Best lenses for the 24M-Pix Nikon D7100: Best standard and portrait primes and zooms

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday October 08 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Best short telephoto for the D7100 | Best standard prime lenses for the D7100 | Best Standard zoom models for the D7100
Best lenses for the 24M-Pix Nikon D7100: Best standard and portrait primes and zooms

This is the second part of our lens recommendations for the Nikon D7100 where we’ve analyzed nearly 60 Nikkor and third-party standard and portrait prime and zoom models to assess their optical quality. Read onto find out which of these lenses are the best performers when paired with Nikon’s ultra-high resolution 24-Mpix APS-C format semi-pro model.

Introduced earlier this year, the Nikon D7100 has a 24Mpix APS-C format CMOS sensor in line with both the new D5200 and entry-level D3200 models but what makes this particular model stand out is the fact this is the first stock DSLR from the firm to omit an optical low-pass filter (OLPF).As we’ve previously disclosed in part I, this configuration is capable of revealing extraordinarily high levels of fine detail at low ISOs. In fact, with certain lenses we revealed the new camera is capable of achieving an increase of up to 50% percent in sharpness over the firm’s previous 16-Mpix D7000 model.

As a 24Mpix APS-C format camera, the D7100 has an equivalent pixel density to that of a 56-Mpix full-frame 35mm camera without a blur filter (OLPF) in place and is therefore particularly demanding on the quality of the lens mounted. However, while certain models may well be able to out-resolve the sensor and offer significant benefits in detail rendition and sharpness other, lesser quality lenses may also benefit, just not so much.

The labs have analyzed the optical performance of nearly 60 standard and portrait prime and zoom models made by Nikon and third-party makers, including 15 primes between 40-60mm in focal length, a further 20 primes between 70 and 135mm and 23 zooms from the earlier 17-35mm to the newer 24-85mm. As we mentioned in part I, Sigma has yet to ship the high-speed 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM A in Nikon mount, and we’re still waiting to analyze the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, but they should arrive soon and both will be analyzed and added to the database.

Best short telephoto for the D7100

Best standard prime lenses for the D7100

Best Standard zoom models for the D7100