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View Full Version : 18-70mm DX revisited...



Mr. Magoo
07-11-2007, 09:28 AM
Previously we discussed the rumors as to whether this lens was being discontinued or not, and the rampant rumors of an upcoming announcement are still looming. Putting those issues aside for the moment...

Why are there so many refurb copies of this lens available for sale?

Refurbs are available at B&H and Adorama. Is there some widespread problem with this lens that should give me reason to avoid it?

Beyond that, I'm still not sure which variant - new, refurb or grey - makes sense to purchase. Reburg is $100 cheaper than new, with a 90 day warranty and and presumably NikonUSA service after the fact. Grey is $20 more than refurb, but then NikonUSA will disavow the existence of the lens.
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herc182
07-11-2007, 09:47 AM
The 18-70 is probably sold to fund other lenses. As good as it is, its still the kit lens. Once people have decided to upgrade they will sell it and move onto another lens.

Suspect thats what you are seeing advertised....

K1W1
07-11-2007, 04:25 PM
All the 18-70's were traded on 18-200VR's.

Sambru
07-11-2007, 04:43 PM
I will not sell or give up mine. I just bought a 18-200VR, the 18-70 will be a great indoor lens:)

Mr. Magoo
07-11-2007, 05:05 PM
The 18-70 is probably sold to fund other lenses. As good as it is, its still the kit lens. Once people have decided to upgrade they will sell it and move onto another lens.

Suspect thats what you are seeing advertised....

These aren't used lenses (which KEH has), but Nikon Factory refurbs.
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tcadwall
07-11-2007, 10:59 PM
I will not sell or give up mine. I just bought a 18-200VR, the 18-70 will be a great indoor lens:)
:confused:

:confused:

Wonder how often you'll find the need to duplicate the range of the 18-200mm with a 18-70mm. I don't get it. Now if you had a 17-55mm f/2.8... then it would be worth switching lenses for sure.

thebac
07-12-2007, 09:17 AM
:confused:

:confused:

Wonder how often you'll find the need to duplicate the range of the 18-200mm with a 18-70mm. I don't get it. Now if you had a 17-55mm f/2.8... then it would be worth switching lenses for sure.

Plus, one would think that the VR on the 18-200 would come in handy indoors as well...

DeadKenny
07-12-2007, 02:23 PM
I got the 18-200 VR for light travel use, mainly for skiing where I want a decent range but don't want a bag full of lenses and need to change lenses on the slopes (and have the hassle of carrying a load of lenses in my carry-on on flights, as I won't put lenses in the hold).

Problem is the 18-200 isn't all that good I think (or I'm not getting good results from it). I think the 18-70 is better quality. It's quite a stunning lens for a kit lens. It's no match for the pro lenses but for a kit lens it's very impressive.

The 18-200 is handy for the range and being so compact. The VR is kind of useful in some situations (I limit the use though as the results aren't sharp). However I find it has quite bad vignetting throughout the whole range of the lens (worst at 200mm though), when the 18-70 has none. The images out of it feel a little flat, contrast is poor and I find in the snow highlights are frequently blown and edges seem a little odd, whereas I don't get that with the 18-70. Maybe I just haven't got the hang of the 18-200 though.

At the moment I'm likely to keep the 18-70 and could even end up selling the 18-200, though it replaced the 70-300D I had for light travel use. If I replace the 18-70 it will be with a higher quality wide lens and then I'll likely use my 35mm f/2 for 'normal', with my Tamron 90mm and then perhaps get the 70-200 VR and finished off with the 300mm f/4 I've got (up to 420mm with the TC). But I'd still need a light travel lens, so not sure... hmm, keep the 18-200 or not? Don't know really.

tcadwall
07-12-2007, 04:26 PM
Where was yours made? I am wondering if you got a bad one? I can't say the lens is razor sharp, but it is sharp enough that it does fine at high resolutions. Test out another one - if you can find one - to see if you got a bad one. Should be covered by the retailer or Nikon if that is the case.

