Nikon or Tamron

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by michael_lux, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. I am considering purchase of camera and lenses. I am interested in the D200 and
    something in a 10-17. With these I would like either a Nikon 18-200VR or Tamron
    18-250. How much of a difference am I getting for my dollar, if I use a tripod
    (image quality)and how much if I don't (VR)?
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The Tamron 18-250 is another very slow, f6.3 lens. See this recent discussion about the Tamron 18-200, which is a similar lens:
  3. Michael, I have the Nikon 18-200 and think it's great. VR is fantastic, not just handheld but from moving vehicles, and as I learned recently, even from boats.

    Even though you don't need VR using a tripod, Nikon's optics are still superior. However, if you are considering a third party lens, Sigma now has their version with VR, which they call Optical Stabalizer. Still slower than Nikon but at least it offers some stabalization.....
  4. Well this is one specific lens where the Nikon version is unquestionably superior to any of the available 3rd party versions. Not just for having VR, but because it is clearly optically best in class as well. Is it worth the large price differential over the Tamron and other 3rd party vendors' versions, even if you don't place a lot of value in the VR function? Only you and your wallet can decide that. But I would point out that if this ends up being the lens you use the vast majority of the time, wouldn't you want it to be as good as possible?
  5. Shun, the Tamron 18-250mm is f/6.3 at 250mm. If the Nikkor went out to 250mm, it would be f/6.3 at that focal length, too. But it doesn't.

    Michael, if you can scrape together the extra $250 and don't need the extra 50mm, I'd buy the Nikkor. My store sells the Tamron 18-250mm and its a good lens. But for my money, the VR and AF-S focus motor would be worth the $750.
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Eric, I suggest you read the thread I referenced above. On the Tamrom 18-200, apparently it becomes f6.3 from 110mm or so. Nikon AF is next to useless below f5.6. I would check out from which point the 18-250 becomes f6.3. Manual focusing will also become difficult with a dim viewfinder.

    For someone who has a D200 body, I would highly recommend a better lens to match the camera.
  7. I would suggest that you consider the Nikon 28-200 G 3.5-5.6 zoom. It costs about 1/3 of the 18-200 and is EXTREMELY light and compact. Not only that, it does a fabulous job -- optically it's very good -- and focuses to near macro range (about 1/3). I know, I know, 28mm isn't 18mm, but it is a little wider than a "normal" lens. This lens is often pooh-poohed as a "consumer" lens -- OK it DOES have a plastic mount -- but I'd give it a look.
    Heck, compared to Nikkor AI-s lenses ALL of the AF lenses these days feel cheap & "plasticky" -- for that matter, so do the camera bodies (unless you want to spring for a D2x)
    For what you save on the 18-200, you'd be able to spring for a super wide angle zoom like the Tokina 12-24 f/4.
  8. The Nikkor is clearly superior here. Much better glass than any other superzoom except the two Canon L's (the 35-350 and 28-300 IS).

    That said, even the Nikkor's IQ is merely good. It's an ultralight backpacking/vacation lens and very good at what it's designed for, but it simply doesn't match the better short-range zooms for image quality. Not what I'd recommend as your only lens with a D200. In fact I'd probably go with a kit of the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 or Nikkor 18-70DX and Nikkor 70-300 VR instead, along with the Tokina 12-24 (the 10-17 is a fisheye and will produce heavily distorted imagery) or a Sigma 10-20.
  9. In my experience, Tamron's are blurry pieces of junk. Stick with Nikon. I was so happy when I finally dumped all of my third party stuff and had nothing but Nikkors in my bag.
  10. I'd never admit that I was such an incompetent photographer that I could only take blurry photos with Tamron lenses.
  11. The bad thing about some Tamron lenses like the 90mm f2.8 macro lens is that you can not blame the lens if you get blurry pictures. :)

    I sold my 105AFD f2.8 micro Nikkor after I had the Tamron for a week.

    Eric there are good and bad Tamron lenses just like good and bad Sigma (etc. ) or Nikon lenses.
  12. "blurry pieces of junk"?
    eric, your opinion is so subjective here as to make you look rather foolish.

    here's a quote from photozone: "The Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP is a superb lens without any significant flaw." and here's another: "The Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR... proved to be a very good lens in the lab. The resolution figures are among the highest tested among the standard zoom lenses."

    fyi, this site is intended to provide helpful info to other photographers wanting feedback from their peers, not as a sounding board for nikkor snobs who think they're right about everything. if joe dslr gets a third party lens and is perfectly happy with it, who are you to say he shoulda got somethign else, based simply on name-brand recognition alone?

    there are lots of differing views on the 18-200. for some it is a one-lens solution that does 80% of what they need it to do. many others seem to feel the 18-70 is sharper at the wide and, and the 70-300 vr is sharper at the long end. as far as the nikon vs. tamron, it really comes down to whether extra reach and lower cost are more important to you than having the trendy lens of the moment (and VR). however, both are fairly slow (6.3 max apterture at the long end), and low-light and indoor shooters might prefer a 2.8 or faster over VR (which makes sense with the 5fps D200).

    stopped down on a tripod in good light, though, i'm sure the tamron could deliver outstanding results in the right hands. there's probably always going to be less shake with a tripod than vr, but if you plan on hand-holding at all, i'd say get the 18-200, which is (let's be real here) a consumer-grade lens with a pro price tag. still, for about the same $$, you can get an 18-300 two-lens nikkor kit that's still fairly lightweight.
  13. "I would check out from which point the 18-250 becomes f6.3. Manual focusing will also become difficult with a dim viewfinder."

