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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss frustrated... can't choose next lens...I have a Nikon D90 with a Nikkor 18-105 VR zoom and a prime Nikkor 50mm 1.8D They are both ...
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Old 27-07-2009, 20:15   #1 (permalink)
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frustrated... can't choose next lens

I have a Nikon D90 with a Nikkor 18-105 VR zoom and a prime Nikkor 50mm 1.8D
They are both extremely sharp and the image quality is great.

However... (and this is where things start to get complicated...) -
I would like to have an all around lens with image stabilization and a larger zoom
but... I don't want to sacrifice image quality... and I especially don't want a soft lens (I love my pics sharp...)

So I guess the (non) options are the:
Nikkor 18-200 VR
Tamron 18-270 VC
Sigma 18-250 OS

But... reading reviews it seems to me that the Nikkor is not a sharp lens and so are the Tamron and Sigma

I know I can get myself a collection of lenses which combined together would give me great image quality - however I want to carry around 1 lens...

Any thoughts...?

Update: bought the Tamron 18-270 - you can look here to see comparison shots (all shot with a tripod):
http://nikkornikkor.smugmug.com/gallery/9077214_d4fkR

Last edited by amstelnikon; 29-07-2009 at 00:22.
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Old 27-07-2009, 21:09   #2 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

I recommend the Nikkor 18-200 VR lens It is plenty sharp, although I think you will find that ALL super-zoom lenses will be slightly soft at the longest end, but definitely still useable.
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Old 27-07-2009, 21:40   #3 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

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I recommend the Nikkor 18-200 VR lens It is plenty sharp, although I think you will find that ALL super-zoom lenses will be slightly soft at the longest end, but definitely still useable.
The only problem I have here is that I have read countless reviews that the 18-200VR - although versatile - is a soft lens compared to the 18-105mm
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Old 27-07-2009, 22:17   #4 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

The Tamron 18-270 lives on my camera (Canon 40D) most of the time, and the sharpness is fine if you keep in the middle of the aperture range. None of these wide-range zooms gives best IQ at the extremities of focal length or aperture, but that's offset by convenience.

I posted some samples here...

http://www.pixalo.com/community/shot...ots-29446.html
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Old 27-07-2009, 22:33   #5 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

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The only problem I have here is that I have read countless reviews that the 18-200VR - although versatile - is a soft lens compared to the 18-105mm
If you look hard enough you could also find other reviews that say the 18-105 is soft compared to a 50mm f1.8 or 85mm f1.8. All zooms with more than a 3x zoom factor will compromise on quality, and the ones with a 3x zoom factor are not as sharp as primes.

If you want a lens with a zoom factor of 12 or 15 then you are never going to get the same quality as a lens that has fewer design compromises.

As sharpness is so important to you I suggest using two lenses - the Nikkor 17-55 f2.8 and the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 vr. I think these two will be the closest you will get to the focal range and the quality that you want. There is no one lens that will do it all.
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Old 27-07-2009, 23:04   #6 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

Carrying 2 lenses is not an option for me - the thing is... it's not just me who takes the photos - it's also my other significant half and she wants one lens.

From the 3 lenses I mentioned (Nikkor, Tamron, Sigma) which one would according to your opinions have the best image quality and sharpness?
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Old 27-07-2009, 23:43   #7 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

I don't think there will be much of a difference between those three.
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Old 28-07-2009, 01:59   #8 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

Agree with Graham.

Only someone who owns all 3 lenses can answer your question. Or you could rent all 3 + try them out for yourself before choosing
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Old 28-07-2009, 15:28   #9 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

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Agree with Graham.

Only someone who owns all 3 lenses can answer your question. Or you could rent all 3 + try them out for yourself before choosing
Well, I went ahead and bought the Tamron 18-270 in a shop where you can return the lens if you don't like it...

I'll see how it goes and decide...

