18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm
I have recently been trying to decide between buying either an 18-200mm nikkor lens or a combination of the nikkor 35mm (f1.8G)and the nikkor 55-300mm to accompany my 18-55mm kit lens.
I have already noticed pros and cons of each option (listed below) but i am hoping for some more experienced or knowledgeable people to offer some advice.
Pros of the 18-200mm-
*all in one (great to travel with and dont need to swap lenses)
*apparently one of nikon's best quality lenses and takes excellent *photos
*great zoom range (in one lens)
Cons of the 18-200mm-
*More expensive (in comparison to the other option)
*less zoom range than the other 3 lenses
Pros of the combination -(18-55mm**already owned**+ 55-300mm+35m f1.8)
*cheaper to buy the 55-300mm and the 35mm than it is to buy the 18-200
* effectively i will have a more extensive zoom range, spread across the 3 lenses (18-300mm in total)
*all the benefits of having a prime lens (f1.8 aperture, very sharp and quick, small and light, etc etc.)
Cons of the combination -(18-55mm**already owned**+ 55-300mm+35m f1.8)
* more bulky (i will need a large bag to carry all of these damned lenses!!)
*lens swapping (although each lens will be more purpose built, i will have to swap lenses each time i need a different function, as opposed to having it "all in one")
PLEASE feel free to criticize/elaborate/add to/explain/contribute info or sources to anything i have written here. (and by feel free, i mean DO IT :p )
#1. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 0Sasquatch519 Registered since 26th Mar 2013Mon 15-Apr-13 01:57 PM
When I first got my camera, I sold my 18-55mm and got the 18-200mm. Yes it cost more, but not having to change lenses was important enough to me to justify the price. I've since sold the 18-200mm and got the 18-300mm. If you are really looking to minimize lens changing, that one has worked well for me.
Two things to note with the larger lenses that have very wide zoom ranges:
1) They are heavy!
2) At shorter focal lengths, they render your on-board flash useless- they cast a shadow on your picture just because they are so long. You really need an external flash if you're going to rely on these lenses. The SB-400 is the cheapest Nikon, but it isn't tall enough to overcome the shadow issue on the 18-300mm (I tested it myself) so you really need to look at at least the SB-700. There are a bunch of other reasons why you'd want an external flash, but the shadow from the on-board flash with these lenses is a pretty big issue. The flash also adds weight and is an extra thing to haul around, so you need to consider that.
Hope that helps in your decision-making process!
AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
SB-700 AF Speedlight
#2. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 0JosephK Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Mon 15-Apr-13 05:48 PM
Sounds like you have given it the needed thought. Now you just need to figure out your priorities.
The 18-200mm is a decent "jack of all trades, master of none" lens. Great as a one-lens travel kit. On the other hand, the lens combo is cheaper and maybe gives marginally better image quality, plus all the benefits of the 35mm f/1.8.
Lens swapping is not a problem for me, so I would take the combo.
Seattle, WA, USA
D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX
#3. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 0blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 15-Apr-13 06:44 PM
> Pros of the 18-200mm- ... apparently one of nikon's best quality lenses and takes excellent photos
Not really true. In terms of optical quality, it's probably in Nikon's lower half, perhaps even lower than that. But it DOES take excellent images. Even though it's in the lower half, ALL but one or two of them are quite good.
I used the 18-200VR for years, and it worked well - but not as well as many other lenses. It did what it did well, though. For practical reasons, the 2- or 3- lens solution is usually better, especially since the 18-55 and 35/f1.8 are such handy things. The all-in-one solution means that you drag the much bigger and bulkier 18-200 or 18-300 everywhere.
If you go further in photography, you'll find that your lens sets will diversify, with macros, wide angles, etc - one of the main reasons for an SLR is explicitly the ability to adapt to so many different types of photography - and lenses.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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#4. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 0MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Mon 15-Apr-13 11:53 PM
The 18-55mm and the 55-300mm are optically better than the 18-200mm even though they are kit lenses. The optical design of the 18-200mm was compromised at the wide end and the long end in order to achieve the very wide zoom range. There is no free lunch. That said, the 18-200mm is tough to beat if you only want to carry one lens.
#5. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 0Skyco Nikonian since 12th Mar 2012Wed 17-Apr-13 02:12 AM | edited Wed 17-Apr-13 02:17 AM by Skyco
It really depends on if you want great image quality - or just not bother changing lenses. The NIKKOR 18-55 will give you great image resolution at all focal lengths and at very close focus. The NIKKOR 55 - 200 also offers excellent focus resolution I think better than the 18 - 200mm. The 18-200 will not be any where near as sharp and clean close up at 200 mm which is one of the things the lens is touted for - close focus. The 18-200 can be a real disappointment if critical focus is a priority for you at the near and wide extremes. The "kit lenses" offer far superior image quality.
