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View Full Version : I want better IQ than 18-200VR



Dread Pirate Roberts
10-22-2008, 06:16 PM
I'm thinking about changing my lenses, I'd appreciate any advice.

The big question would I get better IQ with the 2 kit zooms
18-55 AFS DX VR 3.5-5.6 $170 USD
+
70-300 AF 4-5.6 $120 USD

than I get with my 18-200 AFS DX VR 3.5-5.6
I find beyond 100mm I'm disappointed with this lens.

I figure I could sell my 18-200 and buy the 2 zooms so I can still cover a range and pick up a 28 F2.8 or 35 F2 without too much cash changing hands.

ssil2000
10-22-2008, 07:23 PM
i was waiting for this thread mate, i figured after you saw the 90s IQ you would grow to hate the 18-200, might be worth having a look at the new kit lens that came with the d90 see how IQ is with that so you till have a good range for walk around? i have the 18-55, a i barely use it, you can buy mine if you like :)

i really want to start buying quality glass even if it means waiting a bit longer, but i really want to move away from kit lenses...

ssil2000
10-22-2008, 07:27 PM
oh, and if you want to borrow the 18-55 to see if you like it just let me know

Visual Reality
10-22-2008, 08:39 PM
I'd really recommend an f/2.8 zoom like the Sigma 18-50 (faster focus) or Tamron 17-50 (sharper), but that's because I've already been down your road. You're going to end up here eventually, you may as well save yourself a step and do it now.

I only kept the 18-200 for a week, I couldn't stand the focus field curvature. Drove me nuts.

mugsisme
10-22-2008, 09:21 PM
The big question would I get better IQ with the 2 kit zooms
18-55 AFS DX VR 3.5-5.6 $170 USD
+
70-300 AF 4-5.6 $120 USD

than I get with my 18-200 AFS DX VR 3.5-5.6
I find beyond 100mm I'm disappointed with this lens.


You can get better IQ from the 18-200 if you set the aperture to f/8. Otherwise, you will find it goes soft. I had a hard time taking pictures with the lens at 200mm, and rarely went that far.

I think that the 70-300 is not the same one as the newer version. I paid $400+ for mine, I think closer to almost $500. I had a chance to buy one on Craigslist for that price, but it is AF, not AF-S. Does that make a difference to you?

I have the Sigma lens. I like it a lot. I have heard it is not as good as the Nikon one (17-85?/50?), but I think it was a third of the price. I have been extremely pleased with the lens, and basically call it my kit lens.

I like the 70-300, but for some reason, 70 is sooo much zoom. I was trying to take a picture of a tree. I had the 18-105 lens on, and I could do it. I put the 70-300, and I had to keep stepping back to get the full tree into the picture. The kit lens from the D90 seems pretty good. I find it has a lot of reach to it in most situations. Something else for you to look at.

K1W1
10-22-2008, 09:44 PM
70-300 AF 4-5.6 $120 USD

That is the G lens that is simply a US$120 paperweight. Forget it. Do not contemplate buying it. Do not buy it. If you really want to know what I think of it PM me. :D

achuang
10-22-2008, 09:47 PM
I would skip the Nikon 70-300 f4-5.6 if it's the G version of it. The slightly more expensive ED version is better. But if you had the money the 70-300 VR is the best one both AF and optical quality. It is an AFS lens so is quiet and fast, unlike the 70-300 that you mention, as it uses the in body motor. I had the tamron 70-300 and apparently it's the same as the 70-300 f4-5.6G with different exteriors. You'll probably miss the VR especially on the telephoto end if you get rid of the 18-200. You'd be better of with the 55-200VR than the nikon 70-300f4-5.6 for $170 USD.

If I were in your position and wanted to change lenses I'd get the following.
18-55 AFS DX VR 3.5-5.6 $170 USD
55-200 AFS DX VR 4-5.6
35 f2.

If you wanted to upgrade a bit more then maybe this list
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO HSM
Nikon 70-300 VR
35 f2.


