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18-200 feedback needed

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by kaige, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. I am experiencing ceaseless internal dialogue over whether or not to buy a
    18-200 lens. There is a lot of positive information about this lens and I am
    fairly sure of what to expect in that regard. However, other than reading
    about some lens creep, I do not know what to expect that would be
    considered a negative. Not looking for anyone to completely slag this
    lens but rather some thoughtful feedback on expectations that were not

    Thanks for your time.
  2. As long as you realize it is not f/2.8 pro glass and accept the annoying creep it is really a great little all-around lens.
    It replaced my 24-120 VR (or whatever the FL was) and I have not looked back.

    I have been very happy with mine as long as I accept it for what it is.


  3. DBrim


    May 30, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Range (duh!). It really gives you a huge amount of versatility
    VR: helps in low light
    Decent IQ

    Distortion: Very bad at 18mm, but easy enough to fix
    Creep: Already mentioned

    It's not pro glass, but it's still an outstanding lens.
  4. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  5. CAJames


    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    I just got my new for me 18-200vr today. Looked at a few quick snaps and I am very, very happy. I guess I have to concur it isn't "pro glass" but it is exactly what I want: a lens I can put on the camera, set at f/8 and just take pictures. At f/8 the telephoto pictures don't look any different than my 70-200vr. At f/8 and 18mm there is a little more distortion than my 12-24 but all the sharpness and staturation. For those times when I want to treat my dSLR like a point and shoot it an amazing lens.
  6. snownow


    Jul 13, 2006
    so cal
    I waited a year for mine (yea ordered at the wrong time), I'm very very happy with it. Its my walk around do all lens (the creep does bug!!!) other than that no problems with it, pretty sharp in most situations. Go for it.

    edit,, one other problem i have to take the lens shade off when i shoot with my SB800, it leaves a funny little shadow at the bottom of shots with it on.
  7. Thanks folks. I'll make adjustments to my expectations and go from there.
    Back to the number one basic rule; you get what you pay for. Not pro
    glass but very good in any case.
  8. But that's what bugs me about this lens.....For about $200 more you've gat a 17-55 2.8 DX.

  9. Well, there it is in a nutshell, Geno. I am the kid in the candy store who wants
    it all but only has a wee bit of money. So what will it be?
    There is a reason for all the threads featuring 'this' vs 'that'. It is folks
    talking through their decisions and choices and trying to get hold of the
    perfect bit of candy...too many lenses, not enough cash. (visions of
    primes dancing in my head)
  10. Glas


    Jun 17, 2007
    I just received my lens two days ago and I know I'll be having a lot of fun with it. This is my first zoom lens after the kit lens (on top of a few primes), I wish I had bought this lens from day 1 of owning my D70s, I have missed so many shots due to my lens being not long enough :redface: . I haven't ventured into sports (yet) so this lens should suffice as a walkabout lens and has enough zoom to satiate me (for now :biggrin:) 

    My lens doesn't creep YAY :Love: and below are some simple shots I have taken, I was just too excited to use the lens and forgotten about composition ...or adjusting my ISO :rolleyes: :biggrin:

  11. bozola


    Feb 28, 2006
    Seattle WA
    But then you have to start saving for the 70-200 2.8, since now you don't have that range.

    I am very happy with my 18-200.

  12. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Get it. There are and always will be naysayers. My guess is that most of them haven't even tried the thing. I have it and it's a great part of my kit. When I head up to NYC in a week, I'm only taking the 18-200 VR and maybe my 50mm 1.8. I don't feel like lugging the heavy pro glass, and I'll still get fine results.
  13. randyr5


    Jan 14, 2006
    That's it in a nutshell. We all know that the pro glass (17-55, 70-200, et al) will produce better results. I stopped reading the "which glass is better" threads a long time ago. But the Nikon engineers did a pretty amazing job with the 18-200VR:

    Great range
    Pretty darn good IQ
    VR II
    Doesn't weigh a ton

    Sure, compromises have to be made when making a lens like this, but most of its "deficiencies" can be corrected with a little post processing.
  14. Well this is true.....I am just making the comment, if I had to choose between the 17-55 and the 18-200VR, the 17-55 is a better investment. I have had three 18-200VRs and really have wanted to like them all, however I look at the 17-55 as a comprimise already.

    I am really hoping Nikon comes to the table with some new AF-S wide primes, that way I really can put this thing to rest. I would much rather head out with a 20, 50, and 105 in my pockets.

