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Thread: Is a Nikon VR 18-200mm a better option than having two: 18-70 + 70-300?

  1. #1

    Is a Nikon VR 18-200mm a better option than having two: 18-70 + 70-300?

    Hi

    I have a Nikon D80 and am deciding whether to buy a single 18-200 telephoto lens rather than an 18-70 plus a 70-300 lens.
    The 18-200 seems to have similar qualities to the AF-S Nikkor18-70 (both 1:3.5) and opting for the one lens means no changing lenses. Changing lenses means interrupting the shoot, carrying more, opening up the camera to dust ....

    Isn't it more practical to have the one lens?

    But there must be some advantages in having the two lense option (apart from having a higher 300 range) which I don't know about, being a relative beginner.

    Very grateful for any tips and insights from your experience and knowledge

    Cheers

    Tristan

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Is a Nikon VR 18-200mm a better option than having two: 18-70 + 70-300?

    The 18-200VR will do everything that the 18-70 will do and more, so you can forget the latter. The 70-300G is as cheap as chips and better than it ought to be. The 70-300VR ought to be stunning, though I don't have one (yet!).
    The 18-200 doesn't focus as close as the 18-55 (another cheap gem) so the close up distorted shots aren't possible.

  3. #3
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Is a Nikon VR 18-200mm a better option than having two: 18-70 + 70-300?

    Tristan,

    For what it is worth, I personally dislike the 18-70. Or course it depends on your budget, but if you are looking within this range, try the more expensive 17-55 which really is good.

    Ask yourself what you are likely to be shooting and do you really need the given ranges? Are you going to be shooting wild animals or birds at a distance and wide angle shots too?Bear in mind that you are using a crop frame camera, so there is a magnification factor when using this camera. Do you really need the range up to an equivalent of 450mm? What are you shooting? Unless you are operating in very dusty or dirty environments I shouldn't worry too much about changing lenses/dust, although a good cleaning system is worthwhile (See thread on Arctic Butterfly). Like a lot of things go for the best you can afford, and maybe if you don't need the wide range, then go for just one high quality lens.

    Have you also considered 'prime' lens eg those with fixed focal lengths? Because they are less optically complex, they are usually much cheaper, and a series of high quality fixed focal lengths will be found in most Pro gadget bags. So maybe a series of 24/50/85 might be also worth considering?

    As I say, it does depend on subject matter, but if I was looking for the one fix solution I think the 18-200 would be my weapon of choice.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    Re: Is a Nikon VR 18-200mm a better option than having two: 18-70 + 70-300?

    Hi Tristan. The answer to your question depends on several things, how much money you have, what sort of photography you want to do, and what sort of quality you want from your shots.
    My personal choice for my D90 was the 18-105 and the 70-300VR. Both lenses produce good quality shots and mostly cover the range that I wish to shoot. I can recommend the 18-105 as a good general purpose lens with the advantage of more range than the 18-70, and from memory a slightly cheaper price, and also it is a VR lens. You may find, as I do, that it is your most used lens.
    The 70-300VR is a very superior lens to the non VR version and is priced accordingly. I use this for shooting field sports, and birds when I can get close enough.

    From what I've read, I've never used one, I would be very dissatisfied with the 18-200, though I'm sure there are as many happy owners as unhappy ones.

  5. #5

    Re: Is a Nikon VR 18-200mm a better option than having two: 18-70 + 70-300?

    hi tristan for what it is worth i adore the 18-70 nikon nikkor af-s f1:3.5-45.g swm aspherical if , and i like the 70-300 vr (i have the non vr g version) , personally i better switch lenses than buy i 18-200 vr .. i'll hope i am as vague as i can be for what concerns the feeling of mine about a 18-200vr

    i do have a question in return do you like your D80?

  6. #6

    Re: Is a Nikon VR 18-200mm a better option than having two: 18-70 + 70-300?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanC View Post
    The 18-200VR will do everything that the 18-70 will do and more, so you can forget the latter. The 70-300G is as cheap as chips and better than it ought to be. The 70-300VR ought to be stunning, though I don't have one (yet!).
    The 18-200 doesn't focus as close as the 18-55 (another cheap gem) so the close up distorted shots aren't possible.
    I won't go to that extent but image wise, I heard it's great, and comparable to the 70-200 on a DX sensor.

  7. #7
    eNo's Avatar
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    Re: Is a Nikon VR 18-200mm a better option than having two: 18-70 + 70-300?

    To the OP, I've owned the VR18-200 and it served me well. I also own the VR70-300 and would strongly recommend it. My experience with the VR18-200 pretty much agrees with that of others: below 135mm it performs reasonably well, but in the 135 to 200mm range it starts to soften. Once the VR16-85 came out, I kept the VR18-200 for a while, then let it go. It was just collecting dust, and where it was soft is where the VR70-300 really sings.

    In general, an all-purpose lens will incorporate compromises in image quality to provide convenience, so you have to ask yourself what you value most. You should also evaluate the type of photography you do and decide the type of lens you need based on whether you shoot wide, mid or long. For me, I discovered that unless I was shooting sports, I mostly shoot in the wide to 70mm range, and the VR16-85 is perfect for that. If you are just getting started and don't have a solid idea about your photographic needs, go with a kit lens and discover before you invest in expensive lenses.

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