Is This Nikon Lens Any Good?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by skates94, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. skates94

    skates94 TPF Noob!

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    As much as I would like to get a 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens...... I can't justify the $750 price tag right now let alone find one from any dealer.

    I have the kit lens that came with my D40 (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor) but I want something that will give me a little more zoom ability. So I'm considering the 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens at about $170 it's easier to swallow right now.

    I know this is a cheap lens but is it an okay lens? I can't imagine Nikon would put their name and reputation on something that is trash.

    Or should I wait to get the 18-200 for $750? I also looked at the Tamron comprable to this lens at $389....... any suggestions.

    Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For the most part...the quickest way to judge a lens's quality is by the price. You get what you pay for.

    I don't know about that lens specifically...but I'd guess that it's near the bottom of the barrel for Nikon lenses.

    All the 'big' lens manufactures have dogs and gems in their line up. Some of them are designed to be really good...and some of them are designed to be inexpensive (cheap).

    Brands like Sigma and Tamron often have comparable lenses at lower prices than the Nikon and Canon brand lenses. I would certainly take a good look at them.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had one. It is not a good lens. Not only does it have pincushion distortion at the frame edges at the long end but wavy line distortion at the short end. Worse than that it shows compression right in the middle of the frame. It is slow and soft in the corners all the way to f11. On the positive side of things it is a little better than your 18-55 which actually keystones laterally in the middle of the frame. It is the only time I've ever seen that in a photographic lens.

    I'm sorry. I just think Nikon can do better than ordering up cheap Chinese lenses to sell at low prices. I think it sullies their brand. I would rather they put another brand name on them. I really think putting the Nikkor name on them in gold is a really bad idea.

    Gosh! I hope I wasn't too hard on them. After all, there are many, many wonderful Nikkors. These kit lenses, however, are not among them. Sorry. Lateral keystoning..........it boggles the mind.
     
  4. skates94

    skates94 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks.... I think I'm just going to have my wife sign my permission slip and let me pick up the 18-200 for $750. Everything I read says this is the do it all lens. I just hope my wife doesn't beat me to bad!
     
  5. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    Hi, The "kit" lens you are referring to is constructed inexpensively so that the manufacturer can offer a package at a reasonable price. So generally kit lens performance is sub-par in comparison to other choices. Having said that it aslo depends on where you are in your photography, ie. your experience level. If you are new to the game, hence your eye may not be as critical, or perhaps you just are photographing for fun and as the family photographer then maybe the kit lens would be just fine for you and thereby justify the savings. The downside to this approach is, if you stick with photography, you will most likely outgrow and become dissatisfied with the lens. The 3rd party brands, ie Sigma, Tamron & Tokina have some good offerings and indeed better offerings than the so called kit lenses. The price will be higher but not as salty as the major brands better lenses ie. Canon, Nikon etc. If you can afford one of the 3rd party lenses, you will realize a considerable savings over the major brands and have a very good to excellent performing lens.
     
  6. Mad_Gnome

    Mad_Gnome TPF Noob!

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    I'd definitely agree with that statement. Granted, they're not quite the equal of the high-end first party lenses, but they're still of excellent quality. Also, at 1/4 to 1/2 the price of the top-quality first-party lenses, they hold an incredible price/performance advantage. Sigma and Tamron have comparably priced 70-300mm zoom lenses that both run roughly in the $200 range. Sigma also has a 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO DG lens that I've had my eye on, although it's a bit pricier than the others at just under $600.

    If you're a pro who's counting on the utmost image quality from your gear, the cost may justify spending $750 for the Nikkor lens. If not, I'd recommend at least looking at the third-party lenses and weighing your options.
     
  7. skates94

    skates94 TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone know if the Tamron lens will work with the Nikon D40. More specific I know that with the D40 you must have an AF-S or AF-I lens to auto focus. On the Tamron lens they have (IF) internal focus is this just their term for an auto focus system built into their lens?

    Your help is apprecited. After thinking about it for a few days I think the Tamron would be okay for my amateur eye/hobby if it will work with my D40.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  8. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    I would think that Tamron makes a lens for your D-40 as all Nikon lenses utilize the same lens mount and Tamron does make lenses for Nikon.
     
  9. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    Colonial Photo & Hobby in Orlando, Fl (407-423-1246, Larry) is selling the 18 -200 for $700 + $10 or so for shipping.

    There is a waiting list, as expected, of about 30 or so, but the price is right.
     
  10. el_shorty

    el_shorty TPF Noob!

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    As far as I know the only lenses that work with the D40 are Nikkor AF-S and AF-I, and Sigma HSM.
    With other lenses you'll be able to meter, but you'll lose AF.
     
  11. Ganex

    Ganex TPF Noob!

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    My suggestion would be to find a local camera shop that offers the lens you want, take your camera there, and try it out. It has been my experience that most camera stores are awesome about this sort of thing. Even if you don't end up buying it from them, you still get confirmation that the lens works AND you start a relationship with your local camera shop.

    Most things involving photography in a town/city revolve around the local shops. The people that own and operate these stores tend to be people in the know. Give them a shot. I think you'll like the results. :D

    BTW, this is my first post to this forum, so hello all!
     
  12. skates94

    skates94 TPF Noob!

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    I contacted Tamron and asked them the question and they stated it will not work with the D40..... so it looks like I will be sticking w/Nikon products.
     

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