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Old Apr 18, 2014, 5:31 PM   #1
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Default Piggy bank is a little emptier now....

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tropidale/13928411533/

Despite mixed reviews I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Nikon 18-200 jack of all trades lens. Bought a factory refurb so that I wouldn't blow my whole budget if it turned out to be a disappointment.

Well it's raining here in Tampa, so trying it out in the great outdoors was a bust, for the most part. However, often my photo jaunts take unexpected turns. I start out with one idea in mind that doesn't pan out, but end up stumbling onto an even better photo op than what I had planned, just when I am ready to pack it in.

When the skies opened up, I threw in the towel and pulled in to Baskin Robbins to console myself with a Cappuccino Blast. Is I turned into the parking lot, there, sitting pretty as you please, was a cattle egret atop somebody's shiny black SUV. I ended being able to go birding without even getting out of my car. Attached is the link if the photo doesn't show up here. I still haven't figured that out....

For the little bit I have shot with the lens, I think it will be fine for a walk-around lens. It is so much lighter than my Tamron 70-300, and focuses closer allowing me to do many types of shots without having to change lenses, exactly what I was looking for. I certainly see that it can shoot soft, but I also see that it can shoot sharp and detailed as well. I think it will demand better technique and thinking on my part. I'm ok with that.
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Old Apr 18, 2014, 9:10 PM   #2
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Raining in Florida????

Looks like you will be having fun with that lens when the sun comes out. The Cattle Egret is very sharp. I have heard it can deliver some very good results. I am waiting on an email from B&H Photo regarding the new 16-300 Tamron. Of course, that may be pushing the envelope a bit, but if anybody can pull it off, it will be Tamron. (Of course), I will let others rush in and buy it first, and then read their critiques.
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 6:42 AM   #3
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Default The best of it's kind

You've made a good choice. I've had mine for 6 years and have taken literally 1000s of shots with it on three different bodies.
I know the pixel peepers don't like it because it isn't as good as a prime lens. But if like me you don't want to carry a bag full of primes then I think it's a great lens. I print only up to A4 I look at my photos and videos on my 42" full HD TV, also my PC and on all these my photos look fantastic. I entered various photos into competitions winning some, I've never had a complaint that my shots weren't sharp enough. Of course it will only take shots within it's own range but anybody knows that and goes for the bag of primes.
There are good alternatives out there but if you look closely they are either slower at focusing or hunt more in low light (something that would bother me).
So enjoy it as I do and don't miss shots while you are changing to a longer/shorter lens.
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgwild View Post
Raining in Florida????

Looks like you will be having fun with that lens when the sun comes out. The Cattle Egret is very sharp. I have heard it can deliver some very good results. I am waiting on an email from B&H Photo regarding the new 16-300 Tamron. Of course, that may be pushing the envelope a bit, but if anybody can pull it off, it will be Tamron. (Of course), I will let others rush in and buy it first, and then read their critiques.
Have fun with that new Tamron, Hawg.
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Old Apr 19, 2014, 11:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadshot View Post
You've made a good choice. I've had mine for 6 years and have taken literally 1000s of shots with it on three different bodies.
I know the pixel peepers don't like it because it isn't as good as a prime lens. But if like me you don't want to carry a bag full of primes then I think it's a great lens. I print only up to A4 I look at my photos and videos on my 42" full HD TV, also my PC and on all these my photos look fantastic. I entered various photos into competitions winning some, I've never had a complaint that my shots weren't sharp enough. Of course it will only take shots within it's own range but anybody knows that and goes for the bag of primes.
There are good alternatives out there but if you look closely they are either slower at focusing or hunt more in low light (something that would bother me).
So enjoy it as I do and don't miss shots while you are changing to a longer/shorter lens.
Thanks for the reinforcement, Deadshot. I depend on others' validation more than I like to admit.... I think I am going to really enjoy this new purchase. And the sun is finally back out today. Wahoo!
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Old Apr 20, 2014, 6:32 AM   #6
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Some years ago I saw on a photographers site,( I cant remember which now) but what the poster was saying was, that within each lens there is a certain amount of glass and the bigger the zoom range the more glass there is.
O K so what he did with a good quality prime lens was to stack up clear glass filters and kept taking the same shot with continually added filters. These filters weren't stacked using the screw in type but they were laid on glass to glass. It was very interesting and it did illustrate the detrimental effect of too much glass. In effect it eventually showed shots taken with an approx 1" or more thick piece of glass in front. So there really is a point of no return on short to long zooms. Possibly lenses have been getting thinner over the years, they certainly have got a lot lighter.
A fair time ago I used to have a 65 x zoom spotting scope with a 100 ml object lens, on a sturdy tripod (it weighed a ton) I used it for competition shooting and that at full zoom wasn't much good, unless it was very sunny. Strangely it had a conversion ring on it to allow it to be used for photography but I never tried it.
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SB 700 Flash
Holster + Shoulder Bag.
Beike carbon 4 section tripod/monopod
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Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic FZ200
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Old Apr 21, 2014, 7:37 PM   #7
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Default A few images from the 18-200

Took the new lens to Fort Desoto and got mixed results. Pretty cloudy day but fairly bright and lots of birds to practice on. It was fun but I had a lot of throw-aways, as I expected. (Hopefully I was successful in attaching a few of my better shots here.) If not, they are on my flickr account link if you are interested. Softness is certainly a challenge without the sun, but I also think my technical choices and technique need work too. So, I am not ready to give up on the lens yet.

Thanks again for everyone's input.

Dale
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Old Apr 21, 2014, 7:39 PM   #8
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Default Yuck! Look at the flickr versions instead

Hmmmm... these look much softer on this site than they really are. Flickr is much more representative, if you want to check my link.
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Old Apr 22, 2014, 5:01 AM   #9
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You're not alone, I never seem to be able to post a photo thats anywhere near as good as it really is .
Go into my profile and look at some of the shots I have posted. All of them taken with the same lens. I do get some cracking low light shots having said that with very few throw aways.
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SB400 Flash, ML-L3 Remote.
SB 700 Flash
Holster + Shoulder Bag.
Beike carbon 4 section tripod/monopod
Gorillapod SLR Zoom + BH1 ball head
Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic FZ200
Nissin D i40 Flash
+ SLR Gorillapod
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Old Apr 22, 2014, 11:20 AM   #10
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Deadshot, do you have a flickr page? I went into your Steve's profile but didn't see a link to images aside from just one of the doves in the backyard. (garden??) Would love to see your photos!
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