This lens was one of the reasons I went with Nikon in the first place. I thought it was the perfect travel lens and I was right. It is so versatile that it covers you off in most situations, plus it has the added vibration reduction feature to save you a few photos from the low light situations.
This lens has been a huge success for Nikon and I think they underestimated the demand for it. Tamron and Sigma both have equivalent ranges on their lenses, but they are a bit slower, don’t have the same quality of glass, and there is no VR (image stabilizer) on them.
See the product page for the 18-200.
If you are thinking of this lens, I would definitely recommend it, but you need to ask yourself what kind of photography you want to do first. This lens isn’t very fast, but it has such a good zoom range and vibration reduction that is makes up for it. It can replace a couple lenses in your bag for sure. Here are some pros about it.
- 18-200 gives you a nice range and lets you use one lens where you would probably have at least two. When I’m not traveling, I feel free to just take this as my only lens and know I will be okay for 90% of the situations I will be in.
- Vibration reduction is built into this camera. This will give you back a couple shutter speed stops when you are taking photos without a tripod. Really nice in low light situations and you can’t use your flash. There are two pictures below of a lion painting in my home where I took the photo without VR turned on and then again with VR enabled.
For more of an explanation of camera shake and Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization on Canons) and some picture examples, read my article on Vibration Reduction/Image Stabilization.
- It comes with a lens hood. This is the black plastic piece that helps cut down on stray light interfering with your images.
No Vibration Reduction
Vibration Reduction Turned On
There are a few cons as well.
- This lens is quite a bit heavier if you are used to cheaper lenses with lighter glass.
- It is harder to find, but I understand it is easier now.
- It is a bit pricy for the amateur, but it is saving you the cost of a couple lenses if you think about it.
- You cannot use a teleconverter with this lens, so if you are thinking you will try and get a bit more zoom out of it, you can’t.
- This is part the Nikon DX series of lenses. They only work with APS sized sensors to you cannot use this lense on Nikon film cameras or full size sensor digital SLRs like the D2 or D2X.
Basically, if you are the amateur, casual, and/or traveller I would recommend this lense as a good one lense solution. Go to a camera store and try it out. You will be impressed with the results.