Best Lenses For Nikon D7100 – 2020 Top Picks Reviewed

Tired of blurry photographs and high distortions at increased zoom level? Looking to create a masterpiece of your own? Then, you are in the right place. This guide will help you identify the best possible lenses you might want to purchase for your Nikon D7100.

Comparison of the Best Lenses For Nikon D7100

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G

  • Medium telephoto lens with a fast aperture
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) with 7 diaphragm blades
  • Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED

  • Maximum magnification is 0.32x
  • Features a focal length range of 18-300mm
  • Minimum focus distance is 16ft.
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AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

  • Features a focal length range of 18-200mm with 1.6ft minimum focus
  • Best for the money
  • Two ED glass elements with three Aspherical lens elements
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

  • Features a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture
  • Focal length of 50mm enables natural tint to images
  • Best lens for Nikon D7100 for portraits
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Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II

  • Maximum and minimum aperture of f/2.8 to f/2.2 respectively
  • Two Super-Low Dispersion and two Aspherical lens elements
  • Best wide-angle lens for Nikon D7100
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Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM

  • Best zoom lens for Nikon D7100
  • Internal focusing and zooming enables high performance and usage
  • Focal length range of 18-35mm is ideal for landscape, portraits, and close-ups
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Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 Contemporary DC Macro OS HSM

  • Features a focal length 17-70mm
  • Best walk around lens for Nikon D7100
  • Highly compatible with APS-C DSLRs
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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED

  • Telephoto zoom lens of 5.5x with 58mm Filter Thread Diameter
  • High Refractive Index (HRI) lens element and focal length of 55-300mm
  • Best telephoto lens for Nikon D7100
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Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens

  • Best macro lens for Nikon D7100
  • Nano-Crystal coat and ED glass element improves image quality
  • Comes with an internal focus and Maximum Reproduction Ratio of 1.0x
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Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD

  • Best landscape lens for Nikon D7100
  • Features FLD glass elements with fluorite parallel performance
  • Maximum magnification of 1:5 with 28cm/11inches minimum focus distance
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Can Any Lens Be Used With a Nikon D7100?

The answer is no. Although the Nikon D7100 can mount a wide range of lenses, not all of them are fully compatible. The reason is some lenses cannot operate or take advantage of autofocusing and must focus manually. For this reason, your camera manual displays all the possible list of lenses that can be mounted. It also describes the features that would be supported by each type.

Lenses like type D or G AF Nikkor, AF-S Nikkor, or AF-I Nikkor offer ultimate compatibility. The reason being that these lenses possess Central Processing Unit (CPU) Technology, which enables it to adjust according to the camera.

Why Did These Lenses Make Our List?

Here is a list of some of the features of good quality lenses that we kept in mind while making our list. 

Distortion

All lenses display some sort of distortion, especially ultra-wide-angle lenses at wide angles. A great quality lens would always display a lower level of distortion. It is because it uses a large number of lens elements, which allows it to capture a highly refined image. However, there is certain software that can help reduce lens distortion. 

Speed

The camera lens is highly responsible for capturing and focusing light and directing it to the camera sensor. A good quality lens possesses a larger aperture; thus, allowing the maximum amount of light to be directed on to the sensor. Faster lenses are best suited for wildlife and sports images.

Vignetting

This refers to the darker areas on the edges of a photograph. It takes place because the light enters through the center of the lens, leaving the corners to be a bit darker. A good quality lens would always allow maximum flow of light for reduced vignetting.

Aberration

Usually, there are two types of aberrations; spherical and chromatic. Chromatic aberrations refer to the failure to focus all colors at a similar convergence point. A spherical one is caused by the spherical lens when light hits the edges instead of the center. Good quality lenses such as those mentioned below exhibit complex technologies like lens coatings, etc.

Vibration Reduction

A good quality lens possesses a vibration reduction mechanism. It allows the lens to stabilize during handheld photography by reducing the shutter speed.

Quick Take - Best Telephoto Lenses For Nikon D7100

Before we dive into our review, here are the best telephoto lenses for Nikon D7100:

  1. Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G
  2. ​Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED
  3. ​AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

Review of the Best Telephoto Lenses for Nikon D7100

Choosing a decent lens from an ocean of brands and products is a difficult task, especially when you possess little knowledge of every product. However, you can confidently pick a good one from the list of products we have listed and reviewed. 

