The Best Lenses for Nikon D7100 to Make Your Photography Pop
The Nikon D7100 is undoubtedly one of the best middle-of-the-road cameras for anyone who wants to get into photography. It contains some of the best enthusiast-grade features that you would want from a good camera paired with an affordable price, too.
Best Lenses for Nikon D7100
Finding the best lens for your Nikon D7100 can be a chore, especially if you are new to the market. With an abundance of lenses available, a person is only left wondering what they should get their hands on. Do I want a lens for shooting videos or do I want a lens for landscape photography? Am I planning on capturing portraits as well?
All these questions combined can make a tedious experience finding the best lens. Well, I am going to walk you through the best lenses for your D7100, so you do not end up spending money on something that is not good. The best lens for the D7100 is undoubtedly the Sigma 18-35mm as it delivers top-of-the-line performance without leaving any boxes unchecked.
Sigma 18-35mm – Best Overall Lens
Sigma 18-35mm comes with a super-fast f/1.8 aperture with excellent optics and sharpness.
You have seen this lens several times in our previous round-ups, and well, you are seeing it again. I understand that a lot of people had reservations with this lens because it has been out for as long as one can remember and Sigma never bothered refreshing it. Honestly, Sigma never really had because it brought to the table everything one could ask for in a good lens.
The 18-35mm did something that no other lens managed to do; it combined a rather short but effective zoom range but it also shipped with an impressively wide f/1.8 aperture; a property that we mostly associate with prime lenses. This way, you got the best of both worlds, and this lens exploded in popularity.
The super-fast and continuous f/1.8 maximum aperture makes this lens amazing as it produces some of the sharpest and best-looking images with great details in them.
Sigma has done an excellent job at designing the optics on this lens as it has excellent results, even when you are using the lens wide open, you are not going to be let down at all, and that is a great achievement on Sigma’s part.
The autofocusing system is not only silent, but it is also super-fast, making it a strong contender and an excellent lens overall. Last but not the least, the build quality on this lens is one of the finest, and on top of that, the lens does not even feel heavy, so you are good to go.
My only concerns here are that you have a very limited zoom range, in theory, you are just looking at a 2x zoom range, which might be average for a lot of people.
Simply put, if you want a standard zoom lens that can also double up as a prime lens and produce some stunning pictures and can shoot beautiful looking videos at the same time, you cannot get better than the Sigma 18-35mm as it gets the job done in more than one way.
Nikon 85mm f/1.8 – Best Nikon Lens for Weddings
Nikon 85mm f/1.8 is one of the sharpest lenses in the market; it is great for most of the photos with smooth bokeh.
Considering how the wedding season is upon us, a lot of the budding photographers are trying to get their hands on the perfect lens that will help them take some stunning wedding pictures. Now, there is a misconception that a good lens always has to be expensive but that is not the case with our first contender.
The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 is one of the cheaper prime offerings available in the market, and it is known for delivering some of the best results and that too, without cutting any major corners. Sure, the lens is old but that does not reflect its optical prowess as you still get some stunning pictures out of it.
Starting with the obvious, the lens brings one of the sharpest optical characteristics that I can tell you about in any lens that is available in the market. You are not going to get better results than this. The lens handles distortion with ease, and you are not going to notice it in your pictures either.
The highlight, of course, is the wide aperture here. Which results in some amazing-looking pictures, to be honest. The bokeh is excellent and perfectly round and the depth of field is shallow enough that you are going to get amazing results every single time, without any issues.
The one thing that is going to surprise most people about this lens is just how affordable it is. I normally am careful when reviewing affordable lenses, but this has proven me wrong and it does a fantastic job at delivering excellent value for the money.
Of course, there are some downsides. Because this lens is an old beast, it does lack optical image stabilization and other modern features but nothing that will hinder your experience.
Overall, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens that is going to make an amazing addition to anyone’s arsenal. Whether you are trying to get stunning portraits out of it or you are in search of the best lens for Nikon D7100 for weddings, this lens will serve you well and accommodate all your needs.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 – Best Sigma Lens for Nikon D7100
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 comes with excellent build quality with weather sealing and excellent sharpness.
We have all had a run-in with Sigma lenses and there is no denying that these lenses are excellent as they produce some of the best results, as well. For the longest time, 35mm is one of the holy grails of focal lengths as shooting at this length is an absolute treat, and when you are looking at a 35mm prime lens with a wide aperture, things only get better.
The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is one of those lenses that I have had my eyes on for the longest time and now that I have had my time with it, I can easily tell you why this lens should be going on your Nikon D7100. But I understand it is not easy to convince everyone to drop as much money on a lens so keep reading to find out why I am saying this.
For starters, if you are looking for a lens that can survive the test of time then this is it; this is one of the most well-built lenses that I have had the pleasure to use and works well. The lens even comes with a good amount of weather-sealing, which ensures that you are not going to introduce any dust or water in the lens.
You can not only lock the aperture ring but you can also de-click it, making it very easy for you to have full control over the aperture, and the AF lock button can be customized, as well. Sigma has also done an excellent job with how quiet the autofocus is on this lens.