Mr. Magoo
07-13-2007, 05:58 AM
Here are two instances of stuck zoom cams. Does this lens have a design problem, or are we just seeing outliers?

http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00Lqmt


http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1030&message=23970125
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Rooz
07-13-2007, 06:13 AM
Problem is the 18-200 isn't all that good I think (or I'm not getting good results from it). I think the 18-70 is better quality. It's quite a stunning lens for a kit lens. It's no match for the pro lenses but for a kit lens it's very impressive.

The VR is kind of useful in some situations (I limit the use though as the results aren't sharp). However I find it has quite bad vignetting throughout the whole range of the lens (worst at 200mm though), when the 18-70 has none. The images out of it feel a little flat, contrast is poor and I find in the snow highlights are frequently blown and edges seem a little odd, whereas I don't get that with the 18-70. Maybe I just haven't got the hang of the 18-200 though.

i agree with tc here. i think you may have got a dud copy.

i found mild vignetting only at 18mm. in fact the 18-70mm is reported to have a weakness in this area and at 18mm is much worse than the VR. contrast was fine, VR worked amazingly well, (perhaps you were going for too low SS), and the sharpness of the lens is pretty much the equal to the 18-70mm. the only kit lens sharper is the 18-135 which is very sharp and has alot more vignetting.

for that much cash and the performance you're stating i'd seriously be thinking of returing it.

Rooz
07-13-2007, 06:14 AM
Here are two instances of stuck zoom cams. Does this lens have a design problem, or are we just seeing outliers?

http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00Lqmt


http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1030&message=23970125

refresh my memory...what lens do you have now ?

Mr. Magoo
07-13-2007, 06:53 AM
Right now I have the 18-55mm DX II and 50mm f/1.8.
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Mr. Magoo
07-13-2007, 07:03 AM
Here are two more instances of the problem.

http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00IM8U

http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00L4i1

I'm beginning to wonder if there was a design problem, or a bad production run.

While it may not turn me off from buying a new one with a 5 year warranty, I'm leery of refurbs now with only a 90 day warranty.
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Rooz
07-13-2007, 07:15 AM
Right now I have the 18-55mm DX II and 50mm f/1.8.

ok, are you considering the 18-70mm cos its cheap or cos you want a bit more range than your 18-55 ? the sigma 18-50 for example is a far better lens optically than any of the lens' you have mentioned so far.

K1W1
07-13-2007, 07:19 AM
And how many of these lenses have Nikon produced? Tens of thousands at least I would think.
If searching the Internet looking for problems only reveals a handful of results that is so small in percentage terms that it's irrelevant. You would need to find hundreds of occurrences of the same problem for it to be statistically relevant.
Every product of every type produced by every manufacturer has individual examples where there are problems in build quality that is why warranties exist but if you spend your life worrying about it you will never buy anything. What's more while you are worrying you may miss out on taking the best photo that you will ever shoot in your entire life.

Mr. Magoo
07-13-2007, 07:55 AM
ok, are you considering the 18-70mm cos its cheap or cos you want a bit more range than your 18-55 ?

Both, really. In addition, the 18-70 has a nicer build quality (despite the isolated problems) than my current kit, is slight faster (not as fast as the sigma) and was recommended as a good pair for the 70-300 VR, which is also on my shopping list.

Since I've got the wide end covered for now, my thinking is that I should at least wait until 7/25 to see if there are announcements or not.

I'll take the best picture of my life with the lenses I have until then :-)
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Rooz
07-13-2007, 08:07 AM
what is expected on 7/25 ? :confused:
not another D3 announcment !! lol

Mr. Magoo
07-13-2007, 09:03 AM
Everyone seems to be expecting something around 7/25 since it is Nikon's 90th anniversary.

