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Old Apr 24, 2009, 10:29 PM   #1
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I just saw that the Ritz by my house is going out of business and they have one of these on clearance for $325 (normally $429). Is this a decent lens? Would a sigma, tamron, or nikon be better? I don't know much about this brand of lenses. Oh, and I'd be using it on a D90.

http://www.amazon.com/18-200-3-5-6-3...076&sr=8-6

Thanks!
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 12:28 AM   #2
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That one appears to be made by Sigma.

As with most 18-200mm lenses, optical quality leaves a lot to be desired (distortion, corner softness, etc.).

Here's a review of a Sigma 18-200mm OS lens:

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1007/cat/31

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Old Apr 25, 2009, 8:11 AM   #3
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If you really want the convenience of a lens with that much focal range from wide to long (given that you'll usually find compromises that can result in less than desirable optical qualities), I'd suggest looking at the Nikkor 18-200mm or Tamron 18-250mm (not the Tamron 18-200mm, which is not as good as the newer 18-250mm).

These two lenses get the best marks for optical quality in this lens category (keeping in mind you're trading higher image quality for the convenience of an "all in one" type lens. The Nikkor is going to focus faster and is also stabilized.

Tamron also has a newer 18-270mm VC (Vibration Control) lens. But, reports are mixed on how well it performs compared to the Tamron 18-250mm.

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Old Apr 25, 2009, 9:48 AM   #4
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JimC wrote:
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If you really want the convenience of a lens with that much focal range from wide to long (given that you'll usually find compromises that can result in less than desirable optical qualities), I'd suggest looking at the Nikkor 18-200mm or Tamron 18-250mm (not the Tamron 18-200mm, which is not as good as the newer 18-250mm).

These two lenses get the best marks for optical quality in this lens category (keeping in mind you're trading higher image quality for the convenience of an "all in one" type lens. The Nikkor is going to focus faster and is also stabilized.

Tamron also has a newer 18-270mm VC (Vibration Control) lens. But, reports are mixed on how well it performs compared to the Tamron 18-250mm.
So the 18-250mm tamron does not have vibration control? The Quantaray does, which is one reason I was looking at it. Do you think the tamron would still be a better choice?

Oh, and is this the tamron you are talking about?

http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-18-250m...675&sr=8-2
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 10:20 AM   #5
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Yes, that's the Tamron 18-250mm (and it does not have stabilization in your lens mount).

The optical quality of the Tamron 18-250mm is much better than the 18-200mm lenses from Tamron or Sigma (and I'd personally avoid the 18-200mm lenses from Sigma or Tamron; ditto for that Quantaray).

If I were buying one of those for my camera, I'd probably go for the Tamron 18-250mm (or the Sony branded version of it, which is geared for faster focusing). But, I'm shooting with a Sony A700 now and it would be stabilized on my camera (thanks to in body stabilization).

With the version of the Tamron 18-250mm lens for a Nikon camera, one downside is that you don't get stabilization. So, if you're shooting in lower light often where camera shake comes into the equation, stabilization could tilt the scales in the other direction (towards one of the lenses with stabilization built into them). The conditions you plan on using it in more often would make a difference with your camera.

You may also want to look at the newer Tamron 18-270mm with VC (Vibration Control) built in. From what I can tell from reviews, it's got better optical quality compared to the Tamron or Sigma 18-200mm lenses, too. But, reports are a bit mixed as to whether or not optical quality is as good as the Tamron 18-250mm.

If you want stabilization in a similar zoom, the Nikkor 18-200mm is a good bet as "all in one" lenses go (keeping in mind that you'll usually get better optical quality using a lens with a less ambitious focal range from wide to long).. The Nikkor is going to focus faster (thanks to AF-S) and it's got a very good stabilization with a newer generation VR system. But, it doesn't reach out as long as the Tamron 18-250mm or 18-270mm lenses. There are pros and cons to all of them.

Here are some reviews that may help out:

Tamron 18-250mm review at photozone.de

Nikkor 18-200mm review at photozone.de

Tamron 18-250mm review at slrgear.com

Tamron 18-270mm review at slrgear.com

If you read through the reviews at slrgear.com, you'll see some comments as to how a lens compares to other similar models (for example, note the comments in the Tamron 18-270mm review mentioning that it's sharper through most of the focal range compared to the Nikkor 18-200mm (except for it's longer end, where both lenses drop off in sharpness a bit), and this Tamron has Vibration Control built in. But, keep AF speed in mind, too (as the Nikkor is going to focus much faster).

