Fisheye - Ultra wide-angle lenses that produce distorted circular images.

Zoom vs Prime

  • Zoom - The focal length can be changed. The zoom range coverage will vary, but manufacturers are always trying to make larger zoom ranges.
  • Prime - Lenses with a fixed focal length. Usually, they have larger apertures than zoom lenses. Larger apertures are better for low light condition and creating blurry backgrounds with a telephoto lens. Better ones will have razor sharp image clarity.

Compatible Lenses

Nikon F Mount

The D7100 camera needs Nikon F-mount lenses. Nikon has been employing the F-mount since 1959. There are a number of different variants of the lens mount as it has been altered over time to accommodate digital SLR cameras.

Initial lenses with autofocus employed a focus motor built into camera bodies. The Nikon D7100 is one of the only entry level digital SLR cameras to have the focus motor built-in. As a result, autofocus will work with early autofocus lenses.

The Nikon D7100 does not have a meter coupling ridge or EE servo coupling post. Light metering won’t work correctly for manual lenses without electrical contacts. AF lenses with physical aperture rings will likely need to be stopped down to their smallest aperture.

Nikon D7100 Kit Lens

The Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX VR was originally sold with the Nikon D7100. This was most commonly bundled with pre-owned D7100’s for sale on eBay or Amazon.

It is in a growing crowd dx nikkor lenses that have been included with cameras through the years. These make up the right lens pick for a majority of the expected needs of a Nikon D7100 owner.

In tricky low light conditions using fill flash from the camera will help. Compatible lighting equipment like Nikon’s creative lighting system will probably be useful if you can get a hold of second-hand flashes that are affordable.

If you don’t have this lens, it is a very good first option for the camera. The focal length, image stabilization, and performance is good, especially considering the low-cost of a used copy. The one undesirable aspect is the f/5.6 aperture at the long end.