Posts Tagged ‘nikon 18 200 lens review’

Nikon’s Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 Lens Review

September 5, 2008

Here is a great little youtube video review of Nikon’s Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5 – 5.6 VR Lens for DSLR cameras. The video reviewer is smooth, detailed and accurate (with the exception that he intros the wrong name – corrected in subtitles) in his review, and there is alot of good information for both complete newbies and experts alike.

He starts off going over the VR vibration reduction technology and why it is significant and gives us an idea of how it looks and feels; large, massive zoom, sturdy and weather proof. He moves onto explaining the other features and breaks down what makes it so versatile and powerful in strong detail in a very clear manner.

Nikon's Ultra Versatile 18-200mm lens

Nikon's Ultra Versatile 18-200mm lens

The Nikon 18-200 MM is easily one of the most popular and in demand lenses ever in the Nikon Nikkor lens lineup (and you might have a hard time finding one in stock seeing as how they are so popular and get bought up fast hehe) It covers almost all the focal lengths one could ever expect to encounter in a day-to-day fashion in a single lens and does them all quite well for your average day to day type of photography.

If you have a Nikon DSLR and are looking for an all-in-one type of walkaround lens, look no farther you have found it, as the Nikon 18-200mm is versatile enough that it could replace a whole set of lenses before it… now if only it were easier to find a store where they weren’t all sold out of this master-lens!

Nikon 18-200mm VR Reviews

July 3, 2008

Nikon 18-200mm VR Reviews

“I love this lens!”

nikon nikkor 18-200

I bought this lens with the Nikon D200 DSLR. After only two weeks, I absolutely love it. Other than my wide angle 12-24mm lens, this is the only lens that I will carry around with me now.

I haven’t made any large prints yet, but the images look very sharp on the monitor, even when cropped and enlarged.

Best of all, the VR really works as advertised. Although I was skeptical of Nikon’s claim that the VR is worth 3-4 stops, I’m a believer now. Turn off the VR, zoom to 200mm, and focus on something. Visible shake. Now turn on the VR and focus on the same object. The shake is noticeably less. Amazing.

So far I’m 100% satisfied with this lens. I was using the Nikon 24-120mm VR as my regular lens, but I’m so happy with the 18-200mm lens that I’ve already sold the other lens.

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Nikkor 18-200mm Lens Review

June 25, 2008

Nikkor 18-200mm Lens Review

“Not the “Perfect Lens”, but close”

nikon nikkor 18-200

I waited 6 weeks for mine to arrive and used it almost immediately at an airshow featuring the Blue Angels. I took about 3 gigibytes of pictures at that show. I used the lens with a D50 in sports mode to capture the fast moving planes. It was a great day with not a cloud in the sky. When I later looked at the pictures I was dismayed to see significant light fall off or vignetting on the shots taken at 200mm with the lens wide open at f5.6.

This light fall off is the most significant problem I have noticed with this lens. I contacted Nikon and they said it was normal. Since the lens is made for the smaller DX sensor the diameter of the lens is smaller. This causes mechanical shadowing at long zoom lengths with the lens at the wide open settings of f5.6 until about f11. All lenses have light fall off, to some degree, at the edges. When you use a regular lens made for 35mm with the smaller digital DX sensors the fall off is outside the sensor and not seen. The light fall off was especially noticable with the blue/uniform background. If the background was “busy” the falloff would be less noticable.

Vignetting/light fall off is also usually seen on the wide side of zooms like this. I have not seen any with this lens. I do use a Hoya Pro 1/2 thickness filter so that a shadow is not made when shooting wide angles of 18mm – 28mm or so. I saw a technical review of this lens that noted it had significant outer distortion on pictures taken at 18mm but I have not seen that.

Pros

-Light weight for range
-Large range
-Vibration Reduction
-Sharp, crisp pictures with vibrant colors
-Fast Focus with manual focus adjustment ring for fine tuning

Cons

-Light fall off at long telephoto settings and large f stops
-Vibration Reduction helps with handheld shots but does not stop subject motion in low light, you still need a fast lens for that
-High price and limited availability
-Might get light fall off at wide angles unless expensive 1/2
width filter is used
-Lens Creep (but most telephotos have this to some extent)

I have since used the lens to shoot the Special Olympics. The outside track and field photos are excellent. Inside shots where hit and miss with subject movement in low light being the biggest culprit (was shooting no flash at 1600 iso).

For about the same money you can get a Nikon or Sigma 2.8 lens that covers approx. 80-200mm. I have read several opinions that you will still have fewer bad pictures with the VR of this lens and I believe that is true. It is not a perfect lens, but it takes great pictures once you know its limitations.

One tip – If you get this lens, when you use it on a tripod turn VR off, it will actually cause your photos to be blurry.

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Nikon 18-200 VR Review

May 15, 2008

Nikon 18-200 VR Review

“WONDERFUL lens… NOT a cure all”

nikon nikkor 18-200

Some of the reviews you’ve read on the internet are a little over-hyped. And some of them, or at least some portions of them, are not. I’m using this lens on a D50… Great results so far.

