Help me choose between these two lenses for my first DSLR

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jon_Are, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

    May 12, 2007
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    After much research, I'm settled on the Nikon D80.

    After much more research, I've narrowed my choices of first lens to these two:

    Nikon 18mm - 70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED IF AF-S DX ($349)

    Pros: Metal lens mount, non-kit lens, wider zoom, excellent reviews.
    Cons: More expensive, non-VR

    Nikon 18mm - 55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR ($179)

    Pros: Less expensive, decent reviews, VR
    Cons: Plastic mount, filter rotates with focusing, kit lens

    Things to consider:
    • The price difference isn't a major concern
    • Wondering if I need VR with these shorter focal lengths
    • Recent Nikon kit lenses are, reportedly, excellent values
    • I prefer my stuff to have a well-build/solid feel to it
    • I recognize that more expensive is not always necessarily better
    I'm interested in all opinions, but would especially like hearing from someone who has used one or both of these.


  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2005
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    Go for the 18-70. It has the distinction of being one of the best 'kit' lenses on the market, is faster than the other at higher apetures, and the little extra at the telephoto end will be well worth it. It's also an over all better quality lens with a metal mount vice the plastic. My personal opinion of VR is that it's just something to go wrong with a lens.
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    May 3, 2006
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    I have the 18-70 and I love it, but it's not worth $350.

    Post an ad on craigslist, you can get an awesome like new one for $200, that's what I did.

    B&H I think has them for $280 new, which is pushing it IMO.
  4. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

    Jan 1, 2008
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    Nikon gives you $100 off when you buy a lens as part of a camera body kit, so just look for a D80 with the included lens. The 18-55 is fine. There's almost no difference between 55mm and 70mm at the long end, but the 18-70 is 2/3rds of a stop faster at the long end. Personally my favorite of all the Nikon kit lenses is the 18-135, which was actually the original D80 kit lens. It has a very nice range and might be the only lens you ever really need.

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