Best beginner lens option for D7000

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by david_douglas|1, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. I bought a used D7000 body from a friend and I need help choosing a beginner's lens. I'll be using the camera mostly for taking scenery shots on vacation (going to Rome this summer), photos of friends at parties, that sort of thing. Hoping to find something in the $300-$500 range.
    I'd really appreciate suggestions. Also, thoughts on buying new versus used?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. a good all around starter lens with an incredibly wide range of field is the 18-200mm - you can get a used one for about $400 or so.
  3. I'll suggest what I'd get for myself if I upgraded my Nikon DX sensor dSLR: Either the Sigma 17-50/2.8 or 17-70/2.8-4, because both have stabilization and get pretty good reviews. Nikon's comparable lenses either lack stabilization in the f/2.8 midrange zoom, or have stabilization only with slower variable aperture models. And the Sigmas are priced very reasonably, right in the range you specified for used lenses.
    The only serious knock I've read against the two Sigmas is the focus rings rotate with autofocus. I doubt that would bother me because I've rarely used the focus ring on AFS zooms to manually touch up focus. If I want to use manual focus I'll disable AF and use manual focus only. But it might bother folks who are accustomed to combining AF and manual focus ring techniques.
  4. I own the D7000 and my favorite lens is the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 the newer version (which isn't new anymore). It stays on my camera most of the time. My second favorite is the Nikon DX 35 f/1.8, although a prime lens and maybe not as practical it is very fun and easy to use. Here are a couple of samples.
  5. Here is the Tamron
  6. My recommendation would be either the Tamron 17-50 VC or the Nikon 16-85 VR. I own both and tend to travel with the 16-85 and a D300s. As for the Tamron it's an incredible lens. After purchasing it and using it for a few weeks I sold my Nikon 17-55 which was a heavy beast and didn't have VR. My wife owns a D3200 and her everyday do everything lens is the 18-200 VR. Her copy of the lens coupled to her D3200 is incredibly sharp. If you have money left over you can't go wrong with the 35 f1.8DX lens. It's small, light and incredibly sharp. It'll give you the equivalent to a 50mm field of view. I use it when I'm shooting in doors and can't use a speedlight.
  7. David, I use the Nikon 16-85 vr on my D3200. It's a good all around lens though it lacks the reach of the 18-200.
    Good hunting.
  8. I agree with Kyle. That 35 mm. DX lens is wonderful.
  9. Within your budget, if you're willing to look 2nd hand, you might get both 18-105VR and 35 f/1.8DX. The former is used as kitlens for the D7000, and quite some people sell it when they move to the more expensive lenses, such as the mentioned 16-85VR or 17-50 f/2.8 lenses. So, the lens can often be found for pretty attractive prices, plus it's not that expensive to start with. Optically better than the more expensive 18-200, and almost as good as the (also more expensive) 16-85VR. For what it's worth, I also own the 16-85VR and you cannot go wrong with it, but I think it is a tad expensive, certainly compared to the 18-105.
    The 35mm lens for its price is a gem, but in Rome you will want something that goes wider than 35mm, so I wouldn't recommend that as the only lens.
  10. pge


    The 18-70mm DX G is a very good lens for likely under $200 used. It is not VR but in my experience VR is not necessary or even helpful until around 85mm or 105mm. I would add the 35mm f1.8 that Wouter suggests as soon after as possible. One lens for general use, one for low light. Both together can stay within your budget.
  11. Phil Evans writes
    The 18-70mm DX G is a very good lens for likely under $200 used. It is not VR but in my experience VR is not necessary or even helpful until around 85mm or 105mm. I would add the 35mm f1.8 that Wouter suggests as soon after as possible.​
    My main carry-around lenses are those two on a D90. Work just dandy. I do wish the 18-70 had VR though, to be honest.
  12. While my main lens for landscape is the Sigma 10-20 (now on sale, BTW), the Nikon 18-105 kit lens is not a bad lens. i had planned on replacing it when I bought the camera (I could only find it in the kit at the time), but I have found it to be a credible lens. You could probably find a very good used one very cheap;
  13. I agree with Wouter. The 16-65 VR is a wonderful lens at a reasonable price, along with the 35 DX already mentioned.
  14. I'll add another vote for the Nikon 16-85. The 18-70 is also a good lens and can be had (used only) for noticeably less money, but the difference between 16 and 18 mm at the wide end of the zoom range is significant on a DX body. I suspect that you'll be shooting interiors in places like cathedrals and ancient Roman structures. The wider angle will be irreplaceable under those circumstances. The Sigmas that start at 17 mm would also be good, but they would involve giving away something that you don't have to give away. The Sigmas offer wider apertures than the Nikon, but shooting interiors at those wider apertures will probably not yield sufficient depth of field to please you for interior shots.
    The D7000 helps in this regard. It has very good control of electronic noise in its images when shooting at higher ISO settings. You can't expect to be allowed to use a flash in a cathedral, and it wouldn't provide good illumination over the inside of a cathedral anyway. So using a higher ISO will be necessary. Depending on how large you might print an image, you could easily shoot at 1600 and 6400 is realistic for smaller prints (< 8X10).
    Whatever lens you choose, get it soon enough to get out and learn what it can and can't do, and try some high ISO shots, just to learn how high a setting you'd want to use in Rome. You don't want to find out after you get back that you shot too many at an ISO that produces more noise than you care to see.
    Have fun.
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon's 16-85mm DX AF-S VR is indeed an excellent lens. However, unless you manage to find a good deal in the used market, I find it to be a rather expensive lens for something that is quite slow at maximum f5.6 on the 85mm end.
    Related to that, a slow lens like that is going to be quite limiting indoors. AF will be a bit iffy and you'll need to use a flash under dim light.
    If you are going to use your camera a lot indoors, such as parties, you are better off with an f2.8 zoom suggested above. Or you can add a 35mm/f1.8 DX AF-S lens for indoors.
  16. My suggestion: Learn to shoot with available light. Get a fast prime lens.
    Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX for $200 is a bargain. Or shoot portraits with a 50mm f/1.8 G. Or the highly rated Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for $300.
  17. pge


    Or the highly rated Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for $300.​
    Interesting, I had never heard of this lens. Yet given the price of a Nikon 35mm f1.8 I think I would stick with the Nikon.
  18. I have a Nikon 18-105 VR lens that came with my D7100. I'm getting a lot of mileage with this lens. I love the VR in low light. I can shoot in any living room light using 3200 iso and VR. I'm sure you can shoot a D7000 at 3200 iso as well and get good results. Hand held shots at 1/10 sec come out sharp. An interesting thing about the 18-105 VR lens is that it is the sharpest when wide open, which makes it very handy for available light shooting. Even doing a landscape I use it wide open and have compared this to other f stops, and it is still the sharpest across the image at the widest aperture. If you look at my more recent images in my folders you'll see lots of examples of this lens.
  19. I also have the D 7000 and use since the beginning the 28-200mm and 10-24 mm lenses from Nikon. I am happy and I suggest them to you.
    Daniel Bruhin - Patagonia - Chile

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