Here's a link to the sigma on ebay.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=170272177587

Dread Pirate Roberts
10-22-2008, 10:19 PM
Thank you for the help.:):)

So in summary:

The Nikkor 70-300 VR has excellent IQ
The 18-55 VR is ok IQ (but it is what it is - a cheap kit lens)
The Sigma or Tamron F2.8 is much better IQ (but dearer)

I'm leaning toward the cheaper short zoom since I figure I'd be mostly toting around the 35mm, 50mm or 90mm primes and that zoom is really just to fill gaps & for my landscapes.

Has anyone got any tricks to maximize my 18-200 sell price on ebay, if so I'd appreciate an open reply or PM if you're wiling to share. I assume list late Sun arvo so it closes on a Sunday arvo?

achuang
10-22-2008, 10:22 PM
The 18-55 VR has pretty good image quality, better than the 18-70 that I've got. I'd say start the bid at 99 cents as that usually gets more attention from people. I'm not sure what the ideal time to end the auction is but I'd choose sunday evening/night since most people have to go to work the next day and won't be out late.

K1W1
10-22-2008, 10:50 PM
I'd say start the bid at 99 cents as that usually gets more attention from people.

Make sure that if you do that you have somebody (a friend) who will outbid any really low offers at the close of the auction.
A friend on my sold some clothing (motorcycle) on a start low basis and got only one bid for the start price and dropped an absolute bundle because he was not aware of how to use the system.

achuang
10-22-2008, 11:00 PM
Make sure that if you do that you have somebody (a friend) who will outbid any really low offers at the close of the auction.
A friend on my sold some clothing (motorcycle) on a start low basis and got only one bid for the start price and dropped an absolute bundle because he was not aware of how to use the system.

That's a good tip. From what I've seen on ebay lately, the 18-200VR has been going for around $900.

K1W1
10-22-2008, 11:19 PM
You are kidding surely.

I can buy a brand new legit Australian import with full Nikon warranty for Aus$1029.00 and that is the advertised price before I went in there and waved notes under somebodies nose.

There again it's probably the last Nikon lens I would ever want to buy anyway so the whole discussion is theoretical.

achuang
10-22-2008, 11:37 PM
I'm not kidding, I've seen a couple go for just under $900, with most of them going for about $700-800. Some people bid on ebay just to win, not because it's cheaper than in a shop. The most ridiculous auction I've seen is when an old Nikon SB-80DX went for $450 when you could buy a grey market SB800 new for the same price. DPR, you might be fortunate enough to get those ebay idiots to bid very high on your lens. All the best with the sale

Rooz
10-23-2008, 03:04 AM
heres the thing DPR. make sure what you're running TO is not the same, (or worse), than what you're running FROM....So, firstly, get the 70-300G out of your head. it's a piece of shit.

replacement for you're walkaround...ok, here's my very unpopular take on this and i know most will disagree. i dont like the sigmas or the tamrons as walkarounds. i think they are too slow in AF, too noisy, too innacurate and a pain in the ass quite frankly. so i would avoid them.

if you're on a strict budget...the 18-55VR + 55-200VR is a tight deal. sharp, light, cheap and capable. if you can stretch the finances, go with the 16-85VR and a 55-200VR or 70-300VR as your tele. there is always the new 18-105VR which is pretty good too. andrew is right, the price you can get for a very well looked after 18-200 is pretty darn good so you shouldnt have to fork out much extra.

PS: no need for fans of the sigma 2.8 and tamron 2.8 to reply. i have owned both, i know them both. yes i know they are good budget choices but imho, the sacrifice in AF speed and innacuracy is too high a price to pay. i prefer to lose a stop and use USM in PP rather than have OOF shots cos it keeps missing its mark.

PPS: no, i am not WorldWrestlingReport or whatever his name was. :D

Visual Reality
10-23-2008, 03:48 AM
PS: no need for fans of the sigma 2.8 and tamron 2.8 to reply. i have owned both, i know them both. yes i know they are good budget choices but imho, the sacrifice in AF speed and innacuracy is too high a price to pay. i prefer to lose a stop and use USM in PP rather than have OOF shots cos it keeps missing its mark.
What body were you using? I'm not having that problem on the D300, or on the D80.

Rooz
10-23-2008, 03:53 AM
tamron/ sigma D80. sigma dd80 and d300. they are slow, noisy and innacurate compared to af-s. no question about it.

