Nikon DX Lens Advice

Discussion in 'Nikon Cameras' started by blind1587, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. blind1587

    blind1587 TPF Noob!

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    Im looking for some advice for lens purchases/upgrades to my D7100. I currently have a nikon 50mm 1.8D and a Tamron 90mm macro. I sold my kit lens (18-105 VR).

    Looking to upgrade from the kit lens for a good all around lens. Which would you reccomend? Nikon 17-55 f2.8, Sigma 17-70 f2.8, Tamron 17-70 f2.8, or nikon 16-80 f2.8-4 VR? Any other lens suggestions are also welcome.

    I found a 17-55 f2.8 locally but Im confused about the manufacture date. The sellers says its 6 years old and a US lens, but according to Nikon Lens Versions and Serial Nos. it appears to be made in Japan between 2003 and 2005 making it 13-15 years old. The condition is great, but I worry about the motor in an older lens. Maybe I am being too cautious? I can purchase it for $500.

    I am also looking for a fast zoom/telephoto lens around the 200-300mm focal length. I was looking into the nikon 70-200 f2.8 or the 80-200 f2.8 but I’m unsure how these will do on a DX body. If a full frame lens will work nicely on the d7100, that would be a plus for future camera upgrades. I’m open to any lens suggestions other than the 2 listed. Maybe a Tamron?

    Thank in advance for the help!


     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  2. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can vouch for the Nikon 17-55 as a fantastic normal zoom lens for DX, with constant f/2.8 aperture and fast accurate autofocus. I believe it came out around 2003, so it's a little older design, but Nikon hasn't introduced anything since. It's a little soft on the long end when shot wide open, but all around a pretty solid performer. They still sell new for around $1500, but can be found used in the $600-900 range - I think I paid around $800 for mine in like-new condition a few years ago. It's big and heavy and not the sharpest lens I own, but it stays on my camera body about 90% of the time.

    A good alternative at a much lower price point is sigma's 17-50. I've heard great things about it and at least according to DxOMark it appears to be slightly sharper, but it's also a 3rd party lens with a more plasticky feel. I don't know anyone who has used Tamron's 17-50, but they have something in that range as well. Keep in mind that the Sigma 17-70 you mentioned is a variable aperture lens and isn't f/2.8 for the entire zoom range. I've seen some people on here who seemed to like it, while others couldn't wait to get rid of it.
     
  3. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have the 18-140, and I like it. The lens is the next generation after the 18-105. But it is NOT a pro grade lens.
    Were I to do it again, I might get the 16-80/2.8-4 instead. Shorter zoom range, but faster and better optics.

    Also consider the Nikon 24-120/4. A bit long on the short end, but will do a lot of stuff well. If you go FX, this is definitely a lens to consider.
    I was debating between the 24-120/4 and the 70-200/4.

    I tried the Sigma 17-50/2.8 on a Canon, to shoot volleyball, and I was so frustrated that I gave up after about 15-20 minutes. The Sigma zoom ring turned in the opposite direction from the Nikon zoom ring, and I kept turning the zoom ring in the wrong direction, and loosing shots. If you use it in a non-sports/fast action situation, the direction that the zoom ring turns will not be as much of an issue. If you shoot sports/fast action, look at the Tamron 17-50/2.8, as it's zoom ring turns in the same direction as Nikon does.

    I use the Nikon 70-200/4 on my D7200, and it works just fine. It made me realize just how much better IQ my D7200 could do, but wasn't doing with the 18-140 lens.

    To me the big advantage of the 70-200 lenses is the VR, which the 80-200 do not have. And having used it, I would NOT get a long lens without VR. And in retrospect, I am glad that I did not buy the 80-200 that I almost bought. VR is not only to stabilize the image to capture the image at a slower shutter speed, it is also for stabilizing the camera/lens to aim and hold onto a target, rather than wobbling all over. It is pretty hard to hold the AF point on the subject, if you are wobbling a lot.

