\What are your guys views on the 18-70mm? from personal use.
Well, I've had the D80 and the 18-70mm for about 5 months and shot around 7.000 pics with it. In terms of build and image quality I think the lens is fine, but I wouldn't wanna buy anything below that. I must point out that the wide focal lengths (and marks) are crunched together, making it harder to set the composition precisely when zoomed out. I would have liked an even scale.
AND it wasn't long after I got the kit, that I began missing that extra reach. So I recently got a used AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1:4-5.6D. Works fine and focuses almost as fast as an AF-S.
But I wish I had got the 18-200 VR from the beginning, because of the convenience of 11x zoom, the stabilization and minimizing the risk of dust getting into the camera ... if I stop down to f/20-22, I can see plenty of black spots and specks. I will soon have to deal with cleaning my D80 or let some technician do it ...
Of course the 18-70 is cheap when you get it as a kit lens, but if your going to invest money in a non-Nikon brand on top, then I wouldn't hesitate and take the big plunge with the 18-200 VR! - I think there's just to much inconvenience always having to bring multiple lenses or deciding beforehand if you wanna shoot wide or tele, AND the lens changing hassle.
Just imagine what I have to go through everyday exercising my hobby!!
Hopefully helpful ...