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Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mdo574, Mar 19, 2009.
any reviews for this lens, any personal reviews,someone who has tried this lens?? ..thx mike
It's an OK lens in my opinion.
For a light, compact, travel zoom with a wide range you can't really do much better.
But the trade off for all that reach while remaining compact is a slow maximum aperature, only OK build quality, and only OK optics.
Don't get me wrong, it's still the best lens in it's class, but in terms of IQ it's no where near the IQ of the nicer Nikkor glass.
So are you planning on using it for fun photos of kids, pets, and while traveling? If so, it will be fine for that, long as you're not expecting edge-to-edge sharpness and can deal with the CA at the wider angles.
If you're expecting "pro quality" results from this lens, you'll probably be disapointed, and would be better off buying a higher quality lens of a more modest range for the same $700.
will be used for travel i also purchased the nikon 50mm f1 pro glass
The 18-200 is a good all rounder, jack of all trades, master of none,
I went shopping for one about 6 weeks ago, Came away with a Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6, very sharp and a lot more fun , best reviews linked above ^^ in Cliff3 previous post
I love this lens, particularly for travel. It's great to have such versatility. However, I will admit that it seems to be slightly less sharp than other lenses that I've used, but granted I'm not the best photographer in the world, so take my assessment for what its worth. When coupled with a fast prime (like the one that the OP purchased), I think it's an ideal setup.
As you see the reviewers of the lens say "good for what it it" and "it's a compromise, give up a little bit of IQ for compactness"
But more importantly you have to decide if the lens fits your intended usage. What are you going to shoot? Are you really going to be using the longer 200mm end of the zoom range? Most beginners think they will and then don't. The reason is that not many subjects are suited for 200mm at f/5.6. Fewer than you'd think.
So, the lens is a compromise but if you need exactly what it does it's great. But if what you really need is the 80-200 f/2.8 and you are buying this just to save $250 then don't. get a used 80-200mm for about the same price or even less.
Lenses are not good or bad, that or suited or not to some intended use.
I like it.
I have the Nikon 50 1.4, Nikon 85 1.4(pro glass), Nikon 70-200 (pro glass), Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 28-70(pro glass), and Nikon 18-200 on a D300 body. Of all of them I use the 18-200 the most because of convenience when I'm traveling or out and about on the town. It is a great lens in my opinion. Is it pro quality? Nope, but it doesn't have a pro cost either. I have taken excellent pictures with it, so when someone says you can't take "pro" pics with it then they are full of it. You can. Most lenses you can. It is the person taking the pic, not the lens. Of course the lens helps, but under good light this lens can perform pretty well and I think it is a bargain at $650 or whatever it costs now.
In my area there is an annual photography contest where both amateurs and pros enter. Whoever wins gets $5,000 cash. The winner this past year was an amateur using a D200 with a 18-200 attached. He beat out pro's and a lot of serious amateurs. Not bad for a jack of all trades and master of none lens.
BTW the photo (13th green of the golf course--he took it as the sun was going down) was awesome. He sold it to the Augusta National Golf Course (Home of the Masters golf tournament--don't know how much he got for it) and they framed and hung it outside their main dining hall. Pretty impressive.
I've used the 18-200 for about 3 years now on a D200 and a D300. It's useful, for sure. I find some distortion (barrel) at the wide end.
It can't compare to my 85 f/1.4 (even allowing for aperture differences) and my 14-24 f/2.8, even at 14, shows no distortion whatsoever.
But these lenses are big (especially the 14-24).
So add my voice to the "it's a great travel lens" crowd.
Is there a link to the photo anywhere?
I agree with pretty much everything everyone has said so far, the one thing I would like to add, is if you are going to use this lens fro portraits, candids or weddings, I would advise to use a flash.
I use a flash with this lens nearly 100% of the time. It just about solves the shaprness problem. The SB600 is just barely powerful enough at f/5.6 from about 20 feet with a Fong dome at 800 ISO.
But I would try to shoot at 100 ISO or less with this lens as often as possible.
Probably in our local paper. Augusta Chronicle. Not sure. I was at the awards banquet and saw the photo firsthand.
I agree as long as it is in poor light (which in that case I don't use my 18-200--I use one of my fast primes). The 18-200 performs well in well lit/outside areas and doesn't require flash for those things of course (this is the case with all slow zooms which is ALL consumer zooms). It isn't too bad inside with flash or no flash if there is enough windows and enough natural light is coming through.
I can shoot my 18-200 on my D300 at 1600 ISO and it is pretty sharp/low noise if any at all (no real sharpness problem with mine at all ). I have no problem doing so.
I never shoot anything less than ISO 200 on my D300 anyways. 400 ISO is its sweet spot IMO.
I bought this lens a year or so ago and then got the 16-85VR. The 18-200 is now on Ebay. Unless you need the 200mm (a post above is right, 200mm f5.6 is quite useless except at high noon), get the 16-85vr as it's sharper with better contrast on the D300. Although I have a d700 with 24-70 2.8, my main travel pack consists of the D300 with 16-85mm as it's much sharper than Nikon's full frame equivalent 24-120VR on the D700. Nikon really needs a competitor to Canon's 24-105L
One other thing, the 18-200 200mm is not truly 200 unless you're focusing on something further away. As compared to my 70-200VR, the 200mm on the 18-200 at closer distances is more like 135mm. I think it has to do with the lens' design.
You are talking about infinity for the 200mm to work (basically you can't shoot at 200mm from close up range) and a lot of consumer zooms do that, so it isn't just a feature of the 18-200VR. Doesn't bother me or anyone I know. My shots at 200m from it are pretty good. I'm impressed Nikon built a superzoom that does pretty well at all ranges. Perfect? Nope, but pretty good. That is how the consumer zooms (just like the 16-85) should be judged. It is stupid to compare a consumer lens with a pro lens 99% of the time.
What is funny is I had the 16-85 as my walk around lens and hated it, so I sold it on, guess? Ebay. Thankfully someone bought it for what I paid for it and I got the 18-200 which I feel is a much better lens for the price. The 16-85 I had had the worse distortion I have seen on a lens. I sent it to Nikon and they calibrated it, but it still wasn't to my expectations.
I took a picture of my dog at 5.6 200mm at dawn today as I was leaving to go to work and it turned out pretty decent (easy for PP). The sweet spot of this lens is f8-f11, but it does pretty well at 5.6. Just as good as the 16-85 IMO.
The 16-85 vs. 18-200 war happens all the time on Nikon boards. I know what the reviews say (they are mixed on this subject--everyone can produce whatever review back up their opinion), but I had both and IMO the 18-200 is better. You say otherwise and that is fine.
Both are good lenses for what they are. Walkaround consumer lenses that can deliver fantastic pictures with the right person pulling the trigger.
The 16-85 has a hideous bokeh and a slow max aperture. No go for me.
I like my sample of the Nikon 18-200... find it sharp enough for the 13x19 pics I have done from it. Not as sharp as some of the same sized pics I have done at the same size using my Leica M8 and Leica glass.
I bought my Nikon 18-200VR when it first came out as a "perfect" travel kit for my D50 and 10.5 fisheye lens for my trip to Reykjavik and London a few years back. Also took the Leica D-Lux 3 on that trip. The overall kit was just what I needed to keep things light - and to be open to most any shooting possibilities I came across.
The only down side is that when zooming out, the length of the barrel can seem huge to some - even at more moderate focal lengths. I was doing some shooting at Williamsburg Va with the 18-200; and was approached a few times by folks thinking I was pro photographer - all based on the size of the lens zoomed out. LOL