    For those that like it, all the more to you. It is a great lens for what it is; but it comes at a price that is a little on the high side. If you use it, then it's worth it.

  15. jbk224@gmail.com


    Oct 11, 2006
    Your decision is not so difficult. If price is not an issue.....set your priorities.
    Mine were to find a "one-stop" lens to travel with that is light and versatile. I did not want to carry another lens. I was not concerned with missing the ultimate shot because I did not have the right lens. The key was...one lens...light....great (not best) quality...and versatile. This is the 18-200VR.
    Could a 12-24 have worked great in the hill towns of Provence...sure. Did I miss having my 28-70 2.8...yup. But none of this was enough to make me want to lug around all of these lenses while I was busy enjoying sights, sounds, and friends. If you are prepared to carry more than one lens....then the "cons" have it right. Otherwise, go for it!
  16. Probably don't have to tell you...but Sigma is about to announce availability of their own optically-stabilized 18-200. The optics and construction ahead of the servo extension are virtually identical to the non-OS version, so I would expect performance to be the same, which is to say quite good as an all-purpose lens. Since you indicate a limited budget, you might wish to wait and take a look...it is rumoured to sell at aroun $550 (vs $350 for the non-stabilized and $750-800 for the Nikon).
  17. I really like mine. Depends on what you want it to do. I have the 18-200 and the 70-200. I enjoy shooting baseball and find that when I go to games at Minute Maid Park as much as I would love to mount the 70-200, it is very cumbersome and you have to watch out when you swing the lense. The 18-200 is perfect, as it is lighter, smaller and allows me to zoom in on the batter or back up and catch the whole field. I can then set the camera on my lap and eat a dog or crack some peanuts. I won't be getting rid of this lense, the creep can get annoying but I have learnt to live with it.
  18. I have such mixed feelings about the 18-200. I got one about 3 months ago after resisting for a long time.

    I have a selection of pro glass, which I love - 17-55, 70-200 and 85mm 1.4. I am quite pleased with the 18-200 but it doesn't have the extra zing you get with pro lenses.

    But I am increasingly shooting events: school proms, theatre performances, concerts etc. I shoot with one D2X and using the pro glass means I constantly have to change lenses, which is just impractical when you have a fast moving event to cover. I shot a prom on Thursday night and I had just changed to the 85mm for some close-up candids whan the kids asked me to take more groups and I had to change back.

    The 18-200 just forces me to use it. I can go from wide shots to intimate close-ups as the need arises. And it really does do a good job.

    I suspect the answer is to invest in another flash and start using my old D70 as a second body. For the time being the 18-200 is the only practical solution. But when I look at the quality of the few shots I managed the other night with the 85mm I weep.
  19. brian_mk

    brian_mk Guest

    I recently bought a D200 and the 18-200 VR.

    First, I was not particularly impressed with the lens build quality - all my previous lenses were all-metal.

    Then I discovered the annoying zoom creep when I pointed the lens down to meter off my Kodak grey card on the ground.

    Well, ok, I think I could have lived with those issues given the versatility and light weight.

    But then I decided to carry out some sharpness tests as described on the normankoran website:-

    I used the USAF 1951 test target to compare the 18-200 VR with my trusty Nikon 80-200 AF ED Zoom (bought second hand some years ago) and my even older Nikon 50mm AIS Manual lens that I bought new with my Nikon FE2 in the 1970's.

    Both zoom lenses were set to 80mm. VR was Off for the 18-200 lens.
    The lens-target distance was adjusted for the 50mm lens to give about the same size image on the D200 sensor.
    All three images were shot at f8, 1/15 sec using a heavy tripod and cable release.
    I used manual focus, confirmed using the 'focus' LED in the D200 viewfinder.

    The 18-200 VR looked so soft by comparison with my old lenses that I repeated the test in case I had not focussed it correctly or had a vibration problem. I got the same result.

    Eventually I returned the VR lens to the shop for a refund.

    Now I'm wondering if I had a bad sample and should buy another one or to get the Nikon 17-55mm DX instead?

    Nikon 50mm AIS f1.8 Manual Focus @ f8:-

    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 AF ED Zoom @ 80mm, f8:-

    Nikon 18-200mm VR Zoom @ 80mm, f8:-
  20. Looks like you got an "off" copy. I took these last year in Rome; hand held


    This is hand held of a ceiling in St. John Lateran's. Note the nails in the reddish backer board.

    Thanks, Rich
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