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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Nikkor 18-200mm VR vs Tamron 18-200mm XR Di II
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06/30/2006 03:50:05 AM · #1

I am in the middle of making decision which lens to buy. It's either Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-f6.3 VR or Tamron 18-200 f3.5-f6.3 XR Di II.

Dispite the price different, the Tamron is light weight and has a Macro capability. While the Nikkor is more expensive and has a VR. To overcome the Macro I am yhinking of putting the close up fiter on Nikkor lens and I can walk with that one lens then.

I really need oppinion from you guys on deciding which lens to buy. As for you info, I am currently unisng D70s and plan to upgare to D200 by early next year. Thanks.

06/30/2006 03:53:55 AM · #2
If you are willing to pay the extra amount for VR I would recommend it.
06/30/2006 04:13:18 AM · #3
But my question is, is worth to pay extra? Got the VR but no Macro. What about the picture quality, then?

Thanks
06/30/2006 06:34:15 PM · #4
The Nikon lens is in a whole different class from the Tamron. First, it's a f3.5-5.6 which means it's slightly faster on the long end. Second, the VR will allow handholding at 3-4 stops slower shutter speeds than the Tamron, especially important with the relatively slow aperture at 200mm on both lenses. Third, the Nikon has AF-S which means that it will focus *MUCH* faster and more quietly than the Tamron. Finally, the ED glass is just sharper. If you have the money for the Nikon and can find one, there is absolutely no reason to even look at the Tamron. It's sole real advantage is cost. As for the so called macro advantage, the Tamron focuses up to .45 meters according to their website. The Nikon will focus to .5 meters. Tamron chooses to call that 1:3.7 ratio macro. The Nikon is probably about a 1:4 ratio. If you want to use either for real macro photography you'll need either extension tubes (not recommended as these are already relatively slow lenses) or use a closeup filter. The best close up filters use two elements. Canon makes one called the 500D in 72mm size (Nikon's only come in 52mm and 62mm) and it combined with the Nikon 18-200 should give you the best all around package for a light weight do anything set up.
06/30/2006 06:44:21 PM · #5
The 18-200 VR is a great allround lens, if you want to buy in that range it is a great buy. If you want to do Macro, buy a dedicated macro lens.

07/04/2006 11:53:38 AM · #6
Eric, thanks a lot for your kind advice. I really like the idea of combining the lens with the lens. I will have a try of that combination first. But, the 18-200 VR is really attracted me.

Thanks again
//www.pbase.com/zainudin
07/07/2006 12:20:28 AM · #7
As a novice photographer, I recently purchased the Tamron 18-200mm DI, I put it on my Rebel XT and recently did a 6 week tour of SE Asia (mainly Philippines and Cambodia), I really put it to work in Cambodia especially around the temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Tom. Worked fine for me, although as a novice photographer I have nothing to compare it to (besides the kit lens it came with). I'm sure Nikon is an overall better lens, but for the price this Tamron sure seems nice.
07/07/2006 12:33:43 AM · #8
Just to confuse matters, why not look at the Sigma 18-200mm lens? It also has the price advantage over the tamron (but not a lot cheaper) and the nikon (a lot cheaper). Has anyone compared the results from the Sigma, Tamron and Nikon?

Me? I'm saving for the nikon.... I've got enough crappy glass, time for some quality.
07/12/2006 01:37:40 AM · #9
Really curious as to 'how much better' is the 'nice glass' from the Nikon better than the Tamron or other cheaper lenses. In what instances do you really notice it?
07/12/2006 02:11:09 AM · #10
I have the Tamron 18-200 for my Nikon (the 18-200VR wasn't released yet when I bought it). It is not a bad lens, and I have had a lot of keepers shot with it. There are some CA problems when shooting wide open, but not overwhelming. If the 18-200VR were available back then, I'd probably have bought it over the Tamron, but now, after a little time has passed, I am not sure whether that would have been a good idea.

By the way, I read a number of comparisons with the Sigma 18-200, and I gathered that the Tamron 18-200 has a slight edge over it. I don't have any links ready, but searching the Web should yield some results.

What I would advise against (if you are seriously interested in photography, that is) is the one-lens-for-everything mindset. Sooner than later you'll want better glass for specialised use (macro, portrait, landscapes). And, having had a taste of better glass, you would, likely, be reluctant to use the 18-200 anymore.

I find myself walking around with a much heavier, but faster and optically superior 35-70 f/2.8, while the 18-200 is sitting peacefuly on the shelf. It might see its day, though, for instance when I'll go hiking, where weight is important.

I think that the greatest advantage of having a dSRL over a P&S is, actually, the ability of having specialised lenses. Don't rob yourself of that ability; use the $700 towards a better lens or two. Or, maybe, buy the Tamron 18-200 for its weight and use the other $350 towards a good macro prime or something like that.
07/12/2006 02:23:09 AM · #11
Originally posted by tboxcar:

Really curious as to 'how much better' is the 'nice glass' from the Nikon better than the Tamron or other cheaper lenses. In what instances do you really notice it?


