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Old Oct 9, 2010, 12:43 AM   #1
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Default Which lens is the closest for multipurpose?

I'm just curious if Nikon has any multipurpose lens preferably with zoom that could be used as a workhorse if budget didn't allow for the more fancy lens.
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Old Oct 9, 2010, 9:06 AM   #2
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Actually, multiple lenses of less ambitious zoom ranges produce better image quality and cost less.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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Nikon has the 18-200 which is good (still a little pricey). Then there is the new 28-300 meant for FX, and also pricey. I have the Tamron 18-270 VC which for about $450 is a good walk about lens, especiallly suitable for travel. This is the only non-Nikon lens that I own, and I purchased it especially for travel so that I did not have to haul my selection of heavy glass.

Of course none of these lenses (including the all purpose Nikon lenses) are by any means fast lenses. But it is a trade off. If budget is a consideration, you may want to loook at the Tamron or Sigma 18-250.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 4:27 AM   #4
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@TCav and jelpee

Hi guys, new to camera world here. I would like to ask a couple of questions..

1) I don't quite understand the essence on getting multiple lenses instead of 18-200mm?

2) Why do people still get the 10-24 or 12-24mm lens when they already got the 18-200mm? Is it because of the wider view (10mm and 12mm)?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 7:04 AM   #5
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The image quality of a superzoom lens isn't as good as more specialized lenses. The 18-200 is a 'jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none' lens; it is capable of doing many things, but it doesn't do any of them well. Superzoom lenses tend to have a lot of distortion and chromatic aberration, and are usually not very sharp at either or both ends of the zoom range.

The convenience of not having to change lenses is offset by the lower quality images obtained by using these lenses. Plus, they're often more expensive that multiple lenses with less ambitious zoom ranges that produce better images.

So the convenience of a superzoom lens comes at a significant price.

The advantage that dSLRs have over P&S digicams is that you can use lenses that are designed especially for what you want to do.
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Last edited by TCav; Oct 12, 2010 at 7:07 AM.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 9:19 AM   #6
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LGWGM,

TCav I believe has answered your question very well. Having said all of that however, image quality (IQ)is in the eye of the beholder! The multi-purpose lenses have exellent IQ for most purposes so long as you operate them within their sweet spots (usually in the mid range f/stops...say, f/8 through f/20). At the extreme ends, there is visible softness. Same thing at the long end of the zoom. Again, it may only be visible when the image is viewed at 100%. Bottom line is, in the lab, there may be various parameters that show up as weak, that are typically quite OK in normal every day usage. For pro's, the IQ is super critical...therefore, they stay away from multi-purpose lenses. For my own usage, having an f/2.8 constant aperture lens (@$2K) is important for aviation photography; here is an example of the IQ from it :


The multi purpose zooms are just not fast enough and at the long end of the zoom, just not sharp enough to pass muster at a site like www.airliners.net.

On the other hand, when I travel, I take only my ($400) Pentax 18-250 which works just fine like shown here:



Depending on your needs, either of the options would be good.

Last edited by Wingman; Oct 13, 2010 at 9:44 AM.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 2:39 PM   #7
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@TCav and jelpee

Thanks a lot for the very informative replies. (hope I can +rep you like the laptop forum I used to go)

@ jelpee
I'm don't quite understand on these, can you elaborate a little?

it may only be visible when the image is viewed at 100%.
i.e., when/where do you use 100% zoom?

For pro's, the IQ is super critical

Is it because they zoom beyond 100% on a certain part?


EDIT:
Very nice photos bro!
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 4:33 PM   #8
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I think that jelpee is saying that there's a difference between "Good" and "Good Enough", and while some people "pixel-peep" by critiquing their efforts by examining their photos at 100% magnification, or print hevily cropped images at 20x24, for the vast majority, superzoom lenses are good enough.

My first dSLR lens was the Tamron 18-200. I bought it becasue I though it could do everything. I was wrong. I quickly recognized and didn't like the softness or the distortion or the chromatic aberration. When I look at the test reports from SLRGear.com and PhotoZone.de, I see in their tables and charts exactly what I saw in my images (without pixel-peeping.) Newer superzoom lenses have gotten better, but they're still not as good as a combination of less expensive lenses that you'll have to switch occasionally.

And, btw, images posted here are resized, and here's a topic on Why a resized photo is no use in showing camera quality
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 6:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LGWGM View Post
@TCav and jelpee

Thanks a lot for the very informative replies. (hope I can +rep you like the laptop forum I used to go)

@ jelpee
I'm don't quite understand on these, can you elaborate a little?

it may only be visible when the image is viewed at 100%.
i.e., when/where do you use 100% zoom?

For pro's, the IQ is super critical
Is it because they zoom beyond 100% on a certain part?


EDIT:
Very nice photos bro!


i for one can vouch that i got a special 18-200 from Amazon.
very sharp and no softness.

Dave
T&T
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 8:14 PM   #10
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@TCav
I quickly recognized and didn't like the softness or the distortion or the chromatic aberration.
Was the chromatic aberration on 18mm and 200mm (min and max) only or?

Regarding the 100% magnification, can you give an example where would one use at that size without cropping the image?


@dave
Thanks for sharing. Will take note ^^
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