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View Full Version : Nikkor 18-55 vs. 18-70



LR Max
12-08-2006, 09:56 AM
I apologize for being so indecisive. I just want to make sure I buy the RIGHT lense ONCE. I've already wasted enough money as is...

These two kit lenses, I am trying to figure out which one to procure. Everything I've read has indicated that the 18-55 will produce a higher quality image at 18mm. But then again the 18-70 has a little bit longer range on it.

My main goal: find a walk around lense/main use lense. I currently own a Tamron 70-300mm and a nikkor 50mm f/1.8. I have nothing for the wide angle end of it. I am not looking for too much of a low light lense, since the 50mm is far superior in that aspect than any zoom lense that I could procure at a reasonable cost.

I have used the 18-70mm. Pretty nice lense, but twice the price of the 18-55 (price is a concern for me, but I am willing to pay the extra $$ for decent glass). I really want to stick to nikkor equipment, since I have already had a bad run with 3rd party lenses.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Stoller
12-08-2006, 10:28 AM
Get the 18-70, you will use the extra range. I have had both.

rawpaw18
12-08-2006, 11:56 AM
I almost always find myself wanting more range, I absolutely love mine. It is very sharp and solid build. The distortion at the 18mm end is noticeable, but I correct in pp when needed. Focus is very fast too.

Higher quality at the 18 end? Are you talking about distortion, sharpness or something else?

LR Max
12-08-2006, 12:59 PM
The review I am reffering to is here:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/1855.htm

He indicates less barrel distortion at 18 with the 18-55mm compared to the 18-70mm. I am thinking of this because I like to do landscape pictures and I can easily see me using the 18mm side of the zoom. But if picture project can eliminate the barrel distortion, then I think it'll be alright.

I do use picture project, but I'd prefer for my pictures to be pretty nice straight out the camera (obviously).

I do concour, sometimes a little extra zoom is very nice. This is definately one of the prominant features of the 18-70mm. This is a very important aspect since I also want this lense to double as my walk around lense.

Thanks for all of the assistance so far. I hope more people can chime in on the subject.

rawpaw18
12-08-2006, 09:23 PM
Picture Project does not have a lens distortion correction feature, I was using pp to mean post processing.

The only corrections I do are more for architecture than landscapes. I would say that in your landscape shots the distortion is less noticeable than with straight lines in your shot.

K1W1
12-10-2006, 12:34 AM
I have the 18-55 and a 70-300 and I can say that I have never once missed the 15mm difference between the two. I tend to use the 18-55 in the 18-35 type range (as a wide angle) and in this range it seems to be better than the 18-70.
If you want a one size does all lens IMO you should be looking at the Sigma 18-125 or the Nikon 18-135 lenses at least as neither the 18-55 or the 18-70 really has enough range to be considered a one lens solution.
Of course your mileage may vary.

FTO13
12-22-2006, 10:31 AM
I'm going to add the 18-200 AF-S DX for my D40, after the first of the year. I tried the 18-135 on a D40 body, last week, and I liked the results. I figured the extra 65 mm will be beneficial and provide a good one solution lens for most of my shooting. I've found them for $749 at a few places (Wolf.com, Camera World, & Photo Alley) from Shopping.com...Not a bad deal for such a great lens. I just wish I could've ordered my D40 with this lens already on it.

Cheers,
FTO13
"ForeverTheOptimist"

tcadwall
12-22-2006, 11:49 AM
Optimist...

What do you shoot?

Maybe you have already done your homework. The 18-200VR is a great lens for many things - I don't regret buying it at all. It is NOT, however, better than a fast lens when shooting indoor sports. So if you aren't worried about low - light sports, then you will probably be very happy with the 18-200

eduardofrances
12-22-2006, 09:54 PM
If you have the budget get the 18-70mm from the start. The lens perfoms much better than any other kit lens, sharper, faster at focusing, nice focal length, not a bad choice at all.

LR Max
12-24-2006, 10:15 PM
I went down to the shop and did some testing. At 18mm the 18-55 has NO distortion while the 18-70 has some barrel distortion. This was my main thing.

I ended up going with the 18-55 that I bought used. Overall I am extremely happy with it. I mainly use it out at the 18mm end, been doing some landscape shots and such. Overall I am very happy with the results and quite the bang for the buck. I know the 18-70 focuses faster but this will suffice, on the other hand this lense is soooo light.