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Fast aperture medium range zoom lens
  • Both manual and autofocus mode switch
  • Super Integrated Coating with 85mm fixed lens
  • Focal length 85mm and minimum focus is .80m
  • Features Silent Wave Motor and 7 diaphragm blades

CONS

  • Limited close focus
  • Average build quality
  • No optical stabilization

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the recent reviews depict high customer satisfaction considering the price of this lens. A lot of people have been using it for portraits and family pictures, which were extraordinarily sharp. The bokeh photographs are very decent while it performs significantly well under low light conditions. It’s a great lens overall.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model delivers some of the sharpest images in its league. It's great sharpness and minimal distortion make it a great choice for anyone who is looking to purchase a budget lens. Apart from that, a compact, light-weight design ensures supreme handheld image quality.

Who Would Use This Most

Nikon manufactures one of the best lenses in the industry, and this telephoto lens is second to none. Its lightweight build and a highly affordable price targets individuals looking to snap commercial or personal images. It’s a great choice for beginners who are looking to start off their photographic journey.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, this is an easy to use, highly affordable, and compact lens. Its maximum aperture of f/1.8 delivers astonishing image quality even under dim light. Sharp and clear images with minimum distortion enable supreme quality. Its compact build combined with reasonable price and endless features makes it a great all-round performer.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Compact and balanced design
  • Vibration Reduction Technology for steady clicks
  • Features a 16.7x wide-angle to super-telephoto zoom
  • Great for still, landscape, portraits, and wildlife photography
  • SWM with three aspherical (AS) and Extra-Low Dispersion glass element

CONS

  • No hood available
  • Weak telephoto performance
  • Visible distortion throughout the range

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers consider this lens as a worthwhile choice. However, some of the buyers were disappointed with its sharpness and distortion at higher zoom levels. Buyers believe that this lens is ideal for close-up photos but not that great at larger zoom levels.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What strikes us most about this lens is the 16.7x wide-angle zoom range. It allows you to capture far-off action, whether it be landscape, sports, or wildlife photography. It’s relatively lightweight and compact. Plus, its combination with the vibration reduction technology renders it a great choice for high-quality handheld photography.

Who Would Use This Most

This model is perfectly designed for still, landscape, wildlife, and portrait photography. Its SVM technology enables fast and discreet autofocus. This, combined with three Aspherical and Extra-Low Dispersion glass elements, makes it a highly competitive choice for maximum contrast and minimal lens flare for professional photography.

Bottom Line

This is a decent walk-around lens with a lightweight and huge zoom range. It’s also a versatile lens suitable for still, landscape, and wildlife photography. It’s highly effective for close-up photos, making it perfect for portraits and personal use. Its Vibration Reduction allows you to shoot incredibly sharp images even in low light, making it a great choice.

AF-S DX Nkr 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

PROS

  • Nikon VR II Image Stabilization
  • Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SVM)
  • Focal length range of 18-200mm 
  • 20inch focus for greater adaptability
  • Features three Aspherical and two ED lens elements

CONS

  • Slightly expensive
  • Average build quality
  • A bit on the heavier side

What Recent Buyers Report

Highly positive reviews suggest that this lens is definitely a must-buy. Plenty of buyers are extremely grateful due to the incredible images that it can shoot. Moreover, it’s a great travel kit considering it features a one-lens solution without worrying about multiple lenses. The buyers highly recommend it for both close-up and distant shots.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What appeals to us about this lens is the one-lens solution that it offers. You usually don’t want to carry a bag full of lenses while this one is around! Its ability to capture clear and sharp images either at close or distant range makes it an attractive package.

Who Would Use This Most

Featuring an 18-200mm focal length range and f/3.5 maximum aperture, this lens allows you to snap perfect images at various distances. Its f/3.5 aperture delivers beautiful landscape pictures and distant shots even in low light. Its two Extra-Low Dispersion glass elements and three Aspherical lens elements enable premium image quality for amateurs and professionals.