Well, you know the specs by now. two ED elements, three aspheric, Silent Wave Motor, VR II, Internal Focusing (NO movement of the front element!) and great zoom range (beware, this thing gets obnoxiously huge when zoomed in to 200. It just looks plain silly, especially with the lens hood, which I left in the box anyway.)

I am not going to go into detailed specifics of the distortion, since that’s been dealt with better by Ken Rockwell, Thom Hogan and others (EXCELLENT reviews… seek them out…). But it’s severe enough at the wide end that you will probably want to correct it (as best you can) in Photoshop. In real-life shooting, it isn’t a huge deal. (UPDATE: In real life shooting of hundreds of images so far, I’ve found NOT ONE SINGLE INSTANCE where I wanted to bother “fixing” it. I repeat… There is distortion, but it is NOT a problem.) I find that when I zoom in to 24 it is totally usable to all intents and purposes, and if I REALLY want to use something you shot at 18, unless there are some REALLY straight lines in it you might have no need of correction. So, in short, the distortion is there, but so what. It’s bound to be in a lens of this range.

Some other reviewers report better resistance to flare than I am experiencing. It is still pretty good in a lens of this many elements, but it is hardly “nonexistent” as some have reported. (UPDATE! I have had only ONE image “ruined” by flare. It was pointed at the sun. Flare is excellent on this lens!) Mine is made in Thailand and earlier ones in Japan. I hope that I got the same quality as the lucky early adopters, but this could account for that difference. I still don’t use the lens hood because I step the filter threads up to 77 and don’t want to take off my UV filter ever time I use it.

I actually find I can stack my polarizer on top of my UV (which is on a 72 – 77mm step-up ring – Curse you Nikon for not making the threads 77!) and STILL use this lens with no real vignetting at 24 and above. Now I REALLY want a 12-24, but that’s a whole other story (don’t have the dough).

Focus is LUDICROUSLY fast, either manually or auto. The AF-S seems to be the real deal in this lens, with a real Silent Wave Motor, unlike some “partial” AF-S lenses NIkon has been selling lately. (Low light is a problem sometimes… duh…)

Now, I took two stars off for the distortion (necessary, I admit), and the slight chromatic aberrations I’m getting on slight over-exposures, and the reduced speed as you zoom out to 200, but it gets BOTH of those back easily for the INCREDIBLE VR technology and the fact that I have had NOTHING but excellent images come out of it. It kinda eats batteries for lunch compared with not using VR, but it’s still usuallly lasting me at least 300 exposures with an external SB600 as flash. (why haven’t you gotten a backup battery yet?!?). I actually shot some indoor 1600 stuff hand-held all the way at 200mm (300 equiv) and 1/40 or 1/50. AMAZING! I understand it works well in low light at the wide end too. Haven’t tried any available darkness landscapes yet, so I can’t say.

So… It IS a do all and be all lens! Maybe not for the pro, but certainly for the guy who wants to take some great shots and especially the guy who doesn’t want to miss a shot because he’s changing lenses (and letting dust into his camera…)

It’s a great lens. Just buy it!

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Nikkor 18-200 Review

March 6, 2008

Nikkor 18-200 Review

“Do Not Get This Lens!”

nikon nikkor 18-200

There are several reasons why you should not get this lens. First is that I have gotten a reputation for taking great pictures. How will my reputation last if people find out it is really just the lens? Second is that it replaces so many other lenses that it is sure to cause unemployment around lens factories in Thailand, Malaysia, and China. You don’t want that on your conscience do you? If you use this thing to zoom in or out to frame pictures, when will you get exercise by walking long distances and climbing over things so that you can “zoom with your feet” like a prime lens user? Getting this lens will also mean that you will have wasted your investment in tripods because the VR-II makes them almost always unnecessary, and you don’t want that do you? The VR-II provides four stops of stabilization, one better than VR, which means that you can shoot at exposures 16 times longer than without it. Not having to worry about shaky hands will reduce your incentive to cut back on the Starbuckaroos, will it not? It also increases the effective speed of the camera so much that you can use polarizers more frequently to shoot through windows and water which is sure to ruin the privacy of mannequins and fish. Even if you are wrongheaded enough to buy this thing in spite of all these good reasons not to, at least have the decency to wait until I have unloaded my old Nikon 24mm-120mm VR lens on Ebay before you do, so I still can get something for it. There is some vignetting at 200mm and barrel creep when the lens is extended, which of course is intolerable. It is also horribly expensive, almost half as much as the Nikon 70mm-300mm VR lens it replaces, among many others. If you are fool enough to get this thing, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

P.S. The only thing this mutt won’t do is shoot at very shallow depth of field because its maximum aperture is f/3.5. The solution forced on you by this huge shortcoming is to carry a Nikon 50mm f/1.8. Being forced to carry that supplemental lens will cost you in excess of $90 and weigh you down with several ounces of otherwise unnecessary burden for one of the sharpest lenses available. Don’t do it.

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