Dread Pirate Roberts
10-23-2008, 03:55 AM
Heck NAS creeps up on you doesn't it. Now I find myself looking at wanting to spend another $3,000 on photography:(

Are the 18-55VR and the 55-200VR appreciably better IQ than my 18-200VR or just a bit better?

I think fixing my known shortcoming is my no1 priority (but it doesn't move me closer to my ideal lens set).

Thanks for bearing with me here, long pockets and short arms you know.

Rooz
10-23-2008, 04:04 AM
none of those options are too expensive mate. :)

Dread Pirate Roberts
10-23-2008, 04:19 AM
Yeah but I'd rather the 70-300VR and the 16-85 or 18-55VR but thats $1,700 AUD instead of $550 AUD.

And those zooms would just be to fill the gaps when the 300 and 28 or 35 primes can't be used or when I want flexibility. Hence $3,000 for a darn ammateur.

But the basic premise is correct the'yre all better IQ than my 18-200 by enough to be worth it?

Rooz
10-23-2008, 04:29 AM
havent used the 18-55VR. but i have used the 16-85VR and its hell sharp. the 18-105VR is sharp too. lots guys with the 55-200VR and you've seen how they turn out. so imho, all of them would be an improvement.

maybe skip the 16-85 for now, (at least until the AUD improves), cos like you said, the cash is big.

K1W1
10-23-2008, 04:33 AM
maybe skip the 16-85 for now, (at least until the AUD improves), cos like you said, the cash is big.

They are ranging form $850 to $1000 in Melbourne. You could get one for $770 2 months ago.

alessy
10-23-2008, 04:38 AM
So you decided that you'r gona sell your 18-200mm Vr.

Actualy I bought D60 with 18-55mm + 55-200mm and because of the short 18-55 and changing lenses, I decidet to bought 18-200mm. I was somehow choosing betwen 18-200 and 70-300 and i'm sorry now that I didnt choose the right one.
I noticed to few sharpnes on the pictures so I thought that my version of lens is so unsharp ...
So I read some opinions and I finaly decidet to sell mine to. I love portrait shoting and with 18-200mm you cannot get good sharpnes on lower F 3.5, witch was very disapointing for me.
I sold mine D60 with zoom kit lenses and now I bought D90 with kit lens witch is preaty decent lens. Now I just wana sell my 18-200mm Vr to get my new baby 70-300mm Vr because of realy good opinions by the users...
I think i will do the job...

Dread Pirate Roberts
10-23-2008, 05:36 AM
Yeah I'm going to sell the 18-200VR, IQ is even more important for me now I've started to experience it.

Still there will be other people out there who will love the lens for it's convenience. So I don't feel like I'm ripping anyone off as I'm sure Nikon don't feel that way for making it. It's a very hot seller for them so they must have millions of happy customers.

It's just not for me anymore.

alessy
10-23-2008, 06:13 AM
Yes I agree.
The lens is very good build and gives you at the moment best for all in one lens you can get.
It's yust that if you are not that kind of a photographer, there are beter lenses, but you have to know that they are limited in other ways to..
At the moment you just cannot get everything. But the 18-200mm is trying to be that kind of a lense and for some people it is everything they need..

Visual Reality
10-23-2008, 02:29 PM
tamron/ sigma D80. sigma dd80 and d300. they are slow, noisy and innacurate compared to af-s. no question about it.
I'll agree AF-S is superior, and the alternatives are noisier (I own both), but focus accuracy is not a problem with the Tamron 17-50 until you are indoors with no lights on.

Rooz
10-23-2008, 02:42 PM
indoors with lowish light is what i meant, yes. i work in that environment alot so for me its a huge issue.

trackin951
10-23-2008, 06:09 PM
This is the perfect thread for me as I am about to do the EXACT same thing. I was actually going to start a thread this week but you beat me to it! It's time to do some pondering on what has been said so far. I would love a 35f2 for my prime. I dont want to lose my whole zoom range so its looking like a 3 lense setup. Which may take some time to build up the funds. I am counting on $550 for the 18-200vr

Cyberwlf
11-12-2008, 02:56 PM
So how much did he pay for the lens in the end? :P In AUD$ preferably.

