Customer Review

1,065 of 1,081 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good lens at a reasonable price, October 7, 2009
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This review is from: Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon DX-Format Digital SLR Cameras (Camera)
I believe it was Thom Hogan who described this lens as not perfect but really good at everything. That's the review in a nutshell.

This is what I would term a prosumer lens. It certainly is not cheap yet it does not have the build quality of Nikon's top-of-the-line. The barrel, for example, is plastic rather than metal. I fear that a drop would be catastrophic and even a hard bang on the edge of a table might do serious damage if the lens was fully extended. On the other hand, this lens is a lot less expensive than those in the Nikon pro line. In addition, the lens is much lighter and easier to carry than it would be were it made entirely of metal.

It is my understanding that the only meaningful difference between this lens (the VR II) and its immediate predecessor is the addition of a cam lock to prevent lens creep. My own sample doesn't creep at all, even with the cam unlocked but apparently that has been a significant irritant for a number of buyers.

The use of "VR II" in the name is potentially misleading because it may lead shoppers to believe that the VR system has been improved over the original model. This is not the case. Both the original 18-200 and the new version contain Nikon's second generation VR system. Some have suggested that Nikon's marketing is a bit shady on this point while others counter that the "II" simply designates a new model.

Sharpness is less than absolute across the entire range but more than adequate for anything that an amateur, or even most professionals, is likely to need. There is mild to moderate distortion, more marked at the focal length extremes but scarcely visible in the vast majority of images and readily correctable in Photoshop, DxO, or other post-processing software. Contrast is crisp and I find the lens surprisingly free of flaring and ghosting.

No one should buy this lens thinking that it will make him/her a better photographer. Good photography is in the mind and the eye, not in camera. What the 18-200 will do, though, is provide a one-lens solution to the great majority of focal length needs, minimizing the need to tote a hefty bag full of lenses. It happens that, as a long time Nikon user, I have such a bag. Despite all the choices at my disposal, my 18-200 probably stays on my camera 85-90% of the time.

Folks who are obsessed with numbers, charts, and MTF curves will probably fret over the 18-200, taking delight in pointing out every little defect. For the rest of us, the only significant downside that I see is that the lens is not ideally suited for extended service in rough environments or adverse weather situations. Since most of us seldom shoot in such circumstances, this should not be much of a problem.

I heartily recommend the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G AF-S ED VR II (whew! what a mouthful) to any advanced amateur or professional seeking a highly usable wide range zoom.
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Comments

Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 42 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 19, 2009 10:16:26 AM PDT
J. Liu says:
How many year warranty does it have if I buy from Amazon?

1year or five year?

Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2009 3:16:54 PM PDT
Five years. Nikon warrants the lens, not Amazon.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 4:59:35 PM PDT
Maxwell, which Nikon camera do you own? I am considering the D90, but have been scared off by all the reports of CHA error messages and lens error messages

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2009 8:22:37 AM PDT
I have a D90 and a D3. The D90 is my beater and the D3 is when I'm being artsy-fartsy... I probably would not have purchased the D3, myself, but it was a gift from a great aunt with more money than good judgment. I suggested a long tele and got a body, instead.

I have had no CHA errors or lens errors and I have used a host of different lenses and made many thousands of exposures with the D90. It is a very fine body and I would not hesitate for a moment to buy one. Or, in my case, to buy a second one if something happened to my current.

Good luck, good shooting, and have fun. Fun is the most important part.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2009 10:57:47 AM PDT
J. Liu says:
Thank you! I want to make sure because B&H sold some international version of Nikon lens with only 1 year warranty.

Posted on Oct 23, 2009 4:19:25 PM PDT
Divya says:
hey there! thanks for the very pointed review. i just ordered this lens today with nikon D5000 :-) cant wait!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2009 10:15:03 PM PDT
Lymophine says:
Does it come with lens hood? can you also tell me where is this lens made from? thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2009 6:20:20 AM PDT
Yes, it comes with a hood. I have no idea where it is made; it does not concern me one way or the other. Perhaps someone else can say?

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 7:35:47 PM PST
great review, could not have said it better.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 6:31:52 PM PST
jedimom says:
Be careful if you buy a D90. Mine is giving me the ERR message and freezing up. This can only be fixed by removing the battery and replacing it. I have sent it back to NIkon and it is still giving me problems.
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Location: Orlando,, FL, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,083