ADVICE: Nikkor 18-200mm VR or Tamron 18-200mm??

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jsub, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. jsub

    jsub TPF Noob!

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    Somebody dropped my D80 at a New Year's Party and the kit lens broke (like shattered!!), so I think I might take this opportunity to upgrade my lens. I'm just a hobbyist so I wanted a good walk-around lens....don't really want to carry multiple lenses on trips.

    I've narrowed it down to the Nikkor and the Tamron. My boss and a good photographer friend of mine insist that the Tamron is great, but I'm still iffy about the entire ordeal. The main thing is the difference in price ($680 VS $360). When I make these kind of big purchases, I usually like to spend a little extra and get something quality that can last a long time.

    What do you think I should go for? It is worth it to shell out the extra $300 and go for the Nikkor with the VR? Will Tamron do the job? Your opinions and advice are much appreciate!! Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Val

    Val TPF Noob!

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    Nikon is a quality lens that works really well. Distortions are quite good and mostly correctable, VR is a miracle and sharpness is pretty good. For me compromises are worth the benefits.

    Tamron is just a cheap ultra zoom with some wild distortions and other not so nice qualities. My personal preference would be 18-200 Nikon, 18-55 + 55-200 and then Tamron.
     
  3. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You would be MUCH better off to get an 18-55mm VR and a 55-200 VR for about $400 IMHO. I have an 18-55 (non-VR) and a 55-200 VR and I have a 18-200 VR. I like the 18-200 VR just fine, I just don't like it better than the combo which is almost half the price (or is exactly half the price if you go with the non-VR 18-55, but don't... always go for VR when you can).
     
  4. jsub

    jsub TPF Noob!

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    What's the main difference between the 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR? Do one of the lenses or both have MACRO capabilities? I assume I'd switch to the 200 if I need range, otherwise 18mm for landscapes, but I'm really unsure how to use either one with different situations. Thanks.
     
  5. Bevel Heaven

    Bevel Heaven TPF Noob!

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    I had an 18-200 VR and really liked it for what it is - it is truely a 1 lens wonder. I mean, if you are looking for 1 lens that will be a good one in so many occasions, to take on a trip etc...... This is it. I had different lens and sometimes taking all the gear just wasn't fun or even an option. I wanted to just go with my camera boday, 1 lens and my flash....... SO I bought the 18-200.

    I ended up doing a major lens upgrade shortly thereafter getting rid on my 70-300, my 18-135, etc etc and picked up the 17-55 f2.8 along with the 70-200 f2.8 etc and after using the 17-55 f2.8 I realized that THIS lens would be my 1 lens to take if I were only going to take 1 lens so I sold off the 18-200.

    I highly recommend the 18-200 VR if you are searching for 1 good lens to take care of most situations ....
     
  6. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    The difference between the 18-55 and the 55-200 is the range. When shooting up close you would use the 18-55 like you said.

    http://www.pbase.com/tamar88/zoo link to my gallery taken with the 55-200vr... great quality lens if you ask me but if i could go back, id opt for the 70-300VR
     
  7. shivaswrath

    shivaswrath TPF Noob!

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    to the OP, PM if you have questions, I have the lenses that Sabbath just listed. . .I'd get the $199 18-55 VR lens, it just came out and is worth the extra $80 over the non-VR version. . .the 55-200 VR was my first lens, great zoom lens, effective VR, not highly recommended for indoor evening shots though from my personal experience, though sabbath has more experience with it than I. . .
     
  8. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are right about the indoor evening shots, Shiva... it is too slow for that, but then again so is every other telephoto zoom lens under $200 brand new.

    The 18-200 would be a BIT better because the VR on the 18-200 works better than the one on the 55-200, but to do indoors at night right you need f/2.8, and those simply are not available for $200 or less brand new.

    I paid $189 for my 55-200 VR at Amazon.

    Outside, it doesn't do too bad on things like this endangered Hawaiian Sea Turtle basking next to a palm tree:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. johnmh

    johnmh TPF Noob!

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    For a one lens 'solution' you can't beat the Nikon 18-200VR. A good all-around carry lens - the flexibility overcoming its shortcomings (IMO). My wife uses this most of the time.

    IF you are willing to carry two lenses - and switch them as the need arises, the 18-55 and 55-200VR combo cied by Sabbath999 is a good alternative. Costs less $ too. IF you don't want to switch lenses - or would have to do so in less than optimal conditions, you may want to stay with the 18-200. I've definitely had more issues with dust and dirt on the sensor since I started carrying multiple lenses but then most of my use is on dirt trails - real outdoors stuff.

    You can just carry the 18-55 if doing close quarters inside. My wife kept the 18-55 kit lens for just this reason. Mounted on the D40 body you have a compact light weight SLR. Add the 55-200VR and you've got a nice long lens as well.

    And whichever way you go, the VR is clearly worth it at the longer end.
     
  10. jsub

    jsub TPF Noob!

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    Some great advice in here so far. You guys are swaying me towards buying the two lenses instead of the 18-200mm, since I'd be saving $300+...although it'll be a hassle to swap constantly.

    Question:

    Why would I need an 18-55mm if I buy the 55-200mm? Doesn't the 55-200VR have more range and MACRO capabilities? What about for low-light situations?

    Sorry, I'm a noob (just look at my forum title).
     
  11. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, the 55-200 VR doesn't have "Macro" features.

    You need the 18-55 because it is a wide angle, and you just have to have one of those... it is actually more important for 95 percent of the photographers than a telephoto.

    18-55 doesn't sound like much of a range, but without going into the details why, let me advise you that you see a LOT more stuff in your viewfinder between the 28-18 zoom area than you will in the 190-200 zoom area. They sound like the same amount of zoom, but they are not. There are fancy ratios to explain this, but since you are a beginner just trust me on this one.

    A large part of the "range" of your lens system that matters is from 18-55... prolly MOST of it is.

    Unless you are simply going to take telephoto pictures of stuff far away from you all the time, you need a wide angle as your primary lens.

    Me, I am in that 5 percent that uses telephotos as my primary lens, but I am definitely the exception and unless you only take pictures of what I take pictures of (wildlife, sports and zoo animals [which are critters but NOT wildlife]) you need a wide angle FIRST and formost.
     
  12. Bevel Heaven

    Bevel Heaven TPF Noob!

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    The best thing to do is for you to go to a camera store with your camera and ask to put on both of those lens (18-55 and the 55-200) and look through them. Zoom in and out, take a photo at each end of the range and in the middle wiht the camera in the same spont, taking a photo of the same thing. You will see what the difference is between what you see in each.
     

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