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18-200 gets too much flak- you're missing the point

dgh3

Syracuse, US
470 posts

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dgh3 Registered since 29th Jan 2007
Wed 16-Jan-08 01:00 PM

I keep hearing so much criticism of the 18-200 lens. It's true, if I know exactly what I'm doing, the kind of shoot where you "make an appointment" for the photo, then I take something else. But, I almost always take the 18-200 as my backup lens because you never know what will come along... Anytime I'm going anywhere where things are uncertain, any kind of event, trip, etc., the 18-200 is my primary, or only lens. The 18-200 can't be beat, or even equalled, for this kind of thing.

In these circumstances, things are constantly changing. One moment its wide angle scenery and the next it's telephoto time. Literally, scenes can change second to second. I don't want to get the "ideal" shot with perfect whatever, if it means that the second, possibly much better shot, escapes me completely!!! I'll give up a little resolution in the corners, or a bit of absolute resolution, in order to get a wide range of simply great shots. The real world is not a photo studio, and we can't pretend that we can carry around an 8X10 Deardorf camera to get real-world shots. The world won't wait. And, the 18-200 means I'm ready for 95% or more of what comes along. Give me a clean 3200 ISO, and I'll move that number up 99.9%.

For example, I've posted two shots below, taken, literally, five seconds apart. Tell me how you'd get these shots with any other outfit. Even with two cameras you couldn't let go of one and get the other up, set the zoom, adjust the f/stop, and/or ISO in just five seconds.

The third shot is from a street festival. 90% of the shots I took there were at between 20mm and 35mm, but this one is at 200mm, and I only had about 2 seconds to go for it. These kids came from one side, through the water, and ran out the other - the entire event lasted less than 30 seconds, best shots were available for only about 3-5 seconds. I turned the corner as they were about 1/2 way through. No other lens could have done it. That is, if I had been using some fast glas, it would have been wide angle, as that was what I was shooting seconds before I turned that corner. I could just have stood there, or gotten a shot with the kid about the size of a mosquito in a football field - not even the capture of a good memory, and a terrible pic.

BTW, these are all straight out of the camera, with no processing except shrinking for the web. The full size shots have excellent detail, and with careful processing can be shown at up to 24X30.

So, take this as a request, if you've got an 18-200 and there's a special picture that you could not have gotten without it, post it here, and tell us all about it.

Click on image to view larger version

Click on image to view larger version

Click on image to view larger version


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Dave Harris
Life is short, death is long, there is no perfection in life, only in death; perfect stillness. Enjoy life!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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G