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#6. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 5ChristianF Nikonian since 21st Jan 2007Wed 17-Apr-13 09:52 AM
I'm surprised no one mentionned lens creep. Because they do! My family currently owns 4 and they all do. There are several fixes out there to prevent this (google lens creep). This being said, the 18-200mm can be had as either a refurb or second hand at a very affordable price and can be resold without loss of value & sometimes even at a premium judging from some of the sales I've witnessed. I do not have a DX body anymore (my wife has my D300 & the 18-200mm), however I do "borrow" it to work with my N1 V1 where it really shines. Not that much fatter than the 10-100mm PD for that matter albeit quite a bit longer. I might even take this combo to Europe on my next trip.
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#7. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 0
I'm just going to add two things here:
1) The 55-200 VR, as opposed to the 55-300, gives you a common filter size and non-rotating filters at the expense of reach. It's also cheaper and lighter and optically great, even though it's the match to the 18-55 kit. The 55-300 has a rotating filter mount and a very oddball (for Nikon) filter size of 58 mm, so if you get a polarizer or similar, you'll likely use it just for that lens.
2) You should just get the 35 f/1.8 anyway, regardless of what you use for telephoto. I don't know of anybody who owns it and regrets it, it's a great lens.
#8. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 0
I own all of the lenses you mentioned: the 18-55, the 35, the 55-300, and the 18-200. I use the 18-200 more than any of the others because of its versatility. It is especially handy as a travel lens, and you're right about the convenience of not having to swap lenses.
The 55-300 is a good lightweight telephoto that I'll carry with me when I want the extra reach.
The 35 is in a category of its own because it is an f1.8 lens. If I am traveling and taking a second lens with me, this will be the one, because of its aperture, and because it is a small lens and easy to take along.
I only use the 18-55 when I want something smaller than my 18-200. Handy sometimes, especially indoors, because of its size.
I use all those lenses for different purposes, but back to your original question, I have never chosen to take the 18-55 + 35 + 55-300 instead of my 18-200.
If I were considering taking three lenses instead of my 18-200, I might prefer a 10-24 to the 18-55. That would give me something wider at the wide end, and the 35 would do fine to cover the focal lengths between 24 and 55. But for my use, the convenience and versatility of the 18-200 really enhances the usefulness of my camera.
#9. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 8JimmyR97 Registered since 15th Apr 2013Mon 22-Apr-13 10:12 AM
"If I were considering taking three lenses instead of my
18-200, I might prefer a 10-24 to the 18-55."
I completely agree, but i already have the 18-55, i got it as the kit lens, and now that ive decided i would get the 35mm no matter what, Im basically decicing between the 18-200 and the 55-300
#11. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 9MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Mon 22-Apr-13 02:12 PM
> Im basically decicing between the 18-200 and the 55-300
If you want to maximize IQ and don't mind carrying two or three lenses (18-55mm, 35mm, and 55-300mm) get the 55-300mm and don't look back.
If simplicity and maximum convienience is your top priority get the 18-200mm.
#12. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 9Floridian Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007Mon 22-Apr-13 07:28 PM
>... Im basically decicing between the 18-200 and the 55-300...
There is a sizeable difference in the prices of those lenses. I have and use both, so of course, I think you should too!
If it is really one or the other, that's a tough choice. I'd be hard-pressed to give up my 18-200. But if you might get one now and the other later, I'd lean toward the 55-300. Why? It is less expensive, and it also gets you out to 300mm, which you won't be able to do with the 18-200. Also, the image quality of the 55-300 is very good, and the lens strikes me as a good value for those reasons.
Then, you'd have 18-300 covered. If at that point you're carrying more lenses than you'd like, or are swapping too much and want the convenience of a super-zoom, get the 18-200. The 55-300 will still be useful when you want more reach, and even at 200mm you will get better image quality than with the 18-200 (although I'm not one who complains about my 18-200 at 200mm).
#10. "RE: 18-200mm vs. 35mm and 55-300mm" | In response to Reply # 0
I've used the 18-200 on my D7000 as a general purpose walk-around lens and have loved it. I've used it for architectural, Cityscape, Landscape, general street photography and photographing the grandkids. I recently moved into full frame and have concentrated more on prime lenses - 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and a 300mm - I'm now shooting 95% landscape and architectural. The big difference I note is that when I used the 18-200mm walking around I wouldn't bring other lenses and didn't concern myself with weight and time of lens changing. With my prime lenses I'm changing constantly.
If you're looking for simplicity and an all around lens I don't think that, for its price, the 18-200 can be beat.
If you decide to go that route and would be interested in purchasing a lightly used lens - contact me. I'd be happy to work out a great deal for you.
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