New Nikon DX 18-200 Superzoom Lens?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by revfife, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular

    revfife

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    #1
    Anyone have the new Nikon DX Superzoom? Would love to know how well the new Vibration Resistance works and how well the photos turn out. Hopefully I can save up enough to add it to my D100. :)
     
  2. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #2
    I bought the 18-200VR, haven't had a chance to do any real shooting with it yet. But when our Nikon rep brought the lens in to our store, I did some shooting with it. And I can say, wow!

    The VR II technology allows me to handhold to at least 1/15 on a regular basis at 200mm. And a lens test by a user at DPR shows that this lens is a very decent performer, even with its extreme zoom range.

    Maybe OnTheBrink will post some her shots from SF and MacWorld for us.
     
  3. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #3

    OTB is home from SF and MacWorld! :) Had a wonderful time and did a lot of shooting at the Expo itself as well as around town..... now it'll take me a while to get some photos ready for public consumption! I'll be going through a bit of a learning curve with Aperture (still!) and the beta of Lightroom, as well as seeing if I can successfully set up a website using iWeb (just installed iLife yesterday). Lots of images to process: roughly 900, I think. Obviously not all of them are going to be great and so some will wind up in the trash, but I'm optimistic that I should be able to put together a fairly decent site reflecting my first trip to SF.

    Back on topic and my thoughts on the lens: it's a VERY nice performer and just in a quick preliminary review of my images I am pleased with what I'm seeing. I used it inside at MacWorld's exhibit hall and outside on sunny days and not-so-sunny days; I used it to zoom in-and-out as the situation warranted and was really happy with how, thanks to the VR, I could hand-hold in low light situations and still get decent images. From the exhibit hall to the stunning views from Twin Peaks, I had a good time with the D200 and the 18-200 mm lens. I pulled out my 12-24mm lens and used that, too, at Twin Peaks, in an attempt to capture even more of that amazing sight of SF spread beneath us, but for the most part, I used the 18-200mm pretty much exclusively. It is a great travel lens! I also had a P&S which I pulled out from time to time, too, depending on the situation. I've already realized that next year I'll want to take a faster lens along, too, so that I don't need to kick up the ISO as much in some lighting conditions. There were times when my 50mm f/1.4, which was sitting here at home, would have come in very handy!

    My preliminary opinion of the 18-200mm VR lens: it's a keeper and it does the job really well. The proof of the pudding will be when I actually get into working with the images, and then I'll be able to discern if there are issues with softness or chromatic aberration, whatever....

    The D200 is also a keeper, no doubt about it! I really began to feel at home with it the more I used it out there -- very responsive, very quick and easy to change settings as necessary, etc. I'd say Nikon has a real winner here.

    OTB
     
  4. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    Ooooh, can't wait for your "review" regarding the lens and D200. I enjoy reading MR member reviews more than at other sites where I don't know them "personally."
     
  5. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #5
    Wow, I can see it's going to take some time to go through all my images! Whew! Just went through a small batch of sixty-odd ones (from the P&S) in Aperture, but haven't yet fully processed them, mainly just viewed and rated them. I like being able to work on images first in Aperture and then going right to PSCS2, fixing them there, and then back to Aperture again. Right now my workflow seems slower and is taking longer than if I were using only PSCS2 but I know that is because I'm still getting accustomed to Aperture. Once I get into a rhythm and figure out exactly what I'm doing, I think it will definitely expedite matters. Ditto for Lightroom, which I've only briefly looked at, haven't really tried using.

    OTB
     
  6. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #6
    OTB, you could do what I did and post "unedited" (meaning the JPG's that you may have captured with the RAW, or do a simple batch conversion of what you think are the best shots.

    IMO, there is no problem in letting the "warts" hang out there...
     
  7. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #7

    I'm sure I'll have plenty of "warts" hanging out! I'm by no means a professional photographer and occasionally I goof up with things like exposure, etc. OK, so this evening I decided to try something different -- having installed the new iPhoto 06 yesterday, I plunged into trying that out. I never had bothered with the previous version. Hey, I kind of like iPhoto 06! I have my images stored in the "Pictures" folder, so just imported one bunch from one folder into iPhoto to see how it all works. I haven't needed to do much in the way of editing my images -- mainly a little cropping here-and-there or a little straightening if buildings were leaning at funny angles (the batch of images I'm working on right now all were shot from my hotel room on the 27th floor or when I was out in the streets). All of the images were shot in .jpg because I knew that RAW support for the D200 wouldn't be available yet and because I haven't worked with RAW that much and figured that this wasn't the best time to do something new and experimental. Also, I didn't want to have to spend extra time in processing all the images, knowing that I would have a lot of them.

