I have a question. I've decided to buy a D80 and have been agonizing as to whether to go for an 18-200 VR or the 18-70 / 70-300 VR combo you have. Maybe I'm imagining it, but after looking at A LOT of pictures from all of these (including yours, which are great, by the way), it seems to me the ones from the 18-70 / 70-300 combo are better somehow. They seem to have better color and contrast and to be slightly sharper, and simply put have more "life" to them. The pictures from the 18-200 seem to be abit dimmer and flatter. It's been my observation from what I've seen, anyway.
The big issue of course, and what I'd be interested in hearing from you, is just how big a pain and inconvenience do you find it to change the lenses while out shooting? I'll mostly be shooting around town, or out in the country, and more scenery and architecture than people. Just wondering what your experience has been in this regard. Do you often find yourself in a situation where you wish you had just the one lens? Or conversly, are you often glad you have the extra 100mm reach w the 70-300? I'd really appreciate some first hand feed back on this...
Well, the thing is that I have had the 18-70 for just over a year now, and I have gotten so used to shooting wide, that I am actually using the 70-300 less than I thought I'd be. I mean, I will only REALLY use it when I am either doing some street photography,and need to get in closer, or if I am at a sporting even in the out doors (as we all know this isnt an f2,8 lens), or watching birds, or capturing wildlife. I shoot alot of nature/landscape/ stuff and so for that purpose the 18-70 does most of the work.
No I don't mind changing lenses. The thing is, I wouldnt need to compose the shot that much to the extent that I'd need to zoom from 18 mm to 200 say. It's either going to be a wide shot, or a very close up or tele range shot. At the end of the day, I tend to know what I am going out looking to shoot. I do take my 70-300 along with me, but I more or less know which lens I will be using.
Be sure to search Flickr for 18-200 VR as you can find many more examples of what that lens is capable of. Flickr link of 'interesting shots' taken with 18-200 VR
As you can see, the lens does
produce good images. I originally wanted the 18-200, because it meant not getting dust on my D80 sensor, not missing a shot while changing a lens and so on, but at the time, that lens was in great demand and prices were inflated. So I found an 18-70 new, but window model for much cheaper than it retails for and went for it.
It just happened that there would be a zoom lens with VR, that was a decent price, with an extra 100mm for me out there haha.
However, alot of people have said that the 70-300 produces sharper results than the 18-200, at least up to 200. The results arent as sharp from 200-300 after that, but only by a little and stopping down to f11 helps things. The build quality is also said to be a little better, as there is no zoom creep like on most 18-200mm out there. It all depends on your needs and your budget. I'm happy with what I went for.
Heres a link to 'most interesting' shots on the 70-300 on flickr;