Views through the clouds from the Morne Blanc viewpoint platform in Seychelles.

Review of compatible lenses for the Nikon D7200

Lens compatibility can be a confusing topic and the last thing you want is to purchase a lens which is not compatible with your camera. This article explains all you need to know about Nikon D7200 compatible lenses, also applicable to other Nikon DSLR camera bodies. An overview of different compatible lens options from Nikon or third parties is also summarised to help you make an informed decision on lens choice. You may also wonder what all the letters are on each lens, for example, “G” or “AF-S”, this post also explains these and many more.

Light show at night above the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore. Gear: Nikon D3200 + Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3. Settings: 5s at f/6.3, ISO 100, 16mm

Nikon F-mount

Nikon DSLR cameras use the F-mount, which includes the Nikon D7200. As long as you make sure the lens has an F-mount you cannot go far wrong. As they have been around for a while there is a very large selection of lenses for DSLR Nikon cameras. However, Nikon is also rapidly expanding its lens portfolio for its Z-mount mirrorless camera system.

“Nikon has maintained the basic structure of the F-mount for the 50 years of its use, and currently some 400 different NIKKOR lenses are compatible with the system.”


With the huge range of DSLR camera lenses on offer, they are most certainly going to be in use for many years to come, especially as there is such a good second-hand market.

Note that the newer mirrorless Nikon Z-mount lenses cannot be used on F-mount Nikon DSLR cameras. However F-mount lenses can be used with a FTZ mount adapter to fit the Nikon Z-mount mirrorless cameras. This is popular for those who have spent thousands on lenses and have moved from a DSLR to a Mirrorless camera system.

Panorama using multiple stitched images of Cala Comte in Ibiza.

Autofocus drive systems

  • AF-P: Introduced in 2016. “Pulse” motor or “Stepping” autofocus motor is less common but is smoother and quieter than the AF-S lenses. Note you may not be able to turn off VR with AF-P lenses as they have no physical switch for VR and the camera doesn’t have a menu for it therefore it will stay on.
  • AF-S: Introduced in 1996. This uses Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor technology, according to Nikon this is high speed, super quiet, and operates very accurately.
  • AF-I: Introduced in 1992. This is the first NIKKOR lens type which had an internal AF motor built into the lens. 
  • AF: Introduced in 1986. There is no built-in motor within the lens, instead, there is a mechanical coupling to the camera. This uses a motor in the camera to drive the lens’s focus mechanism. The Nikon D7200 has an in-build motor providing compatibility with these lenses. 
JetBlue plane coming into land over crowded beach at at Sint MaartenPrincess Juliana International Airport.
ISO 100, 16mm, f/7.1, 1/800 sec

Electronic lens types

  • E-type lens: Introduced in 2016. The electromagnetic (E) diaphragm mechanism within the lens allows for more accurate control of aperture, especially for very high frame rates. Note that these have nothing to do with the manually controlled 1980s Series-E lenses.
  • G-type lens: Introduced in 2000. These do not have an aperture ring, however, this isn’t an issue as the aperture can be controlled by the camera.
  • D-type lens: Introduced in 1996. These allow distance (D) information to be sent to the camera, which provides the information needed for various 3D matrix metering systems. However, all current Nikon autofocus lenses also have this capability.

Note that all the above lens types are compatible with the Nikon D7200, with the slight limitation of being unable to turn off VR for AF-P lenses, as mentioned above.

For further details, the NIKKOR lens compatibility chart can be checked.

Iconic lighthouse at Ynys Llanddwyn island.

Other useful terminology

  • IF – Internal Focus, this relates to the lens focusing without changing the length or the barrel rotating.
  • ED – Extra-low Dispersion – this refers to the glass elements within the lens. Most of the recent lenses contain this ED glass, which also provides reduced chromatic aberration and improved sharpness.
  • VR – This refers to Vibration Reduction which uses sensors in the lens to compensate for movement to achieve a steady shot. This can help reduce the need for high shutter speeds, often not possible in low-light conditions without high ISO. This becomes very handy with longer focal lengths where it can be a challenge to keep still. 

FX vs DX.

FX or DX refers to the format of the image sensor, full frame and crop sensor size sensors.

  • The FX-format sensor is a larger full-frame sensor which measures 36x24mm, roughly the same as 35mm film. 
  • The DX-format sensor however is a smaller crop sensor at 24x16mm, referred to as an APC-C sensor. Due to the smaller size, in comparison to the full-frame sensor a 1.5x crop factor due to the narrower field of view.
Ieva walking along a wooden promenade with dramatic clouds in the background.

The good news about the D7200 is that it’s a crop sensor camera and is it’s compatible with both DX and FX coverage lenses. What’s even better is that if you did plan to move to a full-frame sensor any of the larger and more costly full-frame (FX-format) coverage lenses would work to their full potential.

However, if you have a full-frame sensor camera body, then due to the smaller coverage of a DX-type coverage lens you will need to use your camera in DX-format mode, therefore only using a smaller area of the larger sensor (the area that the smaller coverage DX lens covers.)

