Should I swap my Tamron 17-50 + 55-200VR for 18-200 VR?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by cutsman, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. cutsman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #1
    What do you guys think about replacing my Tamron 17-50 + Nikon 55-200 VR with the 18-200 VR (with possibly the 50mm f1.8 for lowlight)??

    When I'm out and about, I'm starting to get pretty sick of swapping lenses all the time between my 17-50 and 55-200 VR. My other lenses are the Sigma 10-20 and Nikon 105 VR, both of which I consider more to be specialty lenses which I don't typically use as a "walkaround" and as such, doesn't pose much of an issue in terms of having to swap lenses all the time. The 17-50 however often feels too short when going about and the 55-200 often feels too long, which has up until now, required constant lens changes. Now I'm thinking about the 18-200, but not if I have to sacrifice "significantly noticeable" sharpness.

    I'm very much unsure about this because the reviews for the 18-200 VR seem to be all over the place. Some say the IQ is quite bad, falling short of the 18-55 + 55-200 combo, zoom creep, etc. Other reviews speak highly of its IQ and sharpness, no zoom creep etc. It seems user opinions are just as greatly varied as the reviews... and its really hard to determine the validity of these reviews when one says one thing and another says the complete opposite.

    So I'd like to hear what you guys think about the 17-50 +55-200VR vs. the 18-200 VR. Do you think I will notice a drop in IQ if i went with the 18-200? Will I miss the f2.8 of the tamron? Will eventually getting a 50mm f1.8 compensate for the lack of f2.8 zoom?

    Thanks all!
     
  2. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    I wouldn't. You may end up wanting a faster shutter speed rather than just hand holding for longer, so I would keep the Tamron. The 50mm f/1.8 is still a good buy though since it's even faster.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
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    #3
    Your lenses are similar to mine, so I'll tell you how I feel.

    Trade the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for either a Tamron 28-75 mm f/2.8 or Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8. They're all in the same price, and give you more reach, overlapping with the 55-200 mm.

    I personally like the combo you have. Unlike your Sigma 10-20 mm and Tamron 17-50 mm, I have the Tokina 12-24 mm and Sigma 24-70 mm f/2.8, and want the Nikon 55-200 mm as my next lens. You don't "need" the 17-50 mm because you already have the Sigma 10-20 mm, so a lens that starts from 20-something mm is an easy solution for your problem.

    When I first went with Nikon, it was because I always intended to buy the 18-200 mm VR. However, I eventually went for higher quality lenses instead, and don't own a lens that doesn't have a constant, wide-open aperture. Now I'd never get the 18-200 mm unless I had money to blow. I think it's a useful lens, but it's not going to give me the performance that I have now.
     
  4. iBallz macrumors 6502

    iBallz

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    So. Utah
    #4
    I just bought the 17-50 2.8 today! I hope I like it as much as the reviewers. I have the 18-200 VR and just messing around in the house today I noticed the shutter speed was double with the Tamron 17-50 at the same focal lenghts.
    The 10-20 is no contest. Need to trade that one in.

    So the 18-200 may see less time on the D300
     
  5. cutsman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #5
    Makes sense... the f2.8 of the tamron probably provides anywhere from a half stop to maybe 1.5 stop advantage compared to the 18-200 at overlapping focal lengths, so the doubled shutter speed sounds about right.

    I'd love to hear from you regarding how the image quality compares between the 17-50 and the 18-200 at the same focal lengths/apertures.


     
  6. cutsman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #6
    That's an interesting idea, Abstract. I'll definitely look into this, although I'm not quite sure another 20-25mm on the long end will provide enough reach for me to not have to swap to the 55-200 all the time, which is my current problem. Why can't Nikon make a 24-105 f4 VR? I'd be all over this lens if it existed (no, im not going to switch to Canon!) :eek:

     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    I would nevr give up an f/2.8 lens for an f/5.6 lens. What you should do is walk up closer.

    What I do is simply leave on lens in the car or at home if I don't want to be bothered swapping lenses. Then I miss some shots, but I get other ones. Turns out if I have three lenses or one I still get the same number of shots.

    Try it some day. Just put the 50mm lens on and leave the others. After a while your eyes will pick out good 50mm subjects.

    Now if you went out with a specific subject in mind it would be different. Take the lens best for that. But you say "walking around" so so I figure that means with no subject in mind. So just take one lens and shoot what suits your equipment
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    A 24-70 mm is far better than a 17-50 mm if your problem is reach. After all, you say your wide angle is more like a "specialist" lens you don't carry around anyway. Well 17 mm is quite wide, so if I were you, I'd look at how often you shoot at 17-24 mm focal lengths. If you shoot at such wide angles frequently, then it's obviously indispensible.

    Also, I'd check photos taken with your 55-200 mm to see what focal lengths you used often (not exact numbers, but split the focal lengths up into ranges (eg: 55-70 mm, 71-90 mm, etc)) and see if a Tamron 28-75 mm would solve your problems. Maybe you use your 55-200 mm to shoot between 55-100 most of the time, and so a Tamron 28-75 mm may be a better overall solution for you. After all, that extra 20 or 25 mm you get with the Tamron 28-75 mm/Sigma 24-70 mm is quite a big deal. Focal length is always a matter of diminishing returns, it seems. The difference between 50 and 70 mm will appear more significant than the difference between 180-200 mm, for example. Same thing when you compare 10 mm and 12 mm using your Sigma 10-20 mm. It's only 2 mm, but the difference is enormous.


    Not only will this help us help you, I'm also a curious mofo. ;)
     

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