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Old Aug 30, 2008, 4:26 PM   #61
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JimC wrote:
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To match the wide end of your R1 with a lens on the dSLRs you're looking at, you'd need a lens starting out at 16mm (which would give you the same angle of view as a 24mm lens on a 35mm camera).

If you want something even wider than you're R1, you'll need to look at other lenses that start out even wider than 16mm (and there are a number of them that do start out wider, but those won't go as long as a lens like the 18-200mm).


I think such a lense will be expensive. Wide is not a major consideration now. Howevr now I understand that If I decide to get a lense wider than my R1(wider than 16mm) it won't go as long as an 18-200mm lens. This is part of the comporomise you were referring to earliere in the thread. I can't get everything in one lens. On the other hand that is the beauty of buying a dSLR, its versatility to get as many lenses as you require for different shots.

So do I have your blessing with my choice. Now I have to decide if I should keep or sell my R1 once I buy the dSLR.



( By the way is there any lens by any manufacturer that will give you great width without compromising focal length).
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 5:00 PM   #62
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They're all a compromise in one area or another. ;-)

You just can't get a single lens that excels at everything.

A lens like the Nikkor 18-200mm is a very versatile lens. So, it's a popular choice for many users looking for a single lens solution (or a separate walk around lens to use when it's not practical to carry more than one lens with them).

Does it have it's drawbacks? Yes. Because it's got a much greater focal range from wide to long, design compromises had to be made. It's not as bright as many lenses, because it just wouldn't be practical from a size/weight perspective. Ditto for things like distortion, edge sharpness at all apertures/focal lengths, etc. etc. It's what some users refer to a as a "jack of all trades and master at none".

In other words, you're going to need to sacrifice some things in order to get a lens with that much focal range from wide to long.

As all in one type lenses starting out that wide go, it's hard to beat (only the Tamron and Sony 18-250mm lenses come close to it in the ultra zoom category starting out this wide). You can read one review of it here:

Review of Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens at photozone.de

As a general rule, a lens with a less ambitious focal range from wide to long is going to have higher optical quality (although you have very good and very bad lenses within a given type). But, you have more convenience with a lens like that Nikkor (because you have more focal range from wide to long without worrying about changing lenses, which is not always practical to do when a shot presents itself).

In the end, you'll need to decide what's more important for the type of images you want to capture. Chances are, your skill as a photographer is going to be the limiting factor for getting good shots in most conditions, and you may not even notice the differences between different quality lenses, especially in good light.

There is no one perfect choice. ;-)

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Old Aug 30, 2008, 5:20 PM   #63
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Greatestboss wrote:
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( By the way is there any lens by any manufacturer that will give you great width without compromising focal length).
No. The short focal length is what gives the wide view. It's like wanting a box that's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 5:27 PM   #64
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( By the way is there any lens by any manufacturer that will give you great width without compromising focal length).
No (if you mean starting out even wider and going as long as that Nikkor).

There are some lenses starting out wider. But, those won't go anywhere near 200mm on their long end.

If you want something even wider than your R1's lens, here are a few choices you can look at:

Nikkor 12-24 mm f/4
Tokina 12- 24 mm f/4
Sigma 10-20 mm f/4-5.6
Tamron 11-18 mm f/4.5-5.6

If you want something as wide as your R1 (i.e., something starting out at 16mm), I'm not aware of any that go much over around 105mm or so on their long end.

You can see some of Nikon's lenses here (look at the wide angle zoom and standard zoom categories).

http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Ni...ngle-Zoom.page

Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina also offer a wide variety of lenses.

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Old Aug 30, 2008, 5:59 PM   #65
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A D90 + 18-200 lens will certainly get you going with DSLR photography. It's a fine choice and will serve you well.

Next time you're looking you'll know exactly what you need.

Good luck with it.
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 6:24 PM   #66
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Or better still, how about a Nikon D90 with a Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S ($580) and a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR ($479). These two lenses would be a lot better than the 18-200.

On an absolute scale, the 18-200 is not a very good lens. These are very good lenses. Together, they are wider, longer, sharper, and faster. They're just bigger, heavier, and more expensive.

He has a budget of $2,500 and wants a very good kit. Why does the 18-200 keep coming up?
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 6:49 PM   #67
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TCav wrote:
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Or better still, how about a Nikon D90 with a Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S ($580) and a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR ($479). These two lenses would be a lot better than the 18-200.

On an absolute scale, the 18-200 is not a very good lens. These are very good lenses. Together, they are wider, longer, sharper, and faster. They're just bigger, heavier, and more expensive.

He has a budget of $2,500 and wants a very good kit. Why does the 18-200 keep coming up?
Because a lot of people have fallen in love with the lens. It is a very good lens (ok decent is a better word), and as long as you're not shooting architecture or brick walls, distortion is not that noticeable. It is a small, lightweight, versatile lens. You can however, do better at every focal length it covers.
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 7:40 PM   #68
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Greatestboss

Sometimes, trying to get everyone to agree on a camera and lenses for someone would be like trying to get everyone to agree on what vehicle they should drive. ;-)

Some people may want to go for a Ferrari, because it's a fast with great handling and more. Yet, it's not very flexible compared to a minivan (even though the minivan isn't going to corner as well, accelerate as fast, etc.).

