Best lenses for the 24-Mpix Nikon D7100: Telephoto primes and zoomsBy Kevin Carter - Thursday October 10 2013 Lens Recommendations
Commonly referred to as a 'super zoom', models boasting a wide range of focal lengths are appealing for their convenience, however they frequently have a moderate to slow variable maximum aperture and are inevitably compromised on optical performance in some way.
Of the 16 models tested on the D7100, with a DXOMark score of 16 points the unassuming and modestly priced AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm lens is the best performing model. This is followed closely, in joint second place, by the recently upgraded AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm and new AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6.
Although arguably the 80-400mm is not a true super zoom (it's only a rather modest 5x optical zoom), it's worth remembering this model is a full frame lens, the equivalent to a 120-600mm on the D7100. Even so, it has good levels of sharpness, albeit at the shorter end of the zoom range and has remarkably low levels of chromatic aberration. At $2,700 it’s not inexpensive but it may be the only telephoto lens you buy.Although twice the price of the 18-135mm, the 18-300mm is very similar performer overall and is well worth considering as an all-rounder. Our only concern is the rather high levels of chromatic aberration but, as an equivalent to a 28-450mm, it would make an ideal travel lens.
One model that stands out for value is the AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm. With an overall DxOMark score of 14-points and a good sharpness score of 8P-Mpix, this 85-450mm equivalent is modestly priced at $365 and comes third in our rankings overall.