D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
Mike Porter Forum Member • Posts: 66
D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

Hello,

New to Nikon, went to the dark side after 35 years with C.   Picked up a barely used D7500 with the 18-140 and 35mm DX.  I shoot a variety of things from portraits, landscapes, and animals.  Love the 35 mm, the kit lens is good, but I want better.  Thinking of finding a used 18-60mm. Maybe a 70-300 to go along with it.  Also, have considered a used 200-500mm.   Thinking I want to stay with Nikon branded lenses.  What do you think I should look at?  TIA.

Mike.

Nikon D750 Nikon D7500
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David5833 Senior Member • Posts: 2,266
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

Mike Porter wrote:

Hello,

New to Nikon, went to the dark side after 35 years with C. Picked up a barely used D7500 with the 18-140 and 35mm DX. I shoot a variety of things from portraits, landscapes, and animals. Love the 35 mm, the kit lens is good, but I want better. Thinking of finding a used 18-60mm. Maybe a 70-300 to go along with it. Also, have considered a used 200-500mm. Thinking I want to stay with Nikon branded lenses. What do you think I should look at? TIA.

Mike.

For the kit you have and for the wildlife that I like to shoot, my priority would be a 200-500 because IMHO you are a bit lacking on the long end.  If it's more important to have "better" than the kit lens, the 16-80 would probably be an improvement.  It really depends on your priorities and your budget.

What lenses did you use most on your previous cameras?

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TAGooty
TAGooty Regular Member • Posts: 120
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

Mike Porter wrote:

Hello,

New to Nikon, went to the dark side after 35 years with C. Picked up a barely used D7500 with the 18-140 and 35mm DX. I shoot a variety of things from portraits, landscapes, and animals. Love the 35 mm, the kit lens is good, but I want better. Thinking of finding a used 18-60mm. Maybe a 70-300 to go along with it. Also, have considered a used 200-500mm. Thinking I want to stay with Nikon branded lenses. What do you think I should look at? TIA.

Mike.

Depends on your intended uses and budget!  After some initial lens purchases, I've settled on a Nikkor 18-300mm for most uses with my D7200.  It is only a little heavier than the 18-140.  For birds and animals, the Nikkor 200-500mm is an excellent choice.  It is relatively inexpensive, and is sufficiently light that I can handhold the D7200 with this lens.

For macro, I used the Nikkor 40mm for many years.  Very light and compact, very good image quality.  Now, I have a Tamron 90mm.  Gives outstanding crispness and bokeh, while the longer focal length puts a greater distance between the lens and the subject.

Hope this helps!

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OP Mike Porter Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

I was in love with my 70-200/2.8 L.   Was doing a lot more sports back then.  Not so much anymore.

OP Mike Porter Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

Thanks, never owed a macro.  They are on my list of possibilities.

Blufftonian
Blufftonian Senior Member • Posts: 1,653
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

The 18-140mm is a pretty good lens but the 16-80 is much better. For me, I much prefer having the extra 2mm at the wide end than the extra telephoto range.

I also have the 200-500. It’s a bit of a monster; you’ll be carrying about 8lbs with it mounted. It’s really a specialist lens, a job it does very well, for folks like me who do a lot of wildlife photography.

For the best bang for your buck, right now I’d recommend a 70-300 AF-P. It would give you a very big range improvement over what you have now. If it gets you into wildlife photography you can always add the 200-500 (or the 500 PF ) later.

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sarah11918
sarah11918 Regular Member • Posts: 267
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

I really enjoy my 70-300 (Tamron) on my D7500, and use it most of the time. I go for nature walks (usually interested in birds, bees, butterflies) completely on foot, from doorstep to nature trail and back, and I find it's a very reasonable compromise between giving some decent length, able to reach both birds and insects, while being light enough to be out walking for a few hours. If a steal on a 100-400 showed up, I wouldn't look away, but since I do so much walking, and can't be bothered to take a tripod, the 200-500 just isn't on my radar.

I have a 35mm and 50mm that I'll take on a trip in case I'm indoors/with family, but when it's usually just me walking around in nature, especially since I'm more likely to capture *things* than places, I'm happier to have the higher image quality of the 70-300 vs a more all-purpose lense like a 18-300mm.

