18-200 vs 18-55 & 55-200 I recently purchased a D3100 with the requisite 18-55 kit lens. I also purchased the 55-200 to flesh out a reasonable range of shots. I had dismissed the 18-200 due to the expense(like purchasing a second camera). I am revisiting that decision and find myself lacking sufficient knowledge to make the best decision. I've visited a bunch of review sites and looked at some photo comparisons but...honestly I doubt my knowledge and expect I might be overlooking other factors(aside from getting a new batch of filters due to the difference in size). From a convenience standpoint, the 18-200 is a slam dunk but how does photo quality compare at each respective level. If I picked up superior quality in addition to convenience I might get the 18-200. I'd appreciate the thoughts of the community.
asked by Becky's dad on December 26, 2010
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Interesting...I remember reading one of the reviews on here that complained that the II designation in the name was to notate only that this was the second iteration of the 18-200 lens(which includes the lens lock to prevent creep) but the placement of II after VR misleads people to believe that it's an improved VR. I have my eye on the 1.8 35mm you mentioned as well but I think the 18-200 has a higher priority for me if I decide to go that way. Thanks for the feedback.
Becky's dad answered on January 2, 2011
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I have the 18-200 which came with a D-7000. I purchased this kit at Costco after two years of research. For me it was a slam dunk. I wanted a one lens solution, and while the optics of the 18-55 and 55-200, and 18-135 lenses are good for their price they come with plastic lens mounts which I didn't want to put on a D-7000.

However, you already have the same zoom equivalent in two lenses. Quite frankly while the 18-200 offers better build quality it has compromises of its own as it suffers from zoom shrinkage at close ranges. It is a rather large and heavy lens which might weigh more than your two current lenses combined. I think it might make your smaller and lighter D-3100 feel unbalanced and lens heavy.

Bottom line I would not invest the $700 to $800 for this lens for your current lens situation. I don't think you would find a signicant improvement in picture quality with this lens to justify its price and improvement in convenience.

Get out and take a lots of pictures and have fun with your camera. Remember photo quality has little to do with the Camera and everything to do with the photographer.
Bass Whisperer answered on April 1, 2011
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Unless someone is a professional or a "pixel counter" who is never satisfied with anything, they will never know the difference between a shot taken with either of your two lens and the 18-200mm. All three lenses are consumer level lenses designed to take very good photos at a reasonable price. All three do that well.

As for me, I am selling two kits lenses and getting a 18-200mm VRII. In addition to the convenience factor, not having to change lenses means always having the "right" lens on the camera so you don't miss a shot.
Happy Billmore answered on January 23, 2011
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All depends on needs and taste. I own a 18-200 vrII and I am seriously thinking about switching back to 18-55 + 55-200. The reasons are:
- 18-200 feels huge in my D5000 and is quite heavy (just can't stand the camera around my neck)
- 18-200 has a significant barrel distortion at 18 -35, that is quite a problem when shooting architecture (which is what I shoot the most)
- 90% of my shots are taken within the 18-50 range (being 50 sometimes too close) I feel that I am hauling the lens around without reason.
Sometimes that "convenience" is not as convenient I must say...
B. I. Sevilla answered on February 1, 2012
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They're all made abroad. The US doesn't have an optics business. You're probably referring to "officially" imported vs gray market imports. The difference is the warranty. I'm pretty sure Amazon only sells official imports themselves, though third parties might list gray market here.
B. Rodgers answered on February 3, 2011
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A
convenience is the only difference
Amazon Customer answered on December 30, 2010
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Sevilla,

Before jettisoning the 18-200mm try using either Nikon's CaptureNX2, ViewNX2 (maybe and it's FREE) or Lightroom3 to correct the barrel distortion on your computer. This won't fix the "weight" problem though.

I once owned the 18-200mm for use on my D7000 but decided to return the 18-200mm and to keep the 18-135mm kit lens. I then purchased the Nikon 70-300mm VRII zoom. The 18-135mm/70-300mm together cost about the same as the 18-200mm. I like the 70-300mm a lot.
whmitty answered on February 1, 2012
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The 18-105mm lens which came with my D7000 does the trick for me in that focal length range but I too tried the 18-200mm and for the price was disappointed notwithstanding the "convenience" factor. I ultimately returned the 18-200mm, kept the 18-105mm and purchased a Nikon 70-300mm --> Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras and have been more than pleased with the results. The additional range to 300mm (actually 450mm on DX cameras) is nice too. I'm relatively new to DSLR photography but can say that the 18-105mm and 70-300mm combo has shown great flexibility and quality without breaking the bank!
whmitty answered on December 29, 2011
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It turns out that VR II is "specified" to permit a 4 stop advantage over the previous VR of only 3 stops. This is in terms of attenuating hand shake/other vibrations while taking the shot. I own the 18-200mm and the 18-105. There seems to be a near imperceptible advantage to the 18-200mm in terms of image quality if you "pixel peep". The 18-200mm weighs nearly 6 ounces more than the 18-105mm and it feels more like an additional 16 ounces when the whole rig is hanging 'round my neck. The bottom line is I'm going to return the 18-200mm (30 days) and investigate the 70-300mm which is $300 cheaper than the 18-200mm and very highly rated by one and all. See slrgear.com for in depth tests of these lenses.

I hope this was of some help to someone.
whmitty answered on May 28, 2011
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My 18-200VRII is my 'go to' vacation lens...can't beat the convience. I also have the 70-300 which I originally paired with my 18-70, but the 18-200 is perfect for the convience of vacation and I throw in the 35mm1.8 for low light situations. The optics on the 18-200 are sharp and gets the job done...don't want to be fumbling around changing lense on vacation.
P. Strong answered on June 5, 2013
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