IMHO, quite a bit better. Good glass will always show in side by side photos. It is especially apparent in detailed or complex shots. Less distortion and CA issues, if any.

As for the 18-200 it will never meet the same high quality as primes or tele lenses that stay within the 3x or less rule. An example is the Nikon 18-200 vs the 70-200, not even close.

With that said I have been very impressed with the Nikon 18-200. The VR works exceptionaly well and seems to get me more stops than earlier generations of VR. Color is good and I see very little CA or distortion. I have the Tamron 28-300 and it is very bad in comparison, can't speak to the Tamron 18-200.

I happened to have uploaded this photo I took on my home last night. Shot handheld at 1/8 sec.
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07/12/2006 03:03:00 AM · #12
Originally posted by jbsmithana:

Good glass will always show in side by side photos. It is especially apparent in detailed or complex shots. Less distortion and CA issues, if any.

From the many shots and reviews that I've seen, the Nikkor 18-200's distortions are pretty high, nothing to brag about. CA are less of a problem, but are mentioned quite often, too. The 18-200 VR is a lens that compromises optical performance for convenience; for me the question is whether I want to pay $700 for such a compromise. $700 can buy a real jem, like, with luck, a used 85/1.4 or an 80-200/2.8.
07/12/2006 03:15:23 AM · #13
I have the Tamron 28-200, it gathers dust in the bottom of my spare bag, I will be getting the Nikon 18-200 VR as a walk around lens sometime later this year.

The Tamron was fun for it's size and convenience but I'm not happy with the 'feel' of the images that it produces.

Get the Nikon
07/12/2006 03:16:17 AM · #14
Originally posted by agenkin:

Originally posted by jbsmithana:

Good glass will always show in side by side photos. It is especially apparent in detailed or complex shots. Less distortion and CA issues, if any.

From the many shots and reviews that I've seen, the Nikkor 18-200's distortions are pretty high, nothing to brag about. CA are less of a problem, but are mentioned quite often, too. The 18-200 VR is a lens that compromises optical performance for convenience; for me the question is whether I want to pay $700 for such a compromise. $700 can buy a real jem, like, with luck, a used 85/1.4 or an 80-200/2.8.


I don't disagree that there are compromises with an 11x telephoto. It is just that you get less of them with the Nikon and you get VR. If you do not need or want VR I would go with the Tamron. I bought my Nion 18-200 for travel. My 70-200 2.8 VR stays on my camera most of the time.

Good glass is worth it and you are correct you might be able to pick up an 80-200 2.8 for the difference.

Good luck.
07/12/2006 03:20:31 AM · #15
BTW - not sure which reviews you are reading but you might want to look here. Bjørn Rørslett is quite respected.

Nikon Lens Reviews
07/12/2006 03:29:21 AM · #16
Originally posted by jbsmithana:

Bjørn Rørslett is quite respected.

No kidding, his site is the first on my list of review pages. :)

From his review, on distortions:

Geometric distortion is complex, going from strong barrel at 18 mm, almost none at 24 mm, to end up with pincushion at the longer focal lengths. There are higher-order components involved too, so the curvature is non-linear and this is seen towards the periphery of the image. The "wave" or "moustache" distortion means you need to be careful shooting architecture or other subjects having straight lines, unless you confine the zoom setting at 24 mm.

Later, on CA:

Chromatic aberration (CA) is quite well controlled, but is easily seen for landscape subjects when you employ the longer end of the lens. Blue fringing occasionally was an issue for some high-contrast subjects, and is less easy to handle in your post-processing workflow than the traditional purple or red/cyan CA pattern.

Not arguing with you, just chatting. :)
Now, if only Bjorn would review third-party lenses!
07/12/2006 03:37:07 AM · #17
Originally posted by colda:

I have the Tamron 28-200, it gathers dust in the bottom of my spare bag
...
Get the Nikon

The Tamron 28-200 is a whole different lens from the Tamron 18-200. The fact that you didn't like the former tells us nothing about the latter, which you haven't tried.

This is not to say that the Tamron is better than the Nikkor - most likely the opposite is true, but without a repeatable comparison nothing really can be said.

My friend has the 18-200VR, so one day I do plan to compare the two lenses. Until then, the only thing that I know for sure is that the Nikkor is slightly faster on the long end, and has VR. :) These two reasons alone may be enough to convince many to shell out the extra $350, though. :)
07/12/2006 05:09:32 AM · #18
I have the 18-200 VR and love it. I think having the VR is a huge benefit and the feel and quality of the lens kills the Tamron..I had the 28-300 which is a completely different lens, and while it was nice, it just feels so flimsy compared to the Nikon and I would imagine it is a similar build quality to the Tamron 10-200. I think there are other benefits like metal mount as well. The VR has had some great reviews as well. The shots that come from the VR have a great colour and sharpness.
07/12/2006 05:17:30 AM · #19
i hate everyone of you that has the nikon 18-200 i've been on a waiting list since december!!! grr glad you guys love it though
07/12/2006 11:33:36 AM · #20
Originally posted by agenkin:

Originally posted by jbsmithana:

Bjørn Rørslett is quite respected.

