Moving on from the 18-200mm VR?!

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by simon_hickie|1, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. I've analysed more than 15000 digital images taken over the last three years and identified the following: about
    70% of my images are in the 16-80mm (actual focal length, not 35mm equivalent) range, and 30% 80 to 200mm range,
    of which about half are at the 200mm end; 80% are between f8 & f11; shutter speeds are typically 1/60th or
    faster. Most shots are hand held, some are monopod supported & still fewer use a tripod.

    My 18-200 has a clear weakness at the 200mm end. My sharpest lens at the wide end is the Tamron 17-50mm & at the
    long end I'm using the 70-210mm f4-5.6 push-pull zoom. I also have the Nikon 18-70mm & Sigma 10-20mm to call on
    if needed. Surprisingly, I find the gap between the 17-50 & 70-210 a pain since the 50 to 70 region is where I
    take quite a lot of pictures.

    I'm not a tripod fan & prefer VR to buy me a couple of stops. However, I will use a tripod in challenging light
    if needed. Wide maximum apertures are of limited appeal due to my type of photography where greater depth of
    field is usually preferred. Landscapes, architecture and people are my main subjects.

    I'm looking for a two lens walk-about solution. I see three possibilities:

    (1) Get the 70-300 VR & keep the 18-200 for the wider end
    (2) Get the 70-300 VR & keep the 18-70 for the wider end (keeping the 18-200 for when I REALLY can manage only
    one lens)
    (3) Get the 70-300 VR & the 16-85 VR & sell the 18-200

    I've dismissed the Nikon 80-200 on the grounds of weight & lack of VR (I'm aware that VR does not freeze subject
    motion, but neither does a tripod!).

    Opinions from those who have used the Tamron 17-50 and Nikon 16-85mm would be welcome, and especially when
    compared with the 18-200 in the 18-85mm range.
  2. Hi Simon,

    I am in a similair situation. I have the 17-50 and the 18-200. I am looking at getting the Sigma 70-200 for my sons football mostly. (Not a pro so the Nikon one is out). I find the 18-200 so convienent. I will sell it but I know I will miss the 1 lense walkabout etc. As for the 17-50, it would be nice if it was 20mm longer but a few more steps forward makes up alot for it short fall. If you don't need the 2.8 on the long side I would go the 70-300VR. I would get this if it was faster, but on a cloudly cold morning watching football, 5.6 is to slow.
  3. simon, it seems like you have a lot of redundancy with the 17-50, 18-70 and 18-200 all covering the same terrain at the wide end. if you add one more zoom lens in that range, your camera bag might spontaneously combust. seriously, i'd be careful.

    how about (4): get the 70-300 VR and 16-85 VR and sell the 18-200, 17-50, and 18-70?

    since you're big on VR and not so big on tripods and 2.8 apertures, i probably shouldnt even bring up the sigma 50-150/2.8, which works very well with the tamron 17-50 (which is my go-to guy on a d300) and can take a TC.

    hate to encourage your NAS, but you may want to consider biting the bullet and just going for the 70-200 VR +TC, you know you want one eventually, and that and the 70-300 VR are the only non-kit nikkor zooms that go to that length with VR so you're not exactly overwhelmed with a whole lot of options for your stated requirements. even if you dont shoot @2.8 often, the great thing about wide aperture lenses is they hit max sharpness sooner (less clicks) and give more brightness in viewfinders. it may not be possible to get the 70-200VR and the 16-85 in one fell swoop, however, but since your most pressing need seems to be at 200mm, i'd probably address that first, IIWY.
  4. The 16-85 and 70-300 is a nice combo. i used the 70-300 as a pj for a quite a while and it performed very nicely. ~ nic
  5. I have the 17-50/2.8 and the 70-300 VR and love the combination and quality of pictures I get with them. I have to make do with the 17-50 for my church and indoor sports. The only outdoor sport I shoot is track and seldom have it run into the evening hours.
  6. Simon, you seem set on buying a lens up to 300, but do you need it? If you can stay under 200, I would suggest the 24-70
    f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8. Awesome lenses. Anything under 24, use your Sigma 10-20.
  7. I would want an 18-200 if I did a lot of location scouting. Other than that, it's either to slow, or to soft. If I were you, i'd
    consider selling both the 18-70, and the 18-200, and get the 16-85 VR.

