Nikon DX Crop DSLR Recommendations

DX Camera Body:
  • D7000: Nikon's newest, highest resolution DSLR (excluding $7,500 D3x) and one of the most feature packed cameras out there. A perfect successor to the wonderful D90. There's really little reason to look at anything else in the Nikon DX line or another manufacturer unless you need different/better lenses than what Nikon currently offers.

DX Lenses. Note that DX lenses can only be used on APS bodies while all other lenses can be used on any Nikon body:
  • 10-24 f/3.5-4.5G ED or 12-24 f/4G DX: 10-24 is a bit wider but not quite as good optically as the 12-24 version. Both decent but not exceptional performers.
  • 16-85 f/3.5-5.6 VR: An all around general use winner. Probably one of the best general use zooms for a crop sensor. Also consider the 18-105 VR if you want more reach.
  • 18-105 f/3.5-5.6G VR: A great general use lens, great for outdoor/daylight conditions. Excellent bang for the buck, especially if you can purchase at a discounted price as a kit lens.
  • Tamron 17-50 f/2.8: If you want a constant f/2.8 lens then this is one of the best and the most affordable option for a Nikon DX camera. The non-VC version is sharper, smaller, lighter and cheaper.
  • Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS: If you need vibration reduction on a constant f/2.8 then this is the way to go.
  • 35 f/1.8G: An excellent standard/normal view lens that will work on all of Nikon's DX cameras BUT will not work on FX bodies!
  • 50 f/1.8: You can't go wrong here for $100, that is only if you have one of Nikon's more expensive DSLRs such as the D80, D90, D200, D300 or D300s. All of the affordable DSLRs lack an AF motor so you can't use an affordable DSLR with any of the older affordable lenses that lack in-lens AF motors.
  • Choose any FX full frame lens listed below for even better optical performance, although do not forget to consider the 1.5x change in FOV.

Nikon FX Full Frame DSLR Recommendations

FX Full Frame Camera Body:
  • D3x: Not the cheapest but it is THE Nikon to have for resolution demanding work.
  • D3s: For subjects that do not require high resolution this is the best all around DSLR, and if you want full frame for sports then this your only option. The "s" version includes 720 video and better ISO performance, otherwise you can save a lot of money by going with a used 3D.
  • D700: The best all around full frame for the dollar, but lacks the resolution of the 5D2 for architecture and landscape photography. With a vertical battery grip the D700's frame rate nearly equals the much more expensive D3 and D3s.

FX Full Frame Lenses. Note that these lenses can be used with any Nikon body:
  • 14-24 f/2.8G ED: Optically this is the best ultra wide angle zoom ever made, by far! However, as is the case with Canon's 14L and 17 TS-E there's a price to be paid for this optical magic with the bulbous front element that just begs to be scratched. Also the distortion at the wide end is a bit extreme and not suitable for architecture. The Sigma 12-24 is wider and has little distortion but otherwise optically falls short compared to the magnificent 14-24.
  • 24-70 f/2.8G ED or 28-70 f/2.8 ED: A very good standard f/2.8 zooms, however, not without their flaws unlike some of the other lenses on this list.
  • 70-200 f/2.8G VR II: A great lens with the exception of the reduced long end focal length when shooting near minimum focus distance.
  • 200-400 f/4G ED VR II: An expensive but high quality zoom telephoto.
  • 24 f/1.4G: An all around great prime.
  • 35 f/1.4G: An all around great prime.
  • 85 f/1.4G: An all around great prime.
  • 105 f/2.8G VR: Nikon was the first to get vibration reduction in a macro lens and they did an amazing job! Wonderful all around prime lens and excellent micro lens.
  • Super Teles: Nikon has the full assortment.
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