To summarise:

  • Full-frame sensor cameras are designed to use full-frame coverage lenses and DX-format lenses do not cover the full sensor/viewfinder, therefore can only be used when the camera is in DX/ 1.5x crop mode.
  • Crop sensor APS-C cameras such as the Nikon D7200 can use both full-frame FX-format and DX-format lenses as the smaller sensor faces no issues with coverage.

You can read more in this article about crop sensor and full-frame camera differences.

Nikon D7200 compatible lenses

Below are several recommendations for some of the best lenses compatible with the Nikon D7200. This article covers a deeper dive in terms of the best lens options for the Nikon D7200.

Menai suspension bridge to anglesey.

Nikon zoom lens options

Wide angle

This refers to lenses with a wide field of view, typically below 24mm on full frame. Lower focal lengths are preferred on crop sensor cameras. Options include the AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED. Although this is a nice lens, it’s fairly large and expensive. Also, the aperture isn’t as wide as the Tokina, mentioned in the third-party lens section. As an alternative, the AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is smaller and cheaper, However, this unfortunately has an even narrower aperture than the 10-24mm.

I’ve had the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for a while and I love it. It’s not that small or light, but it’s cheaper than the Nikon 10-24mm and offers an incredible f/2.8 aperture.

For more on wide-angle lenses check out this article on suitable wide-angle lenses for the D7200.

Snow-covered mountain at the entrance to the Lemaire channel, with a reflection on the calm water.

“Holy Trinity”

This refers to a set of three lenses each with a relatively small zoom range but a wide constant aperture of f/2.8.

They offer a good balance between image quality, wide aperture and focal length range, but come at a high cost and weight. These are a good option for those who have a large enough budget and don’t mind carrying a bit of weight.

It’s worth noting that with a 1.5x crop on the D7200, the wide-angle zoom has a full frame equivalent focal length of 21-36mm. Minimum focal lengths of 10-11mm can work out better for a true ultra-wide angle lens on a crop sensor camera.

However, the 1.5 crop factor turns into an advantage for the 70-200mm f/2.8 which turns into a 105-300mm lens equivalent, which gives increased reach.

Further details on the cost, weight and alternatives to the “Holy Trinity” lenses can be found in this article about the best lenses for the Nikon D7200.

A board walk leading to the beach in the Maldives.

Telephoto zoom

Telephoto lenses start at a longer focal length than a superzoom and extend to long focal lengths.

These lenses are also great for wildlife and are recommendations for photographing birds together with a lower-cost superzoom lens which can also work effectively.

Antarctic petrel in flight in Antarctica.
Two Antarctic petrels in flight in Antarctica.

Prime lenses

These have a fixed focal length and a wide maximum aperture. The wide aperture enables a higher shutter speed as it lets more light into the sensor.

Compatible prime lenses are your best option for low light or when high shutter speeds are required. Prime lenses are available across a large price range, typically the NIKKOR 35mm & 50mm f/1.8 are the lightest and cheapest options and can provide excellent image quality. Wider apertures such as f/1.4, and focal lengths less than 35mm or above 50mm can significantly increase cost and weight. This is shown in the charts showing all compatible Nikon prime lens options.

Third-party lenses

In terms of 3rd part lens compatibility, the most important aspect is selecting a lens with the correct mount, the Nikon F-mount. Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, Vivitar and a few others all offer Nikon F-mount lenses.

One aspect to consider for Sigma zoom lenses is that the zoom ring works in the opposite direction to Nikon lens zoom rings. This could take a while to adjust to or maybe a challenge if you have both brands of lens. Tamron zoom lenses on the other hand rotate in the same direction as Nikon lenses.

Note that if you’ve recently moved from a Canon camera system the Sigma lenses rotate in the same direction as the Canon zoom lenses.

Gentoo penguins making loud noises with a mountain behind in the distance.

My favourite 3rd party lenses

Wide Angle

For me, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is the ultimate lens for ultra-wide angle and astrophotography for Nikon DX crop sensor cameras such as the Nikon D7200.

The f/2.8 aperture excels in low light situations and the ultra-wide 11-16mm provides a wide field of view. It also doesn’t overlap the Tamron 16-300mm focal range. Alternative lenses such as those listed below may have a wider focal range, but the aperture is narrower and they’re priced higher.

  • Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
  • Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD
  • Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Views over Hong Kong from above at Victoria Peak.
Victoria Peak, Hong Kong. Gear: Nikon D3200 + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. Settings: 1/200s at f/11, ISO 200, 15mm


These are wide-angle lenses extending to long telephoto lengths, these are extremely versatile, lightweight, compact and low cost but typically with a fairly narrow aperture. The Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 is one of my favourite lenses for travel photography.

The 300mm focal length on the long end is equivalent to 450mm in full frame terms, due to the 1.5x crop factor on the Nikon D7200 which equates to incredible reach. The 16mm on the wide end is also sufficient for most situations encountered while travelling.

Views through the clouds from the Morne Blanc viewpoint platform in Seychelles.
Morne Blanc, Mahe Island, Seychelles Gear: Nikon D3200 + Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Settings: 1/250s at f/8, ISO 100, 16mm


In summary, there are hundreds of compatible lenses for the F-Mount Nikon D7200. This enables you to choose the right lens for your genre of photography. The article has covered both Nikon and third-party lens options together with explaining some of the lens naming convention terminology.

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