    If you dont mind non-nikon glass, i would suggest the Tokina 50-135 f/2.8, I dont own it but all the shots i've seen with
    it seem really good. With the 1.5 multiplier of a dx camera it is the equivalent of a 70-200 on a full frame camera. You
    claim most of your shots between 50 and 70mm, so why not a lens that starts at 50 and goes to 135? If you sell your
    18-200 it's basically an even trade for the Tokina new.

    The fast 50-135mm seems perfect for getting out of the way, but not being in left field. If you want something longer, i
    was able to pick up a 200 f/4 manual focus, manual exposure nikon on ebay for $75, does the job when i need it, plus i'm
    handy in photoshop for correcting exposure errors.

    I think i just like how Tokina splits up their lenses, 11-16, 16-50, and 50-135, nice and simple product line, okay they
    have more than just those lenses, but those are the ones i want.
  8. Seems to me you already answered your own question - sell the 17-50, 18-70, 18-200, 70-210 and get the 16-85VR and 70-300VR. The 16-85 will be better than the 18-200 in the range where they overlap and the 70-300 will do the same in their overlaps.
  9. Simon, I was going to suggest the same as Dieter as long as you are okay without the faster 17-50 lens. Funny, I shoot very little in the 50-70mm range and I definitely have need for something faster than the 16-85/70-300. Guess that's why there are so many choices.
  10. "Moving on from the 18-200mm VR?!"

    That's a misleading subject title, don't you think, Simon? You've already got a quill-full of lenses, with multiple options for
    carrying just two of them to cover a wide range of focal lengths:

    >the Tamron 17-50mm [snip] 70-210mm [snip] the Nikon 18-70mm & Sigma 10-20mm<

    I'm not quite sure what you're asking - it doesn't seem to have much to do with the 18-200mm - but I think it's got
    something to do with permission to spend your money on one or two nice, new optics. ;-) I say go for it!
  11. I have the 18-200mm on a D200 and am considering the D700. I just purchased the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 and it blows away the 18-200mm on the D200 - I did not realize I could get images that sharp with the D200. I am considering the 70-300mm VR for a telephoto zoom (only considering full frame lens) - I think the 70-200mm and 80-400mm are too large and heavy. I plan to send the 18-200mm to Nikon for a checkup - maybe I have a bad copy and it's nice to have the option of one lens for some applications. I would use the two lens setup for most applications and only use the 18-200mm for snapshots.
  12. 80-400 VR + the 16-85VR. From your description of usage, I think you will have the 16-85 almost permanently on the camera.. the 80-400 is sharp, I think its sharper than the 70-300 .. But I dont own either so I dont know for sure only played with them a bit. The advantage of the 70-300 is the size. I would say get a second camera for the second lens if you are in the shooting mode, Also get the 50mm 1.8/1.4 since its in your Sweet zone -- 50-70mm (You can crop the 50mm a bit for your 70mm shots) You could probably just carry that 50mm and be very happy . My sweet zone is very different from yours.. I hardly ever take any in the 50-70 range.. I take most in the 160-200 range .. so I got a 150mm macro and i can have that lens mounted and be very happy snapping my pictures and cropping when I need more range.
  13. Thanks to all for your suggestions so far. The 16-85 looks like a winner - as evidenced by a slightly later thread. Ironically, the 18-200 bailed me out at a recent family wedding reception. The Tamron 17-50mm was hopelessly slow at focusing (built-in micro-motor model) and the 18-200 proved to be much more versatile. The bit of extra reach + VR makes it more useful than the 18-70 (which I will keep as backup).

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