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-   -   Nikkor: 18-200mm VR versus 55-200mm kit lens. (

PoweredBySoy Feb 28, 2006 11:27 AM

Shopping around online, I've come up with the following prices:

Nikon 18-200mm VR DX Zoom $750
Nikon AF-S DX 55-200mm $225

That's a difference of $525! A pretty big chunk of change for me.

Of course, a lot depends on the user as well. I'm going to be buying a D50 shortly (body only) - my first DSLR. I'm coming from a Panasonic FZ20. I do mainly nature and landscape photography, with little to no sports. Any fast action photography would probably just consist of frightened wildlife. I do take some candid portrait shots, but not too often.

As such, I have my heart set on a Tokina 12-24mm for my first lens. I love wide-angle outdoor photography. But I will need a second lens to compliment it, something with moderate to long focal lengths. And right now I'm trying to decide between the two I listed above.

The VR lens focuses faster - but given I don't do sports or much fast action, would the 55-200 suit my needs just as well? Meaning, even though it focuses "slow", will it still be fast enough?

I do own a tripod, and since Nikon recommends not using the VR with a tripod, am I paying an extra $500 just for the convenience of not having to use it?

Any thoughts or opinions from someone that has owned both of these lenses? Or there any other major factors I'm leaving out?

Thanks, guys.

moeview Mar 20, 2006 7:13 PM

the nikon vr stands for vibration reduction. So when in use of the zoom it's more solid. better for fast action and just better all around. I would recomend working your way up to the vr lenses. I want one too but I want to make sure it's something I can really use. good luck.

Ronnie948 Mar 23, 2006 7:10 AM

I was using the 24/120 "VR" nikon lens and just purchased the 18/200 "VR" nikon lens. I wanted the extra width. It also features a mode to shoot from a moving vehical. The "VR" features are a great asset to any lens. It works well on the 24/120 but I'm finding it is even better on the 18/200. They must have added an improvement. The 18/200 will focus much closer then my 24/120 and it seems to be very sharp and perfect color at any focal length. The thing to watch is to remove the lens hood if using the built in flash on my D100 or D200 cameras. The 24/120 had the same shadow problem because the hood covered some of the flash light at the bottom of the frame. No problems at all with an external flash.

mtclimber Apr 1, 2006 11:01 AM

I am very much like Ronnie. I own and have used the Nikkor 24-120mm VR lens with my Nikon D-70 and now, with my newly acquired D-50, and have really liked it a lot. After reading many very positive user reviews of the new Nikkor 18-200mm VRII lens, I went ahead and ordered than lens too.

Based on my own experience, VR really does work quite well and the lens quality, build quality, and durability of Nikons lenses is great. Being a DX series lens, I can also bank on the compact size of the 18-200mm lens, making it an excellent walk around lens.


mtclimber Apr 1, 2006 3:27 PM

I realized when re-reading this thread that while comments have been made primarily about the Nikkor 18-200mm VRII lens, that your original issue was really not addressed.

You can google reviews on the Nikkor 55-200mm DX lens, there are several out there. In a nutshell, you have to realize that those two lenses are dramatically different. Yes, the obvious difference is the $550+ (I have found as much as $610 difference in price) difference in price. But beyond that you will find that the 55-200mm DX lens is the slowest of all of the DX lenses in terms of focusing. To achieve maximum sharpness it must be used stopped down and it will benefit your images if you use a tripod.

However, if you are not doing professional images, and if you understand its weaknesses, you can get a very small light lens that will give you very creditable service, and save a lot of bucks in the process.


mtclimber Apr 6, 2006 9:01 PM

I received the Nikkor 55-200mm lens the day before yesterday. While it is not extremely fast (meaning to have large/wide apertures) lens, it is a very sharp, very compact lens, with an excellent build.

Mine was delivered for $199, which is a long shot away from the price of the new 18-200mm VR at$800+. I honestly think it is very fair indeed to call it a very viable alternative lens, that will save you a bundle.


genece Apr 7, 2006 12:41 PM

If I could handhold a 200mm lens I would not pay for the VR but I can not handhold at that magnification....also I only paid 699.00 for the 18 to 200 VR....I was aware of my problems handholding even back in the film I was surprised how well the VR works...In fact I now have a 80 to 400 OS lens and am truely amazed at how well the stabilization works.

wadge1 Apr 7, 2006 1:29 PM

Hi ya genece

How did it go with the sigma 80-400 any pics yet.

Thanks to your advice i have now bought the d50 and i'm very happy with the camera.

Would be interesting to see your pics from the 80-400 lens and the d50 i'm looking to buy a bigger lens so fire away.



wadge1 Apr 7, 2006 1:37 PM

Okay so i'm a bit slow just seen your other post and checked out the pictures very nice indeed and they are all handheld with the 400mm lens amazing


genece Apr 7, 2006 8:19 PM

Thanks... I took a bunch more today and I am satisfied with the results ...maybe not pro quality but not bad.

I think they really are prettygood ( at least for me) as I am pretty shakey.....and I have no doubt if I get some time to PP some of the photos they will be pretty darn good for an amateur.

If I keep practicing I may be ready for my vacation.

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