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Nikon 18-200

Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:38 am

I just wanted to know what you guys think about the Nikon 18-200 AF-S VR 2?
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:03 am

RE: Nikon 18-200

Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:05 pm

It's a fine general purpose lens that makes significant quality sacrifices to achieve a wide range. It has significant distortion on the wide end, and isn't super sharp on the telephoto end - you will want to shoot it around f/8 to f/11 on the telephoto end to get the most out of it.

If you just want to stick one lens on your camera, it is a fine choice as long as you are willing to make the range/quality/size compromise found here.

If you're looking to use it for spotting, it will be adequate if you're reasonably close to the aircraft. You should have no trouble getting images in to the database if that's what you're after.

It's probably the best of the 18-200 type lenses, for what it's worth.
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Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:58 am

RE: Nikon 18-200

Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:39 pm

I had this lens on my d40 and d3100 for a short while and I agree with JForbes. It was a great and convenient 'walk around' lens but the crispness I was looking for was just not there, especially on the long end. I also had issues with uniform sharpness. For example, a side shot of a jet will usually be crisp on one end and a little blurred on the other. I thought maybe it was my settings or a bad copy of the lens, however once I switched to the Tamron 70-300mm I had no such issues with the same settings. Who knows, it might have been my copy but I'm not a big fan of wide-range zoom lenses regardless. They do give up quality for convenience.
Nikon D7000 / Nikkor 105mm AF f2.8 / Nikkor 35 f1.8G / Nikkor 50 f1.8D / Nikkor 85mm / Nikkor 300mm f4 AF
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Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 12:15 pm

RE: Nikon 18-200

Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:02 pm

I agree with all of the above.

The best results for aviation photography with this lens are had using "A" Aperture Priority and f11. Obviously, this requires bright light. Results are sharp edge to edge (or at least tail to nose).

If you are shooting on the wide angle side of the lens, then Lightroom or Photoshop have profiles for this lens that can be used to correct the minor distortion. Chromatic aberration is also minor and can be fixed with the Nikon raw software (and maybe LR or PS but I have never tried).

This lens and the Nikon 80-400 are my travel lenses... period  

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RE: Nikon 18-200

Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:01 pm

It's a fine walk-around lens, but a little soft, especially at 200 mm. And, of course, it is only Dx.

Few zoom lenses are as good as prime lenses.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
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RE: Nikon 18-200

Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:27 pm

Quoting viv (Reply 4):
Few zoom lenses are as good as prime lenses.

Of course. All zoom lenses have to make compromises which means they'll never match a highly optimised prime. That's not to say there aren't very good zooms out there (I have, IMHO, Nikon's finest offerings in that respect), but you cannot expect a zoom with over 10x focal range to be very good across much of that range.

A long time ago, when I was first starting out in photography, an old pro advised me to never go for a zoom lens that had a range in excess of 3 to 4 times the shortest focal length. Mine all still follow that 'rule' (14-28, 28-70, 70-200 & 200-400).
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There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
Posts: 768
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 12:15 pm

RE: Nikon 18-200

Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:32 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 5):

You must be a body builder with fat pockets  

I'd love to get that one too, but I just can't see lugging it around on my travels.


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