To 18-200 mm VR or not to?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by hoboahoy, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. hoboahoy

    hoboahoy TPF Noob!

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    What would be the most useful & convenient zoom lens(es) to obtain (in terms of focal length) for shooting indoors inside the house (lighting could be poor at night) & at the small backyard at the house PLUS I go out to larger dog park fields? I am shooting our pet dogs that move around quick. I have been considering the Nikon 18-200mm VR as a convinient all-in-one walkaround lens because I shoot at a short distance indoors, and at the dog parks in a further distance outdoors. Now I started thinking maybe the extended zoom range is less practical to always be carrying around at the house (at the expense of image sharpness), and maybe I should get 2 separate lenses for the house use (indoor & backyard) and for the outdoor park use with an extended zoom range separetely, so I could get faster lenses if that's a better idea. I am probably using the lenses on a Nikon D90 when I purchase them together, and I'd really want the VR feature. Or getting one Nikon 18-200mm VR more appropriate? I always get great answers at the forum and I appreciate all of you here. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  2. tranceplant

    tranceplant TPF Noob!

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    I use the sony 18-200mm... the equivalent to the nikon one and I have been pretty happy with it. Now if you need a lot of light perhaps you should get a lens with the appropriate aperture. Or if you do not wish to do that you can buy a flash kit so that could be a good option for a 18-200mm.

    you can check out some pictures I take with mine here: www.creativeme.ca/wordpress

    :)
     
  3. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

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    I got the 18-200 VR and love it. It's my all purpose walk around lens. I don't have to worry about switching glass and missing a shot, I just zoom to it.

    In fact there's a guy selling one on here.
     
  4. hoboahoy

    hoboahoy TPF Noob!

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    Tranceplant, so you also recommend a 18-200 mm to me then? Yes, as you pointed out the indoor poor lighting is my concern especially the dogs can be moving. I thought maybe a faster lens with shorter focal length may be appropriate for the indoor use. That's why I thought of splitting the lenses for the indoor use and the outdoor use using different lenses instead of getting one 18-200 mm VR lens.

    Kegger, that's the very reason I initially thought of getting a Nikon 18-200mm VR. So I can shoot anywhere spontaneously without bothering to change the lenses. I thought once I start swapping or thinking of swapping lenses, I could be missing a Kodak moment. I'm sure the Nikon 18-200mm VR is a good lens, but I thought maybe there would be a better way to the eyes of the experienced photographer for my circumstance.

    So you guys think that one 18-200 mm zoom will do it for me instead of getting multiple lenses? The owners of the Nikon 18-200 mm VR lens seem to like it. For some experienced shooters they mention the lack of sharpness or the lens creep etc, but for a rather inexperience photographer like myself just trying to shoot my doggies pictures may be more easily satisfied. I am wondering now at the point of buying decision before my actual purchase. Thank you all.
     
  5. beaminge36

    beaminge36 TPF Noob!

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    I'm guessing the 18-200 is pretty slow (maybe f/4-5.6?) in which case indoor photography will leave you with high iso and slow shutterspeed to compensate the small aperture. And for outdoors, freezing action might be a little difficult at f/5.6 unless in direct sunlight. This is what I gather from my experimenting as I too am not very experienced. These however may not be of any concern to you and the versatility of the focusing range may outweigh its small/slow aperture. If funds allow say something in the range of 20-80 and 80-200 with a max opening of f/2.8 or so, it would help eliminate some of the blocks that the slow lens puts up. Just my $.02,

    Nick
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Poor build-quality aside, the 18-200 is a fairly slow lens; even at 18mm it's only f3.5 and VR is not going to help you with a dog running around in a low-light situation. The issue is that better, faster glass is a LOT more expensive. I think a qood flash (SB800) combined with the 18-200 for it's versatility is the way to go.
     
  7. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Generally speaking you would need a flash for most indoor situations anyway... I wind up using my flash for nearly all indoor parties and whatnot and run a lens with similar specs to the 18-200 at these occasions. (28-100 3.5/5.6)

    If you want slightly better build and image quality at the compromise of the extended range, the 18-135 is a nice compromise. In fact, indoors you may get away with a prime (such as the 50mm 1.8) and then you could use the remainder that you would spend on the 18-200 VR on the 18-135. (just an idea)

    Keep in mind that VR will get you the benefit of a stop or two's worth of light. My mom has ripped off very sharp pictures on her 55-200 VR at 1/8th of a second at nearly full extension of the lens. That's pretty damned impressive.
     
