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Old May 28, 2006, 1:31 AM   #1
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We have the Nikon 18-200 G DX AF-S VR zoom, the ultimate large range zoom.
(Without AF-S and VR there also are 3rd party zooms with a similar range.)

The "all-in-one" zoom can not be beaten in conveniance and comfort.
But how about image quality? Or low light action shots?
Would a combo of two (or more) zooms be better?
Would be nice, if one (or more) of these zooms could be used on full frame too. (For film now. For digital "tomorrow", who knows.)

Which combo of zooms could rival or improvethe 18-200 AF-S VR?

Kind regards,
Jan Wakker

Looking out for info about lenses (Nikon, Tokina, Tamron, Sigma) or Nikon DSLR? You might take a look at the Link Collection:
http://home.zonnet.nl/famwakker/nikonlinkslenseswelcome01.htm


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Old Jun 2, 2006, 1:18 AM   #2
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For every action there is a like reaction. In other words the compactness, lightness and general usability of the 18/200 comes with a downside and that is the f3.5/5.6 aperture. If you want to get better performance then the Nikon professional range of lenses is your only option but be prepared for a hefty bill and also get into weight training. I carry the D2X, 17/55 and 70/200 f2.8 lenses most of the time and that adds up to 3.3kg (7lb)excluding the bag and accessories. Or in european terns that makes three and a half bags of sugar! Oh, I forgot the SB800 flash which is another 350gms so make that four bags of sugar.

Yes that would give you in certain situations superior performance, but the 18/200 is on my shopping list to go on my D70 as a light travelling all purpose lens. I don't want all that kit with me on holiday, I want to relax. There is no substitiute for big glass in certain circumstances, for example for bokeh, but the VR II system gives you back four stops so it seems the perfect compromise lens to me.
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 9:52 PM   #3
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I've done a review of my Sigma 18-200 and put it on my website at: http://www.speakeasy.org/~yeh/Sigma/Sigma.html
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 1:01 AM   #4
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Hi Wowzer,

Wowzer wrote:
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I've done a review of my Sigma 18-200 and put it on my website at: http://www.speakeasy.org/~yeh/Sigma/Sigma.html
Thank you for pointing me to your review.

After a first impression (I didn't made full size comparisons yet), I think the difference between the Sigma 18-200 and the Nikon combo 18-55 + 55-200 is not too dramatic.

Although there are differences, it's a bit hard to judge, because you didn't use the same apertures in every comparing pic.

Also, within the indoor comparisons you didn't use the same flash technique, some are direct, others are indirect.

The colors of the Sigma are less warm than from the Nikons, different than I expected.

The different viewing angle (gettingmore pronouncedat closer distances) at the same focal length is not a specific issue with the Sigma, it happens with all super zooms.

Your conclusion is a bit short, maybe you can make it more detailed?

Thank you and kind regards,
Jan Wakker
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 1:15 AM   #5
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Hi Cameranserai,

cameranserai wrote:
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For every action there is a like reaction. In other words the compactness, lightness and general usability of the 18/200 comes with a downside and that is the f3.5/5.6 aperture. If you want to get better performance then the Nikon professional range of lenses is your only option but be prepared for a hefty bill and also get into weight training. I carry the D2X, 17/55 and 70/200 f2.8 lenses most of the time and that adds up to 3.3kg (7lb)excluding the bag and accessories. Or in european terns that makes three and a half bags of sugar! Oh, I forgot the SB800 flash which is another 350gms so make that four bags of sugar.

Yes that would give you in certain situations superior performance, but the 18/200 is on my shopping list to go on my D70 as a light travelling all purpose lens. I don't want all that kit with me on holiday, I want to relax. There is no substitiute for big glass in certain circumstances, for example for bokeh, but the VR II system gives you back four stops so it seems the perfect compromise lens to me.
Yeah, there is no doubt that the 17-55/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 combo will outperform the 18-200 quality wise. As for the ease of use, things are different, like you said. There is a place for both.

Looking at the difference in cost, it is not fair to compare this. What would be a comparable combo (price wise, till about 1.5 times the price in total) which gives better image quality overall and is (at least partly) usable on full frame too?

Kind regards,
Jan Wakker
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 2:41 PM   #6
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Hi Jan Wakker,

I use the 18/200 "VR" on my D-200 and find it will do just about anythingI want to get from it. I shoot weddings and at times the church is very dark and the "VR" function allows me to use 1/30th second shutter speed and 4.5 aperture with a Nikon SB-800 flash. The quality of my final photographs are always excellent and I have never had a single complaint about anything, ( Well, maybe about the price I charge)

I had a D-100 and 24/120 lens before this set-up andalways got the job done.

Prior to the D-100 I used Hasselblad equipment and had to lug around 50 pounds of stuff to get good wedding pictures.

The Digital cameras are the only way to go anymore and the D-200 with the 18/200 "VR" lens is perfect for weddings and I reallydon't thinkcan be beat. Sure the 80/200 2.8 is excellent, but for other then fast moving sports it is no better then the 18/200. The 18/200 will focuse much closer so is way more suited for wedding photography.


