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Thread: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

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    18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    Is there a difference between using a 55-200mm plus the 18-55mm kit lens and using a 18-200mm. I already have 18-55mm kit lens. Does it make better sense to just get a 55-200 or get a 18-200m and do away with the kit lens? Obviously the advantage with the latter is that I avoid changing lens. But would there be a loss in imagery in the 18-200mm having a longer range? Plus the cost of 18-200mm is much higher too. I read that there is more distortion in the 18-200. Purpose here is to shoot events and travel shots.

    Thanks

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    The issue of lens quality does not follow directly on from the range of the zoom. The 18-200 might well be better than both a 18-55 and a 55-200. I don't know any of the lenses to which you refer, so will defer to those who do. An expensive 18-200 will probably hit the mark better than a cheap 18-55 + a cheap 55-200.

    The other part of the question relates to a) what you intend shooting and b) whether you're content to changes lenses more often.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    Hi ramborums,

    As you probably know, I have the Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G IF-ED which I (effectively) got with the camera because I didn't want to be changing lenses all the time having been used to the same 10x zoom range on my Fuji bridge camera. I also wanted something a bit better than the kit lens ideally.

    Therefore, I can't compare it with the others, so I'm not sure if I am much further help.
    All I can say is; there is nothing yet I have come across, that has me wanting to replace it, but I have only just expanded beyond the one lens, so time may tell.

    Can I ask; is "ramborums" your name, if not, could we have one please?
    Where in the world are you? Helps us all with currencies if people give prices.

    Thanks,

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    Re: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    A few points on this.
    The 18-55 kit lens will focus a lot closer than the 18-200, so keep the kit lens whatever you do.
    The 18-200 has VR at all focal lengths, does your 18-55 have VR?
    The 55-200 that you are considering, is it the VR version?
    The 18-200 is magnificent for a walking about lens, like with the family, as you don't need to keep making them wait for you to change lenses.
    HTH

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    Re: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    My kit lens does have VR. And the 18-200 I am considering certainly would have VR and ED too.

    Walk and shoot is exactly the application i have for 18-200.

    Based on the inputs so far, it looks like a good idea to get a 18-200 right away before i get anything else. $750 seems to be worth it.
    At a later date, it could be the 70-300. That seems like exactly Dave s route.

    Thanks Dave, Jonathan and Donald.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    My problem with the 18-55mm and the 18-200mm is that the apertures on both these lenses are too slow for my needs. I want my mid-range focal lengths (with which I probably do 60% or more of my shooting) to have a constant f/2.8 aperture. This allows me to use the lens as an all-around glass, even in lower light levels. My philosophy in accumulating a set of lenses is to begin with the best mid-range zoom I can afford and then to back it up with a telephoto lens.

    I use the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS Canon which I realize is quite expensive and probably beyond what many photographers wish to pay for a lens. However, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC lens is a great compromise between price and capablities. Here is an image of Hong Kong at night which I shot, hand-held, using ISO 800 at 1/20 second @ f/2.8. The IS capability helped (Tamron VC is that company's form of IS). Even with IS, I could not have achieved this image with a slower lens unless I wanted to boost my ISO to 1600 or even 3200. Even if I used a tripod, a smaller f/stop would have required a slower shutter speed which would not have stopped the motion of the boat in the harbor.

    18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    I am very happy with focal lengths of the combination of my 17-55mm and the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens. However, as an economical telephoto lens to be used in combination with a mid range zoom, I would consider either the 55-250mm IS or 70-300mm IS lenses.

    BTW: I shoot with two bodies but, Think Tank has a lens pouches in various sizes which facilitate the switching of lenses.
    http://www.thinktankphoto.com/catego...t-systems.aspx
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 15th June 2010 at 04:27 AM.

  7. #7

    Re: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    I'll tell you what I know which is based on the comments and reviews I read about the 3 lenses. I was comparing about the 3 of them recently.
    I just compared the Nikon lenses.

    55-200VR: many users complained about slow focus time. but they all said that's a sharp one and worth the money you're going to pay.

    18-55VR: most of them said that it's a great sharp lens! but it's really annoying that you have to change lenses every time you see something interesting that you can't achieve with your current lens.

    18-200VR: most or maybe all of them said that it's a magnificent lens! they said it's sharp, versatile, and absolutely worth it's price.

    so, IMHO -based on what I read and my type of photography-, go for the 18-200 and you won't have any regrets.

    PS: just as rpcrowe said, you should have a fast glass, it's a must! but if you're going to walk-around, travel and want a lens to be kept on your camera most of the time. just go for the 18-200VR at first then save some money for a fast glass later.

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    Re: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    Thanks rpcrowe and mathew for your detailed inputs.

  9. #9
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    Re: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    Various opinions on these lenses (from Nikon). The 18-55 and 55-200 seem to be quite good if you read the reviews albeit a bit cheap feeling. Performance is fine though.
    The 18-200 mm is good and sturdy (and more expensive) and saves you from having to change lenses all the time. You can often buy this lens as a kit lens as well with some of the more high end Nikon cameras.
    I have gone for the 18-200 lens, as I don't want to carry around too much equipment. So far, I love it. Great photographs, good, quick and silent focusing.

    I am not sure whether you should add a 70-300 to this though (or do you mean to replace the 18-200?). It seems a waste, because you will have a lot of overlap. Might as well go for a better quality 300mm then. It will be more expensive, but your photographs will improve.

    On distortion: the 18-200 might have a bit more distortion, but that will not really be noticeable for most types of shooting, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

  10. #10

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    Re: 18-200mm vs 18-55mm+55-200mm

    Yes Peter, I meant adding a 70-300mm instead of 18-200 or 55-200 to the existing 18-55mm kit lens. Based on some inputs from elsewhere too, it seems like a good option to keep the 18-55mm kit lens, add a 70-300mm and a 50mm prime lens. I understand this should cover most basic needs of an enthusiast costeffectively.

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