  8. hoboahoy

    hoboahoy TPF Noob!

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    Beaminge36, yes I thought of the 18-200mm being possibly too slow indoors particularly the dogs can be moving under poor lighting, so I attempted to compensate it by getting a camera body which is noted for being a good performer at higher ISOs. That's why I am considering a Nikon D90, but a high-ISO-able camera body may not substitute a fast lens. I just don't know since I am not experienced. This may also be the case even outdoor at the fields toward the end of the day at sunset. People have mentioned to me my attempt to take photos of moving dogs under poor lighting is a fairly difficult task. So I'm kind of trying to prepare myself by listening to you all. Thanks Beaminge36, I'll start reading about the 20-80 & 80-200 mm combos. Greatly appreciate your suggestion.

    Tirediron, I don't have an experienced diserning eyes like you guys. I may not even be as critical of what I create (ie, the photos) using these hardwares. So I may be even more easily being satisfied. Do you mean to use a flash (SB800) indoor so I don't have to use a high ISO? Do you think the flash is as useful at sunset outdoor? I strongly prefer not to use a flash because the animal reacts to a flash. They are pretty smart and they over time learn to dislike the attempt of photo shooting, and start running away. That is already happening when I use a flash with my P&S Canon SD1000. They don't like to be flashed into their eyes. They get scared. I remember your suggestion of possible usefulness of the flash combined with the 18-200mm VR. Thank you.
     
  9. Dhoover

    Dhoover TPF Noob!

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    Get the 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 which runs about400$ but well worth it look on craigslist as many D80 owners sell them, it's a very nice mid range lens useful for a lot of situations.
     
  10. hoboahoy

    hoboahoy TPF Noob!

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    Manaheim & Dhoover, my unique shooting condition strongly prefers not to use a flash due to the animals reactions to it, though a flash could still be used with a reservation & hesitation. To alleviate this disadvantage, I am trying to use the hardware that they claim to produce better results than the others. I'm considering a Nikon D90 (or possible D300 for better FPS since the animal keep moving around quickly), so I could get away with less flash uses, combined with a proper lens. I will make sure to choose a VR lens to benefit from a stop or two. I hear your point which agrees with my readings so far. I'll also look into your suggestion of 18-135 lens plus a 50mm prime 1.8 instead ofl the 18-200mm VR. I just feel a full time use of the 18-200 VR may not cut it (not fast enough indoor poor light). Thank you to both of you, Manaheim & Dhoover.

    Thank you guys for the ideas. My research will continue on till the D90 comes out in "body only" next month. Take care guys.
     
  11. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ^^ Makes sense. No problem, glad to help. Good luck!
     
  12. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

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    When I take pics outside of my dog, I use my 50mm f1.8 about...98% of the time.

    She's a black dog, so she is even HARDER to get detail out of. I just recently got the D300 and my 50mm BARELY leaves my camera.

    Even if you're not in bright sunlight, if you're lens is opened wide enough, pictures come out decent.

    Sun wasn't out for this shot, I took it with my D300 and my 50mm f1.8 set at f2.5 (I believe), ISO 320, and shutter speed was 1/320 (not as fast as I SHOULD HAVE had it, but I forgot to up it).
    [​IMG]



    I don't generally like to shoot ANYTHING in direct sunlight, but sometimes you cannot help it. Here she is, again, same camera and lens: f4, ISO 320, and shutter was at 1/1000.
    [​IMG]


    I swear I love this lens. I tell everyone to get it because it's so inexpensive and such a great lens.

    CRAP. There was a reason I was suggesting the 50mm f1.8, and now I cannot remember.
    Anyway, the freakin' lens is great in poor light situations. But any inside photograhpy, like Manaheim stated, will probably do best with a flash. Bounce the flash off of something if you think your animals will be terrified of it, that way it's not blasting right in their face.:D
     

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