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      12-20-2008, 04:07 AM   #1
TWiTCHY
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18-200mm vs 18-55mm + 55-200mm

Well it's got to the point where I can't fit anything more in my camera bag, and that's partly due to the fact that I have 2 different kit lenses, the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm.

I was thinking about selling both and then using that money to partially pay off for an 18-200mm, but the guy at Tall's has been telling me that the smaller the range, the better the sharpness... or something along the lines of that.

In other words, he's saying that having two separate lenses is better than having a 2-in-1 lens.

Is this true? I've looked at reviews on Amazon and it seems to be fine. The only thing I'm concerned about is the price.



EDIT: I shoot Nikon

Last edited by TWiTCHY; 12-20-2008 at 01:52 PM.
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      12-20-2008, 05:52 AM   #2
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Its the glass that counts. Fixed f-stop lenses are ALWAYS going to be better than floating f-stop lenses. Forget the amount of zoom a lens has, go for a lens that has a fixed f2.8 stop and your image quality will improve dramatically as these lenses have a greater surface area on the front element.
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      12-20-2008, 06:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrumphoto View Post
Its the glass that counts. Fixed f-stop lenses are ALWAYS going to be better than floating f-stop lenses. Forget the amount of zoom a lens has, go for a lens that has a fixed f2.8 stop and your image quality will improve dramatically as these lenses have a greater surface area on the front element.
I think you might need to reword that. By simply having a lens with a fixed aperture does not automatically give you better quality.

All the fixed aperture lenses will do vs a floating aperture lens is the fact you will lose x amounts of stops worth of light. It will help yield a faster shutter speed but still can result in bad IQ.
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      12-20-2008, 06:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWiTCHY View Post
Well it's got to the point where I can't fit anything more in my camera bag, and that's partly due to the fact that I have 2 different kit lenses, the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm.

I was thinking about selling both and then using that money to partially pay off for an 18-200mm, but the guy at Tall's has been telling me that the smaller the range, the better the sharpness... or something along the lines of that.

In other words, he's saying that having two separate lenses is better than having a 2-in-1 lens.

Is this true? I've looked at reviews on Amazon and it seems to be fine. The only thing I'm concerned about is the price.

You shoot Canon? If so the 18-200 IS is reported a good overall performer. IQ is NOT that bad. What they are saying does kind of make sense but it really depends on you as the user. Are you happy carrying two lenses about?

I personally would if it means not spending anymore money on a lens that covers the range I already have.
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      12-20-2008, 01:01 PM   #5
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If you have a nikon, then i can only rcommend the 18-200 VR - an amazing all-rounder. a 2 years ago, it was virtually impossible to get hold of one. but i think there is no shortage in supply and is affordable...
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      12-20-2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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Try before you buy

Go to a reputable camera store. They should let you stick an 18-200IS on your camera and fire off a few frames at different focal lengths and apertures. Take a look at the images and compare with what you get with your current lenses. If you're in a hurry you can even bring a laptop with you and make up your mind in the store. Your opinion of the image quality matters a lot more than internet reviews or a lens' reputation.
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      12-20-2008, 01:55 PM   #7
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Forgot to mention that I shoot a Nikon D60. I'm going to the mall today to visit Kits and Talls, and I'll see what they have to say about this.

I DO mind having to carry two separate lenses, but I also mind having to spend $600 on lenses that I already have, but combined into one. So I'm torn apart for that reason.

What do you guys think about stepping down to 3rd part lenses, like Tamron and Sigma 18-200mms?
They go for half the price.
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      12-20-2008, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWiTCHY View Post

What do you guys think about stepping down to 3rd part lenses, like Tamron and Sigma 18-200mms?
They go for half the price.
dont - the vr on the 18-200 nikon is just amazing... *says many reviews*
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      12-21-2008, 06:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teshi View Post
I think you might need to reword that. By simply having a lens with a fixed aperture does not automatically give you better quality.

All the fixed aperture lenses will do vs a floating aperture lens is the fact you will lose x amounts of stops worth of light. It will help yield a faster shutter speed but still can result in bad IQ.
BUT the point that is being missed is that fixed aperture lenses have to have more front glass and the more glass you have the more light transmission you get to your film plane. Also fixed aperture lenses will have fewer elements for the light to pass through. These compact "super zoom" lenses can only get away with their mechanics by utilizing a floating f-stop system and by having more elements. The more elements you have the more glass that light has to pass through and as light passes through glass there is an inherent loss of quality (much like zeroxing a copy of a copy)

As a photographer you can get around shutter speed issues in most cases but you cant get around the added clarity, sharpness, depth and just brilliance that a fixed aperture lens provides. Hence why I shoot prime lenses whenever I can get away with it.

The big point that should be made is people in general should put their money more into their lenses than their bodies. I have always said to buy the best lenses that your budget will allow you even if it means you buy a "lesser model of a body" In film days this was particularly true and with the huge leaps of the digital age most all modern consumer and prosumer bodies will yield excellent results. Its always the lens that is the weak link...
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