Should I sell my 18-105mm and 55-200mm for a 18-200mm?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by peapody, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #1
    I am really on the fence about this - because I have always believed that this lens is out of my reach. But having just acquired the 55-200mm for a nice deal on the market place, now I am considering selling the two for the 18-200mm VR. What do you guys think about this? I want to do wildlife photography so I don't know if I should be looking at a lens with a longer reach and more speed.

    Even if I sell the two lenses I believe I am still somewhat short. Just post your thoughts if you have any guys - I am just contemplating this move.
     
  2. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #2
    No.

    Real wildlife photography is arguably the most expensive genre of photography, along with sports photography. It requires very long lenses, ideally fast in nature. The 300, 400, 500, 600 and the 200-400 are made for wildlife and sports use. They're extremely expensive, and for good reason.
     
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #3
    For wildlife, you should be looking at long prime lenses.

    I'm not very versed in the Nikon arsenal, but on the Canon side there is a 300mm f/4 lens that is a solid bet for non-professional photogs who want top quality without spending $4k on the faster f/2.8 version.
     
  4. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #4
    Yeah, I am by no means a professional. Just a hobbyist. I don't plan on using the 18-200 for wildlife really at all...I guess it is between that lens and the 70-300mm.
     
  5. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #5
    Nikon has a similar AF-S 300/4, and it runs about $1500, if you can find a copy.
     
  6. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #6
    I'd make up your mind on what you want to shoot -- wildlife or no wildlife? Your posts seem to conflict.

    Buy the lenses that will best suit your recurring needs, and if you are going on a special trip with wildlife - rent a lens, it's actually pretty cheap!
     
  7. entergreenland macrumors newbie

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    May 10, 2009
    #7
    If you have a DX camera the zoom will become longer anyway and you can add a teleconverter for some extra length. The 70-300 VR would be my choice as you get the longer range for less money and you can use the left over money to buy a teleconverter to increase the length even more, but this does slow the lens down a stop or two.
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #8
    The 18-200 is a consumer-class all-in-one lens. Kinda like a mini van. It won't be significantly better than the 55-200 (with the exception of VR), though, but you may find it more practical.
     
  9. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #9
    Sorry if I was unclear. What I mean is that this lens seems to just be a better solution than carrying the two lenses I have currently. I would like to shoot wildlife - but if the 18-200mm is something I should just skip (because of the higher cost, and results of the lens), should I skip it to the 70-300mm?

    I would love to rent lenses to test it out but my situation makes it a bit difficult I think (student who likes to go out on photowalks randomly). I'll do some research in that area. Thanks Grimace!

    @Entergreenland, that was my thinking as well...and you hit the nail on the head so to speak of what I have been considering.
     
  10. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #10
    I'm surprised to hear this because of all the rave reviews it gets...and because its significantly more expensive than the two lenses I have right now in its stead.
     
  11. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    #11
    Hi, not to be a party pooper, but I would stick with your 2 lens combo...
    dpreview usually has good in depth reviews on lenses and according to them, the lens is less than great.. its a superzoom and you have compromises in image quality (distortion and softness). Where your other 2 lenses have much better outcomes...(here is the review)

    If you want a really good lens and shoot wildlife, try to get one of the old 80-200mm Nikkor AF lenses. They can be had for reasonable amounts of money , are fast with single aperture (f2.8) and the only thing they dont have is VR, but if you shoot long distance wild life, even VR wont help that much at the far end of your focal length.. Tripod only.

    I have used the 80-200 even handheld with my d90 shooting a fighterjet and it came really sharp. I al actually looking for a copy of this lens for a reasonable price.
    Just my 2 c
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #12
    It's an inherent limit of all-in-one lenses. If you compare it to, say, Tamron's 17-50 mm f/2.8 lens (if you get a good copy), then its IQ will be a lot, lot better. It's just in the nature of things: if you have to cover a smaller zoom range, you can optimize the optics much more efficiently. If you build a superzoom, then by default, you're making compromises.