I don't need a D3, or any pro glass (can't afford it.) A wide-angle consumer/prosumer zoom with VR might be nice, as would AF-S primes.
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DeadKenny
07-13-2007, 01:40 PM
Where was yours made? I am wondering if you got a bad one? I can't say the lens is razor sharp, but it is sharp enough that it does fine at high resolutions. Test out another one - if you can find one - to see if you got a bad one. Should be covered by the retailer or Nikon if that is the case.
It was a HK import but I think it had a worldwide Nikon warranty. The retailer does cover it themselves if Nikon won't touch it (and that's possible if they turn their nose up at grey imports which has been known to happen).

It's not terrible, just it's nothing special. I do feel the 18-70 is a little sharper, and it certainly doesn't have vignetting. I may have been over stating the vignetting issue at the 18mm end, but I just expected it to have none at all like the 18-70. It's there, a little.

At 200mm the vignetting can be quite severe though and quite noticeable in low light, but then this is a DX lens so the image circle is smaller and likely to cause this.

I need to play with it a lot more, but as I say I really just got it for stuff like skiing and to be honest I was disappointed with the results compared to when I was using the 18-70 combined with the 70-300D. Should say that my ski photos tend to be the weakest anyway, so it could be my skills are primarily at fault :D

A couple of examples though...

Check out the vignetting on this! Okay this was an extreme example. It was snowing heavily, dark and at 200mm with the VR on (I think).

http://www.sirjohn.co.uk/ee/photo.php?photo=1160

In this one, again I think with VR active and 200mm, the subject was okay-ish, but look at the background! I think I also had to do some significant editing to bring some colour into it...

http://www.sirjohn.co.uk/ee/photo.php?photo=1168

K1W1
07-13-2007, 04:00 PM
I think it had a worldwide Nikon warranty.

There is no such thing.
Nikon only warrant their products in the market for which they were built. If Nikon build a lens or body for South Africa then that is the only place in the world they will perform warranty service on the item. If you purchased from Hong Kong then the product would have to go back to Hong Kong (or Asia at least) to get warranty service from Nikon. This is the reason that you need to research you sellers very well and also weigh up the costs of maybe having to return a lens to say Hong Kong verses how much you are saving by buying locally. As long as people buy with their eyes open that is okay.

erichlund
07-13-2007, 04:51 PM
It sort of seems that way, but that's not really the case. The "Nikon" warranty is worldwide. However, the regional service centers are independant, and protect their market. So, Nikon USA will only service cameras bought in the US with a US warranty. They will also service foreign purchased cameras with an appropriate foreign warranty (ie. a French camera that was purchased from a legit French provider). If you have an extended warranty, like US purchased Nikkor lenses that are registered are extended to 5 years, then you can get them repaired in the US. However, if you go overseas after 1 year, you will have to return them to the US for repair or pay for repair overseas, because the extended portion of the warranty is a Nikon USA warranty, not a Nikon warranty.

DeadKenny
07-13-2007, 04:59 PM
There is no such thing.
Nikon only warrant their products in the market for which they were built. If Nikon build a lens or body for South Africa then that is the only place in the world they will perform warranty service on the item. If you purchased from Hong Kong then the product would have to go back to Hong Kong (or Asia at least) to get warranty service from Nikon. This is the reason that you need to research you sellers very well and also weigh up the costs of maybe having to return a lens to say Hong Kong verses how much you are saving by buying locally. As long as people buy with their eyes open that is okay.
Well I've just checked and the warranty inside is stated "Nikon Worldwide Service Warranty". Issued by Nikon Hong Kong Ltd.

Just checked my 300mm f/4 and TC-14EII which were bought from a reputable authorised Nikon dealer in the UK and these also have Nikon Worldwide Warranty slips inside the box (same as the HK one, just they're issued by Nikon UK Ltd). Also has a list of worldwide service centres.

The only thing with a regional warranty I've had is the camera itself (the D70). I've heard they only do worldwide warranties on lenses.