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-   -   Is 18-200 VR worth it? (

Shari Dec 1, 2008 7:59 PM

Hi - I have a Nikon D40X. I have the 18-55 and the 55-200VR. The thing is that we are going to Switzerland and France in the Spring. I would really rather just take one lense. I live in Canada and the 18-200 lense is $799. plus 12% tax. People say I take very good pictures, however, I am only a novice and have not had much experience with the D40X. I find even now that if I have not taken both lenses with me I often regret it. Thanks for any comments or advice.


mtclimber Dec 1, 2008 9:26 PM


I was in you very same position just about 1 year ago. I went ahead and purchased the Nikkor 18-200mmVR lens, and it was definitely NOT WORTH the price. My 18-55mm and 55-200mm were in the final analysis, sharper, equally or more useful, and by gosh, if I had remainined with the 18-55 and 55-200mm combination, I would have SAVED a whole lot of money.

Sarah Joyce

rjseeney Dec 2, 2008 5:17 AM

The 18-200 is a good lens. Not great, as there is obvious distortion at the extremes, some of which is not easily correctable. However, stopped down a little, it is fairly sharp. It is also lightweight, focuses quick, and incredibly convenient. I think it is a little overpriced, but it is also probably the best lens in its class, and no other manufacturer comes close to it's quality, so maybe price is justified. It really is the perfect one lens solution (or at least a perfect as a one lens solution can be). If you want to travel, and are willing to give up a little in quality, this lens is the perfect option. If you're most concerned with quality, there are certainly better options.

Shari Dec 2, 2008 1:06 PM

Thanks Sarah and RJ. Two different opinions. I will take more time to think about it but I think the convenience might be worth it. After Switzerland we will have a condo in Nice for ten days and be heading out each day from there. I know I would need both lenses each day and the thought of having to keep changing them does not do much for me. I make notecards and people have ordered enlargements and hopefully I can use PS and LR to assist!! I just had an idea - maybe I can rent one for a few days and see what I think. Any other opinions would really be appreciated.

ReneB3 Dec 2, 2008 3:09 PM

I have had no complaints about the image quality of the 18-200.I use it most of the time on my D300. I bought it for NASCAR races where it was not very convenient to have more than one lens in my tiny seat in the stands. I was also juggling lenses each time I had to change them. The one lens solution was a great improvement. I have never regretted buying the lens. I do regret selling my 18-70 that it replaced. I wish I had both.

mtclimber Dec 2, 2008 6:00 PM

The Nikkor 18-200mmVRis convenient I will grant you that. But pin sharp it is not. I prefer using my Nikkor 24-120mmVR with my D-50. It is a better lens.

Sarah Joyce

rjseeney Dec 3, 2008 4:11 AM

mtclimber wrote:

The Nikkor 18-200mmVRis convenient I will grant you that. But pin sharp it is not. I prefer using my Nikkor 24-120mmVR with my D-50. It is a better lens.

Sarah Joyce
The 24-120 is not generally well regarded and is not exactly known as being pin sharp either. In addition to complaints about softness throughout the range, there are problems with flare, and the build quality is really not better than the 18-200. I've used both, and find the 18-200 to be more convenient and comparable in quality, and sharper at comparable focal lengths. Also, for landscapes, this range is not all that useful on the D300 (36-180 equiv). It's not nearly wide enough. For general use, it's not as long as the 18-200 either, so it's not as good a one lens solution. The 18-200 truly replaces two lenses...the 24-120 does not.

Here are Thom Hogan's reviews of both lenses.

Shari Dec 3, 2008 5:03 PM

Thank you RJ for those reviews. Ken Rockwell also has an excellent review on the 18-200. I called about renting one. It is $25. for 24 hrs. Not bad but then again the store where I would purchase has a 15 day full refund policy if not satisfied. I like the D40X body because it is small and fits in my hands well. I will have to see how the 18-200 feels. Boy, when I started getting into photography a few years ago I never realized there would be so many decisions (or expenses!). Thanks again for the help.


cameranserai Dec 19, 2008 6:48 AM

I bought the 18/200 to keep on the old D70 body remembering the old film days and how useful the 24/120 was in those days gone by. However, despite the obvious difference in quality of that combination and the D3/24-70 I still don't use the 18/200 since I'm just not satisfied with the results no matter what camera I put it on. Focusing is sometimes an issue as is distortion. I think I'll put both on Ebay and get rid.

Shari Dec 19, 2008 1:56 PM

Thanks for another opinion but I think Santa is bringing me the 18-200 VR. I will be very excited - but I will use it as much as possible in the 15 days I will have to be satisfied with the item. I have done a lot of research - mostly positive. I am really a beginner with the SLR and for me the convenience will probably outweigh the perfection. The other thing is - I have noticed in some of my research that there can be faulty lense - so it might be worthwhile checking into this. This is the reason we are not buying off Craigslist or Ebey - because we will have the five year warranty and the chance to return within 15 days. Thanks for the input everybody - that is what I wanted.


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