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Old Jul 31, 2011, 8:02 AM   #1
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Default Help me Replace Nikon 18 - 55mm

Hello everyone,

I discovered the other day that Nikon lenses don't bounce and my 18 - 55mm kit lens has come to an untimely demise on the car park floor!

So I am looking to upgrade this lens.

At the moment I have a D40 which I hope to upgrade to a D5100 later in the year.

I have two other lenses a Nikon 35mm prime and a Nikon 55 - 200mm VR zoom.

My dilema is do I look for a replacement mid range zoom or sell my 55 - 200 and try a Nikon 18 -200mm?

I like the idea of less lens changing but really dont have any complaints with my current 55 - 200mm and is the extra expense worth it?

What other mid range zooms are available that would be a good upgrade from the 18 - 55 kit lens? I am happy to know about non Nikon brands such as Tamron, Sigma, etc..

I love landscape photography and my main range is towards the wide angle so dont mind investing in a good mid range zoom.

Any suggestions would be most welcome in helping me with my re*****h.

Cheers
Tim
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 9:17 AM   #2
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Your 55-200 is better than any superzoom lens you can buy, and superzooms in general have a lot of distortion at the wide end which can adversely affect your landscape photography.

As for standard zooms, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 (non-VC) is the best there is, followed closely by the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 (non-OS). But if you need stabilization, the quality drops, though it's still better than you got with your 18-55. There's the Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC, the Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS, and Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 OS. Lastly, there's the Sigma 18-50/2.8-4.5 OS; it's stabilized, it's better and a little faster than the Nikon 18-55 kit lens, and it's $199.
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 10:16 AM   #3
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There's always the Nikon 18-105mm or the older 18-135mm if you want to keep something that can go to 18mm.
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 10:38 AM   #4
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The Nikon 18-105 and 18-135 that tacticdesigns mentioned are both sharper than the kit lens, and on par with the lenses I mentioned as far as sharpness is concerned, but they both have a lot of vignetting and distortion. Also, the 18-135 isn't stabilized.
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 5:48 PM   #5
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Default Go with the Tamron

The Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 LD XR Di II. Since you have the D40 the VC version is only slightly advantageous if you have a dSLR with movie mode. I have the non BIM (built in motor) version and love it. I haven't tried the Sigma or Tokina equivalents but can say the Tamron and your 55-200VR is a great combination to have over the 18-200mm VR.
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 7:36 PM   #6
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I went through the same delima and it was a tossup between the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and the Nikon 16-85 (or 18-105) Ended up with the Tamron, non-VC. It can be a little confusing, as earlier version did not have a built in motor, while the current version does, so it autofocuses with the D40. Problem is, they didn't give a model name identifier between the two, so it can be an issue if looking at used.
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 8:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the great feedback.

The Tamron sounds like it could be what I am looking for.
I had a quick look on Amazon and you are correct it is a bit confusing to which model is the one to get.
The non VC model will have a motor for autofocusing on my D40?
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 10:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGBall View Post
The non VC model will have a motor for autofocusing on my D40?
Yes.
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Old Aug 2, 2011, 7:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Yes.
That is correct, the current Tamron 17-50 f2.8 Model A16 wiil autofocus with the D40 and other models that require a built in motor (BIM).

***UNLESS*** You are considering the used market. A couple years ago Tamron upgraded that lens from a screw drive auto focus system (D90 and above) to a BIM system (All nikon models). Unfortunately, they didn't change the name of the lens by adding an alphabetical for the BIM and both reflect the abbreviated "Model A-16 label rather than the expanded A-16N (screw drive) and and A-16NII (BIM).

On physical examination, the easy way to tell the difference is apparently the BIM lens has an AF/MF switch on the lens. That is the lens that you want for the D40, and typically the one that is sold new as the other one has been out of production for a couple of years.
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