18-55mm vr or 18-135mm for a d80

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by anton_miguel, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. hi guys!

    I'll be buying my very first slr camera. I've decided to go with the nikon d80 instead of d60 and d40 because of the
    price drop in d80.

    my concern right now is my everday lens. should i go with 18-55mm vr or 18-135mm?

    i'l be using it mostly when im in vacation, taking pictures of my family and the sceneries.

    hope to hear from you guys!

    thanks and best regards.
  2. I just bought the 18-135 as a travel lens to go with my D70s. I have two bodies, a Tokina ATX Pro 12-24mm F/4, Nikon AF 24-85mm f/2.8-
    4 D macro, Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR that I use for my work, but when I thought about personal traveling where I want to be less
    encumbered and still have a versatile lens, and is not terribly expensive, I decided to go with the 18-135.

    I did find that as a number of other people have mentioned, the plastic part of the bayonet mount makes mounting it a little touchy. You
    have to be sure it is twisted on securely to make the proper connection to the camera.
  3. I rather go with Nikon 18-70mm AF-S..... it a much better built lens
  4. bmm


    Out of just these two I'd go the 18-55. It has slightly better image quality and VR at the cost of reach. And if you want longer telephoto the 55-200VR, which is almost a 'sister' lens to it, is an affordable and lightweight longer option for a second lens.

    As previously mentioned, the 18-70 is also worth a look for its better build quality.

    18-135 would only come into the picture if you were sure that you never wanted to buy another lens, and if you wanted to use your D80 essentially as an 'advanced point-and-shoot' with one do-it-all lens bolted on full-time. Even then, if that was your aim, the 18-200VR would fit the bill better.
  5. Another vote for the 18-70.
  6. >> Another vote for the 18-70.

    And - a 35mm f2 D; it behaves like a traditional 50mm standard lens on the D80, and it's must faster than the zooms. I
    often use just the 35mm on my D80.
  7. bmm


    Tom I see where you're going with the 35/2 suggestion and being a prime-a-holic myself I concur but given Anton's original post I don't know whether the 50/1.8 wouldn't have been a better suggestion. It is a good versatile introduction to fast primes, low light performance, etc and for 1/3 of the cost of the 35mm it will allow him to spend no more than $100 to find out if that's the direction he wants to go in.

    that said I do agree that 35/2 and D80 is a really nice combo. Its the one I use most regularly.
  8. I use the 18-135 on my D70s and apart from making sure that it is properly mounted (as mentioned earlier) I really like it.

    If I could have afforded it, I would have got the 18-200.

    My final choice was between the 18-70 and the 18-135 - in the end the extra reach made me go with the 18-135 - if build quality had been a bigger consideration I would have gone 18-70.

  9. If the OP wanted a lens other than the two he listed, he would have indicated so. Why not recommend the 17-55mm which is even better than the 18-70mm?

    I have used both. They both deliver EXCEPTIONAL image quality equal to Nikon lenses costing much, much more, including the 18-70mm. You will not be able to tell the difference between identical the pictures taken with the two lenses.

    The 18-135mm give you quite a bit of extra reach which always comes in handy. If you buy your lens new, it will have 5 years if warranty in the US. Both are fantastic lenses and you won't go wrong with either.
  10. Uhmm! Elliot's post is making me add my opinion! 18-70 all the way! Got more reach that the 17-55 and it is faster and
    better built than the both lenses the OP asked for. In my opinion after using the 18-70 for a year, it is a much better choice.

    I wouldn't recommend the 17-55 coz the price is 5 times more than the 18-70 but it is what I use and I love. If the OP was
    willing to pay the price of the 17-55 I would recommend it. Rene'
  11. I would personally avoid 18-55mm Nikon because to me the build quality is just too cheapy. Picture quality is fine, but the build is really making me uncomfortable. I'd rather have 18-70mm or 18-135mm as mentioned above. The good thing about 18-70mm is the mount is still made of metal.

    I'm not saying that plastic mount will deteriorate, but it feels better to have your equipment to with more metal in it, just personal satisfaction thing.

    If you don't mind third party, you should really consider Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 as well, because it's really a good value lens. But again, built quality isn't that solid, but at least it's better than Nikon 18-55mm.

    Or if you are after practicality over image quality and speed and don't mind to spend more, lots of people love their 18-200mm VR too.
  12. The 18-70 is a 'cracking' lens. I've looked at large sample images from the 18-55 and 18-135 and neither can even start to compare with the 18-70 in regard to edge sharpness, purple fringing, vignetting, distortion and construction. For some big online samples visit photozone.de, and the D70 review at dpreview.com.
  13. For those of you being critical of the 18-55mm and 18-135mm, please post your comparison test shots.

    I have compared the 18-55mm to the 17-55mm and I found image quality to be pretty much equal. You can see the
    extreme crop comparison shots here.


    Considering I was comparing a $100 lens to a $1200 lens, I consider the results surprising. Nikon makes great
    inexpensive lenses and great expensive lenses. I am not saying that the 18-55mm is as good as the 17-55mm in
    practical usage. I would prefer to shoot a wedding with the 17-55mm. - but for general usage, the 18-55mm
    delivers pretty much equal image quality to the 17-55mm.

