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View Full Version : Which lens is sharper for D40?



Donato777
08-03-2007, 01:03 PM
Among these zoom choices as a primary lens, which offers the sharpest IQ? Thanks!

Nikon 18-55 Kit lens
Nikon 18-70
Nikon 18-135
(The 18-200VR is out of my budget right now.)

XaiLo
08-03-2007, 01:35 PM
You can check the...
Some D40 Pics (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28957) thread here.

All of my early pictures the autoshow and so on were taken with the 18-55mm. It's a pretty cool lens. The 18-70mm seems to be well liked and is optically sound and of the three It's probably the best. I also like the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 IF-ED AF-S. hth :)

fionndruinne
08-04-2007, 12:59 PM
Considering the 18-55mm is the only lens offered with the D40 (I'm not sure whether it's available body only or not, I don't think it is), it's a good choice. Save your extra for the 55-200mm VR (or whatever else you have in mind).

Actaeon
08-04-2007, 11:32 PM
I have a D40 and the 18-200mm VR, and I don't think I'd be as satisfied as I am with those other lenses.

If you truly wanted the 18-200mm, I'd say to save your money and keep your kit lens until you buy it.

If you don't care about the extra focal length, I hear the 18-135mm isn't as sharp as either 18-70 or the 18-55. If I had the 18-55, I wouldn't spend the extra money for only 15mm of extra telephoto.

Rooz
08-05-2007, 04:07 AM
If you don't care about the extra focal length, I hear the 18-135mm isn't as sharp as either 18-70 or the 18-55. If I had the 18-55, I wouldn't spend the extra money for only 15mm of extra telephoto.

not that sharpness is the only thing to consider, not at all. but since this topic is about that, then it should be known that the 18-135mm has the best centre sharpness of them all; including the 18-200VR. that doesn;t mean to say its the best lens, but its technically the sharpest.

Actaeon
08-05-2007, 06:05 AM
not that sharpness is the only thing to consider, not at all. but since this topic is about that, then it should be known that the 18-135mm has the best centre sharpness of them all; including the 18-200VR. that doesn;t mean to say its the best lens, but its technically the sharpest.

Ah, I see, thank you for correcting me. I admit, I have very little hands on with the 18-135mm (only when its been mounted on the demo unit at BestBuy).

I'm not sure exactly where I got the idea that it wasn't sharp, I may have read a thread similar to this one (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28680) a while back and got the impression the 135mm wasn't sharp. I guess its not really the sharpness that is at fault, but rather other factors that degrade image quality (CA and distortion).

Donato777
08-05-2007, 07:35 AM
I have a D40 and the 18-200mm VR, and I don't think I'd be as satisfied as I am with those other lenses.

If you truly wanted the 18-200mm, I'd say to save your money and keep your kit lens until you buy it.

If you don't care about the extra focal length, I hear the 18-135mm isn't as sharp as either 18-70 or the 18-55. If I had the 18-55, I wouldn't spend the extra money for only 15mm of extra telephoto.

Your advice makes alot of good sense. I think I'll do just that - hang on to the kit lens and buy the 18-200VR when I can afford it, or maybe Nikon will come out with a new sharp telephoto AF-S lens in the meantime. Thanks!

XaiLo
08-05-2007, 07:40 AM
Sorry, if there was any confusion in my post but to clarify I would choose the 24-85mm because it's very sharp, beautiful contrast, and the bokeh is just plain sweet. The 18-135mm is said to suffer from CA and distortion that's maybe the reason for any negativity towards the lens. hth :)

The economical way to go is the 55-200mm VR and the 18-55mm kit the D40 can be had @ b&h for $525 the 55-200mm VR goes for $249 with the money you'll save you could pick up the 70-300mm VR $469 some pretty nice options

Rooz
08-05-2007, 08:01 AM
Your advice makes alot of good sense. I think I'll do just that - hang on to the kit lens and buy the 18-200VR when I can afford it, or maybe Nikon will come out with a new sharp telephoto AF-S lens in the meantime. Thanks!


alternately, hang onto the kit lens, (which is actually a pretty good lens), and improve your kit in other ways. here is what you can get for roughly the same price as the 18-200VR:

55-200VR + sigma 10-20mm:
best versatility package covering all of your focal range from wide angle to everday, (kit lens), to wide angle for landscapes.

sigma 18-50mm f2.8 + sb800
best for portrait photography, one of the best 3rd party lens' around and a macro feature to boot. plus the added bonus of a flashgun for exceptional indoor photography performance and access to nikons CLS.

