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Old Aug 2, 2007, 1:06 PM   #1
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I am thinking of buying a D40 and for now I only want one zoom lens to keep attached at all times. My first choice would be the 18-200VR but it's way out of my budget right now.Since the D40 only takes AF-S or Sigma HMS lenses, it looks like the 18-135mm is the best way to go. Are users of this comb happy with the image quality? Thanks.
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 6:25 PM   #2
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I bought a D80 Kit with the 18-135mm lens and although it is a good all-round lens, I will point out that it suffers from barreling and pincushioning (barreling = looking likeyour pictureexploded outwards from the middle,,, pincushining = looking like it is sucking inwards from the outer edgestowards the centre of the picture)..The barreling is most noticable at 18mm up to about 25mm and the pincushioning can be noticed as the zoom moves up to the higher focul lengths. While some people like this effect, I hate it. In wide open scenes, you will never notice these effects but where you have lots of straight edges, vertical and horizontal, like in a city, you can see it quite clearly and its annoying to me, BUT, as I said - some people like this wide angle type of effect...

My brother has the 18-200mm VR lens and raves about it, BUT, it toosuffers fromthe same effect, as indeed do most zoom lenses which have a minimum focullength below about 30mm andzoom up by about a scale of 3x or more (eg.. 17-55,, 24-72,, 18-200,, 18-135 etc), whichalso may suffer from this, but not always. It seems to be that about 40 - 50mm (give or take a few mm) is the point at which this barreling effect seems to stop on most average zoom lenses, although it depends on the particular camera/lens combination and many other design factors as zoom lenses are a compromise at best..For this reason I now own a 24mmfixed lens for the wider shots, a 50mm Std and 60mm Micro for normal and macro work, a Sigma 70-200mm HSM with a 1.4x teleconverter for the short/medium distance shot, andI just addedthe new Nikkor 55-200mm VR lens to my arsenal which is turning out to bea little beauty. It's all plastic, including the mount, but what a little gem this is turning out to be. The more I use it, the more I am loving it. It is my first VR type lens and once I learned how to properly take advantage of VR, I started to get some incredible results. Every now and then an El Cheapo lens happens along and you have to snap it up. For the price they were asking for the 55-200m VR, I had to ask myself "hmmm why so chaep?" but this is a budget lens with VR technology, and it works...

Anyway, the image quailty of the 18-135 lens is quite good. Colour is as good as you can expect from most Nikkor medium budget lenses and if you put aside the distortion which I talked about above, the lens is quite usable and can take quite a good series of focul length pictures. The 18-200mm VR is more or less much the same in results only as the zoom goes up towards 150+mm the shaprness may drop of a little, according to what I have read, but my brothers shots reveal some nice still (thanks to VR) shots at all lengths, and if the shots lose a bit of sharpness, it's hard to notice and Photoshop can easily fix it.

If price is a part of your final decision, you may want to look at,, rather than a D40 with an 18-200VR,, a D80 with an 18-135mm as the price difference between the 18-135mm and the 18-200mm VR is about enough to make you think of putting it to better use, to get you off the ground. This way you can add lenses at a later date and have a slightly better camera, although they tell us that the D40 is no slouch. If you have made up your mind on the D40, and you can afford the 18-200VR, then this would be the better choice simply for the "VR" - it DOES work, and well too...
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Old Aug 6, 2007, 1:26 PM   #3
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I have the D40 with the 18-135mm and am very pleased with the combination for general walk around, candids at social occasions, etc. It is on the camera most of the time, but I also have the 18-55 kit lens, the Sigma 10-20mm, and the 50mm 1.8. Although the 1.8mm lens is fun for subject isolation and low light, the combination of the D40, 18-135mm plus SB600 flash is much better where flash can be used. I have no complaints about image qualitybut the review on photozone.de gives you some idea of its negative points. I ruled out the 18-200mm VR on cost and weight grounds, but may go for the 70-300mmVR at some time for longer reach.
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Old Aug 6, 2007, 1:37 PM   #4
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1eyedeer wrote:
Quote:
I have the D40 with the 18-135mm and am very pleased with the combination for general walk around, candids at social occasions, etc. It is on the camera most of the time, but I also have the 18-55 kit lens, the Sigma 10-20mm, and the 50mm 1.8. Although the 1.8mm lens is fun for subject isolation and low light, the combination of the D40, 18-135mm plus SB600 flash is much better where flash can be used. I have no complaints about image qualitybut the review on photozone.de gives you some idea of its negative points. I ruled out the 18-200mm VR on cost and weight grounds, but may go for the 70-300mmVR at some time for longer reach.
Thanks. I ordered both a Canon XTi and the D40 to compare the two and will keep one. I am leaning toward the D40 because of build quality and it felt better in my hand than the XTi. I hate to change lenses - a quirk for a DSLR owner, I know - and so I'd like one telephoto to keep on all the time. The 70-300VR looks great and at a good price point too, but I wish Nikon, Sigma or Tamron would come out with a lens like the Tamron 18-250mm with VR that would fit on the D40 at around the same price it is now.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 2:08 PM   #5
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Justinian wrote:
Quote:
1eyedeer wrote:
Quote:
I have the D40 with the 18-135mm and am very pleased with the combination for general walk around, candids at social occasions, etc. It is on the camera most of the time, but I also have the 18-55 kit lens, the Sigma 10-20mm, and the 50mm 1.8. Although the 1.8mm lens is fun for subject isolation and low light, the combination of the D40, 18-135mm plus SB600 flash is much better where flash can be used. I have no complaints about image qualitybut the review on photozone.de gives you some idea of its negative points. I ruled out the 18-200mm VR on cost and weight grounds, but may go for the 70-300mmVR at some time for longer reach.
Quote:
Thanks. I ordered both a Canon XTi and the D40 to compare the two and will keep one. I am leaning toward the D40 because of build quality and it felt better in my hand than the XTi. I hate to change lenses - a quirk for a DSLR owner, I know - and so I'd like one telephoto to keep on all the time. The 70-300VR looks great and at a good price point too, but I wish Nikon, Sigma or Tamron would come out with a lens like the Tamron 18-250mm with VR that would fit on the D40 at around the same price it is now.
Quote:
UPDATE:
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I returned the Canon XTi because on Full Auto the shots were grossly underexposed, whereas the D40 shots in the same mode were beautiful. The D40 came w/ the kit lens and I just added a 70-300VR which is outstanding. I will probably sell the 18-55 and buy the 18-135 as my general walk around lens and use the 70-300VR for longer range shots. I also picked up a fairly new Tamron 90mm macro lens. So I am all set. Thanks for the advice and I must say that the D40 is the best camera I have ever owned. It is definitely a keeper! :|
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