Nikon 18-200 vs Nikon 70-300 VRII

batmura

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
649
Reaction score
240
Location
Istanbul, Turkey
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I currently have a Nikon 18-105 which I am pleased with, but every once in a while I feel the need for lens with more reach. I have been looking at the 70-300 VR II, but recently I have also been thinking about simply getting an 18-200 and use it as an all-around lens. I have read some reviews indicating this one gets soft when zoomed out but reviews of amateurs on amazon.com say it is a great lens. I would like your opinion on which one may be a better investment: keep using the 18-105 and switch to 70-300 when necessary only or simplynswitch to the 18-200. Is the zoom difference between 105 and 200 very noticeable in your opinion and how does the image quality hold up?
 

SCraig

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
Messages
6,474
Reaction score
2,450
Location
Nashville, TN
Website
sc-photo-tn.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
My experience with zoom lenses, which I freely admit is nowhere near as extensive as others, is that lenses with a zoom ratio much more than 4 or 5 to 1 are nowhere near as sharp as they could be. The optical and mechanical challenges caused by trying to be all things to all people just can't be overcome and there are many trade-offs. The 70-300 has a 4.28:1 zoom ratio (300/70=4.28), the 18-105 has a 5.83:1 ratio, the 18-200 has an 11.11:1 ratio. When lens makers try to cover both ends of the spectrum with a "Do-It-All" lens what they really wind up with is something that is marginal throughout the range and perfect nowhere.

They are getting better though. Back in the 70's, when consumer zoom lenses first start appearing at a reasonable price, a 3:1 zoom ratio was as far as we could go. I still have a Tokina 75-150 zoom that I bought in about 1975 that was "State Of The Art" then. By today's standards it leaves a lot to be desired but back then it was a great lens.

I do have the 70-300 Nikkor lens and love it. It is my "Go-To" lens and gets used probably more than any of my other lenses. Of course the subjects I prefer to shoot do lend themselves to a longer lens.
 

Benco

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
923
Reaction score
253
Location
Falkland Islands
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The 18-200 is OK at 200, it's soft at about 135 though (looks like Nikon made it to perform reasonably at both ends to the detriment of the middle), it's alright as if you want just one lens but if you've already got the 18-105 I'd suggest keeping it and getting the 70-300, the combination gives you more range and better glass.
 

satya

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Location
Worcester, MA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
You didn't say which camera you use. Both wider zooms are almost similar and do well on 16MP cameras, but only 70-300mm gives satisfactory pefroamance on a 24MP model. The following is my suggestion, based on D7100 experience with all the three lenses you mentioned.

You said that you frequently miss longer focal lengths beyond 105mm. Then the 70-300 is better, cheaper and gives longer reach. Whenever I used this lens outdoors the results were better than what I got from 18-200. Indoors, I use this lens only for portraits at 70mm, which gives better results than the 18-105 or 18-200.

Do you also need wider than 70mm and beyond 105mm at the same time? Then the 18-200mm is your compromise because there is no other lens with that range. Of course, there is the 18-300mm for a little more price but I have not used it. I have a friend who uses 18-105 indoors but takes the 18-300 for outdoors! Both 18-200 and 18-300 are expensive in my opinion, for the quality they deliver.

I think price is always an important factor and you have to see the additional benefit you get for the additional price. Do you need to pay higher price for the 18-105 range that you already have? In my case I didn't. The cost of 18-105 and 70-300 when bundled with my camera was same as 18-200 alone and I find this combination more useful.
 

Tailgunner

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 2, 2013
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
280
Location
Dallas TX
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I'm not a professional by any stretch...although I try to maintain a Professional mannerism in my hobbies.


Now with that said, I own an 18-200mm VR (bought used $400) and use it exclusively with my D3100 and for family and traveling. In this regard, I don't think you will find a better lens. It saves me time switching glass and does a decent job through out the zoom range. I can also generally clean up and sharpen the images in post process which helps compensate for some of the marginal shots. As for the 70-300 VR, it's a really nice glass for the money but I'm not sure about using it as a general walking around glass unless you primarily shoot wildlife.
 