Bottom Line

This model is a complete package. Nikon’s Vibration Reduction II Image Stabilization technology and highly discreet Silent Wave Motor makes it a great choice. Its 11x zoom enables wide-angle landscape photography to close-up portraits with utmost reliability and immense image quality.

Best Lens for Nikon D7100 for Portraits:
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • M/A autofocus mode
  • Features ultrasonic-type AF motor
  • Comes with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor
  • Nikon F mount for both DX and FX DSLRs
  • Features minimum focus distance of 0.45m/17.72inches

CONS

  • No Image Stabilization
  • Autofocus on the slower side
  • Longitudinal chromatic aberrations

What Recent Buyers Report

As per the users, this is a promising lens featuring decent specifications at the given price. Recent buyers highly recommend it for close-up portraits as well as outdoor photography. It’s highly appreciated in terms of bokeh quality and low-light situations. Its sharp and vibrant images make it an attraction for most of its users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Nikon model makes a significant appeal to us. Its fast f/1.4 aperture is ideal for low-light photography. Its rounded 9-bladed diaphragm and quick autofocus enable photographers to snap quick natural photographs with high quality. Additionally, it also features a minimum focusing of 1.5ft for greater adaptability. 

Who Would Use This Most

If you are looking for a lens that is perfect for portraits, then look no further. This is the ultimate choice for you. Featuring an ideal portrait lens for DX-format cameras, it allows you to capture some of the best close-up portrait photography.

Bottom Line

This is an ideal portrait photography lens that’s highly recommended to anyone who is looking to shoot close-up photos with incredible image quality and natural textures. Provided with Super Integrated Coating, this lens improves light dissemination efficiency and offers consistent color quality with high reliability. In short, it’s a must-buy product.

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Nikon D7100:
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Digital Zoom Lens (AF-S Motor) (for Nikon)

PROS

  • M/A slip ring
  • Incredibly sharp images
  • Great purchase in the given price range
  • Good build quality with minimal lens creep
  • USA version provides 3 years Tokina warranty

CONS

  • Short focal range
  • Relatively on the heavier side
  • Ineffective for low-light focusing

What Recent Buyers Report

The lens speaks for itself. Its brilliantly sharp and crisp photoshoot is possible with this great lens. Buyers are astounded by the amazing high quality and sharp images they were able to capture with it. Although some buyers were concerned about its weight, others found it to be a great performer.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were definitely amazed by the brilliant photographs captured by this Tokina lens. Its ability to capture some mouth-opening ultra-high resolution and amazingly sharp images definitely strikes us the most. Available at a reasonable price, this lens is by far considered as one of the sharpest image shooters.

Who Would Use This Most

This is an ideal choice for professional photography. It’s incredibly sharp images and its ability to capture some wonderful landscape, and scenic photographs make it a perfect pick for professional photographers. Its wide-angle lens provides the ultimate landscape images, whether captured in bright daylight or low-light conditions.

Bottom Line

This is one of the sharpest lenses around. Despite being slightly on the heavier side, it is capable of capturing the perfect photos for you. Its specialty lies within its landscape photography and various outdoor photography. Available at a reasonable price, this product is highly recommended for sharp image lovers.

Best Zoom Lens for Nikon D7100:
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens for Nikon

PROS

  • USB Dock Compatibility
  • 18-35mm focal length range
  • Fast f/1.8 maximum aperture
  • Equipped with Hyper Sonic Motor
  • Supports Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony and Sigma mounts

CONS

  • Relatively heavy
  • Loud focus motor
  • No Image Stabilization

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a high-quality lens that can shoot exceptionally sharp images. A high percentage of buyers believe that it is capable of shooting really good quality photos and videos. Its f/1.8 fast aperture allows it to capture awesome bokeh and low light photos. Despite being a slightly heavy and slower focus motor with a loud sound, it’s a great choice.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What stands out to us is its versatile nature. Its ability to mount on all APS-C sized sensors provides a wide range of options to the purchaser. Apart from that, its wide focal length range covers at least 3 prime lenses. It features a decent quality build as well.

Who Would Use This Most

The Sigma model makes a great travel companion. Its ability to capture the landscape, still, portrait, casual, and close-up shots make it highly desirable for most photographers. Its great ability to create great videos and image quality makes it an ideal purchase for everyone.

