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Zoom dilemma

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by woundedmallard, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Hey All,

    I've got a 70-200 Vr, and yes I like it. Quite often I'm wishing I could get a little wider. I usually put the 70-200 on one D200 and my 300 f/4 w/ 1.4 Tc on the other in the passenger seat while birding. Just about never open up the 70-200 past f/6.3 as I generally hate the results.
    It is indeed my secondary lens when shooting wildlife and also when shooting portraits (28-70 usually gets the call on that one). Am I crazy to think of trading the 70-200Vr for an 18-200 VR? Maybe I'm just being lazy?

    Somebody talk some sense into me! :wink::biggrin:
  2. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Its no fun having a 2.8 zoom if you cant use it wide open. Its funny because my old 80-200 ED 2.8 is razor sharp wide open. Maby somthing is out of wack with your 70-200 VR 2.8 lens. It just dosnt sound right. I think getting the slower 18-200 VR is a step in the wrong direction. Maby its time to go prime? A Nikkor 180 2.8 ED AIS will knock you socks off in the sharpness division, availible for cheap, and it is a little wider:biggrin:

  3. The 18-200 isn't particulary sharp either, especially when compared to primes.
  4. Ya know, that thought had ocurred to me a while back. It took me a while to get the hang of the 70-200, but I started questioning my hand holding abilitites, but I do fine with the 300 f/4. I bought it used about a year ago (70-200), perhaps it's time for a check-up?

    It certainly doesn't make sense that the 18-200 should be a better lens IQ wise. Think I'll send it in first before I trade it away. Thanks.
  5. I don't think your crazy, but only you can make this decision. Over the last six months I have found myself thinking along the same lines, what do I really need, what is it I really want ????

    I had the Nikon 17-55 2.8 DX, a really nice zoom, but I sold it. Nothing wrong with it, but once I had a flagship optic and the honeymoon was over I kinda re-evaluated what I really *needed*. I kinda lost the 'lust' for this kind of glass, it's good stuff and all, but hard to explain, once you have it, it's just not the same for some reason, it's that lusting that makes it special, not the ownership :smile:

    What I think makes sense for me, is to sell my zooms ( i will keep that 75-150 Series E, that is some really *magic* glass) and pick up an 18-200 and then invest in primes - i think this gives me the best of both worlds without breaking the bank, here is my reasoning:

    The 18-200 while discounted by some is a very versitle zoom. It seems whenever I go out shooting with my 18-70 I am wanting more reach, whenever I take my 70-300 I need a wider angle. People can knock the 18-200 all they want, but one trip the 18-200 user group over on flickr and your jaw will drop to the floor -it's not that the lens is sharpest optic out there, but the versitility allow s people to be more creative IMHO, and that is why that group has such great stuff. It may not anywhere near the level of pro zooms but that doesn't bother me in the least, Capture/Photoshop can make any zoom look good with a few clicks :wink:

    Primes. I love 'em. Small, light, and they go faster than any Nikon zoom in the line-up. They make you think, they are fun to use, and some of the highest rated ones are cheap (35 f/2, 50 1.8, 85 1.8).

    The more gear I carry with me, the less satisifed I seem to be when taking pictures. Changing lenses, hauling a back pack, it just takes away from the whole process. When I plug that little, cheap plastic sharp as hell 50 1.8 on my D200, i feel so 'alive' - i dunno, maybe it's just me :) 

    This type of 'kit' isn't for everyone, but to me it's very logical in many respects, one zoom for when I just don't know what I need, and a couple fast primes for critical, low light, or when I am feeling creative...
  6. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Its big of you to say that the problem might be camera operator. I was going to say that, just because 99% of the time when my efforts behind the glass fall short its operator error. Now granted I shoot MF 100% with no VR so if the my slides, negs or captures are off than its me. That being said. It still may be your lens
    On a general note, I think its easy to fall back on technology to solve are photographic problems, like focus, exposer and keeping the camera still. All with the intent on being able to focus more on "are" creativity. but I wonder with out having direct controll on the basic's shutter speed, aperature, Iso if something isnt lost. And that something is sometimes us.

  7. yes, you are crazy
    IQ on the 70-200 blows away the 18-200....you will not be happy
    the 18-200 is very nice for vacation though
  8. I wonder why you never open the aperture larger than f/6.3? Can you elaborate on what you generally hate about the results?
  9. ^ yeah that

    If you're not using it wide open, you should grab a 70-300mm VR instead - for much lower cost and a little extra reach

    I wouldn't recommend this path though - I am trying to do the opposite....
  10. moffo


    Oct 20, 2005
    Central TX
    If you want wider, why not just get a D700? :smile:
  11. LDB415


    Apr 26, 2008
    My observations are 1. I'd get the 70-200 checked out to see if there's anything amiss and 2. out of your list of gear, if I were going to change anything at all, it would be the 18-70 that might go to make room for a different lens. I really like my 18-200 but wouldn't want to give up a 70-200 if I had it to get this one. Good luck deciding.

  12. Well honestly I'm probably lacking in "technique" as they always seem far softer that I think they should be, particularly in the area that I thought I was focusing on! :tongue:
    There's been times when I've thought, wow, now I like this lens. then there's times when I ask myself, why do I have this lens? I'll have to dig for some images, or take some since I don't think I've kept any shot wide open.

    I keep waiting for that "moment of clarity" to hit me and find a groove with it, so I don't think I'll unload it too fast as I don't usually find that kind of $$ lying around should I regret such a move after the fact.

    Appreciate everyone's input.
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