Lens advice

Joined
Jul 14, 2021
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I was wondering if anyone would be able to advise me on lenses. I shoot mostly family(including 2 yo, with high proficiency in teleportation), landscapes, nature. Currently I have D7100 and few lenses:
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
  • AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED
  • Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG (not HSM)
I've started looking for travel lens, it would be nice if it would have quick AF. I was considering:
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
After some reading I can't make my mind up. Can someone advice me, which would be better as 'holiday' lens, or recommend smth else for DX? I'm not planning to move to FX.

Thank you in advance.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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Depends on where you will be going.

As @nuclearjock said, the 16-80/2.8-4 is sharp, it also goes down to 16 (which I like), but the top end tops out at 80 (so not too much reach.
The f/2.8-4 is great in lower light. Still not fast enough for LOW light, where you will need your 35/1.8.
The 80 on the long end is just a bit short for me. I would need a longer companion lens, for the far shots.
But, you already have the 17-55/2.8. This is just a bit longer. 55 to 80 does not buy you that much.

The other lens to look at is the 18-140. Has better reviews for a generally sharp GP lens. Not a pro quality like the 16-80.
On the short end 18 is not as wide as 16, but on the long end 140 is quite a bit longer than 80.
It is also slower variable aperture 3.5-5.6. So less usable in lower light.
The 140 on the long end is just long enough that most of the time, I don't need to use a longer lens.

As much as I like the 16-80/2.8-4, I would go with the 18-140/3.5-5.6.
 
Joined
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The 16-80 is an excellent all-purpose travel lens. I haven't traveled since Spring 2019, but was traveling several times a year before then, and the 16-80 on a D7200 was my go-to kit. For the longer range, I often carried a D5500 with the DX 70-300 or FX AF-P 70-300 mounted. That covered all of my needs with very high quality.

Since my last trip in 2019 I have shifted to mirrorless, acquiring a Z6 and a Z50. I still haven't worked out what I will carry on my next trip, but there is a good chance it will be the 16-80 on the Z50 with FTZ adapter.
 
Joined
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Winter Haven, florida
16-80 is a decent lens, great for travel. But it really isn’t that much different in coverage than the 24–70 that you already have in your bag, especially with the 17-35.
With a small lens collection, you really don’t want that much overlap.
You currently do not have any long glass, nothing longer than 70mm.
Almost all my images are at over 300mm, even my landscapes. So I would be buying longer glass.
Your mileage my vary. Look at your images, they will tell you what you need.
Gary
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2021
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2
Thank you all for replies. Well ... that 24-70 it's heavy, bulky and uses 82mm filter, also I don't like way it balances (front of the lens is 'pulling' down). It's more like my sentiment lens ;), but not been using it too much. I've been reading on 16-80 and couldn't find much negatives (apart alleged slow AF), on 18-200 VR II it's mixed bag really, there seems to be group of people that are singing praises, and the other one :). Some people recommending 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 VR for much more coverage (in comparison to 200). My main aim is to take one which would cover most of things during the day, producing quality pictures, with relatively low play (it's hard to have play when you have wife and 2 kids around you) and 35mm in backpack when it's getting dark. I'm wondering, how much need there is in real life (during travel or not) for 200 or 300mm lens? I've been living with 18-105 as my travel lens, wasn't brilliant but was not that bad, with some effort it was possible to take decent pictures.
 
Joined
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Thank you all for replies. Well ... that 24-70 it's heavy, bulky and uses 82mm filter, also I don't like way it balances (front of the lens is 'pulling' down). It's more like my sentiment lens ;), but not been using it too much. I've been reading on 16-80 and couldn't find much negatives (apart alleged slow AF), on 18-200 VR II it's mixed bag really, there seems to be group of people that are singing praises, and the other one :). Some people recommending 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 VR for much more coverage (in comparison to 200). My main aim is to take one which would cover most of things during the day, producing quality pictures, with relatively low play (it's hard to have play when you have wife and 2 kids around you) and 35mm in backpack when it's getting dark. I'm wondering, how much need there is in real life (during travel or not) for 200 or 300mm lens? I've been living with 18-105 as my travel lens, wasn't brilliant but was not that bad, with some effort it was possible to take decent pictures.

The need for reach depends on where you are going and what that needs.
Example1, if you go to a wildlife park, you probably need a longer lens more than going to a town.
Example2, if you go to a garden park, the 18-105 might be fine. But if you want to shoot the birds in the park, you will want something longer.

The Nikon 18-300 or Tamron 18-400 would cover you for those long shots/small subjects.
 
Joined
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The 16-80 is an excellent all-purpose travel lens. I haven't traveled since Spring 2019, but was traveling several times a year before then, and the 16-80 on a D7200 was my go-to kit. For the longer range, I often carried a D5500 with the DX 70-300 or FX AF-P 70-300 mounted. That covered all of my needs with very high quality.....
The 16-80 and 70-300 would be my picks as well.