Of course, the best thing about this lens is just how sharp it is; even when wide-open at f/1.4, the lens produces stunning results that leave the photographer in awe, and the bokeh that it creates is one of the best to look at.
Sigma also supplies a rubberized lens hood that can be locked into a place so you do not end up knocking it off by mistake.
During testing, I did run into some autofocusing issues such as focus breathing, and there was some chromatic aberration present in the images too, but thankfully, the latter can easily be fixed in post-processing.
Overall, I would say that the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is one of the best lenses that you can get your hands on. It is fast, affordably priced, and produces some of the best-looking images, as well.
Nikon 18-300mm – Best Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon D7100
Nikon 18-300mm offers an impressively long zoom range. Its 1:3 macro magnification is wonderful.
We are all aware of the fact that standard zoom lenses often get some negative remarks because they are not as sharp and they have some other issues, too. However, that does not mean that all these lenses are going to be the same. Some standard zoom lenses are excellent in what they do.
Just take a look at the Nikon 18-300mm, one of the best standard zoom lenses in the market that I have reviewed multiple times. I featured this lens before in my round-up for the best lenses for Nikon D5200, and the lens is making a return thanks to how good it is.
With that said, the lens has one of the longest zoom ranges of 16.7x; in other words, it goes all the way to 300mm from 18mm and that is an impressive feature. It also brings optical image stabilization which makes this lens an excellent purchase, as it can work wonders.
The 1:3 macro magnification, however, is the best thing about this lens, it is a lot of fun to get up close and personal with some of the shots that you are going to take and they always look really good.
The lens is also great for those who want to travel light and are not looking for something too heavy or large.
While the lens does have some excellent things in its favor, it also does bring some downsides that I have to mention. There is a moderate distortion that is found across the focal range, and the edge and telephoto performance are not the best.
Simply put, if you are just starting and you want a good standard zoom lens that covers a long range, the Nikon 18-300mm is a great lens that will not break your bank and will take some excellent pictures, too.
Nikon 16-85mm – Best Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
Nikon 16-85mm handles chromatic aberration really well. It is compact, and the construction is decent.
At this point, all of us are aware of the fact that Nikon does make some good lenses and there is no overlooking that, to be honest. But the thing is, now and then people are looking at the affordable first-party lenses and are asking them if they want that lens, or not.
For starters, the Nikon 16-85mm is one of the lenses that a lot of people could have a concern with because it is one of the more affordable lenses in the market, but hey, after I tested it out, I realized that it manages to punch above its weight class, which is always a good thing. So, why not give it a spin.
For starters, the lens does have a practical zoom range that I could see myself and a lot of other photographers using. You start with 16mm and go all the way up to 85mm and this covers almost every focal length that you would want.
The lens also handles chromatic aberration nicely, which means that there is a certain consistency in how the pictures come out looking. You are also getting one of the more compact constructions out of any lens, which is always a great thing, the lens is not going to break on you.
The thing that surprised me the most was the fact that this lens ships with built-in image stabilization which is honestly impressive and works well.
Now, there is much to love about this lens but when you are zooming it to 85mm, the optical performance is average in the center and corners and there is some distortion whenever you are at 16mm.
I would not lie, the Nikon 16-85mm is one of the lenses that surprised me the most. I was not expecting the lens to perform as well as it did but apparently, that is not the case at all. It delivered a promising performance despite having some downsides to it but this is still an excellent lens.
Nikon 35mm – Best Wide-Angle Prime Lens
Nikon 35mm is compact and lightweight. It offers a bright aperture and can take sharp images.
Wide-angle photography is a lot of fun, to be honest. You are getting great versatility, especially if you have a fast lens at your disposal because you can take some stunning pictures that way, and without any issues coming your way, to be honest.
The 35mm lens is always the one that I suggest to everyone as it produces some of the best results, and well, you are not going to be disappointed here because these lenses are not only affordable but also result in some of the best results that you can get.
The Nikon 35mm is no different; it is a standard, fast prime lens that barely costs you any money, and still manages to deliver amazing results every single time. To add a cherry on the top, the lens also barely weighs anything and is compact, too. So, there are not many issues.
Now, the good news that you have at your hand is that the lens has a bright aperture at f/1.8 and that is excellent for all shooting conditions. Sure, it does not open as wide as f/1.4, but hey, even at f/1.8, you are getting a ton of light.
If you are searching for a lens that can produce some crisp and sharp images, this is the lens that you need to invest in because you will not be disappointed at all.
I wish everything were as good as I had wanted, but the lens does produce some barrel distortion and purple fringing in certain scenes.
Sure, there are some minor inconveniences in the lens but that does not keep it away from being so good. Quite the opposite as it delivers one of the best performances and considering how affordable it is, I would be hard-pressed not to recommend this lens to anyone.
Nikon 50mm – Best 50mm Lens for Nikon D7100
Nikon 50mm is compact and easy to carry. It comes with a fast aperture of f/1.8.
We all are aware of the fact that for the longest time, the 50mm focal length has become the standard for people who are looking for great lenses. The best thing is that this lens has been available in every single camera ecosystem, and has always been the affordable lens with top-of-the-line performance.
