>If I can use an analogy, look at audiophiles. Some of these >guys and gals would turn their noses up at a CD. Give them >pure audio from vinyl. I will take their word that vinyl >provides purer music. (ten years of flying military jets took >away much of my hearing) However, could the average person >tell the difference between a CD and a vinyl record?
Just want to jump in here... Just finished mastering a radio commercial that will air in the next few weeks to an audience of several hundred thousand people...
The fact is, a $50. CD player will blow the doors off a $5000. vinyl turntable in terms of signal to noise, dynamic range, frequency response and a complete lack of clicks and pops. Anyone can hear the surface noise and clicks and pops intrinsic to vinyl playback.
"Audiophiles" hate this because digital audio levelled the playing field and allowed the average person to enjoy phenomenal sound that used to be held in the private domain of the wealthy.
Having said that, my guess is that with the 18-200, if you capture a great image, NO ONE will be able to say, "Wow, this is nice, but it would have been better with more expensive glass..."
Some of the most historically revered images were captured on grainy film with lenses not nearly as capable as what we commonly have access to now.
Regardless of what you purchase, focus on composition, color and light and your images will be excellent.