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Got 17-55mm Where Next? 55-300mm Telephoto or Similar?

Mycenius

Auckland, NZ
335 posts

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Mycenius Registered since 25th Feb 2006
Thu 20-Jun-13 11:09 PM

Hi All,

Following on from my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 addition to my lens set (12-24mm f/4 versus 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6), while purchasing my new D7100 I (somewhat spontaneously) picked up a Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 that was an excellent second hand deal. Obviously this has further expanded my lens options, and while I am in no rush to replace it, it does raise the question long-term of what I should be thinking about with my 18-200m?

The 17-55mm covers the wider range and is obviously a better performing lens in that range and will likely become my usual walk-around lens in most cases, and although the 18-200mm has some limitations I believe it's still generally well regarded as a good 'all-in-one' lens, so I thought I'd solicit some thoughts and experience on the subject from the community:

  1. First obvious thought is to trade-in/sell my 18-200mm and replace it with a good (or at least better in some way) Telephoto-Zoom, such as:

    • The 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Telephoto?

    • one of the 55-200mm Telephoto-Zoom models?

    • or possibly one of the various 70-300mm Telephotos (although this then leaves a small gap in my coverage from 55-70mm - but I suspect this will not be critical or significant)?

    I don't expect I'd want anything longer than 300mm at present, and am thinking if I get something it would be good to extend beyond 200mm as I have had odd occasions when this has just been a bit short for me...

  2. Do option #1 above, except still keep the 18-200mm as a general purpose lens for when I travel or such like and only want to carry a single lens? Although I generally don't like to carry (figuratively) surplus lenses in my set just for the sake of it if they aren't going to get much use.

  3. Do nothing and just keep the 18-200mm to cover the 55mm-200mm space?

Obviously there may be other approaches and thoughts - so be interested in people's views and own experiences... And recommendations on/experiences with the 200mm & 300mm Telephoto-Zoom models, and any views on value for money (over and above what Thom Hogan & Ken Rockwell say on them)?

I'm looking to get a clear plan in my head medium-term, and identify what would be the ideal (or a very good) upgrade means I can watch the second hand opportunities and such for a while...

One other (side) question related to the 17-55mm is with the quality of this lens would people consider my AF 50mm f/1.8D semi-redundant (i.e. does it offer enough benefit, other than it's physical size & weight, over the 17-55mm - e.g. do people believe there is noticeable benefit from the lower aperture/speed from this prime)? I'm assuming there still will be (and plan to probably do some trial shoots with both lenses to see if I can tell the difference), but the 17-55mm I believe is considered very good for bokeh, and is very fast in it's own right, so may overlap the 50mm f/1.8 for performance?



TIA & Cheers,

John
Kiwi Nikonian
D7100 | Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 | Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 | Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 Micro

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