Lens Upgrade Question

posted December 3rd, 2017
I have a major hole in my lens line-up now that the old 18-70 mm kit lens that came with the Nikon D-80 I bought 12 years ago has finally died due to my inexperience and early rough handling. It taught me a lot, but I am now ready to move on to a better quality lens.

I was looking at a Nikkor 18-35 mm lens, fell in love with it but it is super expensive. Also looked at a 18-55 mm lens that is now the kit lens for Nikon's DX cameras. It is more reasonably priced but not what I wanted.

Here is the kicker. I read somewhere that the more expensive lens will perform no better than the cheaper lens on my Nikon 7200 DX camera since it is a DX camera. Is that true? Do I have to resign myself to cheaper lenses unless I upgrade my camera to full frame? Is there any advantage to purchasing the more expensive 18-35 mm lens over the cheaper 18-55 mm lens even if it will be mounted on a DX camera?

According to Ken Rockwell, I should invest in the more inexpensive 18-55 mm lens. Here is his review:

Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated. I have no wide angle at the moment - a 50 mm prime is the widest angle I have at the moment.
posted December 3rd, 2017
Can't comment about Nikon lenses, but that's certainly not the case with Canon or Sony crop sensors. The difference between cheap/kit and even mid-range glass was astonishing the first time I tried it.
Can you rent the lens for weekend and see what you think?
posted December 3rd, 2017
I can advise you to rent a few days for what you plan to buy. and test it first. To be sure, this is exactly what you need. I first go to the rental of cameras before buying, take and test it. I'm sorry, but I do not know anything about Nikon's DX cameras.... I have Canon....
posted December 4th, 2017
@humphreyhippo @olenadole
Thank you so much for your advice and helping me out! Renting is a great idea and will definitely give that a try.
posted December 4th, 2017
So I would disagree about FX lenses not performing any better on a DX. Better glass is better glass, regardless of format. However, what I really don't like about the 18-35 is that it is really expensive for a lens that's pretty darn slow...variable aperture f/3.5-4.5. I have full-frame Nikon, I don't think I would ever buy that lens for myself. Having read carefully what you're looking for and also considering that you may or may not switch to full-frame in the future, I would take a look at the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM. It *is* a DX lens, but B&H photo has a fantastic sale on it right now...$669 lens for $369. Good quality lens, decently fast at f/2.8 through full range of zoom, and a great price - a price you could probably realistically recoup selling it if you did decide to switch to full-frame down the road.
posted December 4th, 2017
Thank you! This is exactly the kind of advice I have been looking for - and will look into getting that lens you recommend. i do not do a whole lot of online shopping but my daughter does - so problem solved at that end!
Will keep you posted as I go.
posted December 4th, 2017
@farmreporter I've not got one but the Sigma 17 50 is also on my shopping list as it gets some great reviews. I also have a Nikon 18 140 which is great as a walk about lens the extra zoom comes in very handy and the price is reasonable for the range.
posted December 5th, 2017
Thanks, Richard. i think both you and I are going to get the Sigma!
I understand that lenses with a longer focal length tend to distort at each end of their focal length which is why I wanted to keep to a 18-35 mm lens. But then, like you and DbJ @dbj_365 say, the reviews are so good for the Sigma 17-50 that I think I will go with it rather than the really expensive Nikkor 18-35.
Got to love 365 for all the helpful advice. It's a great community!
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