I am about to purchase Nikon D7100 & have selected the following lenses. 1. AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85 f/3.5-5.6G ED VR 2. AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED 3. AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
This is my first DSLR and i am a NEW enthusiast. The use will be mainly family pictures, landscapes, birds...
My specific questions: 1. Is my selection of D7100 good? I am slightly nervous about it as its a freshly launched camera & not many user reviews are available. I can pick up D7000 as well. Since this is my first DSLR, i don't want to take any chances as any wrong selection with camera will ruin my enthusiasm forever from this intelligent, beautiful art.
2. Is my selection of lens good? Will it be a better choice if i take AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300 f/3.5-5.6G ED VR instead of 16-85 & 70-300? The aperture of 3.5-5.6 on 18-300 vs 4.5-5.6 on 70-300 is making me think. For me good sharp pics, pics with bokeh is a priority.
Please enlighten me on the above. Thanks in advance... Devrishi
#1. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 0
St Petersburg, RU
Welcome to Nikon and Nikonians! It is a great camera to start with because you will not likely outgrow it for many years. Each of those lenses are fine but an appropriate answer would need more information about your choice of photo subjects since you mention bokeh being a priority, I assume you mean you are wanting subject isolation in portraits. The 35 will not be great for subject isolation but that would be expected. The 70-300 is pretty good if used where the subject is closer to the camera than it is to the background. Portraits at focal lengths in the 90-120mm range are pretty good with that lens. Its widest aperture is not very wide so it is best used in good light, outdoors or when using flash indoors. In good light, however it is very good and the best reasonably priced telephoto that I know of. If my guess is correct, and you want bokeh for people photos, I would suggest adding a very good but modest priced portrait lens, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G which is very sharp and produces excellent professional level images in even low light. In the US it is about $450 so I do not know what it would cost in your area. The 16-85 is a good general purpose lens that does not excel in anything but is good for many subjects. The 18-300 is optimized for general purpose and being light but it is not as good optically as the 16-85 and 70-300 combination. It is very versatile however being able to take landscape travel, birds, family and outdoor sports, as a one lens solution. Personally I would suggest not getting any specialized lenses yet. I would recommend getting the camera and the very low cost but good quality 18-105vr that comes packaged with the D7100 as a kit. It is optically pretty good and has a wide enough range for you to experiment with many styles of shooting and learn the fundamentals of photography. After a few months or a year, you will have developed some interests that would benefit from a more specialized, less versatile lens. If you find that you are spending much of your time shooting people and want to work in low light, the 85 1.8 would be an excellent addition. If you find that you are taking most of your photos at the 105 end of the range, and you had serious interests in wildlife, sports, portraiture, invest in the more specialized but pro quality 70-200 f/4 or a 70-200 2.8. By learning how to use light to your advantage, any lens will deliver very good results. One of the first investments I recommend is a good flash, like the SB700 Nikon. By learning to creatively use flash, even for daytime photos, your creative options increase more than any upgrade to body(there is nothing in DX format that is better than the D7100 to upgrade too, right now) or lenses. Learning good flash technique opens a great many new opportunities that are ignored by most beginners. You will find that there is always something out there that seems appealing and you will want to buy but resist that and concentrate on the fundamentals of light, speed and aperture, skills that enhance any subject you wish to photograph. If you have any questions, Nikonians is the best place to ask. Enjoy your great new camera. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#2. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 0
Seattle, WA, US
That is a good write-up from Stan.
The D7100 is a great place to start. Lots of good features, reasonable number of buttons, reasonable size, all at a good price.
Given what my "family vacation" DX kit is, if I was putting together a DX kit now, your three-lens choice is exactly what I would get. I am willing to pay a little more to get a little more image quality, and I don't mind changing lenses.
Something to note about the variable aperture lenses: they get to the smaller aperture (f/5.6) well before they get to the max focal length.