55-200VR + sigma 30mm f1.4
covers your telphoto plus a nice low light prime lens.

70-300VR + sb800
covers your telephoto plus the flashgun performance.

sigma 150mm f2.8 Macro + sb600
one of the best 3rd party macro lens going round with a nice long range...plus the flashgun.

not to discourage you from the 18-200VR, its a great versatile lens, (i know, i used to own one and i miss it still !!), but there are other options which can expand your photography options not just for now, but well into the future.

then you've started building a pretty versatile kit that can come with you if you ever decide you need to step up from the d40 into a more advanced body.

don;t let anyone tell you the d40 lens limitations are paralysing, there are plenty of options with more coming all the time. by that time, there will likely be alot more options to consider aswell. :)

Donato777
08-05-2007, 10:22 AM
alternately, hang onto the kit lens, (which is actually a pretty good lens), and improve your kit in other ways. here is what you can get for roughly the same price as the 18-200VR:

55-200VR + sigma 10-20mm:
best versatility package covering all of your focal range from wide angle to everday, (kit lens), to wide angle for landscapes.

sigma 18-50mm f2.8 + sb800
best for portrait photography, one of the best 3rd party lens' around and a macro feature to boot. plus the added bonus of a flashgun for exceptional indoor photography performance and access to nikons CLS.

55-200VR + sigma 30mm f1.4
covers your telphoto plus a nice low light prime lens.

70-300VR + sb800
covers your telephoto plus the flashgun performance.

sigma 150mm f2.8 Macro + sb600
one of the best 3rd party macro lens going round with a nice long range...plus the flashgun.

not to discourage you from the 18-200VR, its a great versatile lens, (i know, i used to own one and i miss it still !!), but there are other options which can expand your photography options not just for now, but well into the future.

then you've started building a pretty versatile kit that can come with you if you ever decide you need to step up from the d40 into a more advanced body.

don;t let anyone tell you the d40 lens limitations are paralysing, there are plenty of options with more coming all the time. by that time, there will likely be alot more options to consider aswell. :)

Or the 18-70mm and 70-300VR which would be all I would really need. I like shooting birds and sunrises too and the 300mm would provide the added reach, beyond the expensive 18-200VR - and it's about half the price!

mugsisme
08-06-2007, 07:09 AM
I am surprised no one has mentioned the 50mm lens. yeah, you have to manually focus it, but it is a super lens and takes pictures that are as sharp as a tack. The downside is if you have a fast moving target, like a baby. (BTDT, not fun.) But it is something to consider.

I hated my 18-200 lens. Look in this forum, I seriously thought of selling it and getting something else. Then I read on another board that the lens works best at f/8. I put it there, and my pictures are so much better. Yeah, I miss the bokeh, but I like sharp pictures.

Sigma is coming out with three lenses in the fall, if I remember correctly. Maybe wait and see what Nikon comes out with? the kit lens is a very good lens. You just don't have much reach with it.

aparmley
08-06-2007, 08:48 AM
Or the 18-70mm and 70-300VR which would be all I would really need.

Boy, we've all said that once or twice haven't we! ;)

I've gone out with the intent to do some birding from time to time. But I found 300mm way too short for my needs and all I was doing was shooting finches, humming birds, etc etc at my bird feeder 15 feet away. Then I took my 70-300 IS USM (when I shot canon) to a local bird migratory sanctuary and found it to be even more lacking in reach than in my backyard. In all fairness it was excellent at the local duck pond. :D So, I wouldn't be surprised if you found the 70-300 a bit too short for a lot of birding. Adding a TC would be a great idea but at 5.6 on the long end before adding the TC you're going to be looking at either manual focus (I'm not sure with Nikon lenses) or very slow to focus lens which doesn't exactly lend itself all that well to birding.