No kidding, his site is the first on my list of review pages. :)

From his review, on distortions:

Geometric distortion is complex, going from strong barrel at 18 mm, almost none at 24 mm, to end up with pincushion at the longer focal lengths. There are higher-order components involved too, so the curvature is non-linear and this is seen towards the periphery of the image. The "wave" or "moustache" distortion means you need to be careful shooting architecture or other subjects having straight lines, unless you confine the zoom setting at 24 mm.

Later, on CA:

Chromatic aberration (CA) is quite well controlled, but is easily seen for landscape subjects when you employ the longer end of the lens. Blue fringing occasionally was an issue for some high-contrast subjects, and is less easy to handle in your post-processing workflow than the traditional purple or red/cyan CA pattern.

Not arguing with you, just chatting. :)
Now, if only Bjorn would review third-party lenses!


No offense taken. But in the end he rates the lens a 4 for what it is, pretty high on his scale. Again, an 11x zoom will never be perfect.
08/11/2006 02:11:26 PM · #21
Ok, Heres my question, I have a Tamron 28-300 Minolta mount, and a Nikon D70 body, should I buy the Sony Alpha or the Nikkor 18-200 vr being that the Sony body is about $150 more than the Nikkor lens. The other important point is that I am a one lens person for the most part. So I would not be changing lenses to get the advantage of having the VR in the camera body vs the lens.

Message edited by author 2006-08-11 14:13:38.
11/02/2006 10:10:06 PM · #22
I am confused whethere Sigma 18-200 is better than Tamron 18-200 or not, I have Nikon D50 ,and need some help deciding which one I should go for?
Thank you.
06/04/2008 12:16:35 PM · #23
you can see a good sample to compare pictures here
//www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikkor18200mm/page4.shtml

You will see that the tamron is not as sharp as the sigma but otherwise, the tamron is better than the sigma, especially when it comes to corner sharpness and vignetting. Both lenses have pros and cons, which is better is more up to your preference in this case.

As for Archanut, the sony IS gives you about 2 stops while nikon lenses give you 3 on the older lenses and 4 with the newer ones. You will also be giving up the second dail for manual shooting and on top of the sony body you would have to get an other lens...
As far as I know, you will have to pay up if you want:
-an internal focus (or back-ring focus)which is a great advandage (one of the most important points in my decision of Nikon 18-200 vs. other brands)
-macro
-sharpness
-verry low CA and other factors associated with high quality glass
on the sony because those are all charateristics you will not find in cheap lenses. This probably means an extra 300-400$ if you stick with a good quality 3x zoom (18-55ish lens) and if you want the full 18-200 rage, you will have to pay up about 500$ and loose the advantage and quality of the nikon lens. Nikon quality 18-200 lenses will not longer be available to you.
Do not forget to factor in the cost of memory too because as far as I know, sony uses SD not CF.

All and all, you should add about 600$+taxes (on top for you 150) if you plan to go with the sony, - what you get for selling your D70 (less than 300$, I just bough a D70s for 340, side-grading from canon XT with kit lens, 50mm prime and EF-S 70-300 IS zoom to get the nikon 18-200 VR. I hike allot and for me carrying the extra bulk was no longer an option, epseically when chaging lenses always entails huge risks in my conditions)

Ps. 45 or 50cm refers to the distance betwene the object and the sensor, the actual distance betwene the lens and the object is more around 18 cm with the nikon :)

Message edited by author 2008-06-04 12:53:51.
10/08/2014 01:08:41 AM · #24
Hi,

I have a Nikon D3200 DSLR camera with the default lense (18-55). I need to buy a lens now, but unable to decide which is good. I'm interesting for the Macro photography too.

Which lens is better from the below or introduce me a better one.
-Nikkor AF-S DX VR 55-300mm
-Tamron 18-200mm (XR)
-Nikkor AF-S DX VR Zoom-55-200mm
Or any other?
10/08/2014 03:00:48 PM · #25
No experience with the Tamron, but of the Nikons...

55-200 is a really good lens for the price. If you're very price sensitive this can be a good choice. The 55-300 is a better lens, both build quality and optics. An even better choice would be the 70-300 VR. A used 70-300 would be about the same price as a new 55-300, and it is a much better lens.

There is also the Nikon 18-200, if you want a decent single lens solution. Used 18-200's are very reasonable, especially the first version of this lens. The only difference between the v1 and v2 versions is a lock to keep the zoom from creeping, but the v1 is significantly cheaper on the used market.
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