I don't know when I could justify it for myself, but I would like to have the chance to play with a medium-longish macro lens for smaller flying critters. So I'm always keeping an eye on my local used market for that. The Tamron 90mm seems like a solid choice, but I recently saw a listing and some positive reviews for the IRIX 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 that has me intrigued for backyard possibilities.

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David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 13,105
A contrarian view - Nik 300/F4?

Mike Porter wrote:

Hello,

New to Nikon, went to the dark side after 35 years with C. Picked up a barely used D7500 with the 18-140 and 35mm DX. I shoot a variety of things from portraits, landscapes, and animals. Love the 35 mm, the kit lens is good, but I want better. Thinking of finding a used 18-60mm. Maybe a 70-300 to go along with it. Also, have considered a used 200-500mm. Thinking I want to stay with Nikon branded lenses. What do you think I should look at?

I am not a huge lover of zoom lenses, convenient as they may well be. However I have the Nik 16-85, bought secondhand and quite like it the 16-80 is supposedly better but significantly more expensive. I don't like any of the 70-300s I have tried. I do own the Nik 200-500 but it has disappointed me a bit. Maybe it is me or my copy but I am unable to match the image quality I was getting with my Nik 300/F4 prime, which, unfortunately needs a service and repair.

Flying peregrine falcon, Nik 300/F4

D300

Rather than ever longer lenses I prefer to work on getting physically closer to my 'quarry'.

m1964 Contributing Member • Posts: 805
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

Mike Porter wrote:

Hello,

New to Nikon, went to the dark side after 35 years with C. Picked up a barely used D7500 with the 18-140 and 35mm DX. I shoot a variety of things from portraits, landscapes, and animals. Love the 35 mm, the kit lens is good, but I want better. Thinking of finding a used 18-60mm. Maybe a 70-300 to go along with it. Also, have considered a used 200-500mm. Thinking I want to stay with Nikon branded lenses. What do you think I should look at? TIA.

Mike.

Paid full price for 16-80 when it just came out and never regreted the purchase, esp. after I found out that the Tamron 17-50 I was using at the time, had lose rear element.

Also, a few years back I replaced my Nikon 70-300 AF-S VR with a newer 70-300 AF-P FF version. Did not use the 70-300 much ever since and probably should have kept the old lens. While there are many reviewers complaining of the older version not being sharp at the long end, mine was fine, the new one is not much better.

Focusing speed I think is just a little faster with the newer lens but the older AF-S version was not slow at all.

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Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 6,090
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions
  1. What limitations are you bumping up against with your 18-140mm?
  2. What's your budget?

Nikon doesn't make an 18-60mm lens.  Do you mean an 16-80mm?  That's a nice piece of kit, with a tremendously versatile range of focal lengths.  But it's also 1000+ USD new.  Given the overlap in functionality between that lens and the 18-140mm, you may get more utility out of something else.

Similarly, by all reports the most recent 70-300mm VR AF-P lenses get good reviews and offer reasonably good value.  But if you're looking to limit depth of field for portraiture, they aren't the right choice for you.

I acquired my "arsenal" over decades.  Most of the time I bought lenses because I had upcoming plans where I would use them, but if I bought something out of sheer whimsy, it came out of my "toy" budget for the year.  Coincidentally, this year's "toy" was a Panasonic/Leica 12-60mm, which is much like the 16-80mm, only for micro-four-thirds instead of DX.

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OP Mike Porter Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

Yes, I was referring to the 16-80mm. Thanks for catching that goof.  I have a decent budget, so not a big obstacle.  Rather not spend $2k on one lens.   I prefer primes and considering the 300mm/f4 af-s with a 1.4 converter.  I live in Colorado, so wildlife opportunities are endless.   I can pick the lens up used for $700, in almost new condition.  I don’t think the pf version with VR is worth the extra grand, although a great lens.  I like the size of the 300mm and believe it would pair well with my D7500.

I will continue to use my 18-140mm as my main walk around lens.  May pick up a 50mm or 85mm for portrait work.  
Thanks for you input, much appreciated!

Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 6,090
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

Mike Porter wrote:

I prefer primes and considering the 300mm/f4 af-s with a 1.4 converter. I live in Colorado, so wildlife opportunities are endless. I can pick the lens up used for $700, in almost new condition. I don’t think the pf version with VR is worth the extra grand, although a great lens. I like the size of the 300mm and believe it would pair well with my D7500.

