Best lenses for the 24M-Pix Nikon D7100: Part I

By Kevin Carter - Wednesday October 02 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Anti-aliasing filter: How useful is it? | Nikon D7100 results: ultra high performance | Best prime lenses for the D7100 | Best Zoom models for the D7100 | A decade of evolution in sensor design and image quality

As for the best performing models, we can reveal the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A continues to do well with it achieving the best overall optical performance of those tested, very closely followed by the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 G, which now sits ahead of the accessibly priced 85mm f/1.8G model slightly, based on sharpness scores.

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon8993216
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G21993016
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G6903015
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II58992917
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 100mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon18402713
Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon9692712
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.2 Nikon17002715
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G1952612
Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Nikon5992611
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Nikon3282614
Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Nikon4992615
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm F2.8G ED VR89992617
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF12302514
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon10052513
Carl Zeiss Planar T 85mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon12802514
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon18432513
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G17972514
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D3292414
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon4992413
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED22002413

Some of the high-grade pro-oriented Nikon models, such as the current AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED VR II and the 400mm f/2.8G ED VR have slightly better sharpness scores than either the full-frame Sigma 35mm or the 85mm Nikon, indeed on the D7100 they’re the sharpest lenses of all the models tested.