The Nikon 50mm is no different, to be honest. You are getting an excellent performing lens that delivers surprisingly well performance, and the best part is that this lens is not going to cost you a lot of money either because if it is a performance that you want, this lens does deliver it.
This is one of the sharpest lenses that you are going to get your hands on, to be honest. Even when you are using it wide-open, you are getting excellent results out of it. The lens is also compact and allows you to carry it with you everywhere and without any issues.
Not to forget, the fast aperture on this lens makes it one of the top performers in every category. At f/1.8, it manages to deliver stunning results without ever breaking a sweat.
Nikon has also stayed true to the legacy of this lens and has made sure that you are looking at one of the most affordable lenses that are available in the market, so you do not have to spend all your money on a single lens.
With all the things to love, not everything is perfect here. So, it is better to make note of those things, too. For starters, much like the 85mm lens that I have reviewed earlier, this lens also lacks some of the basic functionality.
Overall, I would say that the Nikon 50mm is one of the best lenses in the market and that is one thing that no one can contest. The lens genuinely is excellent in terms of performance works well in almost every case. You will not be disappointed by how good this lens can be.
Nikon 10-24mm – Best Ultra-Wide Lens for D7100
Nikon 10-24mm offers an ultra-wide field of view. It is lightweight and compact.
The thing about ultra-wide photography is that it has been around for a long, long time but then LG released the G6 and brought an ultra-wide camera to a smartphone and that gave way to the photography world exploding and everyone started rushing to ultra-wide lenses because of course, the dramatic field of view looks excellent in every case and that too, without any issues.
The Nikon 10-24mm is just one of the lenses that you would want to use again and again simply because having an ultra-wide-angle lens is always a good thing and if you are like me who prefers experimenting with their pictures or shooting styles, this is a great lens for you.
For starters, the ultra-wide field of view is going to give you one of the best shooting experiences, something that you are not going to regret at all. The lens does deliver excellent performance across the board and you can thank us later for how good the performance is on it.
The lens does have a small but very useful zoom range of 2.4x, which normally does not come in the way. The lens is not built as a telephoto or a super-telephoto lens, for that matter. Therefore, having this zoom range is just fine.
Another great thing here is that the lens has one of the best excellent sharpness that you can find in any lens out there, and you will do just fine, to be honest. I am surprised at how sharp this lens is in the centers.
There are a few things that I did not like as much about the lens, and I thought I would mention those, too. For starters, the lens does give you noticeable distortion when you are using it at 10mm, and that is one thing that you have to keep a note of. Another thing that you should note is that the lens does have some softness around the edges.
Overall, it is safe to say that the Nikon 10-24mm is not going to fit everyone’s requirements but that does not mean that you are looking at an inherently average lens. It is the opposite as this lens manages to deliver one of the best performances that I have seen in any lens and you are not going to lose any money on it, either.
Nikon 24-70mm – Best Travel Lens for D7100
Nikon 24-70mm offers excellent center sharpness and comes with great build quality.
Honestly, the last lens on the list should not surprise anyone. The 24-70mm zoom range is one of the most revered ones whenever you are looking at lenses regardless of the company they are from. I am not just talking about the first party but the same goes for third-party lenses, and these lenses have always been the fan favorite, too.
With that said, the Nikon 24-70mm has lived a long life, the company even reintroduced the lens for the Nikon Z series cameras, and honestly, this lens has not let anyone down so far. So, if you are looking for something that does offer great performance, this is the lens that you should be investing in because you are not going to be let down by how good it is.
Sure, it is an enthusiast lens and not for everyone but if you are an event shooter or someone who likes to travel a lot, this is the lens for you. It can take some stunning wide-angle shots, but at the same time, can zoom in close enough to get some amazing-looking close-ups.
One of the best things about this lens is the fact that it is one of the sharpest lenses available in the market, the sharpness is constant, as well. So, regardless of the zoom range, you are going to get incredible shots every single time.
The lens also offers a constant f/2.8 aperture, which is always good as it makes the lens ideal for almost all the shooting conditions that you might find yourself in without being too overwhelmed.
I believe that a perfect lens should also come with the solid build quality and Nikon has left no stone unturned in making sure that the build quality of this lens is exceptionally well done because that is always an important part for a lot of photographers.
Now, the thing that you should know is that the edge performance on this lens can suffer a bit, and there is some distortion at certain focal ranges.
Overall, I would say that the Nikon 24-70mm is one of the more pleasing lenses in the market. It could easily be marketed as the best overall lens for not just Nikon D7100 but almost all the Nikon cameras there are, in the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no dearth of excellent lenses available for the Nikon D7100, to be honest. Still, if you have just picked up the camera after a long time, it is normal to feel overwhelmed by the abundance of options that are available in the market for the camera.
If you are looking for something good, I have got you covered. The purpose of this article was to look at all the top lenses for the Nikon D7100 so you can have an easier time taking the pictures you want to take.
Hey, I’m Gary Sindell from beautiful Vancouver. A passionate photographer turned ‘Lens Guru’, I’ll help you discover the power of the right lens and elevate your photography game.