Bottom Line

A final word on this lens would be that it’s a great lens with great photo and video shooting capabilities. It’s Thermally Composite Material (TSC) increases its durability. The Special Low Dispersion glass and Hyper Sonic Motor enables fast autofocus with crisp image quality. Also, it supports USB Dock Compatibility.

Best Walk Around Lens for Nikon D7100:
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 Contemporary DC Macro OS HSM

Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 Contemporary DC Macro OS HSM Lens for Nikon

PROS

  • A maximum aperture of f/2.8-4
  • Focal length range of 17-70mm
  • Lightweight with a compact design
  • Comes with Optical Image Stabilization
  • 72mm filters with 0.22m minimum focus distance

CONS

  • Vignetting at 17mm f/2.8
  • No manual-focus override
  • Barrel distortion below 24mm

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are quite happy and satisfied with this Sigma lens. Its lightning-fast autofocus combined with sharp and crisp quality images stands out to its users. Its 0.36x magnification enables extraordinary close-up photos. Considering the price and performance of this device, users highly recommend it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The unique, compact, and lightweight design makes it a highly attractive lens. Featuring a wide range of features like HSM, Image Stabilization, and macro functionality, this lens provides a great value for money. Thermally Stable Composite provides high durability to the lens while HSM provides silent, accurate, and fast autofocus.

Who Would Use This Most

It is an all-purpose lens designed for anyone who seeks to capture phenomenal photographs, whether it is outdoors or indoors. Its two FLD glass elements and one SLD element keep chromatic aberration to a minimum. It’s also highly customizable with its USB Dock Compatibility, thus making it the perfect pick for everyone!

Bottom Line

This is a highly customizable and promising lens. Featuring a fast aperture and focal length, it provides silent and accurate autofocus with its HSM. It’s also highly durable with the Thermally Composite Material while enabling incredible picture quality with its Optical Stabilizer. It performs exceptionally well when combined with Nikon D7100.

Best Telephoto Lens for Nikon D7100:
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • 5.5x telephoto zoom
  • Features a 55-300mm focal length range
  • Lens element is HRI or High Refractive Index 
  • VR Image Stabilization and tripod detection mode
  • 2 ED elements with SWM and minimum focus distance of 4.6ft/1.4m

CONS

  • Slow autofocus
  • Soft images at 300mm
  • Questionable performance in low light

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a budget device that offers value for your money. Buyers are of the view that it holds exceptionally well considering its price tag. What makes the buyers more confident is its utmost image quality at decent zoom levels. However, some users have reported having witnessed soft images at extended zoom level.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s High Refractive Index lens combined with Tripod detection mode with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor makes it an ultra-quiet shooter. Meanwhile, the Super Integrated Coating allows superior quality images in low-light while reducing flare and ghosting. The Tripod Detection Mode enables shake-free images at a higher zoom level while using a tripod.

Who Would Use This Most

This compact Nikon model speaks for itself. Its High Refractive Index (HRI) element and two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements enable capturing far-off action with great accuracy. Furthermore, its Vibration Reduction technology with Image Stabilization provides blur-free and high-resolution images for everyone.

Bottom Line

All in all, it’s an amazing lens available at a killer price. With all the enhanced features, it can deliver masterpieces of wildlife and landscape images. It’s a must-buy product if you are seeking a value-for-money lens. Its affordable price and sharp images make a powerful combination to convince anyone who wishes for a reliable, professional lens.

Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens

PROS

  • M/A autofocus
  • Vibration Reduction II Technology
  • Highly adaptable for macro photography
  • Features Nano-Crystal coating and ED glass element
  • Focal length 105mm and minimum focus distance is 10ft

CONS

  • Slightly heavy
  • Quite Expensive
  • No Optical Stabilization

What Recent Buyers Report

Apart from being slightly on the heavier side, this lens is doing wonders for its buyers. Its 105mm focal length and a fast f/2.8 aperture captures stunning pictures of anything you like. The buyers are highly satisfied with their portrait and close-up performance. Its Vibration Reduction allows you to capture minute subjects with blur-free sharpness.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is razor sharp. With its ultra-high resolution macro photography, it stands out to us. It’s an amazing lens that can surprise you with its brilliance at portraits and close-up photos. Its 105mm focal length helps in providing the natural look to your captured images.

