55-200mm vs. 18-200mm Nikon

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by snoword, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. snoword

    snoword TPF Noob!

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    I am now finding that I would like more zoom. I would like to know how much I would be giving up if anything if I was to go with the 18-200mm rather then the 55-200mm, regarding image quality.

    I like the idea of a single lense to walk around with (18-200mm) but I do not want to give up image quality.

    The second question, is the 55-200mm the next best choice.

    Thanks
     
  2. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A LOT (assuming you are talking about the 55-200 VR... the old non-VR version is junk, while the newer VR version is spectacular for the money).

    I own both (my wife shoots the 18-200 all the time) and I can tell you there is no comparison in image quality between the 55-200 VR and the 18-200 VR...

    She likes having one lens. Me, I would much rather switch between the 18-55 VR and the 55-200 VR than use an 18-200 VR because, frankly, the image quality is an order of magnitude better with the cheaper lenses.

    You get nothing but convenience with the 18-200... the other two lenses as a pair are MUCH better image quality wise, at half the price.

    I own all three so I know whereof I speak.
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Usually the greater coverage a zoom has, the greater dissappointment in IQ.

    Sabbath is correct.
     
  4. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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  5. snoword

    snoword TPF Noob!

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    thanks for all the information. do you have any examples of photos between the 55-200 and 18-200mm. I would be interesting to see the difference.


    also I was looking at the 70-300mm today. any thoughts on this nikon with VR.

    as for the deal. i went to best buy on line and it said that no online orders were being taken this evening. this is the second website that told me this. B&H was the other. not sure why.
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Try Adorama as well. However, bear in mind that both Adorama (I think) and B&H observe the Jewish holidays..... certainly B&H.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Welcome to Photozone! has plenty of full resolution example images in their reviews.

    One thing is certain. I can't wait to return the 18-200 when my holiday is over and get my sharp lenses back again. I don't normally pixel peep but many of the images are noticeably soft even when viewed on an average size screen. That and the build quality of the 18-200 is atrocious. The lens creep problem is horribly annoying, and the thing is a PITA to zoom.
     
  8. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can vouch for the 55-200 VR (recently got one with recommendations from people on this site) It's great lens, so much better than previous 70-300mm lenses I've used. The VR is also great, I wasn't interested in VR but I'm glad I've got it.

    Can't comment on the 18-200mm though but you generally get lots of complex distortion with the all-in-one type lenses amongst other issues.
     
  9. Drake

    Drake TPF Noob!

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    The 18-200mm? A 18-55mm kit lens stretched to 200mm. I think it says all that needs to be said. It's useable, in the same way you can use your kit lens... If you have to.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    lol... comparing the kit lens to the 18-200 is not quite the same. A kit lens is... a kit lens, nothing more to be said there.

    I do not think the 18-200 is that bad a lens. Matter of fact, people on THIS board have compared it to the Nikkor 70-200 and in the ranges between 70-150 it was as sharp as the Nikkor 70-200 F/2.8 VR at apertures between F/8-F/13, no one could tell you which one was which! That is something that the 55-200 cannot say.

    On the 18-200... Vignetting? Yup. Soft on both ends of the extremes? Yes. Fixable in post process? Most definitely and in a few quick clicks too.

    Versatility is this lens' greatest asset, and if you are in situations when ULTIMATE quality are not an issue, there is no lens on the market that can offer you this range at this level of quality... period.

    I often show this link... I invite people to look here and tell me if the vignetting is terible, because NONE of these pics had vignetting correction applied. Look at the sharpness and clarity... yes, I applied sharpening to all of the pics, but minor sharpening does NOT bring out anything that isn't in the pic already. Each pic there was done with a D200 and the Nikon 18-200 VR lens.
     
  11. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    You said it best buddy. For a good walk around lens, the 18-200 is it. The points you hit on IQ are correct as well. I loved my 18-200, but alas it had to go to fund the 17-50 2.8... I'll get another at some point
     

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