Perhaps that's a poor analogy. But, you'll need to decide what's best for your needs.

Frankly, I think you'd probably be thrilled with a combo like the D90 and 18-200mm VR lens, as long as you added a decent flash to the kit (for example, grab an SB-600 to go with it). That way, you'd have a flexible solution with a very usable focal range from wide to long, equivalent to 27-300mm on a 35mm camera. A flash like the SB-600 even comes with a belt pouch you can carry it in, only pulling it out when you want to use it for fill or for use in lower light indoors.

That way, you're not lugging a lot of gear around and have a better chance of capturing more photo opportunities, which you may lose if you have to switch lenses, or don't want to carry extra lenses with you.

As you start taking more photos (assuming you want to get very involved in photography), you'll probably begin to realize some of the drawbacks of that type of kit. For example, the distortion being mentioned. Some of that is fixable in software though. Or, you may realize that the edges of the photos are not quite as sharp as desired compared to your R1, or you may realize that the lens isn't long enough enough to fill the frame with that bird in a nearby tree that you want to shoot, etc., etc., etc.

But, as this type of lens goes (one with that much focal range from wide to long), it's a really good one. It's got much better than expected flare resistance, with good color, contrast and center sharpness; and a *very* usable focal range.

Even if you do decide that it's too much of a compromise for some types of photos (which may not even happen for a long time), you may still want to keep it on your camera much of the time, just because of it's flexibility.

You can always buy more lenses. ;-) You can always sell a lens you don't like and buy a different one, too. That's part of the fun for many camera owners.

Here's my concern...

I got the impression from your earlier posts in this thread that you didn't want to compromise on quality and only wanted to buy a kit once. I'd rethink that approach. There is no one perfect choice, and you'll need to get some experience under your belt with a given camera kit in order to better understand what is best for your needs, and that tends to be an evolving process. That's one of the reason I often suggest that users stay with a basic camera kit (i.e., the inexpensive kit lenses manufacturers bundle). That way, they can get some experience with a kit and they'll have a better understanding of their needs, without spending a lot of money up front. Then, they can make better informed decisions later.



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Old Aug 30, 2008, 8:19 PM   #69
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P.S.

It's not uncommon for many camera owners to have multiple lenses with overlapping focal ranges (including me), because they are all a compromise in one area or another. Take convenience into consideration, and don't sweat the details too much when making a decision.

Chances are, you'll have lots of fun with any kit you buy, and you can always rearrange your kit later if you see a need that it doesn't cover as well as desired in some conditions (and that part is very subjective, and you'll get a better feel for what the best compromise is for you, as you gain experience using the kit you decide on).

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Old Aug 30, 2008, 8:21 PM   #70
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The D90 appears to be a very good camera selection. It appears to have everything that your after, with the exception of in body image stabilization. The way you work around that is to shoot in brighter light, use an external light source (flash), tripod and/or faster lenses (lenses with lower f stops). Just my opinion, but the D90 appears to be one step below the D300 - your original choice. So, yes - its new and it should be a first class body. However, to really have the body perform at its optimum, it will need good glass. Just remember the lenses gather the light, the body just records the light levels provided by the lenses. Actually the 18-200 is probably a good starting point (and for a walking around lens). This will let you figure out what and where you want to take your hobby and will have a better understanding of what you what to get later on.

Your question...

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( By the way is there any lens by any manufacturer that will give you great width without compromising focal length).
Lenses and their design and construction are governed by the laws of physics (light waves). The current rule of thumb for zoom lenses is 4x, or the zoom range from low to high is a factor of 4. For instance the 18-200 lens your looking at has a range of 11 (200/18 = 11.11..). That is pretty aggressive. Why, well you have to select and align quite a number of lenses along with the mechanical structures to move them in such a way as to zoom from 18mm (moderate wide angle) to 200mm (moderate telephoto). Or put another way of thinking about it, use the angle of view of the lens from the right edge of the frame to the left edge of the frame, will range from 67 degrees (@18mm) to 7 degrees (200mm). That is pretty dramatic. That is why photographers carry a number of lenses, and with zoom lenses they usually in some standard ranges. Usually something like 18mm to 50mm, and then another from say 50mm to 200mm. Then to add to this, you have to consider the brightness or speed of the lens. To have a lens with a speed of f2.8 you have to increase the quality of the glass, and the design must be better. That is why a lot of the moderately priced lenses usually have an aperture of f4. You also might note that zoom lenses have something like f/3.5-5.6 as opposed to a constant f4. Again, it is easier (and cheaper to design and produce) a variable aperture lens rather than a constant aperture lens across the entire zoom (focal length) range.

Asking for "great width without compromising focal length" is like looking for the fountain of youth. Everyone is looking for it... To be fair, zoom ranges have been creeping up over time. Years ago, the standard zoom range was 2x, now its 4x, and as you have seen has been pushing now double digits (however to obtain that, you wind up with a lot of compromises). The best zoom lenses have a much smaller range (2 to 4).

One positive aspect of using a super zoom lens is the reduction in changing lenses. This will reduce the chance of dirt and dust getting on the sensor.

We want to see pictures!!!
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