I'm going to give you my standard caveats on the 300mm f/4 AF-S. First, it uses a first generation AF-S motor. Those motors can and do fail all too often. When they do, you can expect a repair bill in the $500-600 range, and that assumes your repair shop can find the needed parts. Second, the lens collar on this model is, well, controversial due to flex. Quite a few people choose to replace the collar with one from Kirk or RRS, which has the added advantage of being Arca-Swiss compatible. But that's an additional $200 out of pocket.

While I can understand your preference for a prime, I will say that my pre-D 300mm f/4 has seen very little use since I purchased a Sigma 100-400mm.

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Chuck Yadmark
Chuck Yadmark Veteran Member • Posts: 4,883
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

16-80/2.8-4 , 70-300 DX AFP VR

Then 200-500/5.6

Then maybe 12-28 Tokina f4

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NCB Senior Member • Posts: 2,105
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

I've the 16-85 which sits on my D3100 all the time; it's an excellent lens, and noticeably better than the 18-140. I did try it with the D5500 but found that maybe the 24mp was pushing it a bit too far.

The 16-80 is reputedly even better and should be fine with the D7500. It's more expensive but once bought should do you as long as you have a DX Nikon DSLR to use it on. That's a very nice range to have in one lens, and I doubt if there's a better zoom in that range and apertures around.

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David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 13,105
No converter?

Mike Porter wrote:

Rather not spend $2k on one lens. I prefer primes and considering the 300mm/f4 af-s with a 1.4 converter.

If you get a Nik 300/F4 I hope you will enjoy it as much as I enjoy(ed) mine. It is a stellar lens and I agree with you about the desirability versus costliness of the vibration reduction option.

Adding a converter will degrade image quality but perhaps not by much. Depending on your fieldcraft skills (how close can you get to the wildlife)- and on what you do with your images (do you need to fill the frame for printing) cropping in postprocessing may obviate the need for a converter.

David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 13,105
Nik 300/F4 versus Sigma 100-400

Michael Benveniste wrote:

I'm going to give you my standard caveats on the 300mm f/4 AF-S. First, it uses a first generation AF-S motor. Those motors can and do fail all too often. When they do, you can expect a repair bill in the $500-600 range, and that assumes your repair shop can find the needed parts. Second, the lens collar on this model is, well, controversial due to flex.

Interesting perspective Michael, especially as my 300/F4 needs service and repair. Were that to cost me the amount you quote that would make it an untenable proposition. Also, some years ago I looked closely at the Sigma 100-400 and thought it seemed very good - but the Nik 300/F4 was better.

The lens collar issue has never bothered me.

Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 6,090
Re: Nik 300/F4 versus Sigma 100-400

David Lal wrote:

Michael Benveniste wrote:

I'm going to give you my standard caveats on the 300mm f/4 AF-S. First, it uses a first generation AF-S motor. Those motors can and do fail all too often. When they do, you can expect a repair bill in the $500-600 range, and that assumes your repair shop can find the needed parts. Second, the lens collar on this model is, well, controversial due to flex.

Interesting perspective Michael, especially as my 300/F4 needs service and repair. Were that to cost me the amount you quote that would make it an untenable proposition.

I recently faced that very decision with my 17-35mm f/2.8, and elected to pay APS the $550 (plus shipping).  But it wasn't an "instant call" by any means.  I'm a fan of ultra-wide-to-wide-normal zooms, and unlike the alternatives the 17-35mm works on my film cameras as well.

Good luck however you decide.

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jimmy.walsh
jimmy.walsh Contributing Member • Posts: 503
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions
1

Hi Mike,

Have you had a look at the AF-P 10-20mm? It's great value for money and I thought it balanced very well on my D7500.

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OP Mike Porter Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

I have looked online, but not handled one.  I think it would be something for the future. And maybe a 60mm macro.  
Most of my shots stay in the computer.  I hope to start getting some new shots to hang on the wall.  Most of my wall art came from my medium format days.  Living in Colorado there are endless opportunities.

thanks for your input.

OP Mike Porter Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: D7500 lens upgrade suggestions

Points well taken. I have thought about the Sigma 100-400mm.  Like the size and reach.  There seems to be a shortage of F mounts right now.

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