Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 18-200 VR

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by sam_ginger, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Do you have any experience to use Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 18-200 VR? How good this lens for Nikon D7100? Is the quality of the pictures acceptable?
  2. I've no personal experience, but on the basis of every review I've read of this lens and a number of comments over the last few years, not very, and no (depending on what you find acceptable).

    To be a little clearer about that, it'll produce images that are just as good as the images it'd produce on a D100: used at the right aperture in good conditions, it'll be sort of okay, and fine if you don't print too large. And, obviously, the quality of an image depends far more on the subject and photographer than the lens. But will this lens extract the best resolution from Nikon's highest-resolving DSLR? No, not even close.

    This isn't because the 18-200 is an especially bad lens, it's just that any 11x zoom is optically compromised. If you want the convenience of a superzoom, this lens is as good as any, but it won't deliver everything that the sensor is capable of. If you want the best from the sensor, you end up with some compromises in convenience. That's the curse of having a camera that can make huge prints - everything else has to keep up. (If you don't make huge prints, you can cut corners, like having this lens.)

    I hope that helps. If it makes you feel better, I'm in the same scenario with my D800.
  3. Acceptable for what?

    Meaning, how do you use most of your images? Do any of them make it past on-screen viewing of a JPG perhaps a thousand pixels wide? Do you print, and if so, do any of the prints make it past 5x7?

    What do you shoot? Are you expecting to handle distant sports action in poor light? Every lens has compromises, and the 18-200 makes quite a few compromises in order to avoid being physically large and very expensive. Whether those compromises matter to you will depend on what sort of subject matter you shoot, under what circumstances, with what sort of intended output. Before we start describing every possible pro and con, it would sure help if you could provide a little context for the question.
  4. at


    In the context of a "travel lens" I find it much more than acceptable. When used properly
    even very sharp. Why does everyone crap on this lens? It serves a very valuable service.
    As an example: On any given vacation I ask myself...Is this a photography vacation or a family vacation? If its a family vacation they usually dont tolerate tripods, setup, waiting for right moment, etc. If it is indeed a photography vacation I take better lenses.
  5. August - I thought we were being quite reasonable. :) The best camera is the one you have with you, and the best lens is the one on your camera. Better still if it gives you as much control over framing as the 18-200 does. But at any given focal length, it is compromised, and there are generally better options available - if you know what focal length you want and which lens to put on the camera. If you don't, the 18-200 is as good as anything - my (cheaper) 28-200 did sterling service on my D700 for some years when I didn't know in advance which lens I'd need, though I admit that I feel it's too compromised to leave on the D800 in the same way.

    But I assumed that the original question was one of two things: a) will an 18-200 be the obvious weak point in imaging on a D7100 (yes), and b) is the Nikkor 18-200 the best lens available in this range (probably). Though - still without doing the D7100 complete justice - the 18-55/55-200 combination is by all accounts significantly better-behaved if you don't mind a single lens change in the range.
  6. The 18-200mm started showing its issues with my D90, and I happily got rid of it for 2/3 of what I paid, to step up to the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. Doubling the number of pixels can't be good for your proposed combo.
    August, I don't find that I've missed any opportunities with the 17-50mm and 55-200mm VR combo (now a 16-85mm with 55-200mm VR combo) that I had with my 18-200mm. Heck, even with a single lens, the midrange focal lengths (from widest angle until 50mm to 70mm or so) is where 95% of your shots reside. The capabilities of my photos, however, has quite increased. As mentioned, even the 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR combo beats it optically, and god forbid you have to change lenses on your interchangeable lens camera.
  7. Personally I have had some lovely pictures with mine. I just bought a D600 and if you want a shot at a mint lens with boxes and less thank 5k shots, give a holla. :) Its not the VR2 though. Circa 2008.
  8. I just want to clarify my question. I did use this lens (18-200) with my Nikon D200. I was satisfied with the quality of the photos. Now I would like to use this lens in a combination with my new D7100. Should I expect the same quality as it was in a combination with D200?
  9. Should I expect the same quality as it was in a combination with D200?​
    Yes, it will be about the same quality. The point is: the camera behind it is a lot more capable. So, what Matt and Andrew hinted at in their first posts, it's all about how you end up using the image. If the images coming from a D200/18-200VR are sufficient quality for your uses today, then so will be images be from a D7100/18-200VR tomorrow.
    But when you see a photo of the D7100 with a better quality optic (even the cheap simple 35 f/1.8DX), you will realise more that the 18-200VR does have its limits - limits which the D200 just scratches, but which the D7100 goes well beyond. Pixelpeeping will give some disappointments, but normal sized prints will be at least as good as the D200 can deliver.
  10. Yes Sam, the D7100 will make better images with the 18-200mm than the D200 made with the 18-200mm. The new combo will reasonably perform the old combo, and your photos won't lose any sharpness compared to what you have now (they will only get sharper). Everyone is just pointing out that although it's an improvement, in many situations, the camera will be outperforming the lens, and to get the most out of your investment into a new camera body, you might consider investing in optics that can take advantage of the D7100's capabilities.
  11. I loved my 18-200. I had one for 3 or 4 years with a D50. At 6MP I thought it was great up to about 120mm or so and then fair up from that.
    On my D90 it got really weak at the wide end, so I replaced it with an 18-70/70-300VR combo which I like miles better.
    It was a great lens in its day, no way would I buy it now.
    ymmv, especially if you don't plan to crop in much or print very big.
  12. The 18-200 gives you a remarkably great range of focal lengths with some significant compromises. It is a great walk about lens. I bought mine with my D80. I then went to a D90 and subsequently to a D7100. I can see the weaknesses in this lens (version 1) with all my camera bodies particularly as compared to primes on the D7100; however, I am reluctant to get rid of it because of its' usefulness as a 'walk about' lens. I took some great images with it.
    How fast are you at switching lenses and comfortable are you at carrying multiple lenses to cover this range of focal lengths while being a tourist?
    Would I buy another? No. I've learned to make my legs do the zooming.
  13. Perhaps I've been very lucky with my copy of the 18-200 mm Nikkor, or perhaps I've been missing something. Here is a 100 percent crop of a shot taken with that lens and D90. It doesn't help with the question regarding D7100...
  14. Mikhail, what aperture was that shot at?
  15. It was shot at f/4.8, 1/500 sec, 60 mm. For me the biggest shortcoming of this lens (in addition to distortion) is the fact that it is slow; I mostly use the Sigma 17-50mm to photograph people indoors or to photograph dogs and cats.
  16. 100% crops at 135mm or 200mm would be very very different, and in many cases, unacceptable.

