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Nikon 18-200 VR or 80-200 f2.8

Corey Abrams , Mar 10, 2007; 07:48 a.m.

I am in the market to purchase a new lens and was wondering if there is anyone who has used both of these lenses and knows them well enough to tell me which will give me a better photograph. I do like the idea of the VR on the 18-200 but is it worth losing the 2.8 from the 80-200? Most important to me is picture quality I want the one that will provide me with sharp detail and an all around high quality photo. thanks in advance for your response.



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Dave Petley , Mar 10, 2007; 07:56 a.m.

Hi Corey buy a 80 200 2.8 you will love it. I had the 18 200 did not like it to slow.80 200 it is a sharper lens too

Peter Hamm , Mar 10, 2007; 08:01 a.m.

The 18-200 is WAY better than the 80-200 in the 18-80 range. ;~)

Seriously, if you're going to shoot a lot of stuff wider than 80, then the 80-200 will not be the answer for you. What else do you have?

Kevin Foster , Mar 10, 2007; 08:08 a.m.

The 80-200mm is an awesome lens for the money. It will destroy the 18-200mm in the 80-200mm range. However, you will obviously need something wider to go with it. The 18-200mm is a nice walk around lens, but its slow. If you already have a 18-70mm then the 80-200 compliments the 80-200mm very nicely.

Richard Knapp , Mar 10, 2007; 10:20 a.m.

In addition to mediocre lens quality, the 18-200VR isn't good for developing photogrpahic skills. It encourages you to manipulate the zoom, rather than use your eyes and feet to frame a picture within a circumscribed range.

Honestly, I'd get the 80-200 f2.8 (great glass, with a relatively narrow zoom range) and save up for the Nikon 20mm 2.8 and the Nikon 50mm f1.8 prime lenses

Don't others agree?

Simon Hickie - Melbourne, Derbyshire, UK , Mar 10, 2007; 10:40 a.m.

IMHO this is not an either/or situation since the two lenses serve different purposes. Either is capable of producing fine images (assuming lens sample is OK). Far more will depend on your skills at seeing and composing images. I cannot say I agree that the 18-200 will not help develop photographic skills - moving the zoom ring is a perfectly legitimate response to certain situations whereas falling off a cliff-top may not be.

Fred Bonnett , Mar 10, 2007; 11:26 a.m.

It is really remarkable how good the 18 200 is given its 11:1 zoom ratio but at enlargements of 11x14 and up, details are lacking throughout its focal length range at all f stops.

I have tried two examples of the 18 200 VR, time to punt on super zooms.

The 18 70 is super sharp and goes well with either an 80 200 2.8 or the VR 70 300.

BW Combs , Mar 10, 2007; 11:34 a.m.

The 18-200mm will dominate in quality and features up to 79mm. (:>)

You are in a sense comparing an orange to a grapefruit. If you want a walk around lens that will reach to 200mm, then the 18-200mm is the obvious choice.

The 80-200mm is a great lens, but is heavy, visually obtrusive, and in some states, considered a defensive weapon.

I have and use the 80-200mm and love it. The images are excellent. The speed is good. But it is definitely not the lens you would keep on your camera body all the time.

You did not say, which body you are using.

Peter Hamm , Mar 10, 2007; 12:43 p.m.

"n addition to mediocre lens quality, the 18-200VR isn't good for developing photogrpahic skills."

"mediocre"? Not in my or many reviewers opinion. Not top-of-the-line to be sure, but mediocre? I think not.

However, it is VERY true that a mega-zoom will not teach you as much about photography as a simple "standard" lens. That used to be a 50. Now it's a 28 or so.

Rene GM , Mar 10, 2007; 01:27 p.m.

The 80-200 is a bit sharper in its range, and it faster. However, the VR makes up for that, even if you have to stop down the 18-200 to 8 or so, you get more of a lense. I'd buy the 80-200 only, if you want to do sport photography, where the 2.8 will help to freeze the action. Note, that the 80-200 is a very bulky lens too!

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