You may also want to look at the newer Tamron 28-300mm lenses with VC (Vibration Control) built in, depending on whether or not you will use the wide end of a lens very often.

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Old Apr 25, 2009, 10:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info, Jim! That's a lot to look at. I was checking out the tamrom 28-300, but I didn't see one for Nikon's - is that correct?

So much to look into - all these lens choices are making my head spin. And, maybe you don't know the answer to this, but I'll just throw it out there. I was pretty happy with the image quality of my panasonic FZ20, even at full zoom, for what I use it for. Do you know which of the tamron/nikon lenses would be similar optical quality to the panasonic? And what is the 250mm comparible to (6X, 8X)? I just want something similar to my panisonic - I really love that camera. It might not always have taken the best pics, but it was good enough for me.

I have decided not to get thequantaray. I think the the tamron18-250 would be perfect, except for that dang lack ofstabilization.So, maybe the nikon 18-200with the faster focusing and VR. I don't shoot in a lot of low-lightsituations, though, so maybe the tamron would be OK. AGH!!!! :?

ETA - I found one moreTamron that seemed to havegood reviews. Any opinions on the 28-300? Looks like it has vibration control, too. http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-28-300m...91&sr=8-10




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Old Apr 26, 2009, 8:03 AM   #7
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I haven't seen any reviews of that lens yet in more controlled conditions. Popphoto.com seemed to like it. But, I usually take their reviews with a "grain of salt" until seeing credible reviews from sites like photozone.de or slrgear.com.

http://www.popphoto.com/Reviews/Lens....3-XR-Di-VC-AF

The older 28-300mm (non-VC) lenses had a reputation for being a bit softer at it's longer end (as you'll find with the other "all in one" lenses like you're looking at now).

But, many users seemed to like it, despite the optical compromises you'll find in a lens with that much focal range from wide to long, and image quality is very subjective (with viewing/print sizes needed coming into the equation). For many users, convenience is more important than having the best optical quality (i.e., using more than one lens to cover the same focal range as these types of lenses).

There is no perfect lens, and all of them are going to be a compromise in one area or another (focal range from wide to long, distortion, available apertures/brightness, color, contrast and sharpness at various focal lengths and apertures, focus speed, size, weight, cost and more).

Just keep in mind that you'll have a narrower angle of view (more apparent magnification) for any given focal length using a dSLR with an APS-C size sensor like the D90, as compared to the same focal length lens on a 35mm camera. So, a lens like that 28-300mm would give you roughly the same angle of view you'd have using 42-450mm lens on a 35mm camera (multiply the focal length by 1.5x to see how angle of view compares) That's one reason many lenses designed for cameras with an APS-C size sensor start out at around 18mm (because you can only backup so far to get what you want into the frame, depending on what you're shooting).

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Old Nov 15, 2009, 12:34 AM   #8
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I know I'm late to this party...but...you can see three photos i took in august by clicking the link below and scrolling down

for those who like me are on a tight budget...I picked up a quantaray 18-200mm OS for $190 on craigslist about a year ago. Strangely, they say this lens is sharper then the nikon at only at 18 and 200mm. It is a re-branded sigma and now goes for about $400. It can be a little softer at wide apertures, but in the florida sunshine it certainly isn't hard to step down for a slightly sharper picture...at least 7.1....and the sweet setting f9-11. I used it on a d40. Please excuse any minor noise, I used 800 or 1600 to catch my bucs at pre-season practice in august...this was my first attempt at sports photography....there was no post processing...only some cropping and re-sizing. Oh, i found this lens to be a little warm...no problem...I set my d40 at 1a, sharp +1, contrast +1

I wanted you to see the images right out of the camera, before working with them

The cheerleaders' photo is a bit uneven...they sort of came out of nowhere and i don't think would pose just for me...I unfortunately still had the iso at 1600...if I had to do it again, I would have drooped it to 200 and used the flash to fill in the shadows

SEE MY PICS WITH THIS LENS:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/nikon-lenses/161417-zoom-lens-reccomendation-nikon-d70.html#post1019240

Last edited by gregg; Nov 15, 2009 at 12:38 AM.
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Old Nov 15, 2009, 3:00 PM   #9
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Wow, the team looks pretty good too!
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 3:39 AM   #10
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ha

here's one I cropped quite a bit and did post process...this one was taken at raymond james stadium...the bucs opened the stadium up for one night of a 2 hour pre-season practice...I took this from the stands
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Last edited by gregg; Nov 16, 2009 at 3:26 PM.
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