You can look in this http://nikkornikkor.smugmug.com/gall...04554777_HLmvh page to see comparison shots

Last edited by amstelnikon; 29-07-2009 at 00:19.
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Old 28-07-2009, 22:10   #10 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

well, so far the lens is quite impressive in terms of the zoom - wohooow what a zoom range - pure pleasure !
However ... the lens is not as sharp as the 18-105 :-(
I'm not saying it's not sharp - it's not bad at all. But it's not as sharp at the 18-105mm.
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Old 28-07-2009, 22:28   #11 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

Well, no, it may not be, but if you stick to around f/8 or f/11 it should be plenty sharp enough, especially with a little USM. If you showed someone a large print taken with each lens, would they be able to see any difference?
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Old 28-07-2009, 23:01   #12 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

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If you showed someone a large print taken with each lens, would they be able to see any difference?
Ken Rockwell might

Congrats on the new lens, amstelnikon, have fun
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Old 28-07-2009, 23:17   #13 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

OK so here is a quick comparison using a tripod and at the same focal length - cropped and not resized.
1st: the Nikkor 18-105 VR

2nd: the Tamron 18-270 VC
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Old 29-07-2009, 00:09   #14 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

Well... after playing around with both lenses for a few hours (my wife was starting to mock me...) here are my initial conclusions:

a. the 270mm zoom is AWSOME. I don't meant the Tamron lens is awsome - I mean the zoom range. It's really really great to have this zooming power. I love it.

b. the Nikkon 18-105 is simply sharper. I've taken maybe 150 shots with each lens and compared the results. The Nikon is simply always sharper. In some cases the difference is clearer and some less. Also the overall pic quality is better with the Nikon. I let my wife look at photos from both without telling her which was which and she always preferred the Nikkor.

c. The Autofocus of the Nikkon is much much (!!!) quicker. It takes a fraction of a second and it's locked. The Tamron takes a long time to lock. A very long time compared to the Nikon. It sometimes loses focus and has to refocus. It's frustrating. It's also not very decisive - you can lock it - and then when you try to relock it may or may not relock and if not - it has to run all the way through infinity to relock. I would say that the autofocus of this lens is from my point of view the show stopper.

d. The image stabilization of both lenses works well. The Tamron makes much more noise (the Nikon is virtually silent while the tamron whirrs and burrs). The Tamron has this thing that if you have the VC on and half click the shutter button - then sometimes in high zoom (say - 270mm) the image moves a bit from the center point - seems like the VC kicks in and moves the image by a tiny bit - this is annoying and I have very steady hands.

e. Both the Tamron and Nikon lenses feel quite good in the hand - i.e. - they are made from pretty good materials and feel very solid.

f. The Tamron zooming system is not as smooth as the Nikon - when u start twisting the zoom out - it's 1st easy then very hard then again easy... the Nikon is simply smooth.

So... my conclusion:
Although the Nikkor has better image quality - I would say the Tammy has good image quality and I could live with it considering the amazing zoom capability.
However... the autofocus is a real fun killer and is simply a bad implementation. It's a show stopper.

Back to the shop goes the Tammy...

Last edited by amstelnikon; 29-07-2009 at 02:57.
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Old 29-07-2009, 11:43   #15 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

Sorry to hear about the AF issue. I haven't noticed a problem with mine, so I wonder if you have a bad copy?

P.S. I've just tried mine on my Canon 40D at both extremities of the zoom range, indoors on a dull day, and AF is pretty quick - certainly not a problem.
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Old 01-08-2009, 19:35   #16 (permalink)
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Re: frustrated... can't choose next lens

It may be the Nikon AF version I tried a Tamron 18-270 and found the AF awful as well so I know where you are coming from. I have a Tamron 17-50 and that is pretty poor as well. I had a Nikon 18-200 and whilst it was not for me the AF was fine. I have all but given up on a superzoom for me but I may give the new Sigma a go as that is getting some pretty high praise and then there is the Nikon 18-200 VRII just announced.
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