CaptainNapalm

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
796
Reaction score
143
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I have both lenses, the 18-200mm and 70-300mm, and I use both for completely different purposes. Optically, both of these lenses are good in my opinion with the 70-300 being slightly superior. The 18-200 lens will be the one I will throw on my camera if I'm off to a family barbecue or something where I don't want to worry about changing lenses and I can just snap away without doing too much footwork (the zoom range is great for that). It's also a one lens solution that really does let me leave my whole camera bag behind. The 70-300 would be the lens I throw on my camera when I go shooting wildlife such as birds. I would never take this lens alone with me without at least a few primes (i.e. 35mm, 50mm) or mid-range zoom to cover the shorter focal lengths. For majority of the things you shoot the 70mm will be just too tight especially on a DX body. Keep in mind the 70-300 is the bigger and heavier lens and I don't just keep it on my camera unless I really need it for a specific purpose. That being said, I would strongly think about what your intended purposes are for these lenses. On the other hand if it were me making the choice, I would get the 70-300 to compliment your already decent 18-105. Not only would it be better optically and give you more reach but it would also cost considerably less. Not to mention, the 18-200 would be quite the overlap to your 18-105 unless you're planning on selling your kit lens.
 
OP
B

batmura

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
649
Reaction score
240
Location
Istanbul, Turkey
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I have a D3100. I was thinking of getting the 70-300 for landscapes and cityscapes as I am not interested in wildlife photography. I thought it would help me get better shots of mosques and bridges from afar. It would mean having to lug it around all the time, though. I still can't decide if I should simply get the 18-200 andnot worry about changing lenses.
 

CaptainNapalm

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
796
Reaction score
143
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I have a D3100. I was thinking of getting the 70-300 for landscapes and cityscapes as I am not interested in wildlife photography. I thought it would help me get better shots of mosques and bridges from afar. It would mean having to lug it around all the time, though. I still can't decide if I should simply get the 18-200 andnot worry about changing lenses.

I never feel I need a reach over 200 for shooting landscapes. While thinking about if you want to have multiple lenses, why don't you start shooting with your kit lens for a while and see how often you're really reaching for that extra zoom. A smart thing to do would be also maybe rent one of these lenses before buying. You can probably rent either one for dirt cheap for three days. I should also tell you that the 70-300 will be fine if you upgrade to full frame camera in the future while the 18-200 is limited to DX bodies. Something to also keep in mind.
 

Tailgunner

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 2, 2013
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
280
Location
Dallas TX
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I have a D3100. I was thinking of getting the 70-300 for landscapes and cityscapes as I am not interested in wildlife photography. I thought it would help me get better shots of mosques and bridges from afar. It would mean having to lug it around all the time, though. I still can't decide if I should simply get the 18-200 andnot worry about changing lenses.

I shoot a lot of Cityscapes and Landscapes and can't recall needing more than 200mm but I guess it all depends on your vantage point. You may wanna check around and see if you can rent each lens, that or look into camera clubs. That way you can check them out and see which one works best for you before you buy.
 
OP
B

batmura

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
649
Reaction score
240
Location
Istanbul, Turkey
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So basically what you are saying is a 300 range would be redundant for landscape photography? Renting is unfortunately mot an option for me as there are very few places that rent and prices start from 60 bucks a day.
 

Tailgunner

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 2, 2013
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
280
Location
Dallas TX
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
So basically what you are saying is a 300 range would be redundant for landscape photography? Renting is unfortunately mot an option for me as there are very few places that rent and prices start from 60 bucks a day.

It's really not the 300mm that concerns me as much as it's the minimal 70mm focal legth. A starting point of 70mm isn't going to help much when you're walking around taking up close pictures, you will instead have to stand way back. Even if you're shooting from a distance. When I'm shooting Dallas Texas cityscape for example, I'm usually a mile or so away and I'm generally shooting around 24-28mm. So I just think that you will be happier walking around with an 18-200mm vs a 70-300mm. Now something else to consider if you really need the 300mm range is a Nikon 18-300mm or a 28-300mm. These can get a little pricey, used/refurbished around $800-900 USD.

Another option is a third party lens like the Tamron 18-270mm for Nikon DSLRs which runs around $450 USD.

http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-18-270...qid=1372606121&sr=8-10&keywords=nikkor+18-300
 
Last edited:
OP
B

batmura

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
649
Reaction score
240
Location
Istanbul, Turkey
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Will the 70-300 offer better bokeh at focal lengths over 200mm?
 

Tailgunner

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 2, 2013
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
280
Location
Dallas TX
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Will the 70-300 offer better bokeh at focal lengths over 200mm?

I don't have any experience with the 70-300 but from Ive read and seen, I would say yes. It's a really nice lens for the price.
 

bc_steve

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
1,384
Reaction score
622
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Website
www.stevedinicol.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I would just get the 70-300. It is cheaper and you'll get better photos with it.

Also, when you don't need that much zoom you can use the 18-105 you already have and it will be smaller and lighter to walk around with.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top