    For the casual user, the 18-200 mm Nikkor is a very good lens. It's designed for people who buy this lens and always leave it on their camera -- and for this audience, it's doing a very good job. However, if you compare the IQ to, say, one of the 80-200 mm f/2.8 Nikkors, you'll see that it makes a big difference -- if you care.

    So, if I were you, I wouldn't worry so much about it. Get the 18-200 mm and be happy taking pictures. If you find the lens limiting, check back here. We'll be happy to make recommendations.
     
  13. TenPoundMonkey macrumors member

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    #13
    It gets rave reviews for what it is.

    Let me preface this by saying, I own the 18-200VR.

    First the bad:

    It is expensive (to me) for what it is in terms of IQ and build quality.

    There is noticeable distortion on either end of the range.

    It is a very slow lens especially at the far end.

    It's most annoying feature to me is the zoom creep when you tilt the camera forward.

    The good:

    The zoom range is great for an all around walk around lens

    the VR works very well

    My copy is reasonably sharp

    IMO it's a good lens to have for what it is. I would like a faster aperture and would be more than willing to sacrifice some zoom range.
     
  14. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 1, 2008
    #14
    Two more cents

    I'm assuming your 55-200mm is non-VR. Either way, the optical quality of the 18-200mm isn't much better, if at all. You could benefit shooting handheld with the VR, especially if you're shooting birds or other fast-moving animals, but you're still going to be limited by your aperture, and if you really want to concentrate on wildlife and are constrained by budget, you'd be better off getting the 70-300mm VR for around the same price as the 18-200mm. There's not much reason to switch from your current setup to an 18-200mm if you just want to do more wildlife; you don't gain any extra reach, and any benefit you'd get from VR could be replicated by a good tripod.

    However, it sounds like you're just tired of having to switch lenses, and for that, I'd whole-heartedly recommend the 18-200mm. I own one, and have no complaints about image quality, especially considering the class of the lens. Granted, there are certainly higher quality lenses out there (such as my 24-70mm), but if you're just looking for a convenient lens that you can confidently take anywhere, look no further.
     
  15. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #15
    @El Cabong - I have the 55-200mm VR....got it for just $150 flat so if the optical quality of the 18-200 isn't much better haha it would be a waste of hundreds of dollars.

    Thank you for the input guys. It is nice to be able to ask questions to consolidate the wealth of information found on the web. I did not know that the 18-200mm is comparable maybe even weaker than my current set up. I do not mind changing lenses but would like to do so minimally to prevent dust from getting into my sensors and such.

    How is the 70-300mm for wildlife? Will is suffice on a budget or am I barking up the wrong tree?
     
  16. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #16
    Hmm, what is ur budget? You could get a 80-200 AF-S f/2.8 and perhaps attach a 1.4x convertor (which will give you and extended reach without sacrificing too much image quality).

    Since you are using a D80, it will give you a reach of 120 - 300mm which is pretty darn good, heck once you add the 1.4, it will give u a 252 - 462mm which is good enough for bird and wild life. But without the VR, means that you will likely having to bring the tripod along if you can't get a shutter speed of 1/300+ depending on your configuration.

    Oh take note that conversation ratio and such gives you extended Field of View and not extended zoom range, it might look the same but it is not (correct me if I wrote this wrong)
     
  17. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #17
    For wildlife, 300mm is about as short as you want, and that's going to make lots of shots difficult. If you're serious about wildlife and don't have a great budget, look at the Sigma 50-500 or 150-500mm lenses. You'll need a good tripod as well.

    The 300/4 has been out for a long time, and the EDIF versions (no AF on the low-end bodies) are cheaper. However, you can find the AF-S version used for around $1200 if you hunt long enough (will AF on anything.)