    The 80-200 AF and AF-D will work fine on a D7100, as it has an AF motor in the body/camera. What I do not know is how fast the body AF motor on the D7100, will focus the large glass in the 80-200. I missed my chance to test it.
    The 80-200 AF-S has a lens AF motor.
    And as mentioned above, the 80-200 do not have VR.

    One thing to consider is the weight and size of the 70-200/2.8 and 80-200/2.8 zooms. They are 2x the weight of the f/4 zoom. As a senior citizen, I can easily handhold the f/4 lens through two sequential football/soccer games, not so the heavier f/2.8 lens. And NO, a monopod is a poor alternative, as it significantly reduces my ability to track the action over a wide arc of movement. I am only using a monopod due to an injury, but as soon as I can, I am ditching the monopod and going back to handheld. But note, this is how I use the lens.

    The 70-200/2.8 is also 2x the cost of the f/4 zoom.

    But if you NEED lens speed, then you need the f/2.8 lens.

    The Sigma 50-100 f/1.8 lens is a FAST alternative. But the cost of the fast f/1.8 aperture is a shorter zoom range. And it does not have VR.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'd read the Thom Hogan review of the 16-80 VR lens here for a good insight into what you'd be getting with that lens. Nikon 16-80mm f/2.8-4E VR DX Lens Review | DSLRBodies | Thom Hogan

    You can also see how he compares the above lens, the "new choice", with the 17-55/2.8 in his review of that 2004 design, here: Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G DX Lens Review | DSLRBodies | Thom Hogan

    As far as Sigma lenses go, Thom has used several of them, and recommended some as well. Sigma's 17-50/2.8 is on his recommended list. Lenses are a personal thing...sometimes a lens is fine for one type of use or one type of carry, while the same lens might NOT be a good choice for other uses. Look to this short list from Thom as being a good overview of lenses to choose from Thom’s Recommended Lenses for DX Users | DSLRBodies | Thom Hogan

    I do not think the Tamron or Sigma 17-70mm lenses had been reviewed by him when this list was last updated.
     
  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have these two zooms:

    Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 12.38.52 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 12.40.30 PM.png
     
  6. blind1587

    blind1587 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info..... I am between the nikon 17-55 and the sigma 17-50 at this point. I am leaning towards the 17-55. The only things that concern ,e are the weight and the zoom ring. Some people say the zoom ring being so close to the body is awkward and makes it uncomfortable. What is your experience with the zoom on this lens?
     
  7. greybeard

    greybeard Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 when I was shooting DX. It has very good IQ at all settings. The zoom ring turns in the opposite to other Nikon zooms which may or may not be of any concern to you. Also I didn't care for the manual focusing ring at the end of the lens which turns when the lens autofocuses and manual focus demands that you manually turn off the autofocus switch. The price is much lower than the Nikon 16-80 f2.8-f/4 but, I think you get what you pay for.
     
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  8. blind1587

    blind1587 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I will consider the 24-120, however Im unsure if it will be wide enough for me on a dx sensor. Im. ot sure how to find the equivalent focal length, but Im under the impression it will be a much narrower field of view than I’m looking for.
    By all means if I can acquire a lens that will work on both formats and fit my needs, that would be the way to go.


    Even with the added weight, I still think I’m stuck on the constant 2.8 70-200. Is
     
  9. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    24 (DX) x 1.5 (crop) = 36mm (FX)
    IOW a moderate wide lens on a DX camera.
    If you need wide, then it probably won't work for you.
    It has to fit your use case. It would be great shooting from the football or soccer sidelines, which is why it was on my short list.
     
  10. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No issues whatsoever. Like I said, it's big and heavy, but also built like a tank.
     
  11. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It depends on how you hold the lens/camera, and your own hands.
    When I use a side grip, holding only the zoom ring, I can hold pretty close to the body. The side grip also works for heavy and medium drag zoom rings.
    I usually adapt to the lens, though there are exceptions.
     
  12. SergioMalik

    SergioMalik TPF Noob!

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    I personally use Nikon 70-200/4
    The Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4G zoom lens offers a 3x zoom range which, complemented with an either a 16-35 mm or 24-70 mm zoom lens.
    In addition, the build quality of the lens is excellent.
     

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