Just something to consider.

e_dawg
08-07-2007, 11:15 AM
Like the previous poster said, I don't know if 300 mm is enough for some bird shooters, but the 70-300/VR is a fantastic lens.

I would not bother with the 18-70 over the 18-55. It's not much better IQ, but it costs a lot more. If you are willing to stop down the 18-55 a bit, it will be 95% as good as the 18-70.

If you must have a single all-purpose lens, then the 18-200/VR can't be beat. The 18-135 is a poor substitute if what you really want is 200 mm reach and VR in a single lens (the VR comes in very handy; I wouldn't buy a lens over 55 mm without it now). However, if you don't mind using 2 lenses instead of 1, the 18-55 and the 55-200/VR or 70-300/VR offers the most bang for the buck.

Donato777
08-07-2007, 11:39 AM
I wish I could afford the 18-200VR but it is way out of my budget for now. I sure wish Sigma or Tamron would announce some new zoom lenses that would work with the D40. I've had my eye on the Tamron 18-250mm which has received very positive reviews but it will not autofocus with the D40. Tamron ought to recognize the need to compete in the Nikon AF-S market and act accordingly. The Canon XTi is more appealing in this regard since one can put the 18-250mm on the mount and be done with it - and at nearly half the price of the Nikon 18-200VR. Ditto for the Sigma 18-200OS - a great lens but no D40/40x mount.

e_dawg
08-07-2007, 07:52 PM
I wish I could afford the 18-200VR but it is way out of my budget for now. I sure wish Sigma or Tamron would announce some new zoom lenses that would work with the D40. I've had my eye on the Tamron 18-250mm which has received very positive reviews but it will not autofocus with the D40. Tamron ought to recognize the need to compete in the Nikon AF-S market and act accordingly. The Canon XTi is more appealing in this regard since one can put the 18-250mm on the mount and be done with it - and at nearly half the price of the Nikon 18-200VR. Ditto for the Sigma 18-200OS - a great lens but no D40/40x mount.

The Tamron 18-250 looks like a great lens optically, but the lack of image stabilization holds it back. For a lens that has that much reach, you really need IS/OS/VR on it. Once you shoot with a long lens that has it, you won't want to go back. And if you get one without it (especially one that is that slow at max zoom), you may regret it.

Regarding both the Tamron 18-250 and the Sigma 18-200 not having AF with the D40, that's not such a bad thing either. You really should get a lens with SWM or USM AF motors and not settle for a lens that uses the old, slow, noisy screw-drive AF if you're going to do any kind of "action" photography or if you're going to try to catch someone in the moment (and by action I mean just not portrait or landscape photography where you can take your sweet time to compose the shot and nothing is actually moving). They are just too slow to focus on your subjects in time. Not to mention, at f/6.3 at the long end, the camera's AF will have trouble focusing on anything accurately. There's just not enough light.

Nikon's 18-200/VR is just an all-around better lens, period. Everyone knows it, Nikon still can't keep up with the demand, and they set the price accordingly. That is THE lens you want in that focal range. If you can't afford it, use the 18-55 and wait. There's no sense pining over not being able to use inferior 18-200 or 18-250 alternatives with the D40.

aparmley
08-08-2007, 06:12 AM
I wish I could afford the 18-200VR but it is way out of my budget for now. I sure wish Sigma or Tamron would announce some new zoom lenses that would work with the D40. I've had my eye on the Tamron 18-250mm which has received very positive reviews but it will not autofocus with the D40. Tamron ought to recognize the need to compete in the Nikon AF-S market and act accordingly. The Canon XTi is more appealing in this regard since one can put the 18-250mm on the mount and be done with it - and at nearly half the price of the Nikon 18-200VR. Ditto for the Sigma 18-200OS - a great lens but no D40/40x mount.