---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
#3. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 0
>This is my first DSLR and i am a NEW enthusiast. The use will >be mainly family pictures, landscapes, birds... >Since this is my first DSLR, i don't want to take any chances as any wrong selection with camera will ruin my enthusiasm forever from this intelligent, beautiful art.
That's a lot of pressure to put on the camera, as it's 99% the person holding the camera that makes the image, and you indicate you are a new enthusiast. If a new driver had trouble handling a Ferrari, it might well put them off cars, but it wouldn't be the technology at fault.
Nothing wrong with jumping into the DSLR level, but I would just get the Nikon 35/1.8, and shoot for a while... I would also get some personal instruction, which will greatly increase the likelihood that your results will be satisfying.
You could, in fact, get a used D200, take fantastic images, then decide from there which new DSLR and lenses make the most sense.
#5. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 0
I am in agreement with Stan. His points are very well covered and if I had the advice a couple of years ago, I probably would not have a couple of lenses that tend to sit in the bag and not get used. Flash is extremely important and most of us do not take into account what it can do to enhance the photos.
I would start with the kit lens and then take many photos to get to know what you can do and how things will look. If you dive in with all of the lenses you propose and then decide you do not like photography, then you will have wasted many dollars for nothing. The good news would be that you chose Nikon and their prices have a tendency to hold up on resale.
Purchase the D7100 and then learn and enjoy. David
#6. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 0
El Sobrante, US
The other advice you have been given is all good, but I have a suggestion for a slight change in your lens selection. I have the D7100 and find that the inexpensive 50mm f/1.8 G lens is pretty good for portraits. Unless you need the wider FOV of the 35 mm for group shots, the 50mm might be a better bet. The 85 mm f/1.8 G is a good lens, but it is about twice the price of the 50mm and is more appropriate as a portrait lens on FX. My other suggestion would be to wait on the 70-300 until you have spent time with the D7100 and your other two lenses (unless you can get a good deal on a combination of camera and lenses that reduce the cost of the 70-300).
#7. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 5
Thankyou very much for your replies....
I go on family vacation to exotic places regularly in every summer & winter vacations & take lot of pictures. Earlier i had been using Canon Powershot S3 model which got jammed in the middle of my last vacation. Its lens wouldn't go in. Fortunately i had a backup Sony Point & Shoot Camera that rescued me.
In coming June, i am going on family vacation to the high altitude 'Ladakh' region of India & will be coming across beautiful landscapes (moonscapes), meadows, one of the highest motorable passes, Pangong Lake, High altitude desert in Nubra Valley, rivers, glaciers etc. Oh! Its a photographers paradise...
I know i am late in upgrading my gear. I am an engineer & will soon catch up with the technicalities of Nikon D7100 though i need time & shooting experience. I think i will manage in these 40 days, honing my skills mainly on landscapes, before my june vacations.
Very soon i will be a proud owner of 'MY' first DSLR Nikon D7100 Cheers!!!
#8. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 7
>In coming June, i am going on family vacation to the high >altitude 'Ladakh' region of India & will be coming across >beautiful landscapes (moonscapes), meadows, one of the highest >motorable passes, Pangong Lake, High altitude desert in Nubra >Valley, rivers, glaciers etc.
Well then, to go with your D7100, I'd go with the Nikkor 16-85 f/3.5-5.6G ED VR...
Here again, as this is your first DSLR, before embarking, I'd still shoot images around your home to get the feel of how your new camera behaves.
Given the location, the images will be wonderful! Have fun!
#10. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 0
Boca Raton, US
First, the D7100 is a superb camera (I've owned one since practically its release date). I feel its only significant flaw is the small buffer for high speed action shots, but this will not be a problem for what you intend to do. If you plan on shooting landscapes, family and friends for a while, then go on a vacation and do some travel photography, why not just start with the 16-85 mm? Birding will require a longer lens, some additional accessories and a more advanced shooting technic, so why not familiarize yourself with the camera before spending extra money. If you wish to do low light work, the 35 mm f/1.8DX would be ideal for you at this time, IMO.
