Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Nikon 18-200 VR (first edition) lens... I absolutely LOVE this lens and use it more than any other lens in my arsenal. A lot of people will argue that this lens is not sharp enough or fast enough for their work, but I beg to differ.
I've been using this lens now since it came out. I've shot everything from weddings, commercial stock photography, senior portraits to everything in between. Its plenty sharp and has such a broad focal distance range that you can shoot about everything with it. With an aperture range from f/3.5 to f/5.6 racked out, and the VR giving you about another stop, this lens will cover just about everything you will ever care to shoot.
This is a DX lens so it is geared for the smaller sensor Nikon cameras, but works great on my D300 and my D70. I have also calibrated this lens to my D300 to ensure maximum sharpness at all focal distances.
My only complaint with this lens is that it has a lens creep issue. Meaning that if you're pointing down at an object (and it has to be a pretty steep angle) the lens will actually zoom out a little. Fortunately for me though, I'm rarely shooting in this type of scenario and seldom have issues with that. However, if you pick up the VR II version of this lens which just came out a few months ago, they have put a retaining ring on there to lock the focal distance.
Will this lens cover everything you need to shoot? No it won't, but it does cover 90% of the stuff I shoot and is a highly versatile, reliable lens. I have also noticed a little lens vignetting at the 200 mm range but this is easily correctable in Photoshop. Some people actually like that vignette so there you go.
I would most definitely recommend this lens, or the newer version to any Nikon (DX) shooter who doesn't want to continuously swap lens out for the right focal distance. I love, love, love it, and when it dies or I kill it (heaven forbid) I will buy another one.
If you're doubting its sharpness or quality, then take a look at my portfolio. I'm fairly certain that 90% or better of those shots were taken with this lens. On a side note, I took the shot above with my nifty 50 mm 1.8 lens, another awesome lens in the Nikon arsenal ...and cheap too! ...but that's another post.