What's the best landscape lens for < $300?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by chrispeterson, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. I have $300 to spend on a landscape lens. It can used. What's the best I can get for that price? It will be mounted on a D7000.
  2. Landscape spans a whole range of focal lengths from ultrawide to tele - which lenses do you already own?
    And "best" will certainly vary from photographer to photographer.
    PapaTango and sjmurray like this.
  3. On a crop sensor, a 50-60mm will do fine.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    A "landscape lens" could mean different things to different people. I prefer wide angles for landscape and was going to recommend the new Nikkor 10-20mm DX lens with VR. Unfortunately that is an AF-P lens so that it will not focus at all on a D7000, even manual focus. That lens would have been fine on a newer D7100, D7200 or D500, etc.

    Sorry. For wide angles on a D7000, probably go for third-party, perhaps used.
  5. 50/1.8D, easy to find under $100, brilliant optic a landscape apertures.
  6. I agree wide angle zoom gives you the best flexibility. I've shot for years with simple "kit" Nikkor lenses: 18-70 and 18-105. You have to watch out when buying used because of "sample variation," and some of these inexpensive zooms aren't good, and that goes for third party lenses as well. Buy from a reputable dealer with a solid return policy. KEH has a good reputation.
  7. Chris, as was said, you need to define what you mean by "landscape."
    I've used everything between a 24mm to a 200mm lens, on a 35mm camera. Which lens I used depended on what I was shooting, from where I was shooting, and how I wanted it to present. Even in the same scene I would use different lenses or focal lengths on a zoom for multiple shots.
    The simplest is to use a mid-range zoom; 18-55, 18-70, 18-105, 18-140. All have the same wide angle, it is only on the long end that they differ.
  8. For a prime (single-focal length) lens, look at the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 for DX, which is very sharp and on sale at B&H for the next two days. For a zoom lens, I very much like the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, although mine is an older model. It is now priced just under your budget.

    It's true that many different focal lengths can be used for landscape.
  9. For me, the best lens I have used on APS-C for landscapes was the 16-85 f/3.5-5.6 VR; it covered the range I use most for landscapes just fine. Lenses like the 18-105VR or 18-140VR also make a lot of sense. I see no huge benefit in spending extra on fast apertures, for this use anyway.
    But indeed many people feel that for landscape, you need wider angles. Instead, some of my landscape images I like most are made with telelenses up to 500mm. There is no such thing as "the best lens for ..." as we all have a different style, different priorities and preferences.
  10. Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8, non-VC version. Cheap as chips and sharp as a razor.

    I agree that a "landscape lens" can cover almost any focal length, but the above Tamron is a definite step up from a kit lens in IQ and covers the focal length range most commonly used for landscapes I suspect.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  11. I made a LOT of landscape panorama shots with 50/1.8 AF on D200 and D300 (mainly 2011-2012).
    Hand-held. With a bit of practice, that can result in regular quality images.
    That combination is still useable today - as is your D7000 - and I would recommend it.
    Stitching in (old) PS version, or otherwise.
    You get: wide, immersive landscape images with high resolution for pixel-peeping enjoyment.
    1920px8 20120126 AH2_7876-82 I_ZW Landscape@Spitzkoppe 12Mpx12.JPG
    manuel_garcia|5 likes this.
  12. The nikon kit lenses are rather good at f8 on dx digital. I have tried 18-70mm and 18-55mm GII without VR and seen images from 18-105mm and 18-135mm. 16-85mm might be found used for under $300 if in luck for wider view.
  13. I love to use my manual focus nikon 55mm f2.8 AIS lens for landscapes, as its sharpness is just fantastic. I bought mine used on ebay for $100. You have to use manual focus, but your camera will meter with it mounted as I understand the lens compatibility tables in the D7000 manual.

    My next recommendation would be for the 16-85mm zoom lens mentioned above. And the 35mm f1.8 prime also mentioned. That lens new is one of the best buys for DX camera body owners.
    Albin''s images likes this.
  14. The ~16-~85mm zooms are just really handy. Many days you won't need anything else.

    It is true that panoramas can be shot, even hand-held, stitched together, and trimmed
    Albin''s images likes this.
  15. Most people think of a wide-angle lens for landscape shots. But "landscape" simply means your subject is the landscape - not a grizzly bear or a flying bird, not a butterfly, not the moon. You can be shooting a beautiful landscape from afar with a telephoto lens.

    That said, I recommend a good zoom. I am thinking the well-reviewed Nikon 18-200mm but it's over $300. But I notice some third party in this range that are below $300 and are getting good reviews. You can use it for landscape and then some. Just use it. You will be fine. Don't over-think. :)
  16. Thanks for all the replies. I'm definitely thinking something wide angled and sharp. I already own the 50m 1.8 and the 18-200 VR. The 12-24mm looks nice, but is more than I can spend right now.
  17. The sharpest wide angle zoom you can buy is the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 OS. After a couple of months of research, that's what I bought for my Nikon D5300. I've been very happy with the lens, bought used on ebay for $250. The Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC is close. The only zoom that tests sharper is the $600 Nikon 16-80mm, which sells for about $1,000. I also strongly suggest you buy a polarizer for the lens too, for landscapes.

    Kent in SD
  18. I've sold many 16x20 prints made with my 18-70 Nikkor when I shot DX. The 24-85 ED AFS is very good as well. There are always the 20mm f2.8 AF-D, you might find one for under $300.
  19. Third party lenses for 10-24 and 12-24 used can be under $300. Just saw a Tokina 12-24 at B&H for $299.
  20. O yes! the Nikon 12-24/4.0 .. I have that one too. On DX D2/300 it really is a decent performer .. 12Mpx camera's.
    It is an older model, which could be found rather .. cheap? Perhaps?

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