Nikon 18-135mm or 55-200mm?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by xxx_jpk_xxx, Oct 7, 2008.

?

Which lens would you buy if you could spend $125 a week?

  1. NIKKOR 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Other

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. xxx_jpk_xxx

    xxx_jpk_xxx TPF Noob!

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    I finally found a job that I'll be making enough at to buy photography equipment with. I'm definitely getting an SB-400 Speedlight, since I don't need anything more complex than that, but I'm confused as to which lens I should get.

    I have an 18-55mm lens (I forget the exact specs, but it's the stock lens for the D40) and am planning to get a lens to compliment it. I played around with a "Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED", which I'm just going to call the 18-135mm. It feels REALLY solid and has great zoom. I don't think I really need to zoom any further than that lens allows. I really like the fact that it adds a lot of weight to the camera (an odd thing to say, I know :lol:); It makes the whole setup feel more solid. I haven't been able to take any pictures with it, since I've only used it in a Best Buy.

    Now I've heard good things about the 18-200 VR, but I've also heard that it has really bad distortion and chromatic aberration at the wide and telephoto ends. I don't have any clue if it's a solid lens or not, and if it's comparable to the 18-135 in any way.

    Do you guys have any opinions? Keep in mind that I'll only be making about $125 a week that I can spend (I'm still a student, so it's hard to find anything that pays better), so I'd really just like to know what's better for my money. Is the 18-135mm a quality lens?
     
  2. xxx_jpk_xxx

    xxx_jpk_xxx TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I went and read everything on Ken Rockwell's site for both lenses. He seems to prefer the 18-200 VR for some reason, but just because he's well known, doesn't mean I necessarily trust his opinion. I might if he reviewed the lenses without comparing them, but he just has a thing for bringing up the 18-200 VR in EVERY review he does. He also doesn't give enough info about the 18-135. The 18-135 is really tempting because of the price, build, and looks, but the 18-200 is a serious beast. :hail: Ken Rockwell definitely makes me want the 18-200, but I still would like everyone's opinion. If anyone owns either lens (or both), definitely give me your pros and cons. Don't sugar them up, either. :lol: This is kind of a lot of money for my budget, so I'd like to make a very well-informed buy.
     
  3. xxx_jpk_xxx

    xxx_jpk_xxx TPF Noob!

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    I've been thinking about it and reading up on more information, and I think I'm just going to save for the extra 3 weeks and buy the 18-200 VR. I'm still open to hearing everyone's opinions, though.
     
  4. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    lol... (cricket, cricket)

    how long have you been locked in this thread by yourself??

    honestly... your money is limited and the 55-200vr is a super sharp compliment to your kit at a fraction of the cost... the 55-200 is sharper than the 18-200 with the only caveat being you have to swap lenses... oh... and the extra stop as the 18-200 is VRII

    if I were you.... I'd buy the 55-200VR and spend the change on the SB600 and a rootbeer float..... you will find the SB400 limiting once you start getting more into this... trust me..
     
  5. xxx_jpk_xxx

    xxx_jpk_xxx TPF Noob!

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    I've considered doing that, but part of the reason I decided I want one of the other two lenses is because I realized that I wouldn't be able to carry two lenses with me most of the places I go. Does the SB-600 have the pivoting flash option too? That was part of the reason I was looking into an SB-400.
     
  6. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    i'm sure you can figure out a way to carry these two small lenses... they both fit in your jacket pocket....

    the thing about the 18-200 is that sample variations are too wild.... i owned a good copy but many haven't.... i'd hate to see you save up all your lunch money and end up with a bad sample.... you are so green right now you most likely won't even be able to tell if you got a bummer... but it's your money... do as you will...

    the sb600 pivots (bounces) in both landscape and portrait positions.. the 400 only landscapes... as well the 600 zooms, can work cls wireless, has more power, and diffuser.... things you don't know that you need yet...
     
  7. xxx_jpk_xxx

    xxx_jpk_xxx TPF Noob!

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    Well I'll definitely look more into the 55-200. I'm not completely ruling it out.

    And that's cool that the SB-600 pivots landscape too. That would be really useful. And it comes with the diffuser or is the diffuser built in? I was planning on buying a diffuser for the SB-400, but I'm not even sure if I'm going to get that one anymore, since this one sounds so versatile.
     
  8. shivaswrath

    shivaswrath TPF Noob!

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    55-200 VR!!

    cheaper, will complement your 18-55, and faster at 55 than an 18-200 is!

    I have been tooling around with the 18-55/55-200 setup for a bit (over a year), and I rent nice glass for wedding photography - it's a good setup for now, but obviously ideal would be a 50mm prime, 14-24 f/2.8, and a 70-200 f/2.8.
     

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