Dread Pirate Roberts
11-12-2008, 03:50 PM
Don't understand your question cyber. How much did I sell the 18-200 for or what did I pay for the 70-300 ?

I haven't yet sold the 18-200 since I haven't covered my short end yet.
The 70-300 was dear. Cheapest new over the net is around $800 AUD and I paid like 90% of new since I'm stupid and had a rush of blood to the head.

trackin951
11-12-2008, 05:27 PM
What do you think of the 70-300vr? I will be getting this, a 35f2, and some other short range zoom eventually. Have to get rid of the 18-200vr first though.

Dread Pirate Roberts
11-12-2008, 06:19 PM
Love the 70-300VR, the VR seams so much more positive than I'm used to. In fact I can see the viewfinder go steady when it's on.

Perhaps it's just cause I'm so much wobblier with the heavier 70-300 lens:D

Rooz
11-12-2008, 08:15 PM
its also cos at 300mm the "sway" and wobble is more evident.

Cyberwlf
11-13-2008, 01:21 AM
Sounds like the price isnt too dear considering the optical range and the IQ benefits you seem to be talking over the 18-200 though.

Dread Pirate Roberts
11-13-2008, 01:33 AM
I like the IQ benefits of the 70-300 but just to be clear there are tadeoffs, like I miss the opportunity to spontaneously take eg 50mm shots when the 70-300 lens is on cam.

Thats fine for me now that I have heaps of "average" photos and am looking for "better" shots but some people will prefer to capture everything.

Cyberwlf
11-13-2008, 01:47 AM
I have an 18-200VR i think may be fixable, but will have to wait till going back to Oz to check with Nikon. So I bought as a 'temp' solution a Sigma f2.8-4.5 18-70mm, now the difference in IQ to the Nikkor I have is noticable to me, especially with a body like the D300, and i also have the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 which i was using exclusively using 'manual zoom' (zoom with your feet) till i had bought the Sigma. Now the 50mm's IQ is great, but it's left me pondering my options, especially if the 18-200VR turns out to be non-fixable or near replacement value to fix.

K1W1
11-13-2008, 03:15 AM
I like the IQ benefits of the 70-300 but just to be clear there are tadeoffs, like I miss the opportunity to spontaneously take eg 50mm shots when the 70-300 lens is on cam.

Get with the play here.
The answer is simple.
Two D300 bodies. One with the 16-85 and the other with the 70-300. Just grab the appropriate camera from either your left shoulder or your right shoulder as the need arises.
Besides by purchasing the new body and lens you will be contributing to the rapid return to normal economic conditions that we all desire. So, when you wife queries the credit card statement simply tell her that it was your patriotic duty to spend and that she doesn't understand because "she is a woman". :D:D

BTW: There are no spare beds at my house so don't ask.

Dread Pirate Roberts
11-13-2008, 03:19 AM
When I've been out and about and seen someone with two cameras, one on each shoulder I've definately given them the honourary title of WAN.ER. Not keen to join that crowd.

K1W1
11-13-2008, 03:32 AM
The other term is Pro.
But Pros are usually only seen at public events not the beach on a Sunday afternoon.

Dread Pirate Roberts
11-13-2008, 03:36 AM
I was at the beach in the heat yesterday and I wasn't brave enough to take a pic. There sure were some photogenic subjects at the beach though. Crickey I haven't had time to mentally adjust to girls in bikini's the heats come on so suddenly (37C).

Cyberwlf
11-13-2008, 09:50 AM
Yeah beaches are a bit of a taboo place to photograph at, but so many photogenic subjects indeed :p

K1W1
11-13-2008, 01:33 PM
Yeah beaches are a bit of a taboo place to photograph at, but so many photogenic subjects indeed :p

In Australia a beach is a public place and there are absolutely no legal restrictions about photographing anybody in a public place. A beach is no different from a street or a public park.
The only taboos are mental on the part of the photographer or if the bikini clad subject is surrounded by 6 Hells Angels.

e_dawg
11-17-2008, 12:18 AM
Besides by purchasing the new body and lens you will be contributing to the rapid return to normal economic conditions that we all desire. So, when you wife queries the credit card statement simply tell her that it was your patriotic duty to spend and that she doesn't understand because "she is a woman". :D:D

BTW: There are no spare beds at my house so don't ask.

