Question about the Nikkor 18-200vr vs 18-55vr and 55-200vr

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 88888888, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2008
    Besides the convenience factor.. are there any other benefits/negatives to the 18-200mm? Is the image quality better or the same? Etc.

  2. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    I can't find an ED version of the 18-55VR but from what I understand at 55 the other two lenses would be wider, which is better, I guess.
    The 18-200 has some great reviews, I know the smaller the zoom range the less defects you probably have, but I suppose it can also save you some money and space in the bag.
    Edit: looks like it doesn't save you money after all..
  3. Ridge08 macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2009
    I just added the 55-200 to my 18-55 kit lens (using the D40 body). Three initial comments from an inexperienced photographer:

    -For a lot of the street shooting I do, I use focal lengths of 35-70mm. It`s really annoying to have to keep changing lenses. It`s gonna be worse when summer kicks in and the air gets dustier if I want to keep my sensor clean. On the other hand, the lower convenience factor makes me think more about what I`m trying to do.

    -The 18-200 is quite a bit more expensive. The money saved will either buy me a holiday, during which I`ll take a lot of (hopefully good) photos, or it`ll go towards a more professional quality lens sometime down the line when I have a much better idea of what equipment will best enhance my photography. Then again, the 18-200 isn`t that expensive.

    -I haven`t mentioned technical stuff because there are websites covering that much better than I can. For example:
  4. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    You may want to look for a used 18-70 such as this one. It's a well regarded lens, and a used version should be pretty affordable.
  5. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    When I had my D40, I had both the 18-55 kit lens and added the 55-200 VR. While both lens' served me well, I would have prefered having the 18-200 for the same reason you mentioned. Someday I may still buy the 18-200 as my "walk around" lens. I currently have a D90 with the 16-85 VR and the 70-300 VR. While I still have to change lens' every now and then, it is less often because of the range of the 16-85. This combo has worked so much better for my style of shooting than the 18-55/55-200. I spent more, but I'm getting so much more out of my photography.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    the 18-200 has it's share if geometric distortion (straight lines rendered as curves) and at 200mm is a bit bigger then most people need. if other lenses are smaller, cost less and do everything you need then the 18-200 is not a good choice. The lens is also rather slow at f/5.6

    The 18-200 is designed for the casual shooter who does not want to carry more than one lens. Typically this would be some one on vacation shooting those typical "vacation shots". This is a pretty large segment of the market. Lots of people use SLRs this way.

    Most people really will never use the 200 end of the zoom. Beginners always think they will need it but really an f/5.6 200mm lens is not all that useful. 200mm is good for sports and wildlife but f/5.6 is not fast enough for those subjects. If you need the 200m you'd be MUCH better off with an 80-200mm f/2.8 lens. But for general use the 18-70 or 18-135 hasall the range you will need.
  7. hogfaninga macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2008
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    I have taken some of my best shots with the 18-200VR and it is fairly fast at f/5.6 for a lens like this. I have the 70-200VR for when I want to be serious and when I shoot sports (which I primarily do), but the 18-200VR can shoot sports fairly well if it is outside (well lit). I know a pro in my area who won 2 money contests with photos taken with it. Of course it isn't his primary lens, but he has it on his camera for quick pics when out and about. As far as using it at his max length, I have used it plenty of times at 160-180mm especially at the zoo among other places and I'm always amazed at this lens (I recommended this lens to 2 friends and they use all of its focal lengths--it does come in handy for newbies). It is very sharp for a zoom that is from 18-200VR. Of course it won't be great at everything(no zoom does), but it is pretty good at everything in my experience. I know some don't care for it, but I could careless. I love mine and 2 of my friends who are excellent photographers loves theirs. The jack of all trades and master of none, is the best jack of all trades there is IMO. This lens get compared to everything and it is unfair. It does great for its intended purpose.

    That said, I think this is the perfect lens for someone who has the money (if not then the 18-55 and 55-200 are fine---I think the 18-200VR will cost about $225 more brand new than those other 2--you pay for convenience--believe me you will love convenience when on a trip or just out and about--switching lens can be a pain ITA a lot of the time) and is just starting out. It will give them all the major focus lengths and allows them to decide what focus lengths best suit their needs. Then they can buy the more specialized glass when they find their niche.
  8. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I've got the original 18-55 kit lens and the non-VR 55-200. Both can produce excellent images, and are really sharp when slightly stopped down. The 18-55 can make a flat horizon appear slightly curved at 18mm, but that's a common thing at 18mm for most similar lenses. The 200 can produce some remarkably sharp and contrasty images. Stopped down just a bit, it's excellent. But it's not a fast lens, either in light requirements, or in focusing action. Not really a good sports lens. If it had more reach, I might use it more.

    But... I find I hardly use the 55-200. I agree that the 55mm focal length just requires too many lens changes if working in the range of the two lenses, and I find that I now just work within the range of one of the lenses for the most part. I think the 18-70 and a 70-200 would be much more ideal.

    I'd say the 18-200 might just get used more in the middle ranges, and be more readily available for shots you'd miss otherwise - just more flexible in street shooting. Image quality should be very similar under most normal conditions of hand-held shooting. Technique will have more of a bearing on your image quality than the lens, so look at the convenience factor.

Share This Page