Indecisive between 3 lenses!

Joined
Feb 21, 2007
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Arcadia, CA
Not sure where to post this but thought this seemed ok. Bah now I should have posted it in the Cameras & Gear section. If a moderator can move, please do so unless you feel this is an okay section as well.

Damn I'm stuck between 3 lenses now. At first it was two, but now 3 lenses.

17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor

18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor

24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor


Can anyone help me choose? I do automotive shots mostly but I'm also into sports, action, modeling, etc. Please help me decide my next new lens!
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
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Copenhagen, Denmark
For sports, 2.8 aperture could come in handy.
17-55 is widely regarded as premium glass, but
the alternatives are also capable of producing
great results.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
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966
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Nottingham, UK
Do you shoot still life or moving vehicles? The 18-200 will give you the reach required to get cars on the track but its not the best lens for that job. For static cars the 17-55mm is a great quality lens but also very expensive and big.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
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Central TX
I suspect you're getting the hint that there's nothing to suggest the 24-120 over the 18-200 (except, of course, cost and availablilty.) If you consider 55mm long enough, the 17-55 is hard to beat. If portability is more important (and if you shoot in lots of light) then the 18-200 is swell. I've got both - use the 17-55 about 20 times as much.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
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riyadh
For static pics and portability i suggest the 18-200. for fast action, motor
exhibitions and the like the 17-55. downside..heavy,expensive and premium glass.

regards
 
Joined
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The 18-200mm VR is great for walking around and shooting relatively compliant subjects - things that aren't moving away or too quickly. The 17-55 is faster for those action shots, but doesn't offer much reach. It's far more available than the 18-200, though.
 
Joined
May 6, 2005
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Corsicana, Texas
Do you think you'll ever want to shoot film? I have both film and digital bodies, so that rules out the DX lenses for me. They don't put out an image large enough to fill a 35mm frame.

Along the same lines, it is generally true that the image from any lens starts to deteriorate as you get closer to the edges. By using a film-capable lens on a digital body, you can avoid most of that problem. But I admit that's a pretty picky point.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
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Toronto, Canada
the 18-200 is great for travel and if you have great lighting available..

for sports, action, moving cars etc i'm not sure the 18-200 or 17-55 will do.. would you consider the 70-200 VR?
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
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Douglasville, GA
The 24-120mm VR is an underrated lens in terms of image quality... some bad reviews early on marred its perception by the public even though all but the earliest copies are usually very sharp.

That said, while I had mine I found it to be too slow for a normal zoom when shooting criticaly (VR can't stop action). I also found it either not wide enough or not long enough for a walk-around zoom... 24mm isn't all that wide on digital and 120mm isn't all that long compared to some other options... and for a walk-around zoom I expect it to be either wide enough (18mm) or long enough (200mm)... most lenses don't do both, unfortunately this one does neither.

That said... if I were a newcomer and amateur dSLR, wanted a single lens, and couldn't afford the 18-200mm VR then the 24-120mm VR would be a very good low cost option (as low as $300 used). An even more interesting (for me anyway) option could be the upcomming Tamron 28-300mm IS/OS/VR (not sure what they call it). Not wide enough, but definitely long enough... the side myself and many other amateurs look for in a one-lens-solution.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
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Arcadia, CA
I mainly shoot automotive but I'm starting to shoot models and action shots. I'd say more close up shots.

I currently own the stock kit lens 28-80mm & the Nikon 55-200mm

I've been wanting to upgrade but these are the lenses that I've been juggling back and forth. My dad says that the 24-120 is what he sees as best. To me, it's fine but I know I need a wider view. So the 17-55 and 18-200 would come into play. My logic is that I've heard many reviews and such that the 17-55 is a great lens and some have chosen over the 18-200. But since I have a 55-200 already, it might be better to get the 17-55.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
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Douglasville, GA
I'd take the 17-55mm over the 18-200mm any day... but they're meant for completely different things. The 17-55mm is an extremely sharp, fast, heavy, pro-built lens that is pretty much the best zoom you can get in the range. The 18-200mm is a plastic built, large focal range, slow-variable aperture consumer zoom that makes many compromises to achieve its convenience with what most consumers (not pros) will find as acceptable image quality. While the 17-55mm f/2.8 AFS and 55-200mm f/4-5.6 AFS may be of completely different classes they should compliment each other well enough (especially since you already own the 55-200mm) and should provide images superior to the 18-200mm, ESPECIALLY from the 17-55mm range.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
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Unless you really need to travel light there's little point in splashing out the money for a 18-200 right now, get the 17-55 if you can afford it, or a Tamron 17-50 if you can't (it's at least 80-90% as good).
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
729
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Douglasville, GA
It seems like you have a fairly open budget and open mind (ranging from an $800 consumer super-zoom to a $1200 pro normal-zoom) so I'll throw out another idea... for the price of just the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 AFS DX you could get a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DG AND a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX HSM... this gives you two large/constant-aperature zooms, the longer with fast-focusing HSM (sigma's version of internal focus motor, faster than the crippled AFS on your 55-200mm, slightly slower than Nikon's true AFS). Not all third-party lenses are up to par with Nikkors but the ones I've mentioned offer 90% of the performance at 1/2 or 1/3 the price. If you buy used (i'll reccomend the Cafe for-sale section once you hit the minimum posts) you could even throw in a good sharp macro-prime for portraits and still come in under the price of the Nikkor. The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is another great inexpensive fast normal-zoom option and very lightweight (but probably not as durable).

You can probably see from my profile that I support third party lenses nearly whole-heartedly... the main reason being I'm not a pro... and if I can get 90% or more the performance of the pro lenses at 1/2 to 1/3 the cost then that represents a truly amazing value to me as an enthusiastic but still mainly amerature photographer.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
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SLC, Utah
I vote for the 18-200 over the 24-120 without doubt. The extra range is well worth it. I tryed both and opted for the 18-200 and am ever so glad I did.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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Arizona
I shoot film as well as digital, so the 24-120vr is the only one of the choices you present that would work for me. Here's an example of the 24-120vr in action on my N80:

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