    I am not disputing the image quality of the 18-70mm or its build quality. But image quality is NOT an area that
    either the 18-70mm, 18-55mm or the 18-135mm are deficient in - they all deliver superb image quality.

    And neither of the two lenses is going to fall apart in the OP's hands. For vacation pictures and everyday use,
    the 18-135mm can't be beat for weight (lack of), image quality (superb) and reach.

    Nikon backs all of its new lenses with a 5 year warranty, even the inexpensive ones. All their lenses are built
    to last. I have owned many Nikon lenses and the only one that has ever had a major failure was my extremely well
    built, heavy (lots of metal and glass) 70-200mm that does not have perfect edge sharpness, vignettes a little and
    also gives a bit of distortion.
  14. bms


    What is the question? None of these are pro zooms, and you did not indicate that you have to have one of those. I echo the above that IQ is probably similar. If you shoot mostly landscape, or in low light, get 18-55 VR. You think you'll need the 56 to 135 range, get the 18-135 and a sandbag for stabilization :)
    I gave the 180-135 and my D80 to my dad, who loves both and got exquisite IQ when he was visiting recently (OK, he shoots it on AUTO with JPEGs, so what?). I think you'll find yourself buying another lens before the plastic mount wears out, especially if you never take the lens off.
  15. With the choice between these two lenses I would make the decision based on required focal lengths. If your budget is limited then the base 18-55mm kit lens should work well. Personally I would choose neither. The 18-70mm is a bit faster which is important to me or just get a 24mm f2.8 prime. For long term use I would consider an even faster zoom in this range like the Tamron 17-50mm or a 12-24mm zoom and prime 50mm for wide angle range and tele speed. If down the road you need a tele I suggest you get a fast prime so that you will be able to isolate the subject with a narrow DoF when needed. 135mm at f5.6 is just to limiting for me. Something like a 85mm f1.8 and 180mm f2.8 are not to dear in price but very handy.
  16. Hi,

    If you think about a lens beginning with 18mm, I will suggest that you should think about 18-70mm or very new lens of Nikon, 18-105mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR...
  17. Another very solid vote for the 18-7o. It is the best glass for the money in that category of Nikon lenses.

  18. bms


    Tamron 17-50 ~ $420 - It's f/2.8! I have it, love it

    Nikkor 18-70 ~ $350

    If you do not need the reach and have the money, pick one (I'd go for the Tamron, but I never usedteh 18-70 and thus
    there is bias)

    Here are the ones you asked about, I already commented.

    Nikkor 18-135 ~ $340 (used probably more like $200 but be careful)

    Nikkor 18-55 VR ~ $180
  19. >> "I rather go with Nikon 18-70mm AF-S..... it a much better built lens"

    The 18-70 DX is an excellent lens for its price. But it suffers from very serious vignetting at 18mm and f/3.5, and serious complex
    distortion at its wide end. I believe the 18-55 doesn't have neither of those problems. The VR version of the 18-55 is not only cheaper than
    the mid-grade zooms (but it's not optically inferior in any significant way), but its VR feature also makes much more usable for shooting still
    scenes under dim lighting. Most other VR lenses besides the 55-200VR are much more expensive than it.
  20. I go with Eliot! A couple of years ago I was contemplating the 18-70 and the 18-135 for my D70s as a travel lens I
    saw his comparison refferd by him above and got the 18-135. I have never looked back. For day to day and travel
    photography this much maligned lens is it. Sharp sharp, excellent saturation, excellent everything. Beats every
    expensive competition hands down, provided you dont open the lens all the way. Then distortion, vignetting or light
    fall off is troublesome but can be fixed some in pp. For good lighting conditions its tops. I have mounted and
    dismounted the lens maybe more than a thousand times except for circular marks on the plastic mount nothing has
    gone wrong. However I see in forums that this lens has not become very popular. Possibly most are pro's and I agree
    it is not suitable for poor light work, portraits and other special requirements. However for what it is meant for it is the
    best for me. I have the Sigma 10-20, the Sigma 30/1.4 the Nikon 50/1.8 and the Nikon 70-300 VR. That more or less
    covers all my photo requirements. My 2 bits.
  21. Sorry I meant Eliots comparison of the 18-135 and the 18-200 (shots of the detergent bottle) and not the one mentioned above.
  22. The choice is actually pretty easy: check out the new AF-S 18-105 VR. Sharper than 18-135, more zoom range than the 18-55, and has VR.
  23. I got 18-135mm DX (without VR) like most others as a part of a kit. I borrowed 18-55mm VR lens from a friend and took few pictures to do a side by side comparison and honestly both lens gives great depth, wonderful vivid colors. With a far zoom yes you do get a little dark corners but that can be easily resolved using few software tricks.
    The best thing to do which I did is purchase a Nikon kit with 18-135mm lens and sell the lens (can be sold for about $250-300) and upgrade yourself with 18-200mm VR lens ($700). By doing that you will need just ONE lens for vacations or general use.
    That said, I wouldn't pay so much more for 18-135mm lens but just get 18-55mm VR if you have tight budget. The lens would be just fine to get you started with your first SLR camera.

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