Who Would Use This Most

This lens is designed for anyone looking to take portrait and close-up portrait images. Since its fast f/2.8 aperture and M/A autofocus enables fast switching, it can snap images quickly and effectively. It is highly reliable considering its Vibration Reduction paired with Silent Wave Motor for ultra-quiet and accurate results.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is an exceptional lens, considering the tons of features it possesses. With Vibration Reduction to SVM and Nano-Coating to Aspherical lens elements, it will surprise you every day with its brilliance. Its razor-sharp and crystal-clear images at close distances are what make it an ultimate choice for macro photography.

Best Landscape Lens for Nikon D7100:
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital DSLR Camera

PROS

  • Super Multi-Layer coating
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 11inches minimum focusing distance
  • Hyper Sonic Motor available for ultra-quiet focus
  • FLD glass elements with one hybrid Aspherical lens

CONS

  • Plastic build
  • Lower resolution above f/11
  • Manual focus ring is not up to the mark

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers consider this as a value-for-money lens. Its considerably sharp image and all-round performance make it an eye-catching product. Buyers were greatly satisfied with its performance, whether it is landscape, wildlife, or portrait. It also comes highly recommended by recent reviewers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Its large aperture of f/2.8 is what strikes us the most. It not only allows you to capture amazing landscape portraits; rather, it enables you to click some stunning portraits photographs as well. Its OS enables lower shutter speeds, thus, reducing shake and blurred photos. It’s also protected by a Super Multi-Layer coating, which greatly reduces flare and ghosting.

Who Would Use This Most

With its minimum focusing distance of 11 inches, this is a great choice for anyone looking for landscape and close-up portrait photography. Its 1:5 magnification ratio enables it to zoom closer objects with extreme accuracy and efficiency.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, this is a great product that promises value for your money, especially with all the amazing features it possesses. Its large aperture and high magnification ratio make it ideal for sharp close-up photos. While supporting Optical Stabilization, it also has Super Multi-Layer coating for minimal chromatic aberrations and high contrast images.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

The following are certain aspects to consider before purchasing any lens.

Price

Obviously, the price is the most significant factor for most of you who wish to buy a decent lens. A lot of people do not have a big budget, while good lenses are not that cheap. For camera lenses, you really get what you pay for. A low-end lens will not provide you sharper images or a decent quality photograph.

Lens Purpose

It is one of the most important factors to consider before purchasing a lens. Some offer wider apertures for distant landscape photos, while others offer macro photography features. It depends on why you are purchasing the lens in the first place. Telephoto lenses, however, provide a wide variety of focal lengths for all-round photography.

Aperture

The aperture of the lens determines the amount of light that reaches inside. The greater or wider the aperture, the more light it can receive. A shorter aperture means less amount of light would enter the lens. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the aperture the lens has to offer. The wider the aperture, the better it will operate under low-light circumstances. A lens having a maximum aperture of f/1.4 will perform better under low-light than that of an f/5.6.

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind Before Buying a New Lens

Here are some precautionary measures you should consider while buying a new lens.

Third-Party Lenses

A third-party lens might be available to you at nearly half the price or even less, but don’t fall for the low price! They are cheap for a reason. Third-party lenses are usually of low quality. They are usually slower and won’t provide you with crisp and colorful images.

Slow Auto-Focus

Watch out for lenses that do not promise a decent auto-focus capability. Fast auto-focus enables you to capture instant images of sports or wildlife action with extreme accuracy. A slow auto-focus lens will not yield you an ideal or sharp image and may seem blurred or shaky. Therefore, make sure you have purchased a lens possessing a decent auto-focus mechanism. A lot of good lenses provide extraordinary focus using inner focusing or motors like HSM or USM.

Soft Images

Another precaution to take is regarding the soft images. A low-quality lens will not provide you with high-quality sharp images, rather, a blurred vision of the original world.

Conclusion

Buying a decent lens for capturing mind-blowing pictures is something that everyone desires, yet not everyone can achieve, Therefore, in order to do so, having ample knowledge and experience of various lenses is the key to victory. Only then would you be able to fulfill your desire at a reasonable price.