But the camera is a great choice and one that can produce superb images.
Sometimes I think the world is a tuxedo... and I'm a pair of brown shoes.
#12. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 7
Hello and welcome to Nikonians.
For Ladakh would suggest a 16-85 and a 70-300. This two lens kit will get you most of the way there. If you are really interested in portraits suggest the 85 1.8G. Also suggest a SB-700 flash and a good camera bag with a rain coat.
The 16-85 is my walk around on my D7100, both it and the 85 1.8G produce fabulous results.
Believe you will enjoy the D7100 its an outstanding camera. Enjoy your trip.
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. - Nicomachean Ethics
#13. "RE:Consider a 18-105" In response to Reply # 11
St Petersburg, RU
For its intended purpose the 18-105 is the best value in versatility, performance and weight. It is not worse than the much more expensive 16-85 and comes with many mid level cameras as the kit. It is the only DX lens I have that still gets used because it covers such a useful range. To cover the same in better lenses I had to spend many times more for a 24 1.4, 24-70, 85 1.4, 50 1.2/Sigma 50 1.4, 70-200. Sure those are better lenses but they are heavy and specialized, besides being expensive. There is little or any difference in optical performance of the 16-85 and 18-105 so I never figured out why so many view the former as a great lens and the latter as just a kit lens that is the first to be replaced. Mostly those replacing it with almost the same optics are beginners and think their marginal results has to be the lens. In two years, and 100,000 shots, if they revisited that lens they would find that is got better while sitting on the shelf gathering dust. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#14. "RE:Consider a 18-105" In response to Reply # 13
I own both the 18-105 and 16-85 and I generally agree with Stan regarding their comparable image quality. I had three specific reasons for getting the 16-85, none of which may be relevant to you: (1) I find that the difference between 16mm and 18mm at the wide end is significant for the kind of photography I like to do; (2) I strongly prefer the metal lens mount of the 16-85 to the plastic mount of the 18-105; and (3) I wanted a main lens with focus distance markings on the lens barrel for setting hyperfocal distance, especially in the dark. Reason #3 is mainly relevant to landscape photography, especially low light/long exposure stuff. If these reasons are not important for you, the 18-105 lens is a good performer and a great bargain.
I carry the 16-85 as part of a multi-lens kit that typically includes an ultra-wide zoom (Tokina 11-16) and a telephoto (currently 70-300VR). However, I still keep the 18-105 and have used it when I want to carry only a single lens to take advantage of its additional telephoto reach.
#15. "RE:Consider a 18-105" In response to Reply # 13 Wed 01-May-13 04:02 PM by Devrishi
Thank you gentlemen for all your expert advices... I w'really appreciate this forum very much
I have placed the order for D7100 body with 16-85mm lens. I have deffered my purchase of other two lenses for the time being. I will decide which lens i have to take after using the gear for some time.
Once again i need your expert recommendation for my Tripod setup. I tried very hard to search & read the earlier threads here & also googled it but could not get anything concrete & moreover... I will rely on recommendations here rather than on any other site/forum.
Please recommend me the tripod setup taking into cosideration the weight of 300mm lens maximum. I dont want to repurchase/upgrade the tripod setup. I have read that Manfrotto 055XPROB is a suitable tripod. I know its weight is more than its carbon sibling. The suitable ball head is Manfrotto 498RC2 or 498RC4. There is Markins Q20 ball head too. I am totally confused in this selection. Please recommend me a suitable one. I am willing to pay upto US $ 400(+/-). It will be like one time investment.
Thank you so much.
I have decided to gift myself this complete setup & i W'really look forward to enjoy this hobby/art. I have come across a group of photographers (hobby) in my city who plan & go together to different locations once in a while. I look forward to have some good times for many many years to follow
#16. "RE:Consider a 18-105" In response to Reply # 13
Hi Stan, I appreciate your objective analysis of the 18-105mm lens. I think one of the major reasons that some discount that lenses, in comparison to the 16-85mm lens, is the plastic lens mount rather than metal. I don't think this is really a problem, unless I drop the camera - which I've never done since my first Nikon camera (an original Nikon "F" purchased in 1965).
