I'm searching for a new main/single lens to pair with my D7000. previously the 24-85/2.8-4 served me well on my D100 (and might actually be the answer In a lens, I'm looking for versatility without compromising quality. I rarely shoot telephoto past the 85mm mark (DX sensor) and I've rarely wanted a longer lens (and when I do, I might reach for a 70-300), but I have often wanted something wider without too much distortion. I shoot a lot of architecture and "square things", so distortion is a big factor as is a large max aperture for hand-held work and nice subject-ground separation. I also tend to shoot a lot of details, so the macro capabilities of the 24-85 have proven very useful and I've yet to come up against a macro-limitation when using it for close work. Overall clarity is also a concern. I remember shooting with a 10X+ zoom years ago and everything at every length seemed muddy... so i've been drawn to the more modest zooms. I also tend not to change lenses often, so a one-lens solution (with a few others like a 50/1.4 and a tele-zoom for those rare, rare needs ) is a must. Concerns in order: 1: One lens solution: ... wide-zooms and primes are purposefully not on the list ... I need wider than 24mm (16-18) and something approaching 70-85mm on the long end (50mm is too short) 2: Distortion ... the distortion on the 24-85 isn't bad, but it's terrible on the 18-105 3: Clarity ... my 24-85 seems plenty clear with good contrast 4: Close focusing ... with my 24-85, i've not needed a "real" macro and i shoot enough random close details that a "built-in" macro is handy So far, in addition to my existing 24-85, I've paired it down to 2 others -- each with pros and cons (and eliminating another -- the 18-105) // Nikon 18-105: (I'm eliminating this one). pros: -- I own it (came with the D7000) cons: -- distortion + vignetting -- 3.5 base aperture -- poor built quality -- VR1 // Nikon 25-85/2.8-4macro pros: -- I own it -- 2.8 base aperture -- Fairly clear (by my estimation)... so this might be a good measure against the other lenses -- Macro capabilities -- Nice build quality (by my estimation)... so this might be a good measure against the other lenses cons: -- 24mm is limiting on the wide side -- Lack of VR or OS (image stabilization) // Nikon 16-85/3.5-5.6 pros: -- Wide end flexibility -- VR2 cons: -- No macro -- 3.5 base aperture -- Cost (higher) // Sigma 17-70/2.8-4-OS pros: -- Cost (lower) -- Macro -- 2.8 base aperture -- OS cons: -- 15mm less on the long end -- Not a nikon-brand lens (does this matter?) It really seems the decision is between the Sigma 17-70 and the Nikon 16-85... and the Sigma seems to be pulling ahead on paper. Your thoughts appreciated (and thanks for your patience and wisdom).