Well Sigma has just positioned itself very nicely for the D40/40x crowd with the following lineup:

10-20 HSM
18-50 2.8 HSM (just announced)
50-150 2.8 HSM

For entry level DSLRers it doesn't get much better than that. Sure, Sigma lenses can leave a few things to be desired, biggest of all I'm sure is simply its 3rd party status. I'd like to see some AF-S primes for these folks and for the rest of us. I'd especially like to see the current 35 f/2.0 be updated with a 35 F1.4-1.8 AF-S lens. That'd be killer!

Rooz
08-08-2007, 06:24 AM
Ditto for the Sigma 18-200OS - a great lens but no D40/40x mount.

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/news/news.asp?nID=3324

its listed as compatible, "coming soon". but look at the price. one reason the tammie is cheap is cos it has no IS and it's...welll...it's a tamron. ;)

e_dawg
08-08-2007, 07:15 AM
And keep in mind that the Sigma 18-200/OS was tested to be a slightly disappointing optical performer at photozone (Canon mount). While the performance at 18 and 200 mm is quite good, there are certain focal lengths (35 mm and 100 mm) where the edges are very fuzzy unless you stop it down a couple f-stops. The bokeh is possibly the worst I've ever seen in a lens.

Frankly, I'm not sure whether I'd have the Tamron's superior IQ throughout the focal length range or Sigma's OS with a couple minor IQ issues. Perhaps the price will help with the decision: The Sigma does not look like a stellar value when you consider the Nikon 18-200 is a better lens and not much more $.

IMO, the decision should be between the Tamron and the Nikon -- basically do you want VR or not? I personally think VR is essential, but if you don't need it, the Tamron is a decent value.

Rooz
08-08-2007, 05:38 PM
IMO, the decision should be between the Tamron and the Nikon -- basically do you want VR or not? I personally think VR is essential, but if you don't need it, the Tamron is a decent value.

the tammie won;t AF on the d40 so that narrows it down to one choice.

Donato777
08-08-2007, 07:29 PM
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/news/news.asp?nID=3324

its listed as compatible, "coming soon". but look at the price. one reason the tammie is cheap is cos it has no IS and it's...welll...it's a tamron. ;)

Yeah, Sigma has announced a new 18-200OS for the D40 but the MSRP is $820.00. It will have to be outstanding to compete with the Nikon 18-200. I will use the excellent kit lens for now and wait and see what Sigma, Tamron, and Nikon develops in the future for the D40.

XaiLo
08-08-2007, 07:51 PM
The Nikon 18-200mm VR has an MSRP of $699, but retails higher because of supply and demand not sure what Sigma is thinking but this wouuld have to be a stellar lens with no issues to command that price point. Unless their trying to communicate comparable worth to the unsuspecting. :confused:

e_dawg
08-09-2007, 07:39 PM
the tammie won;t AF on the d40 so that narrows it down to one choice.

Yes, good point Rooz. Wonder if they'll bother building a version for the D40(x) like Sigma did. Like XaiLo said, if it's the Sigma vs the Nikon and the price is fairly close, why on earth would anyone get the Sigma?

Donato777
08-23-2007, 07:40 PM
according to www.sigma4less.com:
http://www.sigma4less.com/sess/utn;jsessionid=1546ce353fb7340/shopdata/0010_Lenses/0010_Zoom/0010_Digital+Zoom/product_details.shopscript?article=0750_Sigma%2BZo om%2BWide%2BAngle-Telephoto%2B18-200mm%2Bf%3D26slash%3D3B3%3D252E5-6%3D252E3%2BDC%2BOS%2B%3D28Optical%2BStabilizer%3D 29%2BAutofocus%2BLens%2Bfor%2BNikon%2BDigital%2BSL R%2B%3D28SG18200OSNI%3D29
So that leaves the Nikon 18-200 VR or maybe Tamron will come out with something new.

Samaritan
08-26-2007, 03:11 PM
I was looking for something that would get me out a little farther and still keep the sharpness at 18mm that my kit lens had (18-55). I went through two 18-70mm's and a 24-85mm. They were ok but both terrible at 18mm. I tried an 18-135mm and it was super sharp all the way through. Needless to say I kept the latter.