From my point of view, the 18-105mm lens that I purchased with my D7000 as a kit lenses during the Fall 2012 "Black Friday" sales essentially for free (cost of the kit was $996.95 from B&H Photo), is definitely a keeper lens. If I was faced with a choice of the 18-105mm or 16-85mm as a standalone purchase I'd probably still choose the 18-105mm lens. The cost difference in the two lenses simply doesn't add up, in my opinion ($232.05 delta in price).
#17. "RE:Consider a 18-105" In response to Reply # 15
It's probably better to start a new thread in the tripod forum for that discussion.
The short answer is the Manfrotto XPROB is a good option. The others to consider at a similar price point are models from Feisol and Induro. You can always sell that tripod and trade up later if your photography warrants.
The Manfrotto ballhead is okay, but take a look at the Markins Q10 and Markins Q20. At this point, if you have any extra money, a good ballhead is a place to invest. The top quality ballheads don't cost a lot more, and truly making using a tripod much more pleasant. Also be sure your tripod head uses generic Arca Swiss plates rather than a proprietary version. You'll need a camera plate to attach your camera to the ballhead's quick release.
#19. "RE:Consider a 18-105" In response to Reply # 16
St Petersburg, RU
Yes, the common comment about the 18-105 is a plastic mount. But I have yet to hear of any rash of broken mounts and the very few over the years that I have heard about were drops that would probably damaged the camera if it was not for the break-away plastic mount that costs very little to replace. Have you heard of a 18-105 breaking? Stan St Petersburg Russia
#20. "RE:Consider a 18-105" In response to Reply # 19
Stan, I guess some have experienced a problem with a broken lens mount, according to some comments (Amazon), but it's usually been a result of a camera that was dropped. As you state, the broken mount may have saved the camera from damage.
I've never personally heard of a lens mount breaking, and I don't consider this an issue that would effect my use of the 18-105mm lens.
#21. "RE:Consider a 18-105" In response to Reply # 19 Sat 04-May-13 05:09 PM by Robman3
West of Santa Monica, US
I had the 18-105 kit lens and replaced it with a few of the lenses you have, as upgrades for the D90 which seems like ancient history.
The D90 now resides with one of the kids in the family and I bought a new 18-105 for her rig. The lens had issues with contacts and when we visited them in Santa Barbara, I mounted it onto the D3S and it was failing.
Samy's took it back and gave me a new one on the spot.
Not sure if the mount was at issue (molded/extruded parts) and I still have another one that had migrated to my nephew's D7000 until I gave him my 18-200 and took back the original (D90) kit lens as a spare.
#22. "RE: Lens selection for D7100... Please guide.." In response to Reply # 7
>Thankyou very much for your replies.... > >I go on family vacation to exotic places regularly in every >summer & winter vacations & take lot of pictures. >Earlier i had been using Canon Powershot S3 model which got >jammed in the middle of my last vacation. Its lens wouldn't go >in. Fortunately i had a backup Sony Point & Shoot Camera >that rescued me. > >In coming June, i am going on family vacation to the high >altitude 'Ladakh' region of India & will be coming across >beautiful landscapes (moonscapes), meadows, one of the highest >motorable passes, Pangong Lake, High altitude desert in Nubra >Valley, rivers, glaciers etc. Oh! Its a photographers >paradise... > >I know i am late in upgrading my gear. I am an engineer & >will soon catch up with the technicalities of Nikon D7100 >though i need time & shooting experience. I think i will >manage in these 40 days, honing my skills mainly on >landscapes, before my june vacations. > >Very soon i will be a proud owner of 'MY' first DSLR Nikon >D7100 Cheers!!! > >Best regards, >Devrishi Get the 16-85 and a good tripod for this type of vacation.