    Now these files are huge, of course. I see that in iPhoto (and in Aperture, for that matter) there is no mechanism for resizing images the way you can in PSCS2. I am assuming that iPhoto will automatically readjust image file sizes when I get to uploading to iWeb. ?? How much space is now available in one's .mac account? Have they increased the amount now that people will be using iWeb to put up websites? I suppose I'll find out the answer to that in due course of time when I'm ready to upload to my .mac iWeb site....

    I expect that I'll have a fair number of photos to put there; of course there is always pBase and SmugMug, too, since I have accounts in each of those places.

    OTB
     
  8. macrumors member

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    #8
    Is it worth buying DX lenses when they will be incompatible with the new size censors?

    Not to mention the rumoured change in mount?
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    revfife

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    #9
    What else can you buy? If you own a Nikon DSLR like myself (D100), then you have to buy DX lenses. I am quite pleased with my camera and don't anticipate "upgrading" anytime soon, so I will let others worry about a rumored change in mounts or sensor size. Right now the only camera company to change the sensor size has been Canon with 1 camera, and I am not sure how people are taking having to purchase all new lenses, mounts, filters, etc...
     
  10. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #10
    For me right now, yes, it IS worth buying one or two DX lenses, but I know that I also can benefit from using ANY of the previous Nikon lenses on my D200 and allowing for the 1.6x factor.

    Wha's this about a "rumoured change in mount" ?? Are you talking about Nikon? I'd be VERY surprised if they did that. I know that Canon has played that game in the past but I don't think Nikon would take the risk of antagonizing and alienating their base of loyal Nikon users who have collected Nikon lenses through the years and who have happily put them on whatever new Nikon camera bodies came along.....

    Can you be a little bit more specific about this?

    OTB
     
  11. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #11
    Just because Canon has a full sized sensor, does not mean that Nikon will follow suit.

    In fact with the patent on the HS crop, a full sized sensor camera would not obsolete DX lenses from Nikon, but would give added abilities.

    Care to fill me in on this crazy rumor?
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    ScubaDuc

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    Europe
    #12
    I am already alienated just by the thought of Nikon changing its mount :eek:

    If I ever fully switch to digital, when Nikon comes out with a native 24x36 CCD, I want to be able to use my old lenses. I got too much invested already plus I don't see all the excitment with such long range zoom lenses: Zooms have never been as good as their fixed counterparts, even though with the 1.5 factor only the center of the lens is used: This is some of what I have collected through more than 20 yrs of amatour photography....and I LOVE my old Nikkor lenses...How could they even consider thinking about changing the lens mount....:mad:

    Nikon F3+MD3; F2+MD2; F; FG, 501 - Coolpix Scanner V
    Nikkor 20mm, 28mm PC, 35mm, 50, 55 MicroNikkor, 135mm, 200mm Micro IF, 500mm reflex: Zoom: 35-70 Micro; 43-86 one-touch: TC 200: TC 16A, etc,
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #13
    I've read v. good reviews on the 18-200 and me wants one!

    As for ditching the F mount, I can't see it happening in the near future. Nikon have been 'struggling' (and mostly succeeding) in keeping new cameras compatible with old lenses, why would they change this now? The F mount has been perfect since the day it was designed (almost 50 years ago), unlike other manufacterers who changed their mounts several times...

    The only reasons for a change are the few technical limitations it requires (like mechanical coupling for the aperture, still there in the AF-G lenses...). But I'm sure Nikon can easily solve these if they already haven't. The electrical contacts are already there... but by loosing the coupling prong, new cameras won't operate current lenses. Just like new AF cameras losing the min-aperture prong loose matrix meetering...

    Anyhow, the could thing about Nikkors is that they don't devaluate too quickly :)
     
  14. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #14
    Just wanted to mention that of the two images I posted in MR's Picture Gallery section, the "Landmark Photos" thread, one is a scene that I shot in SF, looking down on the city from Twin Peaks, using the 18-200mm lens. Only corrections to the image were iPhoto's "Enhance image" and resizing. More images to come, but have just got to find the time!
     
  15. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #15
    Note that nobody has spoken directly to expand on this rumor. To me that says a lot.

    If Nikon changes their mount, it will be compared to Canon's switch in 1989. The history behind the Canon switch may give comfort or cause angst among the Nikon faithful.

    Canon and the FD mount was quite an accomplishment. The breech lock would never wear down compared to bayonet mounts. The aperture mount area was larger, and faster lenses were possible. With the dawn of AF looming large, they looked hard and fast - and felt that the FD mount could not meet the demands of the future, given the technology of the time.