    It appears that the Tamron goes to 6.3 at 200mm. Of course manual focusing would be a lot harder on the Nikon at 250mm than on the Tamron/

    Bob Atkins gave this lens a not too bad rating.
  14. Oh and it might not mean much but pop photo gave this lens a best buy award.
  15. Eric, a few corrections.....

    "many others seem to feel the 18-70 is sharper at the wide end"

    Not according to Photozone, whom you quote above.

    "both are fairly slow (6.3 max apterture at the long end)"

    The Nikon 18-200VR is 5.6 at the long end.

    "the 18-200, which is (let's be real here) a consumer-grade lens with a pro price tag"

    Consumer grade lens? Yep. Any lens slower than f/4 at the long end is hit with the 'consumer grade' label.

    Pro price tag? Not really. If you compare the price of the 18-200VR against buying the Nikon 18-70 and 55-200VR lenses, it is only $150 more. IMO that is not much to pay for VR throughout the entire range plus the advantage of only one lens, etc. YMMV, of course.

    BTW, B&H shows the Nikon 18-200VR is in stock again but as we all know, this won't last long.
  16. "On the Tamrom 18-200, apparently it becomes f6.3 from 110mm or so. Nikon AF is next to useless below f5.6."

    Not on the sample we have out in my store. And, in fairness, the Tamron 18-200mm is way more compact than the Nikon lens, is lighter, takes a smaller filter- 62mm v. 72mm- and costs just over half the price- $389 v. $750.

    "I would check out from which point the 18-250 becomes f6.3."

    A little over 200mm on our sample. Again, in fairness, the Tamron 18-250mm lens is still more compact than the Nikon 18-200mm, is lighter, takes a smaller filter- 62mm v. 72mm- and costs a lot less- $500 v. $750.

    "In my experience, Tamron's are blurry pieces of junk. Stick with Nikon."

    That statement is absurd. Tamron makes lenses for Nikon and was THE pioneer in compact, wide-to-tele ASPH zooms. In fact, going back five years, there wasn't a 28-200mm zoom on the market that didn't use Tamron's design, and many of them were made by Tamron for camera manufacturers.

    As I've already noted, I'm spoiled by AF-S focusing and would want VR in a slow, floating-aperture zoom. So, I'd buy the Nikkor, if you have the money.

    That said, most of the novices who buy at my store shoot in either bright daylight or use flash and aren't too concerned about focus speed. So, with good optics and for waaaaay less money, the Tamron 18-200mm and 18-250mm lenses are good lenses for their respective prices.
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If the 18-250 Tamron drops to f6.3 at a bit over 200mm, that means it drops below f5.6 way before 200mm. In other words, a significant part of its long end will give you iffy AF performance even under bright conditions.
  18. Would all agree that the Nikon optics are significantly superior to the Tamron? When would I notice this?
  19. "Would all agree that the Nikon optics are significantly superior to the Tamron?"

    No, I wouldn't agree that Nikon's optics are inherently better than Tamron's optics in similar lenses. Again, Tamron has made some Nikon lenses.

    I would allow that Nikon has started to give its camera buyers reason to pay more for its lenses. Nikon's introduction of AF-S focus motors was rediculously overdue. Similarly, Nikon has grudgingly added VR to some of its lenses (though not to most pro zooms like the 17-55mm f/2.8 DX lens).
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As far as I know, Tamron making some Nikon lens is merely a common rumor. Is there any official Nikon statement that confirms it?

    In these day and age, if cost is not an issue, just about any lens manufacturer can make excellent lenses. For example, the Cosina-manufactured Zeiss ZF lenses are very good optically and the construction is first class; my main objection to them is the lack of any built-in CPU and AF-S motor.
  21. I think that what I'm asking is, do all agree, VR and price aside, that the Nikon 18-200 produces a higher quality image than the Tamron 18-250?
    It sounds like we are discussing reviews (opinions of opinions). Has anybody used both of these? And, again, when would I notice the difference?
  22. Michael, even if someone used both lenses you will still just get their opinion. I don't recall any side-by-side tests but even then they would only be opinions.

    In the end, the only opinion that matters is yours. Best thing you can do is try out both lenses on a D200 and see which works for you. Look at the results yourself and see if there is a difference. If it turns out Nikon looks better to you, only you can decide if it is worth the extra money.
  23. Excellent advice. Thanks, Bruce!
  24. Bob Atkins has a review of the Tamron 18-250. It will give you some idea from a perhaps more experienced reviewer. I just glanced at it the other day. Since I'm not in the market for one of the 18-xxx lenses, I just skimmed it. With the 18-200 vr in the Nikon camp already, it may be more popular with some of the other brands.
  25. I used to belive the whole "buy Nikon over third party" arguements were a bunch of hoopla. However, I was able to purchase a 70-200 VR lens to add to a Tamron XRDII lens and a Sigma 10-20, both which produce excellent images. HOWEVER, they cannot hold a candle to the Nikon 70-200VR. Given that, I am a firm believer that Nikon is superior and since the Sigma 18-200 msrp is 820.00, I would buy the Nikon hands down. I love the Tamron XRDII series and produce great images, but Nikon just produces better photos in my opinion.
  26. I am VERY sure that your Sigma 10-20mm lens can produce images that your Nikon 70-200 VR cannot possibly hope to reproduce. And vice versa. I cannot imagine two more disparate optics with nothing whatsoever in common to compare (well maybe that Sigma vs. the Nikon 1200-1700mm zoom would be even more ridiculous a comparison).

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