Nikon 18-55mm DX or not ..

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by raymondc, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Hi, i still use a D70 for most of my digital photography, I bought it new at the time and have little reasons to upgrade since I do travel and tripod work. I thought about the 18-55mm due to the small 52mm filter thread? Your thoughts?
    I have a 18-70mm already but the filter thread is larger. Aperture wise they might approx be the same ... VR or non VR not teriibly important. In low ligh travel, I have a 35mm f/1.8D DX.
    So a polariser 52mm is a lot smaller than carrying my current 77mm. And with digital if I need to go light, I don't need to carry my grads.
  2. I have one (non vr)and use it for most of my photos. It's cheap, ugly, but really good. The non vr goes for a ridiculous price, and yes, 52mm is a good size that goes with many other Nikon lenses. I recommend.
  3. The 18-55mm is a fine lens. I own one and I highly recommend it. However, if I were in your situation, buying one and a 52mm circular polarizing filter just so I could shave a few ounces off my photographic load is not something I would do.
    Rather than buying a lens that duplicates the focal lengths of one I already own, I would instead buy a smaller and lighter compact camera with an f/2 zoom lens that I would use for traveling and keep the D70 and 18-70mm for tripod work at home.

  4. If you do a lot of AF-override and/or if you EVER use a polarizer, you will not like the 18-55. you need to switch to MF on the camera to override and the barrel always rotates, making using a polarizer an amazing pain in the neck. Plus, the 18-70 handles REALLY nicely except for the cramped up zoom range from 18-24.
    for low light, a 35mm f1.8 or 50mm f1.8 (or both) would be a great complement to that lens.
  5. I am not a fan of polarizers, since good glass negates the need, and you already have a zoom for that range so I too would opt for a 50/1.8 or 50/1.4. The size and weight difference moving down from a D70 is not significant.
  6. I've used 18-70, 18-55II (non-VR) and 17-55, and I wouldn't hesitate to say that the image quality 18-55 offers is fanstastic. (my 17-55 was factory defect. :( )
    That said, if you use PL, the rotating front barrel should be nothing but pain, as Peter mentioned. I would stick to 18-70 as it is faster at the longest end, shows less chromatic aberration and faster to focus, compared to 18-55.
  7. I don't mind mine. It's the non-VR version. I have no problems with sharpness or anything like that. In fact, without having photographed any test charts, I would say it's remarkably good for a cheap lens - and I'm not just repeating a review I read on any website. It does have some obvious barrel distortion at the wide end though, very apparent if you photograph anything with long straight lines near the edges. Whenever necessary, I correct it afterwards.
    That being said, I'm not sure I would go out and buy one if I already had another equivalent zoom. I wouldn't say that it's isn't solidly put together within the limits of its cheap plastic construction, because all-in-all, it does feel good to the touch for the most part. However, that forever rotating front is kind of light and wobbly. It's not very nice to focus manually with it, and as Peter said above, woefully inadequate for use with a polarizer. I mean, you can do it if you have to, but there's no real focus ring on it, just the end of the lens which turns pretty freely and rotates as it focuses.
    I'm just a failed pauper having to work with what I can afford, so like I said... I don't mind it. But it's nothing like the 28-105D I used to have for my film F80.
  8. I am not a fan of polarizers, since good glass negates the need​
    I use pol filters when needed even on my best lenses.
    I wonder how "good glass" could act as polariser e.g remove surface reflections - new physics?
  9. I have both the VR and series II versions of the uniquitous (and often maligned) 18-55. Both are very good lenses and even though I have far more expensive Nikkors, they hold their own and their light weight is appreciated. With a polarizer I use an old-school solution: A screw-in shade and holding onto it while the AF does its thing. The front rotates, the pola screen stays in place. No problem at all.
    In Ray - 's case, however, I would not recommend a switch from the 18-70 to the 18-55 to save a couple of oz's. Or mm in filter sizes.
  10. I got the VR version bundled with my D3000 & have been very impressed with it. I haven't got a bad thing to say about it for handling & image quality. Given the price as well. it is great value for money IMO.
  11. Check out the package deals at stores like B&H. The 18-55mm zoom starts to get really inexpensive when purchased with a body like the D3000 as part of a kit.
  12. Just like you I use a D70. (I have two that I bought new and have no desire to "upgrade"). I have an 18-55 nikon dx lens which I'm really pleased with. 52mm filter size is great. It's small, light and performs way above its price.
    It does have limitations (mostly slow max apeture @55mm) but if you recognize them you'll have great results.
  13. I bought the 18-55mm VR and the 55-250mm VR for under $250 on e Bay. I use them as backup gear on trips, or when I want something small and light. Last summer I lost the 77mm polarizer I use on my 17-55mm f2.8 lens on the second day of the trip. I think there were only two stores in all of Iceland that sells a replacement! Prices were ridiculous. I pulled out my 18-55mm VR lens and 52mm polarizer and used it a lot. I'd rather use a $100 lens with a polarizer than a $1,000 lens without. Polarizers cut through the glare on the glaciers and thousands and thousands and thousands of waterfalls, giving me much better color. You can find the 18-55mm VR for about $110 on e Bay, I think. The VR is worth it. As for comparing the shots between my Nikons 18-55mm VR and 17-55mm f2.8, I used f8 most of the time and can tell no difference.
    Kent in SD
  14. if you already have the 18-70 IMO there is no need for the 18-55 unless you want VR. i dont really see the point in getting a zoom which is so close to your current zoom, especially since the 18-70 is longer and faster at the long end (4.5 vs. 5.6).
    the 50/1.8 has a 52mm filter thread, so if you really want to use a pola at that size, i would buy that and stick it on there. besides, 67mm is a more common thread size, so getting a filter for that makes more sense, since it will work on the 18-70 plus a lot of potential future lenses.
  15. I've got the VR version. It´s a nice small and light lens, whose main defects are slow max aperture, rotating front element with focus, non-overridable and slow AF and, finally, it doesn't perform as well in the wide end and my copy seems to have some coma. You already know about all of them, so the true advantage is the quality it gives you for the cost. It is by no means 10 times worse than the 17-55. Nevertheless, I've no experience with the 18-70, so I can't tell you how much of a downgrade the 18-55 is.
    On the other hand, you can always buy a 52mm polarizer for the 35mm f/1.8. I understand that filter size also fits the 85mm macro (not an interesting lens IMHO) and maybe, just maybe, the 55-200 VR. If any of these lenses are in your "buy soon" list, a 52mm filter could be a good idea irrespective of the 18-55.
  16. I own the 18-70 and 18-55 VR. I like the small 18-55 lens, but the 18-70 is just way better. Since you use a tripod and all, the 18-70 can give better quality when stopped down to f/8 or f/11, better than the 18-55 can. Also, the image is clearer and brighter - I don't mean the viewfinder, I mean the image.
    Oh yeah, the polarizer... The 18-55 has a rotating lens, unsuitable for polarizer use.
    The 18-70 is just better at everything, unless you need to go really lightweight and/or you need VR (with the 18-55 VR version).

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