    No, the "zoom" doesn't become longer, the crop becomes smaller. You get the narrower angle of view, not additional magnification. The 70-300 at 300mm won't AF with a teleconverter. as it's too slow, and even if it did, you'd be shooting at f/8 with a 1.4x TC.
     
  18. Hls811 macrumors 6502a

    Hls811

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    #18
    I don't know if you're open to 3rd party lenses.. I went with the Tamron 18-270 and have been extremely pleased! Its cheaper than the Nikon 18-200, and gives a little more zoom.
     
  19. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #19
    I've got a tripod that I bring out on the field when I am out specifically to do wildlife - it isn't the best but I make do! How is this sigma 50-500? I'm looking into it right now.
     
  20. Mr Ski 73 macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2007
    #20
    18-200 is not supposed to be that good. Maybe worth going to a shop and asking to take some sample shots?
     
  21. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    #21
    What? LOL OK

    It is a great lens for what it is supposed to be. The raw deal is this lens gets compared to lenses twice it costs a lot of times which isn't fair. I have a number of pro class lenses and many consumer lenses. The 18-200VR is my go to lens for when I travel or don't feel like lugging around my other lenses. It does a very good job.

    I have the 70-300VR and IMO (I know some love it and some hate it--like the 18-200) I don't like it.

    Good luck in your decision.
     
  22. UnclePaulie macrumors regular

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    #22
    To me it sounds like a matter of preference. Would you rather have one lens that covers the entire 18-200 focal length range without switching lenses, or would you rather have sharper/less distorted lenses but have to switch whenever you need more reach or a wider angle?

    My personal preference would be to stick with what you have. I haven't used the 18-200 personally, but I have used both the 18-105 and the 55-200 VR. The 55-200 has great image quality for the price, and reviews I've read online (try photozone.de) show that it puts out better image quality than the 18-200. But then again, it doesn't cover the 18-55 range.
     
  23. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    #23
    I would prefer not to switch lenses all the time, but I would like my purchase to be worth it in terms of image quality. I want to be happy with the results and I guess the "bangness of the buck" hahaa.

    So far I am getting that I should keep the set up I have right now - as the 55-200mm is putting out better image quality than the 18-200mm - which I didn't even know was possible! I am glad that a lot of the posters in this thread mostly agree about this. I feel like I made the right move then!

    In this lens research I am finding that to be serious about wildlife photography - I am going to need much more money hahaha. I guess I shall content myself with landscape =)
     
  24. Mr Ski 73 macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2007
    #24
    I think you are right re cost and wildlife photography. The cheapest solution available would be the 70-300VR which is a good lens and also FF if you ever move from the D80 to the D700 but it is not that long, and you would still need a teleconverter if you are serious. What are you hoping to capture?

    Hogfaninga has raised a fair point regarding walkaround lenses. You have a 18-55 and a 55-200 VR neither of which I would consider to be a classic walkaround and you are probably always switching lenses anyway. I would recommend a Nikon 28-105 Macro, real sharp lens that is not made anymore but will cover 90% of your shots and also has decent macro capability (bugs flowers etc). Worth checking out some 2nd hand listings, you should get one for under £150.

    I would always avoid the 18-200, check out the website talk photography for more info.
     
  25. mcorf macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2008
    #25
    I bought the D90 with the 105 kit lens and was talked into buying the Tamron 18-270 at my local camera shop. The Tamron took great shots outdoors, but indoors it was very slow and the photo quality average. The 18-105 took much nicer pictures overall. I returned the Tamron and was then given the Nikon 70-300VR which took very nice pictures but for me it was too heavy and too much money for a lens I would use a few times a year. So after talking to a friend who shoots professionally I returned the 70-300, sold my 18-105, and bought the Nikon 18-200VR and the Nikon 35mm-1.8 DX. I use the 18-200VR for all my outdoor photos, and it is much faster and has a better picture quality than the Tamron, and I use the 35mm indoors and the pictures are beautiful. The next lens I get will be the Nikon 50mm-1.4 .
     

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