I do plan on going with the 18-200VR model when I've got the money. Until then, the 18-55 will work well.

jcon
12-25-2006, 12:40 AM
If you are happy with the 18-55 why not get the 70-200 VR instead of the 18-200? Youve already got the 18-55 distance covered.

erichlund
12-25-2006, 07:10 AM
If you are happy with the 18-55 why not get the 70-200 VR instead of the 18-200? Youve already got the 18-55 distance covered.

I know this is a little out of the price range we are talking about, but since the 70-200VR is listed, I guess it's fair game.

I had the 18-70 on my D70 (stolen :mad: ). I replaced the D70 with the D200 and the 18-200. I love the versatility of this lens, but distortion at the low end is significant. Of course, with Capture NX, I have the tools to correct this, and if I were only going to take one lens, the 18-200 would be it, but I wanted something better at the wide end.

I was about to go on vacation this past summer, when the 18-200 demonstrated a tendency to not auto-focus at all (:mad: again). Off to Nikon for repair (works great now :) ). In the mean time, I replaced it with couple of lenses. The 17-55DX and a Tamron 70-300.

The Tamron is nice for what it is, but yes, I slipped that 17-55DX in there. That's the expensive bit (about $1200). Frankly, it's become my "kit" lens of choice. Sure, I'll still take the 18-200 if I'm only going to carry the camera and one lens, but I've come to recognize that the 17-55 sits on the camera most of the time, just like most people's "kit" lens. The improved IQ and constant f2.8 max aperture just make it so much more convenient (if a little on the heavy side), than the typical kit lens.

LR Max
12-25-2006, 11:36 AM
I know this is a little out of the price range we are talking about, but since the 70-200VR is listed, I guess it's fair game.

I had the 18-70 on my D70 (stolen :mad: ). I replaced the D70 with the D200 and the 18-200. I love the versatility of this lens, but distortion at the low end is significant. Of course, with Capture NX, I have the tools to correct this, and if I were only going to take one lens, the 18-200 would be it, but I wanted something better at the wide end.

I was about to go on vacation this past summer, when the 18-200 demonstrated a tendency to not auto-focus at all (:mad: again). Off to Nikon for repair (works great now :) ). In the mean time, I replaced it with couple of lenses. The 17-55DX and a Tamron 70-300.

The Tamron is nice for what it is, but yes, I slipped that 17-55DX in there. That's the expensive bit (about $1200). Frankly, it's become my "kit" lens of choice. Sure, I'll still take the 18-200 if I'm only going to carry the camera and one lens, but I've come to recognize that the 17-55 sits on the camera most of the time, just like most people's "kit" lens. The improved IQ and constant f2.8 max aperture just make it so much more convenient (if a little on the heavy side), than the typical kit lens.

This is the first negative review I've heard about the 18-200VR. Everything else I've heard has been excellent. The reason I was looking at this lense is because I tend to do a lot of indoors and low light shooting. I am kinda up in the air between foraging for badass apeture (i.e. f/2.8) or going VR. I sometimes end up taking some action+low light, so the 2.8 is probably better in that aspect. I do not like using flash, but the again I don't have an external flash and I can only assume that is a totally different ball game there. I've played with the internal flash on my D70s, trying to get it to give out some light but not wash out the image. Haven't had much luck in that department.

My current plan is to borrow some fixed focal lenses and play around with them, see if I can make the magic happen then. I might end up using said fixed focal lenses for the low light actions and keep the VR as my walk around lense.

I did a lot this weekend with my 18-55 at 18mm focal length. I reckon I'll be continuing to work at that wider angle. I currently do not own photoshop, but I suppose I need to look into it (right now I only use picture project).

I currently own a Tamron 70-300 and its ok.

erichlund
12-25-2006, 01:03 PM
Please don't get me wrong. I think the 18-200VR is the best lens in its class. But it does have the one flaw and that is significant barrel distortion at the wide limit. By 24mm, all is pretty much straightened out.

I don't have Photoshop either. I've toyed with the idea, but everytime I go back and use Capture NX more, it puts me off the idea. IIRC, Capture NX is about $125 and makes photo editing dead simple (and completely reversible). I don't really know if anyone else's software used the concept of control points, but it's a really good idea.

Capture NX does have tools specific to several camera flaws. There's a specific vignette control tool and a general distortion control tool. There are also rotate and straighten tools. The distortion control is the tool you would use here, along with the crop tool.