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Author Topic: Can you recommend a lens kit for the best image quality with the Nikon D7100?  (Read 1530 times)
Codger
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« on: May 29, 2013, 01:56:16 AM »
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What do you suggest for the DX sensor in the D7100 that would yield great IQ, spanning moderate wide, normal and moderate tele coverage?  DxO scores seem to indicate lens choices for APS-C systems perform below what is available for full-frame cameras.  If size and weight are not a concern, how can a person get excellent results with the D7100?  With primes and/or zooms?  Nikon, or?  Advice appreciated.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2013, 03:05:15 AM »
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Hello,

Have a read of these two links.

http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/779-nikon175528dx

http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/637-tamron175028d7000

Cheers

Simon

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Simon Harper
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2013, 03:49:06 AM »
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Dare I be slightly controversial?

Ignore rubbish like that spouted by DXO and other "testers". No matter how much "scientific rigour" they claim to employ, their results are almost totally irrelevant to the practical task of producing a high quality photographic print.

Virtually all modern (and most old) Nikkor lenses are of a higher quality than you are going to need.

In my experience, 99.9% of poor image quality comes not from defects in the camera or lenses but from poor technique.

With the D7100, you have a great camera. Match it with a standard lens such as the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 and you will get image quality that is constrained only by any deficiencies in your own technique.

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Codger
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 01:22:54 AM »
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Gentlemen, thanks for your input and advice.  It looks like that 17-55 Nikkor would cover 75% of what I typically shoot, and the reviews sound positive.  Yes, it is a "substantial" lens, but considering that it would stand in for three lenses in my 6x7 kit, the net weight savings is a plus.  I still plan to shoot the big film 67 when intending to produce huge out put, but breaking in to digital with this D7100 will encourage a bit more spontaneity -- a nice complement to how I've been working -- and provide files for more "normal" print sizes.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 08:15:56 AM »
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The reason the lenses for full frame are tested to provide higher image quality on the cropped frame camera is that you're using the centre which is the best part of the lens, typically.  You eliminate the typical reduction of image quality in the corners/edges.  With lenses made for smaller sensored cameras, the edge/corner issue comes back because you're using the entire lens due to the smaller image circle.

I'd agree with PhotoEcosse wrt previous generations of digital cameras.  But the latest generation of cameras like the D800/E and the new D7100 (without the low pass filter) have got to a point where the sensor outresolves many lenses and, now, in order to have the highest quality you do need to mount better lenses.

With such high resolving sensors, technique is now more important than ever, though as even very small issues will show up in an image that wouldn't have in the past.
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armand
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 07:51:24 PM »
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For zooms the 16-85 VR gets pretty good reviews also. Quality very close to 17-55, more range, lighter, and the VR will give more room for low light with static objects. I'm using it with a D90 now but if I upgrade to D7100 this will remain the working zoom.
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allegretto
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2013, 12:39:27 PM »
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Very happy with the 24-120 f4 VRII

I have a 14-24 f2.8, but usually get by just fine with the single zoom. 35-180 equiv is very useful in most situations and the VR easily makes up for being only an f4. Hand held still a stop or two in low light better than non-VR

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jejv
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 06:02:52 PM »
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Virtually all modern (and most old) Nikkor lenses are of a higher quality than you are going to need.

In my experience, 99.9% of poor image quality comes not from defects in the camera or lenses but from poor technique.
Fair comment.  My technique certainly leaves room for improvement  Smiley.

Ignore rubbish like that spouted by DXO and other "testers". No matter how much "scientific rigour" they claim to employ, their results are almost totally irrelevant to the practical task of producing a high quality photographic print.
But I think this is slightly overdone.   If I'm thinking of buying a fast lens, I'd like to know that it's sharp at least in the centre, and that the resolution doesn't fall off a cliff at the edges.  Folk like Photozone.de and DxO can say something about that.
Though with DxO it takes a little poking around to see graphs, and not just funny coloured pictures.

Nikon offers the quite respectable 18-105 for ~$US 200 with the camera.  At that price it would almost be rude to say no.
A good walkabout lens, which makes me question what the 16-85 is for.  If the 16-85 was f/2.8-f/4, and sharp with it, that would be different.
f/5.6 seems a little dozy on an APS camera. Though for landscape stuff it may not be a problem, and 105mm f/5.6 can blur backgrounds.

As for faster zooms, Sigma might be better than Nikon, with the 17-50 and the 50-150 f/2.8s.
Then a lot of folk reckon the 50-150 is a bit pointless, when you could use a - possibly slightly technically inferior on APS - full-frame 70-200 f/2.8 that's no bigger.  Particularly bearing in mind PhotoEcosse's comments.

Consider:
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Sigma-50-150mm-f-2.8-EX-DC-APO-OS-HSM-for-Canon-and-Nikon-review-A-high-performance-70-200mm-equivalent-for-APS-C-cameras
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Looking-for-a-luminous-lens-kit-Choose-Tamron-or-Sigma

For the same lens & number of pixels, a full-frame camera will score better, at least in the centre, because the pixels are further apart.  Then you might want to stop down a full-frame camera by a stop+ for the same depth of field.
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Hulyss
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 06:57:57 AM »
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Hello Codger,

Beyond all the charts blabla, you might have a look at this : SIGMA 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM

Just wait till it released.
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Kind Regards - www.hulyssbowman.com
Codger
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 12:07:50 PM »
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Hulyss, this is the first I've heard about this Sigma product.  Thanks for the tip: it looks very promising.  Though it's a limited zoom, it would cover 2/3 rds of how I currently shoot.  This could end up being the "walk around" lens.  Cheers.   C
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Hulyss
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 01:03:32 PM »
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Hulyss, this is the first I've heard about this Sigma product.  Thanks for the tip: it looks very promising.  Though it's a limited zoom, it would cover 2/3 rds of how I currently shoot.  This could end up being the "walk around" lens.  Cheers.   C

I think you should limit zoom for that range, not more. Go primes after that. For example, just pick up a Nikkor 50 mm f/1,2 AiS and a 135 DC on top of that and you are done for a very looooong time. Doctors say that you do better photos when zooming with your foots.
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Kind Regards - www.hulyssbowman.com
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