Ronnie.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 1:30 AM   #7
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Hi Ronnie,

Ronnie948 wrote:
Quote:
Hi Jan Wakker,

I use the 18/200 "VR" on my D-200 and find it will do just about anythingI want to get from it. I shoot weddings and at times the church is very dark and the "VR" function allows me to use 1/30th second shutter speed and 4.5 aperture with a Nikon SB-800 flash. The quality of my final photographs are always excellent and I have never had a single complaint about anything, ( Well, maybe about the price I charge)

I had a D-100 and 24/120 lens before this set-up andalways got the job done.

Prior to the D-100 I used Hasselblad equipment and had to lug around 50 pounds of stuff to get good wedding pictures.

The Digital cameras are the only way to go anymore and the D-200 with the 18/200 "VR" lens is perfect for weddings and I reallydon't thinkcan be beat. Sure the 80/200 2.8 is excellent, but for other then fast moving sports it is no better then the 18/200. The 18/200 will focuse much closer so is way more suited for wedding photography.


Ronnie.
The 18-200 VR is indead a very interesting "one lens for all purposes" lens. I really like it for that, there are lots of situations, where conveniance is very important. The VR2 works great too.

That the 18-200 is only for DX, is a limiting factor too me, but that doesn't make it less interesting for DX usage.

What I really don't like, is the very strong lineair distortion on the wide end, from 18-24. That distortion is too strong for me. The Tokina 12-24 performs much better and ads the 12-18 range too.

You also mentioned the 24-120 VR, which was on my list too. I'm not so sure about it, there are lots of mixed opinions. The VR is tempting and usefull, but it seems to have less image quality than the 28-105. Don't know how large the difference will be.

That's why I'm thinkingat a combo of maybe 3 or 4 lenses to travel with, or a smaller selection from it in specific usage:

Tokina 12-24/4 D, Nikon 28-105/3.5-4.5 D, Nikon 28-200/3.5-5.6 G. For low light the Nikon 50/1.4 can be added. There is a small gap from 24-28, which is not that important to me. There is a large (100%) overlap with the 28-105and the 28-200, but the 28-105 performs better from 28 to about 80 and offers semi macro (1:2) too. And there is not always the need for longer tele. That's why this kit seems to be an interesting (relative) budget solution to me.

Ilike to hear opinions about this. Or other solutions/options.

Kind regards,
Jan Wakker

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Old Jun 19, 2006, 7:01 AM   #8
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Jan Wakker wrote:
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That the 18-200 is only for DX, is a limiting factor too me, but that doesn't make it less interesting for DX usage.
Do you still shoot film?? If so I can understand the limitation. If your waiting for Nikon to release a full frame DSLR, well, I just don't think that's going to happen. Canon's 5D hasn't set the world on fire, and Nikon just doesn't think a full frame is necessary.

Your kit seems solid, however, I'm not sure you need the big overlap with the 2 telezooms. I know each has their strength, but I would probably go with one or the other. If you take the shorter option, look at getting a 70-300. If you take the longer, look at maybe a dedicated macro...Sigma and Tamron have some quality macro lenses at good prices.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 10:08 AM   #9
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Hi rjseeney,

rjseeney wrote:
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Jan Wakker wrote:
Quote:
That the 18-200 is only for DX, is a limiting factor too me, but that doesn't make it less interesting for DX usage.
Do you still shoot film?? If so I can understand the limitation. If your waiting for Nikon to release a full frame DSLR, well, I just don't think that's going to happen. Canon's 5D hasn't set the world on fire, and Nikon just doesn't think a full frame is necessary.

Your kit seems solid, however, I'm not sure you need the big overlap with the 2 telezooms. I know each has their strength, but I would probably go with one or the other. If you take the shorter option, look at getting a 70-300. If you take the longer, look at maybe a dedicated macro...Sigma and Tamron have some quality macro lenses at good prices.
Thanks for thinking along with me.

Yes, I still use film now and than. And yes, I'm thinking of the future too, Nikon might not say it and might not have plans to go full frame soon, but that time will come.
Maybe not for getting more pixels and resolution in the first place, but for a more sensitive (light strong) sensor with less noise and a larger dynamic range. Time will tell.

For now opting for the 2 (more or less) midrange zooms seems "overdone". But this way I can either use the best qualities/ranges from both, or I can choose the most suitable one for a specific trip or expected situation.

I do think of the 70-300 too, but I'll (have to) wait for the expected new 70-300 AF-S VR. Maybe later this year. (;-)

And a macro will come in too, but later down the buying road, this will be the Tokina AT-X PRO 100/2.8 Macro.

Even when I someday will have 2.8 zooms in the mid and tele range (which will be great, expensive, large and heavy), the lenses mentioned above will still have their value for traveling light situations. That's my idea.

Kind regards,
Jan Wakker
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 9:29 PM   #10
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I don't know that full frames time will really come. In reality, it's not really necessary. With the image quality that APS sized sensors produce, and already useable images up to ISO 3200, I don't know that the extra cost in producing full frame sensors, is worth the results. Results at high iso's are already better than what the equivalent 35mm film produces. I also don't know that full frame guarentees better dynamic range. Thus to me, "Full Frame" is just a point of reference. As we move farther and farther away from the 35 mm standard, the need for crop factors will be reduced and eliminated.I have small children who will likely never use film and won't understand what crop factors are or be able to relate to a 35 mm standard. I also think we're not that far away from wider angle lenses which will eliminate one of the advantages that film has over digital.
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