General Question

justin5824's avatar

DSLR Lens?

Asked by justin5824 (196points) September 14th, 2008

I asked the same question, a few weeks ago, but got no clear response. Am I better off getting a Nikkor 18–200 lens ( or Should I get these 2 lens’ to start. ( (–200mm) I would like a clear detailed answer.

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12 Answers

cooksalot's avatar

I think it’s more of a personal preference as far as 1 lens or 2 lenses that do the same job. I feel that the 2 lenses is what I would go for. That is what I have as a matter of fact. That way I keep the 18mm to 55mm on all the time. It’s less clumsy and not as heavy. Then when I know I’m going to be doing long distance shots I put on the 200mm lens.
Then again the 18mm to 200mm will get you pictures of subjects that are very close to you as well as being very stealthy (is that a word?) from a long distance. Those surprise pictures are always nice ones to get.
Just remember the larger the lens the longer it is and the heavier it is. If you take the camera pretty much every where like I do then you don’t want the weight. You can always zoom in and crop in photoshop later.

Les's avatar

I’m going to have to agree with cooksalot. The more range the lens has, the longer the lens (typically). You’ll get really sick of lugging around a giant camera with a giant lens attached to it. People will already look at you funny because your camera is about five times the size of every other digital camera.
But seriously, I bought my D50 a year ago, and I only got the one lens (18–55 mm). I have an old Nikkormat 35mm SLR, and I have three lenses for that, including a telephoto, which I rarely use. On my DSLR I really have never had the need for the big zoom lens. I think you would be happier with one or two small lenses to start. Most of the time, you will probably use the 18–55, only using the other lens for special projects.

Mulot's avatar

Remember that lens with big focal length difference are also not as good at extreme focal length, chromatic aberration, distortion etc ..

My opinion is if carrying two objectives is not a burden for you, take them.

XCNuse's avatar

18–200 VR is a sweet lens, it just amazes me that you can get something from that wide to that much zoom with so little fringing or anything, I slightly understand glass… but not that much!

55–200 vr is what I have and love it, along with my 18–55 it makes for a perfect package.

Here is where most people go wrong, Ken Rockwell has what he has for the 18–200 VR, but there is one problem with that lens… it isn’t very sharp, I took pictures with a D300 with that lens and the sharpness didn’t even compare to my D40 with my 55–200, even stopping down the 18–200 @200mm it didn’t even come close to my 55–200 wide open.

Same goes at the 18–55mm range, those dinky 18–55 lenses are insanely sharp if you stop them down a few stops it becomes rediculous.

The question is what are you going for, a do it all lens, or do you have the time to switch lenses and do all that mess and have to worry about getting your sensor dirty?

I clean my sensor once every two months or so just from dust coming up onto it (yes i know all the tricks, i hold my camera down etc.) anyways, if you plan on taking ultra sharp pictures of say nature, then deffinitely go for the 18–55 and 55–200 which together are cheaper anyways, but if you need a do it all then get the 18–200 it’s just fine for taking family pictures.

Here’s a good way of putting it, if you take pictures in Auto or P mode.. get the 18–200, if you don’t then get the 18–55 and 55–200

pekenoe's avatar

I agree with XCNuse, 18–200 VR is a great lens, but, as you progress along the photog road you will find that the sharpness becomes an issue.

If you are going pro, buy the two. For anything else, the 18–200VR takes fantastic pix, more than adequate for 16×20 prints. Just don’t depend on the VR to give you as sharp a pix as a tripod.

I have the 18–200VR, a 28–75 2.8, 70–200 2.8VR, and want the 12–24. Unless I have a situation where I want super super sharp images I use the 18–200. If I had to chose one lens, I chose the 18–200.

XCNuse's avatar

@pekenoe If you’re looking at wide angle lenses, check out the Tokina 11–16, it doesn’t have the same range as the 12–24, but it is just as fast, and .. surprisingly it is actually much sharper than Nikons!

my next few lenses i want to get include a 50 1.4 (hopefully the AF version [just not the AF-S version.. stupid G lenses!!!]) an 85 1.8 (tried that lens and fell in love with it immediately), but what i really have been looking at, is i need more range, i’ve been looking at a Bigma or something of the sort, the 50–500 is a huge range I don’t need that, but anything that zooms to the 400/500 range for under $1k .. is something i’ve been looking for a while for..

pekenoe's avatar

@XCNuse I’d love to have an 85 1.8, have a 50 1.8 for my canon. Am looking at used on eBay for the 12–24, will do a 10–22 canon too, I just have the need for a wide angle on occasion. My photog is all hobby but nice sharp crisp is great.

Have you thought about a spotting scope with an adapter for reaching out there or even a lens doubler? The long range quality glass gets a bit spendy as you know.

XCNuse's avatar

i love my 50mm 1.8 manual but.. i mean it was made back in the early 70s so the glass isn’t exactly up to part of glass from 20 years ago if you know what i mean lol

I mean i’ve looked at a few teleconverters.. but all my lenses are slow .. minus my 50mm 1.8 and my 135 2.8, so getting a teleconverter has pretty much been out of question, what’s the use of a 400mm f/8? gets kinda dark and almost ruins the purpose of having a long zoom lens anyway.. to take pictures of distant things

and if i did go that way, i would still be spending around $450ish to be able to keep my 55–200 to have VR and autofocus and metering, which.. at 400mm f/8 if you don’t have VR.. don’t even try really..

pekenoe's avatar

With the amount of crap in the air, having a long distance lens is nearly a waste anyway. I’d be interested in trying a multiplier with my 70–200 VR 2.8 just to see, guess I’m already half way there. It’s a great lens, just kinda like carrying a bazoka around.

good luck on your quest

XCNuse's avatar

see now if i had that lens lol then i would get a teleconverter for it no doubt.. because by the end of it you would have the same thing as what i would be getting anyways so..

owell.. all i really need is some income lol

pekenoe's avatar

No kidding, I had to squeeze very hard to get the green for it and not sure if I can justify keeping it around. Don’t use it that much but sure is sweet when I need it.

Easy to drop some major bucks into this hobby, sure be nice to have a photog sugar daddy/mama.

Carly's avatar

im using the 18–200 right now. If I had two lenses, I’ve have to haul the extra one with me where ever I went. Having one that does everything seems to be more convenient.
If it’s cheaper for you to have both right now, and you don’t mind switching the lenses, then I would buy the two.

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