LOL... Nice, i needed that... :D

Dread Pirate Roberts
11-17-2008, 12:22 AM
...or if the bikini clad subject is surrounded by 6 Hells Angels.

Are you hoping bikini clad girls hang around bikies:D

trackin951
12-08-2008, 10:15 AM
I sold my 18-200vr yesterday for $550 in 3 hours on craigslist! The journey has begun. I purchased the 55-200vr from him as well. Now the net step, I can only afford one lens right now and want to try a prime... 35 f/2?

erichlund
12-08-2008, 01:09 PM
In Australia a beach is a public place and there are absolutely no legal restrictions about photographing anybody in a public place. A beach is no different from a street or a public park.
The only taboos are mental on the part of the photographer or if the bikini clad subject is surrounded by 6 Hells Angels.

I remember when the Hells Angels was a relatively small biker club in California with a reputation for illicit activities and extreme behavior. Now they're international and and as an organization they perform legitimate business activities like security at events and concerts.

XaiLo
12-08-2008, 01:29 PM
I remember when the Hells Angels was a relatively small biker club in California with a reputation for illicit activities and extreme behavior. Now they're international and and as an organization they perform legitimate business activities like security at events and concerts.

My how times have changed. :D

K1W1
12-08-2008, 02:12 PM
Now they're international and and as an organization they perform legitimate business activities like security at events and concerts.


What as legitimate as the Security they performed at Altamont in 1969?
The Hells Angels are and always will be an outlaw group who act and live outside the rules of normal society, they are not legitimate in any way shape or form.

Dread Pirate Roberts
12-09-2008, 03:18 AM
I think many groups doing illicit stuff have ligitimate fronts to "generate necessary income to declare to the taxman". The mob and garbage collection come to mind. Or some of our bikie gangs and strip clubs / car repairers.

I worked with an "ex" Hells Angel a few years back. Lovely chap, very happy to help me if I ever got into trouble.

e_dawg
12-09-2008, 07:07 AM
I worked with an "ex" Hells Angel a few years back. Lovely chap, very happy to help me if I ever got into trouble.

You mean like "I have a problem... can you help me with it?"

"You want this problem... eliminated?"

[Nod]

"Sure, just give me the details"

... couple days pass...

"Problem solved"

... several days pass...

"Hey, has anyone seen ____ lately?"

"No, haven't seen him since last week. Why do you ask?"

:D

lenjack
12-13-2008, 12:32 PM
Any opinions on the Tamron 18-270 compared to the Nikon 18-200VR?

XaiLo
12-13-2008, 01:44 PM
The nikon 55-200mm VR and 18-55mm would be a better optical solution.

Dread Pirate Roberts
12-14-2008, 04:27 AM
Any opinions on the Tamron 18-270 compared to the Nikon 18-200VR?

Never used it but I got fussy and decided I wanted better image quality than the Nikkor. I don't think the 3rd party lens with an even bigger zoom range could be that good.

The Nikkor gets the best reviews of the superzoom lenses.

18-270 is a long slow lens for no VR, you'd want magnificent technique to use it at the long end.

Shouldn't the lens you use all the time (walkaround) have your best optical quality?

What are your constraints? Do you care for great optics or are you just after a better lens for happy snaps?

lenjack
12-14-2008, 07:06 AM
looking for better optics, but if the quality is the same, might as well have the additional zoom range. The 18-270 does have vibrationcompensation builtin.

Visual Reality
12-14-2008, 08:03 AM
looking for better optics, but if the quality is the same, might as well have the additional zoom range. The 18-270 does have vibrationcompensation builtin.
But the question is...are you willing to settle for that? Are you willing to sit back and not shoot higher?

Dread Pirate Roberts
12-15-2008, 03:48 AM
As verbosely put earlier in this thread I was initially happy with my 18-200. Perhaps you'll be happy with your superzoom lens for the same reasons.

I eventually wanted (incrementally) better IQ, doesn't mean you will.