Nikon 18-200mm AF-S Lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MadDoc, May 9, 2008.

  1. MadDoc macrumors 6502

    MadDoc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
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    UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I have the D60 kit with the 18-55mm and 55-200mm AF-S VR lenses. I'm new to photography and having a whale of a time.

    I am wondering what people think of the 18-200mm AF-S VR lens by Nikon. The biggest annoyance I have with my camera is I often get caught short only having one lens on me and I'm wondering if I would be better of getting a wide-ranging lens like this one.

    Has anyone used this lens? Are there are obvious problems with it? Is it greater than the sum of it's parts (i.e. the 2 lenses I already own)?

    Thanks,

    MadDoc,
     
  2. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    Dec 23, 2006
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    #2
    It will be better than the sum of your lenses, and it's sharp as a tack. It's by far the best super tele you can get that also has VR to compensate for that nasty variable aperture.

    The only downside I have with it is the reach. When you extend it to the tele end the lens shoots out about another 8" or more.
     
  3. eddx macrumors regular

    eddx

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    May 12, 2005
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    Manchester, UK
    #3
    The 18-200 has been known to "creep" in certain models - this is where the front element is so heavy that the lens extends to the 200mm point when pointed down.

    Apart from that it is a fantastic lens. I can't recommend it enough.

    You only other option would be to buy a second camera body (maybe a second hand D40x or D80) - then you wouldn't need to swap the two lenses. Of course then you wouldn't have the great advantage of VR
     
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #4
    I have the 18-200 as well, and like it a lot. With my lens, the "creep" issue is only if the camera is pretty much pointing straight up or straight down - so it's not usually an issue for me.

    It's very handy for exactly the reason you are considering it - it's one lens that covers a very wide range with good image quality (for a consumer zoom, of course).

    Since I have found I shoot in/around the 24-70 range most of the time, I'm pretty sure I'll be supplementing the 18-200 by purchasing the new 24-70 lens when I can afford it (which is a pro lens of course, so it's not really the same thing at all). But even if I get that lens, I suspect the 18-200 will still be on my camera quite often - it's such a great walk-around lens. It lets you have a compact, light kit with you while still providing the power of a digital SLR (as opposed to carrying around a compact digital camera).
     
  5. bld44 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 21, 2007
    #5
    The lens will not creep if it is all the way retracted (@18mm) but otherwise it eventually will. Even with the creep, it is a very good lens. I replaced my 18-55 & 55-200 last year with it and don't have a single regret.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    The 18-200 is likely as good as the two lenses you already have. But those who have the better Nikon glass complain that it is a compromise, you give up some quality to gain the conveinance of not having to cary two lenses.

    I think this is why you hear such devided opinion on this lens. Causal shooters moving to the 18-200 from the kit lens see it as no worse then what they had while those who have been "spoiled" by years of shooting with profesional level glass see the lens as "soft" and "optical distortion" and "slow". All things are relative. When someone recommends the lens or does not, ask what they are comparing it to.

    What I do when I can only cary one lens is select one based on the kinds of pictures I want, say I'm outdoorrs and I want "people pictures" so I get my 85mm prime and then I just shoot the shots that the 85mm is good for and pass on other shots.

    My Opinion: If I had the money to spend on a 18-200 I would absolutly rather spend that budget on an 80-200 f/2.8 There is no question that the 80-200 is one of Nikon's flagship lenses, one of the best lenses ever made.
     
  7. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

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    May 6, 2008
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    PHL
    #7
    As long as you are shooting static subjects, and speed isn't important to you, then the 18-200 is a great lens. Personally, I'm not a fan of an "all purpose" lens. I'd rather bring all my lenses with me than have one lens. But if you're just shooting city/landscape shots, this lens is perfect for that.
     
  8. Hello.there macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

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  9. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #9
    While I agree it's a very good lens for the money, I wouldn't call it sharp as a tack. It can be a bit soft, but it still about as good as consumer lenses get. The 70-200/2.8 VR is sharp as tack, and the 18-200 is not in the same league (nor anywhere the price range).

    Mine crept out to 200mm even when I had it collapsed all the way to 18mm. It was very annoying when I carried it for shooting auto races, and is one of the reasons I got rid of it.

    But you can't beat this as an all-purpose walking around lens. Definitely a good buy for the money. It just didn't suit me.
     
  10. Oilbrnr macrumors 6502

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    Jun 15, 2007
    #10
    UPS just delivered mine. Unfortunately I'm still at work. :eek:
     
  11. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #11
    Well, it is what it is. It's not the fastest or the sharpest. Here's one review:

    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon_18-200_3p5-5p6_vr_afs_n15/

    That said, for someone in your situation, I'd recommend it. It gives you an all-in-one solution that's pretty decent. It is also a lens that will allow you to grow. This lens is a perfect starting point for someone relatively new to dslrs. It will let you learn photography and your equipment, it will let you find your style of photography and focal length preferences - and it's relatively cheap.

    Like one of the posters here, I too intend to get the 24-70 2.8 (once supplies are more plentiful), and meanwhile, I'm fine with the 18-200 and a few lenses I borrow from my friend with a Nikon. Seriously though, I'm quite happy with my copy of the 18-200, and there is no creep on mine so far (which, incidentally, can be cured with a rubber band).

    Oh, and btw. don't get the 80-200 2.8 - that's stupid. There's no VR on that one, and you get NO wide angle at all (80 on a cropped sensor is just crazy long if you need a wide angle). I can't imagine it being better as a sole lens than the 18-200 - quite the opposite.
     
  12. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #12
    It's a very popular lens with many happy customers. I'm sure a quick search through the forums will provide you with more information than you could ever want.
     
  13. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #13
    I have it and use it with my D40.

    It is awesome. You can be wide or zoomed in pretty dang far (you know the difference going from the 18-55 to the 55-200...Much more zoom!)

    So, this is basically both your lenses in one with little compromises.

    It's a pretty BIG lens, so people will think you are a pro photographer or a spy or a stalker or something, but it certainly isn't THAT large and is very compact for the range it carries.

    I love this lens. It cost well more than then my D40 and was worth every penny.

    As an aside, I'd also recommend the SB400 flash. It isn't very big and can 'bounce' which makes all your people photographs much, much better then the built in flash, and you can carry it around without looking like too big of a dork.
     
  14. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #14
    Boy, if you think the 18-200 is big, you might want to sit down before you look at the 70-200VR. That's twice as long and 3x as heavy.
     
  15. Oilbrnr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #15
    Well I've had a couple of hours to play with the 18-200, and I can tell you that it has breathed new life into my 'old' D70s friend. Haven't felt this way since I got my F1n in 1984. ;)
     
  16. Driver macrumors member

    Driver

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    May 1, 2008
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    Rollingwood, Tx
    #16
    Don't forget 3X the price as well! :eek:
     
  17. MadDoc thread starter macrumors 6502

    MadDoc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Wow loads of advice, thanks guys!

    I think I am going to pick one up largely as I think it will offer no worsening of quality than I already have (which I am more than happy with) but gives me the advantage of being more likely to get the shot I am after when I am in a purely wandering mood.

    On a side, I will have to wait until next month's pay cheque since I just coughed up for my first speedlight (SB-600) which set me back $450AUD (you Yanks have got it so sweet!).

    MadDoc,
     
  18. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 16, 2007
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    TX
    #18
    The 600 is a great speedlight. Have fun, do well with it.
     

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