Best third party lenses for Nikon digital SLRs
Third party lenses are much more affordable. If you choose carefully, you can get third party lenses with similar optical quality and building quality as Nikon lenses at a fraction of costs. Based on many users’ reviews and the lab tests from photozone.de, the following lenses represent some of the best choices among the third party lenses:
Best walk around lenses:
- If you prefer a standard lens with constant large aperture f2.8, Tamron 17-50 mm is a very good alternative for Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 mm which costs over $1100.
Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 is able to deliver very high resolution in this lens class. The only issue is relative high CAs at 17mm and 24mm. The building quality of this lens is very good. It also comes with a hood. A new version of this Tamron 17-50mm with VC (vibration compensation) is now available:
The Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR is a very good lens with high resolution figures in the lab. The distortions, vignetting and even CAs are very well under control. The build quality of the lens is decent. However, there are quality control issues with this lens. If you get a good one, it will be great. Since 28 mm is not wide enough for small sensor digital SLRs, this lens is only recommended if you have a wide angle lens such as Tokina 12-24mm. Best Telephoto lens:
To understand terms like: EX, HSM read here.
- Sigma AF 70-200mm f/2.8 is a sharp lens with little distortions, vignetting and CAs throughout the range. The large aperture results in a nice bokeh. The building quality is top notch.
Best wide angle lens: Tokina 12-24mm f/4 ($467) Tokina 12-24mm is one of the best wide angle lenses around. It is very sharp throughout the ranges. The major weakness is high CAs at 12mm and 24mm. The building quality is top notch.
The following macro lenses are all excellent: