Best lenses for the 24-Mpix Nikon D7100: Telephoto primes and zooms

By Kevin Carter - Thursday, October 10, 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Best Super Zooms for the D7100 | Best 70-200mm lenses for the D7100 | Best telephoto primes for the D7100 | Best telephoto zooms for the D7100

With the new Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Nikon mount version recently added to our database it pushes the previously ranked number one model, the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 into second place. Owners of the Nikon and Tamron models shouldn’t feel dissatisfied though, as it’s very close, with all three lenses achieving a DxOMark score of 23 points. It’s worth noting the Sigma 50-150mm is a DX format lens and therefore isn't directly comparable to the 70-200mm models. However, as the equivalent to 75-225mm f/2.8 on the D7100, it has a similar field of view over the zoom range to those models on a full-frame camera. 

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Nikon9992317
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II26992315
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Nikon16992316
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Nikon9492112
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR13992113
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM Nikon16992012
Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED18501911
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM Nikon4691811
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Nikon770176
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO HSM Nikon8801610

Sigma’s shorter focal length 50-150mm upgrade achieves high optical quality but the current Nikon and Tamron 70-200mm lenses can also be used on full frame cameras.

It’s also remarkable to see just how well the new Sigma model performs after its revamp. The previous iteration attained a DxOMark score of 18 points, but it was more modestly priced at $469, even if it lacked the stabilisation and IQ of the new model.

The new Tamron 70-200mm has slightly better sharpness than the Nikkor at the tele-end

As for the full-frame models, Tamron’s new 70-200mm f/2.8 stands out given the optical performance and the high spec. It’s not exactly cheap at just under $1,700 but it has both stabilisation and an ultrasonic type AF motor, and even outperforms the pricier Nikkor in sharpness at 200mm.