D7000: Lens upgrades, Lens brands, Lens focal-lengths. (suggestions?)

Started Jul 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
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EyesHigh New Member • Posts: 16
D7000: Lens upgrades, Lens brands, Lens focal-lengths. (suggestions?)

Hi there,

I have a Nikon D7000 with the kit lens 18-105mm 3.5 - 5.6 and am looking at upgrading to a couple of new lenses to achieve a slightly smaller zoom (something up to 65mm or 85mm max) and to gain more reach at the other end (something with a min of 70/5mm or 80mm and a max of 200mm). This is the idea anyway... I am looking for opinions, advise, and suggestions about both lens focal lengths and lens brands, and have a budget of between $600NZD ($470USD/£315GBP) and $800NZD ($625USD/£420GBP) per lens.

There are many great articles of this forum already about similar subjects and in-fact one has helped me already in suggesting recommended focal lengths for mountaineering. The lengths which appealed most were somewhere close to 12mm-50mm for the first lens, and for the second no longer focal length lenses were raised.

I have already had a good search of the lenses available through various online shops here in New Zealand, and my main question is how much of an optical-quality difference between Nikon, Tamron, and Sigma is there? (Or does depend on the lens model?)

I have found only a small number of lenses which fit my ‘small-zoom’ ideal, which were a Sigma 17mm-70mm for $610NZD, a Tamron 17mm-50mm for between $485NZD and $700NZD depending on which model you choose, a Sigma 18mm-50mm for $770NZD, and finally a Nikon 18mm-55mm for $390NZD.

Summarising then,

Are there large differences in optical quality between the three brands; Nikon, Tamron, and Sigma – which is more favourable?

Are there particular focal length lenses and lens models I should consider, or that are typical ‘go-to’ or known quality lenses for this category?

And is the assumption that better quality images are partly determined by the amount of glass used in the lens? (I have read negative things about the Nikon 55mm-200mm and Nikon 55mm-300mm in terms of corner-to-corner image quality due to the amount of glass used in the lens). So smaller zoom range lenses, such as 17mm-50mm produce better images than a 18mm-300mm, for instance?

I shoot small and large landscapes, and nature in general.

Nikon D7000
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