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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Nikon 18-200 vs. 18-70 + 80-200
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02/19/2007 07:47:30 AM · #1
I have a D80 and the kit 18-70 (great cheap lens IMO). I've been looking at the 18-200 VR but a lot of people are skeptical about it's quality/distortion/etc.

Would keeping the 18-70 and adding an 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF-D be a better option? They're roughly the same price. It seems like the VR at 200mm still wont be as fast handheld as the 80-200 2.8. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Also, is holding out for the 70-200 2.8 VR worth paying twice the money of the 80-200?

Thanks
02/19/2007 07:56:04 AM · #2
i have the 18-70mm lens as well ... i agree, it's a great lens.

i tried the 18-200mm VR and i didn't like it. i went with the 70-300mm VR instead. i'm getting some great results with it. it's not dedicated f2.8, but even at full zoom (which is really 400mm after the 1.5x frame factor) i'm still getting really sharp results handheld with shutterspeeds under 1/100.

i think it's a good combination. the 70-300 is good glass and only $550. it's getting good reviews AND it's a VR 2 lens, refined improvments on the original VR system.
02/19/2007 08:25:57 AM · #3
Get the 80-200 . It is one of the best lenses on the market! Super sharp, fast and quiet. You will not be disappointed.

If you can scrape up a little more $ get the 70-200 VR.

Message edited by author 2007-02-19 08:34:33.
02/19/2007 08:32:44 AM · #4
I owned the 18-70 and sold it to buy the 18-200 VR, my best decision yet! It is my default lens and so versatile, you could do almost anything with it. If you really want to do macro, or sports action, or little birds, of course you could do better if you had the specialised lens for it. I like taking my camera everywhere all of the time, so one "jack-of-all-trades" is very handy.
02/19/2007 08:37:08 AM · #5
Originally posted by super-dave:

i have the 18-70mm lens as well ... i agree, it's a great lens.

i tried the 18-200mm VR and i didn't like it. i went with the 70-300mm VR instead. i'm getting some great results with it. it's not dedicated f2.8, but even at full zoom (which is really 400mm after the 1.5x frame factor) i'm still getting really sharp results handheld with shutterspeeds under 1/100.

i think it's a good combination. the 70-300 is good glass and only $550. it's getting good reviews AND it's a VR 2 lens, refined improvments on the original VR system.

Me too. 70-300 VR is pretty kickass so far, especially for the $$. f/2.8 glass might be a better option, but it will depend on what you shoot.
02/19/2007 08:46:40 AM · #6
Originally posted by valkner:

I have a D80 and the kit 18-70 (great cheap lens IMO). I've been looking at the 18-200 VR but a lot of people are skeptical about it's quality/distortion/etc.

Would keeping the 18-70 and adding an 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF-D be a better option? They're roughly the same price. It seems like the VR at 200mm still wont be as fast handheld as the 80-200 2.8. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Also, is holding out for the 70-200 2.8 VR worth paying twice the money of the 80-200?

Thanks


Obviously it depends on what is important to you. The 70-200 is one of the best lenses on the planet for optical/build quality. The 80-200 is also quite good, but an older lens. These are professional lenses. The 18-200 is a consumer lens - so if you want the range and convenience then go for the 18-200 (if you can find it), but if pure optical quality is your thing, then look at the professonal(heavier) lenses.
02/19/2007 08:56:45 AM · #7
I am kind of debating these very options myself right now.
02/19/2007 08:57:17 AM · #8
Originally posted by nikuser:

Obviously it depends on what is important to you. The 70-200 is one of the best lenses on the planet for optical/build quality. The 80-200 is also quite good, but an older lens. These are professional lenses. The 18-200 is a consumer lens - so if you want the range and convenience then go for the 18-200 (if you can find it), but if pure optical quality is your thing, then look at the professonal(heavier) lenses.


agreed ... but you also have to consider price and weight.

dedicated f2.8 is pricey, 3 times the cost of a consumer zoom. that nice glass also adds a lot of weight.

my kit contains 4 lenses. one of which is the little 50mm f1.8 ... and already my kit is at the point where i don't want it to get any heavier.

so there's a few trade offs. i'm prepared to go consumer versions of lenses because i can't afford $1500-2000 per lens. i also don't want to carry those kind of lenses.

but if you've got the cash, and you're up to the workout ... go for it! :)
02/19/2007 09:05:15 AM · #9
I bought the 18-200mm VR lens about 6 months ago and absolutely love it. It is a very flexible lens for my needs - everyday shooting for fun. If I were relying on a lens specifically for action/ closeups, I would have gone another way. Having the 18-200mm in my bag has reduced my carry weight and number of lenses I need to carry for regular use such as weekend trips and vacations.

The VR is pretty good in modestly low light with a very steady hand (I typically use burst mode to get one in sharp focus when shooting less than 1/60s).

Now I just carry three lenses, my 12-24 Tokina, my 18-200 VR and my 50mm. Good enough for DPC challenges, vacation memories, etc.

Message edited by author 2007-02-19 09:06:50.
02/19/2007 09:20:29 AM · #10
Just my 2 cents but, I'm holding out for the 70-200mm. As has been said before, its very sharp and fast. As for the 18-70, i love mine and use it all the time.
02/19/2007 09:27:41 AM · #11
consider renting the lenses in question from a local shop... use them each for a weekend or two and decide which one you like the best before buying.

It is cheaper than I thought to rent lenses, too ... I'm renting the 70-200 f/2.8 for an entire weekend (Friday - Monday noon) for only $35 from the Penn Camera store near my office.
02/19/2007 09:41:11 AM · #12
Never thought of renting, But I'm holding out for the 18-200 vr. I'd replace the kit lens with this. I agree that the 2.8 would be wonderful too. Too many lenses not enough dough.
02/19/2007 09:46:45 AM · #13
I'd never get the 18-200 as a matter of principle. I bought an SLR to change lenses, damn it! For me, the 18-70 and the sigma 70-300 are good enough...

(The fact that I can't afford the 18-200 has nothing to do with it, of course....) ;-)
02/19/2007 09:56:49 AM · #14
I got the 18-200 VR last year...used it and sold it. I didn't seem to use the VR feature. I really liked it for the "range" but when using it indoors at "plays", even with VR I didn't get the results I wanted.

Now I got the 80-200 f2.8 and it is much better indoors w/o a flash. I have shot in an auditorium at f2.8 at 1/125 at full zoom and gotten sharp results with the shots exposed well. Learn how to hold that baby still, and you will get great results.

I'm now going to put my 105mm F2.8 on ebay and get me a wider zoom such as the 18-70 etc....I sold my kit lens early on.

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