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Old Jun 24, 2011, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default Lens for Nikon D5100

I have recently purchased a D5100 and am contemplating between a Tamron 18-270 3.5-6.3 PZD or a Nikon 18-200 3.5-5.6 for a lens. I currently have the Tamron but am not totally sold on it, especially its sharpness, so therefore I'm considering the Nikon. I would be using it primarily for landscape work. Any thoughts or comments from others who may be familiar with either would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 6:32 AM   #2
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None of the superzoom lenses is as good as multiple lenses of less ambitious zoom ranges. They all suffer from distortion at the wide end, chromatic aberration at the long end (at least), and softness at both ends. Unfortunately, they often aren't even very good in the middle.

The Tamron 18-270 is one of the best of its kind, and if you're not satisfied with it, then you should give up and try something else.
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 8:52 AM   #3
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What TCav said.
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Old Jun 25, 2011, 8:43 AM   #4
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The Tamron 18-270 is a great lens so long as you understand its sweet spot. If you avoid the extremes in apertures and shoot around f8 and pull back on the zoom just a bit at the long end, this lens should serve all your needs. On the other hand, if you are a pixel peeper and are forever on the hunt for ultra sharp images, you need to be looking at lenses that cost you over $1,000!!!

I own the Tamron 18-270 and use it on my D90. It works great as a compact travel lens and it has not dissapointed. FYI, I also own the +$1,000 Nikon lenses, but I use them strictly for aviation photography which is an entirely different application.

If you are looking at mostly landscape work, you should consider a wide angle zoom (12-24, 10-24 etc). Sigma and Tokina have some good lenses in this zoom range that should fit your needs as well.
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Old Jun 25, 2011, 9:59 AM   #5
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I think it's worth noting that alptrekr already has the Tamron 18-270 3.5-6.3 PZD and he's not satisfied with it. I think it's also worth noting that Nikon's kit lens plus any of their stabilized, consumer grade, telephoto zooms will perform better and cost less than the Tamron 18-270 3.5-6.3 PZD. An excellent choice to suppliment the Nikon kit lens is Tamron's SP AF70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD, and it will still come in under the cost of the 18-270.
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Old Jun 26, 2011, 11:15 AM   #6
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I am assuming you already have the 18-55mm VR kit lens with your D5100. It would be redundant to get either lens if you really want to shoot landscapes.
Keep in mind there is distortion control option built-in that will work with only Nikon lenses and not third party lenses. If you want the convenience of an all in one I have the first generation of both lenses you had mentioned. I like the Tamron better. Choices are out there and each of us will have differences in what results we get from what we buy/use. Some copies can be a dud or even the camera for that matter. All things being equal, I would get the Tokina 12-24mm for landscape and get the Tamron SP AF 70-300mm Di VC for zoom in good light.
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Old Jun 26, 2011, 3:44 PM   #7
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Nikon's distortion control reduces sharpness in corners where distortion is most apparent, but where sharpness is already not very good. For landscapes it doesn't matter much, but for cityscapes it can degrade image quality while trying to improve it.
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 11:35 PM   #8
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Default Lens for Nikon D5100

Sorry for the long delay in getting back to everybody - and thanks for your replies. First, I was able to return the Tamron as I really was not happy with it. Secondly, I did nor get the kit lens with the D5100 as I preferred to put that money toward a better lens. Now that I'm back -I was gone for awhile -I'm once again looking into a lens for this camera. I'm going to shelve the long zoom until I have more time to research what's appropriate for me and fits my budget. So I'm now considering a shorter zoom. I really like the reviews on the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 DC IF and unless I hear something derogatory about it , I'll probably go that route, thus taking care of my shorter focal length needs.
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Old Jul 8, 2011, 6:30 AM   #9
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The Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 is a very good lens. That's a nice zoom range, it's a fast lens, and it does 1:2.3 macro to boot. it's not stabilized, however, and the stabilized 17-70/2.8-4.0 isn't as good. Another very good lens is the unstabilized (non-VC) Tamron 17-50/2.8. If you need stabilization, the Sigma 17-50/2.8 isn't as good, but it's stabilized. The stabilized Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC isn't as good as any of them.

There's also the Sigma 18-50/2.8-4.5, which is stabilized, it's faster, and it's at least as good as the kit lens. Plus, it's not very expensive.
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Old Jul 9, 2011, 2:28 PM   #10
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TCav -Thanks for your comments on Sigma's 17-70/2.8-4.5. I'm still leaning in that direction. I'm not too concerned that it doesn't have VC, especially with a lens of this speed and focal length - unless I was doing some very close work and for that it would go on a tripod, which I'm used to using anyway for a lot of shots. When it comes to "macro", I'm wondering what it would be like with an extension tube. I have an older one (M13?) that I used on my F2A. Of course I realize that everything would be manual and depth of field would be very shallow - but hey, that's macro.
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