    That brought us the EOS mount. The argument of breech vs. bayonet was great for ad copy, but seemed not to hold water in actual use, even with the pros. Yes the breech mount of the FD could be stronger than the bayonet (witnessed by countless Canon reps putting a Canon FTb body on the floor and standing full force on the 50mm lens attached. Nikon reps were too timid to try the same with the Nikon FM. So the myth was born and supported).

    But the EOS mount expanded on the aperture area size for even faster lenses. But Canon also brought the first motors to be used in AF lenses because of the switch. It would be many years (IIRC) before Nikon could do the same. The switch in the mount also allowed for the first time for information to be fed from the lens to the camera body, for the entire lens line. This is now the backbone for Olympus and their E system mount (using their RAW conversion software, one can correct for vignetting issues, and for Olympus in the future correct automatically for distortion issues).

    For Nikon a switch in mounts would need to show a major advantage that can not be overcome in the current mount. What that is I am not sure.

    Some Nikonians point to the longevity of the Nikon F mount. But that is clouded in hiccups along the way. The original Nikon F mount used a lug (that connected to prong on the meter head) that communicated aperture info to the meter. That gave way to the Nikon AI mount (1977) that had the lug and its equivalent machined into the aperture ring.

    The original Nikon F mount lenses needed to modified, or milled down so they would mount on the new AI bodies. Then in 1981 Nikon introduced the AI-S mount (auto index shutter). Though the first camera to take advantage of this mount would not appear till 1983 with the Nikon FA.

    From Cameraquest:

    There were a few special lenses made for the Nikon F3AF that are not really important to the current lens mount discussion.

    Then we have the current AF mount (and its close cousin, the AI-P manual focus mount). This allowed for AF to be built in the body, as opposed to the AF being in the lenses like the AF lenses for the F3AF. The first generation was updated to provide distance information with the AF-D mount.

    In between we had the Nikon IX mount. These lenses were designed sepcifically for the APS SLR, They reached deeper in to the mirror chamber, so they could not be used on non APS cameras (surprisingly to some Canon many years later took the same tack in doing EFS lenses for the 1.6x crop factor cameras. Such designs allow for smaller lenses).

    Getting a little long here. But Nikon started to produce camera bodies that would only take AF, AF-D, and AI-P lenses. For these lenses on these specific bodies took aperture control away from the aperture ring; and gave that control to command rings on the body itself. That gave Nikon the idea of going with the AF G series lenses that got rid of the aperture ring all together, like Canon did 1989.

    The point being is that Nikon deserves much credit for "milking" their original mount for as long as they have. With caution it is possible to use older lenses on newer bodies. But it goes a bit far to say that Nikon has not changed their mount.

    The state of CCD and CMOS technology is that you have small wells that need to be filled with light. 35mm lenses fill these cells at oblique angles. That causes CA, soft focus, and other issues. Because 1.3x, 1.5x, and 1.6x sensors take the sweet spot of a 35mm lens, this is not normally a big issue.

    Some Canon people have stated that with the Canon EOS 5D, it is time for digitally specific lenses. These would more clearly focus the light rays straight into the seniors light wells. What is surprising some of these same people said that Olympus was full of it when they mentioned digital specific lens designs.
     
  16. macrumors member

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    #16
    I have heard that the D3 will have a larger than full size censor.

    If this is true the DX lenses will not be optimal. Regardless of HS crop.

    If Nikon is making a huge change to the censor / lenses a change in mount makes much more sense.

    I have more AF / DX lenses than most and am currently using the D2x , so this change would peturb me quite a lot.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors regular

    revfife

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    #17
    Again, I am not worried about a change in Sensor size (not Censor size, a censor is a different thing :) ). I have a DX camera (D100), and currently Nikon is producing more F-mount DX cameras...the D200 being the latest. IF the rumored D3 is of a different mount/sensor size then it means that Nikon will have to develop 3 lines of lenses (DX F-mount, DX ?-Mount, and Film F-Mount) simultaneously and I do not see this happening. While Canon may have some advantages of having already changed their lens mount, it will be a wait and see type thing for those of us in the Nikon world. Besides in the end if I was always worried about what is in the pipeline, I wouldn't enjoy what I have now. :D
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
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    Sunny Bangkok
    #18
    Thanks for censoring my sensor post:)

    I don't think Nikon will develop any new film lenses for F mount. For them to develop two line ups of lenses , maybe.

    A new mount may just refer to an update of the F mount (which has happened many times before) I'm not sure on this one.