The 16-80 might allow you to sell of the 17-55 and 24-70.
 
Joined
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The 16-80 and 70-300 would be my picks as well.

The 16-80 might allow you to sell of the 17-55 and 24-70.

This is what I would do, sell the 24-70, why the big FX lens? 24 isn’t wide enough on DX IMO. And probably sell the 17-55 also. It’s easy to sell lenses and you get good money for them.

When we got kids I got into primes cause the subject isolation makes such beautiful pics. I hardly ever shoot the kids with zoom lenses. I love the 85 F1/1.8 for kids, it gives that look like you’re seeing them off in their own world. It can be hard to use and you probably don’t want to be too far from a 2 year old but some of my favorite shots are with that lens. I used a 50mm prime also - that’s more useful for a 2-3 year old.

There’s the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, some love it but I haven’t had good luck with it, and the AF was horrible on my D7000. Low light, moving kids, everything was out of focus. And it is big and heavy. I’m going to sell mine.
 
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If you ever move to a D7500 the AFP lenses become an option, though they might work on a D7100, I forget the limitations. The 70-300 AFP DX is fantastic and $130 for factory refurb or excellent used, and the 10-20 AFP is also great, and those are like $230 used in great condition.

I got my factory refurb D7500 for $650. Huge improvement on the D7000, but less so from a D7100.
 
Joined
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If you ever move to a D7500 the AFP lenses become an option, though they might work on a D7100, I forget the limitations. The 70-300 AFP DX is fantastic and $130 for factory refurb or excellent used, and the 10-20 AFP is also great, and those are like $230 used in great condition.

I got my factory refurb D7500 for $650. Huge improvement on the D7000, but less so from a D7100.
Nikon Lens Compatibility Chart
 
Joined
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This is an example of the 85 f/1.8 on DX, I like the perspective, like you're observing a private moment from a distance. I find the 85mm also good for outdoor kid's sports, the second shot is from my son's preschool soccer. At $400 it's a great lens to have in your bag for kids especially.


Brothers.jpg
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Kids sports 85mm.JPG
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Joined
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Clearwater, Florida
When my kids were younger my family travel lens on my DX bodies was an 18-200mm, VRI. Sure I had better glass, but when I was at Disney World or some other family destination for the day, that lens was easy to grab and provided a great range. I was happy to not have to haul around a bunch of different lenses and still get decent shots to keep as great memories. If I thought about it, I would sometimes throw a 50mm, f1.4 in my bag for some low light shots.

1. D200
32109-8-XL.jpg
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2. D200
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3. D200
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Joined
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My concern with kids is that they often move FAST.
With primes they can move close and the prime is too narrow, or far and the prime is too wide. So you have to change lenses. With a zoom, you just turn the zoom ring.
Try shooting your kids for a couple hours with your zoom set at ONE focal length; 35, 50 or 70.

With a zoom, you give up fast aperture and IQ for convenience.
That is the same compromise that I made for my travel kit.
 
Joined
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My concern with kids is that they often move FAST.
With primes they can move close and the prime is too narrow, or far and the prime is too wide. So you have to change lenses. With a zoom, you just turn the zoom ring.
Try shooting your kids for a couple hours with your zoom set at ONE focal length; 35, 50 or 70.

With a zoom, you give up fast aperture and IQ for convenience.
That is the same compromise that I made for my travel kit.

The way I view it is when you look back at pics of your kids, we tend to look at the few best pics, rather than looking a hundreds of pics. So if I miss some shots it's fine, as long as I get a few great ones. I find I get a lot more great pics with the primes than zooms. Also the zooms seem more likely to miss focus. The 18-35 f/1.8 and Sigma 17-50 miss focused a lot of shots, but could have just been my D7000. I hear they have AF issues.
 
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The way I view it is when you look back at pics of your kids, we tend to look at the few best pics, rather than looking a hundreds of pics. So if I miss some shots it's fine, as long as I get a few great ones. I find I get a lot more great pics with the primes than zooms. Also the zooms seem more likely to miss focus. The 18-35 f/1.8 and Sigma 17-50 miss focused a lot of shots, but could have just been my D7000. I hear they have AF issues.

Funny, back in my SLR days, I just shot with a manual focus 50/1.4 and that did not bother me.
I likely missed a lot, but as you said, I only remember the shots I got.
 
Joined
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The 18-140mm would be my choice for a travel lens. When you compare it with an 18-200mm the difference at the tele end is quite small. I is a good weight and balance on a crop sensor.
When it comes to sharpness compared to the 16-80 nobody will be able to tell the difference in a real situation.
 

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