    From 18 - 100, that lens does a really nice job, even only one stop down. And it gave me very usable images even wide open.

    I still wouldn't buy it in 2013 like I did in 2006.
  17. I wouldn't buy it again either. It is handy for vacation photography. Here, for comparison, is a shot at 200 mm, 1/100 sec at f/5.6, ISO 200 -- it's a red panda
  18. And here is for further comparison, another shot at 200 mm (also 100 percent), taken with the same D90 and 70-200 mm (the earlier version), 1,250 sec at f/5.0, ISO 200
  19. Here is the picture
  20. the falloff from 60mm to 200mm is quite noticeable on mykhail's photos. the 18-200 was designed for 6mp cameras. the d7100's resolution is 4 times that. i suspect the OP has already realized IQ will be less than what the d7100 is capable of, otherwise he wouldnt have posted this.
  21. If someone wants to travel light and not miss a shot while changing lenses, if your goal is an all around lens, sharp, with very good and fast auto focus along with a satisfactory vibration reduction system, then the 18-200 VR is a very good choice.
    Dismiss a super zoom lens based only for it's optical performance is forgetting why super zooms are made for. You can not have the best optical results in a lens which was manufactured to provide the broadest possible range in a single lens and at a specific price. You have to compromise. And that compromise is entirely depending on the use of this lens. If for example an architecture wants to use this lens for his work, then it's a bad idea. But if you like a single lens to accompany your everyday photo adventures and some excursions, then I think the 18-200 still remains a calculable value/choice. For me it still does the job, when needed, on my D300s and D7000. Presumably, it will do the job on a D7100 as well, as far as you know what you're asking from the lens and it's capabilities/shortcomings. As Matt said in the first place it's the use of the lens that will determine it's value. Cheers!
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I too feel that the OP is well aware that the 18-200 DX is not the best lens optically. It is a good choice if convenience is
    important to you, especially during travel. The 18-200 is also better on its short end than its long end. If you want a lens
    that can fully realize the potential of the D7100's 24MP sensor, you need to look elsewhere.

    The bottom line is that only the photographer (the OP I this case) can make that decision.
  23. the 18-200 was designed for 6mp cameras. the d7100's resolution is 4 times that​
    Since resolution is a linear function, it would be more technically correct to say that the resolution is twice as great in going from 6 megapixels to 24. Still, that is an enormous increase (100%) in resolution.

  24. All the lenses in this class have a special purpose - versatility and convenience - and from what I can read and see in this thread it seems to satisfy that need.
    I am curious about the comments that the Nikkor 18-200 VR lens was designed for 6MP technology, but the D7100 has a 24MP sensor, and so somehow supposedly the lens is less adequate. The lens is not digital. It is just a lens and the optics are independent of the number of pixels on the sensor plane. Can someone please explain how an optical lens can be designed differently depending on the digital resolution of the image sensor? One would have thought that a good lens would be equally good in all cameras and it is the quality of the rest of the camera that might improve the quality of the photographs - with the same lens.
  25. Shlomo, the lens isn't so much "designed" for 6MP technology as much as it was designed when 6MP was the norm for the 2 consumer level DSLRs that were available from Nikon.

    It is fuzzy at the long end, even stopped down, to the point where many (including me) who upgraded to 12MP and beyond found it less than satisfying.

    If you're only viewing on screen and on the web, it's fine, to be honest.
  26. Just stumbled upon this (somewhat old) thread. I also have a D7100 and already own the Nikkor 18-200 VR II. I'm a decided amateur, but like some of the posters, I've noticed a clear difference between my prime lens 50mm 1.4 and the 18-200. I know this is to be expected b/c I'm giving up some quality in exchange for the convenience. But the sentiment w/in the thread is that this lens is not a good fit w/ the 7100. My question is: for a versatile, travel-type lens, what would you recommend in its place? I love, love, love my 50mm lens and use it most of the time, but there are obviously some times where I need a lens with some range. And to have better quality (even if it doesn't measure up to the prime lenses) would be awesome. Thanks!
  27. Scott,
    16-85/70-300 combo would be awesome for travel (both VR), and add a little 35mm f1.8 DX for low light...
  28. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    My question is: for a versatile, travel-type lens, what would you recommend in its place?​
    When you say a lens, if you mean just one singular lens that can do it all, perhaps there is no better compromise than the 18-200mm DX and the 18-300mm DX lenses.
    If you perfer higher optical quality, splitting the zoom range into two lenses with fewer compromises as Peter Hamm suggests would be a good approach. In particular, the 16-85mm DX lens is optically very good, but it is a relatively expensive lens for such a slow zoom.

Share This Page