    I do think that if a new sensor is approx double the size of the current then it would render the DX lenses redundant with that sensor.

    I look forward to seeing some specs of the D3 to have an idea of where they will be going.

    The only worry with what is in the pipeline is the effect it will have on the residual value of my current gear. When do you dump to upgrade. Its quite a big question considering the investment made in the D2x's.

    As for the OP's question and my initial answer. IMHO you would be better waiting for the D3 release and seeing if Nikon reveal the possibility that the D200 was the last body with that size sensor.
     
  19. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #19
    I think that Nikon will continue with some new 35mm AF, where it makes sense. But that will mean fewer of these lenses. They will expand the DX series, because that is where their long term future is. I can see a 50-135 f/2.8 DX VR as a digital "replacement" to the 35mm 70-200 f/2.8 VR.

    Aa to a larger than 24x36mm sensor with a new mount. Sounds interesting, but it would have to offer something more than what Canon is offering with the 1Ds; and something that Mamiya and Hasselblad are not offering themselves.
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

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    #20
    The 18-200mm VR Nikon lens sells for $750 or more around town, but is selling on Ebay for $1000.

    Is the lens that hard to find or are people on ebay just insane?
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    revfife

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    #21
    It is that hard to find. Suggested retail value from Nikon is $699. I talked to the local store here in town last week. They got 2 in before Christmas which were already presold at $799. Even though they have ordered and ordered and ordered them...no more have arrived. Nikon is giving the excuse that "it is currently being repackaged with the new D200 to become the kit model and will be more readily available after this occurs". Also, from what I have heard...it is just a d@mn good lens.
     
  22. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #22
    Wow, I guess I was darned lucky to have pre-ordered and received the lens when my local store got its first (only?) shipment. The timing was perfect for me, too, because then I had the lens to take with me to SF and I used it pretty much exclusively the whole time -- it's a great traveler's lens!
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    #23
    If you use digital cameras you'll notice no difference but if you shoot on film the 70/200Vr all 2.8 is one of the best zoom lens i've ever used sharp and detailed no comareson with other nikon zoom lens if you need a wide angle zoom nikon maks a superb 17/35ED all 2.8
     
  24. macrumors G4

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    #24
    They already have in effect changed the mount. Try butting a manualllens on a D50.
    Yes it mounts but the meter is completley disabled. You need a hand meter
    the D100 is different

    Ok there is a kind of meter. You take a photo with a guessed exposure and look at the histogram and figure that you need to move "up" 2EV. May as well hand meter. it's faster.
    So on the D50 they changed every part of the mount except the baonett size.

    and try and put a new AF lans on an F2. They don't meter couple.

    Canon actualy did a better job starting with the EOS mont. ALL EOS lenses interchange and keep ther functions

    Not to argue, I just wanted to warn that a manual macro lens ain't going to be usful on the D50/D70 Some combos do work but not all.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #25
    Chip NoVaMac, ChrisA

    I don't personnaly see this as a change in mount, merely as an evolution. The biggest step was the introduction of AI lenses that no longer worked with previous SLRs. Second would be the introduction of the DX lenses... but then backward compatibility is less important IMHO.

    It is still possible today - with some limitation, to mount any AI lense on the latest DSLR. These limitations are:
    1. Loss of metering on DSLR like the D70. This is merely a firmware crippling. It should work.
    2. No focusing information. Again firmware limitations.
    3. No matrix metering due to lack of max. aperture coupling prong. "Overcome" with D200.
    There is no technical/mechanical reason why AI lenses shouldn't let you use all the fancy things on new cameras, apart obviously from AF. It's just Nikon trying to push their new lenses. Hence I don't believe the F-mount has changed.

    Likewise, look at your newest and greatest AF lenses (non DX or G), they still sport the pilot holes for installing the aperture coupling fork to work with the early Fs and F2s etc. :eek:

    I personnally think Nikon have done a great job at mainting their F-mount for this long (c. 50 years), and there's no technical reason they can't keep-it for as long as the format lasts. Indeed, the F-mount is big enough for all the necessary electrical contacts for modern lense coupling to live alongside the old mechanical coupling prongs. The new AF-Gs almost prove this*. Sure they don't work on older bodies, but the new bodies (D200) can use ALL your old glass (even converted pre-AI in theory).

    And the AF-Gs must have some crazy electronics in them. My D70s can fully operate them with 7 contacts, but the 18-70 AF-S G has 10 contacts. Unless by camera is missing something :confused:



    Oh, and the 18-200 is an insanely great lense. I wan't one.



    *the aperture prong is still there ;)
     

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