An interesting take on the Nikkor 18-200 VRII

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by shivaswrath, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. shivaswrath

    shivaswrath TPF Noob!

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    So in my infinite attempts at trying to get another lens, I thought it would be wise to re-visit the 18-200 Nikon lens with VR II and possibly trade in my 55-200mm VR Nikon lens (as some might know, I've been tossing around the idea of a new lens with my limited selection a la my recent acquisition, the D40x)

    Sooooo I went to my friendly local camera store, who by the way doesn't stock Sigma lenses (annoying), and tried out the new "everyday" lens everyone raves about.

    Now I KNOW Sabaath will take issue with this comparison because I'm a noob and his wife owns this lens, but I wasn't all that impressed with it in indoor situations.

    When I compared it to my current lens outdoors between 55-200, it seemed equivalent to my eye (with the exact same camera settings since I was shooting in manual).

    I recognize I own a $219 plastic Nikon telephoto lens that really isn't considered "good glass" by the pros on this board, but I've realized that for the money and what it really shines at (outdoor photography), it's really a steal.

    What I FURTHER realized was that the 18-200 is wicked heavy and though it might be a great walk around daily lens, I'd be better off with either a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 with HSM ($499 at beachcamera/bhphotovideo) for the cheap end or I could ~3X the price and go for the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 AF-S ($1249 at JR); either of those would serve a great range for a daily lens and when I need the extra telephoto oomph, I'd have my cheaper alternative eagerly sitting in my bag.

    I've realized that with lenses, there are always compromises, and it's probably better to get a dedicated short zoom lens (between 18-70 or so) and a dedicated telephoto (between 55/70- however much you can spend!!)

    Happy shooting folks and have a safe Thanksgiving holiday!

    (Sorry if this is redundant especially since a lot of you have hinted at these observations before, but sometimes you have to try it for yourself and I thought I'd share with all the noobs here!)
     
  2. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It seems like the sigma 18-50 f2.8 combined with your 55-200 VR would give you better bang for your buck. Sure you'd have to change the lenses around, but I think in the end you'd get better image quality. Plus, I think a 2.8 aperature would probably better for shooting in different qualities of light rather than relying on the VR. I haven't used an 18-200 before, but that large of a focal range seems like it has to take a toll on the quality of your photographs. Not to mention the build quality is probably going to be similar to your 55-200. I don't see a reason to spend that much money on a lens that will probably suck in low light and the build quality won't be anything to write home about.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    You think the 18-200's heavy? The 17-55 is a brick in comparison.
     
  4. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not going to take issue with you at all... I am not the person saying that your 55-200 is a bad lens... that for other folks that dislike it. I personally kind of like them. I don't find the VR as good (I have used both extensively in many different situations), but that doesn't mean it isn't good... and it is very light.

    However, on your comment on the 18-200 being "wicked heavy"....

    Oh my poor dear confused friend... oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

    You should try toting around one of THESE all day long:

    [​IMG]

    That would be a Sigma 50-500 "BigMa" that I use for longer shots... the lens weighs in at a tidy 4 pounds on the nose.... as compared to that "wicked heavy" 18-200 VR which weighs a whopping 1 pound 4 ounces :)

    My 70-200 f/2.8 VR weighs in at just over 3lbs, the Sigma you are talking about getting is almost exactly the same weight as the 18-200 VR... within an ounce... you won't be able to tell the difference, weight wise.

    The 18-200 is a VERY LIGHT lens... it is just not the featherweight of the 55-200 or the 18-55 AF-S.

    As far as your impressions in person go, that is the way to do it... pick one up, shoot some pictures, then take a look at what they look like... hearing somebody tell you about a lens is nothing compared to actually picking up the glass, slapping it on your camera (or one just like yours) and blazing away.
     
  5. JodieO

    JodieO TPF Noob!

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    lol! Yeah, tell me about it, with the 70-200/2.8 being even heavier! :lol:
     
  6. shivaswrath

    shivaswrath TPF Noob!

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    lol, thanks for the frank weight comparison guys/gals!

    love that pic sabbath, a lens only you are worthy of!

    hope my noob insights are helpful for those shopping for lenses this xmas season. . .I'm hoping some nikon/sigma sales pop up!
     

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