View Full Version : 18-200 or 75-300 dilemma

04-12-2007, 09:30 PM
hello all,

first post here, but i'm positing a dilemma i'm having between investing in the 18-200mm vs. the cheaper (but more work) 75-300mm. Cost is a bit of an issue, but if i wrestle with it, i'm sure i can convince my bank account to accept the 18-200mm cost.

i will be traveling europe in the fall and am bringing my beloved alpha with me. However I am torn between investing in the 18-200mm which will be far more versatile, or going with the more economical and longer 75-300mm, as i already have the 18-70mm.

your thoughts?

04-12-2007, 10:04 PM
... the cheaper (but more work) 75-300mm...as i already have the 18-70mm.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. But really...not that much of a difficult decision. If you MUST have only ONE it has to be the 18-200...unless you work as papparazzi:p . As for the 18-70, ditch it!!! It will be just dead weight.

04-13-2007, 09:06 AM
If you are going on a trip ... and spending all that money in travel ... then for goodness sake, DO NOT rely on the 18-70mm kit lens for your vacation. And stay away from telephoto, indoors, unless you have an extenal flash.

The fact is the 18-70mm shoots darker than the 18-200mm. What that means is that the variable maximum aperture closes down much faster in 18-70mm.
Just check out this chart for comparison:


You can run this test, yourself, by: placing the camera in A-Mode, setting the zoom on the lens initially to 18mm, set the aperture to f/3.5 with the control dial - just in front the shutter-release, 1/2-press and hold the shutter-release button down While reading the LCD, incrementally zoom the lens.

The LCD will reflect the setting of variable maximum aperture as it goes up and down in response to your zooming.

Note: In A-mode the aperture will change its maximum aperture, once you have set it to the maximum aperture at 18mm.

Personally ... unless you like dark images, the DT 18-200 has it all over the standard kit lens. The added attraction of using one 18-200mm lens over having to sport two other lenses to do the same job around Europe can not be played up enough, either. Convenience is never going to go out of style.

One of the knocks on the 18-200mm is "speed of focus" ... on any other camera (other than the SONY A100) this may be a valid argument, but the SONY's "pre-focus" constantly refocuses as you look through the viewfinder, until you begin to press the shutter-release ... at that point, it instantly "final" focuses and waits for you to press down completely. That's a definite hedge against focus-speed.

There was a lot of work that went into designing this body, in order to optimize what used to be considered serious issues on the other manufacturer's camera bodies. The sad part is, given all this time, they still are ... but the SONY is definitely thinking ahead in these considerations and given these performance improvements, it's easy to understand how it can save you some serious money by using relatively "common glass" in uncommon ways.

You also might want to consider the brand new 18-250mm, which is an 18-200 with some added focal length ... but, that's a budget call. It definitely is more $ over the 18-200. You can probably get the 18-200mm for a fairly good price, now, that the 18-250mm improvement has been released.

If it were me ... instead of two lenses, it'd be the solo 18-200 ... just to keep it simple, when I'm on the run. That's exactly what the lens was designed to do. When you are in the studio ... I'm afraid that would be an entirely different conversation.

Have fun on your trip. :D

04-13-2007, 11:34 AM
Bought the kit with both 18-70 and 75-300mm, i was tempted by the long range zoom and that can be very helpfull sometimes when you canŽt reach the object, on the other hand 18-200mm is nice because it serves both purposes so itŽs always dificult to choose :confused:
I donŽt like to exchange lens either, 18-70mm keps on the machine since i bought it, iŽll test the 75-300mm this weekend and see the results, if not satisfatory iŽll return the kit and bring the 18-70 only wich will do for starting.
Long range and zooming on the pc is temptive :D IŽll try some planets, stars, moon and with some luck the ISS.

04-14-2007, 08:11 PM
thanks for all of the info! i'm quite new to this whole SLR world and will probably ask some basic questions (i'll try to search for forums first though!).

however, i caved and got the 18-200mm and LOVE it. the focus is a bit slower than the 18-70mm but the zoom is amazing with it. definitely a worthwhile purchase, and now i'm going to head to henry's and see if i can't get some credit for my 18-70mm lens if they'll take it.

thanks again!


04-16-2007, 08:28 AM
Personally, I am pretty resolute in my determination about using the 18-200mm(250mm) on the SONY A100.

One of the aspects that often gets overlooked is the fact that the SONY "pre-focuses" before you even press the shutter release, by just placing your eye near the viewfinder. Although a bit startling, at first, this definitely cuts down the time to "final focus" enormously, so that slower focusing lenses don't suffer nearly as much on the A100 as they would attached to other camera bodies.

Minolta truly had their finger on the pulse of SLR concepts and issues long before many others even thought to incorporate into their cameras. Many still do not have these little convenience features. SONY went a long way to adopt this aspect of the Minolta, much to the benefit of their users.

I was reading a recent review of the new TAMRON 18-250mm in "Popular Photography & Imaging" Volume 71, No. 5 - May 2007, written by Julia Silber, who concluded, also, the impressive aspects of this far-reaching zoom. It's hard to go wrong with a decent utility lens (18-200/250). Its purpose is defined as being able to reach the entire common working range and still deliver a decent image. This lens easily accomplishes that.

Enjoy that 18-200mm ... Summer is coming! :D

04-16-2007, 12:24 PM
CanŽt tell about 18-200 but i tested my 75-300mm wich came in the kit and returned it to the shop, bad bad results, colors, definition and blured image, took enough photos and all were bad.
IŽll walk with the 18-70mm for the moment.

04-16-2007, 01:15 PM
If you plan on sticking with the 18-70, I recommend you take a look at TAMRON's AF70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 (http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/70300_di_a017.asp) <- click here for a look

While not an rocket-speed focusing lens like the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, once again, when placed on the A100, the pre-focus cuts down the time quite a bit during the "final focus".

The lens is street-priced at around $189.00, so you really cannot go wrong with overspending. It's also touted as one of the sharpest focusing lenses for its price, out there. I have one of these 70-300mm, but it doesn't get very much play up against the 18-250mm. I may use it just for that little extra reach and a back-up, but that's about it.

Without the 18-200, of course, I'd say it's definitely worth a look ... but remember, get the most recent release of the lens, because there are some older 35-film versions out there, and they are not designed for use on the digital bodies.



04-20-2007, 02:01 PM
Definatly iŽd grab tamron 18-250mm, for the moment iŽll learn with this 18-70mm and get more experience, the future will tell.
Reading this forum surely helps much and i keep on reading everyday.
Thanks Don for giving us your experience tips :)