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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:17 pm 
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Location: London, UK
This may well be a silly question, but can someone briefly outline the pros and cons of buying an 18-200mm lens or a 55-200mm lens as a 2nd lens after a 18-55mm kit lens, for general purpose use.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:41 pm 
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The 55-200mm lens is a cheap consumer lens. It has a plastic mount and is of a similar build quality to the 18-55mm kit lens. The 18-200mm lens does the job of both the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lens in a single, higher quality lens. It has better image quality than either lens and offers VR over the full focusing range. If you have the money I'd get the 18-200mm over the 55-200mm. I'd suggest getting the 70-300mm VR in preference to the 55-200mm. Again it is a much better lens. It is also cheaper than the 18-200mm. I don't see a problem with the missing 15mm.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:48 pm 
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Havving the range of two lenses in one also means:
- no need to change when the neccessity occurs
- no dust coming into the body because you don't need to change.
So: GET THE 18-200mmVR!!!
(You knew I would say this!?)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:36 pm 
Hey Steve, lets bring another element into the equation, how is your budget?
I can't disagree with the previous thoughts about the recommendations about the 18-200 lens, but if you are on a slightly tighter budget and you aren't after pro results the 55-200 VR lens has a lot to offer as a second lens to the kit 18-55. Here in Australia the 18-200 retails from $1300.00 AUD upwards and the 55-200VR lens is appearing on special at between $350.00 and $400.00 AUD.
The non VR 55-200 lens doesn't seem to have a lot to recommend it, but the VR version pays its way very quickly at the bargain price if you are prepared to change lenses frequently. I bought the VR version, for budget reasons and am more than happy with the results it has produced so far.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:43 am 
Actually, if you compare the photozone.de reviews of the new 18-55 DX II kit lens and the new 55-200 DX VR lens against the 18-200 DX VR II lens you might be surprised...

For example, the 55-200 VR does better in CA and distortions, and is sharper. The 18-55 II is also sharper and with less distortions. These two lenses together cost almost a third of the 18-200 price.

The 18-200 does offer more convenience (one lens covers the entire range) and the more advanced VR II.

Darrin


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:04 am 
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Gordon, is there a review of the new Nikor 55-200mm lens on the horizon?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:09 am 
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It sure is on the horizon, but it could be a distant one!

I haven't been sent one yet...

Gordon


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:39 pm 
Darrin,

Does that review also give the cheaper lenses better contrast ratings?

(I'm addicted to contrast)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:33 am 
lorriman wrote:
Does that review also give the cheaper lenses better contrast ratings?
(I'm addicted to contrast)

Unfortunately, those reviews do not evaluate contrast, and I never had an 18-200 in my hands to be able to directly compare them...
You can check the reviews here: 18-200mm VRII and 55-200mm VR. There are some full size samples taken with each lens, but not of the same things...

Darrin


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:16 am 
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Ive since decided that for the price the 55-200mm is by far the better choice for my particular situation. Mostly thats because its so much cheaper! Convenience isn't worth the large gap in price, and results from both lenses seem up to scratch.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:30 am 
Out of interest Steve, how do prices of photo gear in Japan compare with the UK? the 18-200mm VR for example is £499 here. What is it in Japan?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:06 pm 
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I just looked it up on an internet comparison site and the best price is 87,830 yen, which, using Xe.com converts to £355. So I guess the answer is cheaper!

The 55-200mm is 31,992 yen, or £130.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:14 am 
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It actually strikes me as quite strange that theres a huge price difference over here- lenses come with a worldwide warranty, so I can't see any disadvantage at all of buying the lenses in Japan and getting them shipped to where you live.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:38 pm 
Well, one disadvantage is customs, you may well find that the money you "save" from buying the lens abroad you have to pay it later as import duties. :(

I recently bought the 55-200 VR at a local store and it costed me 229 euros (about 154 GBP), adding shipping cost to those 130 GBP you mention would just about match the price BEFORE customs, so you may even find yourself paying more for the lens if you buy them abroad.

When I recently bought my Nikon D40, I searched Ebay for a bargain and I just couldn't find it, to save some money (by no means a great amount) I would have had to order the camera from one of many Ebay vendors at Hong Kong and risk an unpleasant surprise at customs or a defective product that I would have had to return for replacement all the way back to Hong Kong at my expense (Any of these eventualities would have nullified my savings). I finally decided to buy the camera locally.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:21 am 
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Gordon, have you got your hands on the 55-200m yet? Want to read your review of it!! :)

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