Another Walkaround Lens Thread

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by monkay, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. monkay

    monkay

    250
    Jun 12, 2008
    New Jersey
    Well it's almost that time! I'm currently gathering the money to fund the purchase of a do-it-all lens. I think a lens of this type will suit my needs well and allow me to hone my technical skills while also developing and finding my style.

    I've gone from somewhat hesitant to absolutely sure I was going to buy the Nikon 18-200 VR, however based on many reviews, I'm terribly afraid it won't produce great quality images. Yet I've read other reviews that claim it can easily produce print quality images and the versatility is well worth the pricetag.

    So now I'm considering the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM II. Many of the reviews for it are positive, sample images from around flickr and whatnot look awesome, and the constant f/2.8 is a big advantage over the Nikon. Do any of you have experience with this lens? The thing is, I can't tell if I'd regret not having that wide end to work with. Still being very new at photography, I can't really tell what I like to shoot.

    All I do know that I want something that can produce very good to great images (given my D60's 10MP sensor), give me a wide FL range, and cost right around $600 used.

    What say the Cafe?
     
  2. RayLarson

    RayLarson

    476
    Mar 27, 2007
    Pawtucket, RI
    I'd say it all depends what you plan to shoot. I use the Nikkor 18-200VR as my walk-around lens. I have a Sigma 50-150 and it is limited for several reasons. First, not having the 18-50 covered is an issue, Second not having VR even though the lens is f2.8 can be an issue at times, and Third the 18-200 is just better in most instances. My wife has the Sigma 18-200 OS and loves it. The focal length is just made for a good walk around lens. My .02 cents and worth every penny
     
  3. if you can have (or want) only one lens then the 18-200 makes sense, especially if you're just starting out.

    Print quality images won't be a problem. Don't obsess about what people say about lens quality based on 100% crops seen on computer monitors since that is far more enlarged than what you'll be seeing on "normal-sized" prints. What I mean is that a D60 10MP image is 3872x2592 pixels. On a 96 dpi screen, a 100% view on a computer monitor would be 40 inches x 27 inches.

    i have the Sigma 50-150 2.8 and though I think it's a great lens, it isn't going to do it as a single walkaround lens. You will be way too limited on the wide end especially on DX format.
     
  4. I agree with Ray, it really depends what you tend to shoot. Do you walk mostly in cities? National Forests? Do you travel a lot, and vary between old cities and beautiful beaches? Shoot a lot of low light (no flash allowed) situations?
     
  5. 50-150 will be quite limiting on a DX sensor. Seems like the 16-85 VR would be a much better choice as a one lens fits all solution. OR perhaps the rumored to be forthcoming 18-105 VR.

    Personally, I use a combination of 20mm f/2.8 prime and 28-105 as my current walk around kit.
     
  6. monkay

    monkay

    250
    Jun 12, 2008
    New Jersey
    Thank you so much for the quick responses.

    This is exactly the sort of advice I needed. breakaway you really put it into perspective. I got worried when I saw all these reviews pointing out the Nikon's CA and vignetting at various focal lengths, but I didn't realize that these are usually very critical reviews and are done on monitors, not printing paper.

    Gretchen/Ray: like I said, unfortunately I don't know at this point what I tend to shoot. I've been going out into my yard a lot and just doing close up work, but I don't think that counts because it was just convenient and easy to get to. Besides, I hope to get a Sigma 150mm at a later date for any and all macro work :biggrin:

    Thanks again for the advice. This gave me a huge push towards the 18-200mm VR.
     
  7. monkay

    monkay

    250
    Jun 12, 2008
    New Jersey
    Ahh, Rich you reminded me of the other possibility: the 18-105 VR. I'm guessing that this will be a better performer than the 18-200mm just because there's physically less glass to cause distortion. But then I feel like I might miss some shots in that 105-200mm range. :mad: 
     
  8. Dave,

    Realize that many (not all) who write reviews seem to have nothing better to do than to push any piece of equipment (lens, camera) to its outside limits, and then blast apart the faults. Well, duH! Few of them seem to have any time for, or enjoyment of, actually TAKING PICTURES (what an novel idea, eh?). :rolleyes: 

    The 18-200 is a very well regarded lens. It's one of the best 'casual travel' lenses you'll find (meaning: you're not going specifically to some exotic location for a very specific photo seminar). My Dad has taken his all over the world, and some of the shots he took on our cruise through the Panama canal are among the best we got on that cruise (and I had all my pro glass with me). :wink:

    Starting with a good 'all round' lens will also help you figure out what you like to shoot. Spend a few months, then go back and review your photos. See what you have concentrated on (knowingly, or not). At that point, consider specialty glass to help you advance in that area. :smile:

    The Sig150 is a great macro lens. If you want a good macro for next to nothing, look at Nikon's 28-105mm. :smile:
     
  9. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    What is the 18-105VR? I've not heard of it
     
  10. there is apparently some vignetting at longer focal lengths wide open but this can be easily removed in PP.
     
  11. What are you shooting with now? My first *kit* was a D80 and the 18-55 and 55-200 kit lenses that came with it. I learned from there what focal length I preferred. I bought the 50mm f/1.8 and the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. The only time I used the longer lens was at the zoo. (and up until yesterday I didn't own a lens longer than the 90mm Tamron) SO if you find that you're shooting more with a wider angle lens, something like the Tamron I had may work perfectly for you. If you find you'd rather zoom in closer with a longer lens rather than with your feet, then an 80-200 f/2.8 might do the trick. It's all about what you shoot, and shooting with what you already have will tell you what you need. As far as the 18-200....I've been tempted, but I love the quality of my primes so much I'd rather not take the *lazy* way out with a general zoom. Not saying it's not a good walkaround lens, it's just not a good one for me.
     
  12. monkay

    monkay

    250
    Jun 12, 2008
    New Jersey
    I think Gretchen might win the helpful award for this thread :wink: You're right though, it does seem like lens reviewers do not much more than just dig for flaws then rip them wide open and whine like there's no tomorrow. And, while I'm not doing a lot of traveling, I think having this huge focal length range will, as you said, allow me to find my style and what FL I shoot at most frequently. From there, I think the REAL lens lust begins.

    Robert the 18-105VR isn't out just yet. It's supposedly the kit lens that is to come shipped with the D90.
     
  13. monkay

    monkay

    250
    Jun 12, 2008
    New Jersey
    Sonya I currently own the 18-55 VR and 55-200mm VR, but in my limited ownership, I find myself using the 18-55 more often. I don't that means very much though, because I simply don't like to switch lenses and will usually just use the 18-55 that's on there for most of the time.
     
  14. RayLarson

    RayLarson

    476
    Mar 27, 2007
    Pawtucket, RI
    Here is a sample of the Nikkor 18-200 on my D80. I find it to be a very good walk around lens.

    Close Up
    2750003895_3b2108384f.

    Medium
    2525216548_340d9a585c.

    Distant
    2524387569_6e65c31d43.
     
  15. rotxlk82

    rotxlk82

    Jul 20, 2007
    UK
    Ok, I can see the 18-105vr being a good lens however at the moment it is purely conjecture and may take a while to turn up (if it ever does!).

    Considering you're going to be doing a lot of traveling and have no specific shooting intention Gretchen's advice is indeed very good. I'm sure you'll get a great deal of pleasure from your 18-200vr.

    As you said there is plenty of time for 'real' glass after that. The Sigma 150mm sounds like a great idea to me. However I must admit from the moment I first looked at images made by my Sigma 105mm I've been hooked on high end primes ever since!
     
  16. monkay

    monkay

    250
    Jun 12, 2008
    New Jersey
    ya see those shots look great to my eye. i actually like vignetting (in general) and don't mind it as a "flaw" of this lens
     
  17. monkay

    monkay

    250
    Jun 12, 2008
    New Jersey
    Thanks Robert. Just gave me more of a push towards the 18-200mm. Once I find what FL I'm shooting at most frequently, I can upgrade to better glass (and eventually a better body) sensibly without worrying about what I'll be missing out on.

    Thank you all so much for your responses. This cleared things up a great deal and hopefully it will be helpful to those of you in a similar situation!
     
  18. I just use what I have for a walkaround, I get varying results from different lenses. If I had a choice for a good walkaround, a 17-55 f2.8 or a 24-70 f2.8 would be ideal candidates.
     
  19. Well if you could stretch your budget to also include a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, I'd say you'd have a heck'va walk-around-combination. Three other possibilities:

    1) Tamron 17-50 plus Sigma 70-300 APO DG
    2) Sigma 18-200 OS
    3) Tamron 18-250

    and if you can ditch the very long end,

    4) Nikon 17-135
    5) Nikon 16-85VR

    I think you'd regret not having the wide end (not superwide but wide as in 17-18mm).


    From having started with a Sigma 18-200 three years ago, I can tell you there is nothing more convenient than an all-in-one. It may cost a bit in absolute IQ, but it unleashes creativity (ps it also promotes sloppiness, something to guard against).

    Hope this gives you some additional food for thought.
     
  20. I agree with Harry Lavo to get the cheaper "equivalent" lens for now:
    There's this new Tamron 18-200 with the Built in Motor (non VR) and the Sigma OS HSM